Redding, CA: Shape Up In Shasta Cascade

The breathtaking Shasta Cascade region offers world-class rivers, lakes and trails making it the perfect location to shape up with a plethora of outdoor activities....

Long Beach CA: Hotel Maya

Paying homage to this mysterious culture stands the Hotel Maya along the harbor in Long Beach. Complete with the unique and spectacular architectural style of the stepped pyramids, Hotel Maya welcomes guests into their "village" of modern structures assembled to create this luxurious seaside resort.

Murphys, CA: Murphys Haunted Hotel

When you arrive in the authentic town of Murphys, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, the locals will ask about where you are staying. If your response is Murphys Historic Hotel, expect the response to be, Haunted! That hotel is haunted!

San Diego, CA: The Keating Hotel

Southern California. Italian design. Ferrari. Stainless steel. Maserati. Bang and Olufsen. Rain showerheads. Just one of these by itself is damn sexy. Put them all together, add a king-sized bed, and you have the uber sexy Keating Hotel.

Arrowhead, CA: Mountain Swimming Hole

Nothing beckons the old days of hiking up the mountains to a nearby waterfall and jumping into the water feet first. Local photographer Sam Katz brings us back to those old memories with a look back.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

San Diego, CA: Valentine's Day in South Park

Valentine's Day in San Diego. The day of love is almost upon us, on a Friday, no less, which is awesome, so you better make plans now if you want to reserve a table for two. I’ve been checking around at some of my favorite haunts, and so far I’ve been able to confirm that the following South Park restaurants are honoring Feb. 14 with special menus or heart-felt plans. If you know of a place that’s not listed here and has V-Day plans, do tell.

Brabant Bar & Café

Brabant Bar & Café is going to offer a four-course Valentine’s dinner beginning at 6pm Friday and throughout the weekend while supplies last. It’s $60 a person (that doesn’t count tax and gratuity). They will not be accepting reservations, because they want everyone to take their time and enjoy their time, according to owner Adam Parker. Brabant is on 30th just north of Juniper. Here are the details:

1st course: Croquette with roasted tomato, spinach and farmer’s cheese
2nd course: Salad with pickled greens, roasted beets, and creme fraische with brown ale and sherry vinaigrette
3rd course (main): You choice of the following:

Waterzooi, which is a traditional Belgian chicken stew
Smoked ruby trout fillet with bearnaise sauce
Grilled rabbit quarters in cherry Kriek sauce (Kriek is style of Belgian beer)
4th course (dessert): Belgian dark chocolate cherry cake OR duo of truffles and profiteroles (cream puffs)

They will also have a Valentine’s cocktail as well as beer specials and Belgian beer pairings available.

Buona Forchetta

Owner Matteo Cattaneo said Buona Forchetta will have its regular menu plus some specials for the ladies, as well as a Valentine’s Day dessert. The big news, however, is the restaurant will take reservations. You can call them at 619-381-4844. Buona Forchetta is on the corner of Beech and 30th. Also, Buona Forchetta celebrates its first anniversary this month, so congratulations!


Alchemy has a four-course meal planned. It’s $65 a person. You can make reservations by going to Open Table, visiting Alchemy online, or calling the restaurant at 619-255-0616. Alchemy is on the corner of Beech and 30th. Here’s the deal:

1st Course:

Sweet potato bisque with carrot caviar, candied potato skin, yogurt, charred red Fresno chili oil

2nd Course

One of the following:

Soba noodle salad (small)
Polpette, aka Italian meatballs (beef, mortadella, rapini, Parmesan)
Mixed grain salad
Fideos (angel hair pasta, tomato, piquillo pepper, little neck clams, chorizo seco, saffron)
3rd Course

One of the following:

Vegan steak and bone marrow (smoked portabello, roasted garlic mashed potato, roasted zucchini, vegetable demi)
Dover sole with lemon grass broth, baby yellow beets, baby bok choy, shrimp dumplings
Moroccan duck (seared breast, stewed chickpeas, olives, tomato, preserved kumquat, duck merguez sausage, currant and almond cous cous, tangerine lace, mint olive oil)
4th Course

One of the following:

Pithviers (vanilla pastry cream, hand- made puff pastry, blueberries, whipped cream)
Nutella panna cotta
Pomegranate sorbet

Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro

Eclipse has a four-course “Sweetheart Dinner” for $45 a person on Feb. 14 and 15. Seatings are 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Call 619-578-2984 for reservations. Eclipse is on the corner of Ivy and Fern. It’s also celebrating its first anniversary at its South Park location. Yay!

The meal includes the following:

A caramelized shallot and crème-filled, cocoa-butter buckwheat crepe with Burgandy mushroom
French onion soup with white-chocolate blood-orange olive oil croute and bruleed gruyere
Cocoa beef bourguignon or an heirloom root vegetable ratatouille, both served with orange peel vanilla bean hasselback potato and fried sage
Chile-burnt caramel apple tarte tartin with vanilla bean ice cream bombe.
There’s also an optional starter.

Go to the Eclipse web site to for more information.

The Rose Wine Pub

Sip on wine and play with glue sticks and glitter at their third annual Valentines’ Day Craft Party. How fun is that? You can probably make your honey a card right there at the bar. You’ll find The Rose at 2219 30th St.

If you know of other places in South Park with cool V-Day plans, please share!

Article courtesy of Bonnie Nicholls, the South Park Scribe, your expert on all things in South Park San Diego! Bonnie Nicholls is a freelance writer and blogger based in South Park, San Diego. She specializes in business success stories and web content. You can find her on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Palm Springs, CA: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

For an amazing meal at the top of the Mount San Jacinto State Park take a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Enjoy spectacular views from the Mountain Station, catch a glimpse of animals of the State Park at the Natural History Museum rest your feet as you watch two documentaries on the Tramway and the State Park.

Spectacular views combined with delectable food provide the perfect dining experience. There are two dining options at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Peaks, a fine dining experience with a breathtaking view of the Coachella Valley and Pines Café, a cafeteria-style restaurant. Both restaurants are open for lunch and dinner.

The chefs have created a menu featuring a variety of fresh vegetables and greens from the Coachella Valley, dry aged meats and poultry along with fresh breads from local bakeries. Additional selections will include market fresh seafood and pastas. Children's menu available.
Reservations are always recommended so call (760) 325-4537 ahead of time.

For less formal dining visit the Pines Café. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers a special Ride ‘N’ Dinner combination ticket for the Pines Café. The Ride ‘n’ Dinner combination ticket is available for purchase from 4pm and dinner available from 4:30pm daily. To enjoy just a beverage, the Lookout Lounge is available as well.

Any time of year is a great time to ride the Tramway and visit the peaks. Activities include:

Winter Activities:
Winter Adventure Center
Cross-Country Skiing
Family Snow Fun
Snow Camping

Summer Activities:
Wilderness Permits
Guided Nature Walks

The temperature differential between the valley floor and the top of the Tram is usually about 30 degrees and the Tram Weather Station is a great way to help you decide whether or not you need that sweater. For more information visit Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to plan your visit.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
General information recording please call (760) 325-1391
Monday-Friday first Tram up 10am
Last Tram up 8pm Last Tram down 9:45pm
Saturday, Sunday and holidays first Tram up 8am