Colorado’s National Parks | Part 1

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Colorado’s four national parks showcase the state’s natural beauty and history in their own unique way. Experience them all on a national park tour through the state!

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Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado’s most well-known, has 415 square miles of forests, meadows, lakes, and streams that afford endless opportunities for outdoor activities. More than 300 miles of trails make the park great for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, while pristine waters are perfect for fishing, kayaking, and river rafting. You can also take a few scenic drives – the 48-mile Trail Ridge Road has views of the Rockies and the Great Plains.

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Where to stay: The Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King got his inspiration for The Shining. The historic hotel, only a short distance from the park, is stately and charming. With the Rocky Mountain National Park Package, you’ll get a weeklong pass to the park.

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Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Head south to Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, where you’ll see the tallest sand dunes in North America. By day, you can sand sled or sandboard down the dunes, then cool off in Medano Creek. By night, the area is great for stargazing. After you experience the park itself, drive a short distance to Zapata Falls for incredible views of the dunes as well as a 20-ft waterfall.

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Photo by Stephen Weaver

Where to stay: Zapata Ranch offers ranch vacations that allow guests to truly experience the surrounding natural area. Enjoy gourmet food, comfortable accommodations, and adventures like horseback riding, overnight trips, geology tours, and wildlife watching. Their All-Inclusive package includes lodging, meals, and activities.

 

 

 

 

See the Sights in Colorado Springs | Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Colorado Springs and its surrounding area are full of breathtaking sights – waterfalls, summit views, and gorgeous red rock towers are just some of the things you’ll want to explore. Here’s how to craft a Colorado Springs getaway full of adventure, beauty, and relaxation.

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The Broadmoor

Stay at The Broadmoor, a luxury resort just outside of Colorado Springs with endless activities and amenities. You can relax in a traditional room or suite, or splurge on a cottage or brownstone with extra features like gourmet kitchens, outdoor fireplaces and verandas, and even wine cellars. At The Broadmoor, you can play tennis and golf, book a spa service, shop at boutique stores, indulge in fine dining, and explore the natural beauty around the resort. For a special stay, book their Romantic Getaway package and receive accommodations, sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, dinner for two, and discounted suite rates.

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Seven Falls

Just minutes from The Broadmoor you’ll find Seven Falls, a series of waterfalls that fall a combined 181 feet. Surrounding the falls are the steep walls of the South Cheyenne Canyon and the 900-ft tall Pillars of Hercules that frame the canyon. At Seven Falls, you can climb 224 steps adjacent to the falls to reach the top, where you’ll find a viewing platform and the beginning of a few trails. You can also see the falls and the canyon from the air – the Broadmoor Soaring Adventure has zip line courses, a 180-ft rappel, hiking, and rope bridges.

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Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Climb to the top of Pikes Peak by train on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The route, which takes just over three hours, takes you up over 14,000 feet with incredible views from beginning to end. First you’ll see giant boulders, Minnehaha Falls, and forested hillsides. As the train ventures higher up, the views include Alpine tundra, the Great Plains, multiple mountain ranges, downtown Denver, and of course Pikes Peak. You’ll spend about a half hour at the top, and then head back down.

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Garden of the Gods

At Garden of the Gods, towers of red rocks jut into the sky. Visit the park, a National Natural Landmark, to learn the history behind these amazing vertical formations and explore the area. Walk or hike through the rocks on 15 miles of trails, or take a guided trolley, Jeep, or Segway tour. On Thursday nights, you can take part in “Gallop in the Garden,” a free 5K that meanders through the park.

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Odyssey Gastropub

Head back into Colorado Springs for dinner at Odyssey Gastropub, a trendy eatery with expertly crafted food and drinks. You’ll want to start off with an appetizer and some craft beer – we like the Bison Poutine, fries smothered with braised bison tips, bison-rosemary gravy, and cheese curds. Odyssey’s main menu is full of inventive sandwiches and burgers like the Best Friends Burger, with pulled pork, crispy onions, cheddar, slaw, and peach BBQ sauce.

Discovering Sedona | Sedona, Arizona

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With gorgeous red rock formations and rugged natural beauty, Sedona is perfect for hiking, biking, and exploring. However, the city’s spas, art scene, and gourmet food options also make it a great place to relax and recharge. Experience both adventure and culture on your next getaway.

