Seas the Day at Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor

Come celebrate Ventura Harbor’s 50th anniversary with a relaxing “Seas The Day Stay & Play” midweek, Sunday through Thursday, priced at $109 per night, or a two night minimum escape (double occupancy) on Friday and Saturday for $119 a night at Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort.

The package can be booked directly through the resort’s reservations department by calling 805- 658-1212 x1290 (Package Code 4239).

Portland offers bike and brew tour

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Traveloregon.com offers this interesting trip suggestion:

“When it comes to bikes and beer, Portland is the land of plenty. More than 50 breweries within city limits make beers of every style, from classic Northwest IPAs to barrel aged barley wines and oyster stouts. The bike scene is equally vibrant. Bike lanes are crowded with commuters no matter the season, and cyclo-cross races draw thousands of bikers and spectators each fall.

“Beer and bike cultures naturally overlap, and not just because beer tastes great after a long ride. Exploring the city’s beer scene through pedal power is an unforgettable experience. Not only can you indulge in two of Portland’s greatest passions, you’ll enjoy hassle-free parking and the smell of fresh beer brewing as you ride through the city.

“This bike-and-beer tour focuses on east-side beer destinations. However, it’s not an invitation to get drunk and ride a bike; you don’t have to quaff a pint at every spot. Mix it up by sharing tasting trays with friends and ordering food instead of beer at some locations. Please drink and ride responsibly.”

Celebrate cider week in state of Washington

The Northwest Cider Association will hold a 10-day celebration of craft cider from Sept. 5-15 throughout the state of Washington. With more than 90 activities planned, cider enthusiasts can easily participate in the third annual Washington Cider Week.

Nationally, cider holds the title for the fastest-growing segment of the beverage market. Washington has embraced its state fruit as several regional cideries have earned awards for their traditional and unusual flavors of cider.

Tickets to the events are free but space is limited, reservations for some events are strongly encouraged. A schedule of the week’s events can be found at nwcider.com.

Celebrate California Wine Month in September

California Wine Month in September is the best time of year to visit wine country when the vineyards and wineries are creating their next great vintage and celebrating with dozens of special events and activities.

Wine-loving consumers will flock to wineries and festivals across the state to see their favorite winemakers and get in on the harvest action themselves.  From picking and crushing grapes to events, VIP tours, tastings and concerts, vintners in many of California’s 116 winegrowing regions offer ways for people—from beginners to experts—to enjoy the state’s signature beverage.  For full details on activities, go to: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/californiawinemonth.

 

Enjoy Labor Day weekend at DoubleTree by Hilton

Labor Day is just around the corner. This may be your last chance to enjoy one of DoubleTree by Hilton’s summer deals with family and friends.

Soak up the summer sun and book a getaway with the Family Fun Package at participating DoubleTree by Hilton hotels. Wake up to breakfast for four and after the day’s adventures are done, take advantage of free Internet access to share photos with friends at home.

Or treat yourself with the Leisure Escapes Package and receive a $50 daily on-property credit when you book at participating resorts. You can use the credit toward on-property activities like dining, golfing, spa treatments, and more. It’s never too late to celebrate summer.

New Skyline Trail opens in Big Bear

Big Bear’s Skyline Trail is a new multi-use single track that currently offers 8 miles one way giving guests a new perspective of the wonderful alpine scenery. A grand opening for the new trail was held on Saturday.

“From my understanding this is the first new trail introduced to Big Bear in over two decades,” said Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation Chair Phil Hamilton.

The new multi-use trail, designed for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding, is located on the backside of Snow Summit, and begins where the US Forest service roads 2N10 and 2N06 meet. The trail parallels the 2N10, and snakes from east to west. It currently finishes at Forest Dream single track trail west of 2N10.

The Skyline Trail is designed to become the backbone of a new South Shore trails system with connections to existing trails and future trails. The Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation and US Forest Service will resume construction of the trail in the next year. When the trail is completed it will meander through the forest for a 15 mile loop that starts and ends at the backside of Snow Summit.

The trail can either be accessed by driving a car or riding a bike to U.S. Forest Service Road 2N10. Take Moonridge Road to Clubview Drive. Stay on Clubview Drive until it ends and becomes 2N10. Take 2N10 to the intersection of 2N10 and 2N06. Another option is to take Snow Summit Scenic Sky Chair to the top of Snow Summit, and then either take a short walk or bike ride to the Skyline Trail trailhead. To learn more about the new Skyline trail visitwww.trailsfoundation.org. For all there is to see and do in Big Bear Lake, to book lodging reservations, or to request a Visitors Guide, log on to www.bigbear.com or call 1-800-424-4232.

