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Girls Weekend in Boulder | Boulder, Colorado

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Boulder, Colorado is a bustling city with a small-town feel. Known as one of America’s trendiest cities, it’s home to excellent shopping and dining that make it the perfect destination for a girls getaway. Grab some friends and enjoy a few days taking in the excitement of downtown Boulder and the beauty of the Flatirons that surround the city. 

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Hotel Boulderado

Hotel Boulderado’s impressive brick exterior and elegantly decorated interior are reminiscent of both Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival styles. It was opened in 1909 as an upscale hotel when Boulder was first becoming a busy city. Hotel Boulderado has been such an important part of Boulder’s history that it was named a City of Boulder landmark and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its location next to the famous Pearl Street Mall makes it the ideal place to stay for a weekend away with friends. With the Downtown Excursion Package, enjoy luxurious accommodations, valet parking, and a $25 downtown Boulder gift card.

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Pearl Street Mall

In the heart of trendy downtown Boulder, you’ll find the Pearl Street Mall. This outdoor mall spans four blocks and is full of street performers, restaurants, boutique shops, and fresh flowers. Pearl Street has been the center of Boulder since the 1800s, and many of its buildings have been restore to preserve the area’s history. Spend an afternoon browsing unique shops like Two Sole Sisters, a boutique founded by two sisters that specializes in shoes, bags, and accessories. Enjoy happy hour at one of Pearl Street’s many distinctive restaurants. We like Next Door Boulder, which offers $3-5 snacks and $5 specialty cocktails.

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Centro Mexican Kitchen serves Boulder’s best Mexican food, using ingredients from all over the world to keep their menu fresh and exotic. Go for brunch and try the Carnitas Benny, their version of eggs benedict made with smoked cheddar, green chile biscuits topped with poached eggs, pork, and roasted jalapeno hollandaise sauce. Top off your meal with a Bloody Maria, made with house-infused spicy pepper tequila, homemade bloody mary mix, and chile-lime salt.

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Celestial Seasonings Tour

Celestial Seasonings is famous for their herbal teas, including the iconic Sleepytime blend. They serve about 1.6 billion cups of tea a year, using more than 100 ingredients from over 35 countries. Visit their Boulder headquarters to take a free Tea Tour. In 45 minutes, you’ll learn how tea is made, walk through their factory, and sample teas. Afterwards, stop by the Tea Shop to purchase teas and souvenirs and have a snack at the Celestial Café, which serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays.

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Wonderland Lake

A trip to Boulder isn’t complete without exploring at least some of its 45,000 acres of open space. Take a camera and a picnic lunch to Wonderland Lake, only a few miles from downtown Boulder. You can walk the Wonderland Lake Loop Trail, an easy 1.5-mile route around the lake with views of beautiful fall foliage and the Flatirons.

Fall Foliage | Park City, Utah

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Utah is one of the best states to experience the beauty of autumn. When the leaves change to hues of red, orange, and yellow, the already-impressive scenery becomes even more stunning. Visit Park City in late September for a fall escape with the perfect mixture of adventure and leisure.

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Park City Lodging, Inc. | Fall Colors Tour

Park City Lodging, Inc. lets you design your own getaway with the Fall Colors Tour Package. Choose your preferred lodging from four different locations in Park City that offer beautifully designed condos and homes ranging from one to six bedrooms. Once you’ve selected a place to stay, decide what adventure awaits you. The Local Mountain Bike Tour takes you through the area’s best nature trails, while the Historic Bike Tour is a slightly easier ride through Park City’s historical sites. Both tours are three hours long and accessible to riders of all ability.

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Fletcher’s

Fletcher’s restaurant and lounge serves classic dishes with delicious twists. From 7:00 pm on, visit their Library Lounge for small bites and craft cocktails. Their incredible menu makes it hard to choose just one dish, so we recommend sharing a few with some drinks. Start off with the Bacon Jam with Cheddar Chive Biscuits and the Lobster Tacos, served with mango salsa, pickled red onion, and cilantro cream. For dessert, be sure to try Fletcher’s beignets, made with peanut butter and jelly and stuffed with nutella and crème anglaise.

