Romance Through Arizona | Phoenix

The desert landscapes of Arizona offer a uniquely beautiful spot for a romantic getaway. Gaze at the stars in the desert sky or explore the Southwestern sophistication of Phoenix. Nature hikes, unique museums, major-league sports, and delicious local eateries offer perfect-for-two activities. For a vacation you won’t forget, start in Phoenix and make your way up to the Grand Canyon!

arizonagrandresortArizona Grand Resort & Spa

Tucked into a wilderness preserve, the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa will immerse you in Arizona’s natural beauty. Stay in a spacious suite or villa specially designed to feel like a comfortable oasis. You and your special someone have a choice of six great restaurants. Enjoy a couple’s massage at the spa, play a round of golf, or spend an afternoon at the water park. Book the Romance Package for the ultimate escape and you’ll receive a free upgrade, a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider, chocolate covered strawberries, and a $50 credit for breakfast. You’ll feel relaxed, pampered, and ready to explore Phoenix.

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Desert Botanical Garden

Walk together along any of five different trails that meander past trailside exhibits at Desert Botanical Garden. Explore the cactus and succulent gallery, exotic gardens, an Agave Yucca Forest, and much more. Pick one trail or do them all, and you’ll learn all about the Sonoran Desert.

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Papago Park

Surrounding the Desert Botanical Garden (and the Phoenix Zoo!) is Papago Park. Take one of the many easy hikes for a fun afternoon. The park is full of sandstone buttes formed over six million years ago – don’t miss the famous Hole-in-the-Rock. Be sure to take a picture together to remember this timeless setting.

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Sit Stay

After your hike, check out Sit Stay, a restaurant specializing in unique twists on the classic hot dog. They throw in add-ons like mac and cheese and substitute buns for naan and pretzel rolls. Try the Bear dog, which has your choice of wiener with peanut butter, smoked gouda, bacon, bbq sauce, and cracker jacks. If you’re feeling really adventurous, sample one of their distinctive cocktails or beer floats. The best part? All of their hot dogs are named after real dogs that the owners know.

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Heard Museum

The Heard Museum houses American Indian art, artifacts, and history. The Heard works hard to present Native art and culture accurately, and partners with tribal communities and artists. See over 40,000 pieces of beadwork, fashion, pottery, textiles, and more from various tribes in the Arizona area. Catch the We Are! Arizona’s First People exhibit, which celebrates Native American culture and features all of the 22 tribal communities in Arizona.

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 Glendale Chocolate Affaire

Driving north from Phoenix to visit Sedona, Flagstaff, or the Grand Canyon? It’s February and love is in the air! Take a detour and hit the Glendale Chocolate Affaire, an annual festival of romance and chocolate that takes place February 5-7, 2016. You’ll find chocolate makers from all over the country at this free event. Celebrate Valentine’s Day early with not-so-traditional confections including sweet potato fries with chocolate, fried Snickers, and to-die-for berry chocolate kabobs.

California on a Budget | Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara is a fabulous oceanfront city situated on the central California coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mediterranean architecture reflects the city’s Spanish Colonial influences. Explore the lively downtown district, enjoy the beautiful beaches, and peruse the art galleries. The city is also widely known for its numerous urban wineries. But the gorgeous city doesn’t only cater to expensive tastes; there are countless activities that fit into any travelers’ budget.

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Hotel Milo

The Hotel Milo is a chic, vibrant hotel that offers beautiful oceanfront accommodations. The Spanish Colonial architecture and natural beauty of the surrounding area create the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing vacation. Enjoy the open garden and courtyard with outdoor pools, cabanas, and a hot tub. It’s across the street from the beach and just a short walk away from downtown. Book the Wine Tasting Package to get a taste of Santa Barbara. The package includes a wine tour for two at four local urban wineries, a bottle of wine upon arrival, and complimentary breakfast.

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Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens

Surround yourself with tranquility and lush greenery at the Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden. It’s an excellent place to take in fresh air and soak in the beauty of nature. Stroll through the park and enjoy the gazebo, koi pond, and picnic areas. The botanical collection boasts over 75 different species of trees and plants. There’s a sensory area that features plants with unique scents and contrasting textures, allowing visitors with visual impairments to appreciate the garden. Bring a few pieces of bread because the central pond is full of ducks and turtles that love visitors!