Crush & Roll West cigar and wine event returns to Paso Robles

Cigar aficionados far and wide will descend on the Paso Robles Event Center Sept. 6 – 7 for Crush & Roll West, the left coast’s premiere cigar and wine event. Cigar makers like Torano, Falto, Sosa, Juanitos, SACS Cigars, Ventura Cigars, Herrera, Knock Out Cigars, and Marathon Trading pair up with Napa, Sonoma, Santa Maria Valley and Paso Robles Wine Country producers like Robert Hall, Wild Horse, Summerwood, Old Shandon Port, and Sextant to expand the palette and olfactory senses.

The two-day event starts with a casual mixer on Sept. 6 from 6:00–11:00 PM. Friday’s event will feature the third annual poker tournament with great prizes, live entertainment, food, raffles, and a live auction to benefit the North County Women’s Shelter & Resource Center.

On Sept. 7 from 1:00–6:00 pm, a showcase features 50 different exhibitors including 20 cigar vendors, 20 wine and beer vendors, 10 local lifestyle vendors along with cigar tasting and hand rolling demonstrations by manufacturers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica.

New this year is a Social Ticket for those who don’t smoke cigars. “This festival attracts wine connoisseurs who find out that they also like cigars, but if they don’t, we now have a two-day non-cigar ticket,” says David “Doc” Diaz, event promoter.

And for all of you I Love Lucy lovers out there, on Sept. 7 the public is invited to stomp grapes with the Crush & Roll Magnus Port “Crushing Crew” led by Jeff Steel of Roxo Port Cellars, the juice from which will be used in a Crush & Roll West 2015 Limited Port.

For more information, visit the event website at: http://www.crushandrollwest.com. For more information on the annual Crush & Roll Poker Tournament go to: http://www.crushandrollwest.com/poker.htm

Millbrae offers Mardi Gras style fun this Labor Day

For some sun-splashed, Mardi Gras-style fun this Labor Day weekend, head to lively, pulsating downtown Millbrae for the city’s annual big bash –– the Art & Wine Festival, August 31-September 1.

Presented by the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce, the festival is the “Last Blast of Summer” with two days of sensational live music, handcrafted work by 250 of America’s top artists, fabulous food and drink, a microbrew tasting tent, the “Classically Cool Car Show” The festival takes place on Broadway (1 block west of El Camino Real) between Victoria and Meadow Glen. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is free.

The dynamic music lineup features nine big name bands playing a wide-ranging mix of 70’s disco, hip-hop, 80’s pop classics, 90’s party music, R&B, soul, funk, rock and roll, swing and jazz –– sure to be a real treat for music lovers. The blockbuster lineup includes The Unauthorized Rolling Stones, Petty Theft, The Houserockers, The Kevin Russell Band, Fito Reinoso, The Reed Fromer Band, Loudin’ Cleer, Glitterface, Guy Palazzolo and HeartStrings Music.

Where’s Richie? Riding the rails in Durango, Colorado

Where’s Richie? See my Touts on Twitter at richirwinsgvn

Today I’m in Durango, Colorado, after a long drive from the Grand Canyon.Our first stop was the new visitor center, where we had a tough time deciding which wonderful adventure we wanted to try next. Some wanted to take a Jeep tour of the San Juan Mountains, others wanted to go whitewater rafting on the Animus River, and there was still Humvee Extreme tours and ziplining to consider.

We finally decided to compromise by taking a bus tour up to historic Silverton mining town in the mountains, then riding the  Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad back to Durango.

The mountains were beautiful this morning, their 13,000 feet peaks piercing the bright blue sky. We passed on of our favorite ski resorts at Purgatory, which looks totally different in the summer. Go figure.

Silverton was an interesting little mining town with its colorful restored buildings from the 1870s. If you’re looking for Native American jewelry and art there were several great galleries.

Stopped at the Handlebar Restaurant on the advice of our bus driver Matt. It was a great choice with lots of Western memorabilia and spirit in the old saloon. But I didn’t see any handlebar mustaches.

Meet the Morrisey family on the three-hour train ride back. They had more than 70 relatives at their family reunion from all over the country, including several families from Southern California. The kids were having a great time on the train.

Got a late start when they had to repair the restored coal-firing steam locomotive, but the old-time railroad cars were comfortable and dry as the rain started falling.

Soon we were gliding along the river gorge only a foot from the ledge and a 100 foot drop to the roaring river below. At several points, we barely squeezed by on a ledge blasted out of the mountainside. You could touch the rockwall if you were crazy enough to open your window.

Back in town it was fun just to walk around and admire the restored buildings in this friendly town. Tried to get into the gunfight at the Strather Hotel’s historic saloon but it was packed.

Instead, we had a wonderful dinner at Jean-Pierre’s French restaurant and bakery. Ooh la la, the food was “tres magnifique” the coq au vin was delicious, reminding us of our 12-day visit to Paris, but that’s another story.