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Enchantment Resort

At Enchantment Resort, Sedona’s breathtaking red rocks will surround you. Their cozy Southwestern-styled casitas are the perfect place to relax after a day of hiking through Sedona’s natural beauty. The 70-acre resort gives you access to the world-class Mii amo spa, the beautifully designed Seven Canyons golf course, multiple fine dining experiences, and more. With special guest experiences like stargazing, guided meditation, and lectures, you definitely won’t run out of things to do.

The Tennis at Enchantment Package is a good chance to up your game in the unforgettable setting. You’ll enjoy a full breakfast each morning at any of their restaurants or in bed, an hour-long private lesson each day, an hour-long ball machine rental each day, and access to multiple tennis clinics.

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Tamaliza Café

Tamaliza means “Tamale Feast,” which is exactly what you’ll get at Sedona’s Tamaliza Café. The authentic Mexican recipes are made with natural, organic, non-GMO ingredients. Choose from vegan, vegetarian, chicken, pork, or beef dishes with a variety of different sauces. Our favorite is the chicken supreme tamale, made with organic corn flour masa and topped with black beans, spinach, cheese, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

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Explore Sedona’s Art Scene

Spend an afternoon browsing a few of Sedona’s 40+ art galleries and studios. You’ll find painting, sculpture, pottery, photography, and more, much of which is created by Native American artists from tribes such as the Apache, Hopi, and Navajo. If you happen to be in town on the first Friday of the month, check out 1st Friday in the Galleries, a monthly event in which art galleries stay open late. From 5:00 to 8:00 pm, you can meet the artists, enjoy snacks and drinks, and see the best art Sedona has to offer.

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Hike Sedona’s Best Trails

There’s no better way to experience Sedona’s amazing scenery than on a couple of hikes! The area has a lot of routes to choose from, but these three are sure to impress. Beat the crowds and intense Arizona heat by starting early in the morning, and don’t forget sunscreen and plenty of water.

Cathedral Rock, a cluster of tall red rock formations, is one of Sedona’s most iconic sights. See it up close on the Cathedral Rock Trail, a mile-long hike that will take you up into the saddles, or gaps, between the rocks for incredible views both around and above you. You can also check out the Templeton Trail to Oak Creek, a 2.2-mile route. Start out at the Cathedral Rock trailhead, then veer right to follow Templeton Trail, which descends about a mile to Oak Creek, where you can stop for swim and cool off. You’ll also want to get up early one morning to do the Brewer Trail at sunrise – the two-mile trail rewards hikers with an incredible lookout.

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Brunch at L’Auberge de Sedona

Exquisite food and beautiful scenery come together at L’Auberge de Sedona’s Sunday Brunch. The outdoor patio, surrounded by a flowing creek and lush greenery, creates a relaxing and intimate atmosphere perfect for a leisurely meal. Their plentiful buffet includes an omelet station, cold seafood, hot entrees, desserts, and much more. Don’t forget to try the Bloody Marys and mimosas as well!

Your Guide to the Oregon Coast

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Rugged coastline, deserted beaches, and lush greenery are just some of the amazing things you’ll find on the Oregon Coast. The entire coast is packed full of amazing sights, but the northern half in particular has a lot worthy of exploration. Not sure what to see? Our guide begins in Astoria and moves south through Cannon Beach and Tillamook, stopping at plenty of gorgeous attractions along the way.

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Astoria & Fort Stevens State Park

Astoria was the first permanent United States settlement on the West Coast, founded by and named after John Jacob Astor as part of his fur trading company. Today, Astoria has retained a historic charm while simultaneously making room for trendy restaurants and stores. Walk along the water and check out the iconic Astoria-Megler Bridge, then stop for a bite to eat at Frite & Scoop, a shop specializing in creative flavors of ice cream and fries. We like the savory-sweet “London Fog” ice cream, flavored with earl grey and vanilla.

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Less than a half hour from Astoria, you’ll find Fort Stevens State Park. The park has multiple pristine beaches and a jetty that will take your breath away, but its must-see feature is the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale, which rises right up out of the sand.

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Cannon Beach & Ecola State Park

Your next stop is Cannon Beach, a quaint town with an impressive collection of gorgeous beaches. Check out the art galleries and boutique shops in town, then head down to the beach to see Haystack Rock, a 235-foot rock that adorns the shoreline.

For great views and hiking opportunities, drive up into Ecola State Park. When you enter, turn left for Ecola Point, where you’ll find an unbelievable view of the coastline and beaches below. Ecola Point is also the starting point for multiple hikes through the park, including a few that go down to Crescent Beach and Indian Beach.

