Summer Fun | Bay Club Hotel and Marina | San Diego, California

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Planning your summer getaway? Head to San Diego, California for beautiful beaches, unique neighborhoods, great dining, and exciting nightlife. Stay in tropical Shelter Island, a serene area that’s close to everything you’ll want to do in San Diego.

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Bay Club Hotel and Marina

The Bay Club Hotel and Marina reflects Shelter Island’s tropical island vibe with beautiful greenery, towering palm trees, and a private marina. From your room, you’ll be able to gaze out on views of the water, marina, Point Loma, and downtown San Diego. With two welcome drinks, tropical fruit and cookies, and free parking, their Aloha Package will give you even more reason to love your stay in San Diego.

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Quarterdeck Restaurant & Bar

Whether you need a hearty breakfast, a homemade cocktail, or a gourmet dinner, the Quarterdeck Restaurant & Bar is the perfect place to relax and indulge. Grab a table on the patio to enjoy a drink and a meal outside in the summer sun. We like their Signature Coconut Shrimp Dinner, jumbo coconut shrimp served with jalapeno orange dressing and homemade peanut sauce. Pair it with a local craft beer or the Windward Cooler cocktail, made with vodka, watermelon pucker, lemon, and cucumber.

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Liberty Station

Liberty Station, formerly a Naval Training Center, is a collection of restaurants, shops, art studios, and the Liberty Public Market. There are a number of fun events lined up for the summer! On the first Friday of each month, you can talk with artists, enjoy performances, and explore museums and galleries as part of Friday Night Liberty. At Taste Liberty Station on June 21st, sample food from Liberty Station eateries and taste sparkling wines in the Bubbly Garden. Liberty Public Market also has live music on Sundays and a farmers market every Thursday.

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USS Midway Museum

One of San Diego’s most popular museums is aboard an aircraft carrier! At the USS Midway Museum you can check out over 60 exhibits, 29 aircraft, and two flight simulators. Chat with the docents you’ll find around the museum, who will talk to you about the Midway as well as share their own stories. Spend some time exploring the exhibits and then grab lunch at their Fantail Café, where you can order dishes from the Midway’s 1945 cookbook.

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SeaWorld

Spend a day at SeaWorld and check out all the exciting new attractions they’ve added for the 2017 season! In addition to informative animal exhibits, entertaining shows, and thrilling rides, you can now enjoy Electric Ocean, a nighttime celebration full of lights and music that simulate an underwater dance club. SeaWorld has decided to forgo its flashy killer whale show and has instead created Orca Encounter, a presentation about orcas with a more educational focus. Kids will love Ocean Explorer, a new interactive realm that gets you even closer to the animals.

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.

Spring in San Diego | San Diego, California

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San Diego has great weather all year, but that doesn’t stop the city from celebrating spring. Book a Southern California getaway to take advantage of the warm sun and gorgeous beaches before the summer crowds arrive! No matter your interests, there’s always plenty to do, including lively festivals, daring activities, fun museums, and exciting nightlife.

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Kimpton Solamar Hotel

The chic Kimpton Solamar Hotel is located in San Diego’s East Village, just minutes away from the Gaslamp Quarter and Petco Park. As the weather warms up you’ll love sunbathing at the rooftop pool. They also feature local beers during SoCal Hour, the perfect way to cap a day of sightseeing. Indulge and learn something new with the A Crafty Pair package, which includes a Chef’s selection five-course dinner, a mixology class for two, and souvenir cocktail glasses to remember your trip by.

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Tequila & Taco Music Festival

San Diego takes its Mexican fare seriously – no need to wait until Cinco de Mayo for a fun time! The Tequila & Taco Music Festival will be held March 25th and 26th at Embarcadero Marina Park South in downtown San Diego. You can sample tequila, sip margaritas and craft beer, snack on gourmet street tacos, browse art vendors, and enjoy live music.

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iFLY San Diego

If you’re looking for a thrill, iFLY San Diego is for you! Vertical wind tunnels create an indoor skydiving experience where you float on a column of air rather than jumping or falling. Just like regular skydiving, you’ll get an instruction period, put on your gear, and take a “flight,” which is the equivalent of 1.5 skydives. It’s the perfect way to get adventurous without going too far outside your comfort zone.

