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24898 Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Burney, CA 96013, USA
only 4 hours up north of san francisco is Burney Falls State Park. The 129 ft falls is a beautiful Oasis set among pristine forest area. There are campgrounds not far from the falls and you can catch Rainbow Trout in the picturesque river..... The...
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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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Furnace Creek, CA 92328, USA
hiking through mesquite dunes in death valley is an amazing communion with mother nature. One knows civilization is directly south once out in the middle if dunes, but the feeling of being completely lost is overwhelming among the high dunes and...
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2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
The trek to the HOLLYWOOD sign may be the most famous L.A. hike to outsiders, but if you're looking for downtown views, celebrity sightings, and a typical L.A.-style glamour hike (not necessarily strenuous, but very fashionable), the 3.3-mile...
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I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset,...
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Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA
A two-day walk that you can join or leave almost anywhere along the route, the Big Parade is a community stroll that starts at the Angel’s Flight Stairway in downtown Los Angeles and ends at the iconic Hollywood sign. Along the way, revelations...
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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...
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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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Mt Baldy, CA 91759, USA
Whether sunshine or snow, a day at Mt. Baldy is a thrilling adventure above the clouds. At 10,068 feet the trek to the summit along cliff-hugging trails gets your adrenaline pumping. The best route is to tackle the steep 4.5 mile climb up the Ski...
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Echo Mountain, California 91001, USA
Echo Mountain has a great deal to offer, from the switchback trail, which will give you a great workout on your way up the mountain (start early to avoid the blistering afternoon sun), to the views—on a clear day you can look out over Pasadena, ...
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Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA
This is where I go to be alone, there are numerous trails to walk all with spectacular ocean views and atmospheric sunsets
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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...
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Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most photographed site in California, but this vantage point never gets old. Explore the hollowed out fort, learn some history, and marvel at the view from the top floor.
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Peralta Hacienda, Oakland, CA 94601, USA
A 15-minute drive up into the hills above Oakland's Fruitvale district, Redwood Regional Park is my go-to spot for a quick hit of real NorCal nature. An easy walk leads you along a creek beneath big, beautiful trees. The air is clean, the...
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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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Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA, USA
Alamo Square is home of the "Painted Ladies," eclectic musicians, and some of the most incredible views of San Fransisco. The trolleys won't take you all the way there, but cabs are easy to catch. We couldn't have chosen a better way to burn the...
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Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, USA
Treasure Island is still technically located in the city of San Francisco, but you probably wouldn't venture to the island unless you're making a trip over to Oakland and the east bay. I have often noticed the great views of SF from the bay...
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200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
The Botanical Garden in Berkeley is small enough that it's kid-friendly. Packing a lunch and having a picnic is a must.
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Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
When they say Big Sur, the "big" cannot be underscored enough. The Big Sur coastline area of California might be among my favorite places on earth. It doesn't matter what time of day, season of the year, or type of weather--it always has some...
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California, USA
Late afternoon in Joshua Tree National Park.
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75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
Visit the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco for a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It's located beside the De Young and Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, and offers a variety of snacks to nibble on while enjoying...
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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...
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17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
What a perfect LA excursion for the history and nature buffs alike. Take a drive part of the way up PcH and enjoy the sun, breeze, and exhibits.
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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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Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA, USA
In Los Angeles, the cliché is that people drive one block to get a soda. But there are lots of staircases hidden in the hills of L.A. In Silver Lake, I like a two-and-a-half mile loop of stairs known as the Music Box. Parts remind me of...
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16th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project in the Inner Sunset is a reflection of the city’s creative spirit. Artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher led the initiative to cover a stairway in mosaics inspired by the Santa Teresa Steps in Rio de...
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California, USA
I started to rock climb outside this year. Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne meadows can be climbed in 5 pitches. This is the view from the top.
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Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA
Ocean Beach is a massive, four-mile-long stretch of sand. Surfers talk about it in terms of the block they surf. I surf Pacheco or Moraga Street. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
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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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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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The Monterey Bay area on California's central coast is possibly my favorite part of California--it is that beautiful. On a recent cold January morning, I took my dogs to Asilomar State Beach at one end of the town of Pacific Grove. As the clouds...
