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I'm planning West coast road trip to celebrate medical school graduation - wine, good food, camping, fun cities, and beautiful scenery.
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47900 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Described by devotees as the most luxurious, one-of-a-kind lodging experience in all of California, the Post Ranch Inn was purpose-built to blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains. Opened in 1992, and designed by famed Big Sur architect Mickey...
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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant serves housemade granola, ginger scones, and seasonal fruit strudels in a cabin built in 1937. Wood-fired pizzas, with toppings such as squash and prosciutto, stand out on the dinner menu, and the blackberry...
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47080 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Retro furniture, bright textiles, and in-room yoga mats characterize the Glen Oaks motel. Guests who book the Big Sur Cabin can stargaze from an outdoor clawfoot tub. From $225. (831) 667-2105. This appeared in the June/July 2013 issue.
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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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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...
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63025 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Limekiln State Park in Big Sur has it all—beach, woods, and history—and the trails are so short that you can actually see it all. First, follow the half-mile Limekiln Trail along a stream to four metal kilns that once fired limestone rock into...
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45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
One of my favorite campgrounds in Big Sur is the big open meadow at Andrew Molera State Park. It's great for large groups and it's one of the best bases for hiking and surfing in the area. More than 20 miles of trails run throughout the park's...
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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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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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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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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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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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2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
The trek to the HOLLYWOOD sign may be the most famous L.A. hike to outsiders, but if you're looking for downtown views, celebrity sightings, and a typical L.A.-style glamour hike (not necessarily strenuous, but very fashionable), the 3.3-mile...
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200 Nevada Ave, Moss Beach, CA 94038, USA
At any time of day this forest feels enchanted. As you walk along, what are now, well marked paths there are phases of to this coastal journey. Depicted is the cypress forest which leads north to the tide pools and south to Three Palm, which needs...
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
Just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods National Monument, a 554-acre park; old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, cover 295 of those acres. Peaceful and lush, the forest is ideal for simply communing with...
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23240 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
Since I’m still relatively new to San Francisco, I’m still discovering all of the amazing places just outside of the city. Every weekend I try to hop in a car and explore. My latest discovery is Nick’s Cove, a restaurant and cottages located in a...
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19225 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
North of the little town of Point Reyes Station, the Marshall Store sits on the banks of Tomales Bay. I've been coming here for years after hiking or horseback riding or walking on the beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. The place is super...
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6711 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley is a well-curated art gallery and wine tasting room set amidst an eclectic sculpture garden. At this Napa Valley tasting room, originally built in 1904 as a private residence, you can pull up a chair and sit down for a...
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The Monterey Bay area on California's central coast is possibly my favorite part of California--it is that beautiful. On a recent cold January morning, I took my dogs to Asilomar State Beach at one end of the town of Pacific Grove. As the clouds...
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610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
“If you go to our own local market in Napa called the Oxbow, there’s a spice company there, and you get to open up all the lids and smell the spices,” says Pam Starr. “I like to go and be inspired by different smells. They...
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Black Sand Beach, California, USA
We began our walk up the Lost Coast Trail by enjoying Black Sands Beach, which doesn't really have very much sand, in the Kings Range National Conservation Area. For the next 24 miles from Black Sands Beach, the Lost Coast Trail is primarily on...
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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
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62 California 1, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
A beautiful day on the Central Coast along Hwy 1 - seemed like a beautiful omen for the new year.
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San Carlos St, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
Carmel is a gorgeous little town nestled on California's Central Coast. There's hiking in nearby Big Sur, wine tasting, the aquarium in Monterrey is 10 minutes north of Carmel and lots of unique shopping and dining right there in Carmel. The...
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Big Sur lies along what is surely one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in California, if not the world.Skip the famously fabulous and outrageously expensive hotels, and head to Deetjen's. It's a ramshackle but romantic historic inn on...
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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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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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Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Our neighbors Peter Bahlawanian and his wife, Bronwen Tawse, import exotic ingredients and the freshest spices I’ve ever tasted: paprika, flavored salts, and black limes. They have an amazing store, and I see top chefs shopping here. We get...
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2601 Monarch St, Alameda, CA 94501, USA
At St. George Spirits, a liquor distiller located inside a huge hangar on the decommissioned Alameda Naval Base, you can learn all about alcohol production—and you can taste all-natural vodkas, gins, Eau de Vie, whiskeys, and more. The tour lasts...
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25050 CA-1, Jenner, CA 95450, USA
Salt Point Park is in the Northern part of Sonoma County in California. There are 20 miles of trails in this park and we hiked the Central Trail to the Pygmy Forest and looped around the Prairie to the South Trail to return via the Powerline...
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1 Pilot Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
While many visit Carmel By The Sea for a weekend getaway, near by Carmel Valley is my preference for a weekend retreat as home base. It feels more worn in a beautiful livable sort if way. After an afternoon of exploring the shops and tasting rooms...