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Analog

Analog, located downtown, is a stylish music-themed restaurant and bar in one. While the food is great (you can’t go wrong with the Brussels sprouts or popcorn chicken), it’s really their craft cocktails that are sure to impress. Try the Black Sail, made with black magic spiced rum, Kahlua, coconut milk, cinnamon, and orange and pineapple juices, or their specialty analog chai mule, a delicious mix of vanilla vodka, jasmine liqueur, chai syrup, lime angostura bitters, and ginger beer.

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Fleet Science Center

Stop by the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park and check out interactive exhibits on everything from biology to environmental science. Right now you can see So Moved: The Art and Science of Motion, an exhibit that combines scientific displays with local artists’ creations to explore over five types of motion. You can also catch a movie at the Giant Dome Theater, which shows IMAX films on a wraparound screen that makes you feel like you’re immersed in the action. See Dream Big: Engineering Our World, a film exploring how engineers have built our greatest architectural and technological achievements.

Wine Country in Spring | Napa Valley, California

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Spring is an excellent time for a trip to wine country! The first small clusters of grapes start to form, and the lavender fields and brightly colored mustard plants are in bloom. Napa Valley also has numerous exciting events to check out in springtime. Culinary extravaganza Flavor! Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Marathon, and the Yountville Live music festival are all held in March.

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Auberge du Soleil

Pamper yourself at Auberge du Soleil, one of Napa’s most luxurious resorts. Auberge du Soleil’s amenities are anything but ordinary, including free use of Mercedes-Benz cars, an outdoor sculpture garden and olive grove, and rooms with private fireplaces, outdoor terraces overlooking the rolling hills of wine country, and free minibars. Create your own Napa Valley experience with their Celebration of Napa package, which includes sparkling wine when you arrive, breakfast for two each morning, and a four-course dinner for two. Top it all off with your choice of a hot air balloon ride, a six-hour private winery tour, or a massage for two.

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Oxbow Public Market

Get a taste of Napa at Oxbow Public Market, a 40,000 square foot marketplace that houses local restaurants, vendors, and shops. It features an outdoor deck that overlooks the Napa River and makes a great place to enjoy a glass of wine and a mid-afternoon snack. You’ll want to check out Whole Spice, where you can taste and purchase spices and spice blends from all over the world, as well as Napa Bookmine, an independent bookstore selling fun gifts and books of all genres.

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Gott’s Roadside

Need to stop and refuel in between wine tastings? Gott’s Roadside, located in Oxbow Public Market, uses local ingredients to craft specialty burgers, tacos, and salads. Order their Ahi Poke Crispy Tacos, stuffed with Ahi tuna, avocado, green cabbage, cilantro, green onions, sesame seeds, and spicy mayo, and an order of garlic fries. Gott’s Roadside also offers local wines and craft beers.

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Napa Valley Wine Train

The Napa Valley Wine Train is a gourmet restaurant aboard a functioning antique train. Most of the train’s cars were built in 1915, and have been restored to maintain their early 1900s style. The Wine Train journey is 36 miles round trip, about a 3 hour ride through the valley. Explore each train car’s unique style and enjoy a glass of wine while you watch the countryside drift by, then indulge in a gourmet meal on board. You can also book the train’s Winery Tour packages to stop for tours and tastings at select Napa wineries.

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Artesa Napa Valley

Artesa’s 350 acres offer sweeping views of wine country. The winery, which is most known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, is built into the estate’s highest hill and features impressive avant-garde architecture. Artesa has a variety of tasting experiences, including seated tastings and design-your-own wine flights, as well as tours of the winery. Artesa also hosts food and wine pairing events featuring Tapas, cheese, and chocolate. Sign up for the Pintxos and Wine Tasting, which pairs five wines with Pintxos, skewered small plates that are the Basque version of Tapas.

Snowy Stowe | Stowe, Vermont

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With 40 miles of skiing and snowboarding, 116 trails of varying difficulty, and over 300 inches of yearly snowfall, it’s no surprise that Stowe, Vermont has been named the #1 resort in the eastern United States. Off the slopes, the quaint town offers picturesque scenery, exciting shopping and dining, and countless outdoor activities. Book your winter getaway today!