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Utah Olympic Park

Utah Olympic Park, built for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, now functions as both a training center for Olympic athletes and an adventure center for the public. Choose from fun activities like alpine slides, ziplining, and multiple adventure courses. Their most exciting feature is the Summer Comet Bobsled. Slide down the actual bobsled track used in the 2002 games and experience speeds of 60+ miles per hour with g-forces.

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High West Distillery

Founded by a biochemist in 2009, High West Distillery was the first legal distillery opened in Utah since 1870. Visit the Saloon to try a few of their whiskeys, like the Yippee Ki-Yay, with notes of cinnamon spice, blackberries, and caramel. For an elegant dining experience, check out High West’s newest venue The Nelson Cottage. On Saturday nights, they host prix-fixe dinners with specialties hand-picked by the chef and whiskey pairings to accompany each course.

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Take a Scenic Drive

There are many scenic drives near Park City, but our favorite is Guardsman Pass. From Park City, take Prospect Street and head south into the mountains, where the road turns into Guardsman Pass Road. You’ll take in views of wildflowers and richly colored fall foliage. The drive reaches an elevation of 9,700 feet, which makes for incredible views at multiple scenic turnouts along the way. You’ll eventually reach a fork in the road, where you can choose to head towards Brighton and Salt Lake Valley and see Big Cottonwood Canyon, or towards Midway and Heber Valley through the gorgeous Wasatch Mountain State Park.

Early Autumn in Idaho

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Natural beauty meets urban culture in the great state of Idaho. Stay at a stylish boutique hotel in downtown Boise and experience the city’s gourmet cuisine and art scene, then head east to Sun Valley to create your own exciting adventure of golf, ice-skating, hiking, and more.

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Hotel 43

Hotel 43 was named to reflect Boise’s location on the 43rd parallel and Idaho’s status as the 43rd state. The boutique hotel has stylish and inviting rooms in the midst of exciting downtown Boise. Hotel 43 provides all their guests with complimentary Arts Passports that include free admission to the Boise Art Museum and discounts on performances. It’s home to two delicious eateries – Metro Café offers coffee and breakfast to start off your day, and Chandlers Steakhouse features steaks and seafood, cocktails, and live jazz. Book the Dine & Unwind package and stay overnight in a luxurious room with views of downtown Boise, plus receive a $75 gift card to Chandlers. 

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Boise Art Museum

Visit the Boise Art Museum to see inspiring exhibitions in all mediums. Burchfield Botanicals is a look at Charles Burchfield, an early 20th-century artist that produced over 450 sketches of wildflowers and nature as a teenager. See both his early sketches and masterworks through September 18th, 2016. View event calendar.

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Indulge Boise Food Tours

Experience the history and cuisine of Boise on an Indulge Boise Food Tour. Residents and visitors alike will enjoy the Historic Downtown Boise Food & Cultural Tour. It’s a 3-hour, 1.5-mile walking tour with 6 or more tastings from the best eateries in downtown Boise. Along the way, your tour guide will tell you about the history and attractions of the area. Waffles, donuts, gourmet olive oils, Asian fusion cuisine, and gelato are just some of the foods you’ll get to try. 

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Capital City Public Market

Every Saturday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm you can find the Capital City Public Market on 8th Street in downtown Boise. The market has a long list of independent vendors displaying art, clothing, and jewelry, and more. It’s a great place to try locally made food and beverages. Look for Sugar Whipped, a bakery that makes every dessert you can think of, and stop by Potter Wines to try their signature Jalapeno Wine, a unique blend of spicy and sweet that is great for cooking or drinking.

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Sun Valley

Take a day trip to Sun Valley, located a few hours west of Boise. It’s a premier destination for adventure in any season. Visit in late summer and choose from dozens of outdoor activities. Play a round of golf surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery at the Trail Creek Golf Course, or go ice-skating at the Sun Valley Outdoor Ice Rink. The area also has almost 400 miles of trails that are perfect for hikers and runners.

Best of Glacier National Park, Montana

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With some of the country’s most amazing lakes, mountains, and glaciers, Montana is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Relax at the cozy Grouse Mountain Lodge and explore Glacier National Park. Since becoming America’s 10th national park in 1910, Glacier has been delighting visitors with its many lakes, mountains, glaciers, and meadows. Here are a few must-see areas of the park and the best activities in each one.

