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2015 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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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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1529 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
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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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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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Lost Coast, CA 95536, USA
Imagine this. You are building the Pacific Coast Highway. You go north of Ft. Bragg, north of Westport, and suddenly, you encounter enormous steep rugged mountains that that suddenly thrust upward, 2000 ft. in 2 miles. If this isn't challenging...
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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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1141 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, USA
Residents of misty, moody Ft. Bragg used to throw their garbage from the cliffs above this beach. Entire cars, thrown into the surf. Then they cleaned it up. Decades later, what remains is just a pretty beach and a seemingly endless amount of...
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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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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Beautiful McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer State Park on the way to Big Sur.
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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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48510 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
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This restaurant/shoppe/cafe along Highway 1 in Big Sur has one of the best views in the area. The restaurant serves a full menu, but you can head to the terrace above the shoppe and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and ocean for miles.
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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
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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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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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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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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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4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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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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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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490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
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Cotogna is dangerously close to the AFAR Media offices. This rustic sister restaurant to Quince opened last year, and the roomy bar is a cozy place to sit mid-day with a double espresso served neat in a Heath Ceramics cup. The pastas are all...
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19225 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
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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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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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80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
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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...
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4035 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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An artist and an architect curate a cool mix of practical things here. You’ll find books on furniture and design, and interesting items like wooden radios and pencil sets. Lots of it is handmade. The store also sells chairs and tables that Luke...
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913 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
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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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1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA
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When my friends came to visit from abroad this was the first place I had to take them. Bay Area locals can't get enough of this co-op run, cheap, gourmet pizza! This particular pizza was a delicious combo of gruyere cheese, cilantro, garlic, corn...
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1200 Euclid Ave, Berkeley, CA 94708, USA
This city-owned park in Berkeley will steal your heart, even before you find the stone slide! While I was exploring the park for the first time, I'd already been wowed by the little league park of my dreams, the magical Redwood trail running...
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4519, 261 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

In an age when many independent bookstores have surrendered to the advance of chain stores and Amazon, City Lights is a true survivor. Since it was founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1956, it has served as a gathering place for San...

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3431 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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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
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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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754 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
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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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23240 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
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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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3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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This bakery just opened across the street from Woodshop. It’s a godsend. It’s been rough finding good coffee out here, but they serve Blue Bottle Coffee and breakfast sandwiches on house-baked biscuits.”
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4025 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
The guy who runs Tuesday Tattoo, Jesse Tuesday, is a superfamous tattoo artist and a diehard surfer. It’s a rad little shop. The vibe is different from most tattoo parlors. It has a cozy, humble feeling. It’s the type of place you’d go to sip a...
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Russian Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Roam Artisan Burgers on Union Street in San Francisco is not your typical burger joint. The interiors are an artsy blend of wood, glass, and recycled fixtures and burgers can be made with a beef, turkey, veggie, bison, or elk patty. I can vouch...
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355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
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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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3901 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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The owners wanted a neighborhood pizza joint like they had growing up in Boston. The Dimitri is a pie they named after the guy who runs Noriega Produce up the road. It has every crazy thing on it: sausage, pepperoni,mushrooms, garlic. The bar...
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Outer Sunset, San Francisco, CA, USA
When I went back to San Francisco for the second time in August, I ended up staying in the Outer Sunset. A new store just opened there in the summer called Establish SF and I fell in LOVE! They sell and custom make jewelry there as well as sell a...
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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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3821 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
The proprietor, Dimitri, is like the mayor of the Sunset. He always has a smile and knows you by name. He and his family run the best little health-food market. It’s tiny, but you don’t need to go anywhere else. Plus they’re Greek and they always...
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3814 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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This Korean restaurant is hidden behind a garage. My impression was that it was some underground nightclub that had Korean food. It’s actually just a Korean restaurant that’s open late. The restaurant isn’t even behind the garage – the kitchen is!...
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3940 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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They do their own blend of beans called Elbow Grease, and it’s high-octane stuff.
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4500 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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Mollusk is a neighborhood surf shop that sells clothing and great boards. They carry my surfboards and handplanes [for body surfing]. They occasionally host art shows and live music. The shop is sort of like the cornerstone of the Sunset. 4500...
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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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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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San Francisco, CA, USA
Consistently rated one of the best food trucks in San Francisco, The Chairman is a culinary delight! They have a small menu of steamed and baked buns with exotic fillings (including a great vegetarian offering), but everything is unique,...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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824 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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...
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California, USA
Late afternoon in Joshua Tree National Park.
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California, USA
The inspiring powers of nature are truly on display at Joshua Tree National Park. Cap Rock is easily found, accessible by car and has a little loop trail that provides some nice shady spots for animal and human alike. This spot in Joshua Tree is...
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Inland Ave, Modesto, CA 95357, USA
Google as much as you want but you won't find an address for this secret desert diorama in the middle of nowhere Joshua Tree, CA. You will, however, get directions e-mailed to you, but only if you book! Walking into the grounds you enter a...
