We're a few days out from Memorial Day weekend, and lodgings are probably on the full-ish side, but like we always tell everyone who, out of the blue, craves the spontaneous road trip, just call.
Call the hotel or camp site or Aunt Lou Lou. Don't assume. Check and see if they've had cancellations, or sweet, last-minute deals, or if Aunt Lou Lou finally banished your cousin Ted from the couch and you can sleep there for the weekend. Call. Or look online. Make contact. Someone out there wants to book you, we're betting.
Here are three books we recommend for finding nearby nest-for-a-night-or-two spots...
"OFFBEAT OVERNIGHTS": Yes, the Madonna Inn is in there. But so are a bunch of places we'd never heard of, and you've likely never heard of, even if you're a sixth-generation Californian. The subtitle is "A Guide to the Most Unusual Places to Stay in California" and that isn't overly braggy. The places are unusual, and it is a comprehensive guide. Bravo, author Lucy Poshek.
"WEEKENDS FOR TWO IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA": Tres romantic, throw-another-log-on-the-fire spots, full of fancy soaps and plush beds and vine-latticed balconies. Very cozy stuff from Chronicle Books, Bill Gleeson, and John Swain. We can almost taste the pulpy, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice now.
"ROMANCING THE COAST": Obviously with "romancing" in the title this is also for a couple-y kind of get-out, but the twist is water. If you've stretched your arms and yawned to the sounds of waves hitting sand and seagulls yarbling, you know the pleasures. A posh, very pretty tome from Thomas C. Wilmer.