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Allison McCutcheon′s Wishlist
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1236 Lincoln St, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Tasting wine is a favorite pastime that's enjoyable pretty much anywhere, but especially so when there's a funky old Airstream involved. The Grade Cellars specializes in harvesting Sauvignon Blanc. During your visit, sip wines paired with views...
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4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Castello di Amorosa is an architectural wonderland right in the middle of Napa Valley. Based on fourth generation winemaker Dario Sattui’s passion for medieval history, this replica of a 13th-century stone castle took approximately 15...
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1712 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
This hotel is a tranquil and relaxing retreat. It's rooms are comfortable, it has a lovely pool, gardens, and thermal geysers that lead to mud baths and spas. I love the history of this place and that people have been drawn to this special land...
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1500 Diamond Mountain Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
When founder Al Brounstein used to host what we would now call wine club parties at Diamond Creek Vineyards, he wouldn't serve any Diamond Creek wine. But he would, however, offer one lucky person the opportunity to buy a magnum through a lottery....
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1429 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Established in 1882, the Chateau has been carefully restored and maintained by the Barrett family (Bo,of Bottle Shock fame, is still making the wine) and was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The winery is famous for...
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1400 Schramsberg Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
When you take a sip of Schramsberg's sparkling wine, you are tasting some of the very best in California—and you are also getting a taste of Napa Valley history. Schramsberg has been making wine in the same time-consuming and labor-intensive...
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The menu at SolBar is divided into two sections: "healthy" and "hearty." "Light" on the left; "comforting" on the right: Smoked salmon with caviar on the left; sweet pumpkin bruschetta with ricotta on the right. Steamed halibut on the left; brined...
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1206 Spring St, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Great winery in Calistoga! Take a gondola ride up to the winery and do the tour. You will not be disappointed.
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1111 W Dunaweal Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
This one-of-a-kind vineyard features the only aerial tram in Napa Valley. Visitors can enjoy the unbelievable view from above followed by a tasting and a self-guided tour of the art gallery and the winery. The gondola ride is perfect for taking in...
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47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Described by devotees as the most luxurious, one-of-a-kind lodging experience in all of California, the Post Ranch Inn was purpose-built to blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains. Opened in 1992, and designed by famed Big Sur architect Mickey...
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39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
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Tungurahua, Ecuador
The little city of Banos is situated on the side of volcano Tungurahua and has gorgeous waterfalls like this one, the Pailon del Diablo or Devil's Cauldron. To get up this high the trail first drops about 1000 feet into the valley and then climbs...
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48603 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a bookshop–cultural center dedicated to the bohemian author who once called Big Sur home. It has become a hot spot for concerts by the likes of Gillian Welch and Arcade Fire and a Thursday night summer...
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Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA
A few blocks east of Goldsworthy's more prominent Spire is this installation of fallen trees snaking through the still standing ones. Wood Line is located within the cypress grove near the intersection of Presidio Boulevard and West Pacific...
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600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
With no sign above its unassuming storefront, Tartine is most easily recognized by the line that snakes out its door and down Guerrero Street. People patiently wait for flaky pains au chocolat (the best outside Paris, in my opinion), decadent...
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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4035 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
An artist and an architect curate a cool mix of practical things here. You’ll find books on furniture and design, and interesting items like wooden radios and pencil sets. Lots of it is handmade. The store also sells chairs and tables that Luke...
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47080 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Retro furniture, bright textiles, and in-room yoga mats characterize the Glen Oaks motel. Guests who book the Big Sur Cabin can stargaze from an outdoor clawfoot tub. From $225. (831) 667-2105. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue.
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6711 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley is a well-curated art gallery and wine tasting room set amidst an eclectic sculpture garden. At this Napa Valley tasting room, originally built in 1904 as a private residence, you can pull up a chair and sit down for a...
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915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740, USA
A must-stop on any road trip in/out of Los Angeles, The Donut Man on historic Route 66 makes delectable light, fluffy and fresh donuts 24/7. The Tiger Tail with it's crunchy chocolate crisps are yummy, but the crumb cinnamon-sugar steals my heart....
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Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Bourbon and Branch is a traditional speakeasy. Their 8 house rules—hushed voices and no cell phones among them—encourage neighborly conversation in a very relaxed setting. It's a great way to meet people if you're traveling alone as...
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1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
Perched atop a stunning hill in the Santa Monica Mountains, this outpost of the J. Paul Getty Museum overlooks the vast cityscape of the greater Los Angeles area. Its exceptional contemporary architecture, wide array of pre-20th-century art,...
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California, USA
Its a long haul from San Francisco, but so magical when you arrive you almost forget how long you've been in the car.
