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Summer in CA

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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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7250 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
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I had been to the almost-too-cute village Carmel by the Sea a few times but never to the neighboring Carmel Valley. On my last trip to the area, I decided to take a drive through Carmel Valley and just explore. As I drove through the hills and...
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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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Bixby Creek Bridge, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
Featured in songs and films, the Bixby Canyon Bridge is a spectacular welcoming to Big Sur. My friend had been talking to me about it non-stop before our trip to the area. It wasn't until we were sat together on a cliff looking at the marvel that...
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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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Pacific Grove, CA, USA
My husband exploring the tidal pools with the sea birds off Sunset Drive.
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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
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The view from the Big Sur Bakery is right on par with the food. In the morning, fuel up on breakfast scones and strong coffee. After a day exploring the Henry Miller Library and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, return at dusk for baby lettuces,...
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Point Lobos, California 93923, USA
If you're taking a trip down the Pacific Coast Highway, make sure to stop at Point Lobos just outside of Carmel. There are easy hiking trails that wind through the forest and along the cliff. The blue Pacific waves give quite the show as they...
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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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Carmelo St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
The 17 miles drive in Carmel is worth a try even if you are not into golf. Get a tea or coffee at the Inn by the Spanish bay, enjoy a stroll by the ocean, marvel at the different vistas and smell the perfume of the trees and flowers. And yes, the...
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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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Pfeiffer Big Sur Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The drive from LA heading north to Carmel on the PCH through Big Sur is a journey in itself. It doesn't matter your destination, although the quaint town of art, shops and restaurants in Carmel won't disappoint. I've driven through the French...
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701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
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Pacific Grove's Passionfish is enjoyed by both locals and tourists. This simple restaurant focuses their menu on sustainable seafood, local veggies and modestly priced wines. For dessert you must try the lemon verbena creme bruleé... lemony with a...
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46800 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The best way to sit amid the Redwoods while watching your worries wash away is to grab a seat in the middle of the river. This inn isn't fancy, as it doesn't want to compete with natural beauty.
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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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Carmel Beach, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Soft white sands under your feet and the yellow tint of sunset lighting around you. Scenes like this are what travel and life are truly about, if you ask me. They create honest moments, where people from all backgrounds can gather and connect,...
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Pebble Beach, CA 93953, USA
The Lone Cypress Tree you'll see along the drive is around 250 years old. This magical, twisted tree sits in solitude on a rocky perch. It is the most photographed single tree in the world. Besides this natural wonder, visitors have a chance to...
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1 Old Ranch Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
The chicken coop is nearly as popular as the spa at this family-friendly resort in the foothills of California’s Santa Lucia Mountains. Guests are invited to visit the coop to learn about the resident Rhode Island Red and Barred Plymouth...
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Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
When I have that rare day to myself, I typically head, camera in tow and windows down, to Carmel-By-The-Sea. The vibrant fluorescent succulents along the coast don't look real- a color rarely seen in nature. The craggedy coast itself is a light...
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55 W Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93921, USA
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This is my favorite sit-in-the-garden-and-pretend-I-am-in-southern-France place. From the moment you step through the door of this wisteria-covered, Provencal hidden gem, the smell of fresh-baked bread, displayed before you, envelops your whole...
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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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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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604 Main St, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
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On a street full of bakeries, Moonshine offers its share of unique artisan breads, wood-fired pizza, homemade soup, pretzels, bagels and rolls, with the added advantage of an indoor seating area with Trompe l'oeil gardens. Nosh,relax, and savor.
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1 Miramontes Point Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
There's nothing better than sitting on the grassy area outside the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. If you look to your right, you see nothing but golf course; to your left, the ocean. The atmosphere is great, and there are always plenty of people...
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390 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
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With notoriously slow service, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a place best enjoyed with friends and plenty of time. The beer is good and the food is satisfying, and with Happy Hour starting at 11:30am Monday through Friday, it's hard to find 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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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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Beach St & The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
The sea lions are great to look at but beware of the smell. If you have a weak stomach you might want to stay away.
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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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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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Ferry Building, One San Francisco Bay Trail #8, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
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Blueberry Boy Bait may sound like a B-side song from an alternative band, but it's actually just an ice cream flavor offered by Humphry Slocombe, a small shop in the Mission District. Owner and former pastry chef Jake Godby has made the name...
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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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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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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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620 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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This is Jones—home of the best place to sit outside for happy hour in the city! They have excellent food and even better drink specials. Make sure you sit outside or on the second level deck.
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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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2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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There is no better way to begin the grand taco crawl down California’s coast than by visiting one of San Francisco’s most famed taquerias. If you ask a local, chances are that La Taqueria is going to be an honorable mention. Accolades hang on the...
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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA, USA
Not crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco would be like skipping the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It’s a rite of passage every visitor should experience. The best way to traverse this iconic symbol of the city is either on foot or two wheels....
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Marin Headlands, California, USA
If you've never been to the Marin Headlands, you MUST go! The views are stellar, but make sure you get there early (well, early enough to get there before all the tourists!) Ht up the headlands for a nice hike and view and then drive to Bar Bocci...