Chris and Danika Garlotta have been traveling full-time since they quit their jobs in 2014, and they showcase their insights on their luxury travel blog, No Destinations. Their most recent journey was a foodie trek through three Southern California cities, where they got a preview of the deals and special menus offered during January’s California Restaurant Month. On their trip, the duo ate upscale Mexican with skyline and bay views in San Diego, saw Temecula Valley wine country from above on a hot air balloon ride, and relaxed in an oceanfront luxury hotel in Dana Point. Danika shared the couple's favorite memories from the trip below.

1. What was the top highlight of your trip to California?

Staying at Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. The hotel was just really stunning and their cocktails and food were outstanding!

2. What were your impressions of San Diego’s culinary scene?

I love how it’s still very much casual, yet the offerings seem to be getting much more sophisticated.

3. What were the best dishes you ate while there?

At Coasterra, Chef Deborah’s quesadillas and the margaritas. At Vistal, the dumplings were delicious. And at Cafe Gratitude, the tempeh scramble was amazing! Chris's favorite was the acai bowl.

4. What else did you do in San Diego between meals?

We visited breweries and bars and went to our favorite dessert place, Extraordinary Desserts.

5. Which wineries in Temecula did you enjoy the most?

Our favorite wineries were Avensole and Peltzer.

 

6. What stood out about your Temecula experience?

The hot air balloon ride and the stay at Carter Estate Winery Resort.

7. You visited two luxury oceanfront properties in Dana Point—The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Monarch Beach Resort. What makes those two properties so special?

It's a five-star experience right on the beach. The properties were both stunning and seeing those views of the beach made it extra special.

8. What’s the best thing you ate while in Dana Point?

Oh that's tough... Chris and I both agree that it was dinner at Bourbon Steak. It was such a cool experience with really great cocktails and service. Everyone who worked there seemed to be experts in what they were doing. From the cocktails to the cuts of steak—it was all perfect!

9. Which picture or social media post best sums up your trip and why?

This one [above] of me walking on the beach. For me Southern California is all about being relaxed and laid back and taking the time to catch a sunset.