How to Plan Your First Adventure Together
Getting out of your comfort zone can be a little stressful, but it has also been shown to benefit couples for numerous reasons. Here's what to know.
According to a survey from the U.S. Travel Association, couples who travel together have happier, healthier relationships compared to those who tend to stay local. The survey also found that couples who enjoy joint vacations ultimately feel more satisfied and romantic, communicate better, and even enjoy greater intimacy.
While traveling can propel your relationship forward, planning your next adventure comes with its caveats and stressors. Determining the best destination to visit, how to plan and what to expect can all create bumps in the road to your journey. Nonetheless, take your vacation planning in stride and tackle one detail at a time to work toward planning your first adventure together. Here’s how to get started.
Location and Luxury—Plus Great Culinary Scenes
When planning your next trip, consider one of these five destinations where you can relax and rejuvenate.
We all need a break. How amazing does it sound to venture out into the tamed agriculture gems of the country to explore amazing fresh cuisine and drink only to be followed by luxury accommodations to wind down? We think so too, which is why we put together these five spots for your next stops.
Yakima Valley is home to the largest variety of produce in the Pacific Northwest including 78 percent of the hops grown in the entire nation. With fields, farms, and orchards at every turn, it’s easy to eat local in this abundant sun-kissed land. It’s also inspirational.
4 Resources to Grasp California Country
California is a large state. In fact, it's physically the 3rd largest in the U.S. These 4 references will help when you travel.
From the Lodi appellation to the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, California has some remarkable destinations to visit. We've compiled four resources that we believe will help entertain, commute and engage you and your senses.
Quarryhill Botanical Garden
Quarryhill is a woodland garden cradled in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains featuring more than 20,000 plants of wild origin in a natural setting. Winding gravel paths pass flowering shrubs, exotic shade trees, and tranquil ponds. The gently rolling hills are planted with rare and endangered species grown from seed that was wild collected in East Asia. This is a real hidden gem.
Crashing in California
Take a look at these accommodations to get the most out of your California trip.
There's so much to see, do and taste when traveling the state of California you'll want to find a great place to lay your head and keep the trip going. Your hospitality needs will be more than met at these four amazing locations, plus we have a bonus suggestion for getting around wine county.
The Historic Cary House Hotel
In the heart of California’s Gold Country wine region, the Historic Cary House Hotel has been a popular respite since it first opened in 1857.
Coast to Coast Adventure
Prepare your tastebuds and your sense of excitement with these 3 destinations.
From East Coast to West Coast, this beautiful country has sites, sounds and adventure to take in. These three spots located in the Northwest and Northeast offer a little something for everyone, including delicious food, wine, golf, horseback riding and more.
8 Tasty Travels & Stays
We believe in traveling where the food and drink are good. These eight destinations are sure to hit the spot.
We recognize that getting away these days is tough. Just planning a simple trip can be consuming. We did some of the legwork for you by highlighting the following amazing destinations that will satisfy all your senses.
On average the sun shines more than 300 days a year on the fertile Yakima Valley, making it a mecca for wine, spirits, and farm-to-table food. Home to more than 17,000 acres of vineyards, including Washington State’s oldest AVA, the Yakima Valley provides the grapes for more than one-third of the wines produced in the entire state. Besides nearly 100 wineries and five distinct AVAs within 70 miles, the Yakima Valley provides grapes to an impressive number of winemakers throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Top 10 Tips for Being Together at Sea
Ever wanted to take the adventure of a lifetime on the sea? Here's a husband's quick guide on getting your wife aboard.
Nobody believes me when I tell them it was actually Cathy’s idea to sail around the world—but it’s true. Having been a banker, Cathy presents such an organized and proper exterior, who would think she would be willing to make the sacrifices in creature comforts and security to take on the adventure of a lifetime. When we first met, she was contemplating a world tour by air but my international business travel and subsequent tightening of airline security made that sound less attractive to me. Thirty-five years later, I guess she figured out how to finally get me to go on her circumnavigation.
6 Country Roads to Cruise in Santa Ynez Valley
With all the talk of ride-sharing apps and self-driving cars, we can sometimes forget the pleasure of driving a quiet country road and enjoy the scenery.
The stunning Santa Ynez Valley, about 125 miles north of Los Angeles, is a road tripper's dream with barely traveled rural routes leading from town, to village, to winery. Here are six roads you'll want to cruise down.
Alamo Pintado Road
The short drive from Los Olivos to Solvang has something for everyone, from a lavender farm and several wineries with tasting rooms to miniature horses to admire from the road and a playground. The charming hamlet of Ballard lies just off Alamo Pintado. For window shopping, wine tasting, and a meal, take a stroll through Solvang or—just a few miles east—downtown Santa Ynez.
5 Travel Gems That Will Enhance Your Trip
Find the special moment in your next trip by trying one of these experiences.
When you travel, you sometimes get surprised not by the original destination, but by how great an accommodation, a view or a restaurant is. It's these moments that stick in your memory long after you've returned home. Here are five destinations that have some fantastic gems you don't want to miss.
Wine & Roses
Spa: The Spa at Wine & Roses provides a tranquil setting with its own quiet outdoor patio under the shade of mighty oak trees. Ranked number 19 in Spa of America’s Top 100 Spas of 2012, it offers a tempting menu of body treatments, facials, and more.
Your 2-Day Tour Guide Through Traverse City
Traverse City is a remarkable place with an amazing amount of adventure waiting for your weekend visit.
Known for its natural beauty, wines, food, music, and art, Traverse City has so much to offer, it makes our heads spin. Here's our "Don't Miss" list for first timers.
Start your tour just northwest of Traverse City proper at The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a 64-mile stretch along the shore of Lake Michigan. Named the Most Beautiful Spot in America in 2011 by viewers of Good Morning America, this stunning national park holds many treasures. Enjoy a walk or swim, or discover the Glen Haven “ghost port.”
Come Visit: Spaniard Missionaries Brought Winemaking to this Region 200 Years Ago
Just east of San Francisco rests Livermore Valley, a jewel of a winemaking region with a rich California history.
Nestled an hour east of San Francisco, the Livermore Valley is one of California’s oldest wine growing regions. Surrounded by lush vineyards, picturesque hills and quaint suburbs, the Livermore Valley has a rich history of wine making. Fifth generation winemakers, new winemakers and vineyardists all work in unison to usher the Livermore wine region into a new era of wine renaissance.
Top 10 Tips for Traveling Couples
Vacations shouldn't turn into fights. With these tips and considerations you'll reconnect in the stress-free way you dream about.
"Honey, let’s go on vacation! We need a rest! A break! Let’s get out of here!"
If those phrases sound familiar, you know the draw of getting away from it all. Whether your dream is to head to the beach, the mountains, or a far-off land, traveling offers opportunities for rest, relaxation, and discovery. Yet, even as we seek the rejuvenation and delights of travel, most of us have experienced journeys gone awry. A mountain of mishaps, from sunburns to disagreements over plans and directions, can leave couples drained and regretful instead of revived and rejuvenated.
4 Stays to Rejuvenate On California's Central Coast
Relax, indulge and refresh your marriage at one of these beautiful and comfortable boutique hotels.
Between Los Angeles and San Francisco resides some of the most beautiful coastline on the planet. More than that, there are world class golf courses, wineries, spas and much more. These four boutique hotels offer luxury and comfort to make the most of your stay.
Apple Farm's Wine Country Inn
San Luis Obispo, CA
The delightfully charming Apple Farm Inn offers 104 individually decorated guest rooms, each with its own fireplace. Beyond well-appointed accommodations, Apple Farm has three acres of landscaped grounds
Tips for a Romantic Road Trip Adventure
Let these simple tips be your guide in planning the perfect summer road trip.
The sun is out, the windows are down and you and your honey are ready for an adventure. Fill up the tank and embark on a road trip that visits some of the most picturesque and unique locations of America. Create an itinerary that is tailored to the interests of you and your spouse—this is great for honeymoons too. Additionally, make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment, and plan so that your transportation and accommodation logistics will fall into place. Here are some useful tips and destination ideas for your romantic adventure.
