In-Town Getaways: 5 Spots That Feel A Million Miles Away

Staycations are so 2008, according to most of our travel industry insiders. This year, our tipsters tell us that traveling on a budget is all about rediscovering the exotic, worldly and wild destinations right here in San Diego. Wait, isn't that exactly what a staycation is? We'll let you be the judge and, in the meantime, here are our picks for 5 exotic, in-town experiences.

Updated: April 16, 2009

San Diego Staycations (or whatever they're called)

Fox Den Cabin Affordable Vacation Rentals, Cabin Rentals

3687 Dry Run Rd, Luray, VA 22835

Wander the historic halls underground and find the hidden candy shop, order a so-San Diego margarita out on the massive, newly-remodeled pool deck, drop the kids at camp or craft-making stations and splurge on a fancy dinner at 1500 Ocean. Spending a day at The Del is the perfect way to feel like you're a million miles away. If you stay overnight, be sure to book a massage in their fabulous new spa, and don't miss the Sunday brunch in the Crown room.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027

With last year's updates to the safari tours (new jeeps get you closer to the animals) and all the benefits that come with a year-long pass--like free admission to the Zoo, too'this is the year to make the trip to Africa ... in Escondido.

Rancho Bernardo Inn San Diego Hotels

17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, San Diego, CA 92128

Move over, fellas. This one's for the ladies. With all-natural oils, herbs and scrubs made in-house, plus outdoor treatment rooms by the pool, the Inn's state-of-the-art new spa feels like a fabulous boutique hotel tucked away in the quiet hills of Italy. One piece of advice, though: Skip the 'spa cuisine? and eat at the Inn's adventurous restaurant El Bizcocho. The new chef is one of the only ones in town practicing molecular gastronomy.

Park Hyatt Aviara

7100 Four Seasons Point, Carlsbad, CA 92011

Dads and dudes can golf, the gals can spa (yes, spa as a verb), and kids can run around the sprawling grounds from the pool to the game room to the movie theater. And everyone can meet for a big Italian dinner at the end of the day. Yeah it's the Four Seasons, so it's pricey. But it's a heck of a lot cheaper than flying the family (or even just the two of you) out of town.