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7850 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
From fancy to funky to sometimes downright fugly, Melrose Ave. is a shopping mecca for all tastes and budgets. While tourists flock to this famous strip to browse the shops, locals know to show up on Sundays for the landmark Melrose Trading...
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1275 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
If you guess this to be an explosion of delicious sweetness in the form of tiramisu cloaked in milk chocolate, then you're right. No, it didn't come from a countryside baker in Italy, but rather aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. Touristy as it...
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55000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
I was putting my bags in my car, getting ready to leave, when a man came up to me and said, “Is it really time to go?” I smiled and answered, “No.” There was mutual understanding that nobody is ever ready to leave this place, where a feeling of...
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
It's hard to believe that I had lived in Marin for 13 years before learning about the Tourist Club on Mt. Tam. This past weekend my friends and I hiked from downtown Mill Valley, starting on the Dipsea Trail and following it to the Sun Trail,...
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225 26th St #51, Santa Monica, CA 90402, USA
A small storefront in the charming Brentwood Country Mart is lit up late after the rest of the village has gone to sleep. Here at Sweet Rose Creamery, organic milk, eggs, cream, and sugar are transformed daily into the purest-tasting ice cream,...
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32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
on a stretch of coastline between malibu and oxnard, i encountered a rare find: crashing waves, tide pools and rock formations reminiscent of the pacific northwest. the small, easy to overlook access to el matador beach keeps it quiet.
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390 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
It may be a little cold and foggy on the the patio at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. And certainly a pint or two of their microbrew will refresh more than heat your insides. But don't worry, there are heat lamps over the picnic table or a few...
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700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017, USA
My deep love for macarons is no surprise to anyone that knows me, so it's no wonder that after trying perhaps the finest ever in Paris, I'd look for a temporary fix in Los Angeles. This quest led to the discovery of Bottega Louie, one of my...
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18501 Philo Greenwood Rd, Philo, CA 95466, USA
by Annie Gowan Stone At the Apple Farm, sleep in wooden cottages surrounded by one of the valley’s last major orchards. Sally and Don Schmitt, founders of the French Laundry, the legendary restaurant in Yountville, California, run the farm with...
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100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The Victorian-era glass and wood structure, which looks like a sugar-coated castle atop a grassy slope, is Golden Gate Park's oldest building. It's also one of San Francisco's most splendid historic sites. Wander through five different galleries...
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835 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
My favorite independent bookstore, located in Seaport Village, is Upstart Crow—a mix of eclectic nostalgia items amongst coffee drinks and stacks of books. Here is where you find peace amid the tourist busy bodies.
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1170 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Some of the best Napa Valley winetasting experiences are to be had in the tasting rooms of the smaller wineries along the Silverado Trail. Envy Wines, just north of Calistoga (the northernmost part of Napa Valley), is a great pick if you want...
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738 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Right off of Highway 29 is the Long Meadow Ranch and their Farmstead Restaurant. Every so often they host three-course lunches right under a tree canopy. Before lunch, the staff gives a garden tour of the fresh ingredients; one garden is even...
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4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Outerlands is an Outer Sunset institution. The small restaurant near Ocean Beach serves local, organic cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Covered floor-to-ceiling in warm, rough-hewn wood, the interior invites lingering over an artisan cocktail or...
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1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704, USA
For the time it takes most Angelenos to commute to work, you can be ferried into the alternate reality of Catalina Island, a romantic escape far from the daily traffic jams and urban sprawl. The evergreen-shrubbed hills spotted with an artists...
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6770 McKinley St, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
The Barlow, a former apple-packing warehouse in Sebastopol, houses a brewery, wine-tasting rooms, galleries, and of course, restaurants.
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Beverly Hills, CA, USA
Originally built in the 1920's this is an enchanting example of "Storybook" architecture located in the heart of Beverly Hills at Walden and Carmelita.
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California, USA
We love going to the high desert in California, usually out to Joshua Tree National Park. We rented a house in Yucca Valley, not far from the Park entrance, through VRBO.com in late December so we could make home-cooked meals in the evenings. In...
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6126 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, USA
This Napa Valley winery is the only structure in the United States designed by the famed Austrian artist, architect, and ecologist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000). The building's playfulness will put a big smile on your face, and best of...
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5931 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
This bohemian coffee shop is located in L.A.'s Franklin Village, a tiny line of restaurants and shops located on Franklin Ave. On the outside, it is camouflaged by the vine wrapped building, but on the inside it stands out from any other coffee...
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47000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Highway 1 runs about 90 miles through this rugged Big Sur coastline and is absolutely stunning. The tall and wild Santa Lucia mountains plummet into the energetic Pacific Ocean. Sea otters, which were thought to be extinct, were discovered living...
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1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
The Alembic’s pink quail eggs are pickled overnight in coriander, allspice, and clove. They’re tangy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and beg for a Sazerac or bitter beer. For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to...
