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2018 TRAVEL GUIDE TO

californiatravelguide.travel

Uncovering the Entire

GOLDEN STATE

CULTURAL TREASURES

Dynamic Cities, Iconic Landscapes and Exquisite Cuisine in

12

UNIQUE REGIONS

$6.95

DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 15, 2018

World-Class Music, Art, Theater, Opera, Ballet, Film, Museums and More

+

LAID-BACK BEACH TOWNS FAMOUS THEME PARKS CLASSIC ROAD TRIPS LEGENDARY GOLF COURSES WHERE TO SHOP, HIKE, BIKE, SKI, SURF LUXURIOUS SPAS & ROMANTIC GETAWAYS


CONTENTS

GET YOUR BEARINGS 6

CALIFORNIA MAP

8

EDITOR’S NOTE

10

DISCOVER California Dreaming

12

HISTORY A Land of Immigrants and Entrepreneurs

DISCOVER THE GOLDEN STATE 16

CITIES

44

Surprising Cities

20

SUMMER SPORTS

Deal Me In

49

Get Outside and Play

24

WINTER SPORTS

THEME PARKS

52

SHOPPING

54

ROAD TRIPS

56

CUISINE The Gourmet Galaxy of Stars

40

PERFORMING ARTS

MOVIES

58

STATE & NATIONAL PARKS Naturally Awesome

62

GOLF Tee It Up!

WINE COUNTRY Fruit of the Vine

4 2018

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SANTA MONICA TRAVEL & TOURISM

On Location

Hit the Road, Jack

38

ON THE COVER

Leaping for joy in Santa Monica.

Raise the Curtain

A Statewide Bazaar

34

MUSEUMS & ART State of the Art

Nothing But Fun

30

SPAS & WELLNESS Check In, Bliss Out

A Snowy Wonderland

26

CASINOS

T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

Star trail in Joshua Tree National Park, top.


40

EXPLORE CALIFORNIA’S TOURISM REGIONS 64

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA 68 Berkeley 70 Healdsburg 72 Santa Clara

76

CENTRAL COAST 82 Ventura County Coast 84 Santa Maria Valley 86 Highway 1 Discovery Route 88 Pismo Beach

90

DESERTS 94 Palm Springs

VISIT SANTA ROSA; GANG LIU/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: PHINEAS BANNING/SHUTTERSTOCK

96

LOS ANGELES COUNTY 102 Redondo Beach 104 Marina del Rey

106

SAN DIEGO COUNTY 111 San Diego Zoo & Safari Park

113

INLAND EMPIRE 116 Ontario

118

ORANGE COUNTY

122

SHASTA CASCADE 126 Redding

128

NORTH COAST 132 Del Norte County 134 Humboldt County

136

HIGH SIERRA 140 Mammoth Lakes 142 Lake Tahoe South Shore

146

GOLD COUNTRY

150

CENTRAL VALLEY

FIND USEFUL INFORMATION 154

RESOURCES

GENERAL INFORMATION CALIFORNIA WELCOME CENTERS QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO TRAVEL CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAUS HOLIDAYS CLIMATE/TEMPERATURES MEDICAL CARE & TRAVEL INSURANCE DRIVING REGULATIONS RESOURCES FOR THE DISABLED AIR DISTANCES BETWEEN SELECTED CITIES DRIVING DISTANCES NATIONAL PARKS & HISTORIC SITES

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

5


199

Tulelake

Dorris

Willow Ranch

Fort Dick 96

Klamath R. 139

Crescent City

Yreka

Clear Creek

Montague

Del Norte

Bray

Lake City

Modoc

Siskiyou

Hackamore

Klamath

299 299

Alturas

Etna Weed Mount Shasta

Orleans

Callahan

Orick

3

Likely

89

Dunsmuir

96

Cecilville

SHASTA CASCADE

Nubieber 299

Sacramento R.

Trinidad Lamoine

139

Eureka

Blue Lake Arcata

299

Trinity

Termo

89

299

Hat Creek

Humboldt

Lassen

Weaverville

Big Bar

Shasta Lake 395

Shasta

Fortuna

44

Redding

Ferndale 3

44

44

273

Rio Dell

89 36

Susanville

Anderson Platina

36

Mineral

36

Blocksburg

Westwood

36

Honeydew Eel R.

Milford

89

Red Bluff Taylorsville Te h a m a

Whitethorn

5

32

Quincy

Corning Paskenta

Leggett

NORTH COAST

70

101

GOLD COUNTRY

Portola Paradise

Orland Dos Rios

49 89

32

Chico Loyalton Sierra

1

has 58 counties, whose boundaries are shown on this map. The state’s tourism regions sometimes spill over several counties and in some places jump borders to include portions of counties. The colored sections on the map show where these regions are.

Downieville

Butte

Willows

Glenn

89

Oroville

Fort Bragg

49

Biggs

Willits

THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Plumas 70

99

208

70

20

Nevada

Truckee

Gridley 80

Mendocino

Live Oak

Colusa

Yu b a

45

Nevada City Grass Valley

Colusa

20

Lake

Elk 128

Sutter

Williams

Ukiah

Placer

R. ento Sacram

253

Lakeport

Colfax

Wheatland 49

70

Clearlake

128

113

South Lake Tahoe

Auburn

Lincoln

29

Point Arena

Lake Tahoe

Marysville

Yuba City

16

1

Roseville

50

49

Placerville

Folsom

Calistoga

Windsor

Sebastopol

Davis

Napa

Santa Rosa

89

Coleville

16

Dixon

Amador

Alpine

Sutter Creek

Sacramento

Vacaville

4 182

Ione

108

Jackson

Napa

5

1

395

Calaveras

88

Galt

HIGH SIERRA

88

80

Saint Helena

Rohnert Park

Markleeville

Sacramento

Woodland

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

El Dorado

Rocklin

Yo l o

Cloverdale Sonoma

160

Petaluma

Vallejo

San Rafael

Tuolumne

Lodi

Rio Vista

Angels City

Martinez

167

Sonora

San Joaquin

Concord Berkeley Oakland

San Francisco

49

12

Solano

37

Bridgeport

San Andreas

Fairfield

Novato Marin

Tuolumne City Lee Vining

Stockton

Contra Costa

Lathrop

120 120

Manteca 120

San Francisco

92

Livermore

Hayward

San Mateo Redwood City

Ripon

99

Alameda

Daly City

Modesto

Waterford

49

140

132

Mammoth Lakes

Mariposa Alameda

6

Stanislaus

Fremont

Mono

Yosemite Village

Oakdale Riverbank

Turlock

Mariposa

Madera

Patterson

Milpitas

Sunnyvale

140

Livingston

Santa Clara San Jose

99

Atwater

Bishop

Merced

168

Newman

Coarsegold

Lakeshore

San Mateo 1

Los Gatos Merced

Morgan Hill Santa Cruz

Santa Clara

168

Chowchilla

41

Los Banos Fresno

152

Capitola

Dos Palos

Gilroy

Santa Cruz

Trimmer

Hollister

99

Firebaugh

Independence

Clovis Kings

180

R.

Owenyo

Sanger 25

Seaside

Parlier

San Benito

245

Selma

136

Dinuba

Kingsburg

198

Death Valley

145

Soledad

Woodlake

Greenfield

King City

Cartago

190 190

198 43

Exeter Tulare

Huron

1

190

Visalia

Hanford Lemoore

Big Sur

Tulare

Lindsay 127

Haiwee

Coalinga 41

Corcoran

33

198

CENTRAL VALLEY

Inyo

Reedley

San Joaquin 33

Gonzales

DESERTS

41

Fresno Mendota

Salinas

Marina

Monterey

395

Madera 33

Watsonville

Porterville

178

Monterey

Johnsondale

Avenal

101

Shoshone 99

Tecopa

Kings

Delano

Searles Valley

127

5 1

McFarland San Simeon

178

46

El Paso de Robles

65

Wasco

41

Mountain Mesa

33

Atascadero

Shafter

178

99

43

Morro Bay

San Luis Obispo

15

Bakersfield

Buttonwillow

41

Ridgecrest

R. Kern

58

C a l i f o r n i a

Saltdale

58

Kern

San Luis Obispo

119

Cima Arvin

227

California City

14

99

Arroyo Grande

Tehachapi

Taft

Grover Beach

Maricopa

Afton

1

58

Santa Maria

Boron

166

33

58

Guadalupe

Barstow

Needles 14 138

Helendale

Lancaster

Lake Hughes Lompoc Solvang

Adelanto

Ve n t u r a

33

Buellton

Apple Valley

Palmdale Victorville

Santa Barbara

40

Bagdad

Los Angeles

18

Lake Havasu

138

Fillmore

Santa Clarita

Santa Paula

Oxnard

Big Bear Lake

La Canada Flintridge

Col

Thousand Oaks 1

Chubbuck

247

Simi Valley

118

San Buenaventura

Hesperia

o R.

1

Essex

Ludlow 247

15

orad

CENTRAL COAST

San Bernardino

Frazier Park

Santa Barbara 101

Glendale

Pasadena

Agoura Hills

Fontana

Los Angeles

Yucca Valley

San Bernardino

30

Riverside

62

62

Twentynine Palms

62

Rice

Desert Hot Springs 177

Torrance

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

Anaheim

Moreno Valley

Corona

Palos Verdes Estates

Santa Ana Long Beach

Palm Springs

Hemet

Irvine

Cathedral City

Riverside

Indio

Desert Center

Palm Desert

Lake Elsinore

10

Orange

Huntington Beach

Costa Mesa

Blythe

74

Laguna Niguel

371

1

Oasis Avalon

ORANGE COUNTY

79

5

78

Carlsbad

Salton Sea

Imperial

86

San Diego

San Marcos

Calipatria

Escondido Encinitas

15

Westmorland Poway

79

San Diego Coronado

Brawley

78

Imperial Reservoir

Imperial

Santee

SAN DIEGO COUNTY

78

111

Borrego Springs

Vista

Oceanside

Lemon Grove

Chula Vista

Holtville

El Centro

El Cajon 8 98

Calexico

Imperial Beach

INLAND EMPIRE

FINE ROADSIDE DINING It’s no secret that innumerable superb dining experiences await on California’s famous coast-

» TIP

hugging Highway 1. One excellent find is the Lile River Inn on the Mendocino County coast just three miles south of the town of Mendocino. Stop in for Executive Chef Marc Dym’s Dungeness crab cakes, pork osso buco confit or pine nut crusted salmon, and dine in a comfortable atmosphere with big ocean views. Beer yet, stay the night!

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AUBRIE PICK

INSIDER’S


EDITOR’S NOTE

2018 TRAVEL GUIDE TO

CALIFORNIA PRESIDENT & GROUP PUBLISHER ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

A Tale of Two Californias

EDITOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR ART DIRECTOR WRITERS

This year I had the privilege to visit Yosemite twice during peak season. The famous national park gets five million annual visitors, so I knew traffic would be terribly congested on my trip for Memorial Day weekend. I schooled myself to practice patience and look forward to relaxing at my campsite when the ordeal was over, and it worked. Once I’d parked the car and unloaded, I was set for a relaxing weekend of campfires, hikes in the valley, a climb up the Mist Trail to spectacular Vernal Fall. I didn’t think about traffic again. Later that summer, my 19-year-old daughter and I took a backpacking trip in the Yosemite backcountry. We hadn’t planned much in advance, and when it was time to book a permit we were out of luck. Our only hope was to show up at the park entrance and see what we could do. Well, we didn’t get our first choice for a hike, but we got one that turned out to be better, with fewer hikers, and our three-day jaunt from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley

CIRCULATION MANAGER

Joseph P. Turkel

Collier C. Granberry Larry Habegger Judi Scharf Mark Tzerelshtein David Armstrong Christopher P. Baker Susan Brady (Resources) Laura Del Rosso Christine Delsol Bill Fink John Flinn Don George Marcy Gordon Lenore Greiner Robert Kaufman Maribeth Mellin Laura Ness Jill K. Robinson Michael Shapiro Bonnie Smetts Lavinia Spalding Matt Villano Peter Watts Laurie Weed Jacqueline Yau Julia Wall

became an epic experience for us. We even got to climb Half Dome, a dream for us, getting two of the 75 coveted daily permits that are reserved for wilder-

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE DIRECTOR OF RETAIL MARKETING

ness backpackers.

Gloria Mungo Craig Sweetman

The view of the valley from the top of Half Dome is one of America’s grandest spectacles. But what equally touched me was when we were descending the

ACCOUNT MANAGERS

Mist Trail and joined the conga line of day tourists and valley campers. Many were unfit and wearing inappropriate clothes for hiking, but everyone was

CALIFORNIA OFFICE

Collier C. Granberry Joe Turkel 1288 Columbus Ave., Suite 292 San Francisco, CA 94133

smiling. They were having the time of their lives. TEL: 1-888-700-4464 • FAX: 416-497-0871 E-MAIL: tigc@rogers.com californiatravelguide.travel

This made me think about the two Californias. One is crowded—popular beaches and cities and restaurants and parks. The other is uncrowded—hidden beaches, small towns, roadside markets, unknown holes in the wall that serve

The Travel Guide to California is published by Globelite Travel Marketing Inc., a leading lifestyle media company and publisher of The Travel Guides to Canada, The Travel Guide to Florida, The Travel Guide to California, and Dreamscapes Travel and Lifestyle Magazine.

right next to each other, and it’s easy to indulge in one and then the other without missing a beat. In truth, there are many Californias, from San Diego’s beaches to the crest of Mount Shasta, Los Angeles’ entertainment glitz to San Francisco’s famous bridges. You can surf, kayak, wine-taste or relax in a restful spa, catch worldclass opera, symphony, jazz or theater. In these pages we help you prepare, with profiles of the state’s main tourism regions, essays on history, cuisine, museums, theme parks and many other topics, plus resource pages with information on visitors bureaus, driving distances, California Welcome Centers and more. As you make your plans for a trip to the Golden State, it’ll be up to you to decide which of the many Californias you’ll experience. Whether you decide on one, two or several, you really can’t go wrong. Because sometimes even spontaneous planning can lead to an experience you’ll never forget. —L A R RY H A B EG G E R , Editor

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CANADIAN OFFICE

Globelite Travel Marketing Inc. 3 Bluffwood Drive Toronto, Ontario M2H 3L4 TEL: 416-497-5353, 1-888-700-4464 FAX: 416-497-0871 E-MAIL: tigc@rogers.com californiatravelguide.travel No part of this publication can be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of Globelite Travel Marketing Inc. The opinions in this magazine are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Globelite Travel Marketing Inc. Publications Mail Agreement 40047932. Contents © copyright 2018 Printed in Canada ISSN 1926-304X (Print) ISSN 1927-7245 (Online)

ÉRNE Mc CABE

exquisite meals. Often, as in the case of Yosemite, these two Californias are


DISCOVER BY DON GEORGE

California Dreaming The Golden State is a special place with a world’s worth of experiences to be savored There may be no California landscape more iconic than Yosemite Valley, with its soaring granite cliffs and waterfalls cascading more than 2000 feet to the forests and meadows on the valley floor. Yosemite was first protected in 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, and it became a national park including the surrounding forests

THE SEDUCTIVE STATE OF CALIFORNIA is large in every sense of the word. It’s the most populous state in the U.S. and the third largest in terms of geographical size. Its economy ranks sixth in the entire world. When it comes to visitor attractions, California presents travelers with as wide a range of riches as many countries. Whether you’re passionate about natural activities, cultural pursuits or dining and wining, the Golden State has diverse delights to entice you.

in 1890 thanks to the tireless efforts of John Muir and others. More than five

Outdoor Adventurer

million people visit each year.

If you’re a nature lover and active adventurer, you’ll be dazzled by the state’s spectacular spectrum. On the western edge there’s the Pacific Ocean, the largest body of water in the world, perfect for surfing, sailing and swimming. In the east there are the magnificent mountains of the Sierra Nevada, a haven for skiers and snowboarders in winter and hikers and bicyclists in summer. This region is home to Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the “Lower 48” and a mecca for climbers, topping off at 14,505 feet. Among California’s most moving experiences are walking through the natural cathedral of Muir Woods

and camping in the granite grandeur of Yosemite National Park. For boaters, birders and fishermen, there’s Lake Shasta, home to an abundance of fish and fowl. For whitewater fans, more than a dozen rivers, including the mighty American and Sacramento, provide thrilling rides. Kayakers and canoers find paradise in Point Reyes National Seashore in the north and watery wonders at Morro Bay on the central coast. In the southern part of the state, visitors savor the sere splendors of the Mojave Desert and Death Valley, the lowest point in North America, 282 feet below sea level. If tide pooling tempts you, Shaw’s Cove tide pools in the Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve and the Terranea tide pools in the Point Vicente State Marine Conservation Area in Rancho Palos Verdes showcase sea anemones, crabs, urchins, sea slugs, sea stars and more. The five islands of Channel Islands National Park, accessible only by boat or plane from Ventura and Oxnard, provide a peaceful, pristine home for more than 2,000 plant and animal species, including 145 found nowhere else on the planet.

Cultural Connoisseur If you love culture, you’ll find a treasure trove of activities in the Golden State, from museum and art gallery exhibitions to shops showcasing contemporary handicrafts and timeworn antiques, and from performances of theater, dance and music to displays at aquariums and hands-on education centers.

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NATHAN ZULLIG/SHUTTERSTOCK

YOSEMITE VALLEY


For music, the world-class concert halls of Los Angeles and San Francisco are wellknown, but equally appealing are smaller sites such as the Redlands Bowl in the Inland Empire city of Redlands, where an elegant amphitheater spotlights California’s oldest free concert series, presenting everything from classical music to bluegrass bands each summer, or the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall on the California State University Sonoma campus, where warm-weather concert-goers can spread a blanket on the terraced lawn for an alfresco music fest. A lively variety of performances, including ballet, theater, variety shows, comedy and even onstage conversations, are presented at Oakland’s  ornately Art Deco Paramount Theater. Another multi-faceted venue lovingly restored to its former glory is Fresno’s Warnors Center for the Performing Arts, listed on the National Register of  Historic Places and distinguished by a pipe organ that replicates the sound of a full orchestra. From the Siskiyou County Museum in Yreka to the San Diego Museum of Art, museums and galleries celebrating history, human endeavor and artistic heritage abound throughout the state. Creative exploring will yield access to small-scale museums that specialize in everything from comics and cable cars to surfing and sewing. Other outstanding educational

institutions that focus on interactive experiences include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium.

Food Aficionado For food aficionados, California is a wonderland of tastes, textures and innovative culinary creations. One of the most delightful and enlightening experiences is visiting a farmers market, where freshfrom-the-farm produce will be on delicious display and fresh-from-the-field farmers will be happy to offer samples and stories. Farmers markets can now be found throughout the state. As a further outgrowth of the popularity of these markets, more and more farms are now offering visitors the opportunity to pay to pick their own strawberries, peaches or plums and savor the sweetness of just-plucked fruit. Some farms even offer travelers the chance to stay and work, which reveals from the inside the rites and rhythms of modern farm life. California is the birthplace of California Cuisine, of course, a culinary revolution spearheaded by Berkeley’s Alice Waters— whose Chez Panisse is still serving extraordinary food 47 years after it opened. That revolution has spawned numerous

other channels of creative culinary freshness and fusion, blending Asian, European and Latin American ingredients and traditions, which are showcased throughout the state. As Alice Waters and her followers focused attention on local purveyors, food-related opportunities for travelers expanded. One result today is the California Cheese Trail, an interactive website (cheesetrail.org) that features artisanal cheese makers throughout the state, as well as the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail map that highlights cheese makers from Point Reyes and Valley Ford to Santa Rosa and Sonoma. Wine trails have long drawn travelers to California, but these have expanded as well in recent years. In addition to worldrenowned regions such as Napa and Sonoma, up-and-coming areas that offer their own winery routes include Livermore, Paso Robles, Madera and Temecula. Whatever interest has drawn you to California, you’ll find almost infinite reasons to be seduced and stay.

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HISTORY

BY DAVID ARMSTRONG

A Land of Immigrants and Entrepreneurs

CALIFORNIA LIGHTHOUSES When migration to California began in earnest in the 19th century, lighthouses became necessities to protect ships skirting the rough rocky coast. Many of the lighthouses were remote and hard to reach on land, and the job of keeping the lights burning was a challenging and difficult one, especially in bad weather when they were needed most. Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, above, on the Central Coast near San Simeon, was damaged by an offshore earthquake on December 31, 1948, and had its lantern room and lens removed. The tower was capped off, and in recent years has been renovated and is open for tours.

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The Spanish Franciscan friar blessing an

California is the “America” of America. This

adobe church at Mission Basilica San Diego

was so even in pre-history, when the first

de Alcalá in 1769; the Chilean miner trying

migrants from Asia crossed the land bridge

his luck panning for gold in a cold Sierra

between Siberia and Alaska, hung a right,

cataract in 1849; the Chinese laborer

walked southward, found pastures of plenty,

crossing the heaving Pacific to work on the

rich marine life and heart-stoppingly beau-

transcontinental railroad in 1869; the

tiful mountains and either decided to keep

African American leaving the South to build

walking or stop right where they were.

warships on the Oakland waterfront in

The place wasn’t called California then,

1942; the Haight-Ashbury hippie with her

of course. That came later, the name taken

wakeful dreaming in San Francisco’s

from a 16th-century Spanish novel and used

Summer of Love in 1967; the Indian engi-

by explorers, soldiers and missionaries,

neer launching a high-tech startup in Palo

who were themselves starting over in the

Alto in 2018, all have something in

New World. The Spanish built 21 Roman

common: starting over.

Catholic missions, from San Diego in the

The United States is said to be a place

south to Sonoma in the north, from 1769 to

where the world comes to begin again—to

1823. In converting native communities to

reinvent itself, in the current coinage. If so,

Christianity, the newcomers overwhelmed

CARON KRAUCH. OPPOSITE: MONO COUNTY TOURISM; CREATIVITY LOVER/SHUTTERSTOCK; VISIT CARMEL

Innovation and new beginnings are embedded in California’s cultural DNA


»

POP CULTURE ICONS

California has long been embedded in the popular culture of the USA and, indeed, much of the world. Among the pop culture favorites created in California are the Frisbee, the Barbie Doll, skateboards, fortune cookies and denim jeans.

native cultures. Of necessity, the Native Americans started over in a bewildering new world. In 1821, Mexico, with its remote northernmost province, Alta California, wrenched itself free of the Spanish Empire. In 1833, the missions were secularized by the Mexican government and abandoned. Their buildings moldered, their pioneering vineyards and olive groves were eventually overgrown and forgotten. Not until the 20th century were the missions restored and revived. Many flourish today as redoubts of history and contemporary worship, handsome, evocative reminders of the first major European presence.

The Gold Rush

PIEDRAS BLANCAS Light Station in San Simeon, opposite; Bodie Ghost Town residence, above; Cabrillo National Monument at Point Loma Peninsula, San Diego, right; Carmel Mission, below.

Alta California grew slowly in its isolation. That changed on January 24, 1848, with the discovery of gold on the American River. The California Gold Rush, beginning in earnest in 1849, gave fortune-seekers a second—some said a last—chance to make good. Half-a-million newcomers—many from Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa— globalized California in a hurry. The Mexican descendants of Spanish settlers—the Californios, with their sprawling ranchos and lives attuned to the slow turning of the seasons—were swept aside, left to start over. Many 49ers stayed on and found another kind of gold: richly productive new lives in a place where beginning afresh—personally, financially, even spiritually—was already a common rite of passage. In 1850, pried loose by the U.S. victory in the Mexican War and accelerated by the Gold Rush, California became the 31st state of the United States. New Californians brought the new Golden State into being, plowing its fields, founding its great universities, building its cities. California’s lustrous reputation was tarnished on the morning of April 18, 1906, when a massive

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13


HISTORY

WE LOVE SPORTS earthquake rocked Northern California and

California’s story since World War II has

leveled much of San Francisco; what the

featured growth and more growth. Com-

who love the outdoors and

rolling, rumbling ground didn’t knock down,

bined with in-country migration, global

participating in sports. They

the ensuing firestorm burned down. Some

immigration made California the most pop-

also really like watching sports.

3,000 people died. Now, it was San Francisco’s

ulous state in the Union in 1962.

The Golden State hosts 16

turn to start over. San Francisco dramatized

professional sports franchises

its recovery, and celebrated the new Panama

A Center for Change

in four major team sports,

Canal linking the Atlantic and the Pacific,

From the 1960s on, California has been, in

football, basketball, baseball

with the splendidly showy Panama-Pacific

a positive sense, the most disruptive state

and hockey, by far the most of

International Exposition of 1915.

in the nation. Student political activism,

Californians are sporty types

any American state. Runner-up Florida has nine major pro teams and third-place Texas has eight.

the hip counter-culture and early awaken-

The Rise of Hollywood

ings of the New Age movement found

Just two years after that optimistic display,

fertile ground in California. The in-season,

the nation plunged into World War I. After

sustainable, slow-food movement arguably

the war ended in 1918, still more migrants

took root fastest in California. American

rushed to California. In 1920, Los Angeles

environmentalism in large part began in

(and much later San Diego and San Jose)

California, when Scottish immigrant John

surged past San Francisco in population.

Muir founded the Sierra Club in San Fran-

The orange groves and dusty byways of old

cisco back in 1892 and took President

Los Angeles began morphing into “LA”—

Theodore Roosevelt camping amid the nat-

more specifically, and more mythically,

ural wonders of Yosemite Valley in 1903.

“Hollywood.”

From the 1980s on, Silicon Valley has

Actors, writers, directors and producers

joined Hollywood as a creative lodestar for

streamed to Los Angeles, growing a quiet

the whole planet. In the present decade, Sil-

cottage industry of silent motion pictures

icon Valley reached northward, dramatically

into a technologically advanced business.

transforming the economy and even the

Stars were born in a place that came to be

culture of San Francisco. The high-tech-

called “the dream factory.” Not a few of the

nology world has enshrined risk-taking,

A DIFFERENT VIEW of the famous

Dust Bowl migrants who left the drought-

innovation, learning from failure and—you

Hollywood sign, top; goalie Jonathan

stricken Midwest for California in the 1930s

guessed it—starting over. Quoting another

Quick’s LA Kings jersey, above.

got their first impressions of their new

California innovation, the 1960s Whole

home from the dream-weavers of Holly-

Earth Catalog, Apple’s Steve Jobs urged

wood. In the 1940s, creative people from

Stanford University graduates in a com-

Europe such as Billy Wilder and Thomas

mencement speech in 2005 to “stay hungry,

Mann, fleeing fascism and war to begin

stay foolish.”

anew, lent the movies an Old World artistic sensibility.