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The Stowehof

The Stowehof blends a rustic and historic feel with stylish modern spaces. Surrounded by 26 acres of beautiful Vermont scenery, the cozy hotel features game nooks, a lounge sprinkled with fireplaces, rotating local art, and a fire pit perfecting for roasting marshmallows. Book the Snowshoe & Fondue Package for an adventurous and delicious getaway. The package includes a two night stay, a guided moonlight snowshoe tour, a three course fondue dinner, and breakfast each morning.

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Stowe Winter Carnival

Take part in a true Stowe tradition at the Stowe Winter Carnival, or “StowOasis.” First held in 1921, the carnival was suspended through the war years but has been going strong since being reinstated in 1974. This year’s carnival runs January 14 – 28, 2017 and will feature over 20 events for visitors of all ages. Highlights include a Snowgolf Tournament, karaoke, a trivia challenge, an ice carving competition, and more. Check the event calendar to see what’s happening while you’re in town.

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Piecasso

Local favorite Piecasso is known for their great food and fun atmosphere. Decorated in an eclectic neon style, Piecasso serves nationally recognized hand-tossed pizzas and features an extensive beer list, live music, and movie nights. Create your own pizza or choose from one of their delicious combinations, like The Picasso, a white base topped with mozzarella, ricotta, tomatoes, broccoli, and fresh garlic, basil, and spices.

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Dogsledding

Take a dogsled tour through the snow with Peace Pups Dogsledding. After an information session about dog sledding and the equipment, you’ll set out on an hour-long ride. Admire beautiful winter landscapes as a team of Siberian Huskies pulls your sled through the snow. Afterwards, you’ll get a chance to meet the dogs and give them treats, as well as enjoy complimentary tea and hot chocolate. Peace Pups Dogsledding donates 10% of their profits to charities, so your adventure will benefit a good cause.

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Idletyme Brewing Company

Idletyme Brewing Company is a small local brewery crafting a wide variety of beers. After a day of skiing or snowboarding, stop by for a tasting flight or a pint of one of their brews – we like the Pink N’ Pale, a Pale Ale fermented with grapefruit. Idletyme doubles as a restaurant run by two award-winning chefs. Order the fried pickles with ranch remoulade, a Vermont cheese board, or an Idletyme Helles Lager Onion Gruyere Tart to snack on with your drinks.

Thanksgiving Getaway | Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

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What better place to spend Thanksgiving than in Williamsburg, Virginia? This quaint area is steeped in early American history, from the first colonies through the Revolutionary War. It’s home to the Historic Triangle encompassing Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Explore multiple museums and venues that make history come alive for exciting and educational trip.

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Williamsburg Lodge

Located next to the Revolutionary City in Colonial Williamsburg, the Williamsburg Lodge makes for a fun and convenient stay. Rooms are decorated in a style reminiscent of colonial Virginia, and the lodge has easy access to a spa, golf course, and historic taverns. The America’s Historic Triangle Package is perfect for experiencing all Williamsburg has to offer. Enjoy daily breakfast as well as unlimited admission to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center, Historic Jamestowne, and Yorktown Battlefield. 

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Colonial Williamsburg

Explore the world’s largest living history museum at Colonial Williamsburg. Get a sense of what life was like in the colonies during the American Revolution by watching and interacting with live actors in character as 18th-century townspeople, politicians, shopkeepers, and more. Learn about the trades, homes, and community areas of the colonies during a guided tour through the Revolutionary City, then watch and take part in live demonstrations. You can also visit historic shops and buy souvenirs of colonial-inspired clothes, household goods, jewelry, and stationary.

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Historic Jamestowne

Built in 1607 by Captain John Smith, Jamestown was the first English settlement in the Americas. Learn all about our country’s earliest history at Historic Jamestowne, a site dedicated to exposing and preserving the stories of the settlement. It’s home to the Jamestown Rediscovery project, which is working to uncover the original James Fort. Watch excavations, talk to the archaeologists, and browse the Archaearium, which houses over 4,000 Jamestown artifacts. Be sure to see The World of Pocahontas, Unearthed, an exhibit full of Indian-made artifacts that help illuminate the relationship and interactions between the Powhatans and the English.