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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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47000 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Highway 1 runs about 90 miles through this rugged Big Sur coastline and is absolutely stunning. The tall and wild Santa Lucia mountains plummet into the energetic Pacific Ocean. Sea otters, which were thought to be extinct, were discovered living...
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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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1339 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
One of my favorite ways to sample a city is to taste its micro-brews. So when I'm in Portland, my number-one stop is the Rogue Distillery and Public House. The beer is so spectacular I lugged home several pints. With so many to choose from, I...
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34600 Gary St, Nehalem, OR 97131, USA
Nehalem Bay State Park boasts 5 undeveloped and uninterrupted miles of sandy beach. Even when the adjacent campgrounds are full, you may just have a stretch of personal space the size of a football field. Just book your stay well in advance--as...
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Yachats Ocean Rd, Yachats, OR 97498, USA
All I could say when I saw this stunning lighthouse perched on the rocky cliff near Yachats, Oregon was "Wow". I am certainly a sucker for lighthouses, especially ones that have the dramatic landscape surrounding it. The Heceta Head is about 15...
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515 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205, USA
With 30 or more Oregon pinot noirs open for tasting at any given time (plus other wines to boot) you can really sink your teeth into the local speciality. The bartenders are experts on everything they've got, and once they get a sense of what you...
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61 SE Yamhill St, Portland, OR 97214, USA
Hair of the Dog was the most fun (and perhaps the most risky) stop on our Portland bicycle brewery tour. The beers are delicious, unique, and each named after the brewers—which makes it especially fun to get a flight and compare them. I liked...
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835 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, USA
This tucked away bistro, hardly one of PDX's best kept secrets, is a no-frills, saddle-up-to-the-bar-to-order kind of place. Mains range from traditional Pho to the inventive Luc Lac stir fry. Cocktails with names like Summer in Saigon, Pretty...
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240 N Broadway #129, Portland, OR 97227, USA
When traveling, I love to spend Saturday morning at the farmers market. There's no better way to meet the locals and get to know the town culture. What produce do they love? What coffee do they sip? What's the overall mood? One of the best...
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800 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214, USA
When you visit a too-cool-for-school city like Portland—you know, one full of hipster artists and musicians who spend their days sipping artisan espresso, brewing craft beer, and going for long bike rides through postcard-worthy...
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1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
The Portland Art Museum has been a fixture of the Rose City for longer than you’d expect—it’s the oldest art museum on the West Coast, opened in 1892. The current location, on the South Park Blocks, debuted in 1932 with a design...
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Eastbank Esplanade, Portland, OR, USA
Visitors to Portland know all about Tom McCall Waterfront Park. In the summer, you can't miss the crowds swirling around festivals and street markets as you cross the iconic bridges. Locals, however, know to soak in a superior cityscape view...
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3279 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214, USA
While having dinner at The Farm Cafe, I found that our server Cassie owns and operates a vintage store called Mag-Big on Hawthorne Blvd., one of the coolest vintage streets in America. Mag-Big sells handmade products from over 500 local artists...
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Tasty N Sons is on the Top 5 list of best brunches I’ve ever had. Here I was introduced to Shakshuka, an Israeli dish made of red pepper & tomato stew, with baked eggs and merguez sausage. It’s served in an orange potted bowl, and you want to...
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414 SW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
Portland loves its flights; at Cacao you can get a tasting portion of three different sipping chocolates (dark, spiced, and milk). The staff are wonderful and gave me many insider tips on where to go in the city too. Located close to the Pearl...
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Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR 97112, USA
The Oregon Coast is always spectacular, but on warm, sunny days like this, there are not many better places to be. This photo is looking north from the top of the sand dunes at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. Climbing these dunes in a few minutes...
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2400 US-101, Yachats, OR 97498, USA
It was eerie at first, almost scary, stepping into this dense world alone, but the forest opened its arms to me. As I followed the winding path, my bravery grew. I was alone here, in the thick coastal Oregon forest. The earth beneath my shoes was...
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517 NW 21st Ave, Portland, OR 97209, USA
It's patio party season here in PDX, and this little bar and bistro in NW is a perfect spot for an enjoyable evening. You'd never know there was a secret wonderland out behind this storefront. The bar itself is quite pleasant and acts as more than...
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2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, USA
The #1 thing recommended to me to see in Portland was the Saturday Market. It lived up to its hype! I spent a few hours Saturday morning wandering around the market and was floored at the talent of the vendors. I was also shocked at how reasonably...
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3520 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227, USA
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when folks would wander down to their neighborhood brewery and come home with a pail or two of fresh beer. Today's growler industry was born from these humble beginnings. The Tin Bucket takes the...