Santa Ynez: An Underappreciated California Gem
While Napa and Sonoma get all the headlines, Santa Ynez quietly delivers California's charm.
It’s a glorious descent from the Santa Ynez Mountain range into the long, fertile Santa Ynez Valley. For wine tourists coming from the city of Santa Barbara, the first vista view is so stunning, they often pull off the road to take it all in. The Santa Ynez Valley is Santa Barbara County’s largest AVA region covering 76,000 acres with more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms to discover.
It’s about as authentic Wild West as you’ll find these days, with lone cattle grazing on golden hills; silent, narrow country lanes; and farmers wearing cowboy hats in the fields. There’s more elbow room in the Santa Ynez Valley. But don’t let the wide-open spaces fool you. In every direction, there is plenty to see and do.
Le Puy A Wine Valley Inn Offers A Modern B&B for Oregon Wine Country
Built by two resident architects, Le Puy was designed to make your wine country excursion as relaxing and rebalancing as possible.
With a romantic and tranquil setting, organic cuisine, and a spa-like atmosphere, Le Puy A Wine Valley Inn provides everything one needs to relax and rebalance in the heart of Northern Willamette Valley Wine Country. Although this beautiful oasis may first sound like a traditional bed and breakfast, with a home-like atmosphere and owners in residence, Le Puy is a more modern, "new age" B&B, geared to suit the needs of today’s discerning traveler.
3 Culturally Enriching Cities to Vacation for Couples
Get out and learn, relax and find yourself in these amazing summer destinations.
You're the type of couple who finds cruise ships, theme parks and tour groups lack the vibrant culture you seek when traveling. You want to spend your precious vacation time away from the office in a place that is enriching, captivating and rewarding to your souls. Why sit in a beach chair when you can get out there and really experience life, stress-free, in a location where real people are actually living and working to make their community a draw to the rest of the world? Here are some great places to experience a more culturally enriching vacation:
The Perfect Wine, Golf and Spa Resort
The Silverado Resort and Spa is located in the heart of Napa and surrounded by a PGA golf course.
Set on more than 1,200 acres of land in the heart of Napa Valley, Silverado Resort and Spa is a captivating landmark destination. The AAA Four Diamond hotel property features 370 guest rooms, two 18-hole PGA championship golf courses, two restaurants, a 16,000-square foot spa, 30,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and conference space, 13 tennis courts, 10 swimming pools, and a fitness center.
2-Day Tour: An Amador County Itinerary
Check out the jam-packed two-day itinerary of Amador County, a place rich in history and taste, from the editor-in-chief of Touring & Tasting magazine.
There's so much to do in California’s Gold Country! Just 45 miles east of Sacramento, Amador County beckons with beautiful rustic vistas, historic downtowns, and rolling scenic vineyards. Here’s a sneak peek at the itinerary for my next visit.
Day One: I’ll start with a walking tour of Sutter Creek’s Main Street where 62 historic buildings remind us of the county’s intriguing past. Then I’ll brunch at Hanford House Inn’s Element Restaurant (I’ve been told to try the Miners Hash).
Rejuvenate Your Marriage at The Resort at Port Ludlow
From amazing restaurants, fantastic vistas and amazing golf, there's something for everyone at The Resort.
On the shores of the Puget Sound’s Olympic Peninsula, just a 90-minute drive or 15-minute seaplane ride from Seattle, The Resort at Port Ludlow is a charming oasis. Originally settled by members of the S’Kallam Tribe, it was named in 1841 during the first U.S. Navy expedition to map and chart the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula.
The resort is well-appointed, with a 37-room boutique waterfront inn, a 300-slip marina, and a championship 18-hole golf course, recognized as a Top Course to Play in 2012 by Golfweek. The resort’s intimate suites include gas fireplaces, jetted tubs, and sitting areas.
Celebrate All the Festivities Yakima Valley Has to Offer
From pet-friendly restaurants and breweries to barrel tasting and blues festivals, there's always something to sample in Yakima Valley.
A bit more than two hours southeast of Seattle in Central Washington, Yakima Valley has an average of 300 days of sunshine and a bounty of just about everything. If it grows in the Pacific Northwest, there’s a good chance it grows in abundance in the Yakima Valley, which is home to four American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), more than 70 wineries, and over one-third of the state’s vineyard acres. Yakima Valley also grows more than 40 commercial crops, including 78 percent of the hops harvested in the entire United States! It’s almost impossible to not eat local, with fields, farms, and orchards in every direction. With so many vineyards in the area, it seems only natural to stroll through one and see how the grapes are grown. Here, you can walk through most every vineyard with the winemakers themselves. Many of the wineries serve as venues for up-and-coming musicians, and the valley is fast becoming a hub for great live music.
Omni San Francisco Hotel: The Ideal Romantic Getaway
San Francisco is a magical city known for classic elegance and forward-thinking, all of which can be experienced at the Omni San Francisco Hotel.
On the corner of Montgomery and California Streets in downtown San Francisco, the Omni San Francisco Hotel provides guests with a splendid blend of tradition and elegance for all the needs of today’s sophisticated traveler. As part of the historically accurate restoration of the renowned 1926 Financial Center building, the stunning 362-room luxury hotel features an open and airy two-story lobby atrium, beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, a 1,500-square-foot fitness center, well equipped meeting rooms, a Grand Ballroom with an adjacent outdoor terrace, and the financial district’s only award-winning steakhouse.
Enjoy the Pleasures of Good Food, Drink and Community in Prosser
A farming community that bubbled up during the Northern Pacific Railroad expansion in the 1880s, Prosser today offers a lot to enjoy.
Just three hours south of Seattle, the birthplace of the Washington wine industry sits on the eastern edge of the Yakima Valley, flanked by rolling hills and acres of vineyards and agriculture as far as the eye can see.
Prosser is nestled in the foothills of the Yakima Valley, and the Yakima River wraps around this bucolic, historic town on three sides. With Mount Adams commanding the vista to the west and the Horse Heaven Hills AVA stretching to the Columbia River to the south, Prosser is surrounded by stunning scenery and a hive of wine activity. With a history that dates back to the early 1880s and the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad main line through Yakima Valley, this long-standing farming community is bubbling. You can smell the cherry and apple blossoms during spring bloom.
Family Time: Great Outdoor Adventure Awaits at The Alisal Guest Ranch
Since 1946, guests have enjoyed the outdoor activities of this working cattle ranch.
Located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country on a 10,000-acre working cattle ranch, the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort gives wine tourists enough outdoor activities to be considered a real vacation. Established as a cattle ranch more than 150 years ago, the Alisal started welcoming summer guests in 1946.
The Alisal hearkens back to early California living at its finest. The tidy yet spacious grounds contain 73 guest units decorated in classic California ranch design with studio or one-bedroom suite floor plans. Each cozy room provides complimentary firewood to burn in the working fireplace, a refrigerator, and many creature comforts.
8 Tips to Help Business Travelers Pack Light (While Still Looking Like a Boss)
If the thought of packing for your upcoming business trip makes you want to stick to telecommuting, use these tried-and-true tips.
Even for seasoned road warriors, suitcase packing tends to be a dreaded chore. Is there really a foolproof method for fitting suits, business casual, and casual attire (not to mention shoes, toiletries, and other accessories) into a carry-on bag… without forgetting anything essential?
In most cases, the answer is "yes."
Many business travelers overpack in order to prepare for every eventuality. After all, no one wants to wear yesterday’s wrinkly button-down to a client dinner that cropped up unexpectedly.
Let Beau Wine Tours Provide a Guided Taste Through Napa
Not only will you experience Napa Valley in comfort, but you'll receive a tailored tour to make the most out of your wine tasting adventure.
Widely known as the Napa region’s premier wine country destination tour service, Beau Wine Tours creates lifetime memories for its clients. The company is owned by Thomas Buck, whose passion for wine, wine country, and education are apparent at every turn.
