Have you put away a few thousand dollars for your next staycation?

We all could use a vacation. After a couple of three-day workweeks at Christmas and New Year’s, we’ve been worn out by a pair of full, five-day laborious weeks with the only chance to catch a breath coming on weekends. It has been brutal, and it’s long past time to rest and relax and brace ourselves for the coming desert of holidays.

I would suggest a staycation during your next long weekend, which for many of us, is made possible by Martin Luther King Jr. Day next Monday.

Staycations are underrated. A real vacation can be more nerve-wracking than relaxing, what with the hassles of transportation, whether by car, train or plane and the colossal waste of time and accumulation of stress spent packing, planning, arranging for pet care and things you are likely to forget. I wouldn’t wish a real vacation on my worst enemy (and you know who you are).

A staycation doesn’t mean spending the holiday weekend lazing in your easy chair in your underwear. That’s just called staying home. The first rule of staycation is you have to leave your house. The second rule is a bit more elastic: You need to stay within 20 miles of your home. Purists might say you have to staycation within the boundaries of your home town, but I say if you want to go to Lakewood or Signal Hill, feel free.

For my column today, I’m going to go ahead and assume you have enough money to spend somewhere between $1,200 and $1,800 a night for lodging on your quick little getaway. If it helps you rationalize the cost, that’s only the price of about 425 venti lattes per day at Starbucks. Everything’s less costly when you compare it to the price of Starbucks’ lattes.

Let’s leap right into your local holiday hiatus by looking at some of the swankier spots on the Vrbo or airbnb website, starting with a three-day stay at Mothers Beach where, for $1,500 a night you get a beach pad with all the trimmings, which come in the form of aqua toys such as a boat, four stand-up paddle boards, a couple of water bikes and, to get you into town (nearby Belmont Shore or Naples with their bevy of eateries, bars and shops), a street-legal electric golf cart that seats five.

The patio and stairs leading to the upper deck in the Mothers Beach staycation rental. Listing photo.

Don’t, by the way, get overly swayed by this beach home’s ad on Vrbo, which shows some handsome couples and a dog aboard a Duffy Boat in what looks to our semi-trained eye like the waters of Marina del Rey. I’m not sending you to Marina del Rey. That’d be what they call a “vacation.”

The house that you’ll be renting is steps from the beach and, with four bedrooms and three baths, can accommodate eight people.

If you have a large group of staycationers, and have always hankered to spend some quality time in Long Beach’s Wrigley District, you can do no better than spend your holiday ensconced in the Daisy Paradise Villa. And, surprisingly, this place is actually pretty paradisiacal, with a gorgeous and inviting swimming pool and spa, along with a nice patio, outdoor kitchen and fire pit. There’s little reason to ever venture indoors, except to catch some Netflix on the TV,  hit the hay in one of the Villa’s six bedrooms or use the less-adventurous but well-equipped indoor kitchen. The Daisy Paradise Villa sleeps 16 and rents for $1,200 a night—mere pennies if you pack it full of 16 paying guests.

An inviting pool and hot tub at the Daisy Paradise Villa will make your staycation extra-relaxing. Listing photo.

Moving up to a super-elegant staycation, I can offer you this over-the-top, opulent Spanish-style fortress on 60th Place, steps from the strand on the Pacific Ocean side of Alamitos Bay Peninsula. You can see all the way to Okinawa across the Pacific from the second and third levels of this seven-bedroom mansion (with 10 beds total, it can handle a crowd of 16) with 5.5 bathrooms.

Even though it’s right on the ocean and just a block from the bay, it’s a tough place to want to leave with a huge billiard room, a media room, a sound that’s hooked up to Spotify, Pandora and iTunes, a formal dining room, three fireplaces, two family rooms and an elevator, all sprawled out over the castle’s 6,900 square feet.

The view from your master suite at the opulent Spanish-style mansion on the Peninsula. Listing photo.

A bit of off-putting news is it’s not available for the King weekend, but, come on, if it’s just the two of you, in a place this big, nobody will even notice you’re there. Or, if you don’t want to be a sneak about it, offer to sub-lease your stay. I’m sure you won’t be any bother.

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Tim Grobaty is a columnist and opinions editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his newspaper career at the Press-Telegram in 1976 as a copy boy and moved on to feature writer, music critic, TV critic, copy editor and daily columnist. He’s the author of several books, including I’m Dyin’ Here, and he lives in Long Beach.
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