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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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Mt Shasta, CA 96067, USA
30 feet below the cornice of a narrow crevasse, I’m dangling like a marionette on a 9-mil rope, staring in awe at a rippling splinter of luminescent blue ice—the size of a 10-story building—jutting from a rift in the Hotlum glacier. And what’s...
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Northern California, CA, USA
Wonderful hike with views of mt Shasta
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47080 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Retro furniture, bright textiles, and in-room yoga mats characterize the Glen Oaks motel. Guests who book the Big Sur Cabin can stargaze from an outdoor clawfoot tub. From $225. (831) 667-2105. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue.
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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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46800 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Although the Big Sur Inn is a fantastic place on its own, the claptrap dining bus at the gas station has some pretty great food. There are fantastically fresh sandwiches and pastries and they do a mean espresso. And eating them in a fun and funky...
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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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17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
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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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600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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With no sign above its unassuming storefront, Tartine is most easily recognized by the line that snakes out its door and down Guerrero Street. People patiently wait for flaky pains au chocolat (the best outside Paris, in my opinion), decadent...
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3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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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...
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63025 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Limekiln State Park in Big Sur has it all—beach, woods, and history—and the trails are so short that you can actually see it all. First, follow the half-mile Limekiln Trail along a stream to four metal kilns that once fired limestone rock into...
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915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740, USA
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A must-stop on any road trip in/out of Los Angeles, The Donut Man on historic Route 66 makes delectable light, fluffy and fresh donuts 24/7. The Tiger Tail with it's crunchy chocolate crisps are yummy, but the crumb cinnamon-sugar steals my heart....
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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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55000 California 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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220 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
For a dose of culture, head to Park Life in the Inner Richmond. The goal of this gallery-cum-retail space is to feature today’s most engaging contemporary art. Located in a 1,400-square-foot former furniture store, Park Life showcases 10 exhibits...
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7850 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
From fancy to funky to sometimes downright fugly, Melrose Ave. is a shopping mecca for all tastes and budgets. While tourists flock to this famous strip to browse the shops, locals know to show up on Sundays for the landmark Melrose Trading...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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30 Beckett St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Often, when I feel overly strapped to my desk, hankering for a trip to another land, I stroll into San Francisco's Chinatown. Once I'm off the main drags and into the residential neighborhoods or the commercial streets chockablock with shops...
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225 26th St #51, Santa Monica, CA 90402, USA
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A small storefront in the charming Brentwood Country Mart is lit up late after the rest of the village has gone to sleep. Here at Sweet Rose Creamery, organic milk, eggs, cream, and sugar are transformed daily into the purest-tasting ice cream,...
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4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
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In the hills above Los Angeles, near the Hollywood sign, Kepler, Galileo, and Copernicus look out over the city of 'stars.' Dominating the lawn in front of Griffith Observatory, this Astronomers Monument dates from the 1930s; the Depression-era...
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2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
Sitting near Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory has a vantage point that allows visitors great views of the HOLLYWOOD sign during the day, and even more fantastic views of the stars at night. The space has plenty...
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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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214 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
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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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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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Beverly Hills, CA, USA
Originally built in the 1920's this is an enchanting example of "Storybook" architecture located in the heart of Beverly Hills at Walden and Carmelita.
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3824 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA
Our neighborhood farmers’ market takes place twice a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays. Every neighborhood should have access to good food like this. 3700 W. Sunset Blvd. and Edge Cliff Dr. As told to Heidi Mitchell. This appeared in the October 2012...
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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...
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351 Pacu Ln #200, Bishop, CA 93514, USA
Walk amongst the oldest living things on the planet. It's eerie, a bit weird looking, and out of the way. Isn't that the way you like it? That's why I went. It's nice at night, as you can tell from the photo. The Patriarch Grove in the Ancient...
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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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863 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005, USA
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Palsaik Samgyupsal, which means, "Eight Colors of Pork," is a divine discovery for a bacon lover like myself. Seriously, what can be better than a restaurant that specializes in flavored bacon? You can't help but salivate as marinated slices of...
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Purdon Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
I just spent the weekend following the 4th of July up near Nevada City. It got over 90 degrees during the day, so we headed to the river. Although lots of people had similar ideas, I was with a local who directed us to this spot and we had it to...
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Giant Rock, California 92285, USA
Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert is as weird as the shapes of the trees that make it up. While beautiful in its sparse vastness, it is no surprise that alien enthusiasts have taken to the area. For a taste of this, try a rejuvenating soundbath at...
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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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Sycamore Canyon Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The ocean views throughout the drive on Highway 1 through Big Sur are so spectacular that it's easy to forget to get out of the car. But there are lots of essential stops along the drive. Chefs from L.A. make pilgrimages to eat the wood-fired...
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California, USA
We love going to the high desert in California, usually out to Joshua Tree National Park. We rented a house in Yucca Valley, not far from the Park entrance, through VRBO.com in late December so we could make home-cooked meals in the evenings. In...
