Collected by Genevieve, AFAR Local Expert
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...
9881 CA-89, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA
This state park offers all the ingredients for a great family trip to the mountains. For starters, there’s the beach at Calawee Cove, with its gently sloped sand, crystal-clear water, and rounded granite boulders that make for sublime...
48510 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Though I had read a lot about Nepenthe, as it is a "must-see" if you are in the Big Sur area, I still wasn't prepared for just how beautiful the views were. We were planning on setting up camp and then coming back the few miles to eat dinner at...
Main Beach, California 92651, USA
One of the main attractions of Laguna Beach is, well, the beach. The Main Beach lifeguard tower is probably the town's most recognizable landmark (it was built in 1929, and was originally part of a gas station located across the street). During...
200 Nevada Ave, Moss Beach, CA 94038, USA
At any time of day this forest feels enchanted. As you walk along, what are now, well marked paths there are phases of to this coastal journey. Depicted is the cypress forest which leads north to the tide pools and south to Three Palm, which needs...
Sierra Buttes, California 96125, USA
One of the most spectacular views in the central high Sierra (about one hour's drive north of Truckee, CA) is surprisingly accessible. This wasn't always the case. The first time I saw these lakes--near to far, Young America, Upper Sardine, Lower...
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...
100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, USA
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA can be considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in Cali. The weather is great-I wore a light hoodie and pants in August (while the rest of CA experienced triple digits), the scenery is absolutely incredible, and...
23240 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
Since I’m still relatively new to San Francisco, I’m still discovering all of the amazing places just outside of the city. Every weekend I try to hop in a car and explore. My latest discovery is Nick’s Cove, a restaurant and cottages located in a...
19225 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
North of the little town of Point Reyes Station, the Marshall Store sits on the banks of Tomales Bay. I've been coming here for years after hiking or horseback riding or walking on the beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. The place is super...
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...
913 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
There’s nothing like a cold creamy treat on a warm day, and one ice cream shop in the cozy California beach town of Santa Cruz is doing it so, so right. Penny Ice Creamery isn’t your average ice cream joint; you won’t find Ben & Jerry’s-style...
Black Sand Beach, California, USA
We began our walk up the Lost Coast Trail by enjoying Black Sands Beach, which doesn't really have very much sand, in the Kings Range National Conservation Area. For the next 24 miles from Black Sands Beach, the Lost Coast Trail is primarily on...
52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
101 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Walking around downtown Palm Springs, we were stopped in our tracks by 26 feet and 17 tons of steel and aluminum: Forever Marilyn by artist Seward Johnson. Even if you haven't seen The Seven Year Itch, this cinematic moment has been an icon for...
700 Cannery Row KK, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
A Taste of Monterey is kind of hard to find, it's located on Cannery Row in Monterrey- you have to go to the back of a little shopping square beside the courtyard to find it. Because of this, it's rarely crowded since many tourists probably don't...
San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Carmel is a gorgeous little town nestled on California's Central Coast. There's hiking in nearby Big Sur, wine tasting, the aquarium in Monterrey is 10 minutes north of Carmel and lots of unique shopping and dining right there in Carmel. The...
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...
62 California 1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
I've been all over the California coast and Point Lobos is my favorite place to hike. We have hiked every trail in this reserve and never tire of this magical place. You can see many animals, such as sea otters, seals, elephant seals,sea lions,...
Mission St & 5th Ave, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93921, USA
De Tierra vineyard has a tasting room in Carmel California and they are now offering a food and wine pairing class. Initially, I didn't think much of it since my husband and I are really into food and wine. We just thought this would be a great...
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...
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...
23240 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
It always feels like a different world anywhere in the beautiful Point Reyes National Seashore area, and an evening at the hidden Nick's Cove in Marshall, will have you in love with Tomales Bay. The property was recently overhauled by a group of...
La Jolla, San Diego, CA, USA
Many people don't realize this, but although La Jolla, California, is portrayed as a separate city, it is actually a community within the city of San Diego. A short 15-20 minute drive from downtown San Diego takes you to the dramatic coastline....
2601 Monarch St, Alameda, CA 94501, USA
At St. George Spirits, a liquor distiller located inside a huge hangar on the decommissioned Alameda Naval Base, you can learn all about alcohol production—and you can taste all-natural vodkas, gins, Eau de Vie, whiskeys, and more. The tour lasts...
1 Pilot Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
While many visit Carmel By The Sea for a weekend getaway, near by Carmel Valley is my preference for a weekend retreat as home base. It feels more worn in a beautiful livable sort if way. After an afternoon of exploring the shops and tasting rooms...
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