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Arroyo Burro Beach Park

Spend your day at Arroyo Burro Beach Park, known to locals as Hendry’s beach, and take advantage of Santa Barbara’s consistently sunny weather. It’s surrounded by beautiful cliffs and covered in soft sand. The pet-friendly beach is ideal for swimming, surfing, or just laying out on a blanket. The surrounding park area has BBQ grills, picnic areas, equestrian trails, and a snack bar. The entire park spans almost 7 acres! Keep your eye to the sky and you might spot hang gliders or paragliders launching from the nearby cliffs. Come towards the end of the day to watch the gorgeous sunset.

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Santa Barbara Museum of Art

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art holds over 27,000 works that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The diverse collection is comprised of pieces from numerous Asian, European, and American artists. Peruse paintings, photographs, antiquities, sculptures, and so much more. The museum brings world-renowned exhibitions to Santa Barbara and holds the most Monet paintings on the west coast! They also hold events, art talks, and educational programs throughout the year. One exhibition we suggest is Looking In, Looking Out: Latin American Photography. Talented Latin American photographers share a glimpse of the life in their native regions. Admission to the entire museum is free through April 16, 2016.

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Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point is a small summit that provides unparalleled views of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands, and the Pacific Ocean. You’ll find plenty of locals walking, running, or biking on the surrounding roads. The hike is mostly uphill and less than 2 miles from start to finish. It begins at Tunnel Trail and reaches an elevation of 800 feet. There are plenty of rocks at the peak that you can sit on while you marvel at the beauty of the landscape.

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Downtown

Downtown Santa Barbara is a vibrant historic art district. It’s home to various shops, restaurants, galleries, and entertainment venues. Wander through the neighborhood and appreciate the outdoor courtyards, beautiful plazas, and brick-lined sidewalks. The colorful Mediterranean architecture is truly stunning. Public parking is free for the first 75 minutes. It’s a great place to enjoy a simple afternoon walk or have a seat and watch the crowds of people go by. There are also numerous events held in the downtown area each month. Many of them are free and showcase local talent. Stop by Fuzion Gallery and see the Paint & Metal exhibit which features mixed media, large-scale metal works by local artist RUSO. Check out the full event calendar online.

 

California on a Budget | Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, the city of angels, is a California icon best known as the hub of the film and television industries. It’s home to the famous Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, and many high-end shops and restaurants. The sprawling metropolis is a mecca of culture, business, and entertainment. Don’t be fooled by the sparkling façade, because a visit to Los Angeles doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. We’ve put together a list of things to see and do that don’t cost a pretty penny.

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Miyako Hotel

Surround yourself with elegance and hospitality at the Miyako Hotel. The chic, minimalist design brings the style of Japan to the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The Japanese term miyako translates to “a flourishing center of business and entertainment.” The property lives up to its name. It’s located within walking distance to the Civic Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Japanese American National Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Each guest room is beautifully appointed, and children under 12 stay free! Book the Miyako Getaway Package and receive a free executive room upgrade and complimentary breakfast!

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The Broad

The Broad is Los Angeles’ newest contemporary art museum. The stunning 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two levels of gallery space and is home to a collection of 2,000 works of art. The Broad features contemporary art from the 1950s and operates a lending program to museums and galleries across the globe. The museum also hosts public programs that help foster education and appreciation for the art of our time. Don’t miss one of their inaugural installations: Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. It’s a mirror-lined room containing a dazzling LED display that reflects infinitely, creating the illusion of endless lights. Best of all, general admission is completely free! Advanced online reservations are available online.

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Wisdom Tree Hike

Climb to the top of Cahuenga Peak and find the mysterious Wisdom Tree. The mountain is located just west of the Hollywood sign and reaches an elevation of 872 feet. It’s a rugged, steep trail that rewards you with boundless views of Hollywood and downtown LA. When you get to the top, there’s a lone tree overlooking the city known as the Wisdom Tree. It’s believed to be the only tree left standing after the Hollywood hills fire in 2007. Next to the tree you’ll find an original ammunition box containing notes and souvenirs from past visitors.

