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Top 10 Travel Tips

I recently read a fantastic article in the Travel section of The New York Times on tips for travelers called “How the Tough Get Going” by Stephanie Rosenbloom. She interviewed a cadre of Bay Area travel gurus (criminally, not me) to glean their top tips for ameliorating many of the common inconveniences of traveling. So whether you’re a blue moon traveler or TripIt junky, there’s a tip here that’s going to make you mumble, “Doh! Why didn’t I think of that.” Tip: I recommend reading this next to your laptop—most everything mentioned below can be downloaded or purchased online.

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Bodie: California’s Most Authentic Ghost Town

“Good-bye God, I’m going to Bodie,” wrote a little girl whose family was moving to the most infamous Gold Rush boomtown in California. And if you think that’s creepy, what until you see what’s left of Bodie, one of the most authentic ghost towns in the entire West. Located about 20 miles northeast of Yosemite National Park, a road trip to see the legendary Bodie Ghost Town is the perfect excuse for taking a weekend getaway to the Eastern Sierra, which is ablaze with fall colors right now.

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Little Einstein Getaways

Some of my favorite family road trips as a kid were to places like the Exploratorium in San Francisco or Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley to play with all the hands-on science and technology exhibits. My dad was all for it because the tickets were cheap, and my sisters and I always came home with great mind-expanding toys from the museum gift shop. So if y’all are looking for a fun and affordable family getaways, this week’s theme is all about where to take the Little Einstiens in your family for a mind-expanding getaway: The best kid-friendly museums in Northern California.

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Wine Country With Kids

Local Getaways - Great Getaways - Wine Country With KidsA weekend getaway to Napa or Sonoma County used to mean leaving the kids with Grandma. But times have changed and California’s Wine Country isn’t just for grown-ups anymore. Kids may not want anything to do with those funny looking grapes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t savor their vacation just as much as you. An area whose claim to fame is first class wine can also claim fabulous food, unforgettable parks, and quite simply some great outdoor spaces where kids can run around and be… kids. Read full article »

Secret Big Sur

You know it’s there, and you know you’ve been wanting to go, yet when’s the last time you’ve taken a weekend getaway to Big Sur? That’s what I thought. So to help entice you to do the right thing for your body and soul, I’ve put together an insider’s list of my Top 10 favorite things to see and do in Big Sur. As a Californian you have the rare opportunity to be within driving distance of one of the prettiest places on the planet, so grab the opportunity, regardless of your busy schedule. Find a free weekend in your day-planner, book one of our hotel deals near Big Sur, and make this happen.

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7-Day Dream Getaway: Lake Tahoe & Yosemite


This week-long road trip covers two of my favorite places on the planet: Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. I’ve visited both these mountain regions countless times, yet each time I’m nonetheless awestruck by their beauty. The trip starts in North Lake Tahoe, winds its way to South Lake Tahoe, and then veers southeast along Hwy. 395 to Mono Lake. From there, it cuts westward on Hwy. 120 and heads up, up, up to the famed Tioga Pass and into Yosemite National Park. Just reading about it will make you want to drop everything and start packing. Read full article »

America’s Best Road Trip — The Redwood Forests of Humboldt County

header Redwood National Park, Humboldt County, Northern California

This is the summer that you’re going to do that road trip you’ve always wanted to do. The one to California’s north coast so you can finally see the world’s tallest trees, take a scenic drive along the Avenue of Giants, and explore The Lost Coast. I’ve been taking summer road trips to Humboldt County since I was a kid, and I haven’t even begun to experience everything this land of superlatives has to offer. It’s one of the best family road trips in the nation—a perfect combo of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and American kitch. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean. 

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Anderson Valley: The Perfect Weekend Getaway

An Anderson Valley winemaker once told me, “If you see redwoods growing, Pinot Noir can’t be far away.” Thanks to the cooling influence of the fog that follows the Navarro River through much of Anderson Valley, grapes like Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer are able to flourish amongst vast groves of verdant redwoods. It’s one of the prettiest regions in California, and produces some of our finest wines. And while Anderson Valley doesn’t have the quantity or glitz of Napa Valley wineries, it does have far more intimate tasting rooms, warm and friendly locals, and enough great dining options for a very memorable—and romantic—weekend getaway.

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Lake Shasta

Now that summer has officially started, I figured I’d write about one of my favorite family road trips we’d go on every summer when I was a kid: Lake Shasta. As usual we’d pile up the Country Squire station wagon with camping gear and comic books, then head up I-5 in the blistering heat until we reached the Mount Shasta Fish Hatchery, where I’d drop a nickel in the fish-food dispenser and let the pellets fly. And that was just the start of a memorable week of fishing, camping, houseboating, spelunking, exploring, and sneaking sips of beer. So if you haven’t already planned your summer holiday getaway, read on….

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The Top Spring Festivals in Sonoma Wine Country

 Sonoma Wine Country Northern California LocalGetaways

Picture it. You, standing in the Sonoma sunshine, looking fabulous in your Ralph Lauren sundress and wide-brimmed hat, holding a glass of J Vineyards brut rosé while exchanging bon mots with award-winning movie producers. And, why yes, I will have another of those savory little artichoke tartlets. “Sundance is so passé,” you remark. “The real talent is here at the Sonoma International Film Festival.”

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