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Stephanie Inn

Stay at the Stephanie Inn, a boutique Cannon Beach hotel that’s a mere 28 steps to the beach. The Stephanie Inn has incredible guest experiences – you’ll enjoy a wine and beer gathering, an evening nightcap, and gourmet breakfast. You can also sign up for complimentary classes on mixology, ice cream making, and more. For some evening fun, choose the Beach Bonfire package. It comes with firewood, fire starter, a “fire butler” to help start you off, your choice of wine, cider, or beer, s’mores ingredients, and a beach mat and tote.

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Tillamook

While you drive down the coast to Tillamook from Cannon Beach, keep an eye out for the scenic pullouts, where you can catch sweeping views of the ocean. Once you hit Tillamook, you’ll understand why it’s called the “Land of Cheese, Trees, and Ocean Breeze.” Tillamook has beautiful scenery like the rest of Oregon’s coast, but it also has the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where they make 170,000 pounds of cheese every day (that comes out to 60 million pounds a year!). At the Visitors Center you can sample cheese for free, browse merchandise, and grab some of their freshly-made ice cream – they have over 30 flavors to choose from.

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3 Capes Scenic Drive

Next, take the 3 Capes Scenic Drive, a 40-mile route that includes Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda. Cape Meares features a restored lighthouse from the 1800s and the aptly-named “Octopus Tree,” while Cape Lookout offers beautiful stretches of beach and hiking trails. At Cape Kiwanda, you’ll find a huge sand dune that you can clamber up for an amazing view of the beach below. In between capes, you’ll get to experience one of the coast’s prettiest drives.

Best of Portland | Portland, Oregon

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In Portland, Oregon, you’ll find a little bit of everything. The city is dotted with lively urban areas and serene wooded parks, ensuring that whether you want to browse boutiques or spend the day hiking, there’s always something to do. Their exciting and constantly evolving food scene means that every meal you eat will be something special. Portland’s unofficial slogan is “Keep Portland Weird,” a feeling you’ll understand as you begin to experience the uniqueness of the city.

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Inn @ Northrup Station

The Inn @ Northrup Station, located in northwest Portland, is a visually stunning hotel decorated with bright colors, retro décor, and local art. Stay in a suite complete with a kitchen as well as a private deck or patio perfect for kicking back at the end of the day. You’ll also want to catch their fun events – movie night Mondays, wine down Wednesdays, hop-py hour Thursdays, and sundae Sundays will add a little excitement to your stay. Indulge in the Just the Two of Us package, a romantic assortment of local wine and chocolates, embossed glasses, and a spa set.

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Forest Park

With over 5,000 acres of bright green foliage, it’s hard to believe that Forest Park is just minutes from the city. Choose one of their many trails and head out for a hike – we like the Ridge Trail, which provides a mix of natural and urban scenery. You’ll start out within the park and hike down to St. John’s Bridge, one of Portland’s most iconic features. Walk across St. John’s to check out Cathedral Park, a beautiful area underneath the bridge’s east side, before hiking back up into Forest Park.

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Pine State Biscuits

The melt-in-your-mouth biscuit sandwiches at Pine State Biscuits make the perfect post-hike meal. The well-known Portland eatery, which has been serving their perfectly crafted biscuits for just over a decade, was created by three southerners and has multiple locations across the city. Try the Chatfield, a stack of fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and apple butter between two biscuits. If you still have room, go for their seasonal pop tart – right now it’s blueberry cheesecake, featuring goat cheese and a lemon glaze.

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Washington Park

Like Forest Park, Washington Park is a beautiful wooded area in Portland. Spend a day exploring all of the attractions inside Washington Park. Visit the Portland Japanese Garden, a 12-acre collection of 8 different garden spaces created to inspire serenity and tranquility. Next, see why Portland is called the City of Roses at the International Rose Test Garden, which is full of different types of roses in every color imaginable. You’ll also find the Hoyt Arboretum, a “living museum” of over 6,000 trees with over 12 miles of trails that you can meander through. If you still have time, Washington Park is also home to the Oregon Zoo, an archery range, the Portland Children’s Museum, and more.

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Blue Star Donuts

Though many visitors in Portland head straight for Voodoo Doughnut, we recommend trying out Blue Star Donuts instead. Their donuts are crafted with a handmade dough that takes 18 hours to make. The dense and moist Buttermilk Old Fashioned is perfect for purists, while the more adventurous will like their unique flavor combinations such as the Raspberry Rosemary Buttermilk, a sweet and savory explosion of flavor.

