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Diann Flowers′s Wishlist
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2698 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Southern comfort food is hardly what comes to mind when thinking about the cuisine of California's Wine Country. Yet, that's exactly what you get at this unassuming diner along scenic Highway 121. Think grandma's recipes inspired by the local...
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23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Down a rural road a few miles from the Sonoma square, behind an auto shop in an industrial building, you'll find one of Sonoma's best-kept secrets: it's not only great wine that comes from the Sonoma Valley, but also high-quality craft spirits at...
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7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436, USA
A labor of love from local brother-and-sister owners Joe and Catherine Bartolomei, this six-acre, farmhouse-style resort in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley underwent an $8 million renovation in 2015, adding nine light-filled...
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110 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
One of my go-to places, and not just because I love figs. The garden patio will have you at the drink menu, but don’t miss the tower of cheeses as you settle into the menu. A comfortable and creative interior, with couches for sipping their...
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While summer is universally the most popular time to travel, October and November are, in many ways, the best months to visit San Francisco. The heat of the midsummer sun in the Central Valley of California means fog for much of the coastline...
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Caspar, CA, USA
This lighthouse is a pleasant quarter mile walk from the parking lot, so if you have kids make sure you bring a stroller or let them ride their bike—although you will end up carrying the bike back uphill.
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Little River, CA, USA
Mendocino has a bunch of small beaches along Highway 1. This one is right in front of the Little River Inn, in Little River, a town 2 miles south of Mendocino village.
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1141 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, USA
Residents of misty, moody Ft. Bragg used to throw their garbage from the cliffs above this beach. Entire cars, thrown into the surf. Then they cleaned it up. Decades later, what remains is just a pretty beach and a seemingly endless amount of...
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Greenwood Creek State Beach, California 95432, USA
Grab a deli sandwich from Elk General Store and head across the road down 1/2 mile to the beach. It is isolated with about 6 people at any given time. It has picnic tables and so much character that it held two busy boys for four hours while we...
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3790 CA-1, Albion, CA 95410, USA
Albion River Inn's beautiful ocean front lodging creates the ambiance for a romantic and relaxing getaway on the Mendocino Coast.
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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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457 Main St, Murphys, CA 95247, USA
This town is a charming old mining haunt off of Highway 49. It offers the small town feel with upscale tastes. Tour the town with your tongue. In the mood for a grilled cheese? Roquefort is the answer. Want a variety of beer and wine? Alchemy is a...
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147 Main St, Murphys, CA 95247, USA
It's time to get past the Napa hype. Yeah, I said it. Murphys not only has some great wines, but it houses 25 tasting rooms in one mile-long strip, which makes it perfect to wine hop. Stop at La Vina Moda, a hole-in-the-wall winery with lots of...
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CA-1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, USA
Once over the Golden Gate bridge continue onto Highway 1, the infamous coast highway past quaint seaside towns of Bodega Bay, Timber Cove, Jenner and Gualala. You will pass some of the most breathtaking beaches in California. Here you are dealing...
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972 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
True to its name, this Sebastopol Hole in the Wall cafe was hidden and delicious! The Dutch baby is a deep German pancake made in a skillet with tons of sugar and apples. The chef brought it out to us sizzling hot! What a breakfast.
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17242 Bodega Hwy, Bodega, CA 94922, USA
Want to visit the church made famous from "The Birds" (movie) by Alfred Hitchcock? Or was the subject of a photograph by none other than Ansel Adams (who probably didn't take a star trails photo as done here, a long exposure photo showing the...
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Tomales Point, California 94937, USA
At the north end of Point Reyes is the Tomales Point tule elk reserve. You can get there from San Francisco in about an hour and a half, but it's far more scenic (especially for a new arrival to the West Coast, like myself) to drive of Sir Francis...
