This past Sunday, Grace turned 27. I always LOVE celebrating Grace's birthday, and we have done various things for it throughout the years. Last year, we went all out with a huge group camping trip in Joshua Tree. It was so much fun that we initially thought we'd do something similar this year, but when the time came, we decided to do something more low-key with just the two of us. We have been in such a whirlwind season of life--the busiest and fullest I think I've ever experienced--and so Grace's request was that we get away for the weekend with Willie and go somewhere relaxing, with a spa and fluffy robes. I decided that I would make the destination a surprise, and I started brainstorming where we should go!
I knew I wanted to keep the getaway within 3 hours of LA, since we'd be leaving after work on a Friday and didn't want to be driving late at night. I looked in all directions; some places I considered were Santa Barbara, San Diego, Idyllwild, and Paso Robles. But, I kept coming back to Pismo Beach (or nearby Cayucos) as the place that I thought Grace would love most. We had spent the night in Pismo Beach on a camping trip down the California coast a couple of years ago, and we've always said we wanted to go back. It's a super cute beach town with incredibly stunning cliffs, beaches, and sunsets. For those who haven't been, it's about halfway in between LA and San Francisco on Highway 101 along the Pacific. After researching hotels with a few parameters in mind (dog friendly, spa on site, fluffy robes in room, good room service menu, etc.), I settled on The Cliffs Resort. I booked us some spa services and basically planned nothing else--I knew that relaxing and enjoying the amenities were at the top of Grace's list for the weekend!
Because of Daylight Savings Time making it dark so early, it was fully nighttime when we arrived at the resort on Friday evening. We pretty must just checked in and went to sleep, enjoying our little in-room fireplace and watching some TV but figuring we'd wake up in the morning and experience the grounds and see the ocean.
Because we hadn't seen ANYTHING the night we arrived, it made it all the more magical when we stepped out the next day to walk Willie and were greeted by this:
The resort really could not have a more perfect location. By the way, there were three resorts all in a row: the Spyglass Inn, Dolphin Bay, and finally The Cliffs where we stayed. We had a great time at The Cliffs but would also totally try out one of the others the next time we go to Pismo . . . they all looked unique in their own way, and this blog post is in no way sponsored or biased towards The Cliffs, haha!
The best thing about any of the resorts that are in that area is the view and beach access. We were a 3 minute walk from our room to the beach, which was so lovely. Also, many beaches in the LA area don't allow dogs, but Pismo allows them! So it was really fun to bring Willie down to the beach with us and let him enjoy all the smells.
This is probably the least adventurous trip I'll recap on the blog, but this was basically all we did the whole weekend! It was awesome. We walked on the beach, sat out on our little patio and enjoyed the sea breeze, ate our meals either through room service or the on-site restaurant, Marisol (which had the best seafood mac n cheese EVER), stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live in our room, and rested. On Sunday morning we got massages at the spa, which was literally right next door to our room. We left The Cliffs feeling so blissed out, I am now fully convinced that resort/spa getaways are just as important as camping and connecting with nature!
Also, this was a very dog-friendly resort. They had a dog bed for Willie, water and food bowls, treats in the room for him, and even a doggie room service menu!
I'd say the one downside is that when you have a dog, you don't get an ocean view room (because all the dog-friendly rooms are on the first floor where you have access to a grassy area right outside). That said, the amenities for dogs and the fact that we could see the ocean from just walking right outside were worth the trade-off of having a terrace view rather than ocean view.
Lastly, I'll leave you with some pictures of the sunset we saw on Saturday night (to me it was the best gift from above possible for Grace's last night of being 26). The last time we stayed in Pismo Beach, we saw the most beautiful sunset I have EVER seen in my life, and this one rivaled it. I don't know what it is about Pismo, but the evenings are otherworldly in how special they are there.
We love you, Pismo Beach! We'll be back!