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

Californians, across centuries and cultures, always have.

SEAN PAVONE/SHUTTERSTOCK; NHL

»


CITIES

BY DAVID ARMSTRONG

Surprising Cities

California’s golden cities—Los Angeles,

deeply delicious, locally owned restaurants.

San Francisco, San Diego—are celebrated

Settled in the mid-19th century by westward-

around the world, and rightly so. But the

ho New Englanders, Portuguese fishers and

MENDOCINO

Golden State boasts an engaging range of

Chinese immigrants, Mendocino boomed as

The combination of Victorian and New England-style wood frame homes and the seing on the bluffs at the mouth of the Big River is what put the town of Mendocino, above, on the National Register of Historic Places. Stroll its lanes and breathe the sea air and you won’t want to leave.

things to see and do in less-well-known

a lumber town. It revived with mid-20th cen-

locales, as well. In cities ranging in size

tury

from 900 inhabitants to nearly 500,000, a

travelers. Most of the town of Victorian cot-

surprising, eclectic menu of food and

tages and restored wood-frame houses is

drink, art and architecture, history and

listed on the National Register of Historic

sports is available to visitors.

Places. The village is situated on the bluffs of

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

back-to-the-landers

and

visiting

the Mendocino Headlands with splendid

MENDOCINO: Victorian Wonderland

views of the Pacific Ocean and a network of

Claiming pride of place in hopelessly beau-

public trails. The Mendocino Music Festival

tiful Mendocino County, the town of

is held in July, while the Mendocino Mush-

Mendocino is one of the best-loved destina-

room, Wine and Beer Festival takes place in

tions on California’s North Coast. The village

November. A pleasant drive north on Cali-

of 900 people 130 miles north of San Fran-

fornia Route 1 takes visitors to the teeming

cisco is stocked with historic B&Bs, heritage

tide pools, hiking and camping of Russian

hotels, clothing shops, art galleries and

Gulch State Park.

MENDOCHINO CVB. OPPOSITE: NEVADA CITY CHAMBER PHOTOS; SANTA CRUZ CVB; LONG BEACH CVB

Big fun in smaller towns


HISTORIC DOWNTOWN NEVADA CITY, left; entrance to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, below; Long Beach skyline, bottom.

TAHOE CITY: Recreational Capital

annual Oktoberfest features excellent beers

scenic hillside views, ski the nearby moun-

At an elevation of 6,250 feet, Tahoe City, on

such as Lagunitas and the aptly named

tains, and head to High Country attractions

the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, Cali-

Sierra Nevada. The Tahoe Art Haus and

such as nearby Lake Tahoe. The Gold Rush

fornia and Nevada’s lovely freshwater

Cinema has nine beers on tap, leather

is memorialized at the Miners Foundry Cul-

alpine lake, is all about the water and sur-

rocking seats, movies, music and dance.

tural Center and by historical mining

rounding mountains. The Placer County

exhibits in City Hall. Eye-pleasing and

community is a jumping-off point for

NEVADA CITY: Gold Rush Pedigree

walkable, much of downtown Nevada City

skiing and snowboarding in winter and

In 2010, this postcard-pretty inland com-

is listed on the National Register of Historic

boating, swimming and fishing in summer.

munity in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada

Places. The Nevada Theatre, a smartly

Calling itself a city is a whimsical touch, as

counted 3,068 residents—1,000 fewer than

restored heritage building, hosts a variety

the unincorporated town has just 2,000

it had in 1880 in the afterglow of the 1849

of live entertainment.

residents. Situated near the headwaters of

California Gold Rush. These days, travelers

the Truckee River, Tahoe City offers popular

journey to Nevada City’s woodsy setting on

SANTA CRUZ: Beach, Boardwalk & More

recreational outfitters, hotels and retail, as

the western slopes to admire impeccably

This classic beach town is located 75 miles

well as craft beers and hearty food. The

restored 19th-century buildings, take in

south of San Francisco on the northern

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

17


CITIES TEMECULA CITY HALL FOUNTAIN, right; the Cal Poly campus and San Luis Obispo from above, boom; West Hollywood at night, opposite.

shore of magnificent Monterey Bay. A city of 65,000, it boasts alternative lifestyles and innovative education at the University of California Santa Cruz along with the proudly retro 1907 Santa Cruz Boardwalk and the Santa Cruz Pier. The boardwalk, flanking mile-long Santa Cruz Beach, showcases the charming 1911 Loolf Carousel and adrenaline joys of the Big Dipper, a 1924 wooden roller coaster. The boardwalk is a prime place to score corn dogs (“made from a secret family recipe’’), chocolate-covered bacon, deep-fried Twinkies and other bellyhistoric core of the city clusters around the

curl. The world’s first Surfing Museum is

SAN LUIS OBISPO: Culture, Wine, & the Outdoors

right nearby. Inland, the shops of Pacific

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean 11 miles

This is the place to find restaurants, cafés

Avenue offer plenty of retail therapy and

to the west and the Santa Lucia Mountains

and shops. Music and theater productions

health-minded markets and eateries. North

just to the east, this central coast city of

are mounted on the campus of California

of town via Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz

45,000 is located midway between San

Polytechnic Institute (“Cal Poly’’). Out-

Mountains is Henry Cowell State Park, with

Francisco and Los Angeles. Easily accessible

doorsy visitors and locals alike hike and

its old-growth forest of California’s soaring

by train on Amtrak or via U.S. Highway 101

bike the Nine Sisters hills. The marine-

signature trees: redwoods.

and famously scenic California Route 1, the

minded head to the sometimes-chilly,

busters while you watch surfers shoot the

1759 Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

foggy coast with their wetsuits for surfing, kayaking and windsurfing. South of the city is prime territory for winery touring and tasting: the expansive Edna Valley wine-

LONG BEACH: Arts, Aquatics & the Queen Mary A frequent stand-in for national and global locations in television, video and film shoots, Long Beach is very much itself. Boasting 5.5 miles of sandy beaches, the city of 470,000 some 20 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles is home to a major ocean cargo port and an outpost of aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Since 1967, the 1930s Art Deco ocean liner Queen Mary has been permanently anchored there. Now a hotel

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

VISIT TEMECULA VALLEY; LARRY HABEGGER. OPPOSITE: VISIT WEST HOLLIWOOD

producing region.


Strip, with its famous music venues, among

fun such as hot-air ballooning. The three-

them the Troubadour, Viper Room and

day Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine

Whisky a Go Go. The city also boasts hip

Festival, held every year on the first

hotels such as the Mondrian, Andaz and the

weekend in June, is a major draw. Also pop-

and meetings venue, the Queen Mary is

Sunset Marquis. Classic retro Art Deco and

ular are the historic buildings and casual

linked on land by the Passport shuttle bus

Spanish Revival apartment buildings dot

shops of Temecula’s Old Town.

to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

swaths of the city, while western Melrose

Convention and Entertainment center and

Avenue is abuzz with restaurants, shops,

other sites. The arts are served by the

antique and furniture stores and the nearby

Museum of Latin American Art, the Long

Pacific Design Center. The Halloween Car-

Beach Playhouse and a lively street-art

nival is a huge and popular party. An influx

scene. Aquatic sports and beach volleyball

of Russian Jews late last century from the

thrive in the sunny climate. Moreover, a

disintegrating Soviet Union adds to West

wide range of dining options abounds,

Hollywood’s cosmopolitan character.

thanks to the city’s multiethnic make-up, which embraces white and black residents,

TEMECULA: Vineyards & Golf

Hispanics, Pacific Islanders and Asians,

Located 85 miles southeast of Los Angeles

notably Cambodians and Filipinos.

and 60 miles north of San Diego on Inter-

YOUR » FIND CITY FUN Mendocino visitmendocino.com, 866-466-3636 Tahoe City visitahoecity.org, 530-583-3348 Nevada City nevadacitychamber.com, 800-655-6569

state 15, this fast-growing city of 110,000

WEST HOLLYWOOD: Design, Entertainment & LGBTQ Capital

sits amid the vineyards of the Temecula

With a population of 35,000, West Holly-

wine-making areas. Temecula, incorpo-

wood provides style and spark to Greater

rated in 1989 in what was once Rancho

Los Angeles well out of proportion to its

California, is also a popular golf destina-

size. Vibrant “WeHo,’’ bounded on the east

tion; together the city and its suburbs have

by Hollywood and the west by Beverly Hills,

nine golf courses. The sunny, warm-to-hot,

is Greater LA’s gay village, with about one-

semi-arid climate allows devotees to hit the

third of residents identifying as lesbian, gay,

fairways year-round. Pioneering industries—

bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ).

agriculture, cattle ranching, quarrying

Within its tightly packed 1.9 square miles is

granite-stone—have been largely sup-

western Sunset Boulevard, aka the Sunset

planted by golf and wine, as well as outdoor

Valley—one of Southern California’s major

Santa Cruz cityofsantacruz.org, 831-420-5030 San Luis Obispo visitslo.com, 805-781-2777 Long Beach visitlongbeach.com, 800-452-7829 West Hollywood visitwesthollywood.com, 800-368-6020 Temecula visiemeculavalley.com, 888-363-2852

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19


SUMMER SPORTS

BY BILL FINK

Get Outside and Play

SPORTS AT MAMMOTH LAKES Mammoth Lakes in the eastern Sierra southeast of Yosemite is a hive of summer activity, whether it be organized charity rides such as Biking Against Cancer, above, or individual hiking, fishing, backpacking or other outdoor adventures.

The California ideal of sun, surf and sand

the Strand. Drive the hills near San Francisco

has been popularized in decades of film

on a sunny weekend afternoon, and in a

and TV shows, from Beach Blanket Bingo to

matter of minutes you’ll pass pelotons of

Baywatch. But visitors to California in the

road bikers, and hikers, horseback riders and

summer can discover even more of the

mountain bikers launching onto trailheads.

state’s natural beauty heading inland to

In the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge,

majestic national parks.

fleets of sailboats ride ocean breezes, while the wind powers kiteboarders and wind-

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

Sports

surfers into acrobatics as mellow joggers

Take a walk to the pier in Manhattan Beach

and their dogs enjoy the spectacle from

in Southern California on any given day and

shoreline pathways. North and south, young

you’ll see surfers whipping around the

and old, Californians love their sports, and

waves, volleyball players diving in the sand,

the state provides limitless opportunities to

and bikers and skateboarders rolling along

ply your favorite or try a new one.

JOSH WRAY/WRAYMEDIA.COM. OPPOSITE: VISIT SANTA CRUZ COUNTY; MORRO BAY CVB; LARRY HABEGGER

California’s seashores, mountain summits and glorious weather provide an unbeatable summer playground


SURFERS IN SANTA CRUZ, right; kayaking in Morro Bay, center; hikers take a break a er climbing Half Dome in Yosemite, boom.

On Land California has some of the world’s best golf, including the legendary seaside Pebble Beach Golf Links, home of Bill Murray’s favorite annual event, the AT&T National Pro-Am tournament. Or try any one of the hundreds of public and private clubs scattered across the state. If you aren’t into the clubs, grab a frisbee and try some disc golf at one of the more than 200 California courses. Mountain and road biking are great ways to get a workout while experiencing the state’s landscape, whether it be from tricky single-track downhill trails around Lake Tahoe, flatter cross-country trips or perhaps an urban ride using the San Francisco Bay Area’s Ford GoBike program. Skateboarding is practically the state sport, with skateparks seen everywhere from the sport’s birthplace at Venice Beach to the smallest inland town. For a different sort of ride, make like native son John Wayne and saddle up for some horseback riding on trails near cities, around dude ranches or on multi-day wilderness journeys. If desert sands don’t appeal to you, try those on the beaches of Southern California that are lined with volleyball nets for pickup games and professional tournaments. California sunshine is also good for year-round tennis, be it on public courts or at a posh resort. And the fitness-crazy culture of California provides plenty of opportunities to join outdoor workout “bootcamps” and yoga sessions in city parks.

In Water California has more than 840 miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean, a prime launching spot for every manner of water

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21


SUMMER SPORTS SKATEBOARDING AT MOUNT SHASTA Skatepark, below; fly fishing the Upper Owens River, Mammoth Lakes, right.

sport, including surfing, sailing, SCUBA and

a wetsuit in the chilly Pacific waters. Surf

tains Wilderness to relaxed, hour-long

sea kayaking. California has fully embraced

breaks range from 50-foot monster waves in

walking tours through the gentle winding

stand-up paddle boarding, with many rental

Half Moon Bay to more gentle rollers around

paths of Muir Woods, easily accessible from

shops bordering lakes and the ocean. Catalina

Manhattan Beach. Marinas dot the coast from

nearby San Francisco.

Island and the kelp forests of Monterey Bay

north to south, where experienced sailors can

A trip to the bubbling volcanic pools at

are popular diving spots, but be sure to wear

rent power yachts for deep-sea fishing or sail-

Lassen Volcanic National Park or to the Dr.

boats to ride the winds.

Seuss-like trees of Joshua Tree can make

Biking bikecal.com labikepaths.com sfbike.org Boating dbw.ca.gov Climbing mountainproject.com/v/ California/105708959 rockclimbing.org Golf pga.com/golf-courses/details/CA Disc Golf pdga.com Horseback Riding horseandtravel.com/states/california

SCUBA Californiadiver.com Surfing surfingcalifornia.com

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

visitors feel they’re on another planet,

tered lakes provide fertile sport-fishing

while sunset in Yosemite Valley with views

grounds, while melting mountain snow

of towering waterfalls can make it seem like

can create raging rapids for kayaking and

you’re in heaven.

rafting enthusiasts, but those looking for a

California’s many mountains mean

gentle river float on an inner tube with a

climbing is a popular activity, whether it’s a

beer cooler can still find their spots.

hike up 14,505-foot Mount Whitney (the

Boating is popular with waterskiers and

highest point in the continental U.S.) or tech-

wakeboarders across the Sacramento Delta

nical rock climbing routes from the easy to the

and at a huge number of marinas on lakes

extreme in legendary areas such as Yosemite,

and reservoirs throughout the state.

Joshua Tree and Pinnacles national parks. California’s state flag features a bear, and

The Great Outdoors

you may see some among the wildlife

California boasts 32 national parks,

during your outdoor journeys. Black bears,

seashores and monuments, 280 state parks

mountain lions, rattlesnakes and coyotes

and a plethora of wilderness areas, nature

put the “wild” in California wildlife, but

preserves and other outdoor playgrounds.

careful visitors should have no problem

With landscapes ranging from the sheer

with them. Abundant migratory and native

cliffs of Yosemite to the searing deserts of

birdlife makes California a prime birding

Death Valley and the scenic shorelines of

destination, while at sea, whale watching is

the Channel Islands, California offers a life-

a perennial tourist favorite. Even without

time of outdoor opportunities for the

an organized tour, visitors can walk to view

visitor. Exploration options range from

sea lions on San Francisco and Santa Cruz

multi-day backpacking trips for the hardy

piers, and observe sea otters playing in the

in remote areas such as the Marble Moun-

surf at Monterey.

SHASTA COUNTY CVB; JOSH WRAY/MAMMOTH LAKES TOURISM

»

FIND YOUR FUN

Moving inland, gentle streams and scat-


WINTER SPORTS A Snowy Wonderland

BY BILL FINK

SKIING CALIFORNIA Snow play isn’t usually foremost in people’s minds when they think of California, but the state has some of the best skiing in the West. Mammoth Mountain is a magnet for skiers from Southern California, and the area around Lake Tahoe offers more options than anywhere in North America. A skier carves a turn in Cornice Bowl, one of Mammoth Mountain’s top runs, above.

Southern California has long been

Angeles. But for those seeking winter

known as a warm-weather winter vacation

sports, there may be no better place on

area, with sports and outdoor activities

earth than the mountains surrounding

centered in San Diego and Los Angeles and

Lake Tahoe. The area hosted the 1960

desert retreats like Palm Springs. But the

Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley and con-

mountains of Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes

tinues to be home base for many U.S.

and Yosemite and across the Sierra Nevada

Winter Olympians who bang moguls, rip

range beckon winter visitors who want to

the half-pipes and race on downhill runs at

embrace snow-based sports and recreation.

more than a dozen area ski resorts. For the non-extreme, plenty of beginner trails,

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

Sports

group lessons and smaller hills offer a safe

In winter, Southern California is still an

introduction to the sport.

oasis for outdoor sports and adventure,

Tahoe ski resorts including Squaw Valley,

from golf to tennis, hiking and horseback

Northstar and Heavenly also offer ice

riding, whether in the still-baking desert

skating rinks and inner tube runs for those

around Palm Springs or the perpetually

looking for more mellow activities, best

pleasant vacationland of San Diego or Los

complemented with a fire pit and toasted

JOSH WRAY/MAMMOTH LAKES TOURISM. OPPOSITE: KRISTAL LEONARD; DAVID LITMAN/SHUTTERSTOCK

This is no time to hibernate


BASKING IN THE WINTER SUN and the view of Half Dome at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, right; Squaw Valley Ski Resort and Lake Tahoe, boom.

marshmallows and hot cocoa for dessert.

snowmobiling provides high-octane motor

springs around Mammoth Lakes provide

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

sport fun, while dogsledding is a way to

toasty outdoor relaxation with a view of

courses dot the Tahoe area, offering a brisk

enjoy a different sort of ride with some furry

snowcapped mountains. Or, perhaps bundle

aerobic workout amidst pine forests and

friends. For the adventurous, remote back-

up and climb a mountain for prime star-

sweeping mountain scenery.

country skiing, the increasingly popular

gazing opportunities in the crisp and clear

South of Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain

“sidecountry” Alpine Touring connected to

mountain air, then add a few more layers and

boasts a world-class ski resort, while Big

the ski resorts, ice climbing and hut-to-hut

try some ice fishing on a high alpine lake.

Bear Mountain offers skiing within a rea-

hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains can

sonable commute from Los Angeles,

feed one’s winter hunger for adrenaline.

spot many animals migrating south to follow the sun. From massive gray whales

enabling the highly motivated to surf and ski in a single day. Outside of the ski resorts,

Winter also is the time when visitors can

The Great Outdoors

to miniature monarch butterflies, flocks of

Step away from organized resort sports and

birds in the central wetlands and pods of

there’s still a wealth of winter outdoor

seals come to mate on the shores of the

activities in California. The bears may be

Pacific, the world’s wildlife also seems to

hibernating but that doesn’t mean you have

think that California’s outdoors is a great

to as well. Avoiding the hot summer

place to visit in winter.

months means visitors can enjoy temperate winter hiking and camping opportunities in desert parks such as Death Valley, Joshua Tree and around Palm Springs (but be forewarned that the nights can still get frigid).

YOUR » FIND SPORT

Prior to snowfall, the Sierra Nevada mountain forests are ablaze with colorful fall foliage, making a hike through the hills a prime “shoulder season” activity. Wintertime provides an escape from the summer crowds often found in Yosemite National Park. Visit the near-empty wilderness to enjoy a quiet blanket of snow

Skiing onthesnow.com/california/ ski-resorts.html xcski.org Hiking/Camping travelyosemite.com nps.gov/state/ca www.parks.ca.gov

covering towering cliffs, the sun glistening off frozen waterfalls and the muffled clomping sound of guided snowshoe tours— and then retire to one of their lodges for

Wildlife whalewatching.com/california audubon.org/news/birding-california wildlife.ca.gov

special winter food and wine events. Hot

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25


THEME PARKS

BY MATT VILLANO

Nothing But Fun

AMUSEMENT PARKS Europeans started the concept of amusement parks centuries ago with fairs and pleasure gardens created for people’s recreation. The world’s oldest amusement park is Bakken, just north of Copenhagen, Denmark, which opened in 1583. The oldest theme park in the United States is Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (called Santa Claus Land from its opening in 1946 until 1984) in Santa Claus, Indiana. California’s theme parks date from 1950.

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Diversions are as plentiful as sunshine

lot; this tram remains the best way to expe-

in California. One of the most popular out-

rience stunt demonstrations and staged

lets: original theme parks. These attractions

events (such as an encounter with the shark

are meccas to amusement, each focusing

from Jaws).

rides and exhibits around different concepts

In 2016 the park opened its most antici-

such as fairies, film, plastic blocks, sea life

pated attraction ever: The Wizarding World

and an inimitable mouse. Most of the parks

of Harry Potter, complete with a replica of

are situated in the southern part of the state

Hogwarts castle and a recreation of the

(where the weather is generally warmer), but

shops of Hogsmeade. This new section is

the granddaddy of them all is up north. Each

home to two new rides: Harry Potter and

of the parks is worth a closer look.

the Forbidden Journey, and Flight of the Hippogriff. It also affords visitors the

Universal Studios Hollywood

opportunity to drink (non-alcoholic, but-

This film-themed park got its formal start

terscotch-flavored) Butterbeer in a rustic

in the 1960s when walk-throughs of Uni-

tavern named Three Broomsticks, and to

versal Studios soundstages and sets were

shop for wands and other trinkets and sou-

expanded to include peeks at actual pro-

venirs in Diagon Alley.

duction. Over the years, the studio added a

The rest of the park is divided into two

tram to shuttle visitors through the back

areas connected by escalator: the Upper

NATHANIEL CHADWICK/UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD. OPPOSITE: SEAWORLD; CITYPASS; DISNEYLAND CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

Kids of all ages love California’s theme parks


and Lower lots. Transformers: The Ride 3-D is a fan-favorite on the Lower Lot. On the Upper Lot, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, a 3-D simulator ride, and Super Silly Fun Land, an outdoor family-friendly playground, both opened in April 2014. The official studio tour commemorated its 50th anniversary in 2015 with the opening of a new grand finale dubbed Fast & Furious: Supercharged.

Overall, Disneyland is divided into

CityPASS cards, below; Cars Land at

these areas focus on actual history: Fron-

Disneyland California Adventure,

Children’s Fairyland

tierland recreates the setting of the

Believe it or not, the first theme park in the

American frontier, while Main Street

U.S. to cater to families with young kids was

U.S.A. is patterned after a small Mid-

Children’s Fairyland, a blink-and-you’ll-

western town (many believe Walt Disney

miss-it theme park on the shores of Lake

got his inspiration from his own boy-

Merritt in Oakland. The place opened in

hood town of Marceline, Missouri).

1950 (original admission started between 9

The park opened with one hotel, but

and 14 cents), making it the first official

since the 1990s it has grown exponentially,

theme park in California, as well. According

adding a new theme park (Disney’s Cali-

to some, it was one of Walt Disney’s inspi-

fornia Adventure), a shopping district

rations for the eponymous park he created

(Downtown Disney) and two additional

five years later.

hotels. One of the newest attractions,

Today, Fairyland includes small rides such as a mini Ferris wheel and carousels,

MANTA COASTER at SeaWorld, above;

eight themed areas, or “lands.” Some of

Guardians

of

the

boom; family with Buerbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Poer, Universal Studios Hollywood, opposite.

Galaxy–Mission:

BREAKOUT!, was inspired by the Marvel

and life-sized sets depicting scenes from timeless storybooks (Pinocchio’s castle and the Humpty Dumpty wall are two favorites). The theme park also is home to the Storybook Puppet Theater, which opened in 1956. A number of the country’s most famous puppeteers got their start here, including a teenager by the name of Frances Oznowicz. You likely know him as Frank Oz.

Disneyland If the lovable (and life-sized) Mickey Mouse and friends don’t pique your interest and attention at California’s most famous theme park, surely the rides will. The park, which opened in 1955, features rides for all ages.

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27


THEME PARKS LEGOLAND California, right.

Comics movies and opened in May 2017. In 2019 the park will welcome Star Wars Land.

Other Bay Area Parks The San Francisco Bay Area is home to two other popular parks: California’s Great America (in Santa Clara) and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (in Vallejo). Great America, next to Levi’s Stadium, is all about rides. Diversions range from scream-inducing (Flight Deck, a roller coaster, has one 360-degree loop and a

including dolphins, sea lions, walruses,

combined admission to the California

zero-gravity roll) to family-friendly (the

polar bears and beluga whales. In late 2016

Academy of Sciences, Aquarium of the Bay,

Carousel Columbia is the world’s tallest

SeaWorld reorganized its entertainment

a Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, and a

double-decker carousel). In 2017 the park

program to focus more squarely on educa-

choice between the Exploratorium or the

added Patriot, a floorless roller coaster; and

tion. This means no more animal shows,

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

in 2015, the park expanded the Planet

which has kept conservation groups happy.

(SFMOMA). The pass is valid for nine days.

Snoopy kids area and added three new

In the nearby community of Carlsbad,

Buy your CityPASS at any of the above

attractions, including two new racing rides.

Legoland is dedicated to tiny plastic bricks (“Legos”), and boasts Lego replicas of famous architectural icons (the Statue of

Medusa roller coaster and SkyScreamer (a

Liberty and the Taj Mahal among them).

swing ride), the park also is home to a

The park incorporates rides and eateries,

number of animals, including Jocko the

and is home to the Model Shop, the head-

walrus, who starred in the 2004 movie, 50

quarters for the park’s 10 master builders (a

First Dates, and Brandon the reticulated

window allows guests to witness these pro-

giraffe, who was named after San Francisco

fessionals at work). There also are two

Giants slugger, Brandon Belt. In 2017, park

tremendous on-site water parks.

officials added Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth, a circular swing ride; in 2015, the park

CityPASS

added the Dare Devil Chaos Coaster, a roller

Once you’ve decided where to go, try City-

coaster that takes passengers upside-down

PASS for saving some money: In Southern

in both forward and backward directions.

California, it saves about $150 per person off combined admission for attractions

San Diego Area Parks

such as Legoland and SeaWorld. The

San Diego and its surrounding suburbs also

Southern California CityPASS also includes

comprise a great region for theme parks;

back-and-forth admission to both Disney-

two family favorites are SeaWorld and

land Park and Disney California Adventure

Legoland California.

Park for any three days during a 14-day

Out near Mission Bay, in San Diego

period. The San Francisco CityPASS ticket

proper, SeaWorld is a sprawling homage to

booklet includes a 3-Day Cable Car and

dozens of different species of marine life,

Muni Bus Passport and saves 45 percent off

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

»

FIND YOUR FANTASY

Universal Studios Hollywood universalstudioshollywood.com Children’s Fairyland fairyland.org Disneyland disneyland.disney.go.com California’s Great America cagreatamerica.com Six Flags Discovery Kingdom sixflags.com/discoverykingdom Legoland California california.legoland.com SeaWorld seaworldparks.com/en/ seaworld-sandiego Knott’s Berry Farm knos.com CityPASS citypass.com

CITYPASS

The vibe at Discovery Kingdom is more eclectic. In addition to rides such as the

attractions or online at citypass.com.


