8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vc_royals_raiseawareness_st_rf_174605507_1280x640

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal
Pay it forward with these bright ideas for giving back across the Golden State

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s historic union has been called ‘the people’s wedding’ for good reason. Not only did the down-to-earth couple invite hundreds of British schoolchildren to be guests on their big day, but they also asked for charity donations in lieu of gifts. Separately, both the prince and the soon-to-be duchess have a long history of altruism—he has founded a number of charities, while her commitment to activism started in childhood. Feeling inspired by the royal couple to make the world a better place? We have some brilliant ways to spread the love while visiting California. 

1. Protect our waves and wildlife

Ocean conservation is one of the causes the couple chose to add to their wedding ‘registry’ via the U.K.-based Surfers Against Sewage. One visit to California’s stunning coastline will inspire you to ensure that the Pacific stays pristine for generations to come. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to get involved: Test water quality, search for stranded marine wildlife, or dive in to participate in June’s Great Annual Fish Count.

2. Support those who served

Prince Harry deployed twice to Afghanistan with the British Armed Forces so it’s no surprise that veterans remain close to his heart. For 30 years, the Veterans Village of San Diego has organized an annual Stand Down event during the summer for struggling former service members. Homeless veterans who attend the fair are provided with clothing, haircuts, medical services, legal assistance, job counselling and more. The event is powered by volunteer support—sign up in advance or simply show up near the southern edge of Balboa Park.

3. Run to raise funds

As Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Prince Harry has motivated thousands of runners to give back through racing. Follow in his royal footsteps at the California International Marathon, held the first Sunday in December in Sacramento. The marathon, which also includes a relay option, allows the Sacramento Running Association to raise more than $1 million annually for charity. Beneficiaries include the UC Davis Children’s HospitalAmerican River Parkway Foundation and United States Association of Blind Athletes.

4. Shuttle food to shelters

Los Angeles–based Thrive Market was founded with the mission to make healthy food more accessible to families of all income levels. The e-commerce retailer is leading a drive to accept food stamps for its purchases online, and they also donate their surplus food each day. All you need is a car and a few hours to be a part of the solution. Volunteers take food from the warehouse in Marina del Rey to local shelters from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday. After your shift wraps, go for a sunset clean-up at Mother’s Beach and earn extra good karma.  

5. Eat, drink, and provide sanctuary  

Celebrate good work at the annual Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food & Brew Festival, held each June in Camarillo. The best vintners, brewers and chefs from Ventura County offer unlimited pairings for the price of admission. Special events include culinary competitions with celebrity judges and a seven-course dinner from the festival’s top chefs. Proceeds go to Casa Pacifica, a 24-acre campus where abused and neglected youth can find shelter, support, education and care.  

6. Get glam for a good cause 

For their first post-engagement public outing, Meghan and her prince chose a World AIDS Day event. You can contribute to this critical cause alongside the Hollywood elite at the annual amfAR Gala Los Angeles in October. Tickets to the star-laden event (think Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Goldie Hawn) start at $3,000. To date, the gala has raised more than $13 million for the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS as well as for education around related issues.   

7. Ride for a reason

Marry your desire to give back with your love of fresh air and fine wine at the Cycle for Sight in Napa Valley. Choose your distance (15, 25, and 50-mile rides are available), then explore the valley on two wheels while raising money for a few great causes. The event benefits the Pathway Home, which helps veterans transition to civilian life; Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind; and V Foundation, which is focused on finding cancer cures. All cyclists can toast hard work and great causes with a food, music and wine festival at the ride’s end.

8. Lend a hand on horseback

Equine-assisted therapy has been used for centuries to encourage physical and mental health. At the beautiful Halleck Creek Ranch, visitors can help improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities. Volunteer as a one-time experience or make a longer commitment to guide riders along serene trails in Marin County’s Nicasio Valley.

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal Pillars_Luxury_ST_RF_80078_1280x640

California: Luxury

ALL DREAMS WELCOME

Explore Shopping in California
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal RodeoDrive_SharonMollerus_1280x642
Discover Los Angeles County

You’ll definitely want to leave room in your suitcase for L.A. shopping.