Although the fleet of 60 spotless vehicles—ranging from luxury town cars to Mercedes Benz Sprinters—is quite impressive, Beau Wine Tours has built a stellar reputation with its uncanny ability for building meaningful relationships with its clients and understanding their needs.
Loudoun County: Wine & Rec
Walk, bike, horse ride, explore. Loudoun County includes enough history and activities to keep everyone engaged for an unforgettable getaway.
Known as DC’s wine country for its proximity to the heart of Washington, DC (just 25 miles), Virginia’s Loudoun County provides a breath of fresh air and so much to discover.
The rolling hills of Loudoun County are a treasure trove for visitors looking for something to do. Its countryside has remained untouched for decades, with winding roads that lead past elegant estates and picturesque horse farms. Loudoun County is proud of its equestrian legacy, as evidenced by its many race tracks, riding trails, shows, and equestrian-related museums. The gently rolling pastoral landscape is a haven for golfers, hikers, rock climbers, cyclists, and birdwatchers. There are family farms and dozens of tasting rooms to visit, as well as art exhibits, concerts, and theatre to take in.
Expand Your Palate at The Marc Restaurant
While you make your stay at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, be sure you book a reservation at one of Washington's best restaurants.
Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center is a landmark and storied gathering place for the local community and visitors alike. Anchoring historic downtown Walla Walla, WA, the sophisticated Old World property includes a luxury hotel, an expansive modern conference center, six on-site wine tasting rooms, an art gallery, and a nationally recognized award-winning restaurant with a casual wine lounge.
A Relaxing Retreat Perfect for Every Season
A changing menu, a cozy piano lounge, exquisite spa and always comfortable accommodations make Wine & Roses a Lodi must-visit.
Situated on the outskirts of Lodi, California, Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa is everything guests long for in a wine country retreat. It is owned by lifelong Lodi native Russ Munson and his wife Kathryn, who wanted to create a true destination for wine enthusiasts eager to discover Lodi and its wonderful wines. This exceptional seven-acre property offers serenity, beauty, and all of the comforts of a luxurious home in the heart of Lodi Wine Country.
Building Great Things is What Ledson Does
Ledson Winery & Vineyards is the result of having a construction background with wine running through your veins.
Steve Ledson, fifth generation farmer, winemaker, and owner of Ledson Winery & Vineyards in Kenwood, and Ledson Hotel & Centre du Vin in Sonoma, has an uncanny knack for realizing his visions. When he was 13, his first soapbox derby car won the prize for its construction. He grew up and founded Ledson Construction in the heart of Sonoma Valley wine country. He pursued a successful career, but with winegrowing in his blood, it’s no surprise that Steve wanted to plant his own vineyard. He purchased a 21-acre property, planted 17 acres to Merlot, and started building a house for his family.
Temecula Valley: Southern California's Wine Destination
Over 40 wineries can be found in Southern California's largest AVA.
Just 60 minutes from San Diego, Orange County, and Palm Desert and 90 minutes from Los Angeles, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country has a sunny, relaxed spirit.
Derived from the region’s largest Native American ancestral village, the name Temecula has come to mean "land where the sun shines through the mist." It’s a perfect name for Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, a region where the rolling hills framed by a mountain ridge are routinely kissed by morning mist, warm midday sun, cooling afternoon breezes, and cooler nights. One of the many delightful things about this 32-square-mile valley is its proximity to San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Desert, and Orange County. It’s easy to get there and easy to relax in the spirit synonymous with Southern California.
Fountaingrove Inn: Contemporary Amenities, Sonoma Style
The Fountaingrove Inn and The Steakhouse @ Equus offer a delicious and comfortable retreat.
With an ideal location in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country, with easy access to the quaint towns of Healdsburg and Sonoma, as well as the famed Dry Creek, Alexander, and Russian River Valley appellations, Fountaingrove Inn and The Steakhouse @ Equus provide gracious accommodations to leisure and business guests alike. It’s amazing how close this hospitable oasis is to everything we know and love about Sonoma County: wine country, redwood forests, the Sonoma Coast, and even small boutiques and shopping!
Costa Rica: The Pros and Cons for Traveling Couples
12 reasons to visit Costa Rica and what considerations need to be taken.
Costa Rica is one of those places that ends up on every bucket list and for good reason. With many parts of Central and South America always in political flux or surrounded by negative media coverage, Costa Rica is a haven for travelers looking to experience all the beauty without any of the danger.
Our adventures have taken us around the world and finally they have led us to Costa Rica. We want to share with you some of the positives and negatives we have experienced, and hopefully help you make an informed decision while you embark on your journey.
Palace Hotel: San Francisco Jewel
A San Francisco icon, the Palace Hotel is the perfect destination for luxury and romance.
An icon in San Francisco, the Palace Hotel seamlessly merges historic grandeur with modern technology and innovation. The hotel’s architecture showcases original Austrian crystal chandeliers, Italian marble, and intricately worked stained glass. Welcoming guest accommodations are presented by 556 newly renovated rooms with 11-foot ceilings, expansive windows, and original details and elements. The fresh design approach captures timeless warmth and elegance beautifully married with chic, contemporary elements.
A Winning Combination Awaits at Twin Pine Casino & Hotel
A wine-themed casino is conveniently located between Napa Valley and Lake County.
Owned and operated by the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California, Twin Pine Casino & Hotel offers wine tourists the fun and luxury of a premier casino, hotel, and restaurant—nearly halfway between the wineries of the northern Napa Valley and Lake County. Said to be the only wine-themed casino destination in the United States, Twin Pine Casino & Hotel attracts discerning guests who like to blend their love of casino life and wine.
Your Early Fall Guide to NYC Travel
Here are a few can't-miss highlights, including what to eat and see, when visiting New York City.
There is no place on Earth quite like New York: The Big Apple; Gotham; The City That Never Sleeps… The Capital of the World.
If you haven't been, you just have to go. Some places on earth are recommended to visit, but New York is a must see. The only downside is that there is way too much to see all in one trip. But follow these tips and you will be sure to enjoy your visit this fall no matter how many days you have.
Pismo Offers the Outdoor Vacation You Dream About
Just about every outdoor activity you can imagine is available in this breathtaking coastal California area.
There’s a destination on California’s Central Coast with everything that a wine tourist looking for classic California could ask for. A place where visitors can surf alongside locals, walk on a beautiful beach, have lunch on the boardwalk (a 1,200-foot pier), and then drive to wine country in about the time it takes to play three Beach Boys songs. The destination is Pismo Beach—offering the perfect pairing of wine and waves in a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Gold Rush: Outdoor Adventure Awaits in El Dorado County
An exploration that was sparked by the gold rush, El Dorado County in the Sierra Foothills offers an amazing family outdoor experience.
With spectacular Sierra Mountains spanning more than 1,800 square miles and elevations ranging from just a few feet to more than 10,000 feet above sea level, El Dorado County is one of the most diverse and naturally beautiful places you’ll ever visit. The 1848 discovery of gold in the American River near Coloma touched off the largest mass migration in the history of the United States. Today, this thrilling chapter of history is evident in the rustic mining towns and historic sites that dot the landscape. Now, El Dorado County is a year-round vacation destination overflowing with outdoor adventure, a welcoming wine and agricultural scene, enriching family activities, and a sense of community pride that resonates across its striking terrain.
One Majestic Road, 32 Amazing Destinations
Take your spouse by the hand, hop in your car and cruise one of the most amazing roads in the country.
California Highway 1 Discovery Route: This unrivaled 101-mile route connects 10 picturesque coastal destinations for the ultimate road trip through California’s stunning San Luis Obispo County.
Travel the world, and you won’t find any place quite like this. The dramatic windswept cliffs, pristine coves, white sandy beaches, quaint towns, and rolling vineyards of San Luis Obispo County will give you reason after reason to pull off the road to explore.
Whether you’re seeking adventure, nature, relaxation, or romance, you’ll find it—along with wonderful wines—around every bend of this compelling route of discovery. It leads you from the top of a craggy promontory overlooking the sea, along unbeaten roads and paths, to the soothing heart of wine country.