SHOPPING

BY LENORE GREINER

A Statewide Bazaar High fashion, outlet bargains, and everything in between

Mesopotamian palace. And super shopping opportunities entice savvy shoppers in millions of square feet of retail space.

SoCal Glamour Malls sprawl throughout Los Angeles, crowned by Rodeo Drive’s stratospheric price tags. In the historic Jewelry District, one of the country’s largest, you’ll find significant bargains in fine jewelry at prices up to 70 percent less than those in Beverly Hills. More than 1,500 jewelry showrooms stand roughly on 5th and 8th streets to the north and south, and Broadway and Olive to the east and west. Behind a facade of basreliefs of Babylonian princes and heraldic

CALIFORNIA SHOPPING

square feet of retail bargains inside a one-

The Golden State’s iconic malls ,

time 1929 tire plant modeled on an ancient

bohemian shops and posh boutiques can

Assyrian palace. And between the Farmer’s

astound even the most jaded sophisticate.

Market and The Grove shopping center, the

An enticing range of California’s eclectic

Grove Trolley provides shoppers free rides

creativity awaits visitors throughout the

along First Street.

state, from theme park collectibles to

The West Hollywood Design District fea-

homegrown surfing gear to fine wine.

tures high-end fashion, interior design,

Foodies can sample fresh-made cheeses in

furniture, decorative arts and luxury brand

artisanal food shops. Fashionistas will love

stores on Melrose Avenue and Robertson and

San Francisco’s luxurious haute couture

Beverly boulevards. Sunset Boulevard’s world

haunts. And art lovers can bring home an

famous Amoeba Music is the nation’s largest

original California landscape from a red-

music emporium, stocking an overwhelming

wood-scented artists’ enclave.

selection of vinyl, CDs, tapes, posters and col-

California shopping safaris may entail

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

lectibles—at rock-bottom prices.

sighting a celebrity in a Los Angeles bou-

In Santa Monica’s breezy, three-block

tique, arriving at a mall by boat or hunting

pedestrian shopping mecca, Third Street

bargains behind the walls of a recreated

Promenade, find the usual mall suspects,

R SCAPINELLO/SHUTTERSTOCK; VISIT CARMEL. OPPOSITE: MORRO BAY CVB

With California’s cultural and agricultural riches, when you come here you can count on shopping sprees in one-of-a-kind, hole-in-the-wall shops to the grandest department stores and shopping districts. All of the top brands are here, from Neiman Marcus to Nordstrom to Bloomingdale’s, and famous districts from Orange County malls to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to San Francisco’s Union Square will give you plenty to explore.

griffins, the Citadel Outlets holds 700,000


Anthropologie, Zara and Gap, as well as

waterside Seaport Village. Then, hop on the

downtown Union Square. Max out your plat-

celebrity-soaked cafés and eateries.

Coronado Island ferry and cruise to the

inum card in international boutiques,

Coronado Ferry Landing Shops for more

jewelry stores and high-end department

sunny shopping.

stores. Today, Neiman Marcus stands where

Artsy shoppers should head to South Grand Avenue to the museum shops of The Broad and the Museum of Contemporary

In the city center, the 16½-block Gaslamp

The City of Paris once stood, retaining the

Art, Los Angeles. For bargains, drive north

Quarter features mall chains as well as hip

opulent rotunda and ornate glass skylight.

to Camarillo’s giant 160-store Camarillo

shops and art galleries occupying restored

Stroll down nearby Maiden Lane, once lined

Premium Outlets.

Victorian buildings. San Diego’s own Rodeo

with Barbary Coast brothels, for more luxury.

In Orange County, quintessential SoCal

Drive—Prospect Street in La Jolla—has art

Nearby, the Westfield San Francisco

shopping experiences await in huge open-

galleries, boutiques and sweeping Pacific

Centre is an architectural gem; under a

air malls, complete with valet parking.

views. In coastal Carlsbad, north of San

stunning 1908 dome stand restaurants and

Inspired by Spain’s Alhambra, the Irvine

Diego, you’ll find an elegant outlet mall, the

food emporiums, such as Japan’s Beard

Spectrum Center holds 150 stores, restau-

Carlsbad Premium Outlets.

Papa Cream Puffs, and 142 stores, including

rants and a 21-screen cinema, anchored by Nordstrom and Target.

Heading north? Check out the Outlets at Tejon along Interstate 5 between Los Angeles

an Amazon Pop-Up and the iconic British perfume house Penhaligon’s.

Fashion Island, with its casual resort set-

and Bakersfield, just south of the Highway 99

Don’t miss San Francisco’s great shop-

ting featuring splashing fountains and a koi

interchange at the base of the Grapevine. The

ping neighborhoods. On Chinatown’s

pond, overlooks the Pacific. Leading with

sprawling, 350,000-square-foot mall con-

Stockton Street you can pick up Asian

Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, this

tains the usual, Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren,

antiques, silk clothing bargains or rare tea.

coastal center has more than 150 shops and

and some newcomers to the outlet scene,

Herbal pharmacies proffer Chinese medic-

restaurants and a luxury cinema.

H&M and Pottery Barn, among the shady

inal remedies, ginseng, deer antlers or

walkways and Mission Ranch architecture.

herbs costing $100 per pound.

beach. And, if heading to Palm Springs, stop

Northern California Elegance

houses fancy consignment shops, luxury

at the 182 shops and eateries of the Desert

San Francisco’s massive malls and quirky

goods retailers and haute couture children’s

Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon.

boutiques showcase the city’s European

boutiques. Hippie culture thrives in Haight

Southward in San Diego, begin your

style. Join the Prada-clad parade encircling

Street with the northern outpost of Amoeba

shopping trip with a delightful morning at

one of the world’s great “urban rooms,”

Music and shops selling incense, used

Beyond the malls, Laguna Beach’s stylish

Near Pacific Heights, Sacramento Street

art galleries line streets sloping to a pretty

records and vintage San Francisco postcards, which make great gifts. North Beach and Jackson Square cafés still sound with Italian speakers. Here, visit the legendary City Lights bookstore, home of the City’s nascent Beat culture, and quirky antique stores. Japantown offers authentic Japanese goods, tansu chests, bonsai and antique kimonos. Finally, Hayes Valley, a hipster haven, has trendy stores and nary a chain store in sight.

BROWSING WATERFRONT STORES in Morro Bay, le ; Rodeo Drive shopping district in Beverley Hills, opposite le ; Carmel Plaza shops, opposite right.

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31


SHOPPING CHECKING THE PRODUCE at Los Angeles’ Original Farmers Market, below.

»

Two hours south, in Carmel-by-the-Sea’s

FIND YOUR FASHION

West Hollywood Design District westhollywooddesigndistrict.com

Desert Hills Premium Outlets premiumoutlets.com/outlet/desert-hills

Citadel Outlets citadeloutlets.com

Westfield San Francisco Centre westfield.com/sanfrancisco

The Grove thegrovela.com

Carmel-by-the-Sea carmelcalifornia.com

Santa Monica Third Street Promenade 3rdstreetpromenade.com

Carmel Plaza carmelplaza.com

Amoeba Music amoeba.com

Sonoma’s Main Plaza sonomavalley.com/sonoma.html

The Broad Museum thebroad.org

Mendocino Shopping mendocino.com

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles moca.org/visit

Napa Premium Outlets premiumoutlets.com/napa

San Diego Gaslamp Quarter gaslamp.org

Green String Farm greenstringfarm.com

Coronado Ferry Landing Shops coronadoferrylandingshops.com

Saint Helena’s Main Street sthelena.com

Seaport Village seaportvillage.com

Downtown Disney District disneyland.disney.go.com/destinations/ downtown-disney-district

storybook village, shops display fine French linen and European antiques. Big Sur’s rugged coast inspires the art found in small art

galleries.

explore

On

designer

Ocean shops

Avenue, such

as

Bottega Veneta or Kate Spade in Carmel Plaza shopping center  amid cafés,  artful bronze sculptures and abundant plants and flowers. Carmel Plaza will complete a major renovation early in 2018. North, the wine country has recovered from a disastrous 2017 wildfire and is fully welcoming visitors. Discover artisanal food shops, olive oil producers and cheese makers on Sonoma’s main plaza. Napa Valley wineries offer fine vintages, and foodies will love the seasonal abundance at Petaluma’s organic Green String Farm and in local farmers markets. Or explore Saint Helena’s historic main street for culinary tools and vintage luxuries.

Irvine Spectrum Center shopirvinespectrumcenter.com Fashion Island shopfashionisland.com

Majestic Yosemite Hotel nationalparkreservations.com/lodge/ yosemite-ahwahnee-hotel

Carlsbad Premium Outlets premiumoutlets.com/Carlsbad

Yosemite Valley Lodge Gi Shop yosemite.com/lodging/hotels/ yosemite-valley-lodge

Outlets at Tejon tejonoutlets.com

Ansel Adams Gallery anseladams.com

Three outlet malls—in Petaluma, Napa and reproductions and collectible prints; the

Finally, the world’s largest Lego store stands

Yosemite Valley Lodge has a gift shop for

just inside Carlsbad’s Legoland California

Farther Afield: North Coast, Yosemite & Theme Parks

souvenirs. Find authentic Native American

Resort.

California’s wild north coast inspires the

Hotel, formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel.  

pottery in the shop at the Majestic Yosemite

From sun-splashed malls to sophisticated

art

galleries,

even

the

most

handcrafted furniture and handicrafts, pot-

Shopping in theme parks goes beyond

experienced shopaholic can score the per-

tery or jewelry found in artsy Mendocino’s

sunscreen or souvenirs. In San Diego Zoo

fect gift or memento during a delirious

ocean view lanes.

Safari Park, The Bazaar stocks authentic

California shopping experience. And it’s all

Bring home a memento of Yosemite

African artifacts and unusual jewelry. In

located on stage sets of ocean views, moun-

Valley’s majesty and history. In the park, the

Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District,

tain majesty, innovative architecture and

Ansel Adams Gallery sells photographic

you’ll find surf gear and Disney collectibles.

quiet redwood groves.

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ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET

Vacaville—offer brand names and mall time.


ROAD TRIPS

BY JOHN FLINN

Hit the Road, Jack

HIGHWAY 1 Whether you drive ten miles or the full thousand, Highway 1 will

Californians didn’t invent the car, but

Up the Coast

they like to think, with some justification,

Northern Californians call it “Highway 1”

your breath away, such as this one

that they invented the automobile lifestyle.

and Southern Californians call it the “Pacific

in Santa Cruz County, above.

With drive-thru grocery stores, drive-thru

Coast Highway”—or, simply, the “PCH”—but

pharmacies, drive-thru churches and even

there’s no doubt that the road that hugs the

drive-thru mortuaries, one gets the feeling

state’s remarkable coastline, often close

that if Californians could only invent a

enough to feel the salt spray, offers one of

drive-thru delivery room they could hap-

the world’s classic driving trips.

provide twists and turns and views of the coast that will take

pily go from cradle to grave without ever having to pull over to the curb.

the Oregon border, the journey, which

tances, jumbo landscapes and big-gulp

includes a few stretches on other highways,

vistas, and the best way to see it all is on a

is a touch over 1,000 miles.

Here are a few of our favorites.

T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

beaches to the misty redwood forests near

California is a land of supersized dis-

road trip, or, better yet, a series of road trips.

34 2 018

From sun-splashed Southern California

The sights are so numerous we can barely scratch the surface: The Hotel Del

JMICHAEL URMANN/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: ADONIS VILLANUEVA/SHUTTERSTOCK; JAY SINCLAIR; AGAGLIARDIIMAGES/SHUTTERSTOCK

Explore the Golden State from the driver’s seat


A COLD MORNING AT CONVICT LAKE off Highway 395 at Mammoth Lakes, right; Buerfly Beach in Santa Barbara, below; fun on the beach at Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, boom.

Coronado, where Marilyn Monroe frolicked

Cowboys & Indians

in Some Like It Hot; classic surf breaks made

East of the Sierra Nevada the green, popu-

famous by the Beach Boys; star-studded

lated West Coast ends and the brown,

Malibu; Riviera-like Santa Barbara; Hearst

sagebrush-covered West begins. This is the

Castle; Big Sur; Santa Cruz, with its old-

Old Frontier of our imagination, a realm of

timey beach boardwalk; San Francisco;

real cowboys and real Indians—and of cin-

Point Reyes National Seashore; artsy Men-

ematic cowboys and Indians.

docino; Redwood National Park.

Highway 395 hugs the state’s eastern

Alas, recent winter storms were rough

border, and the 264-mile stretch of high

on Highway 1 in Big Sur, and an enormous

desert from Reno to Lone Pine, which passes

landslide blocking the road about 16 miles

tumbleweeds, swinging-door saloons and

north of Hearst Castle wasn’t expected to be

ghost towns beneath the breathtakingly

cleared before late summer 2018.

sheer eastern wall of the Sierra Nevada, is

A few tips: Allow far more time than you

one of California’s most iconic drives.

think you need; besides the frequent diver-

The northern stretch traverses ranch-

sions, the road is so winding in places it’s

land that was once—and sometimes still

hard to average more than 30 miles per

is—the domain of Basque sheepherders,

hour. If you’re prone to carsickness, this

and in the town of Gardnerville, just over

isn’t the trip for you. Keep your gas tank full

the border in Nevada, you have your choice

and your bladder empty. In some areas, it’s

of excellent Basque restaurants. As you

more than 40 miles between gas stations—

drive south, keep an eye out for cowboys,

and restrooms.

although these days they’re as likely to be

YOUR » PICK HIGHWAY CA-1 The Coast pacific-coast-highway-travel.com US-395 Eastern Sierra aaroads.com/California/us-395_ca

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35


ROAD TRIPS

the Lone Pine Film History Museum pays

wave-battered coast. West Marin County,

tribute to the hundreds of Hollywood West-

with its organic farms, artisanal bakeries

erns, starring everyone from Hopalong

and gourmet cheesemakers, is the bread-

Cassidy to John Wayne, filmed in the nearby

basket for San Francisco’s foodie culture.

Alabama Hills.

Stop for lunch at the Hog Island Oyster

A few tips: Springtime, when the Sierra

Farm, where you can munch on bivalve

is still clad in snow, is the prettiest time for

mollusks pulled straight from Tomales Bay.

the drive, although some side trips may be

The long, narrow bay, incidentally, is a sub-

limited. For an overnight stop, the town of

merged section of the notorious San

Bishop offers the largest selection of motels

Andreas Fault. Farther north on Highway 1

and restaurants.

you’ll come to Bodega Bay, a sleepy fishing village where Alfred Hitchcock unleashed

Day Trips

avian terror in The Birds. The Tides restau-

You don’t have to spend days or weeks on

rant, where terrified townspeople took

the highway to see the best of California.

shelter, is still there, although hardly recog-

Within easy reach of major cities are exqui-

nizable in its current form. A few miles

site road trips you can do in less than a day.

inland, in the separate town of Bodega, you

riding an all-terrain vehicle as a horse. Far-

can find the familiar schoolhouse and

ther south, as you approach Mono Lake,

San Francisco

church from the movie. Continue on to

you’ll probably encounter members of the

Head north, across the Golden Gate Bridge,

Sebastopol, renowned for its juicy Graven-

Washoe and Paiute tribes.

to sample some of Northern California’s

stein apples and an outpost of Sonoma

Highway 395 grazes the shore of enor-

most bucolic scenery. Fortunately, much of

County’s wine country. Turn south on

mous Mono Lake, which is so alkaline Mark

it was spared by the devastating Wine

Highway 101 and head back to San Fran-

Twain once joked he could do his laundry

Country fires of October 2017. Almost

cisco, stopping for a celebratory cocktail in

merely by dragging it behind him in a boat.

within sight of San Francisco’s skyscrapers

Sausalito, with the lights of the city twin-

In Bishop, the studio of the late photogra-

you’ll come to Muir Woods National Mon-

kling across the bay.

pher Galen Rowell has become a major

ument, a cathedral-like preserve of

attraction. Stop at Manzanar, just off the

old-growth redwoods at the foot of Mount

Los Angeles

highway, for a poignant visit to the site of a

Tamalpais. Follow Highway 1 to Point Reyes

On a day trip along the Angeles Crest Scenic

relocation camp for Americans of Japanese

National Seashore, where you might catch

Byway you’re more likely to spot a bighorn

heritage during World War II. In Lone Pine,

tule elk grazing on misty hillsides above the

sheep than a Kardashian. As you wind up

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

TREKANDSHOOT/SHUTTERSTOCK; R SCAPINELLO/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: CITYPASS; DLHCA/SHUTTERSTOCK

THE GLENDALE HILLS near Los Angeles, right; Golden Gate Bridge, below; California Street cable car in San Francisco, opposite top; Pygmy Grove in AnzaBorrego Desert State Park, opposite boom.


and over narrow ridgetops in the San Gabriel Mountains, above the smog, your vistas range from the vast, chocolate-brown Mojave Desert to Catalina Island. Also known as State Highway 2, the 66-mile-long Angeles Crest Scenic Byway was built 100 years ago to be “the most scenic and picturesque mountain road in the state.” Access it from the suburb of La Canada Flintridge at the western end of the San Gabriel Valley. As you drive east on the narrow two-lane road, keep an eye out for bears, mountain lions and bighorn sheep. Another side trip brings you to the Mount Wilson Observatory, where astronomers found the first observational evidence for the Big Bang theory. If you’ve brought along your fishing rod, try your luck in Little Rock Creek near the Mt. Waterman Ski Resort. Farther east, the road crosses the 2,665-mile-long Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail: From here you can

daylong drive from San Diego. Make your

vanilla ice cream. The air here is so clean,

hike south to Mexico or north to Canada.

way north on I-15 and east to Ramona, and

and the views so extensive, that the Cali-

From the road’s end at Highway 138, head

then continue on to the ridgetop town of

fornia Institute of Technology built the

southeast to Interstate 15, which will whisk

Julian. A beautifully preserved relic of an

Palomar Observatory a few miles away. Con-

you back to the Los Angeles Basin.

1870s gold rush, Julian these days is

tinue east, downhill, on Highway 78 to

renowned for apples. You’ll smell the aroma

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, a 937-

San Diego

of baking pies the moment you step out of

square-mile preserve that encompasses the

Cross the Palomar Mountains to soak up the

your car. Stop for a slice, just out of the oven,

eastern fifth of San Diego County. If it’s

vast and colorful Anza-Borrego desert on a

warm and gooey with a scoop of French

spring, and the winter has been wet, you’ll be treated to one of the most vivid and sweeping displays of wildflowers in the United States. If the flowers aren’t up, there’s still plenty to see. A local landowner commissioned artist Ricardo Arroyo Breceda to produce more than 130 giant sculptures in the desert, everything from life-size replicas of gomphotheres (elephant-like creatures that once lived there) to prehistoric camels and ground sloths to scenes from California history: a Spanish padre, a gold miner and farmworkers. The undisputed highlight: an enormous sea serpent that undulates so far across the desert that it spans one of the main roads. From here you can retrace your route or take the long way home via the Salton Sea and Palm Springs.

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37


CUISINE

BY LAURA NESS

The Gourmet Galaxy of Stars Haute Has Never Been Hotter

CHEZ PANISSE RESTAURANT The results are in and it’s official: the Bay

1849 and the oldest in California, along

Area of the Golden State has finally bested

with Sam’s Grill, est. 1867, still hold their

New York for the greatest number of

own against innovative newcomers. SF’s

Michelin three-starred restaurants, with

Mission district has become a foodie haven

seven now, compared to six in New York City

and

and three in Chicago. For those who have

Berkeley to Palo Alto to Napa and Sonoma

made Star-bagging an official bucket list

all bring fine food to the table.

thing, this makes California an even more compelling destination for haute cuisine.

T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

communities

from

Like everything else in California from politics to entertainment, food is a

While LA has long been known for its

celebrity-driven business, to wit, SOMA

wide variety of exquisite and diverse

darling International Smoke, a collabora-

restaurants, San Francisco boasts more

tion between Michael Mina and Ayesha

restaurants per capita than any other U.S.

Curry (wife of NBA superstar Steph). But

city. It comes as no surprise that of the 166

star power inspires, and many have fol-

Michelin starred restaurants nationwide

lowed the lead of garden-to-table pioneer

for 2018, a full third of them are San Fran-

Alice Waters.

cisco establishments.

38 2 018

surrounding

As the birthplace of the farm-to-table

Old standards that have been around for

movement that took the country by storm,

decades, like Tadich Grill, established in

the culinary scene here is a mix of where to

VISIT BERKELEY. OPPOSITE: HAYK_SHALUNTS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Alice Waters and Paul Aratow helped launch what came to be known as California Cuisine at Chez Panisse, above, when they opened their restaurant in 1971. Their approach, using the freshest possible ingredients from local suppliers, set the tone for the farm-to-table movement that would follow.


BREAKFAST ON THE PATIO at LA’s historic Original Farmers Market, right.

be seen and those unseen farmers and field

LA Restaurants that earned Michelin

laborers who actually do all the dirty work

stars prior to 2010 include Asanebo, Cut,

necessary to put food on tables. Over one

Mélisse, Osteria Mozza, Patina, Spago,

thousand farmers markets and CSA’s thrive

Sushi Zo, Valentino and Water Grill.

Seacoast Stars

here, more than in any other state.

Think Mendocino for romantic, sometimes

San Diego

hidden coastal dining stars, like Chef Marc

things agriculture, and we can tip our hat to

San Diego’s food scene is currently buzzing

Dym’s Little River Inn and Chef Nicolas

the Monterey Bay Aquarium for its

over Addison, Café Gratitude, Campfire,

Petti’s Mendo Bistro. Chef Peg Davis of

impactful Seafood Watch program that

Crack Shack, Cucina Urbana, George’s Cali-

Brewery Gulch Inn makes it a gourmand’s

helps diners make informed choices at

fornia Modern, Herb & Wood, Juniper and

delight and The Wild Fish in Albion sets

places like Cindy’s Waterfront and Passion-

Ivy, Kettner Exchange, Lionfish, Mister A’s,

new standards for seaside dining. The

fish (Pacific Grove).

The Hake, Searsucker, Solare, Tender

Madrones in Anderson Valley offers cen-

Greens, Truluks and Trust.

tralized wine tasting, gourmet food and

Sustainability is the keyword in all

Sonoma and Marin counties have become cheese tourism havens and apple

posh accommodations, and Mendocino’s

lovers can pick their fill in Sebastopol and

San Francisco Bay Area

beautifully preserved Joshua Grindle Inn

El Dorado’s Apple Hill.

Aglow with 55 coveted Michelin stars for

offers rest and respite.

Coastside, berry farms (Swanton) and

2017, the region claimed five more over last

pumpkin patches (Arata’s, Half Moon Bay)

year. Benu, Coi (new), French Laundry,

Carmel & Monterey

beckon: visit Harley Farms for adorable

Meadowood, Manresa, Quince and Saison

Newly re-opened Ventana and Pacific-

goats and exquisite cheese (Pescadero).

currently all have 3, while Acquerello,

perched Sierra Mar at Post Ranch beckon in

Many restaurants have on-site gardens,

Atelier Crenn, Baumé, Californios (new, and

Big Sur, while Michelin-starred Aubergine

including The Restaurant at Wente (Liver-

the first restaurant serving Mexican cuisine

tops the list in Carmel, joined by Cantinetta

more), Chez TJ (Mountain View) and Zazu

to be so honored), Commis, Lazy Bear and

Luca, La Balena, Seventh & Dolores, Anton &

Kitchen (The Barlow, Sebastopol).

Single Thread Farms (new) each sport two.

Michel and Andre’s Bouchée. Carmel Valley

Controversy

fabled

boasts Lucia at Bernardus Lodge, helmed by

booming, with Stella Cadente (Fort Bragg),

Dominique Crenn has yet to become the

esteemed Chef Cal Stamenov, along with

Olivina (Livermore) and Olea (Paso Robles)

first female chef to achieve three-star status.

Café Rustica and Roux. Monterey’s 1833 is

all producing decadent flavor-infusions.

New one-star establishments include In

historic chic while in Pacific Grove, Passion-

Situ, Kenzo, Kinjo and Rich Table.

fish serves up heavenly seafood and

California’s olive oil production is

rages

over

why

LA & Environs

Fandango oozes Old World charm.

Trendy LA area dining spots include Craft,

Silicon Valley

Dialogue,

Fundamental

DTLA,

YOUR » FIND NEXT MEAL

Good

Terrain Garden Café is the new darling at

Measure, Great White, ink.well, Jour-

Stanford, while ASA tops the charts in Los

neymen, L’Opera, Mh Zh, Oriel, Otium,

Altos. In Campbell, Flights joins Orchard

Paley, Providence, The Stalking Horse, Tin-

City Kitchen (helmed by Michelin starred

torera, Umi by Hamasaku and Uovo,

Chef Jeffrey Stout). Luxe dining divas Chez

renowned for its fresh pasta. République,

TJ, The Plumed Horse and The Village Pub

French bakery, café and ice creamery, is the

all boast Michelin stars. The Village Bakery

popular creation of Margarita and Walter

is Bacchus Management’s new destination

Manke, who previously opened three

in Woodside. Vino Cruz boasts the best col-

tastingtable.com

restaurants in Carmel, including L’Auberge

lection of Santa Cruz Mountains wines

seriouseats.com

Carmel. Plant Food + Wine speaks to vegans.

paired with superb cuisine.

Mouthwatering News chow.com eater.com slofoodbank.org

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39


WINE COUNTRY

BY MARCY GORDON

Fruit of the Vine

CALIFORNIA VINEYARDS Sampling local wines is a popular activity in the many wine growing regions up and down the state. California wines became famous when a Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley won the Judgment of Paris in 1976. It was an event that rocked the wine world, and the quality of California wines has only grown since then.

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There are so many wines, varieties and where to go and what to taste can be

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COAST Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Livermore, Santa Cruz Mountains

daunting. Aside from taking a tour, one of

The most famous California wine region by

the best ways to get acquainted with an

far is in Northern California. In October

area is by attending a local wine festival.

