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Escape the Gloom

Travel

Date
July 2015

Written by
Dani Zorn

Category
Travel

Here are three options for a quick outdoor activity-filled weekend to replenish your waning vitamin D.

Biking (and touring) in Monterey
Just a quick 100-minute drive south of San Francisco lands you in the center of historic Monterey. Get acquainted with the area while biking part of the flat coast-hugging, 29-mile Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. Along the way you will pass by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, the Museum of Monterey as well as Fisherman’s Wharf for some sightseeing.

If you’re looking for a more strenuous ride, Monterey boasts at least 10 rides that accommodate beginners, intermediate and expert riders. A popular ride is the 17-Mile Drive, which loops around the inland and coastal area of Monterey and Carmel.
For a tasty yet nutritionally conscious dining option after your ride, stop by The Wild Plum Café, Bistro & Bakery (thewildplumcafe.com), where most of the options are organic and local.

➸ For more information, visit seemonterey.com.

 

Swimming adventures
(and high-end dining) in La Jolla
A mere 20 minutes north of San Diego, La Jolla passes as a European resort with Southern California flair. The coastal town boasts seven sea caves that are open to explore via sea scooter, kayak or paddleboard. You will be swimming with sea lions and several species of fish.

If you have a daring side, book the Lobster Diving Tour ($69 per person), which requires a flashlight in order to see the lobster you’re catching. That’s right, this tour is in the middle of the night.

Finish the weekend at Whisknladle (wnlhosp.com/our-restaurants/whisknladle), an American restaurant known for its commitment to making things from scratch. Among the over 1,190 Yelp reviews, several mentioned the smoked burrata and the pecan-crusted scallops.

➸ For more information, visit lajolla.com.

 

Tasting & Sales SignHiking (and wine tasting) in Santa Barbara
Once in Los Angeles, a beautiful drive north on Highway 101 will drop you in Santa Barbara. Instead of spending all day wine tasting in the vineyards, a group of vintners developed the Urban Wine Trail, a collection of almost 20 wineries in a tight radius, allowing for a leisurely stroll between tasting rooms.

After your wine-tasting day, you might be ready to embark on a bit more of an outdoorsy adventure the following day. Check out the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 65 acres displaying California’s native plants. Or pack up the car for a 33-mile drive to the base of Gaviota Peak and Campbell Trail. After summiting this 2,500-foot hike, you’re afforded a view of the ocean, Santa Barbara off in the distance and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the east, which make this six- to seven-mile hike (round trip) well worth your time and effort. If you’re maybe feeling the wine from the day before, stick to the one-mile loop near the trailhead, which leads to relaxing hot springs.

➸ For more information, visit santabarbaraca.com.

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