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Northern Cali

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55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

The California Academy of Sciences is an unfortunately stuffy name for an institution that is anything but staid. The country's largest natural-history museum includes an aquarium, a planetarium, an enormous rain-forest exhibit under a...

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50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
The de Young Museum, with its perforated copper facade and spiraling tower in the center of Golden Gate Park, is as dramatic outside as it is inside. Follow the widening crack in the sidewalk into the atrium. It's an Andy Goldsworthy–created...
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2900 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705, USA
This café was originally Ozzie's Fountain, a Berkeley landmark since 1921. The café still retains its retro feeling with the original Ozzie counter. Additional seating at tables are available indoors and outside. The Elmwood is open for breakfast,...
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Inverness, CA, USA
Explore the natural beauty of West Marin, with plenty of small towns to explore. At Point Reyes Station, stop at the CowGirl Creamery to grab a picnic lunch while exploring the small shops, or head to Point Reyes National Seashore. Later stop in...
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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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2 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Every Christmas season San Franciscans head to the elegant Palace Hotel's Garden Court to enjoy holiday brunch or tea. This historic Beaux Arts hotel also offers inventive holiday cocktails in their Pied Piper Bar. An annual gingerbread...
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5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Yes, Napa Valley is known for its wine, but the Di Rosa Preserve highlights the art of Northern California. Rene and Veronica di Rosa had a personal passion for art and artists. Their home, the Di Rosa Preserve, became the focal point not only for...
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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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75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

While Japanese gardens have come to be an expected feature of many botanical parks around the world, the Japanese Tea Garden, which opened in 1894, was the first public tea garden in the United States. The original plot consisted of less than half...

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San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
A vital civic and cultural space within Golden Gate Park, the Bandshell, known as the Spreckles Temple of Music, hosts free concerts on Sundays during the summer and serves as a picnic spot year-round for visitors to the nearby cultural facilities...
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Inverness, CA, USA
Before getting into Point Reyes, stop by Inverness' Busy Bee Bakery on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. for a delicious homemade pastry and latté. Once in Point Reyes Station head to Coyuchi Outlet for discounts on top quality bed linens, robes and...
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Close to the Bay Area, Asilomar State Park and Conference Center offers 107 acres of beachfront land along with cozy cottages and rustic lodges for guests. The Arts & Crafts architecture style of the main lodge and many of the smaller buildings...
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5000 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611, USA
Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery, completed in 1863 is the final resting place for some of California's most famous residents including Charles Crocker, Bernard Maybeck, Anna Head,...
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5891 Broadway Terrace, Oakland, CA 94618, USA
In the upper Rockridge district of Oakland you'll find the charming Terrace coffee house with an adjoining gift shop. Seasonal items are a specialty in the gift shop with Halloween and Christmas taking over the shop in a riot of visual delights....
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Visit Oakland's Temescal Alley for one-of-a-kind shops...I especially like Crimson Horticulture and Esqueleto jewelry but there's lots to explore here. Wander around the corner to Telegraph Avenue for more shops and restaurants.
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471B 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
Near the corner of 9th & Broadway, Marion & Rose's Workshop, in the Old Oakland neighborhood, is fun place for unique gifts for friends or for yourself! Lots of small artwork, children's clothing & toys, housewares, Blue Chair jams, jewelry & LOTS...
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817 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607, USA
On a lazy Saturday morning head to Caffe 817 in Old Oakland (downtown) for a breakfast of poached eggs, olive tapenade and toasted levain. Add a latte bowl or cappuccino for the perfect start to your day! After breakfast explore the neighborhood...
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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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Local Cafe opened last year, offering a fresh brunch option on a sleepy stretch of Piedmont Avenue. Oakland-based Starter Bakery provides the pastries, which come served with fruity INNA jams. There is a nice, simple selection of egg dishes and...
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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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563 Ruger St, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Located in a former army barracks in San Francisco's Presidio, the Presidio Social Club is open for lunch and dinner. Here you'll find classic American dishes including mac 'n cheese, grilled chicken sandwiches, meat loaf, pot pies...all the...
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155 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
A San Franciscan watering hole since 1907, Comstock Saloon serves up classic cocktails (think Negronis and Manhattans) in the buzzing North Beach neighborhood. The bar is run by the bartending duo of Jeff Hollinger and Jonny Raglin, previously of...
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730 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens is a wonderful tea café called Samovar. This is the place for tea connoisseurs as they offer tea varieties from all over the world as well as limited edition teas. Samovar also offers tea and food pairings...
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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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1836 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710, USA
Berkeley's 4th Street shopping area offers 3 blocks of unique shops and restaurants. Some of my favorite spots are The Gardener for gardening accesories and housewares, Nest for beautiful gift items and linens, and Bette's Oceanview Diner for...
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100 34th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA