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A Chef’s Kitchen

A Chef’s Kitchen provides unique culinary experiences perfect for cooking enthusiasts and foodies. Sign up for a Dinner Class, a combination served meal/cooking demonstration in a small theater-style room. The dinner includes hors d’oeuvres, five courses, champagne, and wine pairings. Chefs will show you how to prepare all of the dishes in entertaining demonstrations, and you get to take home the recipes. Orange-vanilla and mascarpone cheesecake, sweet potato and butternut squash soup with toasted pumped seeds, and Thai coconut stewed shrimp are just some of the dishes that may be on your menu.

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The Williamsburg Winery

Stop by Williamsburg Winery to spend an afternoon sipping wine and admiring the beautiful grounds. The 40-acre vineyard has numerous grape varietals including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Viognier, and more. Purchase tickets online for the Tour and Tasting with Lunch. You’ll take a guided tour of the winery and taste seven different wines in a souvenir engraved Williamsburg Winery glass. Afterwards, enjoy a glass of wine, main course, dessert, and coffee or tea at the winery’s Gabriel Archer Tavern.

Thanksgiving Getaway | New York, New York

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Find holiday cheer in New York City this Thanksgiving and kick off the season in style. Stay in the heart of the city near Times Square, see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. You won’t run out of things to do in the city that never sleeps!

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Sanctuary Hotel

The Sanctuary Hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan, close to Times Square, Broadway theaters, Rockefeller Center, and Fifth Avenue. The lavish boutique hotel is dedicated to creating a top-notch guest experience complete with excellent service, luxury European linens, spa-inspired bathrooms, and complimentary breakfast. Book the Thanksgiving at the Sanctuary! offer to receive 15% off your stay and a $50 food and beverage credit for TENDER, their elegant steak and sushi restaurant. Best of all, you’ll be within walking distance of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! 

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is celebrating its 90th year! The 2016 parade promises to be spectacular ­– see Charlie Brown, SpongeBob, and Pikachu balloons, and watch live performances from Tony Bennett, Fitz and the Tantrums, and more. This year, see the parade in person instead of from your couch. Wake up early on Thanksgiving morning, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and stake out a spot.

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Cassette

Cassette serves unique cocktails, an extensive selection of wine and beer, and an assortment of food ranging from simple (Avocado Toast) to indulgent (Bouchot Mussels). Though it’s a good choice for brunch or dinner any day, we recommend heading there for Thanksgiving dinner while you’re in town. Their prix fixe menu has three courses of tasty foods, including cast iron skillet cornbread, leek bread pudding, and sweet potato pie with charred marshmallow and caramelized pastry crust.

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Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar

Whether you want to get a head start on holiday shopping or you’re just looking for a unique souvenir, the Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar is worth a visit. The free event takes place the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving and is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. Browse clothes, accessories, décor, and more from 40+ sellers, and try food from local vendors like Ejen Korean Comfort Food. The event also has complimentary cocktails, a live DJ, and a photo booth.

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Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery first opened in West Village in 1996. Their irresistible desserts quickly became a sensation, and they now have locations all over the world. Magnolia makes cupcakes, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, and more. Stop by for dessert one day and take home a bag of treats to snack on throughout your trip. They’re even open on Thanksgiving, so you can pick up a pie or try their cupcake of the month, Harvest Apple. It’s a taste of fall with apples, cranberries, pecans, and caramel meringue buttercream frosting.

Luxury and Relaxation | Santa Barbara, California

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Santa Barbara is a scenic coastal city where there’s always something going on. Plan a last minute getaway for this weekend and attend both the Santa Barbara Beer Festival and the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival. Explore the coastline, sample the area’s best wines, and indulge in the quintessential Santa Barbara experience.

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Belmond El Encanto

Up in the hills above Santa Barbara, you’ll find Belmond El Encanto, a luxurious resort that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The hotel is both glamorous and laidback, with restored 1920s features and modern additions. Stroll through seven acres of landscaped gardens with views of the city below, or take a dip in their stylish zero-edge pool. Belmond El Encanto offers guests a variety of culinary options, including formal meals in The Dining Room and Terrace, afternoon tea in The Lounge, and beverages in The Wine Room and The Bar. Experience their fine dining fully with the Gourmet Package, which includes luxury accommodations, a $150 dinner credit per stay, a $60 breakfast credit each day, and access to the spa and gym.