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Eastside Music Crawl

Experience the booming nightlife and live music scene in East Hollywood. An exciting night out doesn’t have to break the bank! On Mondays, many venues offer free admission and showcase incredible local talent. Our favorites are The Echo, Satellite, and Bootleg Theater. Each location is within walking distance or just a short drive away. Stop by each of them to discover up-and-coming musical acts.

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The Last Bookstore

The Last Bookstore is every book lover’s dream. It’s currently the largest new and used book and record store in California, and it all began in a downtown Los Angeles loft. The bookstore now occupies a 20,000 sq. ft. space in the Spring Arts Tower. It’s been named one of the “20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World” by Flavorwire and the “Best Bookstore in Downtown LA” by LA Weekly and The Downtown News. The multilevel space is full of local art that creates a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. There’s even a dedicated section full of $1 books! Feel free to sell, trade, or donate your unwanted books and records. 

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Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is a monument to public astronomy, offering telescopes, exhibits, and live shows. It’s been a Los Angeles icon since 1935 and is one of the most popular attractions in Southern California. Admission and parking are always free. Check out the calendar for events held at the observatory throughout the year. Head to the top for amazing views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign!

 

California on a Budget | San Diego

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San Diego is often referred to as “America’s Finest City.” With pristine beaches, one of the largest zoos in the world, and beautiful sunny weather year-round, it’s not an exaggerated description. San Diego truly embodies the classic Southern California culture. But a great San Diego vacation is so much more than an expensive hotel and a trip to the beach. The city is full of incredible art, picturesque scenery, and a booming culinary scene. There are plenty of things to see and do in San Diego that are extremely budget friendly. Take a look at these suggestions; your wallet will thank you!

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Sofia Hotel

You’ll be right next to the excitement of the Gaslamp Quarter when you stay at the Sofia Hotel. This boutique hotel is set in an ornate gothic revival building that dates back to 1926. It’s the perfect combination of historic elegance and modern luxury. The well-appointed guest rooms feature flat screen TVs, mini fridges, microwaves, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The property is also pet friendly and completely smoke-free. Book the San Diego Zoo package to experience one of the largest zoos in the world! You’ll receive deluxe accommodations and two tickets to the San Diego Zoo.

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Tacos El Gordo

Skip the fancy white tablecloth and head south. Tacos El Gordo is a family owned and operated company that has been in service for over 40 years. The San Diego location first opened in 1998, and since then they’ve become widely known for their dedication to quality and authentic flavor. The menu is simple and consists of traditional tacos, quesadillas, and various preparations of meat cooked to perfection. The line to order can get long, but it’s worth the wait! Order a few of their adobada tacos made with marinated spicy pork, cilantro, onions, and their signature cream sauce.

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Chicano Park

Visit Barrio Logan to see the murals scattered throughout Chicano Park. Chicano Park spans almost 8 acres and showcases San Diego’s diverse Latin roots. The astounding works of art give you a glimpse into the unique history of the city. Mexican-Americans first settled in the area as early as the 1890s!

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Mt. Woodson Trail

Gear up and climb the scenic Mount Woodson Trail. It begins at Lake Poway and takes you through a challenging route that reaches an elevation of over 2,000 feet. It’s a challenging hike, but you’ll come across extraordinary landscapes as you make your way to the summit. Find the infamous “potato chip rock” before you reach the peak. Be sure to snap a picture! It’s a dramatic rock formation you won’t find anywhere else. Once you reach the top, you’re rewarded with panoramic views from Lake Poway all the way across the city.

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Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is a historical site located in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood near downtown San Diego. The pedestrian bridge is a hidden gem that was built back in 1912. It spans 375 feet long and hangs almost 70 feet above the ground. Be extra cautious if you’re afraid of heights! The bridge tends to wobble and sway towards the middle. Make your way across and you’ll find several “love locks” adorning the railings. Take in the beautiful scenery and hike down to explore the canyon below.

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Cabrillo National Park

Explore Cabrillo National Park to learn about San Diego’s cultural and historic past. The national monument commemorates Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on the West Coast back in 1542. The plaza around the monument offers scenic views that stretch all the way down to Mexico. The park is also home to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, an original structure that’s been restored and is now open to the public. Head south from the lighthouse and you’ll find the whale watch lookout. Keep your eye on the water; January and February are peak months for whale watching!