2017 Napa and Sonoma experienced epic

Think of it as Wine-Recon, a most

wildfires, but the surrounding residential

delightful way to gather insight and

neighborhoods and business communities

information on local wineries in a short

sustained the brunt of the destruction. The

span of time. From large-scale food and

wineries and vineyards escaped mostly

wine fests to small, quirky events, wine

unscathed with only a handful of proper-

festivals can cater to both the casual wine

ties suffering any significant damage. The

fan and the experienced wine enthusiast

beautiful scenery, stunning vineyards and

determined to discover the next great

world-class wineries the region is famous

producer.

for are still here. Northern California Wine

regions in California that figuring out

VISIT SANTA ROSA. OPPOSITE: VISIT TEMECULA VALLEY; MICHAEL TROUTMAN/SEEMONTEREY.COM

Wine tasting is always festive, no matter the season


Country is open for business and awaiting your visit. Napa Valley is known around the world for its exceptional wines, and draws more visitors than any other area. The quintessential wine country experience was perfected here, with more than 300 wineries vying for your taste buds along Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. While the majority of visitors go to the big-name wineries such as Robert Mondavi, Beringer and Sterling, those in the know are heading for Coombsville. For serious wine collectors, Auction Napa Valley has been the premier charity event of the season for more than 37 years. Love music and wine? Make plans to attend BottleRock in May; it’s the hipster festival of the year. Prefer something more pastoral? Wind your way up Highway 128 in Mendo-

gold, but now wine lovers come in search of

cino County to Anderson Valley for two

riches in liquid form. The main street of Mur-

exceptional festivals, the highly regarded

phys is lined with Gold Rush-era buildings

Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Fest in May, and

and more than 20 tasting rooms equal parts

the Aromatic White Wine Festival in Feb-

rustic and sophisticated. The Barbera Festival

ruary, focusing on Alsace-style white wines.

is the perfect place to sample Barbera along-

In Sonoma County, Healdsburg reigns as

side other Italian varietals including

the king of the tasting rooms in California.

Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Vermentino,

The three most popular annual events in

Pinot Grigio, Nebbiolo and Aglianico.

the area include Winter WINEland in Jan-

known for its Chardonnay production and

CENTRAL COAST Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Chalone, Carmel Valley, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande, Santa Clara Valley

the well-established winery estates of

The Central Coast is one of the largest and

Wente and Concannon.

most diverse wine growing regions, and

uary, Barrel Tasting in March, and foodie favorite Wine and Food Affair in November. One of the oldest regions, Livermore, is just 30 miles east of San Francisco and best

Monterey is home to the granddaddy of all

SIERRA FOOTHILLS El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras

wine festivals, the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Classic in April, where you can sip fine wines

The mining towns of the Sierra foothills— Placerville,

Amador

City

and

and enjoy small plates by star chefs.

Sutter

If you are a Pinot or Syrah fan, head for the

Creek—used to draw prospectors in search of

highlands, the Santa Lucia Highlands, an

SANTA ROSA VINEYARD TOUR, opposite; wine tasting in Temecula, top; Salinas Valley vineyard, boom.

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41


WINE COUNTRY appellation with many noteworthy wineries

safe to drink Merlot again. The end of Sep-

such as Morgan, Mer Soleil and Hahn.

tember brings the annual Celebration of

Santa Clara Valley, one of the oldest wine

Harvest, four days of wine and culinary

regions in California, was founded by Italian

experiences in Santa Barbara Wine

immigrants in the early 1800s and has now

Country.

grown to approximately 25 wineries.

» WINE FESTIVALS

In the Central Valley, Lodi Zin Fest is the

Looking to meet the next great wine-

most famous and longest running festival

maker? The Southern Exposure Garagiste

for Zinfandel lovers. Lodi’s star is on the

Festival in Solvang will introduce you to the

rise, and it’s now recognized as one of the

small guys with bright futures. And if bub-

top wine regions in the new world, a hotbed

bles make you happy, BubblyFest by the Sea

of production growing more than 100 vari-

in Pismo Beach is one of the only festivals

eties in addition to its legendary Zin.

in the country dedicated to sparkling wines.

SONOMA WINE COUNTRY, boom.

Vineyards inland in Southern California’s mostly hot and arid region are

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA & CENTRAL VALLEY Santa Barbara, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley, Los Olivos, Temecula, Lodi, Madera, Clarksburg

gaining notice, and Temecula in particular

The Southern California coastal region

but just an hour north you’ll find there’s

vineyards in Santa Barbara, Santa Rita Hills

wine too. Animal lovers will enjoy the San

and Santa Ynez Valley produce primarily

Diego Zoo Wine and Food Festival where

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Santa

you can stroll the grounds and sip wine in

Ynez Valley became the poster child for

the midst of the wild kingdom.

is generating an ardent following for its wines and sheer determination to grow grapes in a challenging location. San Diego usually means sun and sand,

wine tourism when the 2004 film Side-

California wine festivals and events fill

ways confirmed its status as a Pinot Noir

the calendar all year long, like a roulette

hot spot (or cool spot, as Pinot grapes don’t

wheel of juicy prospects. Whether you plan

like too much heat). But the ghosts of Side-

ahead, or spin the big wine wheel and see

ways’ Miles and Jack are long gone and it’s

where it lands, the odds are delicious.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA NAPA BoleRock—May 25-27 bolerocknapavalley.com Auction Napa Valley—May 31-June 3 auctionnapavalley.org SONOMA Winter WINEland—January 13-14 wineroad.com/events/winter-wineland Barrel Tasting—March 2-4, March 9-11 wineroad.com/events/barrel-tasting/ Wine and Food Affair—Nov. 3-4 wineroad.com/events/wine-food-affair/ MENDOCINO Anderson Valley Aromatic White Wine Festival—Feb. 24-25 avwines.com Anderson Valley Pinot Fest—May 18-20 avwines.com/pinot.html CENTRAL COAST Southern Exposure Garagiste Festival (Solvang)—Feb. 9-11 californiagaragistes.com Pebble Beach Food & Wine Classic— April 5-8 pbfw.com BubblyFest by the Sea (Pismo Beach)—Oct. Check website for dates bubblyfest.com

San Diego Zoo Wine and Food— Sept. 22 sandiegozoo.org/zoo/celebration Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest—Sept. 28-Oct. 1 celebrationoarvest.com

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SEEMONTEREY.COM

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA & CENTRAL VALLEY Zin Fest (Lodi Lake Park)—May 18-20 zinfest.com


CASINOS

BY MATT VILLANO

Deal Me In

TWIN PINE CASINO & HOTEL Situated in the middle of the Northern California wine country near the border of Lake and Napa counties, Twin Pine Casino & Hotel, above, makes the most of its location by offering daily wine tastings and a Winery of the Month event.

In the olden days—the days of Frank

games. They even have bingo. Many of

Sinatra and Bugsy Siegel—U.S. gamblers

these wagering wonderlands are “Vegas-

looking for a date with Lady Luck had one

style” resorts, complete with luxury hotels,

option: Las Vegas. Nowadays, with changes

top-notch restaurants and indulgent spas.

to gambling laws in many states, it’s a safe

A few of the properties even have their own

bet that bettors can throw down their cash

golf courses.

just about anywhere. Of all the states that

Card rooms are smaller, quieter and, in

now offer gambling, the best (and most

many cases, more geared toward locals.

plentiful) options are in California.

Games here are far less varied—in most

The Golden State has two choices for

cases, as the name suggests, only card

people looking to place bets: Native Amer-

games are available. The upside? Gam-

ican casinos, and card rooms (which are

bling action is usually loose (and that’s a

glorified bars where gambling is legal, so

good thing).

long as the house doesn’t win).

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We’ve divided California’s gambling

The Native American outposts tend to be

scene into four distinct geographical

farther from major cities but offer nicer

regions. Wherever you go, bet wisely, and

digs. They have slots. They have table

remember to stay within your means.

BOB RIDER PHOTOGRAPHY/ TWIN PINE CASINO

Las Vegas isn’t the only show out West


CASINOS CHUKCHANSI GOLD Resort & Casino, right; trying their luck at the roulee table, boom.

San Francisco Bay Area & Beyond Without question, the Bay Area is the most exciting region of California for gambling, with more options than any other part of the state. It also is home to the newest major spot to let chips fly: Graton Resort & Casino. This attraction, located in Rohnert Park, is a hulking casino built and operated by Station Casinos, one of the largest casino companies in Las Vegas. Bettors cheer the swanky gambling floor, which boasts a 20table poker room, more than 130 table games, and thousands of slots. Foodies

hotels (Cache Creek, in Brooks, will double

flock to the place, too—the restaurant

the size of its hotel by 2019). Chukchansi is

lineup includes an outpost of local favorite

the closest casino to Yosemite National

Boathouse Sushi, and a food-court outpost

Park, just 27 miles from the southern

of Tony’s Neapolitan-style pizzeria. In

entrance near Wawona; it’s also just 15

November 2016, Graton also opened a 200-

miles from Bass Lake Recreation Area. Twin

Just because California has casinos

room resort hotel and spa.

Pine, nearly halfway between the wineries

doesn’t mean games there play the

Other Native American casinos in this

of the northern Napa Valley and Lake

same way they’d play in Las Vegas or

region are small but superlative in other

County, is said to be the nation’s only wine-

ways. Many, including Thunder Valley (Lin-

themed casino destination. Red Hawk, in

coln), Chukchansi (Coarsegold) and Twin

Placerville, offers child-care services for

Pine (Middletown) also have full-service

tykes while mom and dad play. Northern California are card rooms, and many are located in the suburbs of San

Atlantic City. Perhaps the biggest differences: craps and roulette. State gaming laws expressly prohibit the outcome of a game to be determined by dice or a ball. While the games incorporate traditional elements

Francisco and Sacramento. The two most

of dice and a ball, the games

popular: San Jose’s Bay 101, which hosts a

themselves hinge on overturning

number of World Poker Tour events

different types of cards.

throughout the year, and Colma’s Lucky

For novices (or those just looking

Chances, which doles out nearly $1 million

for a good time), these differences

in cash prizes over the course of every year.

are minimal. For hard-core craps and

Casino M8trix, in San Jose, distinguishes

roulette players, however, they make

itself with a thumping nightclub.

the games so foreign that adjusting becomes tough. Ask the croupier to

SoCal and LA Southern California—from the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley to the Mexico border, the Pacific Ocean to I-15—is home to some of the biggest Native American casinos in the state, including Harrah’s

review the rules before buying-in. If a game seems confusing, don’t bother; there are dozens of other options throughout the casino.

CHUKCHANSI; RUSLAN GUZOV/SHUTTERSTOCK

Most of the other gambling options in

» KNOW THE RULES


CASINOS Club (Bell Gardens). Both venues have expansive poker rooms and host some of the most popular tournaments in the area.

The Desert Package deals abound for stay-and-play vacations at casino resorts in and around the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs. At Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, for instance, $219 per night gets guests a room plus a $30 casino credit and a $100 credit at one of the on-site restaurants. Similar deals are available at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa (Rancho Mirage). Most area casinos have their own golf courses, but locals rave about Eagle Falls, the course at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio. The 18-hole course was designed by architect Clive Clark.

Lake Tahoe Okay, okay, so the casinos that sidle up to Lake Tahoe are on the Nevada side of the state line. Still, they’re close enough to most other destinations in California that they deserve a mention here. Excluding those in Reno, the most accessible venues are located in South Lake Spa (formerly a Caesars property) is by far the swankiest, with ultra-modern lounges and a four-diamond steakhouse that makes Ruth’s Chris seem like McDonald’s. The Hard Resort Southern California in Valley Center;

Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, with 500

Pala Casino Spa Resort in Pala; Barona

hotel rooms and a 25,000-square-foot

Resort & Casino in Lakeside; and Pechanga

casino, opened in 2015 in the old Horizon

Resort & Casino in Temecula. All of these

Casino Resort space located down the street.

properties boast Vegas-style hotels with

Of course the best thing about casinos at

eateries, shopping and spas. In early 2018,

Lake Tahoe is that because they’re in

Viejas Casino & Resort, just outside San

Nevada, they play by Nevada rules (see

Diego, will add to its 234-room hotel a new

sidebar). Since sports books and dice games

adults-only tower with 156-suites.

are illegal in the state of California, this

Closer to Los Angeles, the name of the AGUA CALIENTE CASINO RESORT SPA,

game is card rooms. Two facilities are worth

top; 5 hole at Journey, Pechanga Resort

visiting for their grandeur alone: the Com-

Casino’s links-style golf course, above.

merce Casino (Commerce) and the Bicycle

th

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means Tahoe is the spot to place those kinds of bets. Big spenders, consider yourselves warned. And good luck.

STEVE CUKROV/SHUTTERSTOCK; AIDAN BRADLEY. OPOSITE: SOLAGE AUBERGE RESORTS

Tahoe. Here, the Montbleu Resort, Casino &


SPAS & WELLNESS

BY LAVINIA SPALDING

Check In, Bliss Out California’s diverse wellness centers offer a full menu of rest and replenishment

NAPA VALLEY This celebrated region and neighboring Sonoma Valley are known primarily for their wine, but their appeal runs deeper than that. You can pamper yourself at luxury spas—such as Solage in Calistoga (above), Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone or Meadowood in Saint Helena— dine at some of California’s (and the USA’s) best restaurants, shop at trendy boutiques or live a lile rougher and explore wild state parks.

In San Francisco’s vibrant Japantown

$15 with a treatment, such as the 80-minute

district—the oldest and largest in the U.S.—

Javanese Lulur: a jasmine-scented massage

is a hot spot for shopping and dining. Buses

followed by a turmeric and rice skin exfoli-

and bikes whiz by on the streets, teens con-

ation, a yogurt application and an exotic

gregate on corners, and tourists snap selfies

flower bath).

in front of the Peace Pagoda. But inside

For people around the globe, the name

Kabuki Springs & Spa, the city vanishes. All

“California” evokes escape and conjures

you’ll hear in the dimly lit, Japanese-style

images of sunny beaches. But in today’s

communal baths is the gentle splashing of

demanding, perpetually wired world, a true

water paired with soft, soothing music.

vacation requires more than just a break

Recline in the dry sauna with chilled

from the office; it takes unplugging, puri-

cucumber slices for your eyes, then con-

fying and restoring. Luckily, this is

tinue to the steam room and exfoliate with

practically the state motto.

a lemon-sea salt scrub. Follow with a long,

California has been a resort destination

lazy soak in the hot tub and—if you’re

since the early 20th century, beckoning trav-

brave—a cold plunge. When you’re fin-

elers with its year-round temperate

ished, start all over again. In fact, linger all

weather, spectacular geography and mineral

day: the communal baths costs only $25 (or

springs. The 1950s brought yoga to the state,

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49


SPAS & WELLNESS and the 1960s ushered in a wave of young

Springs, opened in 1862 by Sam Brannan,

hippies passionate about all-natural food

the first Gold Rush millionaire. Today the

star

and intentional living. Today, California is

17-acre property remains a refuge, featuring

pampering, visit the 14,000-square-foot

the nation’s vortex of personal health and

a recently remodeled 100-degree Olympic-

all-suite Meadowood Spa and choose a

self-improvement, with spas and wellness

size mineral pool (complimentary with spa

curated treatment package such as the

centers almost as ubiquitous as scenic

treatment on weekdays; $30 extra on week-

three-hour “From the Earth,” which

views. From five-star luxury resorts and

ends), an adults-only pool with dining and

includes a hot and cold stone massage and

posh day spas to holistic healing programs

beverage service, plus mud baths, euca-

a black walnut scrub enhanced with

and “hippie hot springs,” the array of

lyptus-steeped

custom-blended

retreats will dazzle even the most experi-

meditation pond.

steam

rooms

and

a

enced serenity seeker. Here are some of our favorite spots for the ultimate escape.

For first-class accommodations, a threeMichelin

dinner

and

extreme

aromatherapy

oils.

Located on a private, two-hundred-fiftyacre estate, Meadowood also offers golf,

Wine Country Wellness

tennis, croquet, hiking and swimming.

Though Napa Valley and Sonoma are

Many spas offer vineyard views, but at

Taking the Waters

known for some of the world’s best grapes,

Spa Terra at the Meritage Resort, treatments

Home to numerous large geothermal areas,

you can soak up much more than wine in

take place below the vineyard in an under-

California has for centuries been a cele-

this beautiful region. Residents and visitors

ground wine cave. Treat yourself to the

brated mineral springs destination, with

alike have long enjoyed the area’s natural

fifty-minute “uncork”: a grape-seed scrub

myriad spas statewide. Two hours inland

mineral waters, and today’s spa menus

followed by a skin-regenerating wine and

from Los Angeles, Desert Hot Springs offers

overflow with therapeutic ingredients such

rosehip mud wrap (rich in minerals and

dozens of options, from the glamorous,

as grape seeds and skins, rich in antioxi-

antioxidants) and a sumptuous application

sprawling Two Bunch Palms (featured in the

dants and polyphenols.

of cabernet grape-seed lotion. (Add on foot

movie The Player) to cozy boutique inns like Hacienda Hot Springs. The Central Coast also boasts famous baths, such as Esalen (equally known for its extensive list of alternative-education workshops) and Tassajara, the first Zen monastery built outside of Asia. But small, funky Calistoga in the north is the state’s oldest spa town, renowned not only for hot springs but also abundant volcanic ash used for therapeutic mud treatments. Eight thousand years ago, the Wappo Indians named the area “Ta La Ha Lu Si,” meaning “Beautiful Land” or “Oven Place,” and today spa facilities run the gamut from luxurious to laid-back. The oldest in Calistoga—and likely California—is Indian

OUTDOOR YOGA at 1440 Multiversity, right; Thai herbal poultice massage at Kabuki Springs & Spa, opposite top.

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and scalp treatments for an extra $40). Use

Health First

of the Jacuzzi and steam room is included

When the sublime Golden Door opened in

with services.

Escondido in 1958, it was a pioneer among

But it’s not all about grapes in wine

American spas. It’s since become one of the

country. At Solage, an Auberge spa, the sig-

world’s finest health resorts, hosting Holly-

nature treatment is “the mudslide,” which

wood’s glitterati. Golden Door specializes

combines a lavish mud application with

in fitness, Eastern philosophy, relaxation

customized essential oils from their “mud

and opulence. Guests pre-arrange com-

bar,” a soak in a private geo-thermal mineral

pletely customized five- or seven-day

pool and an optional snooze on one of their

packages with fitness options as diverse as

state-of-the-art vibrating sound chairs

Pilates, fencing, tennis, dance, boxing and

(think relaxing music meets gentle chair

archery. Each stay includes healthy meals

massage).

and a cooking lesson, facial treatments,

And at Sonoma’s innovative and eco-

herbal wraps, a mani-pedi, mindfulness

conscious Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, the

sessions, daily in-room massages and

house specialty is a cedar enzyme “bath.”

much more. Plus, it’s a feel-good stay in a

You’ll immerse yourself to the chin in

larger sense, because Golden Door pledges

warm, finely ground cedar, rice bran and

100 percent of its net profits to charity.

plant enzymes. Heated by natural fermen-

Or for the total mind-body-soul enrich-

tation, the treatment is said to aid

ment experience (and a much lower cost of

digestion, improve circulation and relieve

entry), head to 1440 Multiversity in the

muscle pain.

beautiful redwoods near Santa Cruz.

FRANKIE FRANEKEY/KABUKI HOT SPRINGS & SPA. OPPOSITE: 1440 MULTIVERSITY

Named for the 1440 minutes in every day,

Om Sweet Om

this brand-new immersive learning center

When yoga came to America, some of the

offers an ever-changing roster of courses

first studios appeared in Hollywood and

in such disciplines as writing, art, music,

San Francisco. The practice has since

spirituality, health, nutrition, lifestyle,

become a way of life for countless Califor-

movement—you name it. Between classes,

nians, and hundreds of top-notch centers,

join in daily meditation, yoga, Qi gong and

from ritzy to rustic, cater to beginners and

tai chi. Hike forest trails, treat yourself to a

gurus alike.

massage, and enjoy the infinity tub over-

One of the world’s most renowned yoga

looking the redwoods. You can also sign

retreats is tucked into the Santa Ynez

up for (or add on) a few days of the R&R

Mountains above Santa Barbara. At the

program ($80 a night not including accom-

White Lotus Foundation Center, guests

modations), which includes nutritious

spend their days doing sun salutations in a

meals, use of the campus, bite-sized-

canyon with ocean views, hiking through

workshops and daily meditation and

old-growth oaks, meditating in an under-

movement classes.

ground Hopi-style kiva temple and

Ultimately, California’s wellness culture

swimming in natural sandstone pools.

promises visitors far more than relaxation; it

Massages are available, gourmet vegetarian

ensures that this time you won’t need a vaca-

fare is served, and sleeping quarters are pri-

tion from your vacation. You’ll return home

vate accommodations, heated yurts or

recharged and rejuvenated—that is, if you

creekside camping under the stars.

can bring yourself to return home at all.

»

FIND YOUR SPA

Kabuki Springs & Spa kabukisprings.com Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa twobunchpalms.com Hacienda Hot Springs haciendahotsprings.com Esalen esalen.org Tassajara Hot Springs sfzc.org/tassajara Indian Springs indianspringscalistoga.com Meadowood meadowood.com/spa Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary osmosis.com White Lotus whitelotus.org Golden Door goldendoor.com Solage solage.aubergeresorts.com Spa Terra meritagecollection.com/ meritageresort/ napa-valley-spa-resorts 1440 Multiversity 1440.org

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51


MUSEUMS & ART

BY LAURIE WEED

State of the Art The Left Coast pays tribute to art, science and culture

The first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20thcentury art, SFMOMA, above, underwent a major expansion in 2014-2016 that more than doubled the gallery space to 170,000 square feet, making it one of the largest museums in the country and one of the world’s biggest museums dedicated to modern and contemporary art.

Whether you prefer to ogle modern art or

County Museum of Art (LACMA). Down-

antiquities, Ice Age fossils or space shuttles,

town, the Museum of Contemporary Art

the Golden State’s wealth of world-class

(MoCA) and Geffen Contemporary show-

museums awaits. With more than 1,000

case the best in 20th- and 21st-century

museums of all sizes across the state,

painting, sculpture and conceptual art. The

there’s a lifetime of fine art, science, history

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA LA), for-

and culture to explore, as well as weird and

merly the Santa Monica Museum of Art, has

wonderful collections for every imaginable

recently reopened downtown to great

niche-interest, from Star Wars memorabilia

acclaim. The renowned Getty Museum

to the legends of Bigfoot. While it’s impos-

includes both the modern Getty Center in

sible to do them all justice here, we’ve

the Brentwood district and the Getty Villa

attempted to highlight the best of the best.

in Malibu, which focuses on Greek and Roman classical art. Pasadena’s Norton

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The Arts

Simon displays European and Modern

Visiting LA? It’s easy to spend hours in the

artists amid a serene sculpture garden. In

West’s largest art museum, the Los Angeles

nearby San Marino, The Huntington

COURTESY SFMOMA. OPPOSITE: ALEX MILLAUER/SHUTTERSTOCK; VISIT CARMEL

SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART


THE LA BREA TAR PITS in Los Angeles, right, are a registered National Natural Landmark; art exhibition in Carmel, boom.

features an impressive library, art collec-

Park, as well as The Annenberg Space for

tions and 120 acres of botanical gardens.

Photography in LA and Pier 24 Photography

San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, in

Museum in San Francisco.

Lincoln Park, holds an extraordinary permanent collection and hosts top-notch

Science

exhibitions from around the world. In

The California Science Center in Los

Designed for explorers under eight,

nearby Golden Gate Park, the de Young

Angeles’ Exposition Park presents exhibits

Sausalito’s Bay Area Discovery Museum is a

showcases the arts of Africa, Oceania and

for all ages on invention, space travel and

pint-sized

the New World. The San Francisco Museum

life sciences—many of them interactive, all

promoting creative thinking. And, while

of Modern Art (SFMOMA) reopened in 2016,

of them free! Ice Age enthusiasts and fossil-

not a museum per se, the Monterey Bay

and now spans 10 dazzling floors of gal-

philes will love the popular and gloriously

Aquarium deserves to be included among

leries and 45,000 square feet of free public

sticky La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, an

the Wonders of the World for its aston-

art space. Across the Bay, the Oakland

active geological site in Midtown. San Fran-

ishing displays of sea otters and jellies,

Museum of California (OMCA) is dedicated

cisco’s California Academy of Sciences, in

mesmerizing three-story kelp forest and a

to native arts, history and ecology, and

Golden Gate Park, features the impressive

staggering million-gallon “Outer Bay” tank.

sponsors many family-friendly events and

Steinhart Aquarium, a walk-through rain-

hands-on activities.

forest

with

free-ranging

birds

and

Wonderland

dedicated

to

Culture

Down the coast, the Santa Barbara

butterflies, the world’s largest, all-digital

California is a rare and enduring alloy of

Museum of Art deserves a nod for its ambi-

planetarium and a “Living Roof” with 1.7

more than 50 ethnic groups. Its museums

tious and imaginative exhibitions. San

million native California plants. The long

reflect the racial diversity and cultural his-

Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art fea-

admission lines can be daunting, but it’s

tory of this melting pot in microcosm.

tures a variety of exhibits in two locations,

worth the effort. At Piers 15 and 17 on the

What follows is but a sample; there are

the historic Jacob building downtown and

Embarcadero, the legendary Exploratorium

many, many more to choose from.

their oceanfront La Jolla property. For pho-

houses

interactive

San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish

tography buffs, there’s the excellent

exhibits—including an amazing “Tinkerers’

Museum and Museum of the African Dias-

Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa

Clock” and the crawl-through Tactile Dome.

pora (MoAD) provide fascinating insights

more

than

650

into two of California’s most creative ethnic traditions. A visit to the Asian Art Museum in Civic Center is the next best thing to a trip along the ancient Silk Road. The small but beloved Mexican Museum in Fort Mason has plans to move to Yerba Buena Gardens for a long-overdue expansion. In Long Beach, the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) features contemporary works of the New World. San Diego’s tiny-but-mighty New Americans Museum honors the cultural diversity of immigrants through art and storytelling in Liberty

Station—also

home

to

the

Women’s Museum of California, one of just three museums in the country dedicated to women’s history.