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Grouse Mountain Lodge

Stay at Grouse Mountain Lodge for a luxurious Montana getaway. It’s located in Whitefish, Montana, just west of Glacier National Park and minutes from Downtown Whitefish and Flathead Lake. In addition to comfortable rooms, suites, and lofts, Grouse Mountain Lodge has a day spa, fitness center, a fire pit, and multiple outdoor hot tubs. Situated near five incredible courses, the lodge is a golfer’s paradise. Book the Fall Golf Package to enjoy 18 holes of golf for two with a golf cart at the course of your choice as well as a $25 meal credit for on-site restaurant Logan’s.

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Going-to-the-Sun Road

The 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road is a scenic drive that winds east to west through many of Glacier National Park’s most well known features. We recommend driving the entire road, which takes about two hours. You’ll pass by stunning sights including glaciers, valleys, waterfalls, and wildlife at every turn. The paved road is perfect for biking as well. Rent a bike and choose a stretch of the road to take on.

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Go Boating on Lake McDonald

Spend some time out on the beautiful blue water of Glacier National Park’s largest lake. The area around Lake McDonald used to be filled with huge glaciers and has since become a truly beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. Visit the Glacier Park Boat Company, which has been in operation since 1938. You can rent your own rowboat or motorboat, or sign up for one of their hour-long scenic cruises. You’ll be taken across the lake on board the historic DeSmet, Glacier Park Boat Company’s flagship vessel which was built in 1930.

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Picnic at Logan Pass

Drive up to Logan Pass, the highest elevation in the park that you can get to by car. At Logan Pass, huge mountains tower over expansive fields of wildflowers. This popular spot is one of the best places in the park to see wildlife, so keep an eye out for mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and even grizzly bears. Logan Pass is the perfect place to stop for lunch, so be sure to pack a picnic to enjoy while you take in the stunning views around you.

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Hike Through Many Glacier

Many Glacier is another of the park’s most iconic areas, well known for the active glaciers you can see among the mountains and lakes. Many Glacier has some of the park’s best hiking trails. For a short jaunt, try the Apikuni Falls trail, a 1.7-mile round-trip hike that leads to a birds-eye lookout over a waterfall. We also like the Iceberg Lake hike, a longer option at 9.7 miles round-trip. The trail passes by incredible mountain views and waterfalls, eventually arriving at Iceberg Lake, an alpine lake named for the icebergs that float in it.

Late Summer in Jackson Hole

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Spend the last days of summer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. After Labor Day, the summer attractions wind down as the city prepares for the winter season. Experience the beauty of Jackson Hole before the snow hits and the crowds arrive. Stay in Teton Village with a vacation package full of summer adventures and visit Bridger-Teton National Forest for a day of hiking through stunning wilderness landscapes.

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Wild West Package at Teton Village

Teton Village offers gorgeous mountain views from cozy lodging. It’s within walking distance to local shops and restaurants, making it the ideal place to stay during your Jackson Hole getaway. Take in the area’s natural beauty with the Wild West Package. Stay for four nights in a 2 bedroom condo in Teton Village and take part in number of outdoor activities. You’ll enjoy a scenic tram ride, a rafting trip through Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, and a 4-hour sunrise or sunset wildlife tour.

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Il Villaggio Osteria

Located right at the foot of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Il Villaggio Osteria has a cozy atmosphere and excellent food. Their handmade pasta and wood stone pizza oven offer an authentic taste of Italy. Order the Carne pizza, topped with prosciutto, soppresata, roasted garlic, mozzarella, and beef and pork ragu. If you have room for dessert, try one of their Gelato Sandwiches, a serving of vanilla, coffee, or mint chocolate chip gelato between two chocolate chip cookies.

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National Museum of Wildlife Art

Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art to see over 5,000 works by more than 550 artists reflecting the wildlife and landscapes of North America. Their collections include pieces that span from 2,500 B.C. to present. Be sure to walk the new Sculpture Trail, a ¾ mile long route that showcases artwork integrated directly into the beautiful landscape of Jackson Hole. From now until September 5th, 2016, you can catch the Grand Teton National Park in Art exhibit. Created to coincide with the National Park Service’s Centennial, it’s a collection of art depicting the Teton mountains over 100 years.

