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The West Coast

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The West Coast might get a bad rap for its public transit, but its roads are nothing short of incredible. Leading drivers into the thick of rainforests and giant Redwoods, pass vineyards and waterfalls, across city bridges, and along the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean, it’s an exhilarating ride that, at times, feels a bit like a rollercoaster. Sunsets, food trucks, and the ability to make a snowman and a sandcastle in the same day are all a part of the fun on this gorgeous ride.
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18113 Upper Hoh Rd, Forks, WA 98331, USA
Stunning and green in the summer...and a great place for hikes. The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the only temperate rain forests in the country, and the largest in the Pacific northwest. The ancient rain forest was formed thousands of years ago by...
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85 Pike St #500, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
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Walk, cycle or people-watch along the shores of Elliott Bay, a downtown stretch known for its circusy flair and spectacular vistas. You can ride the Great Wheel or visit the beloved Seattle Aquarium, home to wolf eels, sea otters, and the world's...
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1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
An iconic name in Portland retail—as well as among readers who have never been to the city—Powell’s has multiple locations on both sides of the Willamette. The downtown store remains the one best suited for visitors to explore,...
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Oregon, USA
If you have never had the opportunity to see Crater Lake in person, nothing can quite prepare you for the intense azul waters reflecting the sky. The deepest lake in the US, it is made up completely of collected water from melted snow and rain...
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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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2222 3rd Ave, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Napa Valley’s newest sub-appellation is just 10 miles east of downtown Napa but it is tucked into a pocket of the Valley that feels like a throwback to the pre-Mondavi days — when the region was a diverse agricultural area and winemaking was a...
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Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
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The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most photographed site in California, but this vantage point never gets old. Explore the hollowed out fort, learn some history, and marvel at the view from the top floor.
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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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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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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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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
This jewel is 5 minutes walk from highway 1 so it is crime driving by and not stopping. In any season but particularly the spring, you can get drunk by the fragrance of flowers and trees. And have I mentioned you get to see a waterfall that goes...
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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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San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
I took the long way home from Palm Springs yesterday. The winter holidays in California are strange to those used to snow and ice. But the over-the-top Madonna Inn, a pink palace of kitsch, goes all out this time of year. Step inside and you...
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2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
The Santa Barbara Mission is by far my favorite mission in California. It's not hard to understand why the original missionaries choose this spot with its close proximity to the ocean, mountains, and canyons. Pack a picnic and hang out near the...
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Solvang, CA 93463, USA
If you’re making your way north along the Pacific Coast Highway, Solvang is a great place to stretch your legs. It is about 15 miles away from PCH (US 1), but well worth the visit. The Danish influence is very prominent in the architecture and...
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9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA
There’s something to be said for the place that gave Beverly Hills its name and turned it into one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the country. Opened in 1912 amid the fields of the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Beverly...
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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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California, USA
There are dozens of hiking options within Joshua Tree, but a ranger favorite is 49 Palms Oasis, a three-mile round-trip trek that leads to a true oasis of fan palms and shallow pools. This appeared in the October 2015 issue
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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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San Diego, CA, USA
San Diego has become one of California's craft beer destinations. With around 85 craft beer companies, you can say that San Diegans love their brews! Sign up for one of the dozens of beer tours, or visit Bottlecraft in either North Park or Little...