The California Girls Guide to Gathering: Valentine’s Day Edition
photo: The Holidays
While this Girls Guide to Gathering is a special Valentine's edition, you and your lady friends can use this as a guide for any Cali gathering! In the words of the dazzlingly sweet Charlotte York to her best girlfriends, “maybe we could be each other’s soulmates.” Oh, Char, how right you are. Whether you’re in a relationship or flying solo, girlfriends are the ultimate proof that we aren’t alone in this big, crazy world. Celebrate your love for each other this Valentine’s Day and explore your favorite part of California as a dynamic duo, triple threat trio, or as a whole crew.
From Downtown LA’s whacky prom party to Malibu Canyon’s gorgeous vineyards; from stargazing in Joshua Tree to Ojai’s most chic spa; from meandering the gardens of Sonoma to hosting breaststroke competitions at a swim club in San Diego, there are so many ways to sneak in some quality time with the most quality women in your world. Which will you choose?
Written by Alyssa Brown
Photo:Homestead Modern No. 1
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Homestead Modern No. 1
If you and the crew are looking for something way outside the box to do this Valentine’s Day, a trip to the Hollywood studio built Pioneertown might be in order. Spend the day exploring the Mojave Desert and wallow away the evenings over tequila at Pappy & Harriet’s. No need to worry about drinking and driving, as it’s a short walk away from this modern little hideaway that boasts a plethora of lounging zones and outdoor tubs. Galentines Gathering Tip: Sit in the bubbly hot tub with champs, while you watch the pretty in pink sunset over the desert landscape.
Kitschy as kitsch gets, this creative downtown venue is throwing an old school Pretty in Pink fake Prom on February 13th to get you in the mood for dancing and romancing with your best of pals. An old factory that’s since been transformed into a design-lover’s paradise, this fresh space is open and modern with the right amount of brick walls, wood floors, and chic lighting. A perfect place to raise rose pink champagne flutes and cheers to the girls! Buy tickets here!
Your love affair with your girlfriends deserves a romantically lit dinner celebration in LA’s hottest courtyard for their special 6 course valentine's day tasting event. The menu at Plant Food + Wine is of course plant-based, making it a fab gathering spot for the health-loving chicas in your life. The organic and biodynamic wine list is extensive, and the overhanging olive trees and fig trees make this space beam with tranquility. Galentines Gathering Tip: A post-dinner walk to the beach is a must following this delicious meal.
If a casual wine hang is more your scene, grab the homegirls and head to Santa Barbara’s Municipal Winemakers Tasting Room. Focused on serving joy-driven wines, the positive energy is sure to be contagious around these parts. Municipal’s labels are mostly delicious and easy to drink, and the outdoor patio with views of the ocean can’t be out-sparkled. Galentines Gathering Tip: On Sun, Feb 14th Municipal is hosting a Valentines Day Pizza party with heart shaped pizzas, a DJ and a sneak peek of hte 2014 pale pink! Address: 22 Anacapa St Santa Barbara, CA 93101
A popular 1920s wellness retreat visited by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Albert Einstein, Highland Springs Resort is now a sustainable hotel and working farm. Head out this way if you’re looking to relax with your nearest and dearest while surrounded by olive groves, lavender farms and a thousand year old oak tree. Inner peace, we are coming to find you! Galentines Gathering Tip: Get dolled up in 1920's vibes and book the Valentine's Day dinner being served from Feb 12th-14th (special v-day lava cake included!)
Kiss the city life goodbye and head to this Haute Tipi for a weekend with the bests. This adorable tipi getaway screams of relaxation and fun with friends. Enjoy wine in the hot tub while staring at the stars and laughing with your main B's after a day of hiking, shopping or hanging on the beach.
