Discover the Beauty of Jekyll Island | Jekyll Island, Georgia

Jekyll Island is a scenic destination off the coast of Georgia that is rich in history, nature, and culture. It’s home to pristine beaches, award-winning golf courses, and various nature trails and campgrounds. The historic district dates back to the 1700s, and many original buildings remain. The island is ideal for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Step back to a simpler time and take in the natural beauty and wonder of Jekyll Island.

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Jekyll Island Club Hotel

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel is an iconic property famous for providing outstanding hospitality in a timeless setting. Set in a quiet location on Georgia’s Atlantic coast, it’s the perfect place for a luxurious retreat. The Club Hotel is the only four-star resort on Jekyll Island, and Travel & Leisure has ranked the hotel among the top 500 resorts in the world! Create the vacation of your dreams with one of several special packages. Book the Bed and Breakfast Package to start your day with a generous meal. You’ll receive traditional Victorian accommodations and a breakfast buffet in the Grand Dining Room. If you’re looking for an intimate getaway with your loved one, consider the Romantic Escape Package. It includes a private dinner for two, chocolate covered strawberries, and Jekyll Island Club Signature Champagne.

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Historic District

Explore the famous 250-acre Historic Landmark District for a glimpse into Jekyll Island’s rich past. In 1735, the trustees of the colony of Georgia granted Jekyll Island to William Horton, a successful colony leader and top military aide. Horton built his home in 1743 and much of the structure still stands today. The Horton House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the oldest tabby buildings in Georgia.

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Driftwood Beach

Driftwood Beach is a stunning, white-sand stretch of coastline on the north end of Jekyll Island. The beach is widely known for the numerous driftwood trees scattered throughout the area. The gorgeous scenery makes it a popular destination for weddings and photo shoots. Bring a blanket and walk down to the Clam Creek Picnic Area to lay out and enjoy the beautiful landscape. Driftwood Beach is also just a short walk away from the Jekyll Island Campground, which offers campsites on 18 acres of land across the north end of Jekyll Island.

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Grand Dining Room                                                                              

Indulge in gourmet American cuisine at the Grand Dining Room and the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Classic architecture and elegant white columns create the perfect atmosphere for a social gathering or an intimate date night. Request a seat by the window to enjoy the magnolia trees and spring blossoms that decorate the resort grounds. For a truly special evening, reserve a table for the Sunset Dinner served between 6:00 – 6:45 pm. We recommend the Fresh Catch entrée that highlights a local selection of seafood prepared by the chef. Reserve your table online.

Desert Escape | Palm Springs, California

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Palm Springs has long been thought of as Southern California’s luxury destination with 350 days of sunshine per year, making it ideal for playing golf and relaxing by the pool. More recently, Palm Springs has become a year round arts and culture destination with the remarkable Coachella Valley art scene, lively farmers markets, performing arts theaters, and the very first Palm Springs Life Festival.

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Parker Palm Springs

The Parker Palm Springs has a style that’s simultaneously classic and modern. Elegant rooms feature unique furniture, art, and decorations. The resort offers an incredible culinary package for food enthusiasts. The Glutton’s Delight deal offers low rates ($249 for weekdays, $299 for weekends) on a chic estate room, and includes a $250 credit for food and non-alcoholic drinks that you can use at any of their on-site restaurants or for room service. Make sure to eat at Norma’s, their 5-star diner that serves gourmet breakfast and comfort food all day. Wake up with a stack of Nutella Packed Jacks with pineapple and raspberries, or stop by at night to build your own Pie Shake from a variety of ice creams, fillings, and crusts. You’ll also want to check out Mister Parker’s, an intimate lounge that serves bistro-style food. They have an extensive wine list and make an amazing Moroccan Spiced Salmon, served with green hummus and pomegranate reduction.

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Palm Springs Life Festival

Be a part of the inaugural Palm Springs Life Festival, a season-long event running from March 20 to April 24 that will pull together fashion, food, wine, music, and art throughout the Coachella Valley. The festival will incorporate the already well-known Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival, which brings together chefs and fare from all over America, and Fashion Week El Paseo, the largest fashion week on the west coast. Other events include the In Vino Veritas series of wine tastings, a meet and greet with the stars of Project Runway, and a variety of concerts. See world-famous violinist Midori perform classics by Bach in a solo recital on Friday, March 25. Check out the full list of events and buy tickets here.

