Class it up this spring break

by Kelly Hillock

Since nearly every day is like spring break in San Diego, this week-long vacation is the perfect time to indulge your classy side, or at least, pretend to be fancy and leave your messy apartment behind for a few hours. Here are some ways you can get your fancy on without raising a pinky.

Wine tasting in Temecula
Instead of Friday night’s usual ritual of $5 beer pitchers, try experiencing a variety of wines where the grapes are grown on-site. An hour’s drive on the I-15 north takes you to the Temecula Valley Wine Country, home of Southern California’s finest wineries. For a day’s getaway, you can experience nationally-recognized wines, from South Coast’s sauvignon blanc to Wilson Creek’s almond champagne. A tasting at many wineries costs $15 per person, but an alternative could be choosing a bottle of local wine and enjoying a picnic at any of the wineries’ beautiful properties. The rural landscape of Temecula offers a chance to relax with friends or a significant other for a perfect mini-getaway.

Hot air balloon rides
If you’re looking to have an unforgettable, yet local, experience this spring break, consider a hot air balloon ride. Skysurfer Balloon co. offers the incredible opportunity to view the beaches of Del Mar at sunset among the clouds with a glass of champagne. A flight with Skysurfer is $210 per person; other companies located in San Diego offer similar prices. The package includes a glass of champagne or soft drink and approximately one hour of flight time. Be sure to bring a camera, for the views up in this balloon will be ones you don’t want to forget.

Dinner and a movie
This tried-and-true night out remains a classic for a reason: It’s the perfect way to enjoy the company of friends and relax with America’s favorite kind of entertainment. The Cheesecake Factory, located in Fashion Valley, has the perfect ambiance for when you’re feeling fancy and in the mood for decadent dessert. Conveniently, it’s located within walking distance to the AMC Theaters for your choice of current films. If the wait time at Cheesecake Factory is too long for your taste, Fashion Valley has a variety of different restaurants to choose from, from Stacked to P.F. Chang’s.

Museums in Balboa Park
Balboa Park offers a beautiful expanse of gardens, trails and architecture, most apt for strolling and picture-taking. However, spring break is a perfect opportunity to experience some of the many museums located in Balboa Park. For instance, the Museum of Man offers an Instruments of Torture and a beerology exhibit. Or, to indulge your inner science geek, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center offers interactive science exhibits. For the artistically inclined, the San Diego Museum of Art has priceless works of art on display. Most museums offer student discounts and if you plan for a Tuesday visit, select museums are free for residents with a valid I.D.

Rooftop Bar
Trying to class it up? If you’re looking to impress a date and are willing to spend a little more, Andaz’s RoofTop 600 might be the place to try this spring break. Located in Downtown San Diego at 600 F St., this open lounge is a hotel pool deck by day, rooftop bar by night. You can look out over a beautiful view of downtown San Diego, snuggle up by the glass fire pits. But at $15 for a “Between the Sheets” strawberry cocktail, you might have to save up. If you want to complete the experience, check in to one of the Andaz’s many downstairs rooms.

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock