California Dreamin' : The Essential Sights

California is a state full of contrasts, from its vibrant coastal locations to its sleepier, rural interior. A fabulous location for a trip with friends or even a family break that goes beyond the tired cliché of theme parks it's perhaps better known for. Delve deeper into this fascinating location and plan a break that gets you to the heart of the Pacific Region, from the majesty of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Mojave Desert, the scenic San Francisco and the movie magic of Los Angeles. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

Wine Tasting in the Napa Valley

Napa Valley produces the most prestigious and well-regarded wine in California, so a trip round some of its many vineyards is not to be missed. Winemakers here have been growing crops since the mid-1800s, digging caves and planting vines into the steep hillsides.A narrow 5-mile wide valley provides the wine-growing territory for 30 miles length and is lined with wine tasting venues. You can find a guide to the best ones to visit here.

La Jolla Coastline

If you’re after an upmarket seaside experience, La Jolla, home to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, is sure to impress with its breath-taking rugged coastline. Sweeping ocean vistas, excellent rock pooling and some amazing restaurants provide the perfect escape from a hectic road trip itinerary. If you like golfing, the location offers some great courses plus ocean attractions such as kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing and scuba diving. The San Diego Marriott La Jolla makes a great base to explore the resort.

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

As one of the most photographed structures in the US, this iconic structure has appeared in countless TV shows and movies but loses no grandeur for that when you see it in person. A landmark feature of engineering prowess, it was the first bridge support ever to be constructed in the open ocean. There are plenty of viewing points on and around the structure itself along with gift shops and cafes. Walking onto the Bridge itself can be a dizzying feat, rising to 220 feet above the water at its mid-span. There are free, regular walking tours if you’re keen to learn the history surrounding this amazing structure.

The Hollywood Sign

No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a snap for your Instagram feed of the iconic Hollywood sign, erected in 1923. Initially reading ‘Hollywoodland’, the surviving nine letters face into the Los Angeles basin and are visible from several points. Best viewed on your way to something else, you shouldn’t pass up the chance to get a shot with the sign looming in the background – note that it is not illuminated at night, so you’ll need to go past during the day. It’s a fun and completely free thing to do if you’re in the area.

Yosemite Valley

If getting back to nature suits you, America’s second-largest national park is a jewel in Cali’s crown. Home to the tallest waterfall in the US, the world’s largest granite monolith, the powerful Mariposa River and an abundance of wildlife, it’s a perfect escape from the hectic pace of modern life to wonder at the beauty of nature.
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Choosing the Best Pub for a Party

Choosing the Best Pub for a Party

Are you planning on taking your friend out for his birthday? If this is the case, you will need to make sure the place you choose to celebrate this occasion is very lively with great food and drink. There certainly are many pubs to choose from. How do you go about deciding which one will be the location of your friend's birthday party celebration? There are a few key points that you should think about when you are comparing pubs. Doing this will allow you to separate the best from all the rest. Here is what you need to consider.

1. Is the pub large enough for the amount of people who will be attending your friend's birthday party?

There are many pubs that are not known for their size. The overall space is small and the tables are crammed close together. This is a situation that you need to avoid if you will be having a large amount of guests. You should visit some pubs and take a look at how much space they actually have available for customers. You and your guests will need some space to move around and have a good time. 

2. What sort of food does the pub serve?

You and your guests will obviously need a lot to eat and drink during the festivities. A pub should obvious have more than enough choices when it comes to alcoholic beverages. However, the food is where you could run into some problems if you are not careful. There are many pubs that do not put an emphasis on food. Therefore, you will need to find a pub that has a nice selection of food to choose from on its menu. An example of a pub that serves good food and does catering can be found by visiting KennysPub.net

3. Will you be able to reserve tables at the pub for your party?

You do not want to arrive at the pub only to discover that all of the best tables are taken. This is why it would help to find a pub that will allow you to reserve specific tables. This will give you the peace of mind that you and your guests will be able to sit exactly where you want. The pub may charge a fee to reserve the tables. They also might not do this on Friday or Saturday night.

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Foods to Travel With

Eating Healthy When Traveling: 

How To Make Smart Choices When it comes to traveling, people find it hard to maintain a healthy diet on the road. At other times, you are stuck in an airport, courtesy of delayed flights. On these occasions, the craving for junk foods such as cheeseburger and fries is strong, and you could be easily tempted to go for the cheap and fast meals. However, most airports have started providing healthier alternatives. Currently, at least one of the restaurants in the busiest airports offer a vegan meal. Depending on your destination and the means of transport, there are several preparations you can make to ensure you eat healthy during your trip. Here are some things to do before and during the journey. 

 Pack your food 

Most hotels in towns do not sell real food such as vegetables, and fruits since it is not as profitable as selling fries, candy bars, and snack cakes. Also, the food sold in most restaurants contains Gluten and other sensitive products. 

 Before leaving your home, it is important to decide what type of food you will take while traveling. Identify the type of foods that are likely to make your journey uncomfortable. Know how much food you are likely to take on your journey in case you plan to carry packed foods. 

 Depending on the distance you will cover and the space you have for carrying food, pack several perishable and non-perishable foods. Perishable foods should be carried in a cooler. Remember to carry gel ice packs to ensure your food is cold throughout your journey. 