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Sonoma County, CA, USA
Out of all of the wine counties my favorite is Sonoma County. First I just love the town green. It has ancient trees and is the place where locals and tourists hang out all the time, either tossing the ball, picnicking or chatting with friends. An...
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Florence Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
Sonoma County is recognized for its' wine, cheese, and nature but it is the quirky charm of its residents that give the region unique character worth remembering. On the way to the small town of Sebastopol you'll cruise through rolling hills, past...
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6751 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
I have enjoyed sleeping on a train while traveling, and I have dreaded sleeping in the Station on one occasion. The next best thing to being rocked to sleep on a moving train is to stay at a peaceful and friendly Inn. The Sebastopol Inn is located...
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Being from the midwest, I am constantly amazed at the beauty of our country's coastline. The route 1 drive never disappoints!
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Tomales, CA 94971, USA
Truly unique in the US - Craig Ramini has been building up a buffalo herd to product local mozzarella cheese in West Marin. Well worth a visit. https://www.facebook.com/ramini.mozzarella
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
The trail at the northest part of Point Reyes allows one to see the tule elk herds. Add that to the gorgeous views of the Pacific and Tomales bay and you are guaranteed for a treat you will not forget.
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4143 Cedar Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA
Bright orange camp lanterns and other twists on classic outdoor design furnish 74 rooms. Heavenly Mountain is a short walk away. From $89. This appeared in the November/December 2014 issue.
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3687 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103, USA
This unique little bar is tucked away on 5th ave in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. One of the two owners is from the mid-West, so the bar has a definite mid-Western barn feel to it with deer antlers in the bar, a huge tractor out by the...
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Borrego Springs, CA 92004, USA
Borrego Springs is a nationally designated "dark sky" community. Because there is hardly any light pollution, this is one of the best places in the country for star gazing. The sunset and sunrise colors here are gorgeous- this image was taken at...
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2304 San Diego Ave B, San Diego, CA 92110, USA
At El Agave Tequileria, there are over two thousand bottles of tequila- bottles line the walls, the ceiling and the windows! If you like tequila, then this is your place. When you're finished sampling, feel free to go out and meander a bit in Old...
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San Diego, CA, USA
In this image, you can see Highway 101 as it runs along the ocean. The path through the estuary is the train tracks for the Pacific Surfliner. We like to go straight up the 5 to Carlsbad and then meander down along the coastline. Stop anywhere for...
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510 N Hoover St, Los Angeles, CA 90004, USA
For those looking for a unique sound or story from their guitar, Old Style Guitar shop on the outskirts of Silverlake has one of the best selections. Owner Rueben Cox skillfully refurbishes guitars by hand stocks vintage, rare and specialty...
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1429 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Established in 1882, the Chateau has been carefully restored and maintained by the Barrett family (Bo,of Bottle Shock fame, is still making the wine) and was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The winery is famous for...
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849 Zinfandel Ln, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Jean-Charles Boisset, the playboy wine tycoon from one of the largest négociant, or wine merchant, families in France has turned a classic Napa Valley estate into a grown-up playground. From the “Theater of Nature” where Joe...
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2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
If you love being out by the ocean at night and want something unique for the whole family, definitely sign up for a grunion run experience with the Birch Aquarium. It's especially awesome for kids. Grunion are silver fish about 4 or 5 inches long...
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616 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
There are electronics stores that blare, "art" stores with porcelain anything that offend, jewelery stores that glisten, and souvenir stores that . But you don't want any souvenir, you want something that says, "I was in Chinatown" but not "and...
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6097 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, USA
Make Matanzas Creek Winery a must see destination on your next trip to Sonoma County, especially if you can get there during the month of June when the lavender is in full bloom and the air is rich with the calm hum of friendly honey bees grazing....
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Galleta Meadows, California 92004, USA
Galleta Meadows is the name for about 129 metal sculptures that were created by Ricardo Breceda. Dennis Avery was a land owner in Borrego Springs who envisioned the project. Since he admired Breceda's work, he commissioned him to build the...