Summer Fun | Island Palms Hotel and Marina | San Diego, California

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Beautiful scenery, unparalleled dining, and fast-paced nightlife make San Diego a good choice for a romantic getaway. Here are our picks for what to enjoy with your special someone in America’s Finest City.

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Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina

With multiple pools, tennis courts, complimentary bike rentals, massage services, and a private marina, the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina has everything you need for a fantastic summer vacation in San Diego. Island Palms is located right along the coast of Shelter Island, which means you’re just steps away from a number of exciting activities on the water! It’s also close to other great areas like Point Loma, downtown San Diego, and the Gaslamp Quarter. Book a romantic getaway with the Simple Pleasures Package, which includes water view accommodations, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and breakfast in bed.

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Blue Wave Bar & Grill

Indulge in California coastal cuisine at the Blue Wave Bar & Grill. Choose a table inside their elegant dining room, or relax outside on the deck overlooking the pool and marina. Grab a homemade quiche or breakfast burrito to start off your day, or enjoy fresh fish for dinner – we love the Seared Scallops, served with shellfish risotto, grilled asparagus tapenade, and parmesan cheese. You can get specially priced craft beer, cocktails, wines, and appetizers (like chowder fries and salmon tacos!) at their Island Time happy hour, every day from 4-7 pm. You won’t go hungry.

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Sunset Cliffs

Between Ocean Beach and Point Loma you’ll find Sunset Cliffs, an area that’s exactly what it sounds like – a stretch of coastline with plunging cliffs that looks especially beautiful during sunset. Sunset Cliffs is only about a 10-minute drive from Shelter Island, so it’s perfect for a quick outing. Go for a walk or jog right along the cliffs, or pack some snacks for a romantic sunset picnic.

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Gaslamp Quarter

Alonzo Horton arrived in the San Diego Bay in 1867, purchasing land and kicking off the development of the area we now know as downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp Quarter. This year, the Gaslamp Quarter celebrates its 150th anniversary. Learn about San Diego’s past and see historic buildings on a walking tour of this unique area.

Today, the Gaslamp Quarter is San Diego’s premier spot for nightlife. Enjoy a night out on the town by exploring a few of the area’s restaurants, bars, and clubs. Start out at The Tipsy Crow, comprised of three different levels: The Main, a pub-like area, The Nest, a cozy lounge with fireplaces and pool tables, and The Underground, with music and dancing.

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Petco Park

Catch a Padre game at Petco Park while you’re in town! The ballpark, located downtown, is a fun place to explore whether you’re a baseball fan or not. Skip the hot dogs – plenty of local eateries have set up shop in Petco Park, so you can try some of San Diego’s best grub (and beer). Grab a juicy hamburger at Hodad’s, Mexican fare at Carnitas’ Snack Shack and Lucha Libre, or amazing sandwiches at Gaglione Brothers or Board & Brew. You can view the game schedule here.

Summer Fun | Bay Club Hotel and Marina | San Diego, California

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Planning your summer getaway? Head to San Diego, California for beautiful beaches, unique neighborhoods, great dining, and exciting nightlife. Stay in tropical Shelter Island, a serene area that’s close to everything you’ll want to do in San Diego.

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Bay Club Hotel and Marina

The Bay Club Hotel and Marina reflects Shelter Island’s tropical island vibe with beautiful greenery, towering palm trees, and a private marina. From your room, you’ll be able to gaze out on views of the water, marina, Point Loma, and downtown San Diego. With two welcome drinks, tropical fruit and cookies, and free parking, their Aloha Package will give you even more reason to love your stay in San Diego.

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Quarterdeck Restaurant & Bar

Whether you need a hearty breakfast, a homemade cocktail, or a gourmet dinner, the Quarterdeck Restaurant & Bar is the perfect place to relax and indulge. Grab a table on the patio to enjoy a drink and a meal outside in the summer sun. We like their Signature Coconut Shrimp Dinner, jumbo coconut shrimp served with jalapeno orange dressing and homemade peanut sauce. Pair it with a local craft beer or the Windward Cooler cocktail, made with vodka, watermelon pucker, lemon, and cucumber.

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Liberty Station

Liberty Station, formerly a Naval Training Center, is a collection of restaurants, shops, art studios, and the Liberty Public Market. There are a number of fun events lined up for the summer! On the first Friday of each month, you can talk with artists, enjoy performances, and explore museums and galleries as part of Friday Night Liberty. At Taste Liberty Station on June 21st, sample food from Liberty Station eateries and taste sparkling wines in the Bubbly Garden. Liberty Public Market also has live music on Sundays and a farmers market every Thursday.