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Ristorante Mamma Gina

You won’t find a more authentic Italian restaurant in Palm Desert than Ristorante Mamma Gina. Its sister restaurant opened in Florence in the 1950s, and the Palm Desert location has been serving delicious Italian cuisine for thirty years. Stop by any time for their “All Day Happy Hour” and try the Mango Mojito, one of their specialty cocktails made with mango simple syrup and fresh lime, mango, and mint. For lunch, we recommend the Ravioli Neri, homemade black ravioli filled with ricotta and lobster in a vodka rose sauce.

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VillageFest

VillageFest is a vibrant street fair with live entertainment that takes place every Thursday from 6-10pm in Downtown Palm Springs. Stroll through booths of art, crafts, jewelry, fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables, snacks, and more. Find Bean Boys Coffee and try one of their 83 varieties of coffee, and don’t miss the Antique Galleries of Palm Springs booth, which has antiques and collectables in the mid-century style that Palm Springs is so famous for.

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Desert Art Tours

Desert Art Tours, led by art consultant Richard Almada, offer a unique way to experience the fantastic art of the Coachella Valley. They have museum, gallery, and even shopping tours. We recommend the Public & Private Art Tour, where you will learn about the stories behind the public art located throughout the Valley. You can enjoy a glass of wine as you view the current exhibitions at the local gallery stops along the way.

A Weekend in the Mountains | Idyllwild, California

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Idyllwild is a charming town in the San Jacinto Mountains. It’s just a two-hour drive from both San Diego and Los Angeles, making it the ideal Southern California mountain escape. Idyllwild has wonderful restaurants and bakeries, as well as countless shops and art galleries. The small-town feel, the mountain air, and the peaceful atmosphere provide visitors with a memorable and relaxing getaway.

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The Grand Idyllwild Lodge

The Grand Idyllwild Lodge is the perfect place to stay during your time in the mountains. It’s a luxurious boutique hotel located near the top of the town. Each room features a fireplace, a Keurig system, and a deck with picturesque views of the surrounding mountains. Every morning, you’ll wake up to a full gourmet breakfast. After a day of shopping in town or hiking in Humber Park, come back to a relaxing massage or treatment at the spa.

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Hiking in Humber Park

Idyllwild has a number of great hiking options. You can access several trails from Humber Park, a popular nature site that lies just above the town of Idyllwild. Find the trailhead for the Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail, an enjoyable 5.2-mile round-trip route through the serene San Jacinto Mountains. The path starts out downhill and features stunning views of Tahquitz Rock, Suicide Rock, the town of Idyllwild, and the surrounding Strawberry Valley. When you double back to Humber Park, you’ll be able to see a slightly different view.

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Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe & Bistro

Like its name suggests, Idyll Awhile is a good place to unwind. They have an impressive wine list and several rotating craft beers on tap. We recommend the wine tasting. You’ll receive four to six generous pours of your choice – make sure to try their house-made warm mulled wine, made from sangria and spices. Idyll Awhile also makes great food to eat while you’re tasting. Try the La Manchega flatbread, which has fig compote, prosciutto, and Manchego cheese. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and the bistro often hosts fun events and performances by local musicians.

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Red Kettle

Don’t leave Idyllwild without having a meal at the Red Kettle, a casual diner with a family atmosphere and delicious food that is located right in the center of town. They only serve breakfast and lunch, so be sure to get there before 2pm. Everything on the menu is excellent! For breakfast we recommend The Rock Climber, an open-face English muffin piled with ham, eggs, and cheese sauce, and for lunch you can’t go wrong with a classic cheeseburger – it’ll be one of the best you’ve had.

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Explore Palomar Mountain

Idyllwild is just over an hour’s drive from Palomar Mountain State Park, which features beautiful forest and meadow areas surrounding Palomar Mountain. Stop by the famous Palomar Observatory. Open to visitors daily, the observatory offers guided tours and numerous exhibits. At the Luskin Virtual Presence Kiosk, you can view live feeds from the famous Hale Telescope, as well as a collection of short documentaries, videos, and slideshows about the observatory and discoveries made there. The area is also ideal for hiking. We like the scenic 3.9-mile Thunder Spring and Chimney Flat Loop that meanders through a forest, an apple orchard, and Doane Pond.

Borrego Springs Adventure | Borrego Springs, California

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Borrego Springs is a desert town surrounded by the vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Fresh air, stunning desert landscapes, and a number of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, and golf make Borrego Springs a great spot for a weekend away. On your way to Borrego, be sure to stop in the nearby mountain town of Julian for a rest and some great BBQ and apple pie.