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6600 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
This is our favorite shop in Los Angeles. The owners stock amazing vintage clothing, and they have their own house fashion line and cute, mostly antique jewelry. (323) 461-1530. For the September, 2012 issue, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening...
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Metes & Bounds starts hosting farm-to-table dinners in Sonoma and Marin counties on May 1. The multi course meals are prepared in a yellow school bus retrofitted with a kitchen and grill. This appeared in the May 2014 issue.
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25 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The new Healdsburg Shed is a hub for lovers of all things local, agrarian, and food-related. Stop by to shop the selection of locally made housewares, join a workshop, or just linger over a glass of the on-tap kombucha. It's an ideal breakfast...
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8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA
Before there can be quality wine, or even quality grapes, there needs to be quality dirt. Frog’s Leap Winery is located in one of the most coveted patches of dirt in the Napa Valley — Rutherford. Which is why, when you visit, owner John Williams...
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1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
While hiking through the Lands End area of San Francisco I came across this gem. Built in the late 19th century as the world's largest indoor swimming pool complex, visitors could take a dip in one of the seven pools or take a stroll through a...
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1345 Henry Rd, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Napa, Sonoma, and Yountville mean endless miles of deliciousness! Schramsberg specializes in a vast selection of the sparkling wines fit for the White House. (Seriously. It's served at the White House.) The tasting was amazing, as was the tour of...
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
Just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods National Monument, a 554-acre park; old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, cover 295 of those acres. Peaceful and lush, the forest is ideal for simply communing with...
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Big Sur lies along what is surely one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in California, if not the world.Skip the famously fabulous and outrageously expensive hotels, and head to Deetjen's. It's a ramshackle but romantic historic inn on...
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507 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
There’s no better proof of LA’s dedication to healthy living than the consistent opening of new juiceries throughout the city. Colorful varieties of cold-pressed juice, cleanses, shots and shakes compete to call out their freshness,...
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3340 CA-128, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Bennett Lane is the last winery in Napa Valley (meaning that it's the furthest north). The Calistoga tasting rooming is worth a stop, though, for a couple of reasons. One, the tasting room manager will share her love of the area, gush about the...
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2300 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
The beautiful boutique Nest on Fourth Street in Berkeley, takes me right back to France even before I walk in. The displays of the books, fabrics, gifts, jewelry and artwork through through the glass windows was enough to make my heart leap when I...
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United States
Shot at Artist's Palette, Death Valley. It was 110 degrees mid-day with sun bearing down on us, and we were in full motorcycle gear so we couldn't stop too long or us along with our bikes would over heat, but the sight of these mountains was too...
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8818 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
It’s easy to miss the discreet sign for “Book Soup” after passing the more obvious marquees for Sunset Strip’s famous nightlife and entertainment destinations. This cozy, out-of-place bookshop feels endless as it lures you in and slows down time...
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1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
“This is the perfect West Coast counterpoint to McNally Jackson. It makes you want to pick up a book—or a pen. Here, though, if you’re not writing a screenplay, you’re not really writing at all.” —Fred Dust 181 N. Vermont Ave. (323) 660-1175.
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600 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
The tall white walls are the perfect easel for the bibelots on sale at Rare Device. Whether functional or decorative, each item looks like a work of art that you'll really want in your home. You'll find things like Scandinavian-designed coffee...
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1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103, USA
On the second Sunday of every month, bargain hunters, collectors, designers, tourists, and other curious shoppers head to the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, where 2,500 vendors of furniture, accessories, clothes, crafts, vinyl, and more...
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Even in winter, this grassy part of the trail is lovely. It runs along as part of the Coastal Trail high above Stinson Beach. Always makes for a great run... but in early spring with the wild flowers its ideal. Purple and green vibrate!
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453 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
When the Last Bookstore debuted in 2005, the name was meant to be ironic. Now, in a world of Kindles and iPads, digital books (or at least digital bookstores) are the norm, and brick-and-mortar establishments such as the Last Bookstore are a dying...
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579 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Inspired by the real-life adventures of two Northern Californian sisters in Krakow, Vienna, Paris, and Brooklyn, Two Sister Bar and Books is a coffee bar, restaurant, and community space in Hayes Valley. The cozy interior and good food makes for...
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4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559, USA
This refined 28-acre resort set in the rolling hills between downtown Sonoma and downtown Napa makes guests feel relaxed the moment they check in. The vistas are unobstructed from the resort’s pool areas, and many of the property’s 94...
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Mission Dolores, San Francisco, CA, USA
A small boutique in The Mission, this store is a combination of three local retailers: home decor supplier Acacia, skin-care product line Heliotrope and clothing label Turk + Taylor's. Although the products aren't cheap, they're responsibly made...