 

California on a Budget | San Francisco

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San Francisco is one of the most recognizable cities on the West Coast. It’s known for foggy weather, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and a bustling city full of cable cars and Victorian architecture. In addition to popular tourist attractions, the city has a culture and charm that’s one of a kind. There are plenty diverse neighborhoods and countless hidden gems to explore. Spending a day in one of the tourist capitals of California can be pretty pricey, so check out some of these spots to experience the incredible city without breaking the bank!

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Hotel Bijou

Stay at the Hotel Bijou, a cinema-inspired property set inside a historic building just steps away from Union Square. The modern design and movie-themed guest rooms create a hotel experience that’s truly unique to San Francisco. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi and an in-house theatre that plays a nightly double feature. You’re within walking distance to countless shops, restaurants, galleries, and the Powell St. BART station. Save money when you book the Get Up and Go Shopping Package! It includes a $25 Macy’s gift card, discounts and shopping guides for the Westfield San Francisco Centre, and complimentary bottles of water to take with you.

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Bi-Rite Creamery

Visitors and locals alike form a line down the block for homemade organic ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery. The shop opened in 2006, and since then they’ve created ice cream, soft serve, and baked goods by hand. Local, seasonal ingredients play an important role in the unique flavors. The in-house bakery serves everything from brownies and peanut brittle to granola and breads. Our favorite ice cream flavor is “Ricanelas.” It’s a rich cinnamon base with snicker doodle cookies mixed in! Stop in for a scoop and you can taste the level of quality and care that goes into each product.

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Mission Dolores Park

Enjoy your Bi-Rite ice cream cone at Mission Dolores Park. The park spans 16 acres and features lush lawns, shady palm trees, a soccer field, tennis courts, a basketball court, playground, and more! Locals flock to the park to walk their dogs, lay out on the grass, have a picnic, and take in sweeping views of the city from the top of the hill. Bring a blanket and spend your afternoon people watching! The diverse crowd is reflective of the city’s culture.

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Land’s End

Escape the hectic rush of the city, enjoy a scenic hike, and take in the gorgeous sunset. Explore Land’s End, a windy trail at the northwestern end of the city that offers breathtaking scenery and stunning views of the ocean. You’ll find hillsides covered in cypress and wildflowers, old shipwrecks, hidden beaches, and the remains of Sutro Baths. Stop by the new visitor’s center to learn about the history of the area and pick up a map before you begin your adventure!

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Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is near the geographic center of San Francisco and is known as one of the best viewing points in the area. The summit reaches an elevation of 922 feet, making it the second-highest point in the city. Drive up to the north peak parking lot and enjoy 180-degree views of San Francisco. Make sure to dress in layers to protect yourself from the wind and notorious city fog!

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Off The Grid

End your day at Off The Grid, an outdoor gathering of food trucks that provides a remarkable culinary and community experience. They operate on a weekly basis in cities all over the Bay Area, including the original location at Fort Mason Center. Discover eclectic cuisine from all over the world, browse merchandise from local businesses, and enjoy live music! Since it began in 2010, it’s grown to be a quintessential San Franciscan activity.

Grab Your Snow Gear and Explore Mammoth Lakes

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Mammoth Lakes is one of the most popular mountain resort towns on the West Coast. The winter season brings a cover of fluffy white snow, creating a truly picturesque holiday experience. Gear up and get outdoors! There’s so much to see and do in this incredible area. Discover a new sense of adventure in Mammoth Lakes.

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Mammoth Creek Inn

Find coziness and rejuvenation at the Mammoth Creek Inn. The inviting lodge is located in the Eastern Sierra, just minutes away from the base of Mammoth Mountain. Since opening in 1972, the Mammoth Creek Inn has continued to carry the same traditions of hospitality and congeniality from its original owners. Enjoy classic comforts paired with modern amenities like an indoor spa, state-of-the-art fitness room, billiard lounge, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Book the Romance Package for an intimate mountain retreat. The package includes two night accommodations and a complimentary champagne bottle, dessert, and movie rental.

