Highland Springs Resort's friendly staff has been welcoming guests since 1884. The present-day grounds include a thousand-year-old black oak tree in the Cherry Valley foothills, more than 20 acres of farmland ripe with organic herbs, and miles of hiking trails accessible with a visitor guest pass. The deluxe inn room, which echoes the resort's rustic, simple feel, hides behind green and growing charms, including gardens, vined verandas, and plumes of shrubbery rearranged daily by millions of heavy-lift butterflies. Located roughly 80 miles from San Gabriel, Highland Springs Resort is close enough to bookend your work week without spending all of it in the car.
The son of a San Fernando Valley butcher, Jody Maroni grew up enchanted by the meat trade. He made his first solo foray into the business in 1979, selling unorthodox sausages made by hand and then smoked or grilled on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. More than 30 years later, Jody continues handcrafting gourmet sausages with all-natural meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, wines, and beers. Created from personal recipes, his 24 nitrate- and preservative-free cased meats include garlic-infused pork sausages and tequila chicken sausages with brined jalapeños and corn. They exhibit the versatility of the seemingly simple meal, ranging from the hot links popular in Louisiana to the bratwurst that would make a Midwesterner feel at home and the traditional hot dogs robots eat to fit in on the Fourth of July.
Ono Hawaiian BBQ brings the island to the mainland with tender meats soaked in made-from-scratch marinades. Chefs hand roll chicken katsu in panko bread crumbs to give it a fresh, crispy texture, and assemble generous portions of crispy shrimp, island whitefish, and barbecue chicken in the seafood mix.
The friendly mother-and-daughter team behind Aromas Coffee & Cafe enlists more than 20 years of serving experience to entice patrons with caffeinated drinks, light café fare, and free WiFi seven days a week. A large cup of freshly poured java and the soft pillowy layers of a doughy cinnamon roll pair perfectly like two sides of a Laurel and Hardy friendship necklace. Dining duos can venture in on certain Saturdays to take in the sounds of open-mic performers as they sip and nibble their treats. Alternatively, guests can choose their own treats, digging into a drink menu filled with mexican mochas ($3+) and smoothies ($3+) or perusing the café menu’s bagel sandwiches ($2.99+), pastries ($0.50–$2.95) and more, instead of grinding coffee beans to use as dehydrated space food.