California news, stories & travel reviews

Liftoff on the Central Coast

Take the train or drive – here are tips for seeing a launch at Vandenberg AFB.

We older folks who remember the moon landing or seeing the space shuttle land at Edwards can check one more item off our bucket list – and do it just five hours north of San ...

Venice has grit

(Venice Beach, that is.)

A shirtless hippie with long, flowing hair and an orange tan gives me a wink as he floats by on his bicycle. After a few minutes, a large man carrying a CD player and headphones ...

With cruel glee

Ensor in his own cranky temperament

The Scandalous Art of James Ensor explores the art of the Great Distruber.

Cole Valley, San Francisco

Visiting the Haight? Check out nearby Cole Valley.

Several months ago Kay and I enjoyed several days in Haight-Ashbury – prior to my fortuitous discovery of nearby Cole Valley. We had been kicking back at the no-frills, creaky Red Victorian Hotel on bustling ...

Sixty miles to El Capitan Reservoir and back

East County standouts on this 4-5 hour cycling trip.

I recently had a nice, cool day off for a leisurely and minimally hilly bike ride that doesn't involve the super-flat Mission Bay or San Diego Bay. Where else to go but to follow the ...

L.A. foodie binge

Culinary crawl in the City of Angels.

Why break bread in the City of Angels? Wade into a mixology oasis, devour seared red meat and make your way through a parade of Asian delights? Eat, pray and love. Nah, I just love ...

Digital detox in Julian

Unplug with this guide to the East County mountain town.

A digital detox vacation is one where you can’t get cellphone, satellite or internet service of any kind. Ok, I might've just sent you into a panic attack with this thought – so take a ...

Camping at Doheny State Beach, CA

Train to bike from downtown San Diego.

Our growing family of four is always up for an adventure, and recently we began mulling over this idea of a bicycle-train-camping expedition. Unsure if we'd be getting in over our heads, we decided to ...

Biking the Great Western Loop

This East County route should be on every S.D. cycler's list.

A few friends and I went riding East County's Great Western Loop on a clear November morning. The GWL is a popular rural cycling route along Willow Glen, Dehesa, Japatul, Lyons Valley Roads and Jamul ...

The Queen and her subjects

I haven’t owned a camera for 30 years and don’t yet have a smartphone. I’ve been writing about photography for 30 years, and when I was very young it shaped my sensibility in ways I’m ...

Discovering San Francisco's City Hall

One of SF's less-touristed treasures.

There are the usual San Francisco tourism sites: the Golden Gate, Lombard Street, Chinatown, etc. There are my favorites: the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Museum of Modern Art and de Young Museum. And ...

Urban hiking in Maple Canyon

A hidden canyon trail in the heart of the city.

Like much of California’s coast, San Diego’s topography is unique. Mountains in the east give way to plateaus, which in turn give way to labyrinths of canyons that eventually find their way into the ocean. ...

Go green in Encinitas

Day tripping to a couple North County public gardens.

When most people think of Encinitas, the beach is probably the first thing to come to mind. Moonlight and Swami’s are two of the best in the county. But the seaside community is also home ...

Winter skiing's finally on in the Eastern Sierras

The Pineapple Express has been dumping snow the past two weeks.

Just when SoCal skiers and snowboarders thought winter would never come, the Pineapple Express has opened up and is dumping tons of snow on Mammoth and June Mountain. The weather phenomenon picks up moisture-laden air ...

Bailing out the last frontier

There’s been a lot of talk about the northern part of California breaking away from its nether regions to form one or more new states. Last September, before a standing-room-only crowd of 40, Modoc County ...

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