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Mt. Whitney, California, USA
This was the view out of my tent opening as I went to bed early to prepare for my Summit bid on the Mountaineers Trail on Mount Whitney. Without another team in sight, and with Iceberg Lake all to ourselves, this was a great way to end the day.
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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...
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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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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...

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Big Sur’s winding roads, plunging cliffs and canyon-spanning bridges may cause nausea but they provide some of the most striking scenery in the country. After miles of lush green forests and sapphire blue oceans, the palm trees and turquoise...
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610 1st St #9, Napa, CA 94558, USA
I have a thing for authentic Italian food, and this place quickly won me over. Ca' Momi is housed in the foodie lover's Oxbow Public Market just across the river from Downtown Napa. It's a combination of winbar, where you can get small plates and...
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prosciutto and fig pizza, Carbonara, rosa sauce veggie bake, butternut squash ravioli, Italian wines, strawberry port ice cream... I don't have a favorite but I am always happy with my meal at Zia Lina.
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622 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Local restaurateurs, Tara Lazar and Marco Rosetti, have the brunch business on lock down with Cheeky’s and in 2011 expanded into dinner by opening the outdoor pizzeria Birba just next door. The wood-fired pizzas are a delicious combination of...
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1260 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
A Main Street mainstay, this bustling pizza palace has been tossing dough since 2001. Owned by the same family as nearby local favorite Norman Rose Tavern, it has a dedicated following and the pizza and pasta is consistent and satisfying if not...
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Dewey Point, California, USA
There's an absolute gem of a hike in Yosemite National Park that anyone who loves a good winter snowshoe hike should do. It's a seven-mile out-and-back trek from Badger Pass to the inspirational Dewey Point, which is on the south rim at just over...
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California, USA
“We wanted to go to Yosemite, but didn’t have time.” I’ve heard this refrain from several San Francisco visitors and they all have said it with regret. Yes, the reverent national park is outside of a short-drive comfort...
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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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20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
Stop at Scribe Winery and pick up a bottle of their newly released rosé to pair with oysters at Hog Island in Marshall, CA. Picnic tables overlook Tomales Bay and must be reserved in advance. Throw the oysters on the grill or eat them raw and don’...
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16228 Main St, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
Fuel up for a hike at the nearby Armstrong Redwoods reserve at the Big Bottom Market in Guerneville. You'll find snacks, such as cured meats, artisanal pickles, and local cheeses, to enjoy in the picnic area. For something heartier, order the...
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17000 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville offers easy one-mile hikes and strenuous nine-miles climbs. No matter which you choose, the scenery is spectacular. Look for Parson Jones, the tallest tree in the grove, which measures more...
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1474 Alexander Valley Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Jordan Winery’s new tour explores the 1,200-acre property via Mercedes-Benz coach and stops for wine and food pairings along the way. This appeared in the May 2014 issue.
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2100 Denmark St, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Scribe winery founded by 2 young brothers is making Sonoma hip. Appointment only tasting under the trees, 20 ft swings, outdoor dinners with some of the best SF chefs, prohibition era hacienda to become the new tasting room, and just pure hipness...
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20 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is a wonderful day trip from San Francisco. Pack a picnic and reserve a raft from SOAR Inflatables, and spend a summer day moseying down the river. Go early or late in the season to avoid crowds and have...
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214 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
After a day spent floating down the Russian River, happy hour at Mateo's hit the spot. We grabbed seats at the colorful bar and ordered tacones stuffed with olive oil guacamole and black bean puree with homemade chorizo. I paired the food with a...
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7800 Eastside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Last year Copain Winery in Sonoma started hosting guest chef dinners at its tasting room as part of a Supper Club Series. Copain's winemaker, Wells Guthrie, reaches out to some of his favorite chefs and sommeliers, like Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan...
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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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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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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...
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Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
Point Reyes and Tamales Bay are on the coast about 30 miles northwest of San Francisco. This area is part of the Point Reyes National Sea Shore and on its northern end is Bodega Bay. The bay is actually a submerged portion of the infamous San...
