Kick off 2017 in Borrego Springs | Borrego Springs, California

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Start the New Year feeling relaxed, recharged, and ready to take on 2017! After the stresses of the holiday season, take some time to get away from it all with a romantic spa trip to the desert. Borrego Springs is a beautiful desert town with equal opportunities for relaxation and adventure.

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La Casa del Zorro

For nearly a century, La Casa del Zorro has been a stylish desert destination. The 42-acre resort encompasses comfortable accommodations, beautiful grounds, and fun amenities including tennis courts, pools, a fitness center, a yoga studio, and a spa. La Casa del Zorro offers the perfect relaxing New Year’s vacation. With The Relaxing Romantic package, you’ll stay with your special someone in a couple’s room with rose petals and a candle lit atmosphere. Together, you’ll experience a 25-minute Hydro Bath, an 80-minute Wise Well-Being Massage with foot reflexology, a glass of wine each, and chocolate covered strawberries.

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Font’s Point

See amazing geological formations from Font’s Point in the Borrego Badlands. Nicknamed California’s Grand Canyon, it was carved out by water millions of years ago. Today, Font’s Point offers sweeping vistas of sandstone formations in a beautiful desert landscape. You reach Font’s point by driving, but it’s recommended for 4WD vehicles only. If you’d rather not drive yourself, you can take a Jeep tour.

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Go Golfing

Borrego Springs features a few amazing golf courses that are perfect for an afternoon outdoors. La Casa Del Zorro partners with the Rams Hill Golf Club and the Borrego Springs Resort Golf Club, offering free transportation to and from both courses. Rams Hill’s course was designed by Tom Fazio and has lakes, streams, waterfalls, and amazing views of the surrounding mountains. Borrego Springs Resort’s 18-hole course features beautiful lakes and palm trees, and is good for golfers of any level.

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Kesling’s Kitchen

You’ll find Kesling’s Kitchen in the Borrego Art Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides classes, demonstrations, and events for the community. The restaurant serves gourmet wood fired pizzas, as well as sandwiches, paninis, and salads. They also have rotating craft beers and wines on tap! Try a local brew and the Blue Canard pizza, topped with scallions, shredded duck confit, blue cheese, and figs. Take home one of their homemade desserts for later.

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Bighorn Fudge Co.

Bighorn Fudge Co., also known as The Fudge Factory, has sold more than 100,000 pounds of fudge since it first opened. They craft their fudge with rich butter and cream, offering flavors that range from traditional milk chocolate to the more adventurous Spicy Mexican Chocolate, Jalapeno Chocolate Swirl, and Jelly Donut. Stop by and take home a souvenir piece of fudge. You can also purchase their fudge online.

Holiday Celebrations in Austin | Austin, Texas

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Austin, Texas is widely known for its incredible music scene and delicious food, but it’s also a great city to visit during the holidays. Austin goes all out with events and activities that reflect the city’s unique vibe. See an elaborate light show at a local coffee shop, be dazzled by over 2 million lights in Zilker Park, and get the ultimate Texas experience at a boutique hotel.

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Lone Star Court

Decorated in a retro-chic style and featuring outdoor fire pits, live music, a restaurant and bar, an onsite food truck court, and furnished porches, Lone Star Court provides an authentic Austin experience. Relax and enjoy Austin with the Kick Your Boots Off Package, which includes complimentary breakfast, 2 food vouchers and 2 drink vouchers for their onsite restaurant the Water Trough, and a Lone Star Court goody bag full of Texas snacks, soft drinks, and long necks.

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Mexic-Arte Museum

The Mexic-Arte Museum showcases Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art, prints, masks, and books. Stop by and check out their current exhibitions for an enriching cultural experience. Now through January 29, 2017, see “Icons and Symbols of the Borderland,” presenting art inspired by the U.S./Mexican Border. In addition, “Nacimientos: Traditional Nativity Scenes from Mexico,” featuring handmade nativity scenes, is perfect for the Christmas season. Admission to the museum is free in December and every Sunday.

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Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill serves excellent comfort foods and a wide selection of moonshine in a cozy, laidback atmosphere. Try the Green Chile Macaroni, with grilled chicken, corn bisque, and bacon gratin, and follow it up with their Signature Skillet Apple Pie topped with salted caramel ice cream. Pair your meal with some moonshine – we like the Midnight Moon Strawberry.

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Mozart’s

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters & Bakery is your one-stop shop for great coffee and Christmas spirit. From late November to early January, the coffee shop has a Holiday Light Show, a 12-minute light show set to music that they play every night on the hour. Enjoy the show with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, and choose a dessert (or a few) from a their selection of cupcakes, cannoli, fruit tarts, and cheesecakes.

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Austin Trail of Lights

Zilker Park is a beautiful 351-acre metropolitan park in the middle of Austin. It’s used for everything from music festivals to outdoor activities like running, biking, and swimming. During the holidays, it’s home to the Austin Trail of Lights, an Austin tradition for over 50 years. The event includes more than 40 displays using over 2 million lights, a huge selection of food from local restaurants, and a Ferris wheel and carousel. The 2016 Trail of Lights runs from December 10 – 23.

