You may be content to just stay home and flip burgers on the grill, but Memorial Day Weekend (May 23 to 25) is not just about ushering in the summer BBQ season. It’s also the start of summer travel. Whether you envision lazy afternoons lounging by the pool or on the golf course, you don’t have to travel far. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the state!  Step out of your comfort zone this Memorial Day Weekend and try something new. Here are four of the newest and hottest hotels to check out in the Golden State:

 

The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Image courtesy of The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage

Image courtesy of The Ritz Carlton, Rancho Mirage

The Ritz-Carlton marked its ceremonious return to Hollywood’s desert paradise last year with a mid-century modern inspired transformation that pays homage to its Rat Pack past. The 244-room hotel made Conde Nast’s “Hot List 2015” earlier this year for good reason: it’s hot, hot hot. Fire pits, three pools, amazing spa, gorgeous views overlooking the Coachella Valley and five-star service…need we say more?

 

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe

Image courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lake Tahoe. Photography by Jeff Dow.

Image courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Lake Tahoe. Photography by Jeff Dow.

Opening back in January, the iconic Hard Rock Hotel & Casino finally brought its brand of cool to South Lake Tahoe. (While technically on the Nevada side—we’re still including it in our list because it’s on the Stateline.) The new hotel has it all: a 539-room Hard Rock Hotel, a 25,000+ square foot casino, the world-famous retail store, multiple restaurants and bars, the largest outdoor pool experience in South Lake Tahoe, and an assortment of live-entertainment both indoors and out. You can pretty much count on Memorial Day Weekend to be hopping with shows, happy hours and tons of swank. Who needs Vegas?

 

The Rose Hotel, Venice

Photo by Justine Bursoni

Photo by Justine Bursoni

Another Conde Nast “Hot List 2015” selection, this edgy, breezy boutique hotel is a California dream, literally (there’s only 14 rooms). Located a block from the Venice boardwalk, The Rose was designed by Abbot Kinney in 1908 and refashioned by photographer Glen Luchford last year. It’s just the right dose of beach-house chic you need for a weekend away: a palette of cool marine blues, gray and white, with framed prints of Luchford’s photographs on the walls and airy rooms that can easily make you feel like you’re in Swedish fishing village, on Cape Cod or…right in the heart of one of the most famous beaches in the world.

 

The Palace Hotel, San Francisco

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Image courtesy of The Palace, San Francisco

Not technically new—but this newly renovated San Francisco landmark has a lot of travelers buzzing this year. Built in 1875, the classically inspired interiors and its 553 guest rooms were re-envisioned in 2015 with modern décor and a chic designer palette. We love the old mixed with new…it’s certainly a sight to behold in one of our favorite California cities.