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USS Midway Museum

One of San Diego’s most popular museums is aboard an aircraft carrier! At the USS Midway Museum you can check out over 60 exhibits, 29 aircraft, and two flight simulators. Chat with the docents you’ll find around the museum, who will talk to you about the Midway as well as share their own stories. Spend some time exploring the exhibits and then grab lunch at their Fantail Café, where you can order dishes from the Midway’s 1945 cookbook.

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SeaWorld

Spend a day at SeaWorld and check out all the exciting new attractions they’ve added for the 2017 season! In addition to informative animal exhibits, entertaining shows, and thrilling rides, you can now enjoy Electric Ocean, a nighttime celebration full of lights and music that simulate an underwater dance club. SeaWorld has decided to forgo its flashy killer whale show and has instead created Orca Encounter, a presentation about orcas with a more educational focus. Kids will love Ocean Explorer, a new interactive realm that gets you even closer to the animals.

Summer Fun | Humphreys Half Moon Inn | San Diego, California

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Wondering where to stay in San Diego? Shelter Island, San Diego’s tropical oasis, manages to feel secluded while still being close to many of the city’s best attractions. Summer in San Diego is full of energy – don’t miss out on these fun activities.

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Humphreys Half Moon Inn

Humphreys Half Moon Inn is located on Shelter Island, where lush landscaping and a tropical vibe provide a relaxing atmosphere perfect for a getaway. You’ll never run out of things to do at this waterfront hotel. Grab cocktails from the poolside bar and spend an afternoon lounging at the pool, take a jog along the water, play some ping pong, or explore the island by bike. Humphreys’ Enchanted Evening Package has everything you’ll need for a romantic night. You’ll enjoy a gourmet dinner with a view of the water, chilled champagne with souvenir monogrammed glasses, chocolate covered strawberries, and breakfast for two.

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Good Eats & Live Music

Humphreys isn’t just a hotel – it’s also home to fine dining and exciting entertainment. Humphreys Restaurant offers Southern California cuisine and floor to ceiling marina views. Start off with one of their craft cocktails like the Wildfire, made with hibiscus infused mescal, curacao, raspberry, habanero, agave, lime, and smoked sea salt. For dinner, both the asparagus and Maine lobster risotto dishes are a perfect mix of comfort food and fresh flavors. After your meal, retire to the Backstage Live lounge and listen to live music while you sip drinks or hit the dance floor. Humphreys also holds outdoor concerts right on the bay. Check their concert schedule to see if your favorite artist will be performing while you’re in town!

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Balboa Park

Balboa Park’s world-class museums, gardens, and cultural institutions make it one of San Diego’s greatest gems year-round, but it’s particularly fun during the summer. Visit on a Friday to experience Balboa Park After Dark, a special summer program in which select museums stay open late and offer discounts on admission. You can also check out Food Truck Friday, where you’ll find a collection of food trucks in the park from 4 to 8 pm. Grab a plate or two to enjoy while you stroll through the park.

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Coronado

Like Shelter Island, Coronado has a unique island feel all its own. On one side, dive into the ocean and spread out on the sand on the pristine Coronado Beach. The other side has the Coronado Ferry Landing, a collection of shops and eateries, and a gorgeous view of downtown San Diego. During the summer, Coronado puts on a series of outdoor concerts on Sundays at Spreckels Park. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy live music and dancing in the mild summer air.

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Old Town

Old Town is called the “birthplace of California” because it was the first permanent Spanish settlement in the state in 1769. No trip to San Diego is complete without a visit to this vibrant area that celebrates Spanish and Mexican culture as well as San Diego’s past. Grab some Mexican food, browse unique handmade goods, and walk through historic buildings that will give you an idea of what San Diego looked like hundreds of years ago. You can also visit Heritage Park to see a collection of beautiful restored Victorian homes, or tour the Whaley House, one of the most famous haunted houses in the country.

Easy Weekend Trips | Santa Ynez Valley, California

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Northwest of Santa Barbara you’ll find the Santa Ynez Valley, widely known for its 120+ wineries. The area is comprised of five unique towns that you’ll want to explore: Solvang, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Buellton, and Ballard. Quaint towns, hills of vineyards, and exceptional dining experiences make the Santa Ynez Valley a great option for a quick getaway.

