Though Colombia was not at the top of my incredibly long list of places to visit, an invitation to the wedding of close friends presented a wonderful opportunity for my husband and me to discover this exciting and beautiful country. Because Colombia was not a destination I had previously planned on visiting, it was free from the well researched expectations of the destinations high on my bucket list, thereby making the prospect of exploring parts of it even more intriguing. Though well-aware of the reputation for danger that Colombia has acquired, I had also heard tantalizing accounts from other travelers that painted a very different picture of life in Colombia, and those accounts made me eager to discover what this country had to offer. Armed with some quick online research, we packed our bags, boarded the plane, and headed off towards Bogotá, the first step of our Colombian adventure.
The Napa Valley is one of California’s greatest treasures – an epicurean epicenter where some of the finest wines, the best restaurants and the most luxurious accommodations can be found. The Napa Valley’s proximity to the Bay Area makes it an easy escape for a relaxing and revitalizing getaway.
The fall season is an ideal time to visit – just in time to enjoy the cooler weather and admire the fall foliage. Tip: Visit between the last weekend of October and the first two weeks of November, just after the madness of the “crush rush” to avoid the crowds.
The winter months are an excellent time to head for the desert. This is the time of year when intensely warm temperatures drop from average highs of over 100°F to a more comfortable range of around 65°F, making wintertime a great time to explore what the desert has to offer.
Scottsdale, Arizona, an easy hour-and-a-half away by plane, is an ideal winter destination. An affluent town nestled among scenic mountains, Scottsdale is known for its spa resorts and golf courses, as well as its charming downtown, art galleries and museums, and Sonoran Desert Preserve.
Escape to the earthy splendor and inspiring mountain surroundings of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Rising majestically on Northstar Mountain, this year-round destination is the ideal place to experience the beauty of the California wilderness in a true mountain resort setting, enhanced by the premier accommodations and the world-renowned personal service of The Ritz-Carlton.
Schools’ out and the kids are getting bored and restless. Or worse, they’re wasting the glorious summer days playing video games or staring at their phones. Turn off the devices and pack your bags—it’s time to hit the road and explore the great outdoors! Whether it’s for the day or for the week, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy what beautiful California has to offer. Here are some drivable destinations—less than five hours from the heart of Silicon Valley—that the whole family will enjoy.