Luxury, amid a stark and extreme desert? The Oasis at Death Valley is just that. A delightful contrast, it is a destination vacation off the beaten track, yet accessible and bucket-list worthy. It will take you a couple of hours from Las Vegas, or 4-hours from Los Angeles to be transported to a spectacular location.
Sparkling light from a rose-tinged sunset dance off the waters near the Bay Bridge. The iconic city lights of San Francisco slowly appear. It’s the perfect place to enjoy savory tapas and a strong beverage. Yet when Michael Chiarello, longtime maestro of Wine Country cuisine, is at the helm, expect a decidedly California twist on this Spanish standby.
With over 40 wineries dotting the map here in Southern California’s wine country (and more on the radar), Temecula Valley welcomes more than two million visitors a year. Not bad for a region that planted its very first grapevine in 1968.
Visit to Sunset Cottage along the Monterey Bay in California. The cottage, with its ocean views from every window, served as home base for us we set out on our various adventures.
At the V6 Ranch in the Diablo Mountain Range in central California, visitors feel like part of the family and are invited to share in the authentic working ranch lifestyle.
For off-the-beaten-path wine and olive oil tasting, Villa di Calabro delivers. Located in a little 90-year-old house just steps away from Temecula’s civic center, Villa di Calabro excels in providing an intimate tasting experience. Owners Mike and Mindy generously share stories and insights of their craft as they pour. Ask about the peach sangria. Enjoy fountain burbles and a light breeze as you picnic in the serene courtyard. Leave with a smile on your face, and delicious wines and olive oils in your bag. 951-695-4525; villadicalabro.com
The San Francisco Bay Area is famous for its Napa Valley wineries and, more recently, for an influx of craft breweries in the East Bay. But if you want a one-of-a-kind experience off the beaten tasting track, skip the wine and beer and go sake sampling in Berkeley!
Located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, Bodie was discovered by William S. Bodey in the mid-1800s, a period in time which saw the height of the California gold rush. This is how Bodie got its name. Some argued that the difference in spelling was due to an error made by an illiterate sign printer; however, it was found to be deliberately done for the sake of easy pronunciation.