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20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
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What a great way to spend a spring day in the Bay Area. Hog Island in Tamales Bay has very tasty oysters, a fun staff and a very friendly, comfortable environ. It used to be solely shuck it yourself and bring your own beverages. Although that is...
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United States
This was shot just before sunset at the Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park. The park is less than 3 hrs drive from Las Vegas and is the biggest national park in lower 48. The landscape here is mind boggling as the heat! ;D
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8818 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
It’s easy to miss the discreet sign for “Book Soup” after passing the more obvious marquees for Sunset Strip’s famous nightlife and entertainment destinations. This cozy, out-of-place bookshop feels endless as it lures you in and slows down time...
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8425 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069, USA
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This high-end boutique is all about living with beautiful things. The white-walled space displays art along with a wide selection of limited-edition shoes, handbags, jewelry, and vintage men’s neckties from brands such as Clare Vivier, Rachel...
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Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Abbot Kinney Boulevard is possibly the trendiest street in Los Angeles, where boho-chic beachgoers glide along the sidewalk like it's a runway, with besties and beaux at their sides. Open up your wallet at boutiques like Scotch & Soda, with...
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8302 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
The La Jolla Underwater Park is a great way to experience the world in the Pacific Ocean. There are artificial reefs, two canyons and a kelp forest. There are many places around the park to rent scuba and snorkeling gear, kayaks and wetsuits. The...
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What I love about Sonoma County, California is its dramatic contrasts. That one moment you're sipping on wine in a cozy tasting room on the square in Healdsburg Plaza and the next you're hiking around Lake Sonoma with views like this. The overlook...
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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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Paso Robles Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA
All my life my mom was trying to drag me and my dad on a trip to Hearst Castle, and we always told her no. I probably wouldn't have appreciated it anyways in my younger years. However, before I moved to Hong Kong for work, I took a trip with my...
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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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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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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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1 Tram Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Golf and sunshine are the main magnets that draw visitors to Palm Springs, but a 10-minute ride will take you up into a snowy evergreen forest. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway climbs up to a mountain wilderness at 8,500 feet (2,590 meters). The...
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1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103, USA
On the second Sunday of every month, bargain hunters, collectors, designers, tourists, and other curious shoppers head to the historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, where 2,500 vendors of furniture, accessories, clothes, crafts, vinyl, and more...
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1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
“This is the perfect West Coast counterpoint to McNally Jackson. It makes you want to pick up a book—or a pen. Here, though, if you’re not writing a screenplay, you’re not really writing at all.” —Fred Dust 181 N. Vermont Ave. (323) 660-1175.
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1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704, USA
For the time it takes most Angelenos to commute to work, you can be ferried into the alternate reality of Catalina Island, a romantic escape far from the daily traffic jams and urban sprawl. The evergreen-shrubbed hills spotted with an artists...
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Trinity Alps, California 96048, USA
Mount Shasta sets a lovely backdrop from the camp spot at Heart Lake up in the Trinity Alps. The magic of this place is just beyond words, the sunsets are a finale and the sunrises a symphony. About 6 hours north of San Francisco, it's a lovely...
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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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62 California 1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
I've been all over the California coast and Point Lobos is my favorite place to hike. We have hiked every trail in this reserve and never tire of this magical place. You can see many animals, such as sea otters, seals, elephant seals,sea lions,...
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835 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
My favorite independent bookstore, located in Seaport Village, is Upstart Crow—a mix of eclectic nostalgia items amongst coffee drinks and stacks of books. Here is where you find peace amid the tourist busy bodies.
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Big Sur lies along what is surely one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in California, if not the world.Skip the famously fabulous and outrageously expensive hotels, and head to Deetjen's. It's a ramshackle but romantic historic inn on...
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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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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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Point Lobos, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
This state natural reserve is a perfect highlight of Northern California's coast. Trails meander through trees, along the craggy coastline and down to tide pools. With California poppy's blooming, cypress trees clinging to rocks and aquamarine...
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2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
$$$$
Mind, blown and belly, full. Brown Sugar Kitchen is the place in the East Bay for your brunch in search of food for the soul. Created by the master head chef Tanya Holland (known for her celebration of community as well as her gifts in the...
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67402 Drive Thru Tree Rd, Leggett, CA 95585, USA
So you want to drive through a tree? Well, you've got options. (At least for now. Since no new drive-through trees will be created any time soon, for obvious environmental reasons, the existing ones are maybe the last of their kind.) There are...
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101 N Museum Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
I got a preview of the new Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, California. In addition to the influential collection of art, the garden around the museum is beautifully designed and showcases the frailty of the desert.
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1620 State Street, 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...
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
My all time favorite thing to do in Northern California when the fog clears! Shucking without gloves is risky business though!
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Pleasure Point, Opal Cliffs, CA 95062, USA
East Cliff Drive in the Pleasure Point neighborhood of Santa Cruz overlooks the expansive Pacific Ocean and some of the best surfing in the country. Jack O’Neill lives here, along with many neighbors who live to surf. This is a side of Santa Cruz...
