State's top three getaway spots chosen

Readers pick trio of spots that are widely different from each other.

February 16, 2011|By Cary Ordway,

The readers of have chosen their favorite California getaways and those results were announced recently on the Website. The top three vote-getters couldn’t be three more different experiences, so there is no doubt there is something for everyone in this year’s winners.

Topping the field this year was the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, located in the small community of Ojai, not far from Santa Barbara. If bed-and-breakfast inns are your preference, the second-place winner this year is Aurora Park Cottages, a wine-country retreat in Calistoga. And rounding out the top three was Rankin Ranch, a family-run Southern California guest ranch that has been popular with visitors for generations.

Among the getaways receiving the most nominations this year were Curry Village at Yosemite National Park; the Pink Mansion, an intimate bed-and-breakfast in Calistoga; and El Capitan Canyon, a unique luxury tent-camping experience. Also nominated were the famed Bacara Resort of Santa Barbara and Honor Mansion, a wine-country getaway in Healdsburg.


The top rankings were tallied by combining reader response with other reputable rankings, giving special weight to the readers who took time to send in their nominations and comments about the various getaway experiences they have had throughout the state of California.

If you’re wondering just why the top three ranked so highly, here are some of the comments, along with information about each of the award-winners:

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a luxury resort, long known as a golfer’s haven but now also renowned for many other major resort amenities. It’s a little off the beaten path, about 13 miles off Highway 101 near Ventura. It’s located in the spectacular Ojai Valley, only about 10 miles long and three miles wide, but famous as an artists’ enclave. The resort is on 800 sprawling acres including the inn, its village and the golf course.

This luxury resort has earned a Triple A 5-star designation. That puts the resort in a pretty exclusive club because only a few resorts in California have achieved that status.

“As a golfer, I really appreciate their great championship course,” writes Michael Baker from Santa Barbara. “Their spa is incredible for my wife, and the kids love Camp Ojai. Plus there are great hiking and biking trails and the cute town of Ojai is so charming.”

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