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By Lena Katz

Harvest is when everyone typically thinks to visit Wine Country, but I remember summer in Sonoma and Napa as the best season of all. Of course, the lack of school probably had something to do with it. But the appeal of endless sunshine and sipping by the water and sunsets that seem to last for hours … it enchants tourists and locals and everyone in between.

Tons of wine country inns and hotels are offering summertime travel specials, from Simpson House‘s massage package to Vino Bello‘s discounts on advance reservations or multi-night stays. While in the area, visit either COPIA or the Vintners Collective to experience multiple wineries, gourmet tastes and cultural experiences under one roof.

Just a little bit south and over to the coast is Half Moon Bay — a beautiful, romantic little town that nobody visits as much as they should. Beautiful beaches, a weekly Saturday morning Coastside Market, and an unexpected abundance of flowers (in fact, some have anointed it "the flowercapital" of the region). Talk about romance on tap! Visit the third Saturday of any month for the flower market (9 a.m.-3 p.m.), or for ultimate bloom-iness, take the Tour de Fleur farm tour on July 12th from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Lena Katz lives on the Left Coast and writes about tropical islands, beach clubs and food, but her heart belongs to NYC.

Tagged: California

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