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Pacific Grove, CA, USA
Pacific Grove is a quaint town on the Monterey Peninsula and a tranquil place to admire Pacific views of the ocean or the monarchs when they're traveling through the area. The coastal landscape was swarmed by fiery ice plants when we visited in...
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805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301, USA
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Randy’s massive donut sign atop the roof of its drive-thru and walk-up bakery has been an L.A. landmark since it opened in 1953. It even reached celebrity status and was featured in films, including Iron Man 2 and Mars Attacks! While the giant...
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Mono Lake, California 93541, USA
The colors and incredible rocks at Mono Lake draw you in. It is like no place I have ever visited. The rock formations are called Tufa towers which form in a variety of ways at Mono Lake. The most visible formations are the towers on the lake’s...
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1047 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
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Saltbox is a restaurant and bar located in the heart of the Gaslamp in San Diego. The upstairs restaurant is very warm—the walls are elegantly designed with various types and shapes of stones. The tables are sleek, and the dining area has a very...
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1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
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With over 1300 reviews on Yelp, an appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and a line that often snakes down the block, I won’t try to argue that Swan Oyster Depot is one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets. But I will...
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Trona Pinnacles, California, USA
The Trona Pinnacles is one of the most unusual geological features in the Mojave Desert of California, its unusual landscape consisting of hundreds of tufa spires rising from a former lake bed, stark mountains bracketing the formations.
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Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
If you want to discover Haight Ashbury from a true "insider," then consider the Flower Power Tour created and given by the ebullient Izu Interlandi. Izu is not a native to the hippie district of Haights Ashbury in San Francisco, but she could very...
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555 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
I recently signed up for a drawing class with a few fellow AFARians, and I came to this art supply store—near Jackson Square in the Financial District—to stock up on materials. Sporting wall-to-wall color and two floors of pencils, paints,...
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1991 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA
Inglenook (previously Rubicon) is the epitome of wine tasting in the Napa Valley. The elegant chateau is owned by the Hollywood legend Francis Ford Coppola (mastermind behind The Godfather Trilogy... but you knew that). The Coppola's have gained...
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
The craggy-rock view from the top of the staircase out to the Point Reyes National Seashore looks just fine from the top. But you didn't drive all this way to stand at the top while everyone else descends to see the historic Point Reyes...
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Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
The Gaslamp Quarter, located in the heart of downtown San Diego, has come a long way since its start in 1867. It is home to some of the finest restaurants in San Diego, and is an ideal place to spend an entertaining weekend. Go shopping at The...
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200 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
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Stop by Reveille Coffee Co and your morning will be instantly better. The light, airy space in North Beach serves up coffee, pastries, and some of the best avocado and egg toast you’ll find in the city. Founded by Christopher and Tommy Newbury,...
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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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Beal Rd, Slab City, CA 92233, USA
The technicolor mound in the middle of the barren Imperial Valley desert is a quirky manifestation of Leonard Knight’s mission to spread the message of Love after discovering Jesus at age 35 in 1967. Salvation Mountain is a three-story mural...
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56 Ross Alley, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
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In the largest Chinatown outside Asia, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory glows in the somewhat dark Ross Alley. A group of writers from a Trafalgar Guided Vacation enter the building and see the fortune cookies being made. The untainted, non...
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540 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Crazy for Kerouac? Mad for Ginsberg? Head to the Beat Museum in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, where many of the writers, artists, and thinkers you’ll be learning about spent their time drinking and carousing in the 1950s...
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Pier 39, P-3, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Everyone loves the San Francisco cable cars. The classic trolley are cute relic of a time before buses and cars – and they give a great retro-style tour of the city's hills, and neighbourhoods: Union Square, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and...
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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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25050 CA-1, Jenner, CA 95450, USA
Salt Point Park is in the Northern part of Sonoma County in California. There are 20 miles of trails in this park and we hiked the Central Trail to the Pygmy Forest and looped around the Prairie to the South Trail to return via the Powerline...
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Monterey, CA, USA
My mom and I went out on a whale watching charter boat early in the morning and saw so many whales! It wasn't very much money either. The water wasn't too choppy, so we had really good luck and saw a dozen whales. I was lucky enough to capture...
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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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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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2495 E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91104, USA
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Carmela is Pasadena's favorite ice cream shop. Drive by in the evening, and you'll see a crowded store front with happy ice-cream-eaters overflowing onto the sidewalk. I love their unique flavor combinations; they even offer classes if you're...
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1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
A trip to Disneyland at Christmas Time is a holiday tradition in my family. You'll sure be feeling jolly and ready for the holiday after strolling through the Happiest Place on Earth. This amusement park does it right. They add the perfect touch...
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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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Big Bear Lake, CA, USA
A cabin by the lake is a great spot to roast marshmallows by the fireplace, play charades with your best girlfriends all night, and have breakfast on the deck morning after.
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31 Wharf 1 # 1, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Caramel coating and confetti toppings hide crispy apples for those desiring a sweet hunt. At this carnival candy store on Monterey's Fisherman's wharf, satisfy your sweet tooth with these apples, salt water taffy, and homemade fudge.