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Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923, USA
I remember visiting this California town three years ago for a friend’s birthday—and just being blown away by it. It had this amazing juxtaposition of natural beauty and refined culture that seemed really unique to me. The little town, even though...
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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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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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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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Point Sur, California 93940, USA
On a craggy rock in north Big Sur, the Point Sur lighthouse has beamed through furious fog, rain, and wind since 1889. Volunteers lead moonlit tours from late April through October that allow visitors access to the lighthouse tower, old housing...
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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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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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100 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA
The hot pink sign along US Route 101 is the perfect indicator of what's to come when you pull into the Madonna Inn just outside of San Luis Obispo, CA. Even if you don't stay the night, it's worth the pit stop to wander around the gaudy interior....
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45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
We hiked the Ridge, Panorama and Bluffs Loop trail. A 7.5 mile trail with a 1300 ft elevation gain. You can see the ocean to the left and beautiful mountains to the right as you hike along the Ridge Trail portion, the trail then dips down towards...
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42401 CA-1, Gualala, CA 95445, USA
Gualala Point has 195 acres of forest land and coastline. We made a long loop from where we parked just off hwy 1 past some campgrounds and then hiked back over 1 and along the Gualala River. It's not a long hike and the trail is mostly flat, with...
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Piedras Blancas, California 93452, USA
Piedras Blancas was one of my favorite spots on our driving trip down the Pacific Highway in California. I could have spent hours watching the elephant seals sun bathe while the young pups clumsily try to wedge their way into the huddle.
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5001 Main St, Coulterville, CA 95311, USA
On the edge of one of America's greatest national parks, the Hotel Jeffery is a true "Hotel California" - renowned for having up to 17 ghosts who "can check out anytime they like but who have never left". We arrived in the afternoon and were met...
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Alexander Valley, California 95448, USA
Head north through Napa Valley’s Calistoga, past Buster’s Barbeque, and just keep going. Have a convertible? All the better. The drive along Highway 128 meanders through the rolling hills and sprawling vineyards of Knight’s Valley and Alexander...
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7510 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Novato, CA 94947, USA
There are several cheese makers and farms located all over Marin County in Northern California. During the end of March, there's a weekend long cheese tasting festival to celebrate all things cheese. Save your money and create your own cheese tour...
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11925 CA-1, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
When we found this place, we just had to check it out! I've never tasted mead before and this was the first meadery I've heard of. There isn't a sign outside the building, just an address and you drive through a gate to park in front of an old...
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
The craggy-rock view from the top of the staircase out to the Point Reyes National Seashore looks just fine from the top. But you didn't drive all this way to stand at the top while everyone else descends to see the historic Point Reyes...
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Santa Cruz Beach, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
On the ground and in the sky, technicolor delights on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. You can catch the sky tram from one end to the other or walk through the psychedelic amusement park.
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24898 Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Burney, CA 96013, USA
A visit to Burney Falls is always a delight. The Falls are beautiful as are the Cascade Mountains. Nestled between Mt Lassen and Mt Shasta the Falls are part of an area rich in natural beauty. Burney Falls is great for a small hike around the...
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67402 Drive Thru Tree Rd, Leggett, CA 95585, USA
The redwood giants don't yet look like giants from the 101 Highway in Northern California. Take the exit in Leggett though to drive through a 2500 year old redwood tree and the enormity is obvious. There is one road in and a slow one at that -...
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10439 CA-1, Jenner, CA 95450, USA
The little cafe Aquatica has been a long standing favorite spot of mine along the Sonoma County coast in the small town of Jenner. Be prepared with cash as this establishment takes no cards or checks. Everything from the coffee, Cuban lattes,...
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South Tufa Area, California 93541, USA
The tufas at Mono Lake, thirty minutes north of Mammoth, are a spectacular sight. The first time I visited the South Tufa area, I was sure that I was walking on the moon. When calcium-rich water comes into contact with carbonate-filled lake water,...
