How My Family Had the Best Getaway Ever in Our Own City! Featuring the Garland

They say you don’t have to go far to get where you are going.


Apparently, I only had to travel a few miles away to reach one of the BEST getaways in SoCal, which also happened to be a stone’s throw from some of the best spots L.A. has to offer!


I’ve always been a history buff and admirer of Old Hollywood. The charm and magic of days past is part of what makes L.A. so special. The moment one steps foot onto the Garland’s property, there is a rush of nostalgia. This oasis feels like I’m at a resort in Palm Springs yet it’s nestled right in the city.


I brought my two little boys, Ryder, 5, and Asher, 3, and my husband along on this weekend getaway. I always stress out when I travel with my little dudes because anytime we leave home, we leave the comfort of our things, their toys, their food, their beds and their schedule. We are walking into a perfect storm for things to go wrong. 


As soon as we arrived at the Garland, I was immediately put at ease when I saw the huge pool area that anchors the property, complete with an amazing restaurant, hot tub and daybeds for us to spread out on.


And wait for it…the Garland has movies by the pool at night! That’s right, that evening we arrived they were screening Despicable Me poolside and my kids got to wear their floaties and watch the film while my husband and I relaxed with some wine—literally the perfect way to end the day.



Before the movie, we got to check out Beverly Park, a stunning event space on the property that is entirely gated in (amazing with the kiddos) and that evening was complete with food, games and activities for the kids. Beverly Park is open for events and is the perfect spot to host a big birthday, wedding or anything in between.


When we went back to our room, my boys were so excited to get into their bunk beds—yes, I said bunk beds—that were nestled in their own little nook, tucked away from the rest of the room (aka me and my husband). The hubby and I were able to hang out and watch a movie while the boys slept peacefully!



The next morning my family and I headed to the Front Yard for their (delicious) buffet, before we hopped on the Garland’s historical trolley which takes guests to Universal Studios. That’s right, no car needed. 


Universal Studios was a blast! We had never visited and my boys were just the right age to enjoy most of what the park had to offer. Some highlights included the 3D Transformers ride and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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Once we returned to the hotel we quickly put on our swim gear and headed to the pool. We spent the rest of the afternoon floating, playing and eating poolside.


That evening we went back to the Front Yard and enjoyed the amazing and eclectic menu that included food our kids would eat while still satisfying the foodie in me and my husband! I have to note, I have food allergies and the Front Yard was beyond gracious and conscientious about it. We enjoyed pasta, pizzas, chicken, all farm-to-table California fare. Might I also mention, I had the best Cab at dinner. The wine list boasts some incredible local wines, some of which I’ve never seen before.


After dinner we were spoiled with yet another movie night. This time we took the kids to see Sing in the Garland’s state-of-the-art movie theater! Complete with popcorn and snacks, it was an experience we’ll never forget.


The next morning we enjoyed the best brunch at the Front Yard and took a guided one-hour walk, complements of the hotel, which took us to some historic sites a stone’s throw from the hotel, including the legendary Brady Bunch house!


From arrival to checkout, our stay at the Garland was packed with fun, adventure and every amenity we could imagine and more. 


Whether you are an Angeleno looking for a staycation or a family wanting to visit the City of Angels, the Garland is the place to be.



*Edited by Ella Stewart. Ella is a part-time freelance copy editor and a full-time stay-at-home mom to two little ones.

Samantha Gutstadt