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801 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
I love the experimental name, Chocolate Lab, that brings to mind two mad chocolate makers (the Recchiuitis) dueling over creations, beakers bubbling over with—you guessed it—chocolate. This cozy café is known not just for its dessert, and the...
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4519, 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

In an age when many independent bookstores have surrendered to the advance of chain stores and Amazon, City Lights is a true survivor. Since it was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1956, it has served as a gathering place for San...

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3271 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
There's something that just feels great about this studio—it's colorful, sunny, and has an overall great vibe. Their signature form of Yoga, Lotus Flow, focuses on conscious breathing, precise alignment, body awareness, and transformative...
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5600 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA
Though this wholesale flower market is not for retail sales, you can still stroll through this early morning hotbed of gorgeous, colorful floral stock. Most flowers are grown locally in the floral capital of Southern California, some flown in from...
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1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
At the intersection of Hyperion and Sunset is the heart of Silver Lake, the source of the pulse; Intelligentsia Coffee. Fueling the neighborhood with crafted cups of caffeine, Intelligentsia has become the east side center of community and...
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Bodega Head, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, USA
After weeks of increasing stress from the daily grind of work and family responsibilities, I spent one perfect weekend in Bodega Bay, on the coast of California north of San Francisco. The highlight was a walk on Bodega Head, a piece of land that...
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10801 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064, USA
"Forever" is a long time, especially in the restaurant business, but I wish immortality for The Apple Pan (founded 1947), which was my go-to hamburger spot as I worked my way through college at UCLA (with a job at Super Drug just up Westwood Blvd....
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46800 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Although the Big Sur Inn is a fantastic place on its own, the claptrap dining bus at the gas station has some pretty great food. There are fantastically fresh sandwiches and pastries and they do a mean espresso. And eating them in a fun and funky...
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1200 Euclid Ave, Berkeley, CA 94708, USA
This city-owned park in Berkeley will steal your heart, even before you find the stone slide! While I was exploring the park for the first time, I'd already been wowed by the little league park of my dreams, the magical Redwood trail running...
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Borrego Springs, CA 92004, USA
Borrego Springs is a nationally designated "dark sky" community. Because there is hardly any light pollution, this is one of the best places in the country for star gazing. The sunset and sunrise colors here are gorgeous- this image was taken at...
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1409 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Firefly is a whimsical one-stop-shop for a variety of eclectic gifts, decorations, and accessories; a cuter, yet more mature Urban Outfitters, if you will. They carry boutique brands for a hodgepodge of items including soaps, candles, jewelry,...
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8366 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
Juice Served Here serves locally-sourced, cold-pressed, raw, organic cups of healthful deliciousness. Their 22-item liquid menu is divided into seven categories: Greens, Roots, Apples, Milks, Coconut Waters, Coffee Beverages, and Specials. They...
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512 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Cafe Gratitude is one of my favorite restaurants in Venice Beach. Located on Rose Ave near yoga studios and shops, the scene is always a good one. It serves delicious organic vegan & raw cuisine as well as juices and smoothies, and is usually...
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5995 Stagecoach Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
This tavern was built as a stagecoach stop in 1886 and is located in the mountains above Santa Barbara. In the evening, dining here is romantic but during the day, you can see the beautiful views driving over the San Marcos pass. On a clear day,...
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8501 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466, USA
This unpretentious tasting room is set in gorgeous country. Stop for a picnic--and some sips of brut rose--if you're cutting across the Anderson Valley en route to the Mendocino Coast.
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1620 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
Santa Barbara was one of our favourite towns on our California road trip. We hadn't really planned to spend any time there because we knew we couldn't afford it - everyone had warned us of the price of food and accommodation in this rich person's...
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555 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
I recently signed up for a drawing class with a few fellow AFARians, and I came to this art supply store—near Jackson Square in the Financial District—to stock up on materials. Sporting wall-to-wall color and two floors of pencils, paints,...
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Junipero St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA
The Cheese Shop has been here in Carmel since 1973 and is a delightful place for lovers of cheese. They have every kind you can imagine- hard, soft, creamy, cow, goat, sheep, Swiss, French, Italian, beer, truffle, honey, etc. You're bound to...
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740 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
When you think of a chocolate factory, a hip and airy space in the heart of one of the city's hottest neighborhoods may not spring to mind. But therein lies the surprise that is Dandelion Chocolate: part factory, part café, part...
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Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA
Balboa park is a landscape of arts and culture in San Diego, including museums, such as The Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. The photo above is of the large koi pond outside the botanical garden house. It makes for a...
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6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Oh, Bouchon! Don't let the long line out the door discourage you—these delicious pastries are well worth the wait and the outdoor café tables make for a lovely spot to dig in once you're handed your treats.
