SoCal Travel Guide – Rejuvenating Our Souls with a Pacific Crest Trail Hike

We headed out to the Pacific Crest trail via White Water Canyon Preserve with our PCT association guides and wandered through the PCT trail.  On the Pacific Crest trail we found several flowers in bloom, a great landscape and reminder of beauty in the desert.   We also stood in the middle of a PCT landmark with the Pacific Trail South towards our left and the Pacific Crest Trail North to our right.   It was my first time on the PCT and a great introduction to the famous trail.   The afternoon on the PCT is an experience I will never forget.  It was very healing.   It has inspired me to  return to the PCT with friends and family and continue my journey to explore the healing mysteries of the Pacific Crest trail.

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The Pacific Crest Trail is the perfect getaway for exploring the beautiful trails of California.  Walk in tent camping is available for individuals and groups by permit on a first come, first serve basis.  You’ll discover a lot of wildflowers on the trails as well.  You can take a 1 hour hike or several day hike depending on the type of adventure you are looking for.  Our guide hiked the Pacific Crest Trail twice.  We toured the Pacific Crest trail South for a 3 mile hike.

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Hiking Trails At White Water Canyon Preserve

1. Canyon View Loop Trail 3.5 miles Moderate A loop trail with excellent views of the canyon and surrounding mountains. This trails leaves from the Whitewater Ranger Station, and follows a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail heading south. When crossing the riverbed, keep your eyes peeled for a small wooden footbridge that will carry you across the Whitewater River.

2. Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail “PCT” A 2650 mile trail that runs from Mexico to Canada Get there in 1/2 mile along a trail from the Whitewater Ranger Station.

3. Red Dome 2 miles each way, 4 miles total Easy –moderate Leave the Whitewater Ranger Station and hike to the Pacific Crest Trail. Hike north on the “PCT” 1.5 miles to this small red rock hill in the canyon bottom. Continue past Red Dome if you wish to reach the West Fork Trail.

4. West Fork Trail 1.6 miles from gate to Stonehouse, 3.6 to Pacific Crest Trail Easy-moderate The West Fork Trail departs from the Mission Creek Preserve gate, and passes the historic Stonehouse in 1.6 miles on its way to the Pacific Crest Trail. It is an eight mile hike from the Mission Creek Preserve gate to the Whitewater Preserve Ranger Station.

5. Cottonwood Trailhead along the Pacific Crest Trail 8 miles Moderate –Difficult Follow the Pacific Crest Trail south from the Whitewater Ranger Station to reach this parking lot off the Haugen-Lehmann exit on Interstate 10

Hiking Tips

What To Wear: Bring comfortable walking shoes, cold water, a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant.

Hikers Beware:   Stay alert, there are snakes on the trails.

Best time to Visit:  Palm Springs area is hot during the summer.  Recommend visits during the Fall, Winter and Spring.  Best time to visit is the Spring to view the wildflowers.

 

Location

9160 Whitewater Canyon Rd.

Whitewater CA 92282

Additional information at Pacific Crest Trail Association or  White Water Preserve.

 

Happy Trails!

Eva Smith Tech Life Magazine

SoCal Travel Guide – Temecula Winery Getaway Tips

There are many things to do in Inland Empire, but the jewel of the valley is Temecula Wine Country.  Temecula Wine Country is a little known secret nestled between San Diego and Los Angeles and offers a variety of options for a romantic getaway or a getaway with friends.  Whether you are a foodie and music lover like me or a wine enthusiasts, there is something for everyone to enjoy.   Out of town friends that have never visited the area before, always go home feeling like the have enjoyed a little bit of paradise.

I recommend the World of Wines event in March or Barrel Tasting Celebration during the month of November.  Each event includes wine tasting at over 30 wineries with gourmet food pairings.   The WOW events are a great way to visit all the wineries and discover  new favorite places.  If you’re visiting Temecula for the first time I also recommend a stop into Old Town with a visit to EAT Marketplace for brunch and Havana Kitchen for dinner.

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Wilson Creek Winery

Temecula Getaway Guide

If you’re planning a weekend getaway to Temecula Wine Country print this vetted list of favorite Temecula Wine Country destinations and prepare for a breath-taking weekend  of scenic views, great food and wine tasting.

Make sure to visit this page before making a trip again and again as I’ll keep adding additional tips & discounts when available.