Workouts are always better with a buddy! This historic athletic club has a monster indoor pool, so gather the girls and challenge them to a swim-off. Whoever gets last place buys first and last round at the on-site bar! Better start working on your backstroke. Galentines Gathering Tip: Enjoy a throwback to 1940's Casablanca this Friday for Valentine’s Day as the hotel re-creates the romantic setting of the 1942 classic film “Casablanca.” Their Olympic Lounge will be transformed into Rick's Café Américain, complete with a live 4 piece band, Moroccan inspired cuisine, champagne and more.
Moving in. Send the girls. And our wardrobes. This bohemian desert oasis is pure 1940s bliss. With the vibe of a log cabin and feel of a modern paradise, this peaceful bungalow is only a ten-minute drive to Joshua Tree National Park. There’s pure magic in the stars here, and magic that resonates in the conversations with your soul sisters.
Dying for a trip to Vietnam with your ladies? Wellp, we can’t all splurge for that flight this holiday, but a walk through District’s own lantern town and into their super cozy glowing setting might make you feel like you’re in another city. Besides, who needs champagne and strawberries when you can have sake and Dungeness crab uni noodles?
Treating your boos to a mani/pedi at this chic beachy nail salon is a sure way to repay them for all those late night phone calls about your ex-boyfriend’s incessant texting. Côte has their own line of five-free polishes, a lovely covered outdoor space and cute little hammock swings to hang in while you wait. This is one pampering experience you’ll want tagalongs for. Be sure to splurge for the hot stone foot massage!
Goodbye stuffy dinner in LA, hello girls’ getaway to Santa Barbara! This glamorous 1920s seaside resort offers a sweet retreat for the right crew. Set amongst perfectly landscaped gardens, these Spanish Colonial Revival villas are as cozy as they are polished. The area is plentiful with wine tasting rooms and beach cruisers are super easy to get your hands on around here.
Celebrations are best with all of the girl gang in tow. The Amado in Palm Springs is that chic desert getaway you’ve been dreaming of owning for years, only now you can rent it instead. The courtyard has a gorgeous pool and the rooms are all major scores for your mid-century modern loving crew. Be sure to pack the caftans and pool floaties!
You know what really gets us in the mood for V-day? Oysters. Well actually, oysters get us in the mood for just about anything. Oysters in San Deigo’s Little Italy are no exception to that rule, especially when enjoyed with our loveliest ladies as company. Whether you’re thinking of throwing a briney bash or rolling on up to the bar for champagne and oysters with your bestie, this modern industrial hotspot is a perfect place to spot your next shucker. Galentines Gathering Tip: Order the "Cocktails On The Halfshell” – a single raw oyster served alongside a cocktail concoction!
Yes! This beachy bungalowwas made for killing an afternoon sifting through vinyl with your boo thangs. If you’re feeling particularly festive, maybe throwing a dance party is in order. Call up your favorite DJ and start planning now. Just remember to keep the list to 200 peeps. OOH! Could be fun to get a little weird with love magic and bring in a tarot card reader too.
Airstreams are all the rage right now! Okay, maybe not just right now, but since like, the fifties. This collection of airstreams is quite the throwback to simpler beach times, and all the trailers are based right in San Clemente State Beach. The airstreams sleep up to five guests, so choose your femme fest guest list accordingly and be sure to pack enough ingredients for s’mores around the bonfire!
Get your resort cohorts together to enjoy this luxury suite-only hotel. With 49 hacienda style guestrooms, this getaway is more class than sass. Set on 45 acres of gardens, olive groves, trails, casitas and more, this dream setting is sure to be ground zero for a very serious game of croquet or battle of tennis champions. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Is it too late to say we’re in L-O-V-E with this hotel? The 8 room long-stay digs have been at the top of West Hollywood’s destination list since 2008 and we have yet to let go of the idea of a staycation with friends at this luxury boutique hotel. There’s a rooftop bar, a courtyard brasserie, an indoor dining space, and a little lobby lounge, but mostly this residential-style dwelling is all about the rooms. And the two-bedroom specifically is all about the more the merrier. Galentines Gathering Tip: Head to the 'Singles Awareness Night!' Single or Taken come support the cause on February 13th from 9pm-1am in the Lobby Lounge. Good tunes and good times. RSVP to Lediskoproductions@gmail.com
Get all your wahines together for a spa weekend at Ojai’s finest inn and spa. Surely you can expect five-star service at this luxury getaway with incredible views of the SoCal mountainside. The orange blossom and honey body wrap is sure to set you aglow for a night in with your top tier ladies. Galentines Gathering Tip: Grab a cabana and cocktail at the Indigo Pool & Bar.