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327 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
Inside The Other Shop you'll find antique displays of barware laid out stylishly for the treasure-hunting mixologist. The vintage shoes are fanned in a circular display while the sunglasses and jewelry behind department store style displays. The...
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
My all time favorite thing to do in Northern California when the fog clears! Shucking without gloves is risky business though!
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Lake Aloha, California, USA
Welcome to Northern California's Desolation Wilderness, the perfect place to hike near South Lake Tahoe. Lake Aloha is a well-deserved and divine place to take a dip after having tackled the climb up from Echo Lake. I'd suggest parking your car at...
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1329 Beckwourth Calpine Rd, Beckwourth, CA 96129, USA
On a gorgeous late-spring morning, on a tip from a Sierra Valley local, we drove down from Packer Lake to Sierra Valley Farms (near Beckwourth) for the farmers' market seasonal debut. Cherries, peaches, greens, baked goods from Longboard's, and...
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1800 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA
The bold color palette of this reimagined motel reflects the hues of 14 different desert wildflowers. Nearly every room has a balcony or patio and art installations and photography from local artists can be found throughout the hotel. The young...
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Los Angeles, CA 90044, USA
The 1.7 mile hike up the grueling Hermit Gulch Trail overlooks the Avalon harbor cradled between the evergreen shrubbed hills. You can make out the wakes of boats coming and going like airplane contrails in the ocean but you wouldn't expect the...
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55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076, USA
Gizdich Ranch located off the Hecker Pass Hwy (Hwy 152) is a must stop if you're headed to the Santa Cruz – Gilroy area. The Barn, open from 9–5 every day, sells pies made from freshly picked fruit. They're know for their apple pies because they...
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202 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail is a fun and convenient substitute for traditional wine tasting. Walk (or crawl) from one wine bar to the next, just minutes from Downtown Santa Barbara's State Street. First try Corks 'n Crowns, a comfortable...
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1634 Jerrold Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124, USA
Even the blackest of thumbs can find inspiration at Flora Grubb’s eponymous nursery—or at least a good cup of coffee. Grubb runs the enormous space (complete with Ritual Coffee Roasters bar) with a gallery-like ethos, rotating in new displays...
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Outer Sunset, San Francisco, CA, USA
This store is a unique concept. They have a book rental program (where you can write in the back of the book as part of its history); a lecture series and offer really interesting services like astrological chart reading and decision making. I don...
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471B 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
Near the corner of 9th & Broadway, Marion & Rose's Workshop, in the Old Oakland neighborhood, is fun place for unique gifts for friends or for yourself! Lots of small artwork, children's clothing & toys, housewares, Blue Chair jams, jewelry & LOTS...
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Hume Lake, California 93628, USA
Along a windy road in Sequoia's National Park you may see a sign for Hume Lake. It won't be a big sign, and if you're not looking for it, you'll think it's just one of many lakes along the winding roads thru the great Sequoia's park. This one gets...
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580 Lommel Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
There’s only one way to get into the 157-acre Napa Valley idyll known as Calistoga Ranch: as a guest. Well, you could come as a guest of a guest, but then you wouldn’t be able to lounge about in a decadent spa robe each morning,...
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Pfeiffer Big Sur Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Sykes Hot Springs is a jewel in Big Sur country. Despite what the signs say it is a good 13-14 mile hike out to the springs up and down over 1000 feet of elevation. But the struggle is well worth it. There are three tubs of varying, yet...
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29 E MacArthur St, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
This lovely little hotel has gorgeous rooms in a garden setting sprinkled with art installations. MacArthur Place is walking distance from the Sonoma town square and it is a great place to stay to while visiting wineries in the area.
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7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
LA’s latest guilty pleasure - the macaron ice-cream sandwiches from MILK. For the gluten-free, this a dream come true. For everyone else, this is the best ice cream sandwich option around. Forget messy cookies, the macaron is a lite, subtle...
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L St & 18th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811, USA
Zanzibar is a place I enjoy returning to whenever I am in the area. Located on a trendy strip of Midtown Sacramento, next to wine bars and upscale restaurants, this quirky shop sells fair-trade products from around the world. Despite its global...
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Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, USA
Bask in the beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley, Foxen Canyon Road is not as well-known as Napa & Sonoma; however, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Also, the surrounding area offers a great selection of restaurants and wineries, and my favorite...
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15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033, USA
Castle Rock state park has some absolutely gorgeous hikes (and climbs), rain or shine. I recently snapped this shot on a rainy hike, the greens vibrantly shone through the fog, each tree seeming to house some new species of moss.
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7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436, USA
A labor of love from local brother-and-sister owners Joe and Catherine Bartolomei, this six-acre, farmhouse-style resort in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley underwent an $8 million renovation in 2015, adding nine light-filled...
