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Savoring Spring, Bruin-Style

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By Bekah Wright, Photos by Dave Lauridsen

Published Apr 1, 2012 8:00 AM


Hotel Oceana: Beaches, Bikes and Heart-Shaped Pools


The courtyard at Hotel Oceana. Photo courtesy of JRK Hotel Groups.

When Kate Lynch Jerkens '01 remembers spring on the UCLA campus, she definitely isn't recalling classrooms. "I loved people-watching on Bruin Walk, hanging out on Royce Quad … and lying out at the Rec Center pool in the afternoon."

Now, as vice president of sales and marketing for JRK Hotel Group's five locations in California, New York and Tennessee, Jerkens knows what elements create a perfect spring getaway. Especially at JRK's Southern California properties, Hotel Oceana Santa Monica and Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara

"Since both are on the beach, I'd make use of the hotels' complimentary bicycles and explore the cities," she recommends. The Santa Monica hotel is within walking and cycling distance of the Third Street Promenade and fun finds like the camera obscura, a century-old optic device on an upper floor of the Senior Recreation Center that gives tourists a unique view of the street and beach scenes below. After that, Jerkens would hit the Santa Monica Pier, "where I'd watch trapeze school, then follow up with lunch at the Blue Plate Oysterette."

And up in Santa Barbara? "I'd bike along Cabrillo Boulevard to take in the ocean views en route to Stearns Wharf, then up State Street to take in the scene," says Jerkens. "Another option is walking the Urban Wine Trail."

Jerkens recommends taking advantage of Hotel Oceana Santa Barbara's daily breakfast. "The pastries are my favorite," she says. "The fresh fruit and omelet station, too." Back at Oceana Santa Monica, Jerkens likes complimentary yoga classes in Palisades Park on Saturdays and guided hikes in Temescal Canyon on Sundays.

Her ideal spot, though? Lounging by the heart-shaped pool, of course.

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