Northern California

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Hunting big trees in California

From Western Sierra sequoias to Humboldt redwoods.

With its varied climates, landscapes and ecosystems, California is a one-of-a-kind state. When European settlers first arrived here, one of the signs of this uniqueness they discovered were the mammoth trees of California, the sequoia ...

Locke – CA's last Chinese town

This Central Valley community recalls the days of Steinbeck.

The houses slant sideways and the opium dens are gone, but Locke, California, takes visitors back more than 90 years to a unique Chinese farming community. Thanks to the work of a few locals with ...

Manzanar National Historic Site, CA

Thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned here during World War II.

When I arrived in Lone Pine, that sweet little town at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas, I planned to make a documentary about mountain climbing. I would try to climb Mt. Whitney, and I ...

How to survive Yosemite in July

Get off the tourist track and head for the High Country.

With limited free time and a bucket list growing by the day, a return trip to Yosemite National Park had been on the cards for a while, but sadly the only weekend we could spare ...

Behind the redwood curtain: Humboldt County

A world – and 10-12 hours – away from SoCal freeways.

Northern California doesn't begin with San Francisco, at least not to Humboldt County residents. It's not really a particular city that marks the split between north and south, but a vast stretch of forest – ...

Eastern Sierra trout bite is on

Plenty of angling in the June Lake Loop.

Fish on! That’s usually a term used by deep-sea fisherman when they get a big bite, but also best describes the fishing frenzy going on now in the Eastern Sierras. The 2013 season trout opener ...

Escape to Muir Beach

This easy SF getaway offers redwoods and great coastal hikes.

The quiet shoreline of Muir Beach is set among centuries-old redwoods on a remote stretch of Northern California coast. You'll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of nearby San Francisco. At ...

June Lake's Open for Business

Twenty minutes and a world away from Mammoth.

Even with the unexpected winter closure of June Mountain*, skiers and snowboarders are finding June Lake village to be a welcome getaway – to get away from the crowds of nearby Mammoth. While Mammoth's skiing ...

Groveland's Gold-Rush Era Watering Hole

Step into the past at Iron Door Saloon, the oldest bar in California.

Sitting approximately 25 miles from the western gate of Yosemite National Park is Groveland, CA. The town straddles highway 120 and is as rooted in the past as any other you will see on this ...

Urban Retreat: SF's Angel Island

On a recent visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, we decided to escape the congestion of the inner city. If you’ve never visited Angel Island, it should be on your priority list when visiting ...

Sea Ranch Chapel

Just north of Salt Point State Park, half way between Point Reyes National Seashore and Fort Bragg along the Pacific Coastal Highway, is a place called Sea Ranch. About 300 of the 1,800 uniformly shingle-clad, ...

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