Collected by Jenna Francisco, AFAR Local Expert
I never get tired of traveling in California. It seems that every time I go somewhere new in my home state, I fall in love with it…California is just that beautiful and interesting. Here are some places that are off the beaten path to help you discover more about California.
448 La Rue Rd, Davis, CA 95616, USA
When I want to experience nature and get away from the city, I head to Davis, just 20 minutes from Sacramento. Davis is home to University of California at Davis and the university's 100-acre arboretum. I love walking the winding paths of the...
3005 Mines Rd, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
Murrieta's Well sits on a small road outside the town of Livermore, an unassuming wine country about 40 miles east of San Francisco. Grape vines cover the hills surrounding the tasting room, an old barn that has been renovated, bringing a rustic...
35265 Willow Ave, Clarksburg, CA 95612, USA
When people visit me here in Sacramento, I take them wine tasting, but we don't need to go all the way to Napa Valley to experience Northern California's wine culture. About 10 minutes south of Sacramento in the Delta is a wine country few people...
800 N St, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
While San Francisco and L.A. often steal the limelight from Sacramento, I often remind myself that Sacramento has long been the center of much of California's history. The Leland Stanford Mansion is one place where that history is reflected. The...
2831 S St, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Here in Northern California, where wine is a deep part of the culture, there are a lot of wineries, so many that they may seem to blend into one another. Revolution Wines, however, stands out as the only winery in Sacramento. In fact, it's right...
6 W Pine St, Lodi, CA 95240, USA
Lodi, California is a small town in the valley of North-Central California, just south of Sacramento and east of the Bay Area. Not many people realize what a fantastic wine producing area it is. I didn't; in fact, I had heard about the wines of...
1166 Asti Ridge Rd, Cloverdale, CA 95425, USA
The KOA campground just outside of Cloverdale, California, is one beautiful place to relax. And when you don't feel like just kicking back, you can hop in your car and experience top-notch wine tasting at Alexander Valley's many wineries nestled...
Lover's Ln, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
If you are looking for a great walk in San Francisco, try the Presidio National Park. Lover's Lane is a nice one to start with. If you drive, just after entering the southeastern gate (Presidio Blvd. Gate), you can make a left and park your car in...
24505 Chianti Rd, Cloverdale, CA 95425, USA
When I asked the Alexander Valley tourism office for recommendations for wineries that practice sustainable farming and had nice views, they had one answer: J Rickards. As I drove up to the winery, I knew this would be a homey winery...
21047 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441, USA
Catelli's Restaurant sits on the 2-block main drag of the tiny town of Geyserville in Northern California. This town is part of the wine country that runs north-south through the Alexander Valley. Even though the town and its run-down structures...
200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
I had heard that the botanical garden at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California, was worth visiting, but I didn't expect it to be so beautiful. Set among the hills that rise above the city, the botanical garden seems to go on and on, one beautiful...
1321 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
From chocolate cabernet sauce on ice cream to freshly made brittles and exquisite chocolates, Anette's Chocolate and Ice Cream shop in Downtown Napa is the place to indulge in Napa when you want a little break from wine. The shop is reminiscent of...
23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Cornerstone Sonoma is a collection of shops, galleries, and gardens that offers an unusual experience in the Sonoma wine country. The series of walk-through gardens showcase the work of some of the world's best landscape architects and designers....
3926 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
You wouldn’t know there was a store there unless you lived in the neighborhood, but the owner, Chris, has an amazing list of cheeses. I love his shop because he sells what he likes, not what people tell him is good. He’s also got an...
39171 Tassajara Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
In 1967, Tassajara (already a storied hot springs resort) became the first Zen monastery outside Japan. Run by the San Francisco Zen Center, the monastery is open to the public from May through September and closed the rest of the year for...
3400-3416 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Bernal Heights is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco. It's a little off the beaten path, but on a clear day the park at the top of the hill offers an amazing view of the city and the bay. On a foggy day, the park feels like the...
California 95043, USA
55000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
I was putting my bags in my car, getting ready to leave, when a man came up to me and said, “Is it really time to go?” I smiled and answered, “No.” There was mutual understanding that nobody is ever ready to leave this place, where a feeling of...
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