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PERFORMING ARTS

BY LAURIE WEED

Raise the Curtain The arts are thriving in California hosts the annual Young Playwrights Festival). The city’s star attraction is the Center Theatre Group, with everything from topshelf

classics

to

cutting-edge

solo

performances on three stages: the Mark Taper Forum, the Kirk Douglas Theatre and the Ahmanson Theatre. San Francisco’s legendary American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), Magic Theatre, Z Space and Aurora are just a few of the city’s beloved native companies—not to mention the politically charged San Francisco Mime Troupe, now in its 60th year. For solo performance, check out both Intersection for the Arts and The Marsh, which has locations in San Francisco and Berkeley. A terrific addition to the Bay Area theater scene is We Players, “connecting people with place through site-integrated theatre.” Across the Bay Bridge, Berkeley Repertory Theatre continues its tradition of inspired experimentation. And don’t

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY

Performance is the lifeblood of the arts,

overlook “Cal Shakes”—the California

especially in California. From the Barbary

Shakespeare Company—with its gorgeous

The San Francisco Symphony, founded in 1911, is recognized as one of the country’s preeminent orchestras. Music director Michael Tilson Thomas, above, has led the orchestra since 1995 and is the longest-serving music director in the Symphony’s history. Don’t wait to see him conduct, because he will step down following the 2019-2020 season.

Coast docks to the Paramount studio lots,

open-air venue in the Orinda hills.

drama, dance and music have always been an indelible part of the “Left Coast” spirit. The state’s scores of concert halls, symphony orchestras, theaters, jazz clubs, dance

companies,

comedy

troupes,

cabarets, operas and fringe festivals lay waste to the notion of spending a quiet evening (or even an afternoon) at home. A full accounting is impossible, but here are some suggestions to consider.

Regional Theaters Los Angeles, not surprisingly, supports dozens of outstanding theater companies— such as Open Fist, Actor’s Co-op, diverse Cornerstone and Blank Theater (which

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CORY WEAVER/SAN FRANCISCO OPERA; JUSTIN HIGUCHI/CREATIVE COMMONS/FLICKR. OPPOSITE: BILL SWERBENSKI/SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY; ERIK TOMASSON

A SCENE FROM VERDI’S La Traviata with dancers Lorena Feijóo, Bryan Ketron and Blanche Hampton, San Francisco Opera, le ; ZZ Ward performing live at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, below; Frances Chung and Joseph Walsh in Scarle’s Frankenstein, San Francisco Ballet, opposite boom.

San Diego’s venerable La Jolla Playhouse

and Los Angeles Opera are two of the largest

has seen dozens of its productions move to

in North America, with global reputations.

Broadway, earning 35 Tony Awards. The Old

Kudos as well to the Long Beach Opera, now

Globe Theatre presents the plays of Shake-

in its fourth decade.

speare (of course), as well as works by

Ballet in the Golden State has an equally

the likes of Arthur Miller and an annual

impressive pedigree. The San Francisco

Christmas production penned by a late

Ballet, founded in 1933, was the first pro-

local resident: Dr. Seuss.

fessional ballet company in the country.

Other excellent California theaters

The California Ballet Company in San

include the South Coast Repertory in Costa

Diego, largest in the region, has a stellar

Mesa and the Sacramento Theater Com-

international reputation. Founded in

pany. Finally, the state hosts at least five

2004, the Los Angeles Ballet is a relative

Rock ’n’ Roll ’n’ More

annual Fringe Festivals.

newcomer to the scene, while the reinvig-

From the Doors to the Dead, California has

orated Oakland Ballet recently marked its

long been Ground Zero for great live music.

50th anniversary.

In San Francisco, check out what’s on at the

Symphonies, Opera & Ballet Frank Owen Gehry designed the Walt Disney

Fillmore, the Warfield, the Independent

Concert Hall, home of the renowned Los

Jazz & Blues

and Great American Music Hall. Some of

Angeles Philharmonic, to be one of the most

Here’s a quick sampler of the state’s best

the best venues in the East Bay include the

acoustically perfect performance spaces

jazz and blues clubs. Oakland offers the leg-

Fox and the glorious Paramount Theater in

on Earth. California’s other preeminent

endary Yoshi’s in Jack London Square and

Oakland, as well as Berkeley’s Greek The-

orchestra is the San Francisco Symphony,

Geoffrey’s Inner Circle downtown. In San

atre—known simply as “the Greek.” In

directed by the legendary Michael Tilson

Francisco, don’t miss the SF Jazz Center and

Marin County, down-home Sweetwater

Thomas, at home in Louise M. Davies Sym-

for blues, try The Saloon and Club Deluxe.

Music Hall often hosts well-known artists.

phony Hall. San Diego, Sacramento,

In Santa Cruz, it’s all happening at the

Looking to rock it in LA? Check out the

Oakland, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara all

Kuumbwa Jazz Center, and in Sacramento

Troubadour, the Roxy and Whisky a Go Go,

support superb orchestras as well.

(for blues), The Torch Club. In LA, find the

an LA institution since 1964. Some other

Opera still maintains a huge following in

hottest new offerings at the Jazz Bakery,

legendary California venues include the

California, with nearly thirty companies

along with the tiny Baked Potato and the

Catalyst in Santa Cruz, the Casbah and “the

across the state. The San Francisco Opera

Catalina Jazz Club.

Brick” (Brick by Brick) in San Diego.

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55


MOVIES On Location Many of your favorite films were made in California, at a location near you

BY JACQUELINE YAU

The Santa Ynez Valley reposes in Santa Barbara County between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Rafael Mountains to the north. The 2004 film Sideways was shot on location here and prompted a surge in tourism to the area that continues to this day.

For more than a century, with California

fornia that cottage industries have cropped

as a backdrop, movie-making master illu-

up guiding tourists to film locations. There

sionists have influenced attitudes, shaped

are hundreds of places to visit in Holly-

perceptions and fashion globally through

wood and greater Los Angeles, the cradle of

memorable quotes such as, “Just one

the movie business. One of the better-kept

word…plastics” from The Graduate (1967) to

secrets is Greystone Mansion and Park in

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s line in The Termi-

Beverly Hills, which sits on 16 acres and is

nator (1984), “I’ll be back.” Inspired by the

the setting for dozens of movies, including

Golden State’s striking landscapes, multidi-

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), The Social

mensional culture and laid-back lifestyle,

Network (2010), the Spiderman series (2002-

filmmakers have created a breathless diver-

2007) and X-Men (2000). Go back in time

sity of movies representing the human

and get a taste of Los Angeles as evoked in

condition.

La La Land (2016) where the film was shot in 48 locations including Angels Flight

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Film Locations by the Hundreds

Railway, Grand Central Market, Watts Tower

So many movies have been filmed in Cali-

and the Colorado Street Bridge.

CAROLIN SUNSHINE/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: CHECUBUS/SHUTTERSTOCK

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY


HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD in Los Angeles, right; a vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley, opposite.

If you are hungry, snack on an apple

Francisco), and East of Eden (1955) shot in

Check for tickets before going on a studio

fritter at Randy’s Donuts, the oft-filmed and

Mendocino, or Some Like It Hot (1959)

tour because many require advance tick-

hard-to-miss 24-hour drive-through bakery

filmed at the Hotel del Coronado in San

eting or reservations. Ask your guide if you

with a giant donut on its roof, seen in Iron

Diego. Or you want to retrace Tippi

can take a peek into a current movie shoot

Man 2 (2010). Soak in the views of Los

Hedren’s steps in Alfred Hitchcock’s sus-

and you may spot a celebrity walking by.

Angeles at Griffith Observatory first made

pense film, The Birds, shot in Bodega Bay

Game shows, talk shows and TV come-

famous in the James Dean film, Rebel

and other parts of Sonoma County and in

dies often need a live audience. Free studio

Without a Cause (1955) and more recently

San Francisco.

audience tickets are handled through distributors such as On Camera Audiences,

seen in San Andreas (2015), Terminator Genisys (2015) and McFarland, USA (2015).

Studio Tours and TV Audiences

Or join Dearly Departed Tours for their spe-

Other ways to get a glimpse of the entertain-

cial Halloween Horror Film Location Tour

ment business are to take a studio tour or

Watch a Movie

around Hollywood and Pasadena.

attend a live taping of a TV show.

While in LA, consider doing what Angelenos

Audiences Unlimited and 1iota.

LA isn’t the only place movies are shot.

Although there are movie studios in

love to do: watch movies. During the

San Francisco has been the backdrop for

other parts of California, notably Pixar Ani-

summer, enjoy a classic film under starlight

countless films. San Francisco Movie Tours’

mation Studios and Lucasfilm in the San

with the dead and the living at the Hollywood

three-hour bus excursion visits locations

Francisco Bay Area, most are located in and

Forever Cemetery, going on its 17th season.

where 70 movie scenes from more than 55

around Los Angeles. Those that offer

Catch a movie where many directors

movies were filmed (Vertigo, Mrs. Doubtfire,

behind-the-scenes studio tours include

screen their films and sometimes key off

Basic Instinct, The Rock, Contagion, The Pur-

Warner Bros. (interact with the DC Comics

audience reactions to tweak a scene or

suit of Happyness). Down the coast a bit,

universe and peek into the costume and

two at the AMC Century City 15 Theatres at

Monterey Movie Tours winds through Mon-

prop room for the Harry Potter movies),

Westfield Century City shopping center.

terey,

Carmel,

Universal (Hollywood’s most famous back

Soak in the Hollywood of an earlier era by

spotlighting locations of other films. Even

lot covering 13 city blocks on four acres),

watching films at historic movie palaces

farther south, if you enjoy wine, follow the

Sony Pictures (formerly the historic MGM

such as the beautifully restored 1923 Vista

path forged by Miles and Jack on their

studios famous for Gone with the Wind and

Theatre with its Egyptian-themed Art

tasting road trip through the Santa Barbara

The Wizard of Oz) and Paramount studios

Deco interiors.

wine country in Sideways (2004).

(the one studio that is still located in Hol-

When you next watch a movie filmed in

Pacific

Grove

and

Perhaps you’re nostalgic for classic films

lywood). Many movies that are shot on

the state, remember that not only are you

such as American Graffiti (1973) filmed in

location also often have scenes shot on a

experiencing the drama of life, you’re also

downtown Petaluma (30 miles north of San

studio soundstage.

getting a taste of California.

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57


STATE & NATIONAL PARKS

BY BONNIE SMETTS

Naturally Awesome

DEATH VALLEY One of the world’s hoest places in summer, Death Valley also contains the lowest point in North America, and this is just 85 miles from Mount Whitney, the continental U.S.’s highest point. A er wet winters, early spring wildflower blooms here are usually spectacular.

Scramble up boulders in Joshua Tree’s

summer when the park is abuzz with visi-

Wonderland of Rocks. Time travel on a his-

tors to explore by tram, bike or on foot.

toric ship in San Francisco Bay. Stand

Choose a gentle half-hour hike or reserve a

beneath giant redwoods that author John

spot for the all-day climb up Half Dome.

Steinbeck called ambassadors from another

Junior Ranger Walks are popular with kids.

time. Whatever your passion, California’s

Backpackers can enjoy the solitude of the

280 state parks and 32 national parks,

park’s high country and expert rock

seashores and monuments—whose mis-

climbers have dozens of granite walls to

sion is to protect the state’s natural and

scale. Don’t leave the park without stopping

cultural treasures—are the gateway to expe-

at Glacier Point with its views of Half Dome

riences as varied as the state’s geography.

and Yosemite Valley or at the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias to marvel at its

Yosemite & the Sierra Nevada

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

2,700-year-old Grizzly Giant.

Yosemite National Park, with its glacier-

To see a really big tree—the world’s

sculpted valley and granite peaks, is

largest by volume—head south to Sequoia

justifiably one of the world’s natural treas-

and Kings Canyon National Parks and

ures. Come in spring when the waterfalls

marvel at the weighty General Sherman.

thunder to the valley floor. Come in

While still in the mountains, take a trip to

ESPOSITO PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: VISIT CARMEL; LARRY HABEGGER

Enjoy California’s rich natural and cultural heritage


MESQUITE FLAT SAND DUNES in Death Valley National Park, opposite; Garrapata State Park at the gateway to Big Sur, le ; climbing the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park, below.

Lake Tahoe, North America’s largest alpine lake. Along the lake’s west shore, D.L. Bliss, Emerald Bay and Sugar Pine Point state parks offer camping, hiking and white sand beaches. Farther north at Lassen Volcanic National Park, watch California take shape in the roaring fumaroles, thumping mud pots and boiling pools.

Giants in the Mist While the Sierras are home to the heftiest redwoods, the state’s fog-shrouded coastal range from Oregon to Big Sur boasts the loftiest—several are taller than the Statue of Liberty. These rare trees, once logged to near extinction, are now protected within California’s redwood parks. At Humboldt Redwoods State Park, home to the largest continuous old growth redwood forest on earth, drive the 31-mile Avenue of the Giants and make stops along the way to stroll among the titans. Founders Grove with its majestic 346-foot specimen is always a favorite. Visit in spring to see the pink redwood lilies and purple calypso orchids in bloom. Farther north and closer to the coast, the Redwood National and State Parks is a collection of four parks with miles of unspoiled coast and hiking trails. The tallest recorded Coast Redwood hides here, its location kept secret to protect it. However, you can visit the remote Tall Trees

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59


STATE & NATIONAL PARKS are lands of extremes. Vast Death Valley National Park holds the record for the hottest temperature, driest climate and lowest elevation in North America. It is also famous for its explosion of wildflowers after winter rains. For a bird’s-eye panorama, stop at Dante’s View. On the valley floor, walk the Badwater Salt Flats or take an afternoon drive to Zabriskie Point to snap the garishly colored badlands. Trips to Titus Canyon and the Racetrack take you deeper into the park’s unique landscape, but only for those with proper vehicles and preparation. Unfortunately, the winter floods of 2017 closed the road to Scotty’s Castle until 2019. Furnace Creek Campground, one of nine in the park, with sites for RVs, groups and tents, provides a central location for exploring the park. Because of favorable weather and temperatures, fall to spring is the park’s busiest time. The Mojave National Preserve is famous for its singing sand dunes and seven-million-year-old volcanic cinder cones. Joshua Tree National Park, a favorite with rock climbers, mountain bikers and birders, is home to the gangly tree that gives the park flower displays, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is legendary. Its flowers are usually the first to burst into color—catching the park’s cactus bloom is the prize.

To the Beach A visit to California is incomplete without spending time on the beach, but not all of them are the iconic white sandy kind. You Grove if you have a day to spare and want to

will find black sand at Sinkyone Wilderness

nab one of the 50 daily permits. But all the

State Park on the north coast. At the Men-

parks provide easy access to magnificent

docino Headlands State Park, bundle up

groves as well as picnic sites, campgrounds

and enjoy a beach walk with a view of the

and trails for hikers, cyclists and horses.

Victorian village.

Burning Sands & Delicate Wildflowers

of Point Reyes National Seashore is home

Miles from the coast, California’s deserts

to a dozen beaches, with drive-up Drakes

Closer to San Francisco, the sweeping arc

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SONOMA COUNTY CVB; MICHAEL STUBBEN/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: CHRIS FLENTYE

its name. While both have spring wild-


Beach and hike-in Limantour as favorites.

Rocks to Castles

Make your way to park headlands in early

California is more than its geography. Living

from a city adventure to a high country

spring to view the gray whale migration.

history programs bring the past to life in

trek, California’s parks have a surprise in

Edging the entrance to San Francisco Bay,

many parks. At Railtown 1897 Historic State

store for you. And whatever your destina-

the beaches and cliff trails of the Golden

Park, ride the vintage trains that often

tion, always check for access updates before

Gate National Recreation Area are the gate-

appear in films, television productions and

heading out.

ways to urban adventures and historic sites

commercials. At Indian Grinding Rock State

such as Alcatraz Island.

Historic Park, visit a reconstructed village

Whatever kind of experience you seek,

Continuing down the coast to Santa Cruz

with a ceremonial roundhouse and presen-

and Monterey, surfing spots alternate with

tations by descendants of the Miwoks. The

quiet coves that are home to sea otters and

21 missions founded by the Spanish along

seals. Behold the thousands of monarch

El Camino Real, or the King’s Highway, pre-

butterflies that winter at Natural Bridges

serve the arrival of non-natives to

State Beach. In Carmel, whose beauty has

California. Old Town San Diego State His-

been long favored by plein air artists, Point

toric Park, with its restored plaza and

Lobos State Natural Reserve is a must-visit

adobes, captures the period when San Diego

for everyone. Big Sur’s Julia Pfeiffer Burns

grew from a Mexican pueblo into an Amer-

State Park offers stunning views of the

ican town. And then there’s gold fever. Pan

rugged coast from its cliff-side trails. Access

for gold at Marshall Gold Discovery State

to Pfeiffer Beach, a day beach, is just south

Historic Park where the mineral was first

of the Big Sur Ranger Station. Note that a

discovered. Visualize a miner’s life at Bodie

landslide during 2017’s winter storms cut

State Historic Park, an intact ghost town

Highway 1 to Big Sur in half, but much of

from the era.

the area is still open. Check park websites for updated access information.

No place reflects California’s big dreamers better than the Hearst San

At mid coast, rocky cliffs finally give way

Simeon State Historical Monument, a tes-

to warm water and California’s famous end-

tament to publisher William Randolph

less flat beaches. Movie buffs can camp at

Hearst and architect Julia Morgan. Tour the

Malibu Creek State Park where M*A*S*H

115-room castle and imagine the presi-

and Planet of the Apes were filmed. And

dents,

then there’s Huntington Beach, a.k.a. Surf

Hollywood stars who gathered there. Also

City USA. Huntington State Beach’s soft

at mid state, climbers and birders will not

sand, safe swimming and good surfing

be disappointed at Pinnacles, California’s

make it the California classic.

newest national park.

publishing

luminaries

and

ARMSTRONG REDWOODS STATE Natural Reserve in Guerneville, Sonoma County, opposite top; California suncup desert wildflower, opposite boom; Manzanita Lake and Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park, above.

» FIND YOUR PARK Individual State Parks www.parks.ca.gov National Parks nps.gov/state/CA Campsites & Lodging Reservations State Parks; reservecalifornia.com National Parks: recreation.gov Lighthouses (many open to the public, some offering accommodations) nps.gov/maritime/inventories/ lights/ca.htm Wildflower Updates at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Wildflower Hotline 760-767-4684 Or check the park’s website at www.parks.ca.gov.

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61


GOLF BY ROBERT KAUFMAN

Tee It Up! Diverse geography offers spectacular options to swing away DESERT COURSES PGA West—TPC Stadium Course Since opening in 1986, the TPC Stadium Course in La Quinta has been rated one of the “Top 100 Courses in the World” by GOLF Magazine.

This

7,300-yard

challenge

designed by Pete Dye hosts PGA Tour “QSchool” Finals every other year with players island green (known as “Alcatraz”) at hole #17 as well as the menacing water-lined 18th. Named “Stadium” due to Dye’s ingenious plan to sculpt spectator seating into the natural terrain, one of the most memorable events includes Lee Trevino’s hole-in-one on #17 earning him $175,000 from a carry-over skin in the 1987 “Skins Game.” pgawest.com

Indian Wells Golf Resort

GOLF ACROSS THE STATE

Mother Nature has blessed California

Only 20 minutes from Palm Springs Interna-

with an astonishing array of mountains,

tional Airport, golfers have the opportunity to

California is one of the world’s top

valleys, forests, coastline and desert that

play the Players Course (John Fought, 2007)

golf destinations, and no maer

has helped make the Golden State one of

and Celebrity Course (Clive Clark, 2006) at a

which region you choose, you’ll find a

the most attractive golf destinations on

property with the distinction of being the

course to suit your game, whether it’s

the planet.

only 36-hole public golf facility with both

on the coast at Pacific Grove Golf Links (a.k.a. the poor man’s Pebble Beach), above, in the desert at TPC Stadium Course in La Quinta, or in the mountains at Coyote Moon Golf Course in Truckee.

Taking advantage of these geological assets,

courses on Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can

a who’s-who of golf course architects, from

Play” in California. Combined with a lighted,

old-school designers like Alister MacKenzie and A.W. Tillinghast to modern-day shapers such as Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Tom Fazio, have crafted challenges to suit every golfer’s taste and budget. Today, there are more than 600 public courses scattered throughout California ranging from iconic masterpieces like Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Pacific coast to hidden gems such as Greenhorn Creek in the Gold Country. Depending upon skill level and preferred environment, here are some notable nuggets that will help create a golf experience of a lifetime.

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SEEMONEREY.COM. OPPOSITE: ROBERT KAUFMAN; ROBERT KAUFMAN; GANG LIU/SHUTTERSTOCK

having to navigate cavernous bunkers, an


9-hole, natural grass putting course and a

look and play: the first five holes roll

53,000-square-foot clubhouse, this “muni”

through sandy seaside dunes while the

golf experience in the desert is unparalleled.

remaining 13 holes cut through majestic

indianwellsgolfresort.com

pines with elevated greens and strategically placed bunkers and lakes to grab

OCEAN COURSES

errant shots. pebblebeach.com

Pebble Beach Golf Links Located along the storied Monterey Penin-

MOUNTAIN COURSES

sula, there are few golf thrills like teeing-up

Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club

for the first time on Pebble Beach Golf

Carved from the natural terrain of the

Links, ranked No. 1 on Golf Digest’s

Mohawk Valley, approximately one hour

“America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf

north of Lake Tahoe in the Plumas National

Courses.” At the Jack Neville/Douglas Grant

Forest, the fairways are framed with native

design (1919), golfers can feel the presence

grasses and a profusion of wildflowers.

of the game’s biggest legends that have

Seven meandering streams through tall

competed in the annual AT&T Pebble Beach

pines, cedars, firs and quaking aspens con-

National Pro-Am and five U.S. Open Cham-

tribute to the challenge and beauty of the

pionships. Jack Nicklaus said, “If I only had

6,955-yard, Dick Bailey-designed course.

one more round to play, I would choose to

golfwhitehawk.com

play it at Pebble Beach.” pebblebeach.com

Coyote Moon Golf Course Spyglass Hill Golf Course Taking

a

page

from

Nestled in a serene setting at 6,800 feet above Robert

Louis

sea level in Truckee (Lake Tahoe) among tow-

Stevenson’s classic novel, Treasure Island,

ering

Spyglass has hole names such as “Black

outcroppings, the 7,177-yard Brad Bell design

pines

and

enormous

granite

Dog” and “Billy Bones,” hints for the

serves up one of the best mountain golf expe-

unwary at this demanding 6,960-yard

riences in the country. With generous

layout. Designed (1966) by Robert Trent

fairways and not a single home to spoil the

Jones, Sr., holes 6, 8 and 16 are listed

dramatic views, this upscale daily-fee course

among the toughest on the PGA Tour. Spy-

provides dramatic elements of risk, including

glass features two distinctly different kinds

the 13th, a 200-yard par 3 that drops 80 feet

of terrain that influence how the fairways

from tee to green. coyotemoongolf.com

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Celebrity GC at Indian Wells Resort, Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club, Pebble Beach Golf Links.


SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Cultural richness, scenic beauty and a booming economy BY LAURA DEL ROSSO TOP CITIES San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Napa, Sonoma, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Sausalito, Healdsburg INTERNATIONAL GATEWAYS San Francisco International Airport (SFO), 12 miles (19 km) from downtown San Francisco; Oakland International Airport (OAK), 8 miles (13 km) from downtown Oakland; San Jose International Airport (SJC), 4 miles (6 km) from downtown San Jose

T

he San Francisco Bay Area never disappoints visitors: the majestic towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco skyline and other cities of culture and great dining, ancient red-

wood groves, expansive vineyards and a coastline of rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. Combine those with a Mediterranean climate and a dynamic environment of high-tech entrepreneurs and it’s no wonder the San Francisco Bay Area encourages a seductive, can-do way of life that revolves around the high energy of its residents and the great out-

visitoakland.org sanjose.org visitnapavalley.com sonomavalley.com santacruzca.org visitmarin.org

POPULATION 7.35 million

doors at its doorstep. The hub of the Bay Area is San Francisco, a city of diverse neighborhoods, world-class cuisine and a welcoming spirit of tolerance in the most European of American cities.

North Bay: Marin, Sonoma & Napa Across the Golden Gate to the north lies Marin County, one of the most beautiful and affluent areas of the U.S. Sausalito, Tiburon and Mill Valley are among its many inviting towns. The mountain bike was invented here to maneuver the twisty trails on Mount Tamalpais. On the Marin coast, one ruggedly gorgeous beach follows another, including along spectacular Point Reyes National Seashore. Also in the North Bay, Sonoma and Napa counties are home to acres of vineyards and dozens of wineries producing some of the world’s

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

finest wines. Among the small towns full of boutiques, shops and tasting rooms is the Napa Valley hamlet of Yountville, a foodie dining mecca, with several Michelin-starred restaurants, and, a bit north, the

SUPAVADEE BUTRADEE/SHUTTERSTOCK

TOURISM WEBSITES sftravel.com visitberkeley.com santaclara.org sonomacounty.com healdsburg.com smccvb.com


GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE in San Francisco, opposite.

»

MUST

SEE, DO

spa town of Calistoga. October 2017

arts, with a vibrant cultural scene and

wildfires were devastating to parts of

attractions such as San Jose’s Museum

the wine country, but fewer than 10 of

of Art and its Tech Museum, which pays

the region’s 1,200 wineries were

homage to the valley’s innovative spirit.

affected. Napa and Sonoma counties

Mountain View’s Castro Street and Palo

are open and as welcoming as ever to

Alto’s University Avenue are hopping,

visitors.

and San Jose’s booming downtown and Santana Row shopping and dining

South Bay: Silicon Valley, San Mateo County & Santa Cruz

center are bustling.

In Palo Alto, on the peninsula south of

coastline still shows its traditional

San Francisco, lies the bucolic campus

fishing and agricultural roots. It’s

of Stanford University, one of the

within a short drive of major popula-

country’s leading universities. Silicon

tion centers yet a world away, with its

Valley—home of Apple, Facebook,

sprawling artichoke fields and miles of

Google, Intel and other high-tech power

pristine beaches. Santa Cruz County to

houses—has emerged as a center for the

the south offers visitors a wealth of

Neighboring San Mateo County’s

DRIVE

» TOUR Start by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge driving north, stopping in SAUSALITO. Head northwest to MOUNT

TAMALPAIS STATE PARK and take the steep, twisting road to the Pantoll Ranger Station and drive the PANORAMIC

HIGHWAY for ocean, city and mountain views. Drive to

MUIR WOODS NATIONAL MONUMENT for a short walk among redwoods. Head back toward Sausalito and Highway 101 and drive north to the wine country town of SONOMA. Explore its shady plaza, surrounded by shops, wine tasting rooms and historic sites. From Sonoma, it’s a short drive to California’s other major wine region, Napa Valley, and the city of NAPA.