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Good Life Café

Start your day with a healthy meal at Good Life Café. The casual diner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. It has been family owned and operated for over 20 years and continuously provides wholesome food and fresh ingredients. They accommodate all diets and offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options. The cafe features rotating specials every month. We recommend the blueberry pancakes

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Snowshoe on Panorama Dome

Strap on your snowshoes and take the whole family up to the top of Panorama Dome. It’s a straightforward snow path that’s just under a mile. You’ll trek through a beautiful forest up to a breathtaking summit. Marvel at the 360-degree views of the lake basin and Mammoth Crest all the way to the White Mountains across the horizon!

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Dogsled Tour

Hit the mountain with Mammoth Dog Teams to experience the Eastern Sierra up close and personal! You’ll speed through crisp mountain air, witness the snow-covered landscape, and feel the natural strength of trained sled dogs. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures! It’s a thrilling experience that lets you see Mammoth from a whole new perspective. Book your sledding tour today.

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Cross Country Skiing

Contrary to popular belief, cross country skiing is extremely accessible and doesn’t have a high degree of difficulty. Head over to the Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center for rentals, lessons, guided tours, and everything you need to explore the Mammoth Lakes Basin. Their expansive trail system spans over 19 miles and features various difficulty levels. The center is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Purchase your trail pass online.

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Slocum’s Grill and Bar

A hearty meal with a nice nightcap is a great way to end your Mammoth adventure. Slocums Grill and Bar is a popular neighborhood watering hole, almost like Mammoth’s version of “Cheers.” The inviting ambience and friendly crowd create the perfect atmosphere to kick back and unwind. Warm up by the fireplace and enjoy the refined American cuisine. Try the cowboy flat iron steak with crispy, beer-battered onion rings and their signature roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Old-Fashioned Holiday Cheer in Julian

The historic town of Julian is known for its quintessential small town charm. During the winter season, light snowfall fills the downtown district with undeniable holiday spirit. Visit the hillside community and experience it for yourself! Step back to a simpler time and appreciate the classic American architecture, local businesses, and genuine hospitality.

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Tucker Peak Lodge

The Tucker Peak Lodge is a scenic and peaceful hideaway nestled among the Pine Hills Mountains. Relax, unwind, and immerse yourself in the beautiful sights and sounds of nature. The lodge provides comfortable rooms and expansive views of the surrounding countryside. Simply mention this coupon and receive 10% off each night stay!

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Ride through downtown Julian on a horse-drawn surrey! There’s no better way to feel the holiday spirit than a carriage ride through the snow-covered streets. The Main Street Carriage Company takes you around the charming community and teaches you about the history of the town. Take a brief, 15-minute narrated tour or reserve a one-hour ride. They are also able to accommodate large parties and special events.Tea_644x270

Julian Tea & Cottage Arts

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the Julian Tea & Cottage Arts. The 21st annual Victorian Christmas Teas will be served daily throughout the month of December. A special menu will include finger sandwiches, pastries, tea breads, and seasonal desserts. After you enjoy your tea, browse their selection of intricate china and tea sets available for purchase. The hospitable staff are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and making your visit as pleasant as possible!

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Julian Station

Julian Station is a historic collection of buildings housed around an original 1943 apple packing facitlity and cider house. Browse the quaint shops, antiques, tasting rooms, and restaurants. The charming little district is a breath of fresh air from the big city bustle. With exciting lights and decorations and an occasional dusting of gentle white snow, Julian Station is your one stop shop for old-fashioned holiday cheer!

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Julian Grille

Dine at the Julian Grille for classic American fare in a cozy neighborhood cottage. Mr. Robinson, the original owner, built the property for his wife in 1920. Through the years it became an artist’s home, an antique store, a deli, and finally The Julian Grille in 1989. Enjoy intimate dining and a welcoming atmosphere with lunch daily and dinner served from Tuesday to Sunday. Try all of their house favorites, served with rice and seasonal vegetables. We recommend the filet mignon. It’s flame broiled, stuffed with crab meat, and smothered with sautéed mushrooms and bordelaise sauce.

