Stipulated: the perfect travel time for a three-day weekend getaway is four hours. More, and you waste your vacation. Less, and you’re still near home. Hence our series, The 4hr. Rule, dedicated to revealing the best destinations that are far away, yet still close to home.
Need a staycation? Head to Malibu for the weekend with your friends and family. Rent a ranch, take a hike and don’t forget to sample some browns at the city’s new whiskey lounge.
Stay: Exclusive Malibu Ranch
It sleeps 14 and features heated pools and plenty of nooks and crannies for palavers with various members of your party. The six-bedroom, bungalow-style house sits on 14 acres, which you can feel free to wander. And there’s no city light, so you’ll have ample opportunity to stargaze.
Dinner: Saddle Peak Lodge
You’ll want to eat most of your meals at the house, but do grab dinner one night at Saddle Peak Lodge. They’re known for their game (venison, elk and buffalo), which almosts seems like a given considering the rustic digs. It’s cozy, which will be nice given the cold evenings up there.
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Drinks: The Double Barrel Room
Saddle Peak just opened a whiskey lounge dubbed The Double Barrel Room. The small bar has a selection of rare whiskeys — Brora 38 Year Old, Rosebank 2 Year Old, Balvenie 40 Year Old, Littlemill 28 Year Old, Nikka Taketsuru 21 Year Old, Mackinlay's Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt, etc. And with cocktails from a Seven Grand vet, it’s the perfect spot for a hot toddy.
The Hike: Bulldog Road and Castro Crest
The house isn’t far from Malibu Creek Park, where tons of great hikes await. Try Bulldog Road and Castro Crest, a seven-mile uphill slog that goes up through the creek bed, along the chaparral hills and into a sandstone area similar to what you may find in Utah … but with views of the Pacific.