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Sycamore Canyon Rd, California 93920, USA
The ocean views throughout the drive on Highway 1 through Big Sur are so spectacular that it's easy to forget to get out of the car. But there are lots of essential stops along the drive. Chefs from L.A. make pilgrimages to eat the wood-fired...
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175 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA
I'm not sure any other city epitomizes the California dream as well as the surf-centric college town of Santa Cruz. The Dream Inn is the perfect base for exploring and has affordable rooms, a retro-chic design, and a beachfront location within...
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Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd, California, USA

Driving through the curvy tree laden gorgeous backroads of Nacimiento Fergussen Road, we weren't prepared for the breathtaking views of the ocean as we neared the top of the mountain. It shocked us so much that we quickly pulled over and just sat...

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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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Goleta, CA 93117, USA
Looking out over the Pacific Ocean from Nacimiento Road, near the intersection with Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway).
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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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17119 Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA 95571, USA
We couldn't find the signs for Bull Creek Trail. We asked other hikers. They couldn't find it either. We wandered for a while, finally gave up, and wandered aimlessly, crossing the creek. The idea of finding the trail evaporated from our minds as...
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Avenue of the Giants, California, USA
Whenever I experience power in nature, it makes me feel small, insignificant, fleeting. I get this feeling watching rugged cliffs dropping into a pounding ocean; the ceaseless force of a raging waterfall; or the colorful kaleidoscope of a setting...
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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
Golden Gate Park was formed out of an expanse of sand dunes to the west of the city in the nineteenth century—a history that is still discernible in the rolling topography of much of the park’s more than 1,000 acres. Over 13 million...
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Weaverville, CA, USA
The Canyon Creek Trail in the Trinity Alps gives you everything you want in a Northern California hike. You walk beneath huge trees next to a cold, clear, powerful creek and as you slowly ascend, great granite peaks reveal themselves. It's a...
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24898 Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Burney, CA 96013, USA
only 4 hours up north of san francisco is Burney Falls State Park. The 129 ft falls is a beautiful Oasis set among pristine forest area. There are campgrounds not far from the falls and you can catch Rainbow Trout in the picturesque river..... The...
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1236 Lincoln St, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Tasting wine is enjoyable pretty much anywhere, but becomes especially so when there's a funky old Airstream involved. The Grade Cellars specializes in sauvignon blanc wines and their tour educates about the process, from harvest to bottling—and...
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Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
It's extremely hard not to pull over every 5 minutes while driving Highway 1 through Big Sur. Beauty awaits around every bend....
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23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
The Cornerstone Gardens have to be the coolest place in the California wine country! Located at the gateway of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys this unique venue offers cutting edge landscape design, boutique shopping, art galleries, wine, and gourmet...
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Weott, CA 95571, USA
A popular stop along the Avenue of the Giants, the Dyerville Giant rendered me speechless today. This ancient tree, which stood for 1,600 years and grew to be 362 feet tall, fell to the ground in 1991. Its sheer size--the tree was taller than...
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Vista Point, California 94965, USA
If you're like me (which by the way would probably make you super weird and could be a good thing or a bad thing...) you want to take a good few snaps when you travel. Well, if you're like me and are a "Travel Landscape Photographer" then it could...
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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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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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CA-1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, USA
Many car commercials have been filmed along this stretch of the iconic California road. The hairpin turns and switchbacks make it a wild ride for some, but the views to the west (the ocean) and the east (Northern California's inimitable green...
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2400 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA 93446, USA
Driving thru the wine fields of central California wasn’t technically on ‘the list’ of things to see or do while we were out exploring, but wow was it pretty awesome! If I remember right this was right outside Paso Pobles, and the best part about...
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Petaluma, CA, USA
Strolling the low-key Victorian side streets of Petaluma you'll find small clothing stores, an extensive "seed bank" for plants housed in a grand corner bank building, an old clock repair shop, and an array of delicious food possibilities.