Movie nerds, we’ve found your next favorite movie spot! Throw on your bikinis and saddle up poolside to The Pearl Hotel’s outdoor movie projector lounge. The 23 rooms at this mid-century style hotel are charming and comfortable, while the social scene is the fun of the draw. Galentines Gathering Tip: Dirty Dancing is on the airing agenda for V-day weekend and we’re pretty sure it’ll be a hit for the anti-valentine’s crew. With rooms right upstairs, you’ll be tossing back champagne with the girls faster than you can say, “I carried a watermelon.” Give them a ring to book reservations!619.226.6100
Say what! This hotel has a swim club! And my what a pool it provides! Galentines Gathering Tip: As if the gigantic outdoor pool isn’t enough of a draw, the Lafayette Hotel is hosting a dinner and dancing soiree for Valentine’s Day revelers. Live Flamenco music and a three-course meal could be just the let loose atmosphere you and the ladies are looking to explore.
We’re obsessed with the idea of hosting a babes-only brunch at this culinary outpost on the San Francisco Bay. Farmshop Marin is absolutely beautiful with its colorful, sea-inspired interiors, and the menu is a clever take on Northern California classics with an Italian spin. We’ll have 2 bottles of prosecco and five orders of the pear and prosciutto pizza with truffles, honey and arugula, per favore!
Marshall is that delightfully odd little bay town with just the right amount of things to explore over the course of a long weekend. Nick’s Cove sits right on the bay and serves up BBQ oysters that will have you begging for more. The adorable roadside landmark also touts 12 quaint cottages built right on or overlooking the piers. Classic California lodging with access to water and loads of hiking trails might be exactly what you and the posse are looking for in a girls’ getaway.
Even though you’re committed to your girlfriends being your valentines this year, The Battery might be the best place to spot some serious man candy. This members-only club is known as ground zero for some of SF’s hottest bachelors. The stunning interiors here are designed by none other than the immensely talented Ken Fulk. And the social spaces are just as eclectic as the 14 hotel rooms on-site. The biggest issue here will be figuring out what to wear when you meet your very own Mr. Big. Galentines Gathering Tip: Book their La Vie En Rose event withvarietals of Rose wines, dessert wines, sweets and music by the Baguette Quartette.
So many classes, so little time! What group of women doesn’t love cheese? Eating it, talking about eating it, making it, the list goes on. The Cheese School of SF is offering a long list of Valentine’s Day classes for the big holiday, including a cheese and chocolate crash course, a sparkling wine and cheese pairing class with the brainiacs from Bi-Rite, and a 6-course dinner on Valentine’s Day. How ever will you choose who you’d most love to bring along!
Lovin’ you, Twenty Five Lusk, is easy cuz you’re beautiful. This industrial warehouse space has been turned into a lounge that rivals no other in this part of San Francisco. While you may be trying to figure out what your squad is all about for Valentine’s Day, they’re sure to be happy as clams in this warm and fiery setting. Galentines Gathering Tip: Cozy up for #HappyHour in the lounge with the Queen Bee cocktail featuring gin, lemon, honey, eggwhite, and rosemary bitters!
With over thirty years in the biz, this wine haven boasts cave tastings and vineyards that champion past the area’s world-class competition. Put this venue in the running if you’re planning to throw a Valentine’s Day bash, or if you’re simply looking for a wine tasting stop along the drive north. Galentines Gathering Tip: Order a bottle of the 2014 Rosé bursting with perfumed aromas of red cherries and blood orange and host a picnic dinner on the lawn beneath the twinkle lights!