A Snowy Escape to Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a scenic destination that’s home to countless resorts and attractions. Winter brings prime conditions for those seeking a snowy holiday. Whether you’re looking to hit the slopes, relax by the fire, or take in the natural beauty of the area, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Bundle up and bring the family out for a classic winter vacation!

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Tahoe Seasons Resort

The Tahoe Seasons Resort is the perfect place for a quiet retreat or a family vacation. It’s an all-suite property and each of the 183 rooms feature separate living rooms, flat screen TVs, whirlpool tubs, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Relax in the heated outdoor pool and hot tub or enjoy a cocktail at the piano lounge. Ideally situated at the base of Heavenly Ski Resort, the property is only minutes away from local attractions, dining options, and the gorgeous lakefront. For an intimate getaway, book the Sweet Retreat package. This romantic vacation includes a bottle of red wine, chocolates, and a voucher for the on-site café. 

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Willard’s Sport Shop

Visit Williard’s Sport Shop for all your rental needs. This family owned and operated business has been proudly serving the Tahoe community since 1978. The staff is armed with expert local knowledge and a passion for genuine service. With everything from equipment rentals, tune-ups, and even delivery services – they’ve got you covered. Best of all, your 5th day is FREE on all rentals!

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Heavenly Scenic Gondola Ride

Take a voyage up the Heavenly Mountain on a Scenic Gondola Ride. The breathtaking 2.4-mile trip takes you up to a massive observation deck at an elevation of 9,123 feet! The winter months bring a blanket of snow that turns the landscape into a true holiday spectacle. Experience incredible, shore-to-shore views of Lake Tahoe like you’ve never seen before. Go all the way to the top of the mountain and grab a hot chocolate in the village before you head back down.

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Bridgetender Tavern & Grill

Grab a bite at the Bridgetender Tavern & Grill, a popular neighborhood spot that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner right along the Truckee River. Known to locals as “The BT,” the restaurant carries a wide selection of draft beers and some of the best burgers you’ve ever had. The atmosphere is casual and inviting, and both the staff and regular patrons are consistently friendly. We love the Rocky Mountain Elk Burger. It’s six ounces of delicious, medium rare elk topped with Monterey jack cheese and their very own blueberry barbecue sauce.

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Noel Nights

Noel Nights have become a winter tradition in the Tahoe community. The Village at Northstar transforms into a holiday wonderland for the first three Thursdays in December. Bring your family and friends together for this heartwarming celebration. Gather around the 35-foot tree, listen to holiday carolers, take pictures with Santa, and ride a sleigh through the village! There’s no better way to experience the holiday cheer.

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Snowglobe Music Festival

Ring in the New Year at the Snowglobe Music Festival! This winter music extravaganza returns to the Lake Tahoe Community College campus for its fourth year, bringing world-class musical performances to a snowcapped outdoor environment. The one-of-a-kind event delivers multiple stages, lights, and fireworks with beautiful South Lake Tahoe scenery in the background. The Snowglobe Music Festival will take place on December 29, 30, and 31st and is open to all ages. Children under 10 receive free admission. Purchase your tickets online.

 

Find Adventure in Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs is San Diego’s only desert community. It’s a quaint city with a charm all its own, surrounded by miles of beautiful scenery. Escape from the busy holiday crowds to find solitude, sunshine, and stars. The end of the year brings cooler temperatures that create a perfect environment for outdoor activities. Visit Borrego Springs and check out some of our suggestions for a truly memorable experience.

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Borrego Springs Resort and Spa

Escape to the Borrego Springs Resort and Spa, a quiet and scenic destination in the middle of the natural beauty of the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Santa Rosa mountains. With numerous recreational activities, fine dining, and luxurious accommodations, the resort has everything you need for a perfect vacation. The Borrego Springs Resort and Spa is the premier golf resort serving San Diego and Palm Springs and is home to various courses. Book the Golf Tour package and you’ll receive one free round of golf per person at both the Borrego Springs Resort and Warner Springs Ranch!

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Slot Canyon

Venture out to Slot Canyon, a breathtaking natural rock formation in the heart of the Anza Borrego State Park. It’s free to enter and surrounded by miles of desert roads that are perfect for off-roading. Quick tip: the trail is very easy to miss so stop by the visitors’ center for clear directions before you head out. As you make your way down into the canyon, you’ll weave through rocks that reach up to 100 feet! It may be a tight squeeze at some points so proceed with caution. Keep an eye out for the natural rock bridge overhead and snap lots of photos along the way!

