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California road trip

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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Driving Highway 1 through Big Sur is one of my favorite California experiences. Last year, I made the stunning trip north after visiting my family in Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving. Fall is one of the best times to visit because the cold fog that...
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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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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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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant serves housemade granola, ginger scones, and seasonal fruit strudels in a cabin built in 1937. Wood-fired pizzas, with toppings such as squash and prosciutto, stand out on the dinner menu, and the blackberry...
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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
We parked on the side of the highway in Big Sur and took a short hike to the overview in Julia Pfeiffer Park. Waterfalls, alcoves and ocean, oh my!
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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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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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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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Goleta, CA 93117, USA
Looking out over the Pacific Ocean from Nacimiento Road, near the intersection with Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway).
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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
This jewel is 5 minutes walk from highway 1 so it is crime driving by and not stopping. In any season but particularly the spring, you can get drunk by the fragrance of flowers and trees. And have I mentioned you get to see a waterfall that goes...
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700 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Had a great seafood at this somewhat touristy restaurant. Service was great and view of the monterey bay was just amazing!!! recommend dining in the patio. Order their local red wine from monterey region - so good.
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60 Fishermans Wharf #1, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
We found dozens of Sea Lions lounging on the beach soaking up the warmth. The dark ones just swam ashore and were climbing over the sleeping beach bums to find their own cozy. That is until this guy decided he didn't want to be walked...
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1306 Tamson Drive # 201, Cambria, CA 93428, USA
Cambria is worth a brief stop when driving between San Francisco and L.A. on the Route 1 Pacific Highway. It's best known for its proximity to Hearst Castle and the sun bathing seals at Piedras Blancas, but the town itself has a cute main street...
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Paso Robles Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA
Baby elephant seals by the hundreds come to this beach in San Simeon, by the lighthouse on the PCH/Hwy 1 just north of Cambria, California every winter. They birth, nurse, then mate from December to February. Very sweet and magical feeling on this...
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Mariposa Grove, California 93623, USA
My husband and I enjoyed a pleasant hike among the sequoias and pines at Mariposa Grove in the southern portion of Yosemite. Head out early to avoid the crowds who hit this popular spot to see the 2,700-year-old Grizzly Giant sequoia in the Lower...
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Happy Isles, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
No other landmark in Yosemite is as well recognized and beloved as Half Dome, the steely granite monolith towering 4,347 feet above Yosemite Valley. Geologist Josiah Whitney declared it “inaccessible” in 1870 but was proven wrong only...
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Glacier Point Rd, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Located 3,200 feet above Half Dome Village, Glacier Point offers some of the best views in the park to the high country beyond. The View Terrace looks out to Half Dome, Vernal Fall, and Nevada Fall as well as Liberty Cap to the east, while the...
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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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Happy Isles, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Despite being steep, often wet, and sometimes dangerous, the Mist Trail is Yosemite’s hallmark hike, with breathtaking views of the valley and two waterfalls. Be warned, though, that it’s called the Mist Trail for a reason: Much of the...
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Mirror Lake, California, USA
I remember every year as a little girl taking annual camping trips during the summer to Yosemite National Park, CA. We would walk the trail up to Mirror Lake and have picnics. So as a mom, I wanted to share these fond memories with my children....
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Tenaya Lake, California, USA
Tenaya is not only one of the most beautiful lakes in Yosemite, it’s one of the most accessible—when Tioga Road (the only road in the high country) is open, usually May through October. The fact that it’s easy to get to makes it...
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Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Sometimes all it take to make a road famous are eight, tight hairpin turns. This one way street was designed in this manner to compensate for the steep incline (27 degrees) of the hill it’s on. Traffic on the hairpin area is reserved for eastbound...
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California, USA
Late afternoon in Joshua Tree National Park.
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Goleta, CA 93117, USA
Just north of Los Angeles and east of Ventura/Santa Barbara you will find some of the most rugged wilderness in California. You can get as far out as you would like with untamed campgrounds or enjoy a nice cabin in the woods. Whatever habitat you...
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22 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
this would be it. Stemware in filing cabinets, vintage office furniture, thrift store trophies and rando paintings on the walls. Loved the wine tasting, and went home with a mug emblazoned with the word "WINE."
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1208 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
The new darling of the Santa Barbara dining scene, Sama Sama is keeping State Street fresh. Started by two passionate twenty-somethings, Ryan and Tyler, this place has a vibrant, energetic atmosphere that is sometimes hard to find in Santa...
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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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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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57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
It doesn't matter how well you think you know a place—there's always somewhere new worth exploring. San Francisco is packed with secret hideouts. One of my all-time favorites has to be the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room—and the rather...
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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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2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
The date-night dinner-and-a-movie standard has been taken to a new stylish height at this acclaimed restaurant in the Mission District. Grab a table on the patio under the strings of lights to dine on seasonal California cuisine while...
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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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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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2815 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
There's still a fish market vibe at the Fisherman's Wharf harbor, packed with stall upon stall of delectable catches. If you're going to try a local favorite—and you should—try the clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Other tasty choices...