Holiday Celebrations in San Francisco | San Francisco, California

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With a 60-foot tree in Ghirardelli Square, ice skating at Embarcadero Center, and a giant gingerbread house at the Fairmont, San Francisco proves it’s one of the best cities to visit during the holidays. This December, enjoy a romantic winter getaway and experience San Francisco’s amazing holiday activities and cultural hubs.

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Fairmont San Francisco

Stay at the Fairmont San Francisco and see the impressive holiday decorations the hotel has been known for since 1907. They have a champagne bar, a 23-foot Christmas tree, and a giant two-story gingerbread house made with thousands of gingerbread bricks, gallons of frosting, and hundreds of pounds of candy. The hotel also offers a special Gingerbread Holiday Tea with a selection of sweets and pastries. Enjoy a romantic holiday getaway with the Love Is In The Air Package, which includes a one night stay, free parking, and your choice of a champagne buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant or breakfast and mimosas in bed.

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Sears Fine Food

Located in Union Square, Sears Fine Food has maintained its old-school charm and atmosphere since 1938. They specialize in breakfast, which is served until 3:00 pm. Order their famous18 Swedish Pancakes, silver dollar pancakes served with fresh whipped butter, syrup, and lingonberries. The dish is so well loved that they sell bags of the pancake mix in their e-store.

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Embarcadero Center

Embarcadero Center is a four-block section of downtown San Francisco with shopping, dining, entertainment, and public art. Small gathering spaces, lovely gardens, and a collection of art and sculptures make the center perfect for a weekend outing. Through January 8th, 2017, Embarcadero Center is home to a large outdoor ice rink. Spend an afternoon skating and then warm up with a drink from Paramo Coffee.

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SoMa StrEat Food Park

SoMa StrEat Food Park describes itself as a “culinary carnival and urban playground.” The park has everything you need for a fun night out – beer, wine, carnival games, and rotating food trucks like the Kabob Trolley, which serves delicious Middle Eastern foods with an American twist. They also host events, including Trivia Night every Tuesday and an All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast on Sunday, December 18th.

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Japantown

Experience Japanese culture in San Francisco Japantown, one of only three Japantowns in the country. Try authentic foods and browse specialty shops. You can also take the San Francisco Japantown History Walk, a self-guided tour that illuminates the area’s fascinating history. 16 signs throughout Japantown teach visitors about the arrival of the Japanese in San Francisco in the 1860s, the internment of the Japanese during World War II, and the creation of the Japan Center in the 1960s. On December 17th, check out the Kimochi Silver Bells: Arts & Crafts and Food Faire, where you can try Asian and Pacific Islander foods and pick up some last minute gifts.

Holiday Celebrations in San Diego | San Diego, California

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Visit San Diego this winter! America’s finest city has plenty of events that will get you into the holiday spirit. Stay in one of the city’s most historic hotels and take part in fun holiday activities throughout La Jolla, Point Loma, Liberty Station, and the San Diego bayfront. It’ll be an unforgettable holiday getaway.

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La Valencia

The pink, Spanish-style exterior of La Valencia has become an iconic San Diego image. The luxury hotel is located in the midst of La Jolla’s upscale shops and restaurants, near La Jolla Cove and the area’s beautiful cliffs. Nicknamed “The Pink Lady,” La Valencia opened in December 1926 and is celebrating her 90th birthday this month with a glamorous Gatsby-style bash on December 15th. To celebrate, the hotel is offering a Hot Pink at 90 Celebration Experience package. Stay for two nights and receive a commemorative hot pink gift, a bottle of pink sparkling wine, two 90th birthday craft cocktails, and free parking.

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Birch Aquarium

See more than 5,000 fish at La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium. Throughout December they present “Seas ‘n’ Greetings,” transforming the aquarium into a winter wonderland with live holiday music, face painting, and Scuba Santa making appearances in the fish tanks. At night, “Holiday Night Lights” shows off bioluminescent fish and features living touch pools of glowing animals. The aquarium also offers Tidepooling Adventures during the winter. Join a naturalist on a trip to a nearby tide pool, where you’ll learn about tide pools and the creatures that call them home.

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Liberty Station

Point Loma’s Liberty Station is one of San Diego’s fastest growing neighborhoods. It’s home to restaurants, art studios, and the new Liberty Public Market, a permanent marketplace selling delicious foods, beer and wine, fresh flowers, and more. Saturday, December 10th is Liberty Station’s Holiday Block Party. Restaurants will be giving away samples, art studios will be displaying work and doing demonstrations, and Liberty Public Market will have a DIY terrarium bar and cookie decorating station. The free event lasts from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.

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Outdoor Ice Skating

New to Liberty Station this year is outdoor ice rink Fantasy on Ice. Dress warmly, dig out your scarves and mittens, and hit the ice for an afternoon of skating. The rink has kid-friendly Family Sessions during the day as well as Night Sessions featuring upbeat music for adults. Proceeds from the ice rink benefit Rady Children’s Hospital.

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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights has been a local tradition for 45 years. On December 11th and 18th, the bay is lit up by a procession of about 80 boats decorated with impressive displays of holiday lights. This year’s theme is “It Began with a Roar,” a celebration of the San Diego Zoo’s 2016 Centennial. The parade starts at Shelter Island and passes Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, the Pier at Cesar Chavez Park, and the Coronado Ferry Landing. For advice on parking and the best spots to watch the parade, visit their website.