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Hidden California

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California is a land of almost infinite variation—and there's no shortage of back roads. Here are a few hidden gems along the way.
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Inland Ave, Empire, CA 95357, USA
You may not find an address online for this desert diorama in the middle of nowhere near Joshua Tree, CA. You can, however, get directions e-mailed to you, if you book. Walking into the grounds you enter a lifesized Barbie playland pop-up-book...
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317 Cedar St # A, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
David Wright introduced me to pu-erh tea at his happy, mellow, stimulant-infused palace of tea culture in Santa Cruz. I went to the city with this stop in mind, and am so glad we made it a priority. David let me taste teas, and even made "tea" (a...
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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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1620 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
Santa Barbara was one of our favourite towns on our California road trip. We hadn't really planned to spend any time there because we knew we couldn't afford it - everyone had warned us of the price of food and accommodation in this rich person's...