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Point Sur, California 93940, USA
On a craggy rock in north Big Sur, the Point Sur lighthouse has beamed through furious fog, rain, and wind since 1889. Volunteers lead moonlit tours from late April through October that allow visitors access to the lighthouse tower, old housing...
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210 Pigeon Point Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060, USA
I stumbled across this Hostel while driving up the Coast Highway and took a quick pitstop. The view was amazing with cliffs on either side of us, a lighthouse in the middle, and ocean everywhere in front.
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1301 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
Hotel bars, pools and restaurants are central to the fabulous life in LA. The boutique 1930s Shangri-La Hotel has the only rooftop bar in Santa Monica with ocean views and their poolside patio is a relaxing escape away from the crowds of the pier...
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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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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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Presidio Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Artist Andy Goldsworthy's Wooden Line meanders its way through a grove of Eucalyptus in the Presidio, inviting all to take off shoes and balance beam through the forest. The sculpture, formed from the trunks of eucalyptus, gently curves its way...
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45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
One of my favorite campgrounds in Big Sur is the big open meadow at Andrew Molera State Park. It's great for large groups and it's one of the best bases for hiking and surfing in the area. More than 20 miles of trails run throughout the park's...
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Yosemite National Park, 1 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Although a very popular hike in the Yosemite Valley, the hike past Vernal Falls up the mist trail to Nevada Falls is magical in the Springtime. Personally, I think this is the best spot to stop and have lunch. However, Be sure to check the signs...
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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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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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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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Lone Pine, CA, USA
Until the moment we were behind the wheel, I was under the impression I'd be relaxing pool-side, piña colada in-hand, for 5 days in Vegas. Well apparently I misinterpreted the plan, because we were to spend half the trip camping in the desert—...
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San Francisco, CA, USA
There are so many fabulous places in the city that you can go to see and photograph San Francisco and the entire bay area. Some of these are open for the public while others may only be available to guests staying at that particular hotel. So if...
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525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
For traditional German food in a cozy setting reminiscent of a traditional Bavarian Wirsthaus, you can’t beat Suppenküche in Hayes Valley. Owner Fabrizio Wiest, who was born and raised in Germany, worked as a graphic designer before he moved to ...
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601 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Caffe Trieste, in the heart of North Beach just off Columbus, is an authentic San Francisco experience where little has changed since Kerouac's day. The North Beach location, which opened in 1956, is a great place to sit down, enjoy a coffee, and...
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Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Consistently ranked in Top 5/10 lists for the best San Francisco Bay Area Food Truck list, Mama's Empanadas is a food truck with a seemingly strange food combination: empanadas and pasta. But Mama—born in Chile and raised in Italy—makes it work....
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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
Golden Gate Park was formed out of an expanse of sand dunes to the west of the city in the nineteenth century—a history that is still discernible in the rolling topography of much of the park’s more than 1,000 acres. Over 13 million...
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1529 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Nicole Krasinski describes the novel concept of her restaurant State Bird Provisions as “dim sum and a great hors d’oeuvre party morphed into one experience.” She and her husband, chef Stuart Brioza, prepare beautifully executed...
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San Francisco, CA, USA
Even if you live here, exploring San Francisco's eclectic neighborhoods makes a fun day out, and with City Guides, it's also free. Founded in 1978, the nonprofit organization has more than 200 trained volunteers who lead history and...
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1170 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA
Casey's Pizza serves New York-style, locally-sourced, and mostly organic pizzas from a truck. The owner, a East Coaster, spent a lot of time trying to replicate the pizza of his youth and has added the West Coast mandates of local and organic...
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754 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
This place is tiny, but it's one of my favorite places in my neighborhood. The menu is small so there are only a few choices, but no matter what you get, you'll be happy. Make sure to try the iced coffee. It's made with chicory, the way it's done...
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Polk Gulch, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
ArKi is short for The Architect’s Kitchen since the owner, Tim Setiawan, used to be an architect before he got into the business of serving divine beignet-style donuts, fried to order, served piping hot and delicious. The truck offers several...
