Top 15 foodie weekends
Best time to go: September, for peak chile-harvest season.
Stay: The Historic Pelham House is a late-1800s adobe built on an old Apache campground. From $150; historicpelhamhouse.com
Best time to go: February, for the DIY mozzarella class (and a chance to spot elk).
Stay: Homestead Resort, a gracious, century-old hotel just 2 miles from the creamery, has cottage-style suites and rooms that offer a quiet escape. From $224; homesteadresort.com
One look at the green hills of Marin and Sonoma Counties, and you begin to see why this place has the most cheesemakers per capita in the West: cows (and sheep and goats) + grass = good cheese. Farms in these lush hills have been supplying dairy products to the San Francisco Bay Area since the Gold Rush days. Now, San Francisco’s obsession with exceptional local food is giving cheese an even bigger boost. The result? Spectacularly good cheese. Some cheesemakers welcome visitors (usually by appointment), so map out your cheesetasting trail today!
More: Hot date in Indio
Best time to go: July, to taste and smell the mature coffee fruit.
Stay: The Hotel Indigo, on the edge of Santa Barbara’s artsy Funk Zone neighborhood, has in-room murals and a rotating gallery of local artists’ work in the common areas. Ask for a room with a private garden. From $199; 2-night min.; indigosantabarbara.com
Best time to go: April, for refreshing sour beer and spring skiing.
Stay: The 1923 Armstrong Hotel in Old Town has free cruiser bikes. From $109; thearmstronghotel.com
Best time to go: December, when Notorious Triple IPA is released, smooth and subtle with its notes of citrus and pine.
Stay: Stumble 10 minutes to McMenamins Old St. Francis School (pictured) for a comfy room and a dunk in the mosaic-tiled soaking pool. From $125; mcmenamins.com/oldstfrancis
Best time to go: October, when the beer is released.
Stay: The Ayres Hotel Anaheim is 2 miles from Disneyland and has a heated pool and free breakfast. From $119; ayreshotels.com/anaheim