San Diego Hotel Guide for Mountain Autumn Getaways
The evening air is crisp, tree leaves are turning a vibrant sienna, and pumpkin spice lattes have returnedon the Starbucks menu; it must be Autumn. The time of year when sweaters emerge from their moth ball confines and travelers start thinking about romantic mountain getaways by the fireplace. San Diego’s nearby knolls are just the place. Here’s a few suggestions.
White Oak Wild Nights24402 Martin Way Alpine, CA 91901 (619) 445-0997Hands-down this retreat located on the 94 acre Lions, Tigers, and Bears animal sanctuary is the most unique getaway in the county. Owners, Bobbie and Mark Brink provide a safe haven for unwanted and abused exotic animals. Their resolve to help is a life time commitment, not a passing fancy. Raja, a 550 pound male tiger, came to the facility almost a decade ago and navigated his way into Bobbies heart; it’s been love ever since. His mate Natasha accompanied him and was pregnant. Two months later “the girls” were born. The little family shares the compound with three bears, horses, a mini donkey, geese, peacocks, pot belly pigs, sheep and numerous other lucky wildlife. Meet lion littermates Bakari, Jilian, and Suri in the above video, they came to LTB at the age of four weeks. Guests who stay in the White Oak Wild Nights gorgeously decorated, safari-themed bungalow overlook the feisty felines enclosure. Imagine waking to the roar of the nearby siblings from the master bedroom. Or, sip morning coffee on the patio watching them scamper throughout their pen with the frivolity of a house cat. It’s all good. (Bungalow rates starts at $449 per night. Includes a personal attendant.) Ayres Lodge1251 Tavern Road Alpine, CA 91901 (619) 445-5800The only wildlife at Ayres Lodge is the deer head on the lobby wall and a few pooches accompanying their masters in the guestrooms. But, the warm, western lodge setting is extremely inviting. Just 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, the quaint 98 room inn sits in the small mountain town of Alpine. Antiques and one of a kind furnishings like the civil war riffle lamp seen in the above video, were found by Mrs. Ayres at yard sales. A complimentary full breakfast, plus a milk and cookie evening reception attribute to the homey feel. (Room rates start at $104 per night.) Bailey’s Palomar Resort33691 Bailey Meadow Road Palomar Mountain, CA 92060 (760) 742-1859The family ranch is perched high atop Palomar Mountain. Fall breezes rustle the countless tree leaves filling the 60 acre property. Green meadows, orchards, and a well stocked fish pond surrounds the seven bedroom Bailey House vacation home. Two smaller cottages cater to couples or families of four. Relatives of Theodore Bailey have keep the rustic resort running for 123 years. There is no phone - or cell coverage - on the ranch. But don’t panic. WiFi and TV are provided. (Room rate for Bailey House: 4 days/3 nights, up to 14 people $1,995. Oak and Cedars Cottages: $145 per night for 2 people. Kids under 12 stay free. Over 12 $50.) San Vicente Golf Resort
24157 San Vicente Road Ramona, CA 92065 (760) 789-8290Ramona equestrian community is home to this golf resort. Twenty-eight hotel rooms overlook the Ted Robinson championship course in the foothills of the Cuyamaca Mountains. A challenging 18 holes with a par 72 lures guests weekly. The 1,450 foot elevation ushers in autumn weather for a comfortable round on the fairways. Or, the nearby horse arena and trails may offer a nice diversion from the links. (Room rates start at $99 per night.)
Pine Valley Inn28940 Old Highway 80 Pine Valley, CA 91962 (619) 473-8560Pine Valley Inn may qualify as roughing-it. The seven square mile town with 1,581 residents only has one hotel, so pickin’s are slim, but the mountain views are spectacular. Guestrooms are clean and big. Hiking trails and fishing lakes are nearby, as are two diners who serve three meals a day. Microwaves and small fridges help with leftovers. (Room rates start at $59.99 per night.)