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604 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
"Hail Summer!" "Hail Venice" "Hell Yeah!" This annual celebration of summer brings out some of the most colorful characters in Venice Beach. At 12:30 on the day of the summer solstice, get dressed in your nautical best, head to Windward Avenue and...
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Cabazon, CA 92230, USA
The Cabazon dinosaurs are seen north of Hwy 10 just west of Palm Springs and were created in the 1960's to attract attention to Claude Bell's Wheel Inn Cafe. Can't miss them and you wouldn't want 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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2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, USA
Jack London State Historic Park has two faces--there is the history and homes of Jack London, and then there is the land that drew him here. Beyond the museum and homes there is a full day of hiking through meadows, vineyards, orchards, and...
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1409 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Firefly is a whimsical one-stop-shop for a variety of eclectic gifts, decorations, and accessories; a cuter, yet more mature Urban Outfitters, if you will. They carry boutique brands for a hodgepodge of items including soaps, candles, jewelry,...
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20 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105, USA
This sweet little shop is every travel-lover's dream. They have everything travel-related: city maps, hiking guides, travel narratives, language helps, luggage, easy-pack clothing and accessories, and more. The decor is fun, with vintage hotel...
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6915, 643 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Ghirardelli Chocolate shops are famous for a reason! Try saying you don't like ice cream when there is melted peanut butter sauce dripping down your cheek. While the original Ghirardelli shop is in San Francisco, the location in the old Gaslamp...
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17119 Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA 95571, USA
We couldn't find the signs for Bull Creek Trail. We asked other hikers. They couldn't find it either. We wandered for a while, finally gave up, and wandered aimlessly, crossing the creek. The idea of finding the trail evaporated from our minds as...
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10818 San Diego Mission Rd, San Diego, CA 92108, USA
Mission San Diego is the very first Mission built in what is now the state of California and was built in 1769. Many people come to California for what is known as the "Mission Trail", a tour of all the Missions built in the state by the...
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Finally I had one of the best bbq ribs - ever. Located in oakland and started by the owner of famous Brown Sugar Cafe - B Side bbq is place to eat for you carnivore lovers. Recommend their dark and stormy flavored ribs, spicy cole slaw, mac n...
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950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
A whole lot of history converges at the Fairmont San Francisco—as do all of the city’s cable car lines, which offer easy transportation to the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The hotel was built in 1906...
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Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
If you want to get away from the madness of Main Beach, Victoria Beach offers a quieter experience. It's a little harder to get to, but the extra effort is worth it. From Pacific Coast Highway, turn into Nyes Place to find a parking spot, walk...
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388 Market St #107, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
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One of my favourite soups in Vietnam is a crab-and-tomato broth called Bun Rieu. I was thrilled to find in San Francisco, at a tiny stall called Soup Junkie. Don't miss his pho (flavourful broth, minimal accoutrements), and on Thursdays his banh...
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1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108, USA
The Huntington is a beautiful, cultural destination. The library exhibits are wonderful, and include famous titles like Audubon's Birds of America. The art collection features well-known paintings, architectural pieces, and a sculpture garden. The...
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15000 Skyline Blvd, Los Gatos, CA 95033, USA
Castle Rock state park has some absolutely gorgeous hikes (and climbs), rain or shine. I recently snapped this shot on a rainy hike, the greens vibrantly shone through the fog, each tree seeming to house some new species of moss.
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680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
San Francisco is not only a beautiful city, but it is also home to some exquisite natural landscapes, such as Lands End. I will never forget the first time I hiked the main Coastal Trail: I couldn't believe I was still in a city because of the...
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San Ysidro Rd, Montecito, CA 93108, USA
The San Ysidro trail meanders uphill through oak groves. This is about a 4 mile round trip hike with a 650 ft elevation gain. After checking out the falls, we headed back down the trail a short bit before stopping to enjoy our picnic of breads,...
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200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
FREE
The Santa Monica Pier embodies what Southern California is all about: fun in the sun. Popular with tourists and locals alike, this iconic boardwalk adjacent to the Pacific Ocean—filled with all the amusement rides, midway games, fried food, ice...
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735 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017, USA
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Cupcakes may have changed the world of desserts, but there have been revolutionary changes within the cupcake industry itself. One of the most innovative ideas that has been brought forth is the Cupcake ATM, offered by the Beverly Hills chain,...
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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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117 E St, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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If you like Thai food and happen to go to Davis, CA then you need to stop by Thai Canteen.Located in downtown Davis, this restaurant has a modern atmosphere. They combine wood, metal and bright colors to create a welcoming, fresh atmosphere. The...
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833 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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Delicious sweet treat with perfectly ripe fruit and slightly sweetened cheese. Take your treats and sit on a bench to watch the locals stroll by or head up to the top of Bernall Hill with a view of San Francisco to the East Bay.
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United States
We drove from the San Francisco Bay Area, and this was our first stop because it was right next to the hotel we were staying at. A very easy, quick hike through the canyon.