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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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100 W Laurel St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, USA
The Skunk Train (formally the California Western Railroad) dates to the 1880s and cruises between Fort Bragg and Willits, over trestles, through tunnels, and past some amazingly old Redwoods. It is indeed a "tourist attraction" but also a...
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44850 Comptche Ukiah Road, POB 487, Mendocino, CA 95460, USA
The terraced organic garden that steps down the hillside in front of the Stanford Inn (above Mendocino Bay) provides some of the vegetables and herbs for the innovative cuisine in the hotel's Ravens' Restaurant. A stroll through the farm, with a...
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Mariposa Grove, California 93623, USA
My husband and I enjoyed a pleasant hike among the sequoias and pines at Mariposa Grove in the southern portion of Yosemite. Head out early to avoid the crowds who hit this popular spot to see the 2,700-year-old Grizzly Giant sequoia in the Lower...
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If you've yet to experience the extreme pleasure of visiting the redwoods, you may be surprised to learn how close these dark, cavernous, other-worldly forests are to the bright sunny beach. Switch up your redwood camping itinerary by breaking...
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80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
This is another place I immediately return to when I'm in the Bay Area. It's a cheese lover's temple! I loved this salad pictured that I had. It was also my first picture of San Francisco! I must say that the Mount Tam is one of my favourite...
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4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Castello di Amorosa is an architectural wonderland right in the middle of Napa Valley. Based on fourth-generation winemaker Dario Sattui’s passion for medieval history, this replica of a 13th-century stone castle, made entirely from European...
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2450 Alamo Pintado Road, Box 359, Los Olivos, CA 93441, United States
Enchanting rolling hills, world-class vineyards, olive groves, innovative cuisine, small quaint towns and endless blue skies. This could be a description for Tuscany the central region of Italy but in this case I am describing the Santa Ynez...
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Trinity Alps, California 96048, USA
Mount Shasta sets a lovely backdrop from the camp spot at Heart Lake up in the Trinity Alps. The magic of this place is just beyond words, the sunsets are a finale and the sunrises a symphony. About 6 hours north of San Francisco, it's a lovely...
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California, USA
No adjectives could quite describe the colossal beauty of this protected patch of ancient forest. Huge redwoods reach neck craning heights and massive width around a forest floor blanketed with clover. Even the stumps of fallen trees make for...
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Pfeiffer Big Sur Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Hikes in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park lead you through redwoods, meadows, oak chaparral, to waterfalls and the sparkling Big Sur River. Views of the massive tree-covered Santa Lucia Mountains and the expansive blue ocean will stick with you for a...
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16201 Tomki Rd, Redwood Valley, CA 95470, USA
We were so blessed to live across from this amazing Buddhist Monastery in the Thai tradition, for ten years. It is about 7 miles from the main highway 101 in Northern California 3 hours North of San Francisco. Unless you looked it up you would...
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Agate Beach, California 95570, USA
Agate Beach, in California's Humboldt county, is a favorite spot for agate hunting. The powerful waves here regularly churn up seashells, agates and occasionally a moonstone. Be careful to watch for sneaker waves, notorious in this part of the...
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I love wine. But, I also love vineyards. I love the bright green leaves; the green, red and purple juicy grapes; but, mostly, I love the symmetry of the rows of grapevines. There is something orderly to it all. And throw in a brightly-colored red...
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Big Sur’s winding roads, plunging cliffs and canyon-spanning bridges may cause nausea but they provide some of the most striking scenery in the country. After miles of lush green forests and sapphire blue oceans, the palm trees and turquoise...
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22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204, USA
Best doughnuts ever! Really. The cultish doughnut shop in the city of Portland is a must-eat. It's really gained some fame over the past few years since appearing on TV, so expect a 25-50 minute wait. And make sure to bring others so that you can...