Kick off 2017 in Borrego Springs | Borrego Springs, California

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

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La Casa del Zorro

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

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Font’s Point

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

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Go Golfing

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

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Kesling’s Kitchen

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

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Bighorn Fudge Co.

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

Holiday Celebrations in Austin | Austin, Texas

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

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Lone Star Court

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

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Mexic-Arte Museum

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

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Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

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

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Mozart’s

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

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Austin Trail of Lights

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

Holiday Celebrations in San Francisco | San Francisco, California

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

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Fairmont San Francisco

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

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Sears Fine Food

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

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Embarcadero Center

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

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SoMa StrEat Food Park

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

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Japantown

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

Holiday Celebrations in San Diego | San Diego, California

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

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La Valencia

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

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Birch Aquarium

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

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Liberty Station

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

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Outdoor Ice Skating

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

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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

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

Thanksgiving Getaway | Chicago, Illinois

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Visit the Windy City for a Thanksgiving getaway this year. Beautiful decorations and exciting events make Chicago a lively place to be during the holiday season. Experience festive attractions like the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade and Christkindlmarket, a European-inspired holiday marketplace. A trip to Chicago is the perfect way to kick off the holidays.

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Kinzie Hotel

Stay at the Kinzie Hotel in downtown Chicago’s trendy River North district. It’s close to the Magnificent Mile, the Loop, and the city’s best restaurants and nightlife. The Explore Chicago Package is the perfect way to experience the city. The Kinzie Hotel will welcome you with traditional Garrett Popcorn and a city pass that gets you into attractions such as Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, 360 Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Art Institute. You’ll also enjoy breakfast each day and hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each evening.

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Bub City

Bub City is a popular Chicago restaurant that specializes in delicious barbeque and comfort foods such as brisket, fried chicken, and mac & cheese. With live bands and karaoke nights, it’s a fun place for a night out with friends. On Thanksgiving, Bub City will be open from 11 am to midnight serving hickory-smoked turkey, cornbread and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberries. While some Thanksgiving dinners can cost you upwards of $80, this one is a surprisingly reasonable $17 per person.

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McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

Originally called the Christmas Caravan, this parade started in 1934 to boost morale during the Depression. Today, the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade is an impressive display of floats, marching bands, staged performances, and celebrity guests. This year, see stars from Veep, Shameless, Chicago Fire, and Lethal Weapon. Watch the parade on State Street from Congress to Randolph. Make sure to get there early, and bring plenty of jackets and blankets – in late November, the average high is 42 degrees!

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Christkindlmarket

Christkindlmarket is an outdoor holiday marketplace in downtown Chicago. Modeled after Germany’s 16th century Christkindlesmarkt, it brings a taste of European culture and tradition to Chicago and is a fun holiday activity for all ages. Browse handmade goods, enjoy live music, and sample classic German foods such as sausages, potato pancakes, and Strudel. Be sure to try a glass of Gluhwein, German hot spiced wine that’s perfect on a chilly night. The market is open through Christmas Eve.

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Magnificent Mile

Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is a 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue with some of the city’s best restaurants, shops, museums, and hotels. Stroll down the street to get acquainted with Chicago and see the impressive architecture of its most iconic buildings. For incredible views of the Magnificent Mile, downtown Chicago, and the waterfront, head up to 360 Chicago. The observation deck, located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, towers above the city at 1,000 feet. At the top, grab a coffee or a cocktail while you admire the panorama.

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.

Spooky Nights in San Diego | San Diego, California

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October is the ideal time to visit San Diego. The weather is still mild enough for a day at the beach, but the crowds of summer are long gone. Stay at the historic Hotel del Coronado for a beach escape during Halloween. San Diego has a number of Halloween events and attractions that you’ll find both terrifying and fun.

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Hotel del Coronado

Bask in luxury under the iconic red rooftops of the Hotel del Coronado, a San Diego landmark since 1888. The seaside resort has numerous ocean-view eateries, pools and hot tubs complete with cabanas and a bar, and a relaxing spa. The hotel is steps from a pristine beach and just a short distance from the island’s shops and restaurants. Book the Beach Village Offer and stay in one of their secluded cottages or villas with personal concierge service, daily breakfast, and a $200 resort credit.