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415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402, USA
Throughout the 1930s, film star Marion Davies entertained Hollywood’s elite in the 110-room oceanfront mansion built for her by media magnate William Randolph Hearst. Since 2009, the public has been able to enjoy the features of the estate that...
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Bowling Ball Beach, California 95468, USA
Odd-shaped geologic formations. These rocks are super round, a miracle of nature, the incessant pounding of the Pacific somehow shaping these formations into one of the weirdest and most unique looking formations I've seen on a beach. Bowling Ball...
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3801 Panoramic Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA

All we could say for about an hour was WOW! We drove through the curvy roads of Mt. Tamalpais gawking at the beauty. And then we came across Steep Ravine Campground. It is situated literally on the cliffs overlooking the beach and ocean and it is...

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1510 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501, USA
The Pacific Pinball Museum, aka Lucky Ju-Ju, is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's hidden treasures. It's worth the $15 admission just to hear the sound of an actual needle on actual vinyl in an actual juke box. (Early Beatles the way they were...
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Zabriskie Point, California, USA
Looking something like a cross between a moonscape and leathery skin, Zabriskie Point is one of the landscape highlights of Death Valley. Shaped formations, formed over thousands and thousands of years look best in the early morning, as the sun...
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720 N Virgil Ave #4, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
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Since opening as a preserves shop in 2011 (and adding breakfast and lunch service in 2012), Sqirl has become an East Hollywood staple. The tiny space—only 800 square feet—invites crowds of hip Angelenos looking for a bright space for...
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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 Lake, CA 95721, USA
Echo Lake is located on the north side of Highway 50 at Echo Lake Road in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. The lake is the perfect size for an easy day hike around it. You can also rent kayaks and dogs are allowed on the trails.
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200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004, USA
If you don't want to hike out into the Anza Borrego desert, you can come here to walk though the landscaped gardens at the state park center and get an idea of the local environment. You have to check this place out anyway- this building is built...
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1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Such an amazing birthday spent in San Francisco! I walked up the steps to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill (you will work up a nice sweat). We visited Coit Tower for a bit but there was a very long line to get to the top of the tower & I was content...
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1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
Eaton Canyon has a great nature center if you want to learn about the local plants, animals, geology, and ecology. The exhibits and nature walks are kid-friendly. Hiking trails are also easily accessible from the nature center. The Eaton Canyon...
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Tahquitz Falls, Palm Springs, CA 92264, USA
Tahquitz Canyon loop is a short but spiritual two-mile loop along the peaceful Tahquitz River to the 60-foot Tahquitz Falls. Whether it’s rushing in spring or trickling in fall, the setting is stunning with sheer white cliffs contrasting with the...
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900 High St, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
$$$$
The Peninsula Creamery, which opened for business in 1923, presents such standard American cuisine as hamburgers, french fries, and Reuben sandwiches. Though the dinners, lunches, and "breakfusts" are somewhat better than your run-of-the-mill...
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Stinson Beach, CA 94970, USA
A shared moment on the log bench in the small park in the center of Stinson Beach, California
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1602 State St, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
My husband and I come here a couple times a month for dessert. They make sandwiches and other things, but we come for the gelato. I've been to other places around town, but I think Pappalecco's has the best gelato in San Diego. They make their...
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Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA
From Native American home to Mexican frontier to U.S. military post, San Francisco’s Presidio has seen many changes throughout the centuries. For the past 30 years, the land at the northwestern end of the city has been a part of the Golden Gate...
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7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
$$$$
LA’s latest guilty pleasure - the macaron ice-cream sandwiches from MILK. For the gluten-free, this a dream come true. For everyone else, this is the best ice cream sandwich option around. Forget messy cookies, the macaron is a lite, subtle...
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1344 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
The TOMS flagship store on Abbot Kinney in Venice is less of a shop and more of a grownup Little Rascals clubhouse, complete with a patio, backyard, and coffee bar. Founded by Blake Mycoskie out of a nearby apartment in 2006, TOMS has helped...
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60 Fishermans Wharf #1, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
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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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In the summer, San Francisco is cold. Gray and Cold. Drive one hour outside the city and you'll find 100+ degree temperatures. When sun and a little adventure is what you're craving, try a whitewater rafting trip on the American River. Part of the...
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Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA
nothing better than a bush camp by a beautiful river. tasty spot south of Mammoth lakes at dusk. only fly fishing allowed here, do leave your lures at home... easy drive over tioga pass through yosemite. only 45 mins down hey 395 from tioga...
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664 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA
Palm Springs is a thrift and vintage hot spot with hand-me-downs from its heyday of the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Déjà Vu Vintage Finery is one of the best boutiques to find designer wears and accessories from casual to elegant without the...
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Summit Lake, California, USA
Visited Lassen National Park in late July with the goal to kayak in Summit Lake but found it much too icy. Still had a great time hiking around the volcano.
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South Yuba River, California, USA
Emerald Pools along the South Yuba River form a series of swim holes lined with cliffs, perfect for big air jumps or river-wide slack lines like the one set up here. This place is a lovely little gem and although it attracts locals on a hot summer...