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1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108, USA
The Huntington is a beautiful, cultural destination. The library exhibits are wonderful, and include famous titles like Audubon's Birds of America. The art collection features well-known paintings, architectural pieces, and a sculpture garden. The...
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8490 Melrose Pl, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
Fig & Olive doesn't stray far from what L.A. does best: casual gourmet. A place to see and be seen, Fig & Olive delivers on all fronts: delicious olive oil-infused dishes, a stylish crowd, gorgeous staff, impeccable service, and an unbeatable...
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21401 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062, USA
Further south, in Santa Cruz, Taqueria Michoacan is located on a busy street and very hard to miss. This bright yellow taqueria, complete with festive murals on the exterior was a great setting for the exceptional taco I devoured here. Look out...
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20 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105, USA
This sweet little shop is every travel-lover's dream. They have everything travel-related: city maps, hiking guides, travel narratives, language helps, luggage, easy-pack clothing and accessories, and more. The decor is fun, with vintage hotel...
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2900 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

While Heath Ceramics is over 60 years old, having been founded in 1948 in Sausalito, their colorful bud vases, dinnerware and tiles have enjoyed a boom in recent years. Straddling the line between a rough, hand-crafted aesthetic and an elegant,...

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Beal Rd, Calipatria, CA 92233, USA
The technicolor mound in the middle of the barren Imperial Valley desert is a quirky manifestation of Leonard Knight’s mission to spread the message of Love after discovering Jesus at age 35 in 1967. Salvation Mountain is a three-story mural...
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302 W Matilija St, Ojai, CA 93023, USA
Part house, part maze, all bookstore. Ojai's famous Bart's Books started out in 1964 as a collection of books by owner Richard Bartinsdale that got so overwhelming he had to construct bookshelves on the sidewalk to accommodate his entire...
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
Point Reyes is a special location with hiking trails, historic farms, and the small towns of Inverness and Point Reyes Station with lovely local food finds and little shops. To get to the lighthouse just follow the road signs from Inverness, and...
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Point Reyes Lighthouse, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
I practically got "blown away" at the Point Reyes Lighthouse because it was so incredibly windy the day I visited. In fact, this is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place in North America, making it very dangerous...
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939 2nd St, Encinitas, CA 92024, USA
In North County San Diego, in the suburb of Encinitas, you will find a grand complex of white temples with golden lotuses perched upon the tops. It is the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple. I highly recommend a stop to see the gardens - ponds...
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961 Ukiah St, Mendocino, CA 95460, USA
Anytime we get anywhere near Mendocino, we have to stop at the Brickery, the stand-alone bakery behind the renowned Cafe Beaujolais restaurant. This is where the breads are baked for the restaurant, but the bakers also sell retail right out the...
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1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
Eaton Canyon has a great nature center if you want to learn about the local plants, animals, geology, and ecology. The exhibits and nature walks are kid-friendly. Hiking trails are also easily accessible from the nature center. The Eaton Canyon...
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482 49th St, Oakland, CA 94609, USA
Custom bag and clothing designer Ali Golden is renowned for her expert tailoring and utilitarian yet feminine collections. She favors designs that play with both draping and a structured silhouette simultaneously. This appeared in the March/April...
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2801 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Biba has long been one of Sacramento's finest restaurants and, despite some serious competition in the city's growing food scene, it still holds its place at the top. It has endured for 27 years by sticking to what it does best: simple, fresh,...
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5891 Broadway Terrace, Oakland, CA 94618, USA
In the upper Rockridge district of Oakland you'll find the charming Terrace coffee house with an adjoining gift shop. Seasonal items are a specialty in the gift shop with Halloween and Christmas taking over the shop in a riot of visual delights....
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167 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
For a dining experience that emphasizes healthy eating from local, sustainable and organic sources, look no further than Lyfe Kitchen. Customers can often see sous-chefs running out from the kitchen to pick fresh herbs from their garden stationed...
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521 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The daily spread at this beloved bakery is the stuff of sugar-coated fantasies. Located in the Richmond District, Schubert's has been serving up a sumptuous selection of cookies and pastries for more than a century. The array of elegantly...
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1166 Asti Ridge Rd, Cloverdale, CA 95425, USA
The KOA campground just outside of Cloverdale, California, is one beautiful place to relax. And when you don't feel like just kicking back, you can hop in your car and experience top-notch wine tasting at Alexander Valley's many wineries nestled...
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201 W Carrillo St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
Santa Barbara has no shortage of good Mexican food and for quick, savory street-style tacos, Taqueria Cuernavaca is a good option. The murals on the dining room walls will try to remind you that you’re eating authentic Mexican fare and the hustle...
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4314, 2718 J St, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
The Red Rabbit Kitchen and Bar in Midtown Sacramento does what California does best: uses the best quality local ingredients to create innovative and flavorful dishes in a very cool atmosphere. Add to that cocktails that are made from only...