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Grand Adventure Park

Head to Teton Village’s Grand Adventure Park for an afternoon of adventure. You can take on the Aerial Adventure Course, featuring a ropes course and zip lines, or jump off the adrenaline-inducing Drop Tower, which lets you experience a thrilling free-fall. Purchase a Grand Adventure Pass for only $79 per person and get unlimited access to the entire park, including mountain biking, hiking, disc golf, and a climbing wall.

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Bridger-Teton National Forest

Take a day trip to the Bridger-Teton National Forest, home to three unique wilderness areas. Bridger Wilderness has 7 of the world’s 10 largest glaciers and offers incredible views of alpine lakes and beautiful valleys. The Teton Wilderness features scenic rivers perfect for hunting and fishing. The Gros Ventre Wilderness is known for its wildlife and breathtaking geography, in particular the stunning red, purple, and yellow-sloped mountains. Together, these wilderness areas offer over 1,000 miles of trails to explore. We recommend the Grizzly Lake Trail in Gros Ventre, a route that treats you to views of the Red Hills and the Tetons.

August Outdoor Escapes | Lake Tahoe, California

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Mark Twain once said that Lake Tahoe was “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Stunning blue water and lush forests take your breath away at every turn. Whether your ideal vacation is made up of adventure or relaxation, Lake Tahoe’s 71 miles of shoreline has something for everyone. Stay at an elegant hotel and kayak through North Lake Tahoe, then head east and south to see the area’s most beautiful spots.

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The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is an award-winning luxury hotel in North Lake Tahoe. The hotel affords an elegant wilderness stay, reflecting its mountainous surroundings with features like in-room fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and complimentary s’mores at nighttime fire-pit gatherings. Make your Lake Tahoe getaway extra special with the Discover With You package. It includes deluxe accommodations, breakfast each morning, a s’mores welcome gift, and a $100 hotel credit per night of your stay, which you can use at the hotel’s restaurants, lounges, spa, and more.

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North Shore Kayak Tour

Tahoe Adventure Company offers both land and water adventures all around Lake Tahoe. We recommend their North Shore Kayak Tour, a 3-6 mile trip through the pristine waters of North Lake Tahoe. Highlights include King’s Beach, Crystal Bay, and the deli spread lunch and snacks that are included with the tour. If you’re still feeling adventurous after you return to land, sign up for a different adventure or one of Tahoe Adventure Company’s multisport excursions.

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Lone Eagle Grille

Styled to resemble a Tahoe lodge and boasting a beautiful lakefront view, the Lone Eagle Grille is a perfect lunch spot. Take a seat next to one of their many panoramic windows and enjoy seasonally inspired dishes. For a starter we recommend sharing the California Asparagus Salad, tossed with soft-boiled egg, manchego cheese, pine nuts, and lemon vinaigrette. Lone Eagle Grille also serves some of Lake Tahoe’s best burgers and sandwiches, like the Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder Sandwich, a mouth-watering combination of tender meat, pickled carrots, onions, and baby spinach, and spicy aioli.

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Sand Harbor

Cross into Nevada and spend a day at Sand Harbor, a 55-acre stretch of Lake Tahoe featuring serene beaches, coves, and forest. Go for a swim or a scuba dive in the lake, or relax in the sun on shore. Be sure to pack a lunch to enjoy in the shady picnic area, and then explore Sand Harbor’s short trails. The Sand Harbor to Memorial Point Trail is a half-mile route that takes you to peaceful beaches and vistas, and the Sand Point Nature Trail ends in incredible views of the lake.

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Emerald Bay

Take a day trip to South Lake Tahoe to see the famed Emerald Bay, one of Lake Tahoe’s most celebrated spots. Enjoy sweeping views of the bright blue bay and surrounding forest from 600 feet up at Inspiration Point, or from the six miles of shoreline at D.L. Bliss State Park. You can even venture out by boat to Fannette Island, a small outcropping in the middle of the bay that affords 360-degree views of Emerald Bay.