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375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
A key player in the "third wave" coffee movement is Four Barrel Coffee, founded by Jeremy Tooker—who has a particular love for light roasts and the bright, acidic flavors that come with this method. Don’t let that description deter you, though;...
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355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
If their New American–style brunch and dinner menus don’t tempt you to Bar Agricole, in SOMA, maybe their recent James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Bar Program will. Cocktails run at $11 across the board, and head bartenders Thad Vogler...
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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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One, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
If Chinatown is one of San Francisco’s most historic neighborhoods, continue walking for another ten minutes and you’ll arrive at one of its newest attractions, the Ferry Building. Actually, the building itself is not new, having been completed in...
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Lands End Trail, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
Land's End in San Francisco is an easy hike with huge payoff. This labyrinth sits just below the Legion of Honor parking lot and the Lincoln Park golf course. You can then scramble down to a beautiful rocky beach.
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Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
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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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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
I have an aversion to hills, especially when riding a bike. This is not ideal, because I live in San Francisco and some days it feels like an entire city of hills. This bike ride is one of my favorites not only because it goes right through the...
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While summer is universally the most popular time to travel, October and November are, in many ways, the best months to visit San Francisco. The heat of the midsummer sun in the Central Valley of California means fog for much of the coastline...
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50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The de Young Museum, with its perforated copper facade and spiraling tower in the center of Golden Gate Park, is as dramatic outside as it is inside. Follow the widening crack in the sidewalk into the atrium. It's an Andy Goldsworthy–created...
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Lover's Ln, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
If you are looking for a great walk in San Francisco, try the Presidio National Park. Lover's Lane is a nice one to start with. If you drive, just after entering the southeastern gate (Presidio Blvd. Gate), you can make a left and park your car in...
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1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
San Francisco is a great city for many reasons, one of which is all of the green space. It's easy to feel connected to nature here. When we planned to visit the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, we didn't expect it to be such an oasis. It was...
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San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Alcatraz—the very name conjures dark images of impregnable prisons, infamous criminals, and daring escape attempts. But the island is not all murder and mayhem. “The Rock,” set a few kilometers offshore in the San Francisco...
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2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
Natural Bridges State Beach is a great place to unwind near the bohemian surfer town of Santa Cruz.
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Gibson Rd, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Every once in a while, the sun shines bright in San Francisco and every city residents flocks to the nearest park or beach to soak up the sun and day drink. Baker Beach, in the confines of SF, seems worlds away from city life. The view of the...
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20063 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
San Francisco is a great starting point for a road trip. Drive north or south on the HWY 1 and you're bound to find fun towns, beautiful winding roads and gorgeous coastal scenery. This cave is about an hour drive south of San Francisco, and then...
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Most people come to Napa for the wine, but the Napa Valley is also an amazing place for people who love nature and the outdoors. Napa Valley Adventure Tours offers hiking, biking, and kayaking trips around the Valley. And of course, in addition to...
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Silver Strand, Coronado, CA 92118, USA
Bicycling the Silver Strand on Coronado is a relaxing way to enjoy a beautiful San Diego day. You can bring your own bike, or rent one for $7/hour. This cycling path is known as the Bayshore Bikeway and runs from Coronado via the Silver Strand to...
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9613, 23627 Devries Rd, Lodi, CA 95242, USA
I had driven by this rural part of California's Central Valley numerous times but had no idea what a special oasis lay among the old oak trees and huge vineyards around Lodi. After visiting last week, I now consider this place to be a new favorite...
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6105 CA-193, Newcastle, CA 95658, USA
There's a shortcut we take to avoid the heavy weekend traffic of those flocking to the mall or snow country. Along this road are farms growing mandarins, peaches, apples, persimmon and everything else in between. We inadvertently found that all...
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500 Ragle Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
The little town of Sebastopol had it's first claim to fame as being the home of the Gravenstein Apple. At one time the towns main industry, apples are still at the heart of my home town. Come harvest time I am usually picking apples for canning...