Summer time in SoCal is here, which means it’s the perfect season to plan staycations or weekend getaways. As I started exploring travel sites for hotel package deals and recommendations, none really provided the visual feedback that I was looking for. I mean, how many times have you been to a hotel website where they only show you the good parts of the hotel, but when you show up, it doesn’t look anything you seen online? In fact, I believe there’s a commercial about that.
Not satisfied with what Expedia, Travelocity and other sites pulled up what they thought I would enjoy, I went to my personal Facebook page and asked “I’m planning a weekend getaway to Ensenada for wine tasting, does anyone have any recommendations?” Sure I received a few comments that gave me a direction of where to begin searching for hotels and vineyards. First thing I did was Google the town “Valle de Guadalupe”. But once again felt lost, because many of the local hotels and vineyards websites were out of date not providing the visual experience of each location.
I started thinking where would people search for realistic great hotel experiences? Where could I find out who has the best vineyards or wine? Where would I grab a nice lunch or dinner? I don’t want to read fake reviews, I want to see where all the locals go and what they recommend I should try. Which platform can pull in people’s visual experiences of one topic, place or thing under one stream? Then it came to me, Instagram.
Being that I’ve never been to Valle de Guadalupe, I didn’t know what to expect or where to go. So I wanted to see what I should expect based on what others have already proudly experienced and bragged about. After all, lets face it, we also use Instagram to show off a little. I quickly searched the #ValledeGuadalupe hashtag on Instagram mobile app and over 14k photos came up. There it was, real lives and testimonials of people sharing fabulous hotels, resorts, gourmet restaurants, gorgeous wineries from large to small vineyards. I was overwhelmed with all the beautiful photos, but I finally knew based on photos where I would like to stay, have lunch, dinner and enjoy fun activities.
That evening, based on the Instagram searched hashtag, I created a whole weekend itinerary. Below are photos of my fabulous finds that was recommended via Instagram by people like us.
The only problem I had, there were so many experiences shared via Instagram that I so badly wanted to explore all of them, however, my getaway was only three days. I guess this only means I need to go back to Ensenada, Mexico and share my photos to hopefully guide the next person who wants to explore and try something different, based on a true story.