August Outdoor Escapes | Mammoth Lakes, California

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Though Mammoth is well known as a skiing and snowboarding destination, it’s also a great place to visit in the summer. The views of the John Muir Wilderness make an impressive backdrop for a number of outdoor activities such as hiking or mountain biking. Plan a visit during Mammoth Wine Weekend and take part in a three-day food and wine extravaganza.

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Juniper Springs Resort

Book a condo at Juniper Springs Resort, located just outside of The Village. Their condos are decorated in a chic mountain style and feature full kitchens, outdoor balconies, and amazing views. Throughout the resort, you’ll find heated pools, hot tub spas, a fitness center, a game room, and a coffee shop. With the Stay & Play Package, each person receives 50% off of a fun outdoor activity. Choose from a ticket to Mammoth Bike Park, an Intro to Trail Riding Lesson, a round of golf at Sierra Star Golf Course, a scenic gondola ride, or a Kids Adventure Pass.

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Mammoth Wine Weekend

August 19-21, 2016 is Mammoth Wine Weekend, an event that celebrates both wine and food. The Village Wine Walk is a festival where you can enjoy live music while sampling wines from over 20 different wineries. You can also attend a champagne brunch on Sunday at local restaurant Campo Mammoth, featuring a crepe station, wood-fired breakfast pizzas, frittatas, and a bellini bar.

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Hiking | Convict Lake and Duck Pass

With breathtaking views and endless trails, Mammoth is one of the best hiking spots in California. Start out at Convict Lake, a gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains that tower over 5,000 feet above you. An easy trail circles the lake, which has beaches, a campground, a picnic area, and boat rentals. For more of a challenge, find the connecting Convict Canyon trail that heads into the John Muir Wilderness. We also love Duck Pass Trail, a 5.5-mile route through the Coldwater Creek to Duck Pass. It meanders through multiple alpine lakes and meadows in the John Muir Wilderness, where you’ll see Barney Lake, Blue Crag, and the Mammoth Crest. Every turn will give you a new incredible view.

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Mammoth Brewing Company

Mammoth Brewing Company has been crafting beer for over 20 years. Stop by and try one of their featured beers that rotate on tap in their tasting room. We love the Papi Cherry White Stout, with flavors of Rainier cherries and Black Velvet Coffee. Mammoth Brewing Company also hosts fun events, like Trivia Tuesdays every week from 7-9 pm and a summer music series. See event schedule.

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Mammoth Bike Park

Looking for an adventure? Try mountain biking. Mammoth Bike Park is one of the best in the country. They have 39 open trails that range in difficulty. First time bikers can start in the “Discovery Zone,” which has a practice loop and some great beginner trails, and Skills Park, which allows new bikers to hone their skills and try out small drops and bridges. For more expert riders, some of their iconic trails will give you views of the Mammoth Crest, Minarets, Mt. Ritter, and Banner Peak.

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Manzanar

An hour and a half south of Mammoth you’ll find Manzanar, one of the ten internment camps that held over 110,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II. Today, it’s a National Historic Site. Stop by the Visitor’s Center to view a short film about the camp’s history and see exhibits and artifacts from the 1940s. You can also visit Block 14, a reconstructed barracks and mess hall, and see gardens and ponds that have been excavated throughout the site.

August Outdoor Escapes | Big Bear Lake, California

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With fresh mountain air, breathtaking scenery, and a seven-mile long lake, Big Bear is ideal for a summer getaway. The quaint town offers beautiful views of the surrounding San Bernardino National Forest, excellent local craft beers, and delicious restaurants. Experience some outdoor fun with Alpine slides, water sports, and a parasailing adventure over the lake.

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Holiday Inn Resort Big Bear Lake

Located in downtown Big Bear, the Holiday Inn Resort Big Bear Lake is steps away from great restaurants, shops, and the Lake Boardwalk. The hotel has comfortable rooms, a health and fitness center, and an outdoor pool and whirlpool. Onsite eatery Stillwells serves up delicious California cuisine. Make your time in Big Bear extra special with the Romantic Escape Package. It includes a bottle of sparkling white wine, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and a box of chocolates.

