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Getting to Know the West with Avelo Airlines

Itching to travel and explore somewhere new? Not eager to visit a big city or overcrowded tourist destination? Brand new Avelo Airlines offers flights out of Burbank Airport to 10 exciting alternative destinations across the Western U.S.

With rates as low as $39 one way, it’s time to start planning your next adventure. Nonstop flights from Burbank include California destinations like Eureka, Redding and Santa Rosa along with three stops in Oregon—Eugene, Medford and Bend. Also, nonstop flights can be booked to Pasco, Washington; Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona; Ogden, Utah; and Bozeman, Montana.

Avelo Air has opened up new travel possibilities. Consider getting to know California more by flying to Eureka with its towering old-growth redwoods and the new Redwood Skywalk at Sequoia Park Zoo. Stroll the historic old town or cruise along on the early 1900’s Madakat ferry to take in the sights, seals and birdlife of Humboldt Bay. Fly into Redding and marvel at the Sundial Bridge and hike Lassen Volcanic National Park, a must for thermal wonders with less crowds than Yosemite. In nearby Mount Shasta, learn about Gold Rush history or climb into the Lake Shasta caverns.

Visit Oregon to explore profound changes in landscape. You could fly into one location and out of another. Bend is filled with every imaginable outdoor adventure but also renowned for its breweries. Mountain bike, hike around Lava Lands or waterfalls, climb inside a lava tube, and ski or dog sled at Mt. Bachelor in winter. We highly recommend a stay at Sunriver Resort. On your way to Medford, witness Crater Lake National Park, drive to the coast or soak in southern Oregon’s steaming hot springs. For a self-guided adventure to diverse farms, artisans and restaurants in Southern Oregon, download the Rogue Valley Food Trail brochure to plot your themed route.

In the sunshine-soaked heart of Washington State, Pasco boasts riverfront parks and miles of paved pedestrian trails. Traverse this part of America by biking or walking the 23-mile Sacagawea Heritage Trail or taking a jetboat tour of Hanford Reach. In Ogden, Utah, you are not far from Salt Lake City. Rivers teem with trout and salmon. Stay awhile for a First Friday Art Stroll while endless hiking and mountain bike trails await!

Forget driving over eight hours to get to Sonoma’s wine country for a long weekend. In about an hour, land in Santa Rosa on Avelo’s Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft. About half the plane was booked each way out of 189 seats available. The friendly flight staff served bottled water and packaged cookies. Here’s how we took advantage of two nights and three days in Sonoma County.

First, we pre-booked a rental car on the app Turo to get around easilywhich also made sense since no car rental agencies are open after 5 p.m. in the small airport. The car was waiting for us when we arrived. Before the hotel, my husband and I stopped in the charming village of Glen Ellen, home to less than a thousand residents, to dine at the renowned Glen Ellen Star. A counter seat allowed us to watch the chef multi-task exquisite dishes as we gorged ourselves on summer salad with peaches and feta then duck confit pasta mixed with crunchy haricot verts and roasted grapes. We ogled more courses like roasted veggies in skillets, such as Brussels with brown sugar bacon and Mexican-style corn with cotija cheese, as they were pulled from the wood-fired oven. People raved about the tomato cream pie pizza but we settled happily on the house-made focaccia bread infused with cheddar and jalapeno and melt in your mouth whole branzino—paired with a juicy red Random Ridge Cabernet, of course. After feeling so cooped up from a year of stay-at-home life, dining here was like being transported to Europe!

Checking into the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa at night felt like we stepped into a Wes Anderson film as the fountain and pinkish façade sparkled in perfect symmetry. The crisp forest air was the first reminder we were no longer in L.A. Guests sat around fire pits while we eagerly sank into comfort with our in-room fireplace, wine and calming fountain just outside our hotel room patio. The biggest treat is the hotel’s Willow Stream Spa that sits atop an ancient thermal mineral spring flowing from 1,100 feet below the surface. The 98-degree mineral pool comes with music under the water perfect for a relaxing Zen float.

The next day we passed numerous bucolic vineyards and spiraled up a narrow road past a few gates to a lush paradise spread out before us. At first glance, I wondered if we had arrived at Monet’s Garden, the American version. We gazed agape as flowers in every color gently moved in the wind and a naturally dyed lake below was accented by an arched bridge and stunning hillsides. Atop the rocky slopes of Bennett Mountain, vineyards wrapped around the architecturally modern tasting room. A thousand feet above sea level Coursey Graves Bennett Valley Estate felt like stepping into a painting. We had the entire place to ourselves as we savored a wine tasting with tomato cucumber salad and thinly sliced prosciutto and burrata. As part of the pre-booked Estate Vertical Experience, a private tour inside the mountaintop wine cave showed off vino aged in terracotta vessels brought from Italy. The cool weather here and rocky soils mimic Bordeaux conditions, producing highly concentrated fruit and the wine is outstanding!

Our next reservation was an extraordinary wine and food pairing at Hamel Family Wines, a fully estate-grown biodynamic vineyard located in a rare region favorable for Cabernet. After a cave tour, our taste buds were tantalized by wine sips from $200 bottles of vino, some aged in stainless steel, French oak and concrete tanks, and each paired with Michelin-worthy bites. The green hillside sprawled in front of us complete with a dripping water feature cascading the length of our dining table. It was hard to leave.

On our last day we sipped vino at Kunde Family Winery, a 5th generation 1,850-acre estate in the heart of Sonoma Valley with a lengthy list of wines. We ventured into their 32,000-square-foot cave where the 2008 movie “Bottle Shock” was filmed atop with a boxing ring. The comedy was based on a 1976 wine competition where California wine defeated French wine in a blind taste test.

What pairs well with a morning wine tasting? Doughnuts, of course. Decadent Johnny Doughnuts in Santa Rosa satiated us with varieties like citrus rosemary and apple Cinnabon-style. Farther down the road in Sebastopol we meandered upon an interesting Sunday maker’s market at The Barlow with local products, culminating with a leisurely lunch outside pup-friendly Blue Ridge Kitchen known for its farmhouse-style wood grill dishes. Truly a satisfying way to round out our culinary venture. It is impossible not to fall in love with Sonoma. And now it’s easier than ever to get there.

Pro Tips:

When booking with Avelo Airlines book your checked bag ($10) or carry-on ($35) in advance or it will cost an additional $10 at the airport. Since rows can be tight, book an emergency exit row or ask for a seat change upon check-in for more leg room. 

Arrange a rental car in advance and double check the hours of operation, as some flights land after rental car companies have closed for the day.

  • Photo Credit: Tracy Marcynzsyn
  • Photo Credit: Tracy Marcynzsyn
  • Photo Credit: Tracy Marcynzsyn
  • Photo Credit: Tracy Marcynzsyn
  • Photo Credit: Tracy Marcynzsyn
  • Photo Credit: Tracy Marcynzsyn