JOURNEYS

Discover Sonoma County Wineries, Joshua Tree National Park, and More

See highlights from both Northern and Southern California.

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Plan a hiking trip to Joshua Tree National Park and take in the spectacular landscapes.

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Perhaps the best way to see the Golden State in style is to discover just how diverse the state is and dividing your time between Northern and Southern California makes for a rewarding trip. Plus, new routes mean traveling between Sonoma County’s renowned wine country and the equally appealing desert area near Palm Springs is easy and accessible. Nonstop flights enable you to sip varietals in the lesser-known wine region of Santa Rosa one day and soak in the landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park the next. For travelers who want to maximize their time away from home, this itinerary encompasses four idyllic days.

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Trip Highlight

Joshua Tree National Park

For a diverse experience, head to Joshua Tree National Park, where you can perform any level of activity. Reach new heights as you hike by day, then sit back and relax as you stargaze at night. The choice is yours.
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Trip Designer

Visit California

Visit California’s goal is to remind travelers of the vast experiences that await in California. The Golden State boasts a variety of trip options, from laid-back luxury to outdoor adventures, and Visit California is the ultimate resource to guide the way.
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Savor exclusive vintages and the semi-private “Reserve Tasting Experience” at Paradise Ridge Winery.

Paradise Ridge Winery

Day 1Sip Your Way Through Santa Rosa Wineries

Anchor your time in Santa Rosa at Flamingo Resort, where you can experience a Midcentury Modern setting and spend time lounging by the pool during your stay. Begin your first day by fueling up with breakfast at Dierk’s Parkside Cafe, where you can have a classic omelet or try Grandma Dierk’s Pull-A-Parks—said to be better than donuts.

Next, explore the beauty of Luther Burbank Home and Gardens and take a tour of the house, followed by time spent in the fresh air of the gardens as you wander among cacti and Shasta Daisies. Be on the lookout for various bird species as you traverse the Wildlife Habitat Garden on the property before heading to check out Santa Rosa wineries.

Relax and spend the afternoon delighting your tastebuds by starting at Pellegrini Wine Company. Preorder a catered lunch to eat on-site as you savor their take on Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy little else on your agenda beyond stopping by Inman Family Wines to taste their Rosé and then experiencing a Reserve Tasting Experience at Paradise Ridge Winery. Cap off your time with an evening of fine dining at John Ash & Co. Restaurant, which specializes in local foods paired with wines.

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Complete your day with a stargazing session at Joshua Tree

Austin Human/Unsplash

Day 2Stop in Healdsburg Before Heading to Joshua Tree

After a day of sampling Santa Rosa’s finest varietals, sleep in and have a Cal-Pacific-inspired breakfast at the Flamingo Resort’s onsite restaurant, the Lazeaway Club. Follow that by taking a final walk around the property to explore its many artful features. Once you check out of your accommodations, make your way to the flourishing town of Healdsburg to explore boutiques and have lunch at The Parish Café before heading to the airport for your jaunt to Palm Springs.

After landing, make your way to Auto Camp Joshua Tree to stay in a converted Airstream or one of their Vista X Suites for the duration of your time near the park. (Accessible accommodations are also available.) Complete your day by enjoying time at Auto Camp. Have dinner at the onsite restaurant, Clubhouse Provisions, where you can choose from salads and sandwiches or purchase their BBQ Kits for two to take back and cook over your campfire. Complete your day with a stargazing session at Joshua Tree, designated as an International Dark Sky Park.

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The spectacular sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

Ozéias Sant’ana

Day 3Experience the Various Hikes of Joshua Tree

Get up early to enjoy the spectacular beauty of sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden. Either take a leisurely walk around the nature trail or simply find a spot to soak in the golden rays that begin to illuminate your path. While you’re there, take note of the many flora varieties, such as the Hedgehog Cactus and the Teddybear Cholla.

JT Country Kitchen is famous for its home cooking coupled with the ability to satiate outdoor adventure seekers. Try a breakfast burrito or fill up with a steak and eggs combo before heading out for a day of hiking at Joshua Tree. Explore trails that range from challenging to easy, such as the Arch Rock Trail, which is a 1.4-mile, out-and-back route that leads to a stunning view.

The Frontier Cafe is the perfect spot for lunch, where you can get a BLT or choose from one of their many vegetarian options, such as the Sunrise Salad or Avocado Tartine. Next, spend the afternoon hiking the trails that speak to you. For a leisurely one-mile walk, head to the Hidden Valley trail or trek the more rigorous 49 Palms Oasis route. Finally, refuel after a day filled with activity at Joshua Tree Saloon.

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Step into the Integratron for a sound bath in the California desert.

The Integratron

Day 4Immerse Yourself in Unique Attractions

Begin your morning with a meal at Natural Sisters Cafe, where you can also grab drinks and a wrap to eat later in the day. Discover what life was like for early settlers by heading off on the Keys Ranch Tour where you’ll see the home of William F. Keys along with a schoolhouse and workhouse mill on a 90-minute guided walking excursion.

After your tour, hike the Mastodon Peak Trail’s 2.6-mile loop, and be on the lookout for critters throughout the trail. Eat lunch at one of the many vantage points on your route. Either pick a spot with a view or stop once you get hungry as you prepare for an afternoon of exploring some of Joshua Tree’s more unique locations.

Even if you aren’t crafty, head to the World Famous Crochet Museum to appreciate the works it contains. This former drive-through photo stand is tiny in size yet large in novelty and is definitely worth the stop. Then, go for a relaxing sound bath inside the wooden dome at The Integratron (be sure to book well in advance), and finish your time in Joshua Tree with dinner and a live show at Pappy and Harriet’s.