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Sweet Basil Bistro

Enjoy a romantic night out at Sweet Basil Bistro, an intimate Italian restaurant just a short walk from the hotel. The family-owned restaurant is one of the town’s newest. Their menu is full of authentic Italian specialties and fresh sauces. We recommend the Braccilone, a flank steak breaded and stuffed with tomatoes and Gorgonzola and served over linguine with tomato basil sauce. For dessert, indulge in their decadent vanilla crème brulee. 

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Alpine Slides

The Magic Mountain Recreation Area is home to the Alpine Slide, one of our favorite activities in Big Bear. Take a chairlift up the mountain and then coast down a quarter-mile long cement track in an individual sled. During your ride, you’ll feel the fresh mountain air rushing past you and take in amazing views of the lake and surrounding forest. The recreation area also features a water slide, go-karts, and mini-golf.

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Big Bear Lake Brewing Company

Big Bear Lake Brewing Company offers their own house brews, well-known craft beers, a long list of homemade cocktails, and excellent food options. Try the Sidewinder Red Ale, which features pineapple, citrus, and pine aromas, or the Strawberry Lavender Martini, made with Reyka vodka, Lillet Rouge, Monin lavender, lemon juice, and fresh muddled strawberries. We recommend an Avocado Bomb to go with your drinks. It’s their signature dish made with honey ale tempura battered avocados, spicy sashimi ahi, crab and shrimp cake, and chipotle aioli.

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A Day on the Lake

Big Bear Lake is calling. Pine Knot Marina is the starting point for a variety of exciting water sports. Take a lake tour and learn about Big Bear’s history, spend the afternoon fishing, or rent kayaks, boats, or jet skis. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try parasailing. You’ll soar through the air and experience unparalleled views of the glistening Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountains from over 500 feet up.

Off to the Races in Del Mar, San Diego

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Enjoy a seaside escape in San Diego’s North County. From July to September, racing season is on at the famous Del Mar Racetrack. Spend a day at the track cheering on your favorite horses and placing wagers. You’ll also want to explore the coastal towns of Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. From boutique shops to mouth-watering restaurants to serene beaches, you’ll experience just the right mix of adventure and relaxation.

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Inspired by the palaces and resorts in Spain, France, and Italy, the luxurious Fairmont Grand Del Mar combines European and Southern Californian style. It features an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a spa, and over 37 miles of trails in the surrounding Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Fairmont Grand Del Mar is the ideal place to stay for a relaxing vacation. They provide free transportation to the nearby towns of Del Mar, La Jolla, and Solana Beach, and host fun summer events such as outdoor movie nights and beach escapes. With their A Day at the Races package, enjoy two nights in a guestroom or suite, breakfast for two each morning, reserved seats at the Del Mar Racetrack, and transportation to and from the track.

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Off to the Races

The Del Mar Racetrack was built by a partnership of actors that included Bing Crosby, who was there to welcome fans when the track first opened in 1937. In its early years the racetrack was a popular spot for Hollywood stars, and going to the races remains a fashionable summer activity today. During racing season, which runs from July to September, spectators can spend the day making wagers, watching the races, and socializing at the track. Racing season incorporates other events such as a summer concert series, a Pizza & Beer Festival, and a Spirits & Sliders event.

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Tony’s Jacal

After a day at the racetrack, head to Tony’s Jacal for dinner. Tony’s serves some of San Diego’s most authentic Mexican food. It opened in 1946, and many locals have been loyal customers for over 50 years. They’re known for their extensive menu that offers endless combinations of traditional Mexican dishes. Order a pitcher of margaritas and the Tostada Suprema, a mountain of beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and guacamole atop a crisp flour tortilla.

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Solana Beach

Explore Solana Beach, a seaside community just north of Del Mar. Stroll down Cedros Avenue, a two and a half block stretch with over 85 independent shops that reflect the area’s cool and contemporary vibe. You can browse antiques, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and more. Spend the afternoon window-shopping and be sure to stop at Lockwood Table Café for an organic tea or fresh juice. If you’re in town for the weekend, visit Cedros Avenue on Sunday afternoon for the Solana Beach Farmers Market.