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California, USA
Upon my return from an annual camping trip in Northern California's Mount Lassen National Park, I read the news. It turns out the that fire raged over the ridge across the lake from us all week long was national news. This shocked me due to the...
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3901 Packer Lake Rd, Sierra City, CA 96125, USA
The night before this photo was taken, we were in the warm outdoor pool at the Sierra Hot Springs [http://www.sierrahotsprings.org/] in Sierraville (about 30 minutes north of Truckee) when a light rain turned into a light snowfall. Back at Packer...
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California 270, Bridgeport, CA 93517, USA
I felt like a voyeur; peering through the old glass I could see a broken chair, layers of peeling wallpaper, a torn floorboard, a washing basin, and a child's coat hung on a nail in the wall. It was early spring, and the chilly desert wind flung...
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2477 Belfield Blvd, Landers, CA 92285, USA
UFO advocate, George Van Tassel, began constructing the Integratron in the 1950s after an alien encounter with “Solgonda” who bestowed upon him the secrets of rejuvenation and time travel. The all-wood white dome structure contrasts with the blue...
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24th St, San Francisco, CA, USA
24th Street in San Francisco (not to be confused with 24th Avenue!) is one of my favorite walks in the city. Hop off BART at the 24th Street - Mission station, and walk the 1-mile length of the street to see what cultural commentators mean when...
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5812 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618, USA
$$$$
I love ramen. They are affordable, delicious, and just yum. But it's been challenging to find good ramen place in oakland, until Ramen Shop. You have to try this place - the atmosphere, texture of the noodle, broth, people....yes. def. worth it....
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Point Dume, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Surprisingly enough, you can round the point at Point Dume and discover your own hidden nooks to spend the day. With cliffs at your back and a private beach with decent size waves in front of you, it's not a bad place for a picnic.
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23200 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Barely one foot past the threshold of the Adamson House I was snapped out of my tile-induced reverie by a shrieking octogenarian docent who was horrified that I had defied Tour Rule Number 1—“Do not take any pictures inside the house!” My innocent...
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E Pacific Coast Hwy, Los Angeles, CA, USA
The journey down Highway 1 is the iconic California road trip, and this coastal route is a great choice whether you're in Northern California, the central coast, or in SoCal. But there's something extra special about driving the Pacific Coast...
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350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
Since 1901 (minus a few years here and there), Angel's Flight funicular railway has transported people up and down steep Bunker Hill in downtown L.A. At the top you'll find the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the...
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6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
FREE
The Farmers Market, next to the Grove shopping center, is a historic L.A. landmark dating to 1934. What was once 12 farmers' fresh produce trucks is now a maze of specialty shops, fruit stands, bakeries, butcheries, permanent eateries, and...
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5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
The largest art museum in the western United States, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers permanent and rotating collections that span from ancient Egyptian objects to modern art like Claes Oldenburg's giant pool balls. It's...
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Venice Fishing Pier, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292, USA
We wandered up Washington, past all the cafes and restaurants, until we hit the beach. And then, the pier. The Venice Fishing Pier dashes straight out into the ocean, cutting its way between brilliant blue waves—surfers on one side, the...
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9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA
$$$$
Like Five Guys in DC, Whataburger in Texas, and Shake Shack in NYC, In-N-Out is the West Coast burger joint for those in the know. It’s been a SoCal staple since it first opened in 1948 and has since developed a cult-like following...
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1600 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
$$$$
The Hollywood Farmer's Market spans several blocks, and is known for its buskers, as well as its vast variety of specialty foods, including vegan ice cream and organic everything. Nibble on free samples or buy your whole lunch (and dessert, too!)....
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Arts District, Los Angeles, CA, USA
If you head just a bit farther east out of downtown LA, you will stumble upon an outdoor street art museum all over walls, garage doors, light poles, and pretty much any surface that will hold paint. Old industrial warehouses near the LA River and...
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1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
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Los Angeles loves its food trucks, and they often travel in packs. Different neighborhoods host Food Truck nights on varying days of the week. These roving food peddlers also often post up outside office buildings for lunch or by LACMA during the...
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4 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103, USA
Gamble House is an architectural gem. The glass-work of the front door, chandeliers, and dining room windows is mesmerizing, and the carved frieze in the Burmese teak living room is a decorative treasure. Each room showcases a different kind of...
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34 Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103, USA
Gold bug is a decidedly unique Pasadena boutique experience. Despite feeling a little creeped out by some of the bizarre displays, I must say I find the store remarkably intriguing. Gold Bug carries everything from high-end, designer bug jewelry...
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490 Union St, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
Companion shows at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Pasadena Museum of California Art celebrate the styles that developed in California in the first half of the 20th century. The SBMA show (through June 16, 2013) focuses on plein air...
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46 N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
$$$$
The Pacific Asia Museum's collection includes art and artifacts from the Pacific Islands and Asia, and the museum offers free cell phone audio tours in multiple languages. The audio tour includes a curatorial tour, a family-friendly tour focusing...