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Local Festivals

Both the Santa Barbara Beer Festival and the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival are happening on Saturday, October 15th. Choose your favorite, or attend both! The Beer Festival will be held at Elings Park from 12-4 pm, and will feature more than 20 breweries, as well as some cider and wine. You can also expect food vendors and live music. Head down to the water from 10 am to 5 pm for the Harbor & Seafood Festival. Sample a variety of fresh fish, watch boating demonstrations, browse local arts and crafts, and get free admission to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

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Cabrillo Bike Path

With balmy weather and a picturesque coastline, Santa Barbara is an excellent place for a bike ride. Try the Cabrillo Bike Path, an easy ride right next to the water. The flat and paved route runs along the coast for about five miles, with plenty of grassy areas along the way where you can stop for a picnic. Go solo or rent a tandem bike to ride with friends.

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Santa Barbara Wine Collective

The Santa Barbara Wine Collective tasting room, situated between Downtown Santa Barbara and the beach, is the best and easiest way to get a taste of the amazing wine made in the Santa Barbara area. The collective consists of five different local wineries – Fess Parker, Notary Public, The Paring, Ca’Del Grevino, and Babcock Winery. Sample wines from each at the tasting room, where you can buy flights, glasses, or bottles and order in food from select local restaurants.

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Lotusland

For over 40 years, Madame Ganna Walska created beautiful gardens full of exotic plants on her Santa Barbara estate. After her death the estate became Lotusland, now open to the public. Spanning 37 acres, Lotusland encompasses 20 different themed gardens and over 3,000 different kinds of plants. See 300 species of cacti on raised beds and viewing terraces in the Cactus Garden, centuries-old stone figures in the Theater Garden, and lotuses and water lilies in the Water Garden. Reservations are required.

Beach and Brews | Santa Cruz, California

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Santa Cruz is a vibrant beach town with an expanding craft beer scene. Enjoy a getaway at the beautiful Santa Cruz Dream Inn, a beachside hotel with a craft beer package that will allow you to taste the city’s best brews. This weekend, attend a cider tasting extravaganza when the Hard Core Cider Tour stops in Santa Cruz. While you’re in town, spend some time at the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and witness the strange effects of the world-famous Mystery Spot.

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Santa Cruz Dream Inn

The retro-modern Santa Cruz Dream Inn is right on the beach and a short walk away from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Downtown Santa Cruz. Rooms are decorated in a light and airy beach style, each one featuring a serene view of Monterey Bay. Explore the city’s craft beer scene with the Santa Cruz Beer Trail package. Stay two nights and save 15% off, plus embark on a self-guided expedition through 10 breweries with a Santa Cruz Beer Trail Passport.

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Hard Core Cider Tour

Santa Cruz is the first stop on the Hard Core Cider Tour. The tour, which will also stop in Pasadena and San Luis Obispo, aims to get people excited about craft cider while raising money for local charities. The event will be held in San Lorenzo Park on October 8th from 1 – 4 pm. Try unlimited two-ounce samples of 25 local and international ciders, sample bites from local food trucks, and enjoy live music and jumbo lawn games. Buy tickets here.

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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an amusement park right on the beach. Spend an afternoon strolling down the boardwalk, which offers more than 30 attractions including rides, miniature golf, laser tag, arcades, bowling, and shopping. Don’t miss the Giant Dipper and the Looff Carousel, two historic rides that have been a part of the boardwalk since 1924 and 1911, respectively.

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Saturn Café

The Saturn Café is a ‘50s-style diner that specializes in vegetarian and gluten-free options. The restaurant is 100% vegetarian, and has been committed to social and environmental justice since they opened in 1979. Attuned to peoples’ desire for healthy versions of classic American comfort food, they serve delicious meat-free burgers and sandwiches. We recommend the Space Cowboy burger, a vegetarian “Saturn patty” topped with “bacon”, onion strings, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce. For dessert, try one of their creamy milkshakes – they even make vegan shakes.

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Mystery Spot

Venture into the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz to visit the Mystery Spot. It’s a “gravitational anomaly,” where inside a 150-feet diameter the laws of physics and gravity seem to change. Whether you join those that believe the spot’s eccentricities are a result of an alien spaceship or those who believe it’s geology, there’s no denying that the Mystery Spot is intriguing and entertaining. Take a 45-minute tour, during which your guide will tell you about the strange effects within the Mystery Spot and point out opportunities to experience them yourself.