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Moonlight Beach, Encinitas

Drive a little further up the coast to Encinitas, another lovely coastal town in North County. Head to Moonlight Beach, a beach named for the midnight picnics locals had there in the early 1900’s. Whether your ideal beach day includes relaxing on the sand, swimming in the ocean, or playing sports on the shore, Moonlight Beach has something for everyone. You’ll find picnic tables, volleyball courts, a snack bar, and fire pits. Plan to get there in the afternoon and stay for a bonfire when the sun goes down.

The Vibe is Alive in Balboa Park, San Diego

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Local San Diego resident Shannon Hogan Cohen has shared the news about a wonderful event happening in Balboa Park throughout the summer. As the nation’s largest urban cultural park, Balboa Park is home to 15 art, photography, and history museums as well as a unique array of lush gardens. But this summer, the local buzz is all about Food Truck Friday. From 4:30-8:30 pm every Friday through Labor Day, you can sample gastronomic choices from a caravan of food trucks in the Plaza de Panama. Locals and tourists alike will enjoy this lively event.

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If you’re visiting from out of town and want to be close to the park, stay at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar. It’s located just minutes away from Balboa Park in the exciting Gaslamp Quarter, where you’ll find the city’s best restaurants, entertainment, and nightlife. Sip cocktails and take in the cityscape at the hotel’s rooftop pool and lounge, and relax after a day of sightseeing at their evening wine hour. No visit to San Diego is complete without a trip to the beach. The Everyday California package gives you the chance to get out on the water with a 90-minute guided kayak tour for two at La Jolla Shores.

This week’s guest blog comes from Shannon Hogan Cohen. She recently visited Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday event with her two sons. Here, she talks about their experience at the event.

get_balboaAll ages were having fun at Food Truck Friday, a program put on by the Balboa Park Conservancy in partnership with the City of San Diego Park and Recreation. The variety of food trucks is aimed to please and tease, offering an assortment of sweet and savory snacks. The event has live entertainment and fun activities including Fringe Festival performers, the Fern Street Circus, a vintage photo booth trailer, stilt walkers, juggling, dance lessons, and even beanbag chairs and a giant chess set. Balboa Park Conservancy’s director of marketing Sue Varga and her team orchestrated this concept to promote the Park after Dark. As part of the event, ten museums extend their hours until 8pm.

When my boys were young, we visited Balboa Park together. I thought inviting my teenagers, now ages 16 and 17, to join me at Food Truck Friday would be a good way to spend time together and reminisce.

As we made our way toward the crowded scene, we noted the enthusiasm in the air. Lively music floated through the park. People indulged in their food finds as they strolled in and out of gardens and museums in the glow of a beautiful summer evening.

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The boys and I treated the art and food around us as serious subjects. We enjoyed a sense of togetherness as we debated which museums to visit and which food trucks to try. A few of our family favorites were the signature bento box with a well-seasoned meatball from YoYo Bento and the BBQ brisket wedge fries from Super Q. These were devoured before I had a chance to sample them. We also loved the milk mustache cupcake, a moist milk-chocolate cake filled with Oreo frosting and topped off with a chocolate stache from Lil’ Miss Short Cakes. Other featured food trucks were Two for the Road, Currywurst Frankfurt, That’s What Cheese Said, Caribbean Escape, Caliano by Spinelli, American Flavors, Haad Sai Thai, Pomrosso Truck, and Beachin’ Boba. These food trucks carve out a niche with their unique, hybrid cuisines. Each is brightly decorated with graphics that mimic personal stories and culinary options.

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As the sun set, we sat on the grass and admired the California Tower atop the Museum of Man and watched the crowd in this prominent San Diego cultural hub. Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday delivers family fun and a new way to learn, laugh, and eat together. Sue and her team knew what they were doing when they decided to integrate a culinary experience with the arts. The evening was a nourishment of mind, body, and soul. Food and art – what a brilliant way to celebrate diversity and create a bond across generational gaps.

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Getaway Packages is always looking for exciting content to feature on our blog. Do you have a favorite activity, restaurant, or hotel in your city? Share with us at marketing@getawaypackages.com.