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Fess Parker Wine Country Inn

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn is located in Los Olivos, just a ten-minute drive south from the well-known Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard. The property features beautifully decorated rooms, a full spa, and The Bear and Star, a brand new restaurant specializing in ranch cuisine. Their Taste Los Olivos Package allows you to enjoy the area’s best food and wine! It includes luxury accommodations for two nights, breakfast each day, one lunch for two at Los Olivos Café, one dinner for two at The Bear & Star, and complimentary wine tasting at the Parker Family tasting rooms as well as eight other tasting rooms in Los Olivos.

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Explore Los Olivos

Fess Parker Wine Country Inn’s central location in Los Olivos puts you within walking distance of over 30 tasting rooms as well as some amazing restaurants. You’ll want to pop into the Coquelicot Tasting Room, where their incredibly friendly staff will be happy to pour you tastes of their best varieties and chat with you about them. At Artiste’s tasting room, which mimics an art studio, you can try wines and do some painting and drawing at the same time. Wine isn’t the only thing to taste in Los Olivos – at Olive Hill Farm, you can sample gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars in flavors like sundried tomato, cilantro, pomegranate, and pumpkin spice.

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Trattoria Grappolo

Cap off a day of wine tasting with a fresh, delicious Italian meal at Trattoria Grappolo in Santa Ynez. We like the Tortelloni Burro e Salvia, a house made ravioli filled with spinach, ricotta, and Parmesan in a butter sage sauce. For dessert, go for the Crostata di Mele. It’s a caramelized apple tart topped with vanilla gelato, the perfect end to a rich meal.

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Demetria Estate

Demetria Estate offers one of the best wine tasting experiences in the Santa Ynez Valley. Unlike other wineries that rush the tasting and require you to return to the counter for each taste, at Demetria you can sit outside in the shade, admiring the view of the vineyard while the staff drops by periodically to refill your glass. The winery is family-owned and uses sustainable, biodynamic farming practices to produce high-quality wines. Demetria requires appointments for tasting, so be sure to book one in advance.

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Gypsy Studios

Gypsy Studios elevates the traditional wine and paint event by holding it right in the vineyard! For two hours, you can paint plein air style – outdoors, overlooking hillsides full of grape plants – at a local winery. You’ll have an artist to guide you, so there’s no painting experience necessary! Even better, you’ll get to enjoy local wines while you bring out your inner artist.

Easy Weekend Trips | Pismo Beach, California

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Next time you’re looking for a quick getaway, head to the coastal town of Pismo Beach. The quaint town’s fine dining and picturesque beaches and coves make it ideal for a romantic weekend away any time of the year.

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Inn at the Cove

Inn at the Cove isn’t your average beachfront hotel. It sits right on top of a cove, giving guests unmatched views of the water from private balconies and patios. You can relax in the heated pool that overlooks the ocean, play tennis on their clay courts, or check out nearby Pismo Beach attractions. For a romantic getaway, book their No Brainer Romance Package. It has everything you need – oceanfront accommodations, rose petals, sparkling wine, chocolate truffles, and a late 2pm check out.

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Ventana Grill

Because Ventana Grill overlooks the ocean, it’s the perfect place to catch a sunset while enjoying dinner. Start out with one of their craft cocktails, like the Ventana View, a mix of raspberry vodka, orange liqueur, muddled berries, lime juice, and soda water. Their dinner menu is full of fresh fish dishes and California cuisine. Try the Pipián Sea Bass, which is crusted with pumpkin seeds and served with pipián verde, spinach, tequila-soaked apricots, and roasted pepitas.

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Shell Beach

Explore Shell Beach, a collection of nine parks and beaches up and down the coast of Pismo Beach. Unlike the larger Pismo State Beach, these areas are smaller and more intimate. Many have grassy areas on top of the cliffs, dropping down into beautiful beaches and tide pools. One of the best is Margo Dodd Park, where you can eat a picnic lunch while admiring the ocean view and then walk down to the beach to explore caves and snorkel.

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See the Sand Dunes

Just south of Pismo beach are the massive sand dunes at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. For a fun way to discover the dunes, rent ATVs and spend an afternoon driving through the rippling sand. You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the desert, even though you’re right on the coast.

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Pismo Beach Farmers Market

Get a taste of local Pismo Beach offerings at the Pismo Beach Farmers Market, which happens every Wednesday at 3pm. Browse homemade crafts and goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, novelty foods, and more. Make sure you come hungry, because you’ll want to sample foods while you’re there. Try artisan cheeses like Cabernet Cheddar from Vintage Cheese Company and look out for California Spun, where you can indulge in gourmet, organic cotton candy in flavors like Merlot and Banana Split.