»

SAN FRANCISCO TOP SIGHTS Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown offer even more reasons to visit. A redo has made part of the wharf more pedestrian-friendly and visitors now can buy fish straight from the boats. The Cartoon Art Museum opened in late 2017 just east of the re-invigorated Ghirardelli Square, home to the San Francisco Brewing Co., which makes its debut in spring 2018. Meanwhile, on the North Beach edge of Chinatown, the new China Live complex offers an amazing variety of Chinese food choices. › sftravel.com

»

EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS Mount Tamalpais and the coast of Marin County just north of the Golden Gate Bridge are a spectacular playground for hikers, bikers and anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Mount Tam affords stunning views and Muir Woods National Monument on its western flank wows visitors with its towering redwood grove. Oceanfront towns Stinson Beach and Bolinas have a laid-back vibe that is part of their charm. › visitmarin.org

»

EAST BAY EXPLORATION Oakland’s Uptown, Temescal and Piedmont Avenue neighborhoods are newly hip, filled with trendy restaurants, including Commis, which received two Michelin stars in 2017. The neighboring university town of Berkeley also offers much to discover, including the UC Berkeley campus, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The outdoors beckons at 2,000acre Tilden Park, which has a lovely botanical garden and steam train that children adore. › visitberkeley.com

»

SONOMA SOJOURN Sonoma County’s vineyard-covered landscape was largely undamaged by the October 2017 wildfires. Dozens of wine-tasting rooms are open, including in the Russian River appellation, where visitors stroll among the shops of Sebastopol, Graton and Forestville and pick up picnic goodies for alfresco dining while sampling the county’s famous Pinot Noirs and other varietals. › sonomacounty.com

»

ICONIC HIGH TECH Silicon Valley giants open parts of their headquarters to visitors. Intel offers a Tech Museum and Apple’s new futuristic campus includes a glass-walled visitor center. Facebook’s Menlo Park campus hosts a Saturday farmers market and features a thumbs-up (“like”) sign at 1 Hacker Way, a popular spot for selfies. Grab a bite along nearby Palo Alto’s University Avenue where Silicon Valley’s elite dine. › smccvb.com, santaclara.org

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65


attractions, including parks and wineries

rants offering an astonishing variety of

in its redwood-covered mountain range,

cuisines, fascinating neighborhoods, parks,

and laid-back beaches where surfers polish

Victorian-era houses and world-class

their technique.

museums and cultural activities.

can be sampled best at FARMERS

East Bay: Berkeley & Oakland

the waterfront Embarcadero, Fisherman’s

MARKETS and food truck gatherings.

On the eastern side of the bay lies the col-

Wharf, Chinatown and Union Square (the

SAN FRANCISCO’S FERRY BUILDING

lege town of Berkeley, with its history of

largest shopping area in the western U.S.)

is arguably the area’s top market.

political idealism, University of California

all within a short walk of each other. Col-

Other awesome markets are held in

academic prestige and coffeehouse intel-

orful vintage streetcars rumble down the

Berkeley, Healdsburg, Mountain

lectualism. Berkeley is almost synonymous

Embarcadero and Market Street, con-

View and at Marin Civic Center.

with Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse and the

necting to public transportation that

FOOD TRUCKS serve up a mouth-

movement to organic, local and seasonal

carries visitors to the city’s many diverse

watering array of choices all around

food. Berkeley’s larger neighbor, Oakland,

neighborhoods and to Golden Gate Park,

the bay, including Fridays at the

is a culturally diverse city with vibrant

the large greenbelt that extends to the

Oakland Museum of California and

neighborhoods, a booming downtown and

Pacific Ocean.

Sundays at San Francisco’s Presidio,

lovely Lake Merritt, whose three-mile path

with spectacular views of the

draws joggers and walkers.

INSIDER’S

» TIP

The Bay Area’s renowned food

The city is easy to explore on foot, with

Golden Gate Bridge.

SAN JOSE CITY HALL, below; California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, opposite.

The region’s other major cities are San Jose, where revitalization has brought an urban vibe, restaurants and museums

City & Town

downtown, and Oakland, which attracts

Even though it was surpassed in population

visitors with the Museum of California,

by San Jose long ago, San Francisco remains

bay-front Jack London Square and a trendy

the region’s cultural hub. The city draws

dining scene. Its college town neighbor,

more than 25 million travelers each year to

Berkeley, is home to the striking Berkeley

its dense 49 square miles containing its

Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

famously steep hills, thousands of restau-

The Great Outdoors One of the world’s largest urban parks— the Golden Gate National Recreation Area—stretches over 60 miles of Bay Area coastline. The area encompasses beaches, historic sites, biking and hiking trails and vast open spaces to savor the Bay Area’s varied natural beauty. Among the highlights are the majestic Marin Headlands and San Francisco’s Presidio and Crissy Field, a popular walking area and restored wetlands that also draws kite boarders to the white-capped waters at the Golden Gate. Rolling green hillsides dotted with California golden poppies make spring an especially ideal time to explore Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods in Marin County. Point Reyes National Seashore’s beautiful coastal terrain contains an abundance of wildlife, including migrating

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A


west of Silicon Valley and San Jose, are vast

museums, including the recently expanded

open space preserves, including Cali-

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the

fornia’s oldest state park, Big Basin

Asian Art Museum, the de Young Museum

Redwoods, established in 1902.

and California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. In Oakland, there’s the

shorebirds and ducks, whales that are easily

Heritage & Culture

Museum of California that celebrates the

Early Mexican and Spanish explorers and

state. The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford

settlers in the Bay Area left their mark,

has a large collection of Rodin sculptures.

mostly in place names but also in historic

A lively art scene is found throughout the

buildings from that era. San Francisco’s

Bay Area, home of the San Francisco Sym-

Mission Dolores, established in 1776, is the

phony, ballet, opera and dozens of theater

oldest building in San Francisco and the

and dance companies.

oldest intact original Mission in California.

Diverse cultural influences thrive in

The patchwork design of its beamed ceil-

pockets spread throughout the region,

ings resembles local Native American

including many from Asia: Japantown and

basket weaving. Other old missions are

Chinatown in San Francisco, another Chi-

found elsewhere in the Bay Area: in

natown in Oakland and Vietnamese and

Sonoma, San Rafael, Santa Clara, San Jose

Southeast Asian communities in San Jose

and Santa Cruz.

and neighboring cities. Mexican and other

seen off the coast in migration season (mid

Vestiges of San Francisco’s colorful past,

Latin American influences can be found

January to mid March) and a herd of tule elk.

when the 1849 Gold Rush catapulted it from

throughout, particularly in San Francisco’s

There also is no lack of wide-open

a hamlet to a large city almost overnight,

Mission district, while Italian immigrants

spaces in the East Bay, where the regional

can still be seen in thousands of 19th-cen-

left their indelible mark in San Francisco’s

park district includes 65 parks covering

tury Victorians and quaint old quarters

North Beach and Sonoma and Napa wine-

113,000 acres in Alameda and Contra Costa

such as Alamo Square and Jackson Square.

growing areas.

counties. In the Santa Cruz mountains, just

The Bay Area is home to world-class

Family Fun

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018

Spend a day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a century-old amusement park famous for The Giant Dipper, a 1920s-era roller coaster. Families also enjoy the San

CHINESE NEW YEAR PARADE Feb. 24, San Francisco chineseparade.com

Mateo County coast, particularly Half Moon

CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL April 14-22, San Francisco nccbf.org

Bay’s mid-October festival that features

SILICON VALLEY A LA CARTE & ART FESTIVAL, May 5-6, Mountain View alacarte.miramarevents.com

pumpkin carving and pie-eating contests. thrills visitors with the most water rides in

CARNAVAL May 26-27, San Francisco carnavalsanfrancisco.org

Northern California.

STERN GROVE FESTIVAL Sundays, mid June-mid August, San Francisco sterngrove.org

CITYPASS. OPPOSITE: SAN JOSE CVB

Santa Clara’s Great America theme park

BAY TO BREAKERS May 20, San Francisco baytobreakers.com

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and

GAY PRIDE WEEKEND June 23-24, San Francisco sfpride.org

Pier 39 are lined with shops, restaurants,

KITE FESTIVAL July 28-29, Berkeley highlinekites.com

street performers and even a colony of sea

ART FESTIVAL Sept. 1-3, Sausalito sausalitoartfestival.org

lions that wows crowds. The pier also offers

HARDLY STRICTLY BLUEGRASS Oct. 5-7, San Francisco hardlystrictlybluegrass.com ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL Oct. 13-14, Half Moon Bay pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com UNION SQUARE TREE LIGHTING Nov. 23, San Francisco macys.com FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS Nov. 23, Yountville yountville.com

an antique carousel and the Aquarium of the Bay, with more than 20,000 marine animals. Over in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences draws families with its penguin exhibit, a walk-through rain forest and aquarium with a live coral reef tank.

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

67


BERKELEY Superb dining and performing arts thrive in this celebrated university city

WORLD-FAMOUS as a historic center of

food markets, the Cheese Board cheese

free speech and 1960s counter-culture,

shop/bakery and inviting casual restaurants.

Berkeley, on the eastern shores of San Fran-

One-of-a-kind shopping abounds on

cisco Bay, has morphed into a foodie

Fourth Street, north of University Avenue in

Berkeley Visitor Information

destination and unique shopping mecca. But

West Berkeley; standouts include Miki’s

it’s still Berkeley, proudly offbeat, quirky and

Paper, which features hand-made Japanese

visitberkeley.com

fun to visit, especially now. The Downtown

stationery and wrapping paper. Also on

Arts District on Addison Street showcases the

Fourth, long-time favorite Bette’s Ocean View

Aurora Theatre Company and the nationally

Diner serves high-quality American comfort

known Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The

food, whipped up by some of the most skilled

Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse—which is

and speedy short-order cooks in the land.

SHOP, » DINE, SEE A PLAY

SATHER TOWER, Berkeley at sunset, above; outdoor dining at the Cheese Board Pizza Collective, below.

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

both a performance venue and folk-music

Gorgeous brown-shingle wooden homes

learning center—has recently upped its

and public buildings by celebrated architects

already robust game, presenting the likes of

Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan—who

Ricki Lee Jones, Ladysmith Black Mambazo

adapted Arts and Crafts design to form the

and Richard Thompson on stage.

Bay Region style in the early 20th century—

Two more major venues opened down-

enrich the city. Maybeck’s serene 1910 First

town in 2016: the 83,000-square-foot Berkeley

Church of Christ, Scientist, just east of Tele-

Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

graph Avenue and south of the UC Berkeley

(BAMPFA), at 2155 Center Street near the

campus, is an architectural hymn to silence.

Berkeley BART station. Running through mid

Near campus on Durant Avenue, the ven-

July on BAMPFA’s art wall is a large-format

erable Hotel Durant is reborn as the Graduate

mural by South African artist Karabo Poppy

Berkeley hotel. On campus, the circa 1903

Moletsane. Another downtown draw, at 2036

Greek Theatre presents headliners in its out-

University Avenue just west of Shattuck

door amphitheater, while Cal Performances

Avenue, is the 101-year-old UC Theatre, a

brings international acts to Zellerbach Hall.

cinema-turned-music space, with its superb,

You can toast the artists and debate the true

made-in-Berkeley Meyer Sound system.

meaning of art in a plentitude of craft micro-

North Berkeley along and near Shattuck is the

breweries near campus and beyond. The new

city’s Gourmet Ghetto, with its jewel in the

Gilman Brewing Company pours excellent,

crown, Chez Panisse, founded by the doyenne

often creative riffs on beer. Downtown

of fresh, local, seasonal California cuisine,

favorite Triple Rock, dating to 1986, has

Alice Waters. The 1966 original Peet’s Coffee

expanded its space by 50 percent for the in-

and Tea shop is right nearby, as are excellent

house production of quaffable brews.

VISIT BERKELEY

BY DAVID ARMSTRONG


HEALDSBURG Sonoma’s sophisticated, relaxed, wine country town BY MARCY GORDON

Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau healdsburg.com

Center Street to see scores of colorful, well-

defining feature of Healdsburg is its

preserved historic homes, many in use as

beloved historic plaza designed by Harmon

B&Bs. Surrounded by vineyards, and

Heald. Complete with copper topped

located just 70 miles north of San Francisco

gazebo and shaded by towering redwoods

off Highway 101, Healdsburg is the ideal

and date palms, the plaza is grand in scale

home base from which to explore the

but has an intimate, accessible feel. One of

world-renowned wine appellations of

the liveliest plazas in Sonoma wine

Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek

country, it retains the charm of a small

Valley and Russian River Valley. Wine, of

community, surrounded by a vibrant and

course, is a main focus of the town with

diverse retail scene.

more than 30 tasting rooms and wineries

The plaza plays host to numerous events including the highly regarded Healdsburg HEALDSBURG’S PLAZA, above; autumn vineyard, below.

th

Jazz Festival, celebrating its 20 anniver-

cafés to elite restaurants creating sublime seasonal fare incorporating the bounty of

place in various venues and locations

locally sourced ingredients and showcasing

around town. On Tuesday evenings

regional wines. Although most famous for

throughout the summer months, the plaza

its wine, Healdsburg also has a lively craft

transforms into an outdoor community

beer scene and inspired cidermaking.

living room where locals and visitors gather

Beyond the city center, the Russian River

for a free concert series. The summer also

and peaceful stands of ancient redwoods

offers Art After Dark on the last Friday of

are the focal point for hiking and canoeing,

each month.

and the mostly flat back roads that wind

From the plaza it’s a leisurely stroll to the coffee spots, cheese shops, art galleries, bookshops

T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

Dining options are plentiful, from casual

sary this year. Held in early June, it takes

many wine tasting rooms, artisan bakeries,

70 2 01 8

within walking distance of its center.

and

boutiques

through the vineyard valleys make the area a world-class bicycling destination. Sophisticated, yet rustic, Healdsburg,

offering

with its agrarian roots, delivers small town

clothing, house wares and inspired one-of-

charm and a wine country lifestyle that’s

a-kind gifts. Or venture a few blocks off

both laid-back and luxurious.

ALEXANDRA LATYPOVA/SHUTTERSTOCK; HEALDSBURG CVB

TASTE, BROWSE, » DINE, EXPLORE

DATING FROM 1857, the centerpiece and


SANTA CLARA Silicon Valley city with NFL and theme park fun, history and high-tech BY LAURA DEL ROSSO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY and Mission Santa Clara de Asis, above; Gold Striker at California’s Great America, below; Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, opposite top; fun at the Intel Museum, opposite boom.

SANTA CLARA, just an hour south of San Francisco, lies in the heart of tech capital

Theme Park Fun, Sports, Shopping & Festivals

Silicon Valley, an area firmly focused on the

There’s much more to see in Santa Clara.

future but with a history that stretches back

Families find entertainment and thrills at

to the founding of California.

the state’s only combination theme and

The opening of Levi’s Stadium in 2014

water park, California’s Great America,

and its subsequent hosting of Super Bowl

which offers more than 100 acres of rides

50 in 2016, put Santa Clara in the national

and shows. Last year the park introduced

spotlight. In January 2019, the stadium will

Patriot, a floorless roller coaster that whips

be the venue for the College Football Playoff

visitors 91 feet into the air and then drops

National Championship game.

into a 360-degree loop. More thrills are on

Not only is the 69,900-seat stadium

tap in 2018 with the new RailBlazer, a single-

home to the San Francisco 49ers, it is the

rail coaster that riders straddle as they speed

venue for college football, international

over twisting track, rising to 106 feet before

soccer, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé concerts

they fall face down at a 90-degree angle.

and more. Its 20,000-square-foot 49ers

Children enjoy the park’s Planet Snoopy

Museum celebrates the team’s history in 11

where they ride aboard Snoopy’s giant skate-

galleries and interactive exhibit spaces

board, take a Peanuts race-car for a spin and

devoted to NFL history, Super Bowl Cham-

hop on Snoopy’s Space Buggies, which lifts

pionships and the Lombardi Trophies. The

them high in the air for a lunar landing.

museum and the stadium are open for tours and visits year-round.

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

The local dining scene is booming with new restaurants Prime 109 Steak and Liba-


tion House (across from the stadium and Great America), Il Fornaio, Opa, Puesto and Fleming’s Steakhouse. Elsewhere in the city, sports fans will find plenty to cheer outside Levi’s Stadium. The city hosts major swim meets at the George F. Haines International Swim Center, and Santa Clara University holds NCAA Division 1 athletic competitions year-round. A visit to Santa Clara wouldn’t be complete without a look into the high tech

artists and a seven-acre sculpture garden.

missionaries chose a spot in the valley in

giants of Silicon Valley. At the Intel

Thousands attend the city’s most popular

1777 for their eighth California mission.

Museum at corporate headquarters, visitors

events, including the annual Art and Wine

They named it Mission Santa Clara de Asis

see how computer chips are made in an

Festival in September, Pacific International

after Saint Clare.

automated chip factory and how the valley’s

Quilt Festival and spine-tingling Halloween

Visitors are welcome to visit the Mis-

engineers dramatically changed society.

Haunt in October, and WinterFest at Cali-

sion Church and adjacent Mission

Fascinating interactive exhibits trace the

fornia’s Great America with its awesome

Gardens on the beautiful campus of Santa

prophetic vision of Intel co-founder

display of seven million lights late

Clara University. Founded in 1851, the

Gordon Moore who said in 1965 that com-

November through December.

university is the oldest college in California. The current Mission Church was

puting power would grow substantially

Mission Santa Clara de Asis & Santa Clara University

built in 1925 after a fire destroyed the pre-

Some of Silicon Valley’s best shopping is

Santa Clara has a long history that’s closely

paintings, liturgical objects, one bell and

found at Santa Clara’s Westfield Valley Fair

tied with that of California. The fertile

the flavor of the Spanish-style architec-

mall, which is across the street from the

valley that became known as Santa Clara

ture remain.

high-end Santana Row shopping district.

Valley and more recently, Silicon Valley,

Also on the Santa Clara University

Santa Clara also draws visitors to its Triton

was inhabited by the Ohlone when Spain

campus is the de Saisset Art Museum,

Museum of Art with its focus on Bay Area

began colonizing California. Franciscan

whose most significant feature is a Cali-

while decreasing in cost, an insight now known as Moore’s law.

vious 19 th-century building. Statues,

fornia history collection. Artifacts that trace Santa Clara history include a cornerstone uncovered in an archaeological excavation. The museum also houses European art from the Renaissance to the 19th century, including prints by Durer and Piranesi; modern works by Chagall, Matisse and Picasso; and prints by San Francisco Bay Area artists Arneson, Diebenkorn, Neri, Thiebaud and others. Several other historic sites in Santa Clara have been transformed into museums, including the South Bay Historical Society

SANTACLARA.ORG

in an 1863 train station, the Santa Clara Historic Museum in the Headen-Inman House and the Harris-Lass House Museum, an 1860s home that was the city’s last farm. For trip planning, see santaclara.org

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

73


CENTRAL COAST Where Californians really go to relax

TOP CITIES Santa Cruz, Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Gilroy, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, Cambria, Ventura, Lompoc, Solvang, Buellton, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Camarillo, Oxnard, Port Hueneme INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY San Francisco International Airport (SFO), 62 miles (100 km) from Santa Cruz; 101 miles (163 km) from Monterey; Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 98 miles (158 km) from Santa Barbara; 192 miles (309 km) from San Luis Obispo

S

outh of the San Francisco Bay Area, the coastal region from Santa Cruz through San Luis Obispo has views that rival the rest of the state. Within earshot of the crashing waves of the

Pacific Ocean, this is where many Californians vacation, so it’s the ideal place to slow down and adopt an appreciation of the great outdoors and a laid-back lifestyle. The three largest population centers of the Central Coast are

seemonterey.com pacificgrove.org gilroywelcomecenter.org santabarbaraca.com morrobay.org visitventuraca.com

Santa Cruz, the Monterey Peninsula and Santa Barbara. In historic Monterey, small-town Pacific Grove and fashionable artist retreat Carmel-by-the-Sea, there are beautiful beaches, performing and fine arts venues, outdoor pursuits, stylish shops, epicurean delights and an inland region known for wine and agriculture. Much of the same can be said of funky Santa Cruz, but away from the redwoods, the university town resembles a beachside playground, with its historic boardwalk and many surf spots. Santa Barbara lures travelers with its white Spanish-style buildings, redtiled roofs, vast beaches, plenty of fine arts venues, bright

POPULATION 2,242,000

boutiques, outdoor adventures, culinary tastes and an inland region (the Santa Ynez Valley, featured in the movie Sideways) known for wine and Santa Maria-style barbecue. CENTRAL COAST

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

Even though the Central Coast region’s main highlight is indeed, its coast, the varied geography and moderate climate ensure that

SEEMONTEREY.COM. OPPOSITE: BRIAN BAER

TOURISM WEBSITES santacruzca.org carmelcalifornia.com cityofsalinas.org/visitors sanluisobispocounty.com travelpaso.com visitcambriaca.com venturacountycoast.com highway1discoveryroute.com solvangusa.com visitbuellton.com santamariavalley.com classiccalifornia.com

BY JILL K. ROBINSON


there are plenty of treats for visitors to

City & Town

enjoy. Whether your preference is digging

Downtown Santa Cruz lies between the

for clams, surfing the perfect wave,

city’s vibrant beach attractions and the

strolling small village streets, sampling

redwood-rich mountains, where the Uni-

fresh regional cuisine and world-famous

versity of California at Santa Cruz is

wines, or lazing on the beach and

perched among groves of the huge trees.

watching the changing tide, it’s all right

Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey is steps

here on the Central Coast—and there’s

from the city’s historic buildings that date

enough for everyone.

from the 18th and 19th centuries—before

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 WINTER WINE CLASSIC Jan. 27, Santa Barbara californiawinefestival.com SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Jan. 31-Feb. 10, Santa Barbara sbiff.org AT&T PEBBLE BEACH NATIONAL PRO-AM Feb. 5-11, Pebble Beach attpbgolf.com SANTA BARBARA RESTAURANT WEEK Feb. 23-March 4, Santa Barbara sbrestaurantweeks.com

»

»

California Origins Visit Mission Santa Barbara, established in 1786 and known as “Queen of the Missions.” It was the 10th of 21 California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans.

santabarbaramission.org

» Wild Coast Cruise Highway 1 along the majestic Big Sur coast, where the sky touches the sea.

bigsurcalifornia.org

»

American Riviera Step off Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara and stroll along the miles of beaches studded with palm trees.

SAN LUIS OBISPO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL March 13-18, San Luis Obispo slofilmfest.org

»

PEBBLE BEACH FOOD & WINE April 5-8, Pebble Beach pbfw.com

SEE, DO

JAZZ BASH BY THE BAY March 2-4, Monterey jazzbashmonterey.com

TASTE OF SOLVANG March 14-18, Solvang solvangusa.com

MUST

santabarbaraca.com

Monterey’s Historic District Find Old Monterey’s adobes and gardens from the Spanish and Mexican eras, including the site of California’s first Constitutional Convention, scattered near Fisherman’s Wharf.

STEINBECK FESTIVAL May 4-6, Salinas steinbeck.org

PASO ROBLES WINE FESTIVAL May 17-20, Paso Robles pasowine.com/events/winefest

»

seemonterey.com

I MADONNARI May 25-28, Santa Barbara imadonnarifestival.com

Nine Sisters Stretching between Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, the craggy peaks of the Nine Sisters provide beautiful vistas in the Central Coast. Get up close to one of them, Morro Rock, in Morro Bay.

LOS OLIVOS JAZZ & OLIVE FESTIVAL June 9, Los Olivos jazzandolivefestival.org

CARMEL ART FESTIVAL May 18-20, Carmel carmelartfestival.org CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL May 19-20, Oxnard strawberry-fest.org

morrobay.org

SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION June 22-24, Santa Barbara solsticeparade.com SAN BENITO COUNTY SADDLE HORSE SHOW & RODEO June 22-24, Hollister sanbenitocountyrodeo.com CARMEL BACH FESTIVAL July 14-28, Carmel bachfestival.org FEAST OF LANTERNS July 20-28, Pacific Grove feast-of-lanterns.org OLD SPANISH DAYS FIESTA Aug. 1-5, Santa Barbara oldspanishdays-fiesta.org PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE Aug. 26, Pebble Beach pebblebeachconcours.net MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL Sept. 21-23, Monterey montereyjazzfestival.org GOLETA LEMON FESTIVAL Sept. 29-30, Goleta lemonfestival.com FIRST NIGHT MONTEREY Dec. 31, Monterey firstnightmonterey.org

BIG SUR COASTLINE and Highway 1 from the air, opposite; horseback riding on the beach at Oceano, right.

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77


CAPITOLA, in Santa Cruz County, is a popular beach town on Monterey Bay, le ; California State University Channel Islands, boom.

in Pebble Beach winds through forest and along the Pacific coastline as it skirts exclusive golf courses and resorts. South of Carmel, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve has long been considered the “crown jewel” of the California State Park system. The eerie-looking monoliths of Pinnacles California was part of the United States. The

back Cayucos is an old-school beach retreat

hikers interested in the added benefits of

new Dalí17 museum showcases the second-

with a surf break and fishing pier near the

the explosion of colorful spring wildflowers

largest collection of works by Salvador Dalí

main drag. Morro Bay’s landmark, an

and soaring California condors in the park.

in the United States. Once a resident of

ancient volcanic peak emerging from the

In Big Sur, where rocky cliffs drop into the

Monterey, Dalí contributed greatly to the

ocean floor, stands at the entrance to a

Pacific Ocean and cypress trees twist in the

region’s talented artist community. Made

beautiful estuary. Between the ocean and

coastal wind, nature lovers can walk along

famous by John Steinbeck’s eponymous

the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara is

the beach or hike deep into redwood

novel, Cannery Row has morphed from a

often called the “American Riviera” because

forests, both places where waterfalls spring

fishing center to a bustling street with

of its Mediterranean climate and red-roofed

to life. The Mud Creek Slide has temporarily

shops and ocean-view restaurants. Stein-

buildings. Head inland to artist enclave Ojai

blocked road travel between Big Sur and San

beck’s

to unwind and take in the “pink moment”

Simeon, but the highway is projected to be

sunsets—the color of cotton candy.

open by late summer, 2018.

freethinker’s retreat born as an artist village,

The Great Outdoors

of the Nine Sisters, a chain of volcanic

is home to stylish shops, exquisite dining

While well-known urban areas dot this

peaks. Take advantage of some sweet surf

and top-notch art.

hometown,

Salinas,

is

a

working-class agricultural city, known as

Hike to the top of Bishop Peak, the tallest

the “Salad Bowl of the World.” Carmel, a

region, there’s more than enough wide-

spots and catch the perfect wave. Head out

South of Big Sur, the coastline is dotted

open space for fans of the outdoors. Take a

from Santa Barbara on a whale watching

with a necklace of small beach towns. Cam-

whale watching boat tour in Monterey Bay,

tour to see some of the largest mammals in

bria’s galleries and antique shops perch on

where you can spot migrating gray, hump-

the Pacific Ocean. On the Carrizo Plain, con-

pine-forested hills above the ocean. Laid-

back and blue whales. Seventeen-Mile Drive

sidered the largest single native grassland

INSIDER’S

» TIP

The best views of some spectacular surf moves are from the cliffs overlooking Steamer Lane, near THE SANTA CRUZ SURFING MUSEUM. Grab a spot by the railing to watch top-notch surfers get some sweet rides, and then head on in to the museum to see the best in Santa Cruz surfing history. santacruzsurfingmuseum.org

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AMYANDHERCAMERA; VENTURA COUNTY COAST

National Park beckon to rock climbers and


in the state, it’s possible to see surface fractures of the San Andreas Fault, which puts man/nature cohabitation in perspective. The Los Padres National Forest stretches across the scenic Coast and Transverse ranges, and offers a wealth of opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping and bicycling. Kayak among tide pools and kelp forests where sea otters live in Morro Bay, or just amble along miles of scenic beaches, stop when you want to, and dig your toes in the sand.