Your Next Retreat: Wine & Roses
The inn was built in 1902, has been renovated and features garden rooms and spa rooms.
Set in an environment that’s as romantic as its name, Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa offers visitors to Lodi wine country a splendid retreat. From the moment they arrive, guests feel they’re in good hands. The staff has a knack for sensing just how much pampering one requires and proceeds accordingly.
The hotel features 66 spacious guest rooms and suites located in a variety of settings. The Historic Inn, built in 1902, offers individually designed guest rooms, each with a distinctive charm. Garden Rooms boast rustic luxury, Spa Rooms emanate a Zen-like feel, and the Signature Suites are abundant with custom details and amenities.
Bavarian Culture Thrives in Leavenworth
Next to the Cascade mountains sits a German-inspired gem.
Situated near the eastern part of the Cascade Mountains with the Wenatchee River flowing through the center of town, Leavenworth is a fun-filled destination. In the early 1960s, Leavenworth adopted Bavarian culture, redesigning its architecture and creating a series of vibrant festivals. Today, Leavenworth is an ideal spot for those craving outdoor adventure, offering infinite recreational opportunities.
From hiking, climbing, horseback riding, and rafting from spring through fall, or skiing, snowboarding, and sledding in winter, it provides four seasons of fun in the great outdoors. Leavenworth is also the host of frequent celebrations and events, all rich in Bavarian tradition.
SLO: Coastal, Culinary, Cultural
Explore the three Cs of San Luis Obispo, a place so amazing Hearst built his castle here.
If you toured the entire nation, you wouldn’t find a place like California’s San Luis Obispo (SLO) County. It’s located in a primo spot—just about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Easy to get to and hard to leave, stunning San Luis Obispo County is full of possibilities for coastal, culinary, and cultural exploration, or as we like to say, "the three Cs."
Behold the Coastal Beauty
The western edge of San Luis Obispo County is defined by the Pacific Ocean. When you first lay eyes on this dramatic swath of land and how its rolling coastal hills dip down to touch the sea, you may hear yourself exclaim, "ahhh," or "wow." It’s really that beautiful. The tapestry of hills and valleys in San Luis Obispo County are simply beyond compare.
Pull In to Port Ludlow for Fun and Adventure
Beautiful scenery, golf, glorious food and much more is just a hop outside of Seattle.
On the shores of the Puget Sound's Olympic Peninsula, just a 90-minute drive or 15-minute seaplane ride from Seattle, The Resort at Port Ludlow offers guests the best of all worlds. The enchanting three-story waterfront property sits at the heart of Port Ludlow, with a history that dates back to the mid-1800s. Once a logging and shipbuilding village, it has evolved into a wonderful oasis where couples and families reside, vacation, or simply slip away for the day.
Find Family Fun at Tri-Cities
While nearly all of Washington's wineries surround Tri-Cities, there are is something for every family member to enjoy.
The Tri-Cities is located in the heart of Washington wine country in the center of the Pacific Northwest, about a three and one-half hour drive from Seattle and Portland. In fact, 99 percent of Washington's vineyards are within a 90 minute drive from the Tri-Cities, making it a mecca for wine, food and new things to do. However, Tri-Cities has amazing family-friendly activities to experience, here are just a few.
Quench Your Thirst In Yakima Valley
The agriculture, weather and a curious culture begets a beverage crafting explosion in Yakima Valley.
Escape to Yakima and the Yakima Valley in Washington State to find farm fresh experiences, and more than 100 award-winning wineries while basking in 300 days of sunshine. Enjoy the relaxing pace of the countryside and the charm of revitalized downtowns. Explore the vineyards with a winemaker, then laugh and enjoy a long leisurely lunch in Yakima or another community.
The Grape Boom of Idaho
The number of wineries in Idaho have grown over 350 percent in less than 15 years.
Idaho is considered, by some, part of the new frontier of grape-growing areas in the United States. The first grapes planted in Idaho were actually grown in Lewiston in 1864. Since then, the Idaho wine industry has been a steadily growing community for the last 30 years with remarkable growth in the past decade. With 11 wineries in 2002, Idaho is now home to more than 50, with over 1,200 acres of grapes planted. In order to see the impact Idaho wine industry is having, the Idaho Wine Commission completed an Economic Impact Study in 2014. The results were startling. It was concluded that the Idaho wine industry had a $169.3 million dollar impact in 2013 and created nearly 1,250 jobs. This growth led to an increase in visibility, more tourism, an enhanced reputation, and has created tremendous opportunity for expansion.
Is Walla Walla the Next Napa?
Famous for their Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla is making the push to be America's next wine scene hot spot.
The Walla Walla Valley is quickly becoming Washington's most prestigious and talked-about wine region out of the state's five appellations. It is also the most remote, located on the southeastern border of Washington and Oregon. Named after the city of Walla Walla in Washington, this region produces some top notch Bordeaux varietals on its 1,800 acres of vines, namely Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon: Walla Walla's two signature varietals.
The Grove Hotel: The Pulse of Boise
Located in the heart of Boise, Idaho, The Grove Hotel offers top-notch service and amenities.
Located in the heart of downtown Boise, The Grove Hotel gives guests an ideal proximity to just about everything this chic little capitol city has to offer. They’re only a few steps from the 5,000-seat CenturyLink Arena and the Boise Center, and only a few more to the Idaho State Capitol Building and all of the attractions that make Boise so inviting and cosmopolitan.
Yet, The Grove Hotel provides much more than a prime location. From the moment guests arrive, they sense something special—an elevated level of service.
Kentucky: Beyond Bourbon and Bluegrass
Good people doing good work. The food and wine scene in Kentucky has a rich history that include the nation's first commercial winery!
If you don’t already know this, it’s time you do: The beautiful state of Kentucky is home to America’s first successful commercial vineyard and winery. In the early 1800s, when the Spanish missionaries were establishing religious outposts in California, a Swiss native by the name of John James Dufour was determined to create a Swiss colony complete with a commercial vineyard, just about 25 miles from Lexington. The official year was 1798, more than 50 years before Stephen Foster composed the legendary song, "My Old Kentucky Home."
Mount Konocti: An Eruption of Fun
An active volcano that features magnificent views, lakes, hiking trails and exceptional wine possible only at this high elevation and unique soil.
On the western shore of California’s massive Clear Lake, a magnificent 4,300-foot volcano casts a majestic presence against the sky. Its core samples tell us it began to form 480,000 years ago as part of a volcanic field that experienced serious eruptions until around 38,000 B.C. When the first humans—tribal members of the Pomo Nation—settled nearby, they named it Mount Konocti, roughly translated to "Mountain Woman." Through the centuries, Mount Konocti has been a source of spiritual inspiration, legends, and wonder.
Visit the Charming Countryside Just Outside Seattle
Woodinville wine country is scenic and boasts more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms.
Located just 30 minutes northeast of downtown Seattle, charming Woodinville wine country is a showcase for almost every AVA in the state.
In the past 20 years, Woodinville has grown from the pastoral home of Washington's first and largest winery (Chateau Ste. Michelle) to a chic little town dedicated to Washington wine. Today, Woodinville boasts more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms pouring wines that represent all of Washington's 13 AVAs. Yet Woodinville has kept its small town charm. It sits at the northern tip of the Sammamish Valley, a cradle for local farms with beautiful flowers, lavender, and fabulous fresh produce.
Explore the Tastes & Sights of the Santa Ynez Valley
The largest AVA region in Santa Barbara County, Santa Ynez Valley has something for everyone from outdoor activities to luxurious stays and wine tasting.
It’s a glorious descent from the Santa Ynez Mountain range in California into the long, fertile Santa Ynez Valley. For wine tourists coming from the city of Santa Barbara, the first vista view is so stunning, they often pull off the road to take it all in. The Santa Ynez Valley is Santa Barbara County’s largest AVA region covering 76,000 acres with more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms to discover.