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Vista Point, California 94965, USA
If you're like me (which by the way would probably make you super weird and could be a good thing or a bad thing...) you want to take a good few snaps when you travel. Well, if you're like me and are a "Travel Landscape Photographer" then it could...
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610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
“If you go to our own local market in Napa called the Oxbow, there’s a spice company there, and you get to open up all the lids and smell the spices,” says Pam Starr. “I like to go and be inspired by different smells. They...
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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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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...
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U.S. 101, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
If you thought you saw it all, then drive/bike on the Conzelman rd on a sunny day. You'll get to see San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge in all of their splendor.
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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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12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
Watching two mischievous kids chasing a bird at the seashore. The weather was impeccable all day long...quintessentially Southern California. @Torrey Pines State park, San Diego.
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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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Santa Cruz Beach, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
On the ground and in the sky, technicolor delights on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. You can catch the sky tram from one end to the other or walk through the psychedelic amusement park.
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United States
This beautiful place in Death Valley is on the way to the Mesquite Sand Dunes and it's called the Devil's corn field. Walking on it feels very strange as the sand is solidified at the surface. When you step on it makes in crack and it sounds and...
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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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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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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...
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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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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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2395 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039, USA
If you’re looking for that rare, first-pressing Beatles record, there’s a good chance of finding it here. The selection of vinyl is awesome. 
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Los Angeles, CA, USA
In a city so long identified with the car, the notion of shutting down 10 miles of streets to automobiles is radical indeed. But that’s what will happen on April 15 with CicLAvia, as bicyclists, roller skaters, and walkers take over the pavement...
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4726 Santa Monica Ave, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
Being a runner, it grounds me when I have the chance to run on a beach in a new city. Not only do you get a nice workout in, it's a great and efficient way to get the vibe of the locals. Try and write the word "Run" in as many languages and as...
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Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
To me, an oasis is anywhere or anything that allows you to process your thoughts, ignore your thoughts, or toss them to the wind. As a college student in San Diego, the place I would most often retreat was Sunset Cliffs. Sitting along the coast...
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62 California 1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
A beautiful day on the Central Coast along Hwy 1 - seemed like a beautiful omen for the new year.
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2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, USA
The hike through Jack London State Historic Park to the top of Sonoma Mountain runs through redwood groves, meadows, and vineyards. Vigorous blackberry bushes provide some sustenance -- but bring water, because it gets hot up there in the summer....
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3400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
just outside palm springs 45 mins is majestic Joshua tree.. I try get here at least once a year after a lot of traveling to recharge.. beautiful jumbo rocks and cacti with miles of pristine trails, where you can free camp where you wish, to feel...
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Yerba Buena Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Some friends and I hiked to Sandstone Peak (in April), which is the highest point of the Santa Monica Mountains where we were rewarded with an amazing view of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. It had just rained, so the view was crystal clear....
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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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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...
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3926 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
You wouldn’t know there was a store there unless you lived in the neighborhood, but the owner, Chris, has an amazing list of cheeses. I love his shop because he sells what he likes, not what people tell him is good. He’s also got an...
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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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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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Carmel Beach, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
The beaches and coastline of central California is not what one might imagine when hearing "California." They are rugged, rocky, and often cold or even foggy. Carmel Beach, at the end of the super-cute town of Carmel, is a bit of an exception....
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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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1060 Dunaweal Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
At Clos Pegase, playful art and sculptures are the centerpiece of the winery. A collection of sculptures by famous 20th century artists greets visitors outside, and the collection continues in the courtyard and tasting room. The owner, Jan Shrem,...
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1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
It was my first dinner out in Downtown Napa (the new place to be in Napa Valley), and it set the bar very high for the rest of my stay. My dinner at Oenotri was one of the best I've ever had. From the salad of beets, arugula, and oranges, the...
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200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
I had heard that the botanical garden at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California, was worth visiting, but I didn't expect it to be so beautiful. Set among the hills that rise above the city, the botanical garden seems to go on and on, one beautiful...
