California Adventure

Join in the San Diego tradition of summers at the racetrack with The Grand Del Mar's A Day at the Races package.
Join in the San Diego tradition of summers at the racetrack with The Grand Del Mar’s A Day at the Races package.

Travelers head to California to take in the scenery, savor the culinary scene, and visit the wineries, the Hollywood sign, and the famous Golden Gate Bridge. To complement that experience we’ve put together a few adventures your clients can add to their to-do list while visiting the Golden State, such as hitting the race tracks, ziplining through canyons, or splashing around in a water park.

In San Diego, the races at Del Mar are a summertime tradition. The Grand Del Mar’s A Day at the Races Summer Racetrack package includes 1-night accommodations, two Stretch Run reserved seats at Del Mar Racetrack, an issue of Racing Form and Racing Digest, transportation to and from the track (based on availability), two Mint Julep cocktails in the Lobby Lounge, and overnight valet parking. Rates start at $645 per night through Sept. 3.

“Summer in San Diego really starts with the opening of the Del Mar racetrack season and is a continuous party through Labor Day,” says Tom Voss, president of The Grand Del Mar.

The Grand Del Mar is located near La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe beaches, as well as many restaurants and boutiques. Guests can relax at any of four onsite pools, play a tennis match, a round of golf, or get pampered at the Renaissance-inspired spa. The property also features six dining venues that offer everything from French cuisine to sports bar fare, and even afternoon tea. For more information, visit the

 Guests can now view these gorgeous animals during the Early Morning with the Pandas tour. (Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo.)
Guests can now view these gorgeous animals during the Early Morning with the Pandas tour. (Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo.)

While in San Diego, guests can also visit the San Diego Zoo, which is currently offering the Early Morning with Pandas tour that allows guests to visit the giant panda viewing area before it opens for the day for the general public. The 2-hour tour includes a chance to view two of the pandas, enjoy breakfast and take a tour around the zoo in a VIP cart. This tour isn’t included with admission prices and is available Thursday through Sunday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit

From Nov. 7-16, guests can take part in San Diego Beer Week, a 10-day celebration of local craft beer, starting with a Brewers Guild Festival and ending with a Chef Celebration of San Diego Beer—a gourmet beer and food pairing event. For more information, visit

For thrill seekers, the new Patriot Tour, offered by Flagship Cruises, is a 30-minute high-speed ride through San Diego Bay. Passengers go past the Coronado Bridge and around the scenic bay while going on 360-degree turns featuring two turbo-charged engines boasting more than 1,400 horsepower. For more information, visit

Catalina Island Zip Lining Eco Tour.
Catalina Island Zip Lining Eco Tour.

Over in Catalina Island, Santa Catalina Island Company has launched a new nighttime ziplining experience for guests. Catalina Island is the only place in the western U.S. that offers ziplining, and now guests can partake in an adventure under the light of the stars and moon traveling about a mile across rugged canyons on five consecutive ziplines at heights of 300 ft. and speeds of up to 45 mph.

The adventure begins at Hog’s Back gate, high in the hills near Avalon and descends through Descanso Canyon, pausing at eco-stations along the way where participants will learn about some of the unique aspects of Catalina Island, its wildlife, history, and the local area. Participants wear reflective strips and head lamps as there’s minimal lighting on the trip. The 2-hour adventure begins at dusk on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; priced at $125 pp.

Guests visiting Catalina Island can stay at the Pavilion Hotel and take advantage of this nighttime ziplining with a package that includes overnight accommodations for two, daily complimentary continental breakfast, daily complimentary wine and cheese hour, personal VIP concierge, two Zip Line Eco Tour tickets, a chef’s 4-course dinner paired with wine for two at Avalon Grille, and a private VIP cabana at Descanso Beach Club. Select activities are also included such as a Flying Fish or Dolphin Quest; miniature golf; an Undersea Expedition; Skyline Drive; or Discover the Casino. Rates start at $1,000 per stay dbl plus $205 per night. For more information, call (877) 778-8322 or visit Use promo code USIG for bookings through Dec. 30, 2014.

Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs' Splashtopia water park.
Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs’ Splashtopia water park.

Switching from island activities to the desert, Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Palm Springs is offering guests the Stay Cool package that includes 1-night accommodations, $50 breakfast credit, two inner tubes to use at the resort’s lazy river, and access to a personal concierge.

The resort is set on 240 acres and is home to Splashtopia, a water playground with water sides, a lazy river, and a sandy beach. Guests can escape the heat at dusk with Dive in Movies showcasing animated blockbusters such as “Despicable Me 2,” “Frozen,” and “G-Force,” every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Rates start at $189 per night. For more information, visit