It’s about as authentic Wild West as you’ll find these days, with lone cattle grazing on golden hills; silent, narrow country lanes; and farmers wearing cowboy hats in the fields.
Paso Robles Inn Gets Spruced Up for City's Anniversary
At the center of Paso Robles' charming community is a restful oasis, the Paso Robles Inn.
For more than 150 years, Paso Robles Inn has provided guests a pleasurable, relaxing oasis with natural hot springs at the heart of Paso Robles’ charming downtown. Now, on the eve of the town’s 125th anniversary, the historic boutique hotel is putting the finishing touches on an extensive two-year renovation.
There’s something new yet inherently lovely about nearly every part of the property, which despite its proximity to the tasting rooms and restaurants of downtown Paso Robles, is quiet and serene.
Galleria Park Hotel: A Touch of Modern Accommodates a Rich History
Located in the heart of San Francisco, the Galleria Park Hotel has made the guest experience even better with a $4 million renovation.
Located near Union Square in the pulsating center of San Francisco, the Galleria Park Hotel is a stylish, tranquil retreat that promises complete relaxation.
Guests are invited to lounge in the lobby and partake in the complimentary morning coffee/tea and nightly wine reception. The boutique hotel, part of the Joie de Vivre collection, also offers concierge services, same-day laundry service, and free WiFi.
Galleria Park has received high accolades for its exceptional personalized service and customer care, including the Best Guest Service Award from the California Hotel & Lodging Association, an Innovation Technology Award from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
Tri-Valley Sits Just Outside San Francisco as the New Artistic Retreat
Even before the tech industry moved into San Francisco in droves, artists of all varieties began establishing the rich culture of the Tri-Valley area.
Sometimes, it’s ok to leave your heart in San Francisco: especially when you’re following your senses eastward. There, just about 30 miles as the crow flies, three stunning valleys (Amador, Livermore, and San Ramon) converge to form what has come to be known as Tri-Valley, California. This picturesque region cradles the cities of Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon, the town of Danville, and the vineyards of Livermore Valley wine country. It has also become a hotbed for all kinds of sensory exploration.
6 Reasons To Visit San Luis Obispo
From fun in the sun to relaxing at a vineyard, SLO is romantic, execting, and ready for your visit.
Did you know that the world is your oyster and San Luis Obispo (SLO) County is your playground? Home to more than 280 wineries, 80 miles of scenic coastline, scores of locally owned restaurants, a bounty of fresh foods from the farms and the sea (including oysters), enticing boutiques, artisan galleries, engaging museums, and so much more, SLO County is your place for pure play in California. Whether you’re seeking a culinary, coastal, or cultural wine touring experience, you’ll find it here. San Luis Obispo County is home to two distinct wine regions and both have earned international acclaim!
Snuggle-Up In Washington and Taste the Local Flavors at Heathman Hotel
Just outside of Seattle, the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland, features custom comforts in the room and farm-fresh food in the restaurant.
Merely steps away from the azure waters of Lake Washington, the Heathman Hotel is a peaceful oasis amid the bustle of suburban Kirkland on the outskirts of Seattle.
The upscale boutique hotel exudes elegance and warmth, pampering guests with special services and amenities such as same-day laundry and a choice of preferred mattress style: European featherbed, European pillow top, or Tempur-Pedic.
Luxurious touches are also evident in the plush guest quarters. All 91 rooms boast soft linens, comfy robes, HD televisions, complimentary WiFi, and French press coffee makers. Many even have balconies where guests can enjoy scenic views of downtown Kirkland.
Take a Trip to Washington DC's Wine Country
There are 40 wineries just a few miles outside of our nation's capital. Plus artisans of beer, spirits, and much more.
Just across the Potomac River from Washington DC, beautiful Loudoun County, Virginia beckons wine tourists with 40 wineries. It’s known as DC’s Wine Country for its proximity to the nation’s capital and is loved for the genuine experience it provides. Here, boutique wineries house tasting rooms in everything from rustic barns and winemaker’s homes to intimate cellars and architecturally stunning buildings. Whether they’re visiting for the day or a long, lazy weekend, guests often enjoy casual tours, engaging food pairings, and conversation with the winemakers who craft Loudoun’s award-winning wines. Here are five reasons for you to visit.
One of the Best Resorts on the Planet Is Closer Than You Think
Escape with your spouse to a resort experience you'll never forget with luxury you've only dreamed of.
Tucked in a secluded canyon amidst 157 acres of forested hills, Calistoga Ranch, An Auberge Resort, provides an idyllic setting for guests seeking an authentic and luxurious Napa Valley wine country experience. Here, nature blends seamlessly with architecture, creating a unique feeling of intimacy in the wilderness.
Named one of The World’s Top 100 Resorts by Robb Report in May 2014, Calistoga Ranch features 50 private resort lodges, each entrenched in its own private setting, with all the creature comforts of an exceptional home away from home.
The Santa Lucia Highlands: The Land That Inspired John Steinbeck
The land and gentle growing season helps the SLH district produce California's premier Pinot Noir.
Just 35 minutes inland from Monterey Bay lies one of the California's most famed winegrowing districts: The Santa Lucia Highlands.
The Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) is dramatically perched on the western slopes of the Santa Lucia range above the Salinas River Valley. This is the land of John Steinbeck, who walked and described this rugged district in his novels. Today, the vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms of the Highlands welcome travel-savvy visitors to an authentic agricultural heartland that has not changed much since the author’s time.
Your 3-Day Guide to Pismo Beach
Explore and unwind during your next couple's getaway weekend trip in this classic California beach town retreat.
There’s a place in the heart of California’s Central Coast where people still live the California dream. Pismo Beach is a classic beach town set on seven miles of pure white sand. It has a relaxed, friendly vibe and all the makings for a couples getaway—including the four-legged variety if you'd like to bring your pet. Pismo Beach is located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1 and Highway 101, so it’s easy to reach and settle into.
Day 1: Check In and Check Out
California's Wine History Awaits in St. Helena
With a history dating back to the mid-1800s, St. Helena is a must stop for Napa Valley travelers.
A delightful blend of old town charm and chic vitality, St. Helena in California is nestled in the heart of the Napa Valley, about 90 minutes northeast of San Francisco.
The first thing to know about St. Helena (Heh-LEE-nah) is: it’s a real, genuine town with a rich and interesting modern day history that dates back to the early 1840s. The town was incorporated in 1886, a full 25 years after Charles Krug founded the valley’s first commercial winery here. It was home to many Napa Valley pioneers, including Jacob and Frederick Beringer, and is considered to be the birthplace of the valley’s wine industry. Today, St. Helena is a cozy, yet vibrant and upbeat community dedicated to wine country hospitality; in fact, it is often referred to as the Napa Valley’s Main Street.
Visit Michigan's Momma Bear
On the shoreline of Lake Michigan rests the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where legend and adventure await.
"Long ago, along the Wisconsin shoreline, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven into Lake Michigan by a raging forest fire. The bears swam for many hours, but eventually the cubs tired and lagged behind. Mother bear reached the shore and climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for her cubs. Too tired to continue, the cubs drowned within sight of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs disappeared and then created a solitary dune to represent the faithful mother bear." The Chippewa Legend of Sleeping Bear
Woodinville: Washington's Delicious Secret
In just a 5.6 mile area, visitors can explore more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms—not to mention all the events and activities in and around the area.
Since the opening of Chateau Ste. Michelle in 1976, Woodinville, Washington has been a secret treasure on the savvy wine tourist’s map. It’s located just 30 minutes northeast of Seattle—yet it’s a world apart, a chic little town surrounded by natural beauty in every direction. The southernmost part of Woodinville overlooks the wide and fertile Sammamish Valley, which provides much of the town’s fresh produce and many trails for hiking and cycling. Although there are more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms here, there are few vineyard acres. Most of Washington’s grapes are grown east of the Cascade Mountains, but you will find an amazing array of wines from nearly all of Washington’s 13 AVAs; so you can easily taste the whole state in just a matter of days, while staying within just a few miles.