Get your costumes ready! Attend the Hotel del Coronado’s Hallo-wine & Spirits event on Saturday, October 29th. It begins with a reception featuring tasty snacks, then transforms into a party with dessert, drinks, dancing, and a costume contest.

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Coronado Brewing Company

Coronado Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years of making craft beer in San Diego. Stop by the Coronado Brew Pub for lunch and a beer. We love the Mermaid’s BBQ Burger, topped with bacon, white cheddar, red ale BBQ sauce, and crispy fried onions. Pair it with the Coronado Blood Orange Wit, a crisp and citrusy beer infused with blood orange tea.

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The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel is San Diego’s longest running haunted house. Located in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, it’s the perfect activity if you’re looking for a Halloween scare. Enter the haunted house and encounter a Hellevator, zombie alley, island of dolls, clown subway, and torture temple. Can you make it out?

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The Haunted Trail

Like The Haunted Hotel, The Haunted Trail is a fantastic Halloween tradition. The outdoor, mile-long path in Balboa Park is sure to terrify even the most courageous of visitors. Start out in “The eXperiment,” a 3,500 square foot maze of incarcerated lost souls. If you make it through, you’ll move on to brave the chainsaws, ghouls, and horrific characters of the Trail.

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The Scream Zone

San Diego’s largest Halloween attraction is The Scream Zone, a complex of horrors at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Enter The Scream Zone for free and enjoy food vendors, photo opportunities, and a bar. From there, you can choose which attractions to purchase tickets for. Highlights this year include KarnEvil, a frightening carnival freak show, and Zombie Boot Camp, an obstacle course that will get you ready for the zombie apocalypse. The Scream Zone also includes a House of Horror and Haunted Hayride.

Halloween in LA | Los Angeles, California

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There’s no better place to experience Halloween than Los Angeles. See your favorite horror films and television shows come to life at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, then take a ride on the terrifying Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. Here’s your guide to the city’s scariest Halloween events and attractions.

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The Garland

Located in North Hollywood, The Garland is only a short distance from Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, and Griffith Park. Built in 1970, the hotel reflects an old-school Hollywood style with retro-modern rooms. The Garland offers unique activities for guests, like Dive-In Movies shown poolside every Friday and Saturday. Book their Universal Studios Package, which includes a deluxe room, tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, free transportation to the park, and Early Park Admission.

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Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

Visit Universal Studios after dark for Halloween Horror Nights, a terrifying celebration of Halloween featuring attractions from famous horror films and TV shows. This year’s highlights include seven new mazes based on The Exorcist, Halloween, Freddy vs. Jason, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and American Horror Story. You can also step into landscapes from The Walking Dead, where you’ll fight your way through zombies in an immersive experience. Horror Nights also includes rides, shows, and Scare Zones. It requires separate admission, but you can purchase a Day/Night Combo ticket that will allow you to experience Horror Nights and the park’s regular attractions.

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800 Degrees

Taste LA’s best pizza at 800 Degrees, a restaurant that masterfully combines authentic Italian and contemporary Californian flavors. Their pizzas are Neapolitan and wood-fired, made with flour imported from Naples, Italian tomatoes, and local mozzarella and vegetables. The crust is chewy and flavorful, thick on the sides and paper-thin in the middle. Create your own pizza by choosing one of their bases and adding gourmet toppings. We like the Verde base, which comes with pesto, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, topped with caramelized onions and chicken.

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The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is another classic Halloween attraction. It’s held every year in Griffith Park, a historic wooded park in North Hollywood that has served as a filming location for countless movies, including Halloween. Climb aboard the Haunted Hayride and experience scary scenes with live actors and frightening effects. The theme of this year’s hayride is “Secret Society,” exploring darkness, power, and evil. Guests will journey through one of two different paths and then face an initiation section on foot. You can buy tickets for just the hayride, or purchase a general admission ticket that will give you access to different attractions like the suburb of Hell, a Scary-Go-Round, Theatre Macabre, murder scenes at Death Row, pumpkin carving, and psychic readings.

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MILK

Stop by MILK for a late-night snack after the Haunted Hayride. A favorite with locals, the dessert shop offers a medley of treats such as cookies, brownies, pastries, ice cream, milkshakes and sundaes. They’re famous for their macaron ice cream sandwiches, which have generous portions of gourmet ice cream between two large macarons. Try flavors like green tea, strawberry, and fruity pebbles.

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, California

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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.