Whoever planned heaven may have tried it out first in La Jolla. The community of fewer than 50,000 people is surrounded on three sides by ocean bluffs and beaches, with famously pretty weather. One of the wealthiest enclaves in the country, La Jolla also is home to some of the largest intellects; it houses the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
It's a combination of brains and beauty hard to match anywhere. The rocky shoreline is equally without peer for sheer breathtakingness. And there's the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course—because of course, heaven has 18 holes.
Where to stay: The Grande Colonial hotel is steps from the shore (and seal sightings!) with rooms and suites in soothing shades. Rates start at $219;