 If you want to maintain your food in a fresh condition, carry it in airtight plastic or stainless steel containers. Some of the perishable foods you can carry on your trip include raw milk cheese, pre-made salad, hard boiled eggs, and meats such as chicken and shrimp. Ensure you carry foods that can pass through security. If you are taking a long flight, dry foods are the best. You can also go for travel-friendly foods such as fresh fruits like oranges and apples, nuts, as well as seeds.

 If you have limited time to prepare food for the trip, you can go for the pre-prepared dietary meals such as NutriSystem. Unlike other diet programs, NutriSystem is low cost and has a good taste. There are several dietary plans from which you can choose. Some of the plans include NutriSystem Vegetarian, NutriSystem Advanced, NutriSystem D, and NutriSystem Nourish. The NutriSystem diet is rich in proteins but has low carbohydrates. To make the meal tastier, you can add your favorite nuts and muffins. 

 When you travel with prepared food, you will need reusable plates, forks, table napkins, and a small knife. This will reduce the costs incurred to purchase plastic utensils during the trip. 

 Hotel selection 

Choose hotels that provide a mini-fridge in the lodgings. You will house healthy foods in your room and also save some dollars by bringing your meals as opposed to eating at the hotel. If you are searching for a hotel to spend your vacation, search for hotels that are close to grocery stores. The closer the market, the more the chances of maintaining a healthy diet. When taking meals at the hotel, use the menu to see the meals offered in the hotel. You can also search for hotels that provide paleo diet before. 

 Take healthy drinks

 During your trip, it is advisable to carry a bottle of pure water from home. Public water supplies can contain unwanted toxins and parasites such as giardia. Also, bottled water is not a safe option. Research shows that 25 percent of the bottled water is merely tap water, sometimes without further treatment. 

 Research your options 

Before traveling, survey the airport restaurants and the meals offered. Most of the nutrition information is available on the airport’s website. Some of the airports go an extra mile and list the healthy meals available at their restaurants. 

 Get healthy snacks from airport stores 

If you are late and cannot take a full meal, there are healthy snacks you can grab at the airport’s store. 

 Suppress the craving for unhealthy foods 

No matter how strong your craving for junk and unhealthy food is, you can always suppress it as you travel. Avoid fast foods as they will make you feel sluggish and lazy, which is not the right mood for a trip. Avoid a bottle of alcohol or limit the amount you take at the airport bar. Alcohol will make you dehydrated and sluggish. Sometimes it is inevitable to eat out when traveling. However, do not throw away all logic when dining at a restaurant. Taking too many wrong things could lead to stress, which is the last thing you want when traveling. Stress impairs the digestion process leading to stomach upset and weakening of the immune system.
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Five Tips for Enjoying a Wine Tour Vacation

Today, many individuals take a close look at luxury wine tours when considering an upcoming vacation. They like the idea of tasting the latest wine creations and expanding the list of favorite wines they enjoy every day as well as on special occasions. They want to travel to a different place to experience something new. They want to talk to the people who make the wine to see what is involved in the process. If you are planning to go on a wine tour, there are many things you can do to make the most of your trip. Look at five tips to help you enjoy your wine tour. 
  Be Open to New Experiences 

 Maybe you’re used to drinking wine with a dry, crisp taste or perhaps you always choose red wine over white. Being open to new experiences helps you get the most out of a wine tour. If you always buy wine with a mild, dry taste to it, try a few fruity wines on the tour. You may discover you love fruity wines. A wine tour is the perfect opportunity to expand your tastes in wine.

  Explore the Surrounding Area
A big part of the fun of taking a wine tour is exploring the area where the wine is made. This means going beyond the vineyard. Perhaps there is a small town located near the vineyard where craftspeople gather to sell their creations. Or, maybe there are specific spots where you can fully enjoy all of the natural scenery in the area. Chances are, there is a restaurant that serves cuisine that is popular among the locals. Maybe the area is famous for a landmark, a gathering of mountains or a lake. Venture away from the vineyard where you’re taking the tour to observe the wonderful scenery all around you. 

  Set a Budget for Buying Keepsakes On a wine tour or any other type of vacation, it’s tempting to purchase a lot of keepsakes to take home. You could end up with a box of t-shirts, key rings, mugs and postcards you don’t really want. This sort of shopping can drain your vacation budget. So, before leaving on the trip, establish a budget for keepsakes. This gives you the opportunity to purchase meaningful keepsakes without regretting the money spent on them. One or two keepsakes with some meaning behind them are a great takeaway from a fun wine tour.

  Select a Few Appealing Tour Events If you have dozens of activities listed on your wine tour, it’s best to go through the list to choose what you’re most interested in. After all, you want to spend most of your vacation focusing on what you’d really like to see and experience. So, before leaving, take the time to sit down with the tour itinerary and make a mark next to activities that sound fun to you. Also, you can ask the tour guide about the various activities to get his or her personal opinion on the most unique experiences. 

  Travel with a Friend Generally, going on a wine tour with a friend is more fun than taking the tour on your own. You can discuss the different wines with your friend and hear his or her point of view about them. Also, you’re likely to enjoy the shops, restaurants and other entertainment when you’re traveling with someone else. In addition, traveling with a friend to an unfamiliar area may help you feel safer while you enjoy the many activities and experiences on the tour. Lastly, taking the time to research wine tours before choosing one can help you and your traveling companion end up on a vacation that is all you want it to be. Consider the wine tour itself, the areas where the vineyards are located and the time of year when making your decision. You may enjoy the getaway so much, you want to go again next year!
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