Back to profile

Stories by Bonnie Maffei

A Side Trip from Sedona, AZ

Visitors to the spiritual center of Sedona, Arizona, may not know of the many wonders nearby. Sedona is known for amazing red rock formations and its “vortexes,” centers of spiritual energy. But in addition to ...

Carnival Masks and Where to Eat & Stay in Venice, Italy

Want to relive 18th-century Venice? If you visit Venice along with thousands of other tourists during Carnival, you’ll experience one of the world’s irresistible attractions. Walkways are filled with crowds of mask-wearing characters headed to ...

Mud Pots of Calipatria & Leonard Knight's Salvation Mountain, Niland, CA

Avoid the tourist throngs and discover two desert oddities three hours east of San Diego, in Calipatria and Niland. From a distance, the Mud Pots look like giant anthills, and the sulphur smell will knock ...

Mexican Artisans and the Day of the Dead, Pátzcuaro, Mexico

Are you a cultural festival junkie? Treasures abound in Mexico and in your nearby Mexican neighborhood. I still have my sugar skeletons from the Day of the Dead (El Día De Los Muertos) in Pátzcuaro, ...

Apple Days in Julian, California

Apple Days are here! Apple pie tasting is an art I could get used to, especially if the pies are baked in Julian, a historic mountain town famous for its apple orchards and home-baked pies. ...

Barcelona, Spain: Gaudi, Picasso and Paella

I’ve made countless artistic pilgrimages throughout Europe, but Barcelona is one of my favorite destinations. Artists love Barcelona! The Museu Picasso, set up at Picasso’s wish, is the expression of his passionate connection with the ...

Ancient Ephesus, Turkey

If you’re a seeker of sacred sites and find yourself in the Greek Islands, hop a ferry from Samos to Kuşadası (or fly from Samos into Adnan Menderes Airport), then grab a bus to Ephesus, ...

Art in the Cyclades: Paros, Greece

I enjoyed three glorious months in Parikia, on the Cycladic island of Paros, home to poets, writers, artists and those in love with a peaceful lifestyle. You can study art at the Aegean Center for ...

Matala Beach, Crete, Greece

When visiting Crete, rent a car and drive to rustic Hotel Eva Marina, about an hour southwest of Heraklion Airport. Nine hundred fifty yards from Matala Beach, it features high-speed internet, an inviting pool, bar ...

San Clemente Pier, California

Whether you’re into spending the day fishing off the pier, grabbing chili fries at the hot dog stand, or relaxing over a cocktail followed by lunch or dinner at Fisherman’s Restaurant, San Clemente Pier has ...

Olvera Street, El Pueblo De Los Angeles Historical Monument

San Diego has Little Italy. Los Angeles has “Little Mexico,” Olvera Street, located in El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument on the site of L.A.’s original birthplace. Colorful celebrations and fiestas happen here year-round. ...

Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood, as you know, is about 2 hours away from San Diego, approximately 125 miles north. The Hollywood Walk of Fame, embedded in the sidewalk along both sides of Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to ...

Eclectic Venice, California

Venice, the famous funky beach town, bares its colorful, eclectic soul for all to see. Stroll along the pedestrian path or take the designated skate/bike paths along the oceanfront to experience Venice’s street performers, artists, ...

Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy

Grosseto, in the Maremma area of Tuscany, dates back to the 7th-century B.C. Etruscans, the “first great people of Italy.” Local attractions include remains of two important Etruscan cities, Roselle and Vetulonia. Massa Marittima (51 ...

Breathtaking Santorini, Greece

Greece without Santorini is like a Greek salad without Kalamata olives – it just doesn’t taste the same. Santorini’s awe-inspiring Caldera, a sea-filled crater, and its vineyards and unbeatable nightlife make it a popular vacation ...

Pico Island, Azores

Looking for a unique vacation? Visit the island of Pico, the second-largest and one of the most beautiful of the Azores’s nine islands. Whether you hike, bike or drive, be sure to explore the lush ...

The Acropolis, Athens, Greece

For about $37 a night, you can stay next to the historic Plaka district. The clean, Australian-owned, air-conditioned Athens Backpackers hostel offers free breakfast, communal kitchen, free coffee all day, laundromat, WiFi, movies and tours. ...

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

Secretly tucked away behind a pond at Kit Carson Park lies Niki De Saint Phalle’s colorful sacred creatures. The entrance to the sculpture garden leads you past a snake wall, through a black-and-white maze of ...

Dinosaurs in the Desert: Galleta Meadows, Borrego Springs

video

Ninety-one miles east of San Diego, Borrego Springs and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are popular springtime destinations for wildflower lovers. But take a jaunt down Borrego Springs Road a couple of miles to Galleta Meadows, ...

Crystal Cove, Newport Beach

Ever longed to step back in time? The Crystal Cove State Park Historic District, originally a seaside colony in the 1930s, offers a vintage getaway located on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway in ...

Carnival in the Plaka, Athens

Who knew that it snows in Athens? On my way to the island of Paros to teach painting at an art school, I stayed in the Plaka, a historic district near the Acropolis of Athens, ...

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close