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2501 Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Orinda, CA 94563, USA
This is my favorite 30-35 mile ride in the East Bay, and spring and fall are the times to see the colors really pop. Make your way up and out of Berkeley on Spruce and head straight on Wildcat Canyon to enter the majestic Tilden park, when you hit...
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111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
This bowed silver building stands out among the skyscrapers of Downtown L.A. (though it now has an equally interesting-looking neighbor in the Broad). Those stainless-steel curves have a purpose, though. Architect Frank Gehry designed the...
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CA-1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, USA
Many car commercials have been filmed along this stretch of the iconic California road. The hairpin turns and switchbacks make it a wild ride for some, but the views to the west (the ocean) and the east (Northern California's inimitable green...
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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...
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38257 E Kings Canyon Rd, Dunlap, CA 93621, USA
Cat haven is a small zoo filled with felines rescued from various situations. The animals seem content an well cared for, and you can get an up close view of some large and beautiful creatures. As one if the handler's explained, there are not a...
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1000 Oak St, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
Good to know that there is a museum dedicated to educating the community and supporting art in Oakland. Take a nice bike ride around lake Merritt before viewing the current exhibit or have a refreshing greyhound at Room 389.
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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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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...
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155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
A San Franciscan watering hole since 1907, Comstock Saloon serves up classic cocktails (think Negronis and Manhattans) in the buzzing North Beach neighborhood. The bar is run by the bartending duo of Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin, previously of...
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Chinatown, San Francisco, CA, USA
This tiny Chinatown alterations place is a local favorite, with people walking in and out constantly. The prices are very reasonable, and I wouldn't recommend haggling with Ms. Ma.
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824 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Stepping into Paxton Gate is like entering a wonderland. What began as a small store in an alley off Market Street in 1992 has since grown into their location on Valencia Street, a mecca for those interested in the oddities of the natural world....
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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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1 Johnson Pier, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay has a little bit of everything: fishing boats, a brewery, seafood restaurants, whale watch tour boats, kayaking outfits and other businesses related to enjoying all that the sea has to offer. When walking...
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25 Swanton Rd, Davenport, CA 95017, USA
Swanton Berry Farm is a u-pick farm along the coast just north of Santa Cruz. In the winter it's kiwis; other seasons provide opportunities for picking ollalieberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It's a great, kid-friendly afternoon activity....
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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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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...
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Avenue of the Giants, California, USA
Whenever I experience power in nature, it makes me feel small, insignificant, fleeting. I get this feeling watching rugged cliffs dropping into a pounding ocean; the ceaseless force of a raging waterfall; or the colorful kaleidoscope of a setting...
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6037 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA 94608, USA
Pepples Donut is in a random location (San Pablo and 61st) so it's not really somewhere you would go out of your way to get to (they also sell them in the Ferry Building), but the grimy cafe store is very low key and I love getting a box of dozen...
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3431 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Can't beat a buck for an Oyster! Hogs and Rocks is a great happy hour haunt in the mission. Super lively and fun. I shouldn't be telling you all this!
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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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2015 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Bun Mee recently opened near my house. Their Vietnamese sandwiches are just spicy enough, with the right amount of filling and at the right price. They also have great salads and sweet potato fries with curry aioli sauce. I've been having their...
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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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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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17380 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
This tiny market on the way to or from Sonoma Wine Country is the perfect place to stop for a meal on the go. El Brinquito is Spanish for a small jump, or a leap, and the Market is just a short hop outside of downtown Sonoma. The everyday fare is...
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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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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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972 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
True to its name, this Sebastopol Hole in the Wall cafe was hidden and delicious! The Dutch baby is a deep German pancake made in a skillet with tons of sugar and apples. The chef brought it out to us sizzling hot! What a breakfast.
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Marin County, CA, USA
I think this area of the Mt. Tam Watershed is one of Marins best kept secrets. Take the Bolinas-Fairfax road to get there.
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19225 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
I come here to relax and watch the seaweed sway beneath the water and light sparkle above. The drive to Point Reyes along Highway 1 is an experience in itself with rolling green hills that meet an expansive sky and the smell of eucalyptus in the...