Northern California

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, ...

Travel with Your Dog in CA

With an estimated nine-million-plus dogs in California alone, it’s no wonder there are so many dogs at parks, beaches and recreation areas throughout the state. The mile-long Huntington Dog Beach, the epitome of a perfect ...

Mammoth Lakes Basin Bike Path

This paved downhill route through pine forest is fun for the whole family.

This summer marked the completion of 5.3 miles of paved bike path through forests above the town of Mammoth Lakes, California. The clearly marked, two-lane path starts at the top of Lake Mary Rd. at ...

Spectacular Mono Lake

See the Eastern Sierra's great salt lake, just east of Yosemite.

Highway 89 south out of Lake Tahoe to Route 395 has got to be one of THE most pleasurable rides in a stick shift. It’s definitely a road reserved for the unfettered. The steep switchbacks ...

Searching for E.T.: Hat Creek Radio Observatory, CA

Far off the main road in northeastern California, follow the signs to Hat Creek Radio Observatory and you'll come to outer-space terrain, dotted with what my six-year-old calls "Dish Aliens." It's the Allen Telescope Array ...

A Long Weekend in Sequoia and Yosemite

On a whim, I decided to drive up to explore a spectacular stretch of California natural beauty for a four-day vacation: Sequoia National Park and Yosemite. I hadn’t been to Yosemite for years, and I ...

Berkeley City Club: A California Classic

Smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Berkeley stands Julia Morgan’s “Little Castle.” Old hotels hold a certain allure for me, and the Berkeley City Club is no exception. The stone ...

Salt Point State Park: Hidden California Coast

From Moro Rock to the memorable Bixby Creek Bridge, beauty abounds along the Pacific Coastal Highway in the form of uninterrupted expansive views extending to the beryl-blue horizon. The road from Pismo Beach to Half ...

San Francisco Hippie Tour

Ten minutes late (on time if you’re on “hippie time,” I suppose), a woman wearing sparkly orange tennis shoes and a long velvet coat walks up to the street corner, shouting to us in a ...

Fall in the Eastern Sierras, California

You don’t need to travel to New England to see fabulous fall colors – a tank-and-a-half of gas away, California's Eastern Sierras are on full autumn display. A very early snowfall, up to 19 inches ...

The Ghost Fleet of Suisun Bay, California

They are a floating museum, revered by some, reviled by others. But no trip to the Bay Area is complete without viewing the huddled battalion of old military ships that haunts its northern reaches, where ...

Outside Lands Inside a Car, San Francisco

Tickets in hand: check. Place to stay in San Francisco: check. Ride secured: check. Last night for two hours I (legally) downloaded over 21 hours of tunes for the eight-hour car journey. Mobile music leading ...

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

About a one-hour drive from the densely populated San Francisco Bay Area, Point Reyes National Seashore was established to protect wilderness and natural ecosystems along the California coastline. Point Reyes is rich in biological diversity: ...

Napa: Prager Winery and Portworks

As I drive south out of Napa Valley after a weeklong housesit, I stop at Prager Winery and Portworks in quaint St. Helena on the recommendation of a friend. The tasting room is in a ...

Calistoga, California

I woke to overcast skies and decided it would be a good day to hike. With a hot cup of Roastaroma in hand, a quick Google search led me to several trails within an hour’s ...

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