California to-do list
Collected by Jenna Francisco, AFAR Local Expert
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,...
2900 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705, USA
This café was originally Ozzie's Fountain, a Berkeley landmark since 1921. The café still retains its retro feeling with the original Ozzie counter. Additional seating at tables are available indoors and outside. The Elmwood is open for breakfast,...
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...
San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
A vital civic and cultural space within Golden Gate Park, the Bandshell, known as the Spreckles Temple of Music, hosts free concerts on Sundays during the summer and serves as a picnic spot year-round for visitors to the nearby cultural facilities...
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,...
104 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
This museum does so much more than tell you about Walt Disney's life—it reminds you of the struggles that all creatives face throughout their careers. The experience is unexpected, interactive, and current for kids and adults alike. The view onto...
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....
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...
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...
45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Initially, we were going to hike another trail further down the road but when we arrived, the portion we wanted to hike was closed due to a landslide. We headed back north and decided to hike this trail since we pass the trail head often. The...
80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
This is another place I immediately return to when I'm in the Bay Area. It's a cheese lover's temple! I loved this salad pictured that I had. It was also my first picture of San Francisco! I must say that the Mount Tam is one of my favourite...
856 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
There is always time for a cheese plate, especially at Say Cheese. Sample away at cheeses with ingredients like "triple cream" and "made with the finest goat's milk in France." Say Cheese has a cheese cooler packed with all shades of cheese—they...
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...
998 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA
We reserved a quiet tucked-away table for 2 at Koberl at Blue for New Years - an early seating because, well, we're parents and all that. We like to ring in the New Year in bed. (watching movies on the laptop, of course) I couldn't resist a great...
Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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...
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...
7401 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
The Shaky Alibi is the original spot for delectable Liege waffles in Los Angeles. A Dutch concoction using pearl sugar, Liege waffles elevate the treat to something extraordinary - caramelized, doughy, and topped off with a bit of Biscoff.
3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
It's no wonder that on any given weekday afternoon, the line for ice cream at this legendary San Francisco establishment goes out the door and wraps around the block. Once you try it for yourself, you'll understand: it's just that good. With...
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...
701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
If you care to support local organic farmers and sustainable fisheries- while eating delicious food- then Passionfish is your place. The menu changes quite a bit, but they usually seem to have the asparagus fries, which aren't greasy at all. You...
170 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
Peppers Mexicali Cafe is a great place to stop for a lunch, they've been in business since 1996. The food is fresh and you can ask for especially hot peppers added to your meal if you like. They make a yummy bowl of vegetarian black bean soup.The...
5356 Oles Cove Rd, Halfmoon Bay, BC V0N 1Y2, Canada
It's all uphill after checking in. Take your bags and stroll along the winding wooden footbridge that takes you in and out of the forest with the occasional view of the Straight of Georgia. A few hundred yards later you come across the first tent,...
Jewel Lake, California 94708, USA
There are miles upon miles of trails and hikes to choose from in Tilden Park, high up in the Berkeley Hills and I always love to start and finish many of the classic afternoons here by swinging through the Redwood groves that are on the western...
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