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Summer in CA

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46800 CA-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
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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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
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, 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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913 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
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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701 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, USA
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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62 CA-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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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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390 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
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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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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Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

Fisherman's Wharf, really a section of the waterfront running from Ghirardelli Square to Pier 35 and not just one pier, is one of San Francisco's oldest attractions. This is definitely a very tourist-friendly version of the old maritime life of...

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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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Ferry Building, One San Francisco Bay Trail #8, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
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
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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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
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, California, USA

There is perhaps no landmark of San Francisco, and perhaps even the entire state of California, more iconic than the Golden Gate Bridge. This much-photographed bridge spans the Golden Gate, the strait separating San Francisco (to the south) and...

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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...