Four Places California Residents Won’t Tell You About 

reports are very Our destination stories and FAM popular, and we know you all are anxious to sharpen your skills and knowledge so you can be ready when your clients come clamoring for your help and guidance. 

None of us can predict how or when all regions will open. So, it is more important than ever for you to immerse yourself in destination knowledge and to do your research prior to booking your clients’ trips. It is becoming more and more apparent that domestic travel is likely to rebound earlier than other travel. Therefore, while you still may have some disposable time, we encourage you to explore your own backyard and celebrate America by enrolling in the North America Destination Specialist Course, currently priced at $27 (Use code NAJUL at checkout for 50% tuition assistance. Expires July 5th).

And, to whet your appetite for what North America has to offer, today’s Hot Tip is taken from an article by one of our awesome certified graduates, Christina Kantzavelos, CTA, editor of BuenQamino Travel Blog. Here is what Christina has to say:

I wrote this article for Matador Network on some of the hottest spots in California that we may be keeping a secret from you… 

CALIFORNIA seems to have it all: a beautiful, accessible, and often surfable coastline; intriguing deserts with phenomenal sunsets and moonrises; world-class mountains peaks; national parks, including Yosemite, a rock-climbers’ paradise. California’s diverse culture and trend-setting cuisine help to make it the most populated state in the US. We welcome visitors, and we have more than a few secret and low-key spots we’ve often kept close to our vest. Here are four of our lesser-known treasures.

Deerpark Monastery, Escondido
Spend one, two, or three, mindfulness days at this impressive Vietnamese Zen monastery in Escondido, San Diego County. Founded by Thich Nhat Hanh, this is his second monastery, modeled after Plum Village in France. Retreats include sitting meditation, chanting, walking meditation, mindfully eating delicious food, group discussions, and total relaxation. Beautiful mountains and hikes surround your stay. The monastery is definitely under the radar, so your clients can expect a quiet stay.

Oasis at Death Valley, Death Valley National Park

One of the most beautiful national parks, also known for being the hottest place on earth and the lowest point in elevation in North America. It is a remarkable place to camp, hike, off-road, and even soak in the Tecopa Hot Springs. However, outside of camping, there are very few places to stay. If you’re in the mood for luxury and a refreshing oasis, then the Oasis at Death Valley Resort will be your choice. Just make sure to book in advance because rooms fill up quickly. If you are looking for something a little less expensive, try The Ranch at Death Valley or camp at the Fiddler’s Campground, where you can take a dip in the Ranch’s natural spring-fed swimming pool. Just passing by? Take a moment to cool off and then enjoy the beautiful surroundings at one of the resort’s dining options.

Esalen Institute, Big Sur

Imagine bathing (clothing optional) in natural cliff-side hot springs on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, a feature for over 6,000 years in Big Sur. Esalen Institute, a non-profit all-inclusive retreat, opened in 1962 and offers various workshops, including, but not limited to, psychology, spirituality, art, personal growth, massage, meditation, and organic food. The resort is open only  to current guests, and any reservation must be made in advance. If this is outside your clients’ budget, be sure to check out the New Camaldoli Hermitage up the hill. It’s also serene and offers spectacular views of Big Sur.

Two Bunch Palms, Desert Hot Springs

Down the road from Joshua Tree, there’s a 100% sustainable and exclusive oasis, an escape for Los Angelinos. The natural hot springs at Two Bunch Palms have been flowing for over 600 years to feed the many pools on the property. Al Capone built this resort in the 1920s to serve as his west-coast hideout (rumor has it there is a tunnel underneath that reaches downtown Palm Springs). It now serves as a wellness hideout, where guests can enjoy the healing mineral waters, massages, mud baths, hikes, and wellness activities (yoga, sound baths, art classes, etc.) and can eat meals in their robes at Essence restaurant. If this is outside your clients’ budget, they can treat themselves to a spa day and enjoy the amenities without having to book a night at the resort. Be sure to check out Palm Springs while in the area and take the aerial tram up San Jacinto mountain to experience a 30-degree-lower temperature, amazing views, and lovely hikes.

Thank you, Christina!

To read Christina’s article in full, click here.

Please note: If you are interested in pursuing your certification and want to continue enhancing your knowledge and expertise, take advantage of The Travel Institute’s 7th Annual 50% Scholarship Program. Apply Today