If you’re ready to whip out the platinum card, head to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, home...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal SpecialFeautre_UnionSquare_1280x642_sized
Spotlight: San Francisco

This elegant square circled by tall palm trees, in the city centre, is the hub for luxury shopping. Walk streets surrounding the square to jot down your anything’s-...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_D_OC_T4_Shopping_Manley1280x642
Discover Orange County

Shopping in The O.C. is almost as legendary as surfing. Start at expansive South Coast Plaza, California’s largest luxury shopping complex, with iconic luxury brands such...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vc_californiapacking_st_rf_622072_1280x640
Liz Sallee Bauer/Offset

How to Pack for a Trip to California

The lowdown on what to bring with you—and what to leave at home

California attracts more than 250 million tourists each year, many of whom are eager to swim, ski, hike, and of course, sample local wines. Others...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Escape to laid-back luxury all over the Golden State

Holidays can be about the children, about family, about taking advantage of a work trip. But sometimes, it is nice to be just about you. These pamper-perfect destinations make sure that you have...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal RitzCarlton_LagunaNiguel_preview_686x885
Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel
SPECIAL FEATURE
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind the scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of actvities...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_SI_VIP_T1_MichaelSaechang_preview_686x885
Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Relax after a day on the slopes

Kicking back after you kick off your boots is a snow-country tradition, and there’s plenty of post-slopes fun at California’s top alpine resorts. Have a beer or warm up with an Irish coffee, dance...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal KTBaseBar_JeffEnegerbretson_SquawValley_preview_686x885
Jeff Enegerbretson
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_SI_FarmersMarket_Hero_IMG_1116_1280x642
The Petals body treatment at luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa begins with a rubdown with powdered roses followed by a rose-gel shower and rose-oil massage.
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal PebbleBeach_Golf_1280x642
Pebble Beach by Christina Lauren/Flickr

Golfing in Monterey & Carmel

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vca_maps_centralcoast
Play along the ocean or in sunny wine country

If you’re a golfer—and why else would you be reading this—then what do we need to say? You probably already know all about the Pebble Beach Golf...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Beautiful locations, luxurious comforts

Get the starry nights, the campfire stories, the cosy sleeping bag and all the best parts of camping in some of California’s most beautiful settings—but without the hassle of...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_SI_T6_Glamping_ElCapitanCanyon_CabinExt1_preview_686x885
El Capitan Canyon
SPECIAL FEATURE
Get the inside scoop on California's most celebrated commodity

With more than 3,000 wineries statewide, California lets you sample award-winning wines almost anywhere you go. These classic and up-and-coming wine roads—some too packed with wineries to tackle...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal Grapes_WineRoads_SpecialFeature_preview_686x885
Temecula Valley by Kodiak Greenwood
SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal Shopping_SpecialFeature_preview_686x885_0
Prayitno/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Elegant estates, relaxed wineries, urban tasting rooms

Elegant estates at the end of country roads lined with vineyards? Yes. Low-key wineries housed in converted barns? Yes again. Urban wine trails with hip in-town tasting rooms? Yes, we...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal Preview_WineGlasses_686x885_1
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_D_IE_T2-IE_TemeculaValley_KG_1280x642
Temecula Valley is known for its variety, growing and producing over 50 different varietals of wine; from Cabernet Sauvignon to Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot to Mourvedre, Viognier to Chardonnay.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Find your favourite California indulgence

Luxury, as the saying goes, is in the eye of the beholder (or the holiday maker). Indulgence for you might mean reservations at one of L.A.’s swankiest restaurants or perhaps...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal silveradotrail_napa
Courtesy of South Coast Plaza
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal LaQuinta_sized_1280x642
Lucas Himovitz

Luxury Resorts in the Desert

Relax at spoil-yourself spas under the desert sun

Pampering just comes with the territory in the California desert. Maybe in the old days, desert visitors had to pack in supplies and sleep on the...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Cross iconic bridges and tour castles statewide

Even if you don’t know the difference between a California bungalow and a Bauhaus box, you will like visiting some of California’s most unforgettable bridges, buildings, and other structures....

Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal CherryBlossom_MichaelOcampo_1280x642
At luxurious Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs, the Aqua Soma treatment combines sensual water shiatsu with underwater music in a pool heated to match your body temperature.
SPECIAL FEATURE
Sample ultra-fresh, hyper-local, and downright amazing

When you come to California, come hungry. This is a state that really knows how to cook. Amazing and innovative chefs sprinkled with Michelin stars work with local farms and artisanal food...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal Preview_GeorgesCove_FishTaco_686x885_2
George's at the Cove
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_D_SDcity_waterfrontdining
Dave Lauridsen

San Diego: Waterfront Dining

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vca_maps_sandiego
Sunset views, fresh seafood—a perfect pairing in San Diego

With the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay at its doorstep, San Diego defines waterfront dining. Travel the coast to get a taste—literally—of what...