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30 Beckett St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Often, when I feel overly strapped to my desk, hankering for a trip to another land, I stroll into San Francisco's Chinatown. Once I'm off the main drags and into the residential neighborhoods or the commercial streets chockablock with shops...
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Most people come to Napa for the wine, but the Napa Valley is also an amazing place for people who love nature and the outdoors. Napa Valley Adventure Tours offers hiking, biking, and kayaking trips around the Valley. And of course, in addition to...
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601 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Caffe Trieste, in the heart of North Beach just off Columbus, is an authentic San Francisco experience where little has changed since Kerouac's day. The North Beach location, which opened in 1956, is a great place to sit down, enjoy a coffee, and...
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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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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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75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
Visit the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco for a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It's located beside the De Young and Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, and offers a variety of snacks to nibble on while enjoying...
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Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
Cue "Full House" music. Alamo Square's famous "Painted Ladies" or "Postcard Row" as many know it. After 9 months of traveling last year, I planned a short stay in San Francisco, yet months later, I'm still here in the City by the Bay.
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6500 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Grab your helmets and head up to Napa for a fun day with friends. For my birthday this year, several friends brought their bikes up to Napa where we all met at Yountville for a 16-mile loop. We hit five wineries throughout the day, and it was an...
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The Vintner's Collective in Downtown Napa offers a different type of wine tasting experience. Garrett, the tasting room owner, carefully chooses the best wines from more than 100 boutique Napa Valley wineries. Visitors are treated to personalized...
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1236 Lincoln St, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Tasting wine is a favorite pastime that's enjoyable pretty much anywhere, but especially so when there's a funky old Airstream involved. The Grade Cellars specializes in harvesting Sauvignon Blanc. During your visit, sip wines paired with views...
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1450 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
The Napa Valley loves its charming inns and luxury wine-focused resorts, but it was only a matter of time before a hip, young boutique hotel opened with a trendier style (and price tag) to attract all those San Francisco start-up types. The first...
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1245 Spring St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
In St. Helena, what was once Martini House is now a fun new restaurant called Goose & Gander. Go on a warm Friday night, ask for a table outside under the big oak tree, and order this Coastal Pimm's Cup cocktail, made with St. George Terroir...
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709 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
If you're headed to wine country for some sipping and spinning, I'd encourage you to start and finish your day at the Clif Family Wine tasting room and their all-bicycles-welcome back porch at Velo Vino in St. Helena. It's the perfect place to...
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919 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
This is all you need to know about the House of Nanking: If you've never been, the owner will take your menus and just start serving you food. It's an experience I'll never forget! The food is plentiful and delicious! Bonus: it's right around the...
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Marin County, CA, USA
I think this area of the Mt. Tam Watershed is one of Marins best kept secrets. Take the Bolinas-Fairfax road to get there.
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Chimney Rock Trail, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
Chimney Rock's 1.8 mile trail offers stunning views of the Pacific, Drake's Bay, and 500 foot cliffs plunging into the ocean. The hike's namesake rock formation, Chimney Rock, located at trail's end, juts out into the water where Bay meets...
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11250 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
Toby's Feed Barn in the heart of Point Reyes Station has been a general store and operating feed barn since 1942. Organic and fresh local goods are on hand as well as a yoga studio, community garden and one fabulous little coffee bar. Start your...
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California, USA
Captured this sunset as we drove back to our lodge, Wuksachi Lodge down the General's Highway. I've been to both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks and while I love Yosemite, I might appreciate Sequoia just a bit more because of its remoteness...
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Wife and I wanted to see the biggest trees in North America. This led us to the northern part of California. We had read about the elusive and secretive Grove of Titans online and hoped to find it! After much research and exploration our efforts...
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US-101, North Bend, OR 97459, USA
This is a hike that, on a day when the weather is cooperating, is a transformative experience—it's just that beautiful. I lucked out when my arrival to the John Dellenback Dune Trailhead coincided with a break in the rain and clouds I'd seen all...
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133 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, USA
Portland by bike is Portland done right. Pedal Bike Tours has the gear, guides, and itineraries to give you a two-wheeled taste of this platinum-rated cycling city. PBT prides itself in offering a nicely maintained, easy-to-ride bike that's...
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2035 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211, USA
I was on a cruise in Italy when I heard about this place. I'd mentioned that I was heading to Portland, and a fellow cruiser, a native of the town, had told me that if they had one recommendation it would be the ice cream at Salt and Straw. What...
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48510 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA

Though I had read a lot about Nepenthe, as it is a "must-see" if you are in the Big Sur area, I still wasn't prepared for just how beautiful the views were. We were planning on setting up camp and then coming back the few miles to eat dinner at...

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New Mexico, USA
White Sands, NM is a place that can't be explained without seeing it for yourself. The park opens at 7am and I would highly suggest you go that early. The sunrise against the white sand dunes is absolutely stunning. Absolutely. There are less...