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695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA
The historic Vroman’s Bookstore opened in 1894 and is still a favorite with the locals. Beyond their large selection of books, they still have an old-school newsstand, an excellent café, and a gift shoppe with home décor, locally made cards, and...
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1116 Palms Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
If you find some extra time when in Venice, go east of Lincoln on Palm Blvd, and check out the Mosaic Tile House - you cannot miss it. An adorable artistic couple started a tiny project that turned into their lives work, and entire stucco home,...
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Los Angeles, CA 90044, USA
The 1.7 mile hike up the grueling Hermit Gulch Trail overlooks the Avalon harbor cradled between the evergreen shrubbed hills. You can make out the wakes of boats coming and going like airplane contrails in the ocean but you wouldn't expect the...
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1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA
Known as the Grey Ghost during World War II, the Queen Mary is floating history. Built in Scotland, the ship's maiden voyage was from England to the West Coast of the United States. Over the course of its lifetime, the Queen Mary has played the...
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1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, USA
Disney's California Adventure is right across from Disneyland and is worth the park-hopper pass. And if you're in town for long, the best deal would be an annual pass. I think California Adventure complements Disneyland very well in that it has...
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Avalon, CA 90704, USA
If you can get yourself out there, the backside of Catalina is most beautiful during the late fall and early spring. The lighting is just right, the weather is perfect and it is beauuutiful. Whales Tail splits Little Harbor and Shark Harbor and...
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8321 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
A retro chic travel shop with anything you might need all in one place including luggage, backpacks, maps, converters and more.
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1101 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA
For all you crafty folks, stop by Skein while you're in Pasadena! They have a great selection of classic yarns including cashmere and mohair, and they specialize in fashion yarns with new trends every season. They have knitting kits for beginners...
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5410 W San Fernando Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90039, USA
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On the outskirts of East LA, Golden Road laid its foundation to lead the local craft beer movement into commercial success. At the company's headquarters in Atwater Village, visitors can tour the warehouse brewery (where the juice that fills their...
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1810 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103, USA
$$$$
Lucha Libre is an eclectic burrito/taco place run by three brothers from Mexico that pays homage to the glam of Mexican wrestling. This place is near my office so I come here often for lunch. You can get fat burritos, tacos and drinks for a great...
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Little Italy, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Little Italy is a great neighborhood with restaurants, gourmet grocers and boutiques- well worth a check out on any day of the week. But if you're in San Diego on a Saturday morning from 8am to 2pm, you have to walk over to the Little Italy...
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845 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
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If you're a Persian food aficionado like me, you will absolutely love this place! I can't get enough of those chicken shish kebabs and hummus/pita combinations. Located in downtown San Diego's Gaslamp District, you can expect a very diverse crowd,...
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3611 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020, USA
Really good hole in the wall Korean place
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2981 Bristol St Suite B-2, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
$$$$
What's more quintessentially American than a good 'ole hamburger? Another California chain that has been creating waves when it comes to this American staple is Umami Burger. After practically placing my beloved In-N-Out on a pedestal, I always...
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1807 Westcliff Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660, USA
$$$$
Sitting outside under the vines and umbrellas, sipping on my cappuccino, and taking in the aromas of the freshly made orange ricotta haute cake—now that is a good way to start the day.
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891 Baker St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
$$$$
Not only does Kitsch serve artisan cocktails, they'll teach you how to create them too (if you sign up for a class). The unassuming storefront is deceiving; the lounge-style bar gets packed with friends for differently themed nights each day of...
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Huntington Beach, CA, USA
I took this during the golden hour on Huntington Beach, when the light reflects and refracts off of so many surfaces. Surfers compete for good waves and the beach is full of spectators, children playing and families capturing snapshots. Parking...
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405 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, USA
Near the Huntington Beach Pier in Orange County you'll find Zack's Surf Shop, a rental shop that will definitely fulfill your outdoor sport needs - Surfing lessons and rentals, bicycles and four person buggies are all available for rental (their...
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270 E 17th St #18, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, USA
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While seeking out any spots that offered stumptown coffee, I found Sidecar Doughnuts located in the Costa Mesa area. The doughnuts are made fresh every hour and they serve Stumptown coffee. If in the area, I would definitely check this place out....
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8471 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, USA
With beach access being a hot commodity, Crystal Cove State Park is a peaceful haven of open sand, water, mountainside, and trails. Since Pacific Coast Highway runs through the park, there is designated parking (approximately $15) on the inland...
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846 E Garvey Ave #3a, Monterey Park, CA 91755, USA
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I'm a fan of cheap eats, especially when they're as tasty as these. Xian bing, as these flat cakes are called, are a northern Chinese dish. They might not look like much on the outside, but inside you'll find a delicious spiced meat filling. Every...
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Upper Fall Rd, McCloud, CA 96057, USA
“I’m getting to be one of the oldest people in McCloud,” Alice says as she opens the doors to what used to be a living space for the housekeepers. In those days, when logging was king, Alice only dreamt of owning this palatial residence. Born the...