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.
ItineraryPLAN YOUR TRIP
Day 1Sip Your Way Through Santa Rosa Wineries
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.
Day 2Stop in Healdsburg Before Heading to Joshua Tree
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.
Day 3Experience the Various Hikes of Joshua Tree
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.
Day 4Immerse Yourself in Unique Attractions
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.