So you're going to the chapel to get married? There are few places in the country you can plan a wedding year-round and the Tri-Valley is one of them. Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall you can be sure your special day will be picture perfect.
The Tri-Valley hosts thousands of weddings a year and whether it be in the brightly colored fall, warm summer, colorful spring or crisp winter the Tri-Valley offers event venues, attractions and entertainment for all. Wineries, estates, churches, museums, galleries and golf course are a sampling of the more than 100 event facilities available to couples and their guests.
It's hard not to want to pack up and move to a place that has some 300-plus days of sun each year--and not blistering hot sun, but typically 70-75 degree weather throughout the spring, summer and fall. Ah, Santa Barbara. No wonder the freeways can get so packed.
Located just up the road from its nearest big city, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is an ocean-side nirvana, where days rarely heat up past "comfortable in shirtsleeves" or cool down past "grab a jacket, just in case."
And though there can be a few anomalous days--especially the quirky weather in June, when foggy mornings linger a bit--weather is mostly well, perfect.
As winter's squalls turn to gentle raindrops, the Mendocino
coast begins to come alive with wildflowers and native grasses.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful times to visit, springtime
is a fickle season that transforms from grey mornings as fog
rolls in, to brilliantly sunny afternoons perfect for coaxing
out tiny buds.
Inland areas tend to be similarly rainy, though a bit warmer.
Even so, this time of year throughout the county tends to be
a slow season, with most travelers waiting to escape to the cool
coast when things get stifling elsewhere (June to October). You'll
find fewer crowds right now (though February and March are whale
season, and attract wildlife enthusiasts). Some tasting rooms
and restaurants close up altogether or have limited hours until
the crowds start returning in May, so check ahead. The good news
is that you may be able to get an easy reservation at your favorite
inn or hard-to-book restaurant during this slow season.
By Robert Farmer
Those familiar with this space know that I am a fan of
"immersion learning." Especially when it comes to wine
appreciation, there's no better way to "go deep" into it than
to live it for a few solid days. Wine camps are a great way to do it. And
increasingly, regions are offering innovative, educational, and above all fun,
opportunities to experience wine like you never have.
Mendocino gets into the
act with Wine Camp 2008, a three-day, three-night immersion into Northern
California wine and all of its various nuances and tendencies. I like this Wine
Camp because it takes place in one of California's lesser-known regions
and provides "insider info" to the intrepid camp-goer about one of
Northern California's under-discovered gems. And, with each camp limited
to just eight campers, it promises to be an intimate excursion, with ample
opportunity to get one-on-one contact with winemakers and other participants.