Golden Getaways

Check out what California has to offer.

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Who wouldn't rather be here right now? We can all pretend, can't we?
Cesar Rubio
San Francisco’s Galleria Park Hotel is giving a gift to its guests. The Joie de Vivre property is turning 100 in 2011, and to honor the occasion the Union Square-close inn is asking for guests' birth years. The reason? If that guest is staying a second night, and the stay falls from Thursday through Sunday, then the final night's price is equal to the guest's birth year. Equal, that is, with a very cleverly placed decimal point. So if you were born in 1978, your last night at the Galleria Park isn't $1,978; it's $19.78.
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Temecula may be better known as wine country, but stop in for a tour and a tasting hosted by the Temecula Olive Oil Company.
Temecula Valley
The Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association just published five different visitors ideas, according to taste and interest. Yep, there's one for people who want try wine, which makes sense (and it makes sense that it is listed at the top). But also on the roster is the food tour, lodging ideas, the getting-around-the-vineyards bit, and, finally, what to do when supping and the sipping is done. More info here.
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Movie buffs and steam enthusiasts and the many, many people who can count themselves as both will be heading to Jamestown this spring and summer for a special ride on the Sierra No. 3. The handsome and historic Gold Country Engine has appeared in dozens upon dozens of movies. The train'll be heading down the tracks starting on Saturday, April 10; there are six more dates for 2011, and rides will conclude on Saturday, Sept. 24. More info here.
Greg Peterson
Starting April 15th, kayaks and canoes will be allowed at Lake Cachuma. Cachuma Lake Recreation Area just announced this policy change. Can summer really be far off, now that we're talking lakes and kayaks? Not all all.
The new Star Wars Miniland is opening at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad on Thursday, March 31. There are seven elaborate, meticulously detailed "Star Wars" scenes in all, from both the animated "The Clone Wars" and the live-action films. It is made up of 1.5 million bricks!
Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza
Always wanted learn how to surf? Huntington Beach’s Shorebreak Hotel is offering the Billabong Surf Experience Package. The package includes room accommodations, 2 hours of private surf instruction, gear, and a bar of organic surf wax. Click here to book it.
Kenny Karst
Yosemite’s historic Ahwahnee Hotel underwent a major facelift and reopened on March 17th. 1,700 yards of wool carpeting went down and things like high-definition televisions and artwork went up. Click here to read about what’s new.
Lucky Dragon Hotel y Casino
Sunset Magazine highlighted Avila Beach as one of the best places to stop along California’s scenic Highway 101. They described the town as “the beach town you haven’t heard of” and recommended Pete’s Pierside Cafe.
Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder
The newborn baby Blackfooted penguins at the Monterey bay Aquarium weigh only 9.5 ounces. The Splash Zone is where all the other penguins are and the babies are, of course, being raised behind the scenes. However, the aquarium says you may get a glimpse of the babies in their nest if you visit!
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The Bolinas Museum, located in beautiful Marin County, has many galleries to enjoy including a photo gallery and one-of-a-kind sculptures from Peter de Swart. Best of all, admission to the museum is free.
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The idea of staying in the most exquisite hotel rooms in the world definitely holds major appeal. Chateau Marmont’s Room 59 has been selected as a Condé Nast Traveler "Room with a View" .
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The trails at Balboa Park are open every day of the year, unique to San Diego, and best of all cost nothing. There 19 trails total that will take you along dirt trails or sidewalks and past gardens and museums. The routes range from easy to difficult. Click here for more info.
Don't be shy, grab the reins on Pismo Beach! Take a journey on a beautiful stallion along the private trails of the Oceano Dunes and Beach. Read more in Worth the Drive.
Shade Hotel
The Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach is offering a Sunday Sanctuary Package. Rooms are $395 a night and include a couple’s massage at Trilogy Spa, complimentary beach breakfast buffet, beach cruiser bikes for your stay, gym access, and complimentary sparkling wine and strawberries.
Prince George's County Police Department
Agh, a grown-up's getaway. Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Look into the Palms Hotel in Borrego Springs for the perfect place to take that much needed break. Read more in Worth the Drive.
NBC 4 New York
Looking for a cool place to go and just as cool of a place to stay? Look no further than the Presidio Motel in Santa Barbara. Don't be fooled by the name, this artsy boutiquery is much more contemporary than your average side-of-the road, flashing-neon-light motel. Just look at the parachuting elephants boasting the walls. Read more in Worth the Drive.
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Take a stroll through the winery and vineyard in Santa Maria. It's free, but reservations are required. Read more in Worth the Drive.
Adventuring in California while doing a good deed? Yes, please! Spend a week assisting in projects in Catalina while checking out views not many are able to see. Read more in Worth the Drive.
Cupcakes and wine, what a divine pairing! Take a tour with the Santa Barbara Adventure Company and check out a winery along with cupcakes in Slovang. Read more in Worth the Drive.
You'll have a whale of time trying to spot these friendly mammals. Head up to Santa Barbara for a weekend of whale watching. Read more in Worth the Drive.
Mountain High is just a piece northeast of San Diego in the Angeles National Forest. You can purchase an annual pass. The Wrightwood-located skiing and boarding spot opened last year at the end of October. Read more.
Alisal Guest Ranch
Looking to improve your BBQ skills? The Alisal Guest Ranch and resort is offering a BBQ boot camp for couples, complete with a three-night, four-day stay in a luxe studio. Get all the details here.
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