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.