Apr 20 - Apr 23
April

Get ready for the Central Coast’s ultimate gathering of the culinary world. Now in its ninth year, this luxurious event is one of those star- and spectacle-studded experiences you simply have to...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VC_PebbleBeachFoodWine_Supplied_SpringBreakCookingWithoutRules_GinaSinotte_22_686x885
Courtesy of Coastal Luxury Management
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vca_maps_centralcoast
SPECIAL FEATURE
From north to south, beer is booming in California

With nearly 500 breweries state wide (and probably more by the time you read this), it’s safe to say that the craft beer movement is not just booming in California, it is BOOMING. From the state’s...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_SI_T1_StoneBrewery_By David_Lauridsen_preview_686x885
Dave Lauridsen
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_D_DE_T8_DE_PS_GolfCourse_KG
Kodiak Greenwood

Golf & tennis

Swing clubs and racquets where the pros do in the Coachella Valley

With world-class golf courses set against dramatic desert landscapes and top-quality tennis courts beneath towering palms, two sports get classy...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_D_DE_T8_DE_PS_GolfCourse_KG_0
The lowest golf course in the world is Furnace Creek in Death Valley, at 214 feet below sea level.
August

Revel in the flavours of the ultimate foodie city as San Francisco’s premier chefs—many of them movers and shakers in the sustainability movement—strut their stuff at the ...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VC_EatDrinkSF_Supplied_EDSF2015_GrandTasting_GammaNine_1_2827_686x885_0
Gamma Nine/ Eat DrinkSF
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vca_maps_sfbayarea
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal RitzCarltonLagunaNiguel_1280x642
Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Orange County's Luxury Resorts

Live like a star at posh getaways

The good life might have been invented in ‘The O.C.’—especially when it comes to resort destinations. With spas, elegant dining, five-star...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VC_DogFriendlyHotels_PaseaHotel_Supplied_IMG3283_1280x640 (1)
Courtesy of Paséa Hotel & Spa

8 Dog-Friendly California Hotels

Pamper your pup at these digs that are pretty nice for humans, too

Dog owners used to be faced with an unhappy dilemma when it came to travelling: leave their pups behind or stay in flea-bitten...

SPECIAL FEATURE
World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class hotels and resorts. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills,...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal PalaceHotel_LynGateley_preview_686x885
Lynn Gately/Flickr
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VCW_D_SFcity_T11_Dining_TS_1280x642_sized
Thomas J. Story/ Sunset Publishing

Dining in San Francisco

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vca_maps_sfbayarea
Taste world flavours with hyper-fresh ingredients

In San Francisco, ingredient-driven menus reign supreme. With some of the nation’s best produce at their fingertips, chefs in the City by the Bay...

November

Local and international talent gathers at the gustatory tribute to all that’s good about wine & food (and there’s beer too); the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is San Diego’s largest...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal SDBayFoodWine_KevinHulett_preview_686x885
San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival by Kevin Hulett
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vca_maps_sandiego
SPECIAL FEATURE
10 getaways sure to make that special someone in your life swoon

Romance, like people, takes endless forms. Some couples splurge with champagne, candlelight dinners, and four-poster beds with all the trimmings. Others prefer a rustic retreat with a snuggle-up-...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VC_RomanticInns_GlenOaks_Supplied_Big-Sur-Cabin-8007_686x885_PREVIEW
Courtesy of Onyx & Ash
8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VC_NewGoldRush_ChefsTables_NNaka_Supplied_nnakaA5WagyuBeefSteak_ZenSekizawa_1280x640
Zen Sekizawa

5 California Chef’s Table Experiences

Get an intimate front-row seat while dining at these California restaurants

California cuisine has long been celebrated for its use of extraordinary ingredients, from sustainably farmed produce and meats to artisanal...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VC_GoldenMind_CoreyLee_TheRitzHalfMoonBay_Supplied_Fireplaces_RCHMV3_1280x640
Courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley

Luxury Picks: Corey Lee

The three-Michelin-star chef shares his favorite Golden State indulgences

Chef Corey Lee is a trailblazer in San Francisco’s food scene with his three-Michelin-star restaurant ...

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal VC_BMWPeformanceCenter_Supplied_PCW-RED-M-DQ6U3958_1280x640_0
Courtesy of BMW Performance Driving School

BMW Performance Driving School

8 Ways to Raise Awareness Like a Royal vca_maps_deserts_0
Drive fast in an M Series BMW at a racetrack south of Palm Springs

Zooming really fast in an ultra-speedy M Series BMW may seem like one of those Walter Mitty moments that’s out of your reach. But now those need-...