The rocky cliffs, hard-sand beaches and swirling ocean current along the curvy Palos Verdes Peninsula can easily be mistaken for Northern California. There are suited-up surfers off shore, but the land follows steep ups and downs as it hugs (and sometimes falls into) the Pacific. It's a good place for a close-to-home getaway, particularly for those who haven't yet explored what must be among the least touristy parts of Southern California.
The bed: Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes opened three years ago on the site of what once was the Marineland aquarium that opened in the 1950s. The ocean-side hotel with 582 rooms is offering a deal for early bookings. There's also a spa, where guests may book a treatment or pay $40 for day use, and golf course.
The deal: The Countdown to Winter by the Sea is reason enough to go and sample the luxury resort and explore the peninsula. The offer is good for stays Nov. 1 through March 31. Make reservations by Oct. 15 and take 25% off best available rate; book by Dec. 22, the discount drops to 20%.
Tested: I found availability for a room with two double beds and resort view Dec. 7 to 9 for $266 plus tax and a $25 daily resort fee. The same room on the same night usually costs $380 plus tax and resort fee (the discount I found is higher than the promised 25% off the best available rate).