The Meritage Collection: A California Tour of Luxury and Relaxation
A collection of four resorts spanning the length of the state offers ultra-premium amenities that will have you thinking that your vacation is not in California, but in heaven.
Home to a legendary lifestyle embracing sunshine, beaches, the ocean, mountains, valleys, and vineyards that stretch in every direction. It’s a land of dreams and discovery where people pursue their passions and discover new ones along the way. For wine lovers, there’s a treasure trove of wine countries and wine tasting experiences to explore—reaching from the Napa Valley all the way south to San Diego.
Visitors from around the globe come to California to discover the amazing array of world-class wines and a lifestyle they simply can’t find anywhere else.
A Historical Napa Valley Retreat With Modern Comforts
The Rancho Caymus Inn is surrounded by wineries and is ready to become your home away from home.
With a love for the Napa Valley that stretches back three generations, the Komes family purchased Rancho Caymus in 1991, a quaint boutique hotel in an ideal wine country location.
Rancho Caymus Inn stands on land once awarded to pioneer George C. Yount as part of the Napa Valley’s first land grant. Today, the 26-suite inn provides guests an elegant retreat in the heart of the world famous Rutherford Bench wine country. Guests appreciate the property’s connection to its heritage expressed in the keen attention to detail in the Spanish hacienda’s architectural design, materials, and furnishings.
Family Getaway: Central California Dreamin'
Why Monterey California is the go-to destination everyone will love.
The search for the great family getaway is never ending. When you travel with teenagers it’s even more of a challenge. Older kids tend to go off on their own, get bored quickly and technology can quickly interfere with the time ideally spent together.
As a Californian, we have some amazing destinations to choose from. However, the challenge to find a place to keep adults and teens connected can be overwhelming.
10 Must-Visit Tasting Rooms in Livermore Valley
Less than an hour drive outside of San Francisco are some fantastic wineries to visit in Livermore Valley. Here are 10 tasting rooms you won't want to miss.
Just 35 miles east of San Francisco, Livermore Valley wine country is very easy to get to, and when you arrive, the wineries are easy to find. We’ve scouted around and assembled this list of 10 great Livermore Valley tasting rooms to visit. Some are brand new, while others have been around for a century or more. Since not all are open daily, we recommend that you check their websites as you plan your itinerary.
Napa Valley's Casino
Twin Pine Casino & Hotel is just north of Napa and the only wine-themed casino in the country.
Twin Pine Casino & Hotel, owned and operated by the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo indians of California, is ideally situated along a particularly scenic portion of Highway 29 in Middletown, California. It offers wine tourists the fun and luxury of a premier casino, hotel, and restaurant—nearly halfway between the wineries of Calistoga in northern Napa Valley and the wineries of Lake County—setting the stage for plenty of wonderful wine touring opportunities. Said to be the only wine-themed casino destination in the United States, Twin Pine Casino & Hotel attracts discerning guests who like to blend their love of casino life and wine together.
Travel With Your Dog to this Classic California Beach Town
Pismo Beach is quintessential California, with sunshine, beaches, food, wine and much more.
In the heart of California’s Central Coast, the Classic California town of Pismo Beach is living the dream. Each morning, surfers stop to assess the waves, fishermen cast lines from the magnificent pier, and owners walk their dogs along the sparkling beach. It’s amazing to realize that, in just a matter of minutes, they could all be standing in a rolling vineyard. Just up the road and around the bend, the wineries of South San Luis Obispo County, in Edna, and Arroyo Grande Valleys are waiting to be discovered.
The Perfect Romantic Washington Wine Getaway Hotel
There's a wine lounge in the hotel and more than 20 wine tasting rooms within walking distance. With a little transportation there's more than 100 options.
A landmark and storied gathering place for the local community and visitors alike, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center offers a luxury hotel, expansive modern conference center, six on-site wine tasting rooms, art gallery, and a nationally recognized gourmet restaurant and wine lounge, in downtown Walla Walla, Washington.
Imbibe, Dine & Relax at Wine & Roses
You'll feel right at home in one of the 79 spacious, individually designed guest rooms.
Set in an environment that’s as romantic as its name, Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa offers visitors to Lodi, California, wine country a splendid retreat. From the moment they arrive, guests feel they’re in good hands. The staff has a knack for sensing just how much pampering one requires and proceeds accordingly.
The hotel features 79 spacious guest rooms and suites located in a variety of settings. The Historic Inn, built in 1902, offers individually designed guest rooms, each with a distinctive charm. Garden Rooms boast rustic luxury, Spa Rooms emanate a Zen-like feel, and the Signature Suites are abundant with custom details and amenities.
Fess Parker: An Elegant, Unpretentious Wine Experience
Take a trip to beautiful Santa Barbara County and help Fess Parker celebrate their 25th anniversary of serving up delicious wine and country hospitality.
When Fess Parker purchased his 714-acre ranch back in 1987, he had a vision for the future of his family and Santa Barbara County wine country as a whole. He pictured multiple generations of the family producing wines that would express the terroir of the land he so fervently loved and believed in. An outgoing and hospitable man, he also dreamed of owning and managing an elegant and yet unpretentious inn where guests could relax and enjoy the best the country life has to offer. Today, Fess’s dreams are realized in the Fess Parker Winery, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, and the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn located in the heart of nearby Los Olivos, California.
Take a Magical & Delicious Trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train
If you're looking for a date experience you'll never forget, hop aboard the Napa Wine Train.
From the vibrant Oxbow district of downtown Napa to the charming town of St. Helena, the Napa Valley Wine Train graciously provides passengers the ultimate in culinary dining experiences. As it rolls through the very heart of this legendary wine region, fresh gourmet cuisine is prepared in its onboard kitchens and served to delighted guests in four antique dining cars. It’s an utterly delectable and unforgettable experience.
The Ultimate Resting Place for Napa Wine Tourists
The Westin Verasa Napa is centrally located, home to the Michelin Star restaurant La Toque, and offers all the comforts you expect from a Westin property.
Located just minutes from downtown Napa, the Wine Train, and Oxbow Public Market, The Westin Verasa Napa provides an exquisite oasis to wine tourists eager to explore the Napa Valley. The sleek, contemporary lobby, decorated in vineyard hues, is the first signal to guests that they are in for a treat.
The bustling Bank Café and Bar, situated several strides from the front desk, is a welcome sight for many new arrivals. Some pause there, but many are anxious to see what their guest room has in store. The Westin Verasa Napa provides 180 suites and traditional rooms built for comfort and convenience.
Relax in Sonoma at the Intimate Villa Terra Nova
Villa Terra Nova puts couples in the heart of valley where they can relax at the villa and still explore the pleasures of Sonoma Valley.
Located in the heart of Sonoma Valley, California, Villa Terra Nova offers visitors a spectacular private vacation destination while they explore Sonoma wine country. Designed for short and extended rental arrangements, the beautifully landscaped property includes a 5,500-square-foot, five-bedroom Mediterranean villa and a two-bedroom guesthouse. The spacious accommodations provide a luxurious home-away-from-home for up to 12 people.
Willamette Valley: Explore the Land of Milk and Honey
This swath of bountiful Oregon land offers up great beer, wine, cuisine, scenery and community warmth.
Just about 30 minutes southwest of Portland, the scenic beauty of the 120-mile long Willamette Valley in Oregon unfolds with an abundance of adventures and discoveries.
From the time Oregon's first settlers sunk their shovels into its fertile soils, the bountiful Willamette Valley has been called the promised land and the land of milk and honey. Today, it gives rise to some of the world's most distinctive Pinot Noirs. Geologists point to a series of ancient shifts in conditions that yielded its fascinating range of soil types. Beyond fertile, this is a generous land where people appreciate its bounty and feel inspired by its majestic mountains, hills, and valleys.
Woodinville: Lose Yourself in the Washington's Wine Country
Now boasting all of Washington's 13 AVAs, Woodinville is producing some of the best food and wine in the country.
Located just 30 minutes northeast of downtown Seattle, charming Woodinville wine country is a showcase for almost every AVA in the state.