Heritage & Culture Many place names on the Central Coast remain from Native American tribes, as well as from Spanish and Mexican settlers. The California missions and other well-preserved buildings still exist from before 1850, when California became a state. The Central Coast’s inland region has a wealth of land for agriculture—from the salad bowl to wine to olives—but farmers here are just as comfortMONARCH BUTTERFLIES CLUSTER in trees for the winter along the Central Coast, notably in Pacific Grove, Morro Bay and here, in Pismo Beach, above.

DRIVE

» TOUR

able taking a quick trip to the wide, sandy beaches during breaks from the harvest.

Family Fun The Central Coast is a wonderland for families, with historic sites, accessible beaches and outdoor space, and water activities. See

Get more than a glimpse of

underwater without diving at the Monterey

the Central Coast by driving

Bay Aquarium, or be a kid again at the Santa

south of Big Sur on

Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Inland, get a look at

beach towns of CAMBRIA,

MORRO BAY and PISMO BEACH. Be sure to stop regularly to sample local delicacies, whether caught from oceanside piers or made by hand in beach-

California’s pre-statehood past and follow the California Missions Trail along Highway 101—always a good lesson for gradeschoolers and adults alike. South through Big Sur, the variety of hiking paths can lead you to a pink-sand beach or a seaside waterfall. View underwater life on a semi-sub-

town bakeries. The highway

mersible tour in Morro Bay. Discover how

cuts inland for a short jog

the ocean has shaped the history of the Cen-

after San Luis Obispo, but

tral Coast at the Santa Barbara Maritime

pops back to the beach

Museum. Go camping in the Channel

before approaching the

Islands or Los Padres National Forest. Even

Santa Ynez Mountains and

picking your own berries at a local farm is

posh SANTA BARBARA.

far more fun when you can smell the ocean air and not hear the sounds of traffic.

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PISMO BEACH CVB

HIGHWAY 1 past the small


VENTURA COUNTY COAST Inexpensive adventures for all

BY JILL K. ROBINSON THE STRING OF FOUR main cities between

players and those who want to relax and

Santa Barbara and Los Angeles—Camarillo,

enjoy the sun. Stretch your legs at Camar-

Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Ventura—not

illo Grove Park, tucked at the base of the

only allow for a variety of experiences in

Conejo Grade, with large rock formations

Ventura County Coast Visitor Information

Ventura County, but they also won’t break

and great views.

venturacountycoast.com

can live the California lifestyle here. Surf

Old & New History

the swell at Rincon Beach, grab some fish

Wander along the Ventura Pier, built in

tacos for lunch, spend the afternoon hiking

1872, to watch the sunset—or bring your

to the perfect sunset spot, and finish the

fishing rod for the chance to catch dinner.

day enjoying some local brews. Fires in

Founded by Franciscan Father Junípero

December 2017 may have travelers con-

Serra in 1782, San Buenaventura Mission

cerned, but Ventura County is open for

was the 9th Spanish mission to be estab-

visitors, and only the Ventura Botanical

lished in California, and the last by Father

Gardens are closed while they replant and

Serra (now Saint Serra). This mission has

rebuild in 2018.

an interesting history, including attacks by

DINE, HIKE, » PICNIC, SWIM!

PORT HUENEME PIER, above; Channel Islands, Santa Cruz Island, below.

the bank. Regardless of your budget, you

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Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard is a

For families, Port Hueneme Beach Park with

repository of classic, rare and vintage

its 50 acres of landscaped parkland (com-

vehicles that date all the way back to 1903.

plete with picnic areas and barbecue pits)

At the Ventura Harbor, visit the Channel

and long strip of soft white sand is espe-

Islands National Park visitor center to

cially inviting for a day of fun at very little

learn about the islands, see exhibits and

cost. San Buenaventura State Beach runs for

displays, and watch a 25-minute movie, A

two miles along the Ventura coast, with

Treasure in the Sea. Football fans the last

sand dunes, bike trails, swimming and

few years have even been able to watch the

surfing options, and is ideal for picnics and

Dallas Cowboys practicing for the season

barbecues. Hollywood Beach in Oxnard is

at Oxnard’s River Ridge Playing Fields,

popular with surfers, beach volleyball

from late July through mid August.

VENTURA COUNTY COAST; VISIT VENTURA

pirates, earthquakes and tidal wave. The

Family Fun & Outdoor Adventures


SANTA MARIA VALLEY Wine, wilderness and barbecue BY JILL K. ROBINSON

RESIDENTS OF THE SANTA MARIA

RELAX! Santa Maria Valley Visitor & Convention Bureau santamariavalley.com

CYCLING THROUGH THE VINEYARDS in Santa Maria Valley, above; on a winetasting trolley tour, below.

Valley know how to enjoy the best of the land, whether it’s food, drink, outdoor activities or simply taking in the stunning views. Many of California’s top qualities— coastal climate, intriguing outdoor spaces for adventure or relaxation, famous barbecue and sensational wine—all combine here to make Santa Maria Valley an ideal destination for adopting a few of the locals’ best habits in pursuit of the relaxed California lifestyle.

Trails and Beaches Wine Ways Grapes produced here in one of the six federally recognized American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within Santa Barbara County are often a little more complex, balanced and flavorful. A transverse valley (which runs west to east), the orientation of the Santa Maria Valley channels cool ocean air directly into the valley, resulting in one of the state’s longest growing seasons for vineyards. Get a taste for yourself while on a tour with the Santa Maria Wine Trolley, which runs from late May through early October, or any time of year at 34 winery tasting rooms, bars and restaurants.

Famous Barbecue If you’re a fan of barbecue, you don’t have to go to the South to get it. In the mid 1800s, local rancheros were known for hosting day-long Spanish-style barbecues, and this

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Get outside in the Santa Maria Valley and find your favorite way to be active. Meandering roads, beautiful scenery and tucked-away vineyards are features of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, connecting Los Olivos and Santa Maria Valley. The 30-mile road is ideal for a great bicycle ride, or even a slow drive in a convertible, and 16 wineries along the way mean that you can stop whenever you like. Spanning 22,000 acres and 18 miles, the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve features towering 550-foothigh sand dunes. Birders add to their life lists here, as well as at the Santa Maria River Estuary, and enjoy sights of migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway. Each year, thousands of monarch butterflies seek shelter in the eucalyptus grove of Monarch Dunes Butterfly Habitat, and visitors get up close to branches dripping with the elegant creatures from late October to February.

SANTA MARIA VALLEY CVB

WINE, DINE,

» MEANDER,

California specialty continues today. Santa Maria-style barbecue is focused on beef tritip seasoned only with salt, pepper and garlic salt. The meat is cooked directly over the coals of local red oak, on a grill that raises and lowers the meat to flame. Traditional accompaniments include grilled French bread, green salad, salsa and locally grown pinquito beans. Taste it at The Hitching Post, Shaw’s Steakhouse, Jocko’s Steakhouse and Far Western Tavern.


HIGHWAY 1 DISCOVERY ROUTE Experience the perfect 10 BY JILL K. ROBINSON

California Highway 1 Discovery Route Visitor Information highway1discoveryroute.com

AVILA BEACH, above; Ragged Point, below.

State Parks & Wildlife Along the route, you can find 12 of California’s State Parks, from the coastal bluffs and promontories of Hearst San Simeon State Park in the north to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area in the south—the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Other great spots are Pismo State Beach (with the largest over-wintering colony of monarch butterflies in the United States), Montaña de Oro State Park (whose name “Mountain of Gold” comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring), Morro Bay State Park (whose most prominent landmark, Morro Rock, is a 23million-year-old volcanic plug), and Estero Bluffs State Park (where migrating whales, harbor seals, sea otters and western snowy plovers thrive).

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Wine Regions Two adjoining American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) along the Highway 1 Discovery Route, Arroyo Grande Valley and Edna Valley, share a proximity to the ocean and a cool climate that naturally lends itself to growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals. The area’s history dates to 1772 when Father Junipero Serra founded a mission, planted grapes, and made sacramental wines. Today wine fans can visit wineries to sip and savor the region’s best vintages. From Laetitia Vineyard & Winery in Arroyo Grande to Chamisal Vineyards in Edna Valley, the wineries here welcome those looking for a sense of place in their glass.

Beaches & Castles There’s a beach for everyone along the Highway 1 Discovery Route, from the wide, sandy Avila Beach with its restaurants and shops to driftwood-studded Moonstone Beach in Hearst San Simeon State Park. Beach preserves, boardwalks, piers and sandy strands along the coast play host to surfers, paddlers, beachcombers, sun worshippers, whale watchers and evening bonfire enthusiasts. The area’s most famous castle isn’t made from sand. It’s San Simeon’s Hearst Castle, perched above the clouds on The Enchanted Hill. Designed by architect Julia Morgan for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, the property now exists as a museum that lures romantics from around the world.

CARON KRAUCH: HIGHWAY1DISCOVERYROUTE

DRIVE, TASTE, » HIKE, SURF!

THE BEST ROAD TRIPS require some essential elements: a comfortable vehicle, a pleasant companion, and beautiful views. You’re in charge of acquiring the first two, but coastal San Luis Obispo County can easily take care of that last item on the Highway 1 Discovery Route. This 101-mile stretch of California’s Highway 1 winds between state parks, uncrowded beaches, wildlife habitats, wine regions and towns featuring delicious farm-to-table cuisine. Load up the car, get your trusty travel buddy, and start making your list of stops.


PISMO BEACH Classic California beach town BY JILL K. ROBINSON

DINE, BEACH » COMB, PLAY, EXPLORE! Pismo Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau classiccalifornia.com

SUNSET ON THE PIER in Pismo Beach, above; shopping for wine, below.

MIDWAY BETWEEN San Francisco and

the bounty of land and sea. Taste fresh culi-

Los Angeles on California’s Central Coast,

nary creations at new restaurants Oyster

Pismo Beach is so beloved that both

Loft, Flagship and Mattie’s Bay & Eatery,

Northern and Southern California residents

while you can still get favorite dishes at

claim it equally. The picture of an ideal

tried-and-true Lido, Marisol, Splash Café

California beach town, complete with a

and Yanagi Sushi & Grill.

sandy strand and wooden pier, is exactly what you get with Pismo Beach.

Pismo’s Great Outdoors

The optimal beginning to a visit here is

Beaches serve as Pismo Beach’s front yard.

to take a stroll on the iconic Pismo Beach

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an intrepid

Promenade, offering panoramic views of

adventurer or a lover of leisure—the sandy

the beautiful coastline. From here, visitors

shores along the Pacific Coast are available

can also get a glimpse back at the homes,

for nearly any level of adrenaline or relax-

hotels, restaurants and shops in town.

ation. Sports enthusiasts can find plenty to

Pause a moment, smell the salt air, and plan

do, whether their favorite pastime is golf,

your Pismo Beach itinerary.

fishing, surfing, kayaking, kiteboarding or

Wine Country and Cuisine

gering on the beach to watch the sunset, sea

It’s easy to add quality wine-tasting experi-

otters, and migrating whales. And a visit to

ences to your Pismo Beach experience,

the grounds of the cliffside Chapman Estate

because the winemaking regions of Edna

allows beautiful coastal views.

Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley and Avila Valley

With six state beaches, two nature pre-

are located only 10 minutes outside of town.

serves and three state parks within a

In town, many restaurants include local wines

30-minute drive of town, Pismo Beach is a

on their extensive wine lists, to be paired with

treasure for outdoor adventurers. Discover

seasonal wine country-inspired cuisine.

the best on land by foot or bike, while your

One of the benefits of Pismo Beach’s Central California location is its access to

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top options for water excursions are kayak, surfboard and stand-up paddle board.

PISMO BEACH CVB

horseback riding. Romantics enjoy lin-


DESERTS Recreational playground in the sun B Y C H R I S TO P H E R P. B A K E R

TOP CITIES Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Barstow, Indian Wells, Needles, Salton Sea, Mojave, Indio INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), 10 minutes from downtown Palm Springs, 44 miles (71 km) from Anza-Borrego State Park

T

here aren’t many places where you can golf while wearing shorts in the morning, snowshoe in the afternoon, and laze by the pool with a cocktail in the evening. Which explains why more than five

million visitors a year descend on Palm Springs and the surrounding desert region.

TOURISM WEBSITES visitpalmsprings.com visitgreaterpalmsprings.com palm-desert.org la-quinta.org ranchomirageca.gov barstowca.org/visitors indio.org Anza-Borrego SP: www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638 Death Valley NP: nps.gov/deva Joshua Tree NP: nps.gov/jotr

Begin with lush palm oases, hot mineral springs and awesome landscapes. Add sublime winter weather plus a to-see-and-do wish list from biking and ballooning to casinos and spas. And top off with an eternally cool desert lifestyle that recalls the 1940-60s, when Hollywood stars turned the area into a world-famous winter retreat. Welcome to a region where the summer never dies, the Modernist architecture is retro-chic, and the reinvigorated youthful spirit feels as refreshing as a chilled martini. An easy 90-minute drive from Los Angeles, “Palm Springs” is understood as the entire Coachella Valley, comprising eight “desert resort communities” clustered at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. They

POPULATION 750,000

merge into one another along Highway 111—one of California’s great urban on three sides, glistening with snow in the winter sunshine. There’s no shortage of activities and attractions. The dining is fabulous. The spas are among California’s best. And the region boasts several ritzy casinos. Museums cater to WWII aviation buffs, art fans and nature lovers keen to DESERTS

experience desert ecology. El Paseo gives Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive a run for its money in its quality and range of boutiques. Palm Springs’ music,

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JPHOTOGOLFER/SHUTTERSTOCK

drives. The physical setting is out of this world. Majestic mountains soar


PLAYING GOLF AT MISSION HILLS COUNTRY CLUB, Rancho Mirage, opposite.

»

MUST

SEE, DO

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Jan. 2-15, Palm Springs psfilmfest.org PGA CAREERBUILDER CHALLENGE Jan. 17-21, La Quinta, careerbuilderchallenge.com PALM SPRINGS MODERNISM WEEK Feb. 15-25, Greater Palm Springs, modernismweek.com RIVERSIDE COUNTY FAIR AND NATIONAL DATE FESTIVAL Feb. 16-25, Indio datefest.org BNP PARIBAS OPEN March 5-18, Indian Wells bnpparibasopen.com FASHION WEEK March 17-24, Palm Desert fashionweekelpaseo.com COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL April 13-15, 20-22, Indio coachella.com STAGECOACH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL April 27-29, Indio stagecoachfestival.com JOSHUA TREE MUSIC FESTIVAL May 17-20, Oct. 4-7, Joshua Tree joshuatreemusicfestival.com 53RD ANNUAL BORREGO DAYS DESERT FESTIVAL Oct. 19-21, Borrego Springs borregodays.com FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS PARADE Dec. 1, Palm Springs psfestivaloflights.com SINATRA CLASSIC AT BIGHORN Dec., Palm Desert barbarasinatrachildrenscenter.org

film and arts festivals are world-renowned, as is the city’s hip trademark mid-century architecture.

Sports and Active Adventures You might be forgiven for thinking that a desert offers little to do and that it’s just too darn hot to do it in any event. Wrong on both counts! The region is replete with exciting recreational activities.

» Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Whisking you to another

world as it revolves through 360 degrees, the tram climbs more than two miles to the mountain station at 8,516 feet elevation. Go for the sensational ride, or to escape the summer heat and hike the pleasantly cool pine forest. In winter the mountain is usually swathed in snow—perfect for exploring on cross-country skis or snowshoes. The mountain station’s gourmet restaurant tempts you to linger for a candlelit dinner overlooking the sparkling lights of the valley far below.

pstramway.com

»

Palm Springs Modern The city claims one of the most important concentrations of mid-20th-century Modernist architecture in the world. For a fascinating insight into how Palm Springs became Modernism’s place in the sun, explore with expert guide Robert Imber, who will explain the inspiration for such icons as the Steel Houses, the “House of Tomorrow” and the Romchampinspired Bank of America building. He may even take you inside one or two celebrity homes.

palmspringsmodern.com

» Palm Springs Art Museum Acclaimed as one of California’s

top regional art venues, the museum houses a stunning collection spanning pre-Columbian and Native American art to works by classic western American masters, plein air art on a desert theme, and contemporary California artists. Much of the artwork was donated by local residents such as author Sidney Sheldon and actor Kirk Douglas. It occupies a striking Modernist building with a sunken sculpture garden.

psmuseum.org

»

Joshua Tree National Park Spanning 1,240 square miles, this park protects one of the most spectacularly scenic of desert regions and is named for the peculiarly-shaped Joshua trees, which grow here in abundance. Fantastical rock formations draw climbers, and a spiderweb of hiking and mountain bike trails lace the park. Be sure to call in at the Visitor Center and Keys West, a lookout with panoramic views over Coachella Valley, with the San Andreas Fault clearly visible below.

nps.gov/jotr

»

come annually to play golf on more than one hundred courses. Almost as

Living Desert Despite the sizzling heat and lack of water, wildlife abounds in the desert. Most desert denizens hide by day, especially in summer. To see them, head to Living Desert Zoo & Park, which displays fauna from arid environments around the world. Local critters include desert tortoise, mountain lion and bighorn sheep, while exotic wildlife include oryx, giraffes and Mexican wolves. More than four miles of interpretive trails weave through the surrounding wilderness.

many arrive to explore the palm groves, alpine summits or spectacular

There’s no more quintessential image of the Palm Springs region than an emerald greensward studded by palms and framed by boulder-strewn mountains gloriously snowcapped in winter. In fact, the Coachella Valley has earned the distinction of “Golf Capital of the World,” with more golf courses than you can shake a 4-iron at. More than two million visitors

livingdesert.org

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91


art venues—its plein air, Mesoamerican and contemporary glass collections are outstanding. Down valley, more than 150 unique works of art decorate the streets of Palm Desert, grouped for four self-guided tours. Colorful murals grace historic downtown Indio, painting a big picture on the city’s past. And visitors can explore the vast Sunnylands Estate, in Rancho Mirage, where billionaire Walter Annenberg hosted President Richard Nixon after he resigned in 1974, and President Ronald Reagan on a score of New Year’s Eves.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, top; young buck mule deer in the high desert, above; family fun in Palm Springs, opposite le ; Uptown Design District, Palm Springs, opposite right.

State Park and Joshua Tree National Park,

Festivals to Casinos

where boulder formations prove an exciting

Palm Springs has festivals to please every

challenge for climbers.

taste. The season kicks off in January with

Fabulous winter weather spells Nirvana

the Palm Springs International Film Fes-

for hikers, rock-climbers, cyclists and other

tival, when Hollywood’s finest hit town. In

outdoorsy folk. Incising the slopes of the

March, the world-class Indian Wells Tennis

San Jacinto Mountains, the three Indian

Garden fills to overflowing for the annual

Canyons tempt hikers with 30 miles of trails

BNP Paribas Open. And in April, be there or

and picnic sites. Fed by natural springs,

be square for the Coachella Music Festival,

stands of desert fan palms crowd the canyon

hosted in the warm open air of neighboring

floors, providing sheltering oases for kit fox,

Indio. Almost 200 star performers rock half

bighorn sheep and coyote. Ancient petro-

a million attendees; with Beyoncé head-

glyphs can be seen while hiking Andreas

lining, the 2018 festival guarantees that it’s

Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon, with its spec-

one hot ticket!

tacular 60-foot-tall waterfall.

INSIDER’S

» TIP

SOCIAL CYCLE—a 16-passenger,

Higher culture? Palm Desert’s McCallum Theater resounds to laughter and cheers of

Cultural Connections

delight with a lineup that can range from

Culture vultures delight to find the desert is

Itzhak Perlman and The Vienna Boys Choir to

far from dry. The Native American Agua

The Nutcracker ballet and the Peking Acrobats.

Caliente occupied the Palm Springs region

Since the valley’s Cahuilla Indian terri-

long before Europeans arrived. Their proud

tory is a sovereign nation, it’s exempt from

legacy is on show at the Agua Caliente Cul-

California’s state ban on gambling. Try your

without fear of losing your license.

tural Museum in downtown Palm Springs.

hand with Lady Luck at any of half a dozen

It plies a route through downtown

History buffs also delight in the Palm

casinos. Most have venues that host class

with stops at a selection of top

Springs Air Museum, replete with World

acts from world-title boxing to top per-

bars and restaurants. You can hop

War II-era warplanes from a P-51 Mustang

formers such as Kesha, Sheena Easton and

on a public tour or reserve it for

to a B-17 Flying Fortress. The monied elite

the desert’s own Barry Manilow. And

you and a group of friends. Two-

that pours into Palm Springs for the winter

shopaholics are in for a treat: Art galleries,

hour tours depart Friday-Sunday;

is a huge patron of the arts. Hollywood star

haute couturiers and boutique stores spe-

departure times vary by day.

and long-time resident Kirk Douglas was a

cializing in retro modernist décor offer a

socialcycleca.com

major donor to the Palm Springs Art

dash of retail therapy between your spa

Museum, one of California’s top regional

treatments.

pedal-powered cycle steered by a professional guide—lets you tour Palm Springs while partying and

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HOLBOX/SHUTTERSTOCK; MELINDA FAWVER/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: VISITPALMSPRINGS.COM

desert landscapes of Anza-Borrego Desert


Natural Wonders

Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark—a

with Fantasy Balloon Flights for a bird’s-eye

Brimming with the glories of nature, the

gateway to the stand-out draw of the northern

view of the Coachella Valley. Then delight the

desert is a paradise for anyone who appre-

Mojave: Death Valley National Park. The

kids, and yourself, with a ten-minute jaunt

ciates stupendous landscapes. The scenery

highest ground temperature ever recorded on

to Alaska (at least metaphorically) aboard the

is far more diverse than you might imagine,

earth was here, at Badwater, a sunken trough

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. It ascends

ranging from below sea level to almost

that reaches 282 feet below sea level. Yet

through four life zones to the mountaintop

11,000 feet atop Mount San Jacinto.

Death Valley is rimmed by 11,000-foot moun-

station, where the air is 30 degrees cooler

Abundant rains in winter carpet the

tains. Winter months are deliciously

than it is in the desert below.

desert with wildflowers—nowhere more

temperate, when tourists flock to marvel at

spectacular than the springtime bloom of

chromatic canyons and sun-bleached salt

Antelope Valley Poppy State Reserve, near

pans. Well-paved roads lace the park, while

the town of Mojave. Snaking south through

dirt roads open up a world of extreme adven-

the Coachella Valley, scenic palm-lined

ture for visitors with suitable vehicles.

Highway 111 will deliver you to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Capital of desert botanica,

Family Fun

this 500,000-acre park is ablaze with fiery

Kids love the desert, which offers heaps of

red poppies and other wildflowers.

family fun, including old ghost towns such

DRIVE

» TOUR Start in downtown PALM SPRINGS and follow Highway 111 southeast to

PALM DESERT, then head into the San Jacinto Mountains along steep,

A 30-minute drive northeast from Palm

as Pioneertown, an old movie set where

Springs, Joshua Tree National Park spans

shoot-out recreations bring old Westerns

1,240 square miles of Mojave and lower Col-

back to life. Another favorite is the Living

for a sensational view. Retrace your

orado deserts and protects one of the most

Desert Zoo & Gardens, exhibiting nearly

route to Highway 111 and continue

spectacular desert regions in North

400 species of animals, from aardvark to

east. Turn south onto Highway 86

America. Popular with rock climbers, its

zebra. With luck you might even spot

past date palms and vineyards and

dramatic landscapes are made surreal by

bighorn sheep in the wild on a Desert

the Salton Sea to SALTON CITY, then

the “Joshua tree” species of yucca, with

Adventures eco-tour by Jeep. Even camels

head west along Highway 522

strange, arm-like branches.

add to the fun at Indio’s Riverside County

through the BORREGO BADLANDS

Fair & National Date Festival in February.

to the artists’ community of BOR-

From Joshua Tree, historic Route 66 unfurls past Mojave National Preserve, where

In summer, beat the heat splashing about

the Kelso Dunes tower almost 1,000 feet

at Wet’N’Wild waterpark. Or take to the air

twisting

Highway

74

to

the

COACHELLA VALLEY VISTA POINT

SPRINGS.

REGO

Explore

the

fantastical metal sculptures in GAL-

above the desert floor. They’re known as the

LETA MEADOWS, then lace up your

“singing dunes” because they emit a buzz or

hiking boots to explore cactus-

rumble when sand slides down the dune-

studded ANZA-BORREGO DESERT

face. Nearby, 32 ancient volcanic cones stud

STATE PARK.