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Make your way to Ghost Mountain before the sun goes down. The entire trail spans almost 15 miles, but you can cut the distance if you drive through the dirt roads to the Ghost Mountain trailhead. The terrain is relatively easy and the trails are both well marked and well traveled. When you near the peak of the mountain you’ll find an abandoned homestead from the 1930s. Take one look at the striking, seemingly endless desert valleys and it’s easy to understand why it would’ve been a great place to build a home!

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Carlee’s place

After spending your day among nature, grab a bite at Carlee’s Place. The no-frills restaurant and bar has been a neighborhood staple since 2010. Locals and visitors frequent this spot for its delicious homemade entrees, live entertainment, welcoming crowd, and laid-back atmosphere. Everything on their expansive menu is made from scratch and cooked to perfection. Try the Steak Bites appetizer – a marinated New York strip on garlic bread served with a spicy barbecue dipping sauce – and wash it down with a cold beer!

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Borrego Art Institute

Get inspired at the Borrego Art Institute! The gallery is actually a 65-year old landmark that was renovated and redesigned by modern California architects. Inside you’ll find an awe-inspiring open space filled with art installations and exhibits. During the month of December, don’t miss the Chinese Brush Painting Society Show, a display of ancient calligraphy techniques that have been preserved throughout history. There’s even a pottery program that holds open classes and workshops throughout the year.

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Stop by Tumbleweed and take a piece of Borrego Springs home with you. The artisan shop carries home décor, apparel, plants, original art, and more! Their merchandise is carefully curated from local artists, craftsmen, and nearby Mexican and Guatemalan markets. The local gem has been open since 1996 and continues to provide items that are truly one of a kind. Visit the colorful storefront or browse their online shop!

Winter Getaway in Palm Springs

Palm Springs, widely known for hot springs and desert heat, is the perfect destination for a winter getaway. The climate is consistently sunny and mild, hovering around 70 degrees in the late months of the year. Relax by the pool, explore nature, and take in the striking desert scenery. Escape the snow and sleet and spend your holidays in beautiful Southern California!

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Palm Mountain Resort & Spa

Retreat to the Palm Mountain Resort and Spa, a peaceful oasis nestled between gorgeous mountain peaks and Downtown Palm Springs. Catch views of the beautiful landscape while you relax in the outdoor hot tub and pool. The colonial resort is a short walk away from the fantastic shops and restaurants on Palm Canyon Drive. Book the Hotel Room & Spa Package and receive a 60-minute spa or facial treatment! 

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Joshua Tree National Park

The cooler winter months are a great time to visit Joshua Tree National Park. Enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape and rock formations without the harsh summer heat! There are numerous hikes, campsites, and outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. We love the Hidden Valley Trail. It’s a relaxing one-mile loop that takes you through the heart of the desert rocks! Be sure to wear layers and bring extra water.

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Rooster and the pig

Chef Tai Spendley creates contemporary Asian cuisine with French technique at Rooster and the Pig. The Vietnamese American restaurant and beer bar features a playful and progressive menu with carefully sourced ingredients. The 50 seat location opened earlier this year and has quickly become a favorite among locals. The menu changes seasonally, so ask your server about any new additions. Pair your meal with a unique house cocktail like the Green Lantern made with gin, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime!

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Palm Canyon Theatre

Experience the Palm Springs culture with a local show! What was once a school gymnasium is now home to the Palm Canyon Theatre, a non-profit organization that holds musicals, plays, and even a kids’ summer camp. The award winning, professional entertainment and arts education center is currently in its 19th season. All December long, witness the holiday spirit live on stage in “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” Buy tickets online to relive the classic 1983 holiday movie.

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For a unique holiday experience, check out RoboLights, a spectacular art installation that is actually the largest residential light display in the country! Local artist Kenny Irwin Jr. creates a fantastical science-fiction themed winter wonderland that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. The spectacle is a Palm Springs tradition that has garnered attention from the New York Times. It’s free to the public and will run until January 3rd.