In the past 20 years, Woodinville has grown from the pastoral home of Washington's first and largest winery (Chateau Ste. Michelle) to a chic little town dedicated to Washington wine. Today Woodinville boasts more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms pouring wines that represent all of Washington's 13 AVAs. Yet Woodinville has kept its small town charm. It sits at the northern tip of the Sammamish Valley, a cradle for local farms with beautiful flowers, lavender, and fabulous fresh produce. Rent a bicycle and follow one of the many trails, stroll alongside the river, try a freshly brewed craft beer, and listen to live music. No matter the season, there's always a fun event happening at more than one local winery or tasting room.
Explore the Sights, Sounds & Tastes of Tri-Valley
Just 30 miles from San Francisco are three stunning valleys that expand on the great and scenic food and art culture.
Sometimes, it’s ok to leave your heart in San Francisco: especially when you’re following your senses eastward. There, just about 30 miles as the crow flies, three stunning valleys (Amador, Livermore, and San Ramon) converge to form what has come to be known as Tri-Valley, California. This picturesque region cradles the cities of Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon, the town of Danville, and the vineyards of Livermore Valley wine country. It has also become a hotbed for all kinds of sensory exploration.
Relax in the Scenic Beauty of Sonoma Valley
Just a stone's throw from San Francisco, is one of the most serene patches of land found within the Golden State. Oh yeah, the food and wine are pretty good too.
Just 45 miles northeast of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge awaits Sonoma Valley: a rolling patchwork of scenic farms, parks, friendly communities, and vineyards.
Breathtakingly diverse, Sonoma Valley has earned its reputation as an authentic wine and travel destination for many good reasons. You’ll discover the reasons wherever you turn. Stop at the farm stands, farmers’ markets, and restaurants offering a bounty of local fresh produce, pungent olive oils, and artisan cheeses. Visit the state and regional parks and historic sites that tell the story of the valley’s rich history. Hike, bike, and breathe in the sweet country air. Chat with locals who gave Sonoma Valley its reputation as one of the nation’s proudest and friendliest places. And of course, sample the exquisite world-class wines that capture the aromas and flavors of this magical, yet genuine valley.
Santa Ynez Valley: Revisit the Set of Sideways 10 Years Later
It's been 10 years since the movie Sideways hit the silver screen and the Santa Ynez Valley is ready for you to create your own sequel. We hear the Pinot Noir is great.
Ten years ago, a small independent movie called "Sideways" was filmed in the Santa Ynez Valley and was released to rave reviews. The film, which tells the story of two old friends on a wine country getaway, garnered five Academy Award nominations and one win, for the adapted screenplay by writers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. It appeared on many "best" lists, launched or resurrected the careers of its actors, and had a measurable effect on the popularity of two wine varietals across the United States.
Discover the Tastes & Treasures of Traverse City
A modern gastro-paradise, Traverse City is putting Northern Michigan on the food and wine map.
Surrounded by miles and miles of unspoiled shoreline, rolling dunes, wooded glens, and 50-plus sparkling inland lakes, Traverse City, Michigan has long served as a hub for visitors as they discover Northwest Michigan’s many treasures. Through the past decade or so, this lovable town has evolved into a hip destination for visitors who seek out imaginative cuisine, distinctive wines, and a charming, but urban feel.
The Perfect Couple Retreat: Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa
Looking out at the Pacific Ocean, couples will be able to relax and reconnect at this fantastic California coastal resort.
With a splendid oceanfront location and all the luxuries one dreams of, Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa is an ideal getaway for couples, families, and executive groups. The elegant, all-suite resort sits seaside in a tranquil setting at the northern end of Pismo Beach, California.
Each of Dolphin Bay’s 60 one- and two-bedroom suites provides all the amenities of home, including a modern living room, dining room, and a gourmet kitchen. Many one-bedroom suites feature fireplaces and two-bedroom suites offer either fireplaces or jet soaking tubs. Every suite has a private laundry facility and, perhaps best of all, a terrace or patio with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean.
Indulge in the Luxury & History Found at the Marcus Whitman Hotel
Located in downtown Walla Walla the Marcus Whitman Hotel has been restored and features premier dining and luxury in Washington wine country.
Guests at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center in historic downtown Walla Walla, Washington are bound to discover warmth, comfort, and pleasures unexpected.
Originally opened in 1928, the historic hotel was renovated and restored in 2001 with 127 guest rooms and the addition of more than 13,000 square feet of event and conference space, ideal for groups of any size. Business, pleasure, or a combination of both are reasons to stay at this delightful hotel. Anniversary party anyone? You can set the mood before arrival by ordering flowers, chocolate covered strawberries and wine—48 hour notice is required.
Taking in Loudoun DC's Wine Country
Gaining in popularity, Virginia's wine country offers a full calendar of engaging events to compliment their delicious wines.
On the western banks of the Potomac River, just about 25 miles from the heart of Washington DC, beautiful Loudoun County, Virginia holds hundreds of excuses for you to get away. It’s blessed with wine, horses, Civil War history, quaint towns and villages, rave-review restaurants, and scenery so stunning, you’ll find it hard to believe that the nation’s capital is just a stone’s throw away. Loudoun County offers a full calendar of engaging events all year round, and someone there is always cooking up something innovative and new to do. Case in point: on Labor Day weekend (August 30–September 2, 2013), in partnership with Saveur magazine, Loudoun hosted the inaugural Epicurience Virginia. When they came up with the idea for the event, it was so unique, no existing name quite described it.
Timber Cove Inn: An Unspoiled Hideaway Overlooking the Sea
Located in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, Timber Cove Inn is a cozy hideaway during a Sonoma wine tasting excursion.
Guests can sense they’re about to make a wonderful Sonoma Coast wine country discovery even before they arrive at Timber Cove Inn. They follow a picturesque, winding route filled with redwood groves and jaw-dropping ocean views to a beautiful hillside bluff overlooking the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Here they find the inn, perched on a cliff overlooking one of California’s most beautiful coastlines.
Timber Cove Inn is known for its unspoiled, peaceful location and rustic rooms that celebrate a view of the ocean, cove, or forest.
The Beauty and Flavor of Southern Oregon Awaits
Between Portland and San Francisco is a wine lover's paradise.
Located about mid-way between Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California, Southern Oregon is an amazing vacation destination and oenophile’s delight.
A paradise for lovers of the great outdoors and great wines, Southern Oregon offers you mountains, rivers, green forests, pastoral plains, and vineyards planted to umpteen grape varieties. As a growing region, the Southern Oregon AVA stretches 125 miles south of Eugene to the California border, and 60 miles between the Cascade Mountain Range to the east and the Coast Range to the west. While this beautiful area provides the warmest growing conditions in Oregon, its hillsides and valleys provide an array of microclimates where cool-climate grapes successfully grow. So, expect to find an amazing amount of diversity while touring and tasting.
Dundee Hills: Boutique, World-Class Wines Just Outside Portland
A small area of densely populated vineyards makes Dundee Hills a breathtaking and delicious Oregon destination.
Less than 30 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon the spectacular Dundee Hills appellation is no longer a secret: it’s a destination.
Since the mid-1960s, the red clay loam Jory soils of the Dundee Hills have become known as an exceptional place to grow new world Pinot Noir. Today, discerning wine lovers from around the globe travel to Dundee to sample world-class wines from boutique to domain wineries, experience meals from the region that has made food a fetish, and become one with the non-stop, stunning scenery, including the distant snowcapped tips of Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. Beyond wine and food, wonderful accommodations await—everything from charming bed and breakfasts and small, quaint inns, to the height of chic.
Take an Adventure With Your Spouse on the Heritage Wine Trail
Spend an entire day visiting (and tasting) the most iconic and breathtaking wineries in Napa Valley.
From Carneros to Calistoga, the beautiful Napa Valley changes at every stretch and curve. There’s so much to discover and explore! Suppose you had one day to tour and wanted to make it perfect. What would you do? The Heritage Wine Trail is one simple answer. It takes away all the guesswork, with pre-arranged stops at four iconic wineries and a picnic lunch. Each winery treats you like a VIP and offers an utterly unique experience while you sample many fabulous wines. The timing is generous and so is the price: just $99 for the entire day. Now, isn’t that heavenly!