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695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
The historic Vroman’s Bookstore opened in 1894 and is still a favorite with the locals. Beyond their large selection of books, they still have an old-school newsstand, an excellent café, and a gift shoppe with home décor, locally made cards, and...
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2450 Alamo Pintado Road, Box 359, Los Olivos, CA 93441, United States
Enchanting rolling hills, world-class vineyards, olive groves, innovative cuisine, small quaint towns and endless blue skies. This could be a description for Tuscany the central region of Italy but in this case I am describing the Santa Ynez...
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1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, USA
On top of the Del Mar cliffs sits L'Auberge Del Mar, a boutique hotel that, with its gorgeous pool, bars and amazing restaurant puts you in the lap of luxury. The sunset from your hotel room terrace is the perfect setting for a pre-dinner drink...
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12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
This is a great addition to Tomales Bay (one of my most beloved areas just an hour north of San Francisco). Owner Luc Chamberland raises his own shellfish at his Pickleweed Point Community Shellfish Farm nearby. Local fishermen are encouraged to...
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Lower State, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
Was experimenting with Instagram
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2218 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
My mom had a garden tour book of Carmel. It sounded kind of silly, but Carmel has some very interesting gardens and fairytale/storybook houses, as well as other interesting architecture and the houses of other famous people such as Charlie...
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3800 Main St, Alameda, CA 94501, USA
The Alameda Antiques experience is such a cool way to spend the morning of your first Sunday of any month on the calendar year. It's the largest show in Northern California and it has over 800 dealer booths that are selling items at least 20 years...
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11 W Victoria St #10, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
Scarlett Begonia is a cute little restaurant located in the shopping district near State Street in Santa Barbara. Not only are the eggs fresh, but most of the ingredients are local, organic and the bread is home made. If you go here for breakfast,...
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1 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
Cheese fan? Love the childhood favorite grilled cheese sandwich, but want something a little more sophisticated? The Melt is your answer. With several locations in the city as well as a food truck to boot, this restaurant has an interesting...
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404 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA
Great brewery atop a sadly abandoned Downtown LA.
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Moonstone Beach, California 93428, USA
The Moonstone Beach boardwalk is located in Cambria, CA and runs along Moonstone Beach Dr. The beach is so called because of the moonstone agate that you can find here, not only agates, but jade, jaspers and other semi-precious stones that are...
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33160 Evergreen Rd, Groveland, CA 95321, USA
While shooting a wedding here a while back, I fell in love with this place. Evergreen Lodge is a group of cabins, nestled in the redwoods only minutes from Yosemite and the Hetch Hetchy. You can book cozy or roomy family-sized cabins. It is rustic...
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225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA
The JP Morgan Library's grand, old-world elegance immediately transports you to turn-of-the-century New York. And at that time, there was almost no one more powerful than financier JP Morgan. He launched U.S. Steel and even served as the...
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6 Liberty Street, Savannah, GA 31401, USA
Nothing makes me happier than stumbling upon a really great bookstore, and this one in Savannah takes the cake! While strolling down East Liberty Street in gorgeous Savannah—my favorite of all the beautiful Southern cities—my husband...
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2923 Canton St, Dallas, TX 75226, USA
Shoppers, beware: Once you enter Factory Girl, a high-end boutique in Dallas, you'll find it difficult to leave. On the racks, search for vintage designer pieces from as early as the 1960s (Dior, Gaultier, and Lanvin are just a few of the names...
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2928 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, USA
The Gypsy Wagon is equal parts clothing store, gift shop and home accessories store. The Gypsy Wagon has one of the best greeting card selections in Dallas, with lots of cards boasting witty and snarky sayings to give your friends and family come...
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5360 W Lovers Ln #220, Dallas, TX 75209, USA
Rise Nº 1 is a neighborhood restaurant that serves up an impressive list of both sweet and savory soufflés. This would be my top pick for a romantic date night or for a girls’ night out. The interior of the restaurant makes you feel like you are...
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2121 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201, USA
When the Ritz-Carlton Dallas opened in 2007, it didn’t have to go far to find a star chef for its gourmet restaurant. Dubbed the father of Southwestern cuisine, and the author of notable cookbooks like The Texas Food Bible, Dean Fearing...
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1010 N Riverfront Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207, USA
It's easy to burn a day simply poring over the lovingly curated used treasures at Lula B's—there's just so much to see. Stroll through the aisles, leaving no corner unturned, and you can be rewarded with stylish, retro-fantastic pieces for your...
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4524 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75205, USA
Each time someone asks for a recommendation for where to find a friend a one of a kind gift, they are immediately sent to Nest. This home décor and accessory store located in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood is loaded with the most fabulous...
