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 »
Mind, Body & Spirit
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.
A trip to the Northern California coast is almost always a guaranteed great getaway, but when it also includes a luxuriating Swedish massage followed by a relaxing soak in an ocean-view hot tub with a flute of bubbly in your hand, then you’re approaching nirvana. Which is why I’ve put together a short list of my favorite coastal spa retreats from Mendocino to Big Sur, and at every price range—from reasonable to oh dear. It was a tough job, but I personally reviewed all of these spa retreats to make sure you won’t be rubbed the wrong way. Read full article »
by Guest Guru Nancy Geller
If romance is your goal, Ojai is your destination. And it all starts with a sunset. It’s a fleeting occurrence, but sunset in Ojai is just about as stunning as it gets. Twelve miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, the city of Ojai lies in a small valley, north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. Since Ojai is aligned with an east-west mountain range, it’s one of few spots on earth that have a “Pink Moment” just as the sun is setting. The vanishing sun creates a ribbon of pink for several minutes on the bluffs at the east end of the Ojai Valley. It is a romantic, rare and resplendent moment that can only happen in Ojai.
On the weekend of April 20-21, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2013. Charitable events will be taking place on and around this day throughout the world, and you can be a part of it via the dozens of volunteer opportunities available throughout Northern California that only require a few hours of your time, yet do a world of good. Check out the Earth Day getaways below, then rally your friends and family and help make a difference.
As if making plans for a romantic Valentine’s Day isn’t hard enough, it always seems to fall on a weekday. And if you haven’t noticed already, this Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday (How rude!). So for most of us working stiffs who have to go to work on Friday, a trip to the coast is out of the question. The easy answer: A Stay-n-Play Valentine’s Getaway (patent pending) to a hotel that’s an easy drive from home and work. Here’s a great example….
When I was a kid my mom would retain her sanity each summer by sending me off on a 10-day YMCA backpacking trip with a bunch of strangers (which, by the way, I highly recommend for all you over-protective parents out there). Not only did these hiking trips get me out of the house and into the mountains, they also taught me life-long lessons about ecology, weather, navigation, and self-reliance. So do your kids a confidence-building favor and take them hiking this summer—they’ll forgive you in the end. Read full article »
Last fall I took my annual pilgrimage up Highway 101 to revisit one of my favorite places to be on the planet: Redwood National Park. California contains the most spectacular redwood forests in the world—including the world’s tallest trees—yet it always amazes me how few Californians (yes, you) have experienced one of nature’s grandest displays. So make 2012 the year you finally dust off your binoculars, lace up your boots, book a hotel room in Eureka, and take the scenic drive up 101 to the Land of the Giants.
Because the California Coast is so vast and geographically varied—from misty redwood forests to gold-sand beaches and rugged mountain ranges—it would take weeks to see all its major attractions. I’m guessing your summer vacation days are limited, so I’ve put together this recommended itinerary to help you make the most of your time.
This 8-Day Dream Getaway begins with a scenic coastal drive to Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, and Santa Cruz, then continues south to Monterey, Pacific Grove, and Carmel before ending in beautiful Big Sur. And on this getaway the journey is half the fun: The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the nation’s most thrilling drives, twisting and turning, climbing and descending along Highway 1 as it takes you past coastal redwood forests, ocean cliffs, and secluded coves battered by the dazzling Pacific Ocean. Read full article »
Some of the best memories I have as a kid growing up in Sacramento include piling into the Country Squire station wagon (Seatbelts? What seatbelts?) and taking road trips to the mountains or coast. Every trip was a mini-adventure filled with discovery and danger (Don’t make me pull this car over!). Even now I still get that tingle of anticipation as I load up the car with luggage and hit the open road to anywhere but my office. So in the spirit of good times and grand adventures, I’d like to share you five of my favorite scenic drives in Northern California. Read full article »