Most Of California's Ancient Wine Vines Are Planted Here
Contra Costa County is the perfect destination for travelers look for the "new" secret wine spot.
Just an hour east of downtown San Francisco, a sleeping giant has awakened to the delight of wine tourists eager to discover someplace "new."
Actually, when it comes to wine, Contra Costa County is anything but new. The 800-square-mile county has been producing award-winning wine and grapes for more than 120 years; and prior to the Prohibition, it was home to 50-plus wineries. Through the years, a series of historical events and its grow-ing population took Contra Costa County out of the wine industry limelight: but the region never stopped producing exceptional grapes. Giants don’t sleep forever and today, thanks to its nonstop grape friendly conditions and a sophisticated following, Contra Costa County is soaring in all sorts of ways.
Spacious Rooms Await at the Napa Valley Lodge
In the middle of the culinary capital of the Napa Valley are rooms that will recharge your batteries.
Set in a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard, the Napa Valley Lodge is located in the charming village of Yountville, California—the culinary capital of the Napa Valley.
The lodge’s exterior incorporates classic Tuscan-style architecture with arched loggias, decorative iron railings, a tiled roof, and limestone and terra cotta walkways. Renowned for its friendly and expert staff, the lodge makes sure each guest’s wine country experience is memorable by making reservations for dinner, winery tours, hot air balloon excursions, bicycle rentals, and much more.
Lake County Wine Region Flexes Strength In Youth
In just a few decades the rich soils of this Northern California region are producing award-winning wines.
A new rush is on in California's Northern Mayacamas Mountains, and it has nothing to do with gold.
In just a matter of years, Lake County has gone from a coveted resource for exceptional wine grapes to a full partner in the winemaking industry, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with neighbors Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Mendocino County. "Ten years ago, we could put maybe a dozen world-class wines on the table," says Peter Molnar, chair of the Lake County Winegrape Commission and partner and general manager for Obsidian Ridge. "Suddenly, we have 30 to 40 bottles of remarkable character and quality."
Yolo County: America's Farm to Fork Capital
Nestled between California's capital and Lake Tahoe is the fertile Yolo County.
Full of charm and surprises, Yolo County is tucked between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, less than half an hour from the steps of the capital of California in Sacramento.
Yolo County is easy to love. Its fertile fields nearly burst with abundance, and its towns hold good-hearted people who are proud of their roots. It provides many of the resources that have helped Sacramento become America’s Farm-to-Fork capital—not only through its amazing bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables, ranch-raised meats, honeys, oils, jams, and regional wines—but through its commitment to the environment and education. Yolo County is home to UC-Davis, a leader in agricultural advancement, and a slew of farms and farm communities eager to share their knowledge.
The Always Exciting Southern California Fairplex
An amazing 500-plus events take place every year at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. What are you doing this weekend?
Uniquely situated on 487 acres of park-like greenery with Art Deco architecture and modern capabilities, Fairplex, the home of the L.A. County Fair, has evolved since its 1922 beginnings in a beet and barley field into a bustling corridor of entertainment, business, and special events.
Located in Pomona, it’s easily reached from all parts of Southern California. The campus includes an 85,000-square-foot conference center; exhibition halls; two restaurants; The Learning Centers, which offer community-driven education; a museum; historic trains; a racetrack; an organic farm; an RV park; and the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center.
Explore Vibrant Downtown Napa
When you think of Napa you think wine tasting, but be sure you don't miss out on the exciting nightlife.
At the foot of the Napa Valley, charming Downtown Napa has transformed into a culinary and entertainment destination that should not be missed.
Back in 1847, the town of Napa was founded at the uppermost point of the Napa River to act as a hub for trade and transportation. Today, Downtown Napa has become a hub of a different kind, bringing world-class wine, food, and culture into one vibrant place. It seems there’s always something exciting happening in Downtown Napa: the opening of a new tasting room, a new art exhibit, or a new restaurant featuring another great chef. Rest assured, Downtown Napa is not a tourist trap. It’s genuine and real. In fact, this urban spot has become a gathering place for locals to meet, hang out, and savor all the good things Napa Valley has to offer. So next time, when in Napa Valley, do as the Napans do, and "do" Downtown Napa.
Visit the Wonderful Walla Walla in Washington
An exploding wine region makes Walla Walla the perfect place to spend the weekend and learn about wine.
At the foot of the Blue Mountains in the Southeastern corner of Washington State, lies the friendly valley of Walla Walla. Here, the weather is generally sunny and warm, and so are the people. Walla Wallans greet you with a smile, ask you where you’re from, and make you glad you came. They’re quick to tell you about all the things that make Walla Walla wonderful: the public art, the galleries, the music, the restaurants, the cooking classes, the boutiques, the colleges, the mountains, the rivers, the hiking trails, and especially the incredible wines.
The Summer Travel Survival Guide: 8 Tips to Help Parents Avoid Meltdowns on the Road
If it weren’t for the process of getting there, family trips would be a lot more fun! Here are 8 tactics to help you tone down the craziness.
If you’ve ever vacationed with kids, you know what puts the "crazy" in the crazy days of summer. Are-we-there-yets, poorly timed poops, airborne temper tantrums, lost pacifiers, and headlong races down airport terminals (while dragging luggage and a screaming baby) are enough to drive anyone insane! By the time you’ve traveled to your destination and back again, you may find yourself thinking that vacationing with children is no vacation at all.
No parent wants the fun of vacation to be spoiled by the process of getting there. The good news is, with the right information and a willingness to think ahead, you can put most of your energy toward playing in the pool instead of kid-wrangling on the road.
The Homestead: Family Paradise Found In Beautiful Northern Michigan
There's a little bit of everything for the entire family to explore from dunes and golf to a spa and cooking classes.
Nestled between stunning Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Homestead in Glen Arbor provides an ideal oasis for guests discovering the wonders of northern Michigan. Designed to highlight the beauty of its surroundings, the Homestead’s accommodations are found in separate areas—along Sleeping Bear Bay; at the edge of Crystal River; and on ridge lines overlooking Lake Michigan, the Manitou Islands, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes (named Most Beautiful Place in America by ABC’s Good Morning America). All accommodations—whether they are hotel rooms, condominiums, or homes—are given a quality rating to help guests find the spot and style of lodging that’s just right for them.
Inn at the Tides: The Best of California’s Coast & Wine Country
Bodega Bay inspired Alfred Hitchcock, but it's not just for the birds; couples will fall in love with this piece of isolated Sonoma coastline.
Simple elegance abounds, as it has for decades, at The Inn at the Tides in Bodega Bay, California. Set along the isolated Sonoma coastline, the enclave of 86 guest lodges, two restaurants, swimming pool, spa, and meeting facilities provide an ideal sanctuary for rejuvenation and relaxation.
There’s a faint feeling of recognition for many first-time guests when they arrive. Although the property boasts all the amenities of a 21st century luxury resort, they often feel like they’ve been there before, especially when they eat at The Tides Wharf Restaurant, lined with windows overlooking the bay. There’s actually a reason for this. In 1961, Alfred Hitchcock selected Bodega Bay as the location for his legendary film The Birds.
Enjoy the Surf & Turf of Pismo Beach
From surfing to hiking to biking to wine tasting and much more, Pismo offers a classic California experience.
The words "California dreaming" create an idyllic scene. We picture a strong, sturdy pier jutting out from a white pristine beach, inviting, surfable waves, graceful pelicans soaring above, and happy people enjoying it all. Even Californians are known to "California dream" because this classic California way of life isn’t as common as one might think. But there is a place where Classic California is alive. In fact, it’s thriving in Pismo Beach.
This friendly, laid-back town covers seven miles of clean, white sand on California’ s Central Coast. It is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco along scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1 and Highway 101, making it easy to get to, yet not so easy to leave.
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