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2927 N Henderson Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, USA
Rustic and relaxed, Hibiscus is a perennial favorite of Dallas foodies—probably because every ingredient is familiar. Texas vineyards provide the wine. Nearby ranches source the restaurant's poultry and game. Fish are caught in the Gulf of Mexico....
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3301 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204, USA
Bread Winners Cafe was a great Brunch with Southern twang that i highly recommend. I got the veggie scrambled and still got the southern comfort I was looking for
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8880 Coleman Blvd, Frisco, TX 75034, USA
The name says it all: Dimples Cupcake Factory is an establishment dedicated to satisfying Frisco's sweet tooth. With flavors like Banana Pudding (pictured), Snickers, and Wedding Cake, the treats are a favorite among cupcake connoisseurs in the...
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2303 Pittman St, Dallas, TX 75208, USA
what's better than perfectly fried chicken in an outdoor setting underneath the texas sky? probably not much. until you throw in a great bar, live music, fire pits, and a pretty killer design. this is exactly the mix achieved in dallas at the...
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2012 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75206, USA
a typical summer day in dallas sees temperatures in the high 90s or low 100s with humidity that can knock out even the strongest of men. how to stay cool? head over to steel city pops, a small walk-up counter that sells a variety of popsicles in...
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1500 Andrews Pkwy, Allen, TX 75002, USA
This is a good place to go to if in Dallas area. You don't have to play golf to just swing the club and hit the ball. Or you can just eat/drink and watch others hit. Families will love it. Adults-only outing will love it (food is pretty good AND...
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7328 Gaston Ave #100, Dallas, TX 75214, USA
il cane rosso is not just your ordinary local pizza joint; it's a slice from the pizza gods themselves. internationally certified to make neapolitan pizza by its trained pizzaoli, il cane rosso's pizza is made with fresh, home-made fior di latte...
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1707 Grafton St, Halifax, NS B3J 2C6, Canada
The Wooden Monkey in Halifax is a restaurant made for all tastes. The menu features all organic and locally grown produce served with free-range meats and local seafood. There are also many options for vegetarians, vegans, and even those who...
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Halifax, NS B3H, Canada
The Halifax Public Gardens are one of the best places in the city to go for a stroll, have a picnic, get an ice cream, feed some ducks, and (literally) stop and smell the roses. The gardens opened in 1867 and occupy 16 acres of land in the middle...
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1496 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3R5, Canada
Alexander Keith's beer has been brewed in Halifax since 1820, making it one of the oldest commercial breweries in North America. Today the beer is brewed across Canada and the original brewery in downtown Halifax offers one of the best brewery...
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5361 Inglis St, Halifax, NS B3H 1J4, Canada
Vinnie's Pasta Bar is one of Halifax's hidden gems. It's popular enough to always draw a crowd, but just enough of a secret that there is never an enormous line to get into the place. This is by far my favorite place to get pasta in the city. The...
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4 Dufferin St, Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0, Canada
They hesitated slightly and then a smile came across their face, and I knew they had an answer for me. The woman and her friend excitedly told me about the Knot Pub and the great salads and seafood to be had. I had asked locals in Lunenburg, a...
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195 Main St, Wolfville, NS B4P 1C3, Canada
I love it when people understand the importance of good service. From the moment I walked in the Blomidon Inn - I could tell it was a special place. A family run business (brothers are the manager and the head chef), the Inn was a source of great...
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Chef Jenna's gluten-free homemade cupcakes are the stuff of local lore, but the rest of her culinary delights are making a big impression on the East Coast. Vegan shepherd's pie made with lentils isn't something you're going to find in many other...
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Nova Scotia, Canada
I thought I knew Cape Breton Island like the back of my hand but one summer day’s drive around the Cabot Trail proved that I had been wrong. As I was driving through Pleasant Bay, I noticed a road I had never driven on before. Being the curious...
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895 Rue de la Gauchetière O, Montréal, QC H3B 4G1, Canada
The name "underground city" does not refer to some post-apocalyptic shelter. Mind you, it could very well act as such, but not just yet. Indeed, the Montreal underground city is more of an ingenuous network of tunnels, each connecting to office...
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Utah, USA
As its biblical name implies, Zion National Park has the appeal of a place out of time. Established on November 19, 1919, the canyon and its surrounding landscape feel like a natural temple, full of arches, hoodoos, and imposing walls, some of...
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While not a connoisseur of the movies, I appreciated the natural wonders we explored on a Lord of the Rings tour. From unsuccessfully mining for gold to four-wheeling a river, the tour ran the gamut from fast and furious to calm and serene. With...
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Queenstown, New Zealand
I lived in this town for 2 and half years and I keep going back every time I get the chance. I love it here, there is so much to. Its knowing as the adventure capital of the world. You name it you can do it here. Heaven on earth for me. Its also...