San Francisco's Legion of Honor, in Lincoln Park in the northwest corner of the city, has stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The building is a replica of the French pavilion constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition,...

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1 Lincoln Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Located in the Presidio, the San Francisco National Cemetery was the first national cemetery established on the west coast. It is the final resting spot for over 30,000 soldiers, family members, and other notable figures. A walk among the white...
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816 41st Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062, USA
Perfect latté every time! On the East Side of Santa Cruz near Pleasure Point you'll find Verve Coffee. Very cool, laid back surfer vibe where locals hang out. A local turned me onto this place and every time I visit Santa Cruz I head straight to...
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55 Peckham Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076, USA
Gizdich Ranch located off the Hecker Pass Hwy (Hwy 152) is a must stop if you're headed to the Santa Cruz – Gilroy area. The Barn, open from 9–5 every day, sells pies made from freshly picked fruit. They're know for their apple pies because they...
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State Park Dr, Aptos, CA 95003, USA
Near Santa Cruz in the small town of Aptos, you'll find the beautiful Seacliff State Beach. Seacliff's famous fishing pier extends out to a concrete tanker, the SS Palo Alto. Built during WWI the Palo Alto spent a few years after the war as a...
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101 N Big Trees Park Rd, Felton, CA 95018, USA
The Fall Creek area of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is over 2,300 acres. Limestone kilns once dominated this area of the park and remnants of the kilns are still visible along the South Fork trail. The park's groves of first and second growth...
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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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1000 Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
With killer views of the waves crashing onto Ocean Beach, the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant is one of the best places to grab a bite and watch the sunset in San Francisco. Before its current incarnation, the 1925 Spanish revival building...
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214 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
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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Agate Beach, California 95570, USA
Agate Beach, in California's Humboldt county, is a favorite spot for agate hunting. The powerful waves here regularly churn up seashells, agates and occasionally a moonstone. Be careful to watch for sneaker waves, notorious in this part of the...
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1414 Harbour Way S #3000, Richmond, CA 94804, USA
Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond celebrates an era of women's history with great historical impact. A spot dedicated to the stories of WWII wartime prep that is a significant part of the history in this area of the East Bay. It was a naval...
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736 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
While wandering around San Francisco's vibrant Mission district I came upon a small restaurant called Mission Cheese which celebrates artisan American cheeses. I ordered the gruyere and salami sandwich with a nice spicy mustard and crunchy...
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824 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Stepping into Paxton Gate is like entering a wonderland. What began as a small store in an alley off Market Street in 1992 has since grown into their location on Valencia Street, a mecca for those interested in the oddities of the natural world....
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740 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
When you think of a chocolate factory, a hip and airy space in the heart of one of the city's hottest neighborhoods may not spring to mind. But therein lies the surprise that is Dandelion Chocolate: part factory, part café, part...
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50 Balmy St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
There are plenty of murals in San Francisco's Mission district. Don't limit yourself to a few well traveled places but wander the side streets to find lesser known murals. Balmy Alley is the most well known location but I prefer the murals on...