New Yorkers and Los Angelinos, ask yourself this: Are you the first person to get into the office and the last one to leave? Do you regularly find yourself accepting work calls late at night and on the weekend? If this sounds like you, it’s time to face the facts: you’re a workaholic. But never fear—you’re certainly not alone. In a 2015 study, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer stated that the people of New York and Los Angeles spend an average of 49 and 46.5 hours respectively working or commuting to and from work.
For the high-strung and overworked employees of these fast-paced cities, it can be hard to take a break from the weekly grind and go on a well-deserved vacation. To make it a little easier, we’ve outlined three different weekend getaways at different price points from notoriously hard-working New York and Los Angeles—with most destinations falling under a total travel time of 2.5 hours.
Budget: Buttonwood Cabin in the Finger Lakes Region, NY (5 hours by car)
Mid-range: The Arnold House in the Catskills Mountains, NY (2 hours 30 minutes by car)
Once famed as the hot summer destination, the Catskills region of New York still holds the natural beauty and sleepy, small-town appeal that used to bring out city dwellers in droves. At The Arnold House in tiny Livingston Manor, NY, you can have a home base for meditative hikes through the Catskill Mountains while being surrounded by the simpler things in life. The Arnold House encourages its guests to unplug and unwind, trading in working lunches for locally-sourced dinners at their cozy tavern, swapping long meetings for deep-tissue massages, and stepping outside the bubble of the office to experience activities such as golfing, fly-fishing, or a brewery tour.
Luxury: Hasbrouck House in the Hudson Valley, NY (2 hours 10 minutes by car)
If you’re finding it hard to take a work break right now, why not wait for the winter? Hasbrouck House in the idyllic Hudson Valley is an ideal place for a weekend getaway at any time of year, but visiting in the winter means access to a host of seasonal activities, like ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing, and late-night bonfires. Relax after hours with a tour of a local winery to warm up from the inside or sit down for a meal in the hotel’s restaurant, Butterfield, which specializes in unique farm-to-table eats. This stunning property, recently renovated from an 18th century mansion, is a sight to behold in and of itself, so don’t feel guilty if you opt to spend your weekend curled up in your room with a good book.
Budget: Joshua Tree Bungalow in Joshua Tree National Park, CA (2 hours 10 minutes by car)
Nothing could feel less like downtown LA than the alien landscape of Joshua Tree with its unusual rock formations and peculiar plant life. Take a day off from brutal LA traffic and instead spend the day hiking through the park. You won't regret climbing up the rocks to enjoy panoramic views of the desert. For something sweet, head into Palm Springs after a day in the desert sun to relax with a cold pineapple whip from Lappert’s or, if you’re craving something a bit headier, grab a “treat-yourself” cocktail from bright and funky Bootlegger Tiki. Finish your night back at your bungalow, where you can gaze at the stars from the twin hammocks just outside your front door.
Mid-range: Ojai Rancho Inn in Ojai, CA (1 hour 30 minutes by car)
Framed by the Topatopa Mountains and Los Padres National Forest, Ojai is a little oasis just a short drive from fast-moving Los Angeles. The Ojai Rancho Inn offers the perfect blend of the rustic and the comfortable: picture bed frames hewn from logs, a roaring fireplace, a bubbling wood jacuzzi, and a porch that looks over the property. Whether you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of the Ojai area or wander through the town’s art galleries and cafes, the Ojai Rancho Inn gives you a place to return each night in blissful solitude.
Luxury: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa in Temecula, CA (1 hour 20 minutes by car)
Combine a winery visit with a leisurely hotel stay at the South Coast Winery Resort and Spa, where your private villa opens onto the extensive vineyards of this award-winning winery. Book a wine tasting or tour (or both) in the afternoon and check out the spa, where you can can melt your work worries away with massages, facials, and skin treatments. With an on-site restaurant serving up local flavors and South Coast wines, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reason to ever step foot off of the property.
by Grace Henes