PALM SPRINGS

PALM DESERT

COACHELLA VALLEY VISTA POINT

GALLETA MEADOWS ANZA-BORREGO DESERT STATE PARK VISITOR CENTER

BORREGO BADLANDS SALTON CITY

BORREGO SPRINGS

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93


PALM SPRINGS Where hip meets Mid-Century Modern

B Y C H R I S TO P H E R P. B A K E R

DINE, SHOP, » GALLERY HOP! Visitor Information visitpalmsprings.com

SINCE THE 1930s, PALM SPRINGS has

Add Uptown art galleries and fashion stores,

been a playground for A-list celebrities who

exciting new restaurants and an edgy night

fell under the spell of the area’s tranquil

scene and it’s no wonder a whole new gen-

beauty, and in the 1950s and ’60s, it was the

eration of vacationers, trendsetters and

retreat of Frank Sinatra and other Holly-

celebrities—from Leonardo DiCaprio to

wood stars who partied poolside in their

Miley Cyrus—is flocking to where it’s the

Mid-Century Modern bungalows. Today,

swinging 1960s all over again.

Springs is again Hollywood’s playground.

Haute Design/Architectural Cool/ Year-Round/LGBT Friendly

Newly fresh and compelling, this epicenter

Known throughout the world as the

for desert vacations again exudes laid-back

mecca of Mid-Century Modernism, Palm

contemporary cool.

Springs embraces and celebrates this design

scene and casual, relaxing vibe, Palm

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

A spectacular redevelopment plan has

aesthetic. With the world’s largest concen-

put a new luster on downtown Palm Springs,

tration of such architecture (more than two

highlighted by the opening in November

thousand homes), it shows a distinctive

2017 of the light-drenched Kimpton Rowan

style that can be experienced not only

Palm Springs hotel, and a pedestrian

in architecture, but also interior design,

walkway aiming a visual spotlight on the

fashion and unique shopping. In fact, retro

world-class Palm Springs Art Museum. Vis-

and Mid-Century have found a home in

itors can also experience glamorous style at

Modernism Week—attracting more than

many of the city’s super-trendy hotels as

100,000 visitors from around the world

well as many historic boutique properties.

each February and October.

VISIT PALM SPRINGS

with a growing nightlife, burgeoning art


A MID-CENTURY MODERN home with the San Jacinto Mountains in the background, opposite top; pool table in the Jacinto, an indoor/outdoor event space at the Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs hotel, opposite boom; relaxing at Indian Canyons, right; pool fun at a vacation rental home, boom.

Many of the finest examples of Mod-

trees come together to offer stunning vistas

hotels—Arrive,

from the historic downtown village. For

Holiday House and The Monkey Tree, to

centuries inhabited by the Agua Caliente

name a few—and almost all have played

band of Cahuilla Indians, Palm Springs was

host to the Hollywood A-list. Dozens of the

so named by the native tribe for the city’s

famous personalities who’ve lived, loved

healing hot springs and palm oases. Listed

and played in Palm Springs—from Elvis

on the National Register of Historic Places,

Presley to Elizabeth Taylor—are commem-

Indian Canyons comprise four distinct

orated in pink granite stars (the “Walk of

canyons located on the tribe’s reservation

Stars”) embedded in downtown sidewalks.

and open to the public for hiking

Its population once surged in winter and

throughout the day. This Native American

cleared out by May. No longer. Palm Springs

heritage is also honored at the downtown

is now a trendy year-round destination, not

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, where

former bank building of classic Mid-Cen-

least as the weekend haven of choice for

basketry, pottery and other traditional skills

tury

sleek LA hipsters come to laze or party by

workshops are hosted.

museum’s growing collection of architec-

ernism

are

boutique

Modernist

styling,

houses

the

the pool with cocktail in hand. And Palm

The Palm Springs Art Museum is consid-

ture and design-related pieces.

Springs’ sizeable gay and lesbian popula-

ered one of California’s finest regional

Aviation buffs and WWII aficionados

tion translates into an uber LGBT-friendly

museums. This world-class venue is

will exult to the warbirds on display at the

and fun destination, and never more so

notable for its contemporary art and

Palm Springs Air Museum. It’s one of the

than during the annual Gay Pride Festival

astounding glass art in the Denney Western

world’s foremost museums dedicated to

(November) and White Party (May).

American Art Wing. Its Mesoamerican col-

WWII aircraft, displayed in two hangars

lection includes basketry, pottery and other

replicating the European and Pacific the-

Cultural Oasis in the Desert

artifacts by local Amerindian tribes. A few

aters. Flying demos are occasionally

This city lies at the entrance to a desert

blocks away, the Palm Springs Art Museum

offered, as are Warbird Rides in a P-51 Mus-

oasis where majestic mountains and palm

Architecture & Design Center, in a 1960s

tang and C-47 Skytrain.

Tramway to Another World/ Summer Fun To truly appreciate Palm Springs’ beauty and scale, climb aboard the Palm Springs Aerial

Tramway—the

world’s

largest

rotating tram car—for hiking and dining at almost 6,000 feet near the top of Mt. San Jacinto. The Bogert Trail complex rewards hikers with sensational views over the city, as does the Desert View Trail in Mount San Jacinto State Park. In summertime, find fun for the family at Wet’N’Wild waterpark. And every Thursday evening, the city becomes a street festival as its main downtown area transforms into Villagefest with crafts, artwork, street foods and music. There’s always something happening in Palm Springs.

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95


LOS ANGELES COUNTY A place where dreams come true BY JACQUELINE YAU

TOP CITIES Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Venice, Redondo Beach, Marina del Rey

DOMESTIC GATEWAYS Long Beach Airport (LGB), 24 miles (38 km) from downtown LA; Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), 16 miles (26 km) from downtown LA

“T

here is something to be said for having even unrealistic dreams,” says celebrated Whiplash and La La Land writer/director Damien Chazelle. “Even if the dreams

don’t come true—that to me is what’s beautiful about Los Angeles. It’s full of these people who have moved there to chase these dreams. A lot of those people are told by people around them that they’re crazy, or that they’re living in la la land.”

TOURISM WEBSITES discoverlosangeles.com visitwesthollywood.com lovebeverlyhills.com downtownla.com visitpasadena.com visitredondo.com visitmarinadelrey.com santamonica.com

The City of Angels is the land of reinvention. Los Angeles County attracts seekers, dreamers, hustlers and wannabe actors/screenwriters/directors. Most come from somewhere else and are looking for a better life. Persistent optimism and self-expressiveness permeate the air. Thanks to the Beach Boys harmonizing about California girls, beach party movies of the ’60s and TV shows like Baywatch, many people think of Los Angeles as palm trees swaying in warm breezes, endless

POPULATION 10.17 million

beaches and bikini-clad women. But LA is far more complex. It’s a mix of old and new, from cuisine to culture to ideas. The creativity and LOS ANGELES COUNTY

diversity of the region are reflected in the more than 100 museums focused on the odd to the divine, the vibrant global street art and the constant evolution of the food scene.

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SANTA MONICA TRAVEL & TOURISM. OPPOSITE: MATT MARRIOTT/DISCOVER LA

INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 19 miles (31 km) from downtown LA


SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018

»

LOS ANGELES COMEDY FESTIVAL The nation’s largest comedy festival features film, live comedy acts and a screenplay competition. Held twice a year at Let Live Theatre in Los Angeles. May 3-13, Nov. 8-18. lacomedyfest.com LA FOOD FEST Follow your nose to this annual festival celebrating more than 100 of LA’s food vendors, from top chefs and renowned restaurants to gourmet food trucks and street food stalls. Sample libations too, including craft cocktails and tequila. Typically in June at the LA Coliseum. See website for details. lafoodfest.com LOTUS FESTIVAL This 38th annual celebration at Echo Park Lake celebrates the Asian American community in Los Angeles and this year it honors the People’s Republic of China. Enjoy live music, food, dance and dragon boat races set against a backdrop of blooming lotus flowerbeds. July 14-15 at Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles. facebook.com/lotusfestivalla 626 NIGHT MARKET Inspired by the bustling Asian night markets, this evening bazaar will spice up your senses with more than 200 food vendors (tempting your taste buds with skewers of beef, spiraled fried potatoes, stinky tofu and mango shave ice), performers and retail booths. Entering its seventh year, this Asian-food festival is usually held on four weekends in the summer at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. 626nightmarket.com THE ABBOT KINNEY FESTIVAL Founded in 1984, this eco-conscious artisan and food festival attracts many to this bohemian-chic area in Venice. Located on a one-mile stretch on Abbot Kinney Blvd. from Venice Blvd. to Main Street. Sept. 30 in Venice. abbotkinney.org WEST HOLLYWOOD CARNAVAL Every Oct. 31 along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, more than 500,000 people attend the world’s largest Halloween street party. Dress up in your favorite costume and prepare to dance the night away. visitwesthollywood.com/halloween-carnaval

CATCHING SUN ON A ROOFTOP in downtown Los Angeles, below; Santa Monica pier and beach, opposite.

SEE, DO

THE HOLLYWOOD REEL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL Screens new feature films, documentaries, shorts and videos by emerging filmmakers. Feb. 7-27 at multiple venues and locations in Los Angeles. hollywoodreelindependentfilmfestival.com FESTIVAL OF BOOKS Meet hundreds of literary lights and browse the booths at one of the largest book festivals in the country. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books celebrates its 23rd year. April 21-22 at USC. events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks

MUST

»

Hollywood Walk Of Fame Launched on Hollywood Boulevard at Vine Street in 1958, this constellation of coral-pink terrazzo and brass sidewalk stars honors film legends past and present. Among the first honorees were Burt Lancaster and Joanne Woodward—in 1994, Sophia Loren became the 2,000th star. Today there are more than 2,600 stars, with typically two added monthly to the 15-block stretch of the boulevard. Millions of visitors come every year to find their favorite actors, directors, musicians and other entertainment luminaries. › walkoffame.com

»

Santa Monica Pier Savor a Will Rogers Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, ride a vintage carousel, view the area from the Ferris wheel (a movie celebrity in its own right) and explore the theme park on this century-old pier. Snap a selfie by the End of the Trail sign on the pier for the legendary Route 66, which ends its 2,450-mile journey here. › santamonicapier.org

»

Olvera Street Known as the birthplace of Los Angeles, this section of LA was the town center during the colonial era under Spanish and Mexican rule through most of the 19th century. Some vendors are the descendants of the original merchants in this marketplace, established in 1930 to preserve and bring back “old Los Angeles” and its customs. Absorb the scent of tacos and sounds of mariachi music amid the street stalls and old structures. Browse lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) masks, Day of the Dead figurines, piñatas and other souvenirs in this block-long Mexican marketplace located in Los Angeles Plaza Historic District. › olvera-street.com

»

Venice Beach Boardwalk This 1.5-mile pathway parallels the Pacific Ocean and is like a neverending carnival of LA’s most outrageous characters. Stroll past vendors, and street performers trying to impress you with their breakdancing or juggling. Others may dress up as if every day is Halloween. When you’re ready for a break, visit a restaurant or juice bar, or simply walk down to the beach and soak up some sun. And if you need souvenir T-shirts or trinkets, or an affordable painting or photograph, you’re bound to find it here. › venicebeach.com/the-venice-beach-boardwalk

»

See Improv, Sketch or Stand-up Comedy

So many great comedians came out of the clubs of Los Angeles, and you can still catch rising stars honing their craft or legendary veterans trying out new material. Notable clubs and improv troupes include The Groundlings, Hollywood Improv Comedy Club, Laugh Factory, Upright Citizens Brigade and Comedy Store. › thecomedybureau.com/los-angeles-comedy-showcalendars › discoverlosangeles.com/blog/comedy-clubs-los-angeles

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97


City & Town Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the nation at nearly 4 million people, dominates the county. Writer Dorothy Parker once quipped, “Los Angeles is 72 suburbs in search of a city.” Now, LA’s more than 100 neighborhoods form a rich cultural stew. Meander around Chinatown, Little Tokyo, the Art and Fashion Districts, the Latino enclaves around Echo Park, Hollywood’s Laurel Canyon, Little Armenia, Thai Town, or Melrose District where hipsters shop. As the most populous county in the nation,

start the day by stretching at Bryan Kest’s

with more than 10 million residents, Los

Power Yoga studio in Santa Monica. Go

Angeles County comprises 88 cities with

shopping at cool indie shops featuring

more than 100 languages spoken within its

local labels and fashionable imports along

4,084 square miles. Geographically, the

Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Need an

county is larger than the states of Rhode

outfit for an awards show? Head over to

Island and Delaware—combined.

Decades on Melrose Avenue, a couture

The entertainment industry is an integral part of the local economy, annually con-

INSIDER’S

» TIP

LA’S MURALS provide a keen sense

When in LA, do as the celebs do and

vintage store where many stylists choose red-carpet gowns for their star clients.

tributing $47 billion to the region. For

Hungry? Eat at The Griddle Cafe, a

decades, the name Hollywood has been syn-

Sunset Boulevard institution known for

onymous with the movie business, but today

its gigantic pancakes and the steady flow

most studios have moved into neighboring

of celebrities lunching there. Or chow

suburbs such as Burbank and Culver City.

down on a chili dog at Pink’s famous

Some of the better-known areas in LA

corner stand at Melrose and La Brea

creativity bursts off to cover once-

County aren’t even cities but rather districts

avenues. Watch a Lakers or Clippers pro

blank walls through the city. LA

or neighborhoods within Los Angeles, such

basketball game at the Staples Center to

Weekly calls Los Angeles a “city of

as Hollywood, Silver Lake and Venice. In

see stars, both on the court and in the

1,000 murals,” saying its “urban

contrast, Beverly Hills, home to the most

stands. End the day sipping a cocktail at

sprawl creates the perfect canvas.”

expensive residences in the world, and

Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood,

The Weekly highlights 20 of the

West Hollywood, a welcoming oasis to a

where celebrities meet their agents and

city’s most groundbreaking murals,

diverse community of gays, Russians and

studio execs.

which range from celebrations of

musicians, are cities but completely sur-

Latino culture to interpretations of

rounded by the city of Los Angeles.

of its UNDERGROUND ART SCENE as

film heroes: laweekly.com/arts/20-oflas-most-iconic-murals-7927290. For a comprehensive view of the cities murals: muralconservancy.org/murals. Perhaps the best way to see some of the city’s most daring murals is with LA ART TOURS: laarttours.com/graffititour.

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Hollywood

Seventy miles of beaches run along Los

Conceived originally as an outdoor bill-

Angeles County’s southwest border.

board promoting a housing development

Malibu, an exclusive seaside community,

called Hollywoodland in 1923, the Holly-

has some of the most alluring stretches of

wood sign sits on the south side of Mount

sand in the area. To the north, hikers and

Lee in Griffith Park—long a symbol that

mountain climbers explore trails in the

this is a place where dreams can come true.

Santa Monica Mountains. To the east, the

The first movie studio, the Nestor

San Gabriel Mountains rise up to more

Motion Picture Company, opened in 1911

than 10,000 feet above sea level.

in Hollywood on the northwest corner of

GABRIELE MALTINTI/SHUTTERSTOCK; SEAN PAVONE/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: DISCOVER LA

The Nation’s Largest County


Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. It was absorbed by the Universal Film Manufacturing Company, which later became Universal Studios. By the 1920s, 80 percent of the world’s films were shot in California. Learn more about Tinsel Town’s history, and experience its memorabilia at The Hollywood Museum. Or participate in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences events and get swept up in the pre-Oscar buzz.

The Great Outdoors Despite its car culture rap, LA County offers lots of outdoor activities. Rent a bike along the Santa Monica Pier and ride down the path that parallels the ocean, through Venice and on to Marina del Rey before dou-

or take a surfing or stand-up paddle

bling back. Pack a picnic lunch and hike

boarding lesson from one of the many

Echo Mountain in Altadena or the Arroyo

surfing centers in Santa Monica.

Seco trail system in the San Gabriel Moun-

Explore the county’s varied beaches,

tains. Sign up for rock-climbing instruction,

from the famous to the little known, but

GETTY VILLA, above; Venice beach and skate park, opposite top; Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, opposite below.


GRIFFITH PARK AND OBSERVATORY overlook downtown LA, right.

bring a sweater if you go early or plan to stay late. In the summer, moist marine air is pulled inland and forms a misty cover until it burns off by the afternoon, and temperatures drop with the sunset. Start in Malibu and show your stuff at the legendary

way down through Topanga Beach and stop

tired of trying to spot stars on Hollywood

Surfrider Beach at Malibu Lagoon State

over for a volleyball game at Will Rogers

Boulevard, take them to Griffith Observa-

Beach. Explore tide pools and caves at Leo

State Beach in Pacific Palisades. Then hop

tory. Featured in many movies including

Carrillo State Park. Perhaps watch filming

over to Venice and the Strand on Manhattan

Rebel Without a Cause (1955), the observa-

in progress at Malibu’s Point Dume State

Beach to people-watch.

tory is set on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, with a view of

Beach, featured in movies such as the Iron Man series (2008-2013). It also appeared in

Family Fun

the Hollywood sign and greater LA below.

the final scene of the original Planet of the

Check out fossils of saber-toothed cats and

View exhibits and events on Tuesday

Apes (1968). Or look for California gray

mammoths that roamed the LA Basin

through Sunday at the Samuel Oschin Plan-

whales during their migrations from

during the Ice Age at the Page Museum at

etarium and Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon

December to mid April. Next, wind your

the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits. If the kids are

Theater, and attend free public star parties monthly at the Observatory from 2 P.M. to 9:45 P.M. Budding astronomers and their

» TOUR MULHOLLAND DRIVE offers spectacular views of the HOLLYWOOD BOWL,

families are encouraged to try out different telescopes and talk to amateur astronomers about the sun, moon and planets. Visit the California Science Center that houses the Endeavour, which traveled 123 million miles, the final ship to be built in

the LA BASIN and

NASA’s Space Shuttle program. View space

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY.

capsules from the Mercury, Gemini and

It’s about 24 miles from the

Apollo-Soyuz missions. Special exhibits

405 freeway to Highway 101 with overlooks all along the way. Or, drive in a loop from HOLLYWOOD. Starting at the DOLBY THEATRE, home of

include “Mission 26: ET Comes Home,”

the Academy Awards, go west on HOLLYWOOD BLVD. in Los Angeles

through the Panama Canal, its arrival in

till it ends. Turn right on LAUREL CANYON BLVD. and at the top, turn

Marina del Rey, and its journey through the

left on Mulholland Drive. Stop at the NANCY HOOVER POHL

OVERLOOK and enjoy a great view of the “Valley.” Return to Mulholland Drive, going eastbound, past Laurel Canyon Road until you see the HOLLYWOOD BOWL OVERLOOK on your right. Park and

which features moments of ET-94’s trip

streets of Los Angeles to its new home at the science center. Enjoy the many touchfriendly exhibits such as the High-Wire

walk up to see the panoramic views of downtown LA, the Hollywood

Bicycle ($3), which allows the courageous

sign, Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Bowl Amphitheater.

to safely bike along a one-inch wire 43 feet

Continue east until you reach the bottom of Mulholland Drive. Turn

above the ground. The gravitational forces

right on Woodrow Wilson and make an immediate right onto

on the counterweight prevent the bicycle

CAHUENGA BLVD., heading south back to Hollywood.

from tipping over and illustrate the center of gravity law.

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ALEXANDRE OLIVE/SHUTTERSTOCK

DRIVE


REDONDO BEACH SoCal’s family-friendly seaside getaway

BY MICHAEL SHAPIRO

Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau visitredondo.com

REDONDO BEACH, above; fishing from the pier, below.

the pier’s adjacent International Boardwalk.

with a glorious coastline and lively pier,

Chef Tin Vuong recently opened Sub-

Redondo Beach is an ideal venue for living

urbia, a restaurant in Redondo Beach’s

the California dream, if only for the

Riviera Village featuring global specialties.

weekend. Just seven miles from LAX and

There are lots of American standards too.

not far from Los Angeles’ top attractions,

The city’s cultural anchor is the Redondo

historic Redondo Beach is a magnet for

Beach Performing Arts Center. The 1,457-seat

those who love the coast.

venue hosts performances by the Los Angeles

Typically sunny and in the 80s in

Ballet, a slack key guitar festival, and theatrical

summer and comfortable the rest of the year,

musicals such as 2018’s highlight, Mamma

the beach is less crowded than better-known

Mia!, featuring ABBA’s songs, Aug. 3-12.

sands in Malibu and Santa Monica. Popular

For lodging, a top pick is The Portofino

activities include sport fishing, whale

Hotel on the waterfront, with ocean views in

watching, diving, surfing, stand-up paddle

Redondo Beach’s marina. The hotel’s Baleen

boarding, biking and beach volleyball.

Kitchen reopened last summer after a com-

Redondo Beach rose to prominence early in the 20

th

century when George Freeth

came from Oahu and introduced surfing to

T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

Shade, with yacht-chic design elements and a rooftop pool, overlooks the marina.

the mainland. Known as the “Man Who Can

While staying in Redondo Beach, don’t

Walk on Water,” Freeth attracted thousands

miss The SEA Lab, a marine science educa-

of spectators who gawked in amazement as

tion center (lacorps.org/programs/sea-lab). If

he rode his eight-foot-long wooden surf-

you’re

board from sea to shore.

November and April, try to spot gray whales

in

Redondo

Beach

between

Today the Redondo Beach Pier attracts

migrating between California and Mexico.

visitors with events including a kite festival

You can often see the behemoths from

on March 11, a classic car show on Sept. 30

shore. To get closer, book a whale-watching

(redondopier.com/events), and the annual

tour on a boat such as the Indian

Redondo Beach Lobster Festival, Sept. 28-30

(rbwhales.com).

(lobsterfestival.com).

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plete redesign. A new upscale hotel called

But perhaps the best way to enjoy

On the second Saturday of each month

Redondo Beach is to simply relax in the

there are free yoga sessions on the pier,

sand, watch the waves curl and enjoy some

which has more than 50 shops, rides and

California dreamin’ in one of the state’s

restaurants, and there are more choices on

premier beach towns.

SAHANI PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK; VISIT REDONDO

SWIM, BIKE, » DINE, RELAX!

PERCHED ALONGSIDE the Pacific Ocean


MARINA DEL REY LA’s own Waterworld, enjoyed out on the waves or from a restaurant window

CRUISE, FISH, » PADDLE, DINE! Marina del Rey Visitor Information visitmarinadelrey.com

SUNSET COCKTAIL CRUISE with Hornblower, above; parasailing at Marina del Rey, below.

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T R AV E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A

A QUIET, UPSCALE OASIS between

world wars before being realized in 1965. A

busy, bohemian Venice to the north and

remnant of the wetlands remains in the Bal-

chaotic LAX just four miles south, Marina

lona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.

del Rey is best-known for its man-made

Although the Pacific coastline and

small-craft harbor, the largest in the

adjacent strip of land west of the harbor

country with eight basins and nearly 5,000

technically belong to the city of Los

boat slips. Water makes up nearly 42 per-

Angeles, Marina del Rey offers the small,

cent of the 1.5-square-mile community. The

serene and rarely crowded Marina Beach

variety of fishing trips, harbor tours, dinner

(or Mother’s Beach), at the foot of Basin D.

cruises, private yacht charters, kayaking

The clean sand, water sports and play-

and stand-up paddling make this unincor-

ground make it especially popular with

porated patch of Los Angeles County one of

families. Landlubbers can enjoy views of

Southern California’s favorite nautical play-

passing watercraft from the walking path

grounds. Mesmerizing harbor views from

or picnic tables at Burton Chace Park,

almost all of its restaurants make water-

along Basin H. An ever-expanding lineup

front dining a close second among Marina

of park events includes free summer con-

del Rey’s attractions. Even better, they offer

certs and movies, and a lighted boat

year-round outdoor dining.

parade during the holidays.

Just over 50 years ago, this was an estuary

Venice is just next door. Visitors can

fed by fresh water from Ballona Creek; it was

shop and dine on the popular Abbot Kinney

frequented only by local duck hunters and

Boulevard or go to Venice Beach and people

fishermen. First envisioned as a major

watch at the world-famous Venice Board-

commercial harbor in 1887, it suffered bank-

walk, where eccentric characters bike and

ruptcy, governmental recalcitrance and two

rollerblade every day.

MARINA DEL REY CVB

BY CHRISTINE DELSOL


SAN DIEGO COUNTY More than pretty beaches and sunshine BY MARIBETH MELLIN TOP CITIES San Diego, Coronado, Chula Vista, La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, El Cajon, Julian, Borrego Springs INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY San Diego International Airport (SAN), also known as Lindbergh Field, is conveniently located on the edge of downtown

C

alifornia has no shortage of beach towns, but San Diego is its only “beach city,” where the state’s second-largest population enjoys 70 miles of scenic coastline and 70-degree temperatures. Outdoor fun and

family-oriented attractions are the main lures, but San Diego takes the “city” part seriously, too. Artistic and intellectual pursuits enjoy deep support here. Writers, artists, musicians and scientists find inspiration while surfing at La Jolla Shores or jogging in Mission Bay Park. The Tony Award-winning Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse send plays to Broadway frequently. Scientific landmarks

lajollabythesea.com visitdelmarvillage.com visitoceanside.org visitescondido.com sandiegozoo.org

POPULATION 3 million

including the Salk Institute and Scripps Institute of Oceanography are magnets for some of the world’s brightest minds. Downtown’s diversions alone could easily fill a week. New, exciting restaurants, clubs and shops pop up in trendy neighborhoods, creating a constant buzz. The Embarcadero tracing San Diego Bay’s edge offers access to the USS Midway aircraft carrier; the Maritime Museum with its landmark Star of India and new San Salvador, a replica of Spanish explorers’ ships; the expansive Waterfront Park; and the San Diego Convention Center. Cruise ships berth at the foot of Broadway and passengers into San Diego International Airport fly over high-rise towers to land just north of downtown. Hotels of every description and hip-quotient are scattered throughout the city’s core, making it a desirable place to stay.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY

A Bridge to Coronado The swooping San Diego-Coronado Bridge connects downtown to Coronado, a genteel city with an active Navy base and one of the world’s loveliest beaches. Its “island” actually is a peninsula tethered to the mainland by the Silver Strand,

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BRIAN A. WITKIN/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: CITYPASS

TOURISM WEBSITES sandiego.org coronadovisitorcenter.com visitcarlsbad.com visitjulian.com borregospringschamber.com sdzsafaripark.org


a narrow strip of road and sand running

lands Park and teeing off at Coronado

past Navy installations and pristine

Municipal Golf Course.

»

beaches to the south county. The red turrets atop the Victorian Hotel del Coronado

Balboa Park

peek above the city’s modest skyline.

San Diego’s century-old cultural heart

Coronado’s pleasures include shopping

occupies 1,200 acres of hills and canyons

and dining on Orange Avenue, visiting the

just east of downtown. It hosts 17

Coronado Museