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Near Home In Northern California

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While I love traveling to far of places, there are adventurers and unexpected experiences lying in my own corner of the world--the place called home. This Wanderlist is to remind myself to embrace that traveling spirit at home and see that everyday surroundings are not always so ordinary.
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
Enjoy a beautiful day in Mill Valley at the German Tourist Club built in the secluded redwood forest on Mount Tamalpais. It is a great place to stop if you are visiting Muir Woods. A short hike on the Dipsea, Sun or Redwood trail leads you to this...
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6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Oh, Bouchon! Don't let the long line out the door discourage you—these delicious pastries are well worth the wait and the outdoor café tables make for a lovely spot to dig in once you're handed your treats.
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400 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
The food at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk isn't appetizing or remotely healthy, so great thing The Picnic Basket is just a five minute walk west. At The Picnic Basket you can get delicious sandwiches (such as this a roasted beet, goat cheese and...
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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...
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557 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, USA
East West uses a wonderful collection of fresh local ingredients to create wonderful meals. There is something for the vegetarian and the meat lover. From salads and falafel dishes to burgers and sweet potato fries there seems to be something to...
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8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA
Before there can be quality wine, or even quality grapes, there needs to be quality dirt. Frog’s Leap Winery is located in one of the most coveted patches of dirt in the Napa Valley — Rutherford. Which is why, when you visit, owner John Williams...
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8761 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
My friends and I have made it an annual habit to taste our way through the wine regions of Dry Creek and Alexander Valley during "Winter WineLand". The Wine Road has three annual weekend events that connect wineries around Sonoma County for one...
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1712 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
This hotel is a tranquil and relaxing retreat. It's rooms are comfortable, it has a lovely pool, gardens, and thermal geysers that lead to mud baths and spas. I love the history of this place and that people have been drawn to this special land...
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813 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
This beautiful three-story restaurant and bar in downtown Napa was a thriving establishment from 1945 until 1974, when an unsolved murder that occurred here led the family to close the doors. The murder was finally solved and after years of...
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1603 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA
Using Sightglass coffee, Bartavelle serves the BEST latté in Berkeley! Opened in late 2012 this unassuming café already has a local following. Small place with stand-up only zinc counters inside plus outdoor seating. The small plate menu uses...
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1 Pilot Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
While many visit Carmel By The Sea for a weekend getaway, near by Carmel Valley is my preference for a weekend retreat as home base. It feels more worn in a beautiful livable sort if way. After an afternoon of exploring the shops and tasting rooms...
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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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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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The Monterey Bay area on California's central coast is possibly my favorite part of California--it is that beautiful. On a recent cold January morning, I took my dogs to Asilomar State Beach at one end of the town of Pacific Grove. As the clouds...
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2605 Adobe Canyon Rd, Kenwood, CA 95452, USA
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park has numerous hiking trails from mellow meadow trails that are great for nature walks with kids, to heavier hikes up to the vistas of Bald Mountain. There are also family friendly camping grounds and an observatory 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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17000 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
If you travel through California I highly recommend taking the trek up to see the great Redwood trees. These tall and ancient Sequoias hold a special wonder. If you aren’t able to make it up to the “Valley of the Giants” in Humboldt County there...
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14700 Shoreline Hwy, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
The Fork is a little-known gem at the Point Reyes Farmstead, just north of San Francisco. They're famous for their cheese (Original Blue, Bay Blue and Toma), but they also do monthly family-style dinners at their gorgeous new facility called The...
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
Point Reyes is a special location with hiking trails, historic farms, and the small towns of Inverness and Point Reyes Station with lovely local food finds and little shops. To get to the lighthouse just follow the road signs from Inverness, and...
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Oakland, CA 94611, USA
Looking for a great afternoon or evening hike, high above the clouds of the East Bay? Need a few good labyrinths and a volcano to make it desirable? It so happens, I've found your place. Located on the border of Oakland and Contra Costa, the...
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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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16228 Main St, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
Fuel up for a hike at the nearby Armstrong Redwoods reserve at the Big Bottom Market in Guerneville. You'll find snacks, such as cured meats, artisanal pickles, and local cheeses, to enjoy in the picnic area. For something heartier, order the...
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3401 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
Beautifull is one of my favorite cafes in San Francisco. The food is delicious and always seems to recharge my energy for the rest of the day. The cafeteria style of serving makes a quick lunch break or a meeting with friends easy to arrange. I...
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75 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
Bio Café is a gem in busy downtown San Francisco. The food is organic and affordable—two words that often don't go together in this city. For breakfast try the brioche french toast with seasonal berries and the homemade chai. At lunch the café...
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107 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
There are numerous wonderful wine tasting locations in Healdsburg. It is both possible and enjoyable to spend an afternoon walking around the square meandering from tasting to tasting. A small gem of a tasting room just a block off the square is...
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219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
H2hotel has a playful mix of modern rooms and overall architecture made with an earthy feel and natural materials. The crowning example is their living roof, which can be seen through the large, curving windows on the fourth floor. Each room has a...
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43 Arsenal Ave, Stinson Beach, CA 94970, USA
Parkside Cafe is a wonderful place to stop and have a meal. The local ingredients and creative cooking make a delicious combination. The cafe is a short walk from the beach and easily found in the small coastal town of Stinson Beach.