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La Casa del Zorro Resort & Spa

La Casa del Zorro is a stylish desert retreat steps away from the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The elegant rooms feature high ceilings, fireplaces, and balconies, and they offer endless activities for guests to enjoy. Go for a swim in one of the many pools, take a class at the yoga studio, or challenge each other to a game of tennis! Pamper yourself with the Relax. Renew. Revive. package, available Sunday through Thursday from March 1 – 31, 2016. Stay for two nights in a Deluxe Guest Room and you’ll receive a $125 credit for a relaxing treatment at La Casa Del Zorro’s luxurious spa.

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Wildflowers

From mid-February to early April, beautiful wildflowers burst into bloom throughout the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. 2016 is the Year of the Lily – you can find desert lilies at the north end of DiGiorgio Road, Vista Del Malpais, and Arroyo Salado Primitive Campground. Desert sunflowers and dune primrose are also blooming at Henderson Canyon Road. Visit a few of these spots to see some truly unique and striking flowers!

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Hiking in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is California’s largest state park and has hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Spend an afternoon outdoors exploring the area. The Borrego Palm Canyon Trail meanders 3.5 miles to shady palm tree oasis. For more of a thrill, choose The Slot, a short hike that takes you through narrow openings in towering rock formations. Our favorite is the Wind Caves Trail, a 1.25 mile exploratory adventure. Climb over and through “caves” in sandstone formations that have been eroded by wind.

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Day Trip to Julian

The quaint town of Julian is less than an hour away from Borrego Springs and makes a great day trip destination. It was founded during the California Gold Rush and has retained its small-town feel. Unwind in the fresh mountain air and take in views of the Cuyamaca mountains. Visit the Julian Pioneer Museum to learn about the town’s history and see what life was like in the 1800s.

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Moms Pies

No trip to Julian is complete without a slice of apple pie. Moms Pies is a Julian institution that has been baking delicious pies for over thirty years. They offer over twenty different varieties, from traditional apple to chocolate pecan. We recommend a slice of the Apple Boysenberry with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Julian Hard Cider

Julian Hard Cider uses Julian’s famous apples to make some of Southern California’s best hard cider. Their Miner’s Saloon,” located in a former apple packing building, features live music and BBQ. Stop by for a cider tasting and try their different flavors, including Apple Pie, Cherry Bomb, and Razzmatazz.

Exploring La Jolla | San Diego, California

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Nicknamed “the jewel,” La Jolla has become one of San Diego’s most popular areas, stretching for miles along beautiful coastline. Stroll through the quaint downtown village, eat at some of San Diego’s best restaurants, and spend a day exploring Torrey Pines.

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Hyatt Regency La Jolla

Stay at the newly renovated Hyatt Regency La Jolla, a stylish hotel located halfway between downtown La Jolla and Torrey Pines. You’ll be minutes away from La Jolla Cove and Torrey Pines State Beach, so you can spend the day exploring the areas’ beaches. At night, return to the hotel to relax in front of a fire pit or take a dip in the outdoor heated pool. Make your stay extra special with their Romance Package, which includes a luxury room, VIP services, and valet parking. You and your loved one will enjoy champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and full breakfast for two.

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Caroline’s Seaside Café

Start your day off right with brunch at Caroline’s Seaside Café. It’s located on the second floor of the Scripps Seaside Forum and has impressive views of the Scripps Pier, La Jolla Shores, and La Jolla village. Caroline’s makes delicious California-style scrambles, pastries, wraps, sandwiches, and salads. We recommend the Curried Chicken-Almond Salad Sandwich made with local tomatoes and avocado.

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Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Head north along the coast to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. With ten easy trails featuring incredible ocean views, it’s a great place for an afternoon hike. Most of the paths are under a mile long, so you can pick a few in different areas of the reserve. Save the Beach Trail for last – it meanders down to the water and you can walk along the beach on your way back to the car.

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Torrey Pines Gliderport

Charles Lindbergh himself flew along Torrey Pines in the 1930s. For almost a century, the Torrey Pines Gliderport has been a premier aviation spot for hang gliding and paragliding. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it yourself! You can soar over the coast on a tandem flight. For those who would rather watch, grab a bite to eat in the Cliff Hanger Café. You’ll have a view of the ocean, the gliders, and sometimes even dolphins and whales.

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George’s At The Cove

Located on the tip of downtown La Jolla, George’s At The Cove has amazing food and sweeping views. The restaurant has three levels, each of which provide a different dining experience. On the first level you’ll find California Modern, which uses local and seasonal ingredients to create a casual yet delicious menu. George’s Bar on the middle level is the best place to sip unique cocktails and local craft beers. We recommend dinner at Ocean Terrace, where you can enjoy rooftop seating and watch the sunset. For a truly Californian meal, try the Marinated and Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos with jalapeno-lime mayo, avocado, cilantro, and cabbage.