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Leoness Cellars Winery

 

Temecula’s Best Wineries

Europa Village Winery – Europa Village is an elegant and charming winery.   The European style reminds you of an Old World European village with some modern flair.  Some of the best things about the winery include the wine cave, ample seating spaces and views of the vineyards.    The staff is very knowledgable and friendly and make you feel like a part of the family.  The Dans de Vin Artists Series and  Moscato wine is one of the favorite wines in the region.

Leoness Cellars Winery –  Founded in 2003, The Leoness Cellars Winery also known as “The Village of Dreams” cellars is located in the rolling hills of wine country.  They also have a great restaurant and tasting options.   The White Merlot is one of the favorite Rosés in the region.

Miramonte Winery – Known as the hippest Winery in town, the Miramonte Winery is nestled on top of a hill overlooking the Temecula wine country! Some of the best features of the winery include the outdoor veranda, vintages, Live music and water misters.  The winery also serves several Mediterranean plates that pair well with your wine tasting.  The Miramonte Winery Sangria is also one of the finest Sangrias in the region. The owner is also very savvy with Social Media and you can find him online from time to time sharing his insider wine and entrepreneur tips.  Also, keep your eyes open for Mojo, the hippest dog in wine country.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery – The winery is located on an Italian Villa in Temecula Wine Country.  The history of the families wine make experience also dates back to Italy.  You will literally feel like you have been transferred into a small Italian Villa in Italy when you walk thru the winery.  The restaurant also serves an assortment of delicious salads and fries.  You can also purchase their signature olive oil, vinegar, marinara sauce and hot chili sauces.  The Moscato wine is one of the favorite.

Wilson Creek Winery – There are so many things to do at Wilson Creek, including concerts, picnics, lunch, tastings and dinner.  I recommend an early afternoon brunch at The Creekside Grill.   There are several delicious plates including the Cheese plate, Bruschetta and Gerry’s Reuben sandwich.   Make sure to get the mimosas any time of day.

 

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The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars – Pear & Gargonzola

 

 

Temecula’s Best Dining Spots

Creek Side Grill at Wilson Creek

E.A.T. Marketplace

Havana Kitchen

South Coast Winery – Vineyard Rose Restaurant

The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars

The Restaurant at Ponte Winery * reservations recommended

Broken Yolk

Temecula Wine Country Accommodations

The Inn at Churon

The Inn at Europa Villa

Temecula Wine Country Villa Chateau $399-$699 per night – sleeps 12

Temecula Wine Tasting Transportation

We recommend the all-inclusive day trip on the Grapeline Wine Tours.  The shuttle will stop at four wineries and includes a picnic lunch, behind the scene tours of vineyards and wine-tasting.

Temecula Wine Country Seasonal Events

March – Celebrate World Of Wines for 30 wineries.  The weekend events includes a self-guided wine tasting with gourmet food pairings for over 30 wineries.

September – Celebrate California Wine Month during the month of September 2014 with a SIP passport.  For $40 you get to visit 4 wineries. The SIP Temecula passport includes 4 wine-tastings at 4 separate wineries of your choice.  The discount is about 50% average cost of wine tasting prices.   Get your SIP  Temecula passport here and celebrate California Wine month.

November  – Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend.   Visit over 30 wineries for a fun-filled self-guided Food & Wine adventure in Temecula Wine Country.  Purchase tickets at the Temecula Growers Annual Barrel Tasting or an all-inclusive tickets with transportation to Grapeline Wine Tours Annual Barrel Tasting.

Temecula Wine Country Discount Tips

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience at reasonable prices also check-out Travel Zoo Temecula Wine Country offers  for huge discounts on afternoon wine tasting tours, spa treatments and more.  Travel Zoo discounts typically need to be purchased in advance so plan accordingly.

 

I hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Temecula Wine Country.

Cheers!

Eva Smith Tech Life Magazine

 

SoCal Travel Guide – Oceanside Pier

Oceanside Beach is one of my favorite beaches to capture a sunset!  You can stroll down the pier, listen to the waves, enjoy lunch at the local diner on the pier and watch a beautiful sunset.  It is also one of the friendliest places to park your car, go fishing, enjoy the sun, a stroll on the pier, take a coastal walk and lunch or dinner at Ruby’s diner.

It is one of my favorite places to visit during the summer.  We have made a lot of memories there.

 

 

Additional details

City of Oceanside Pier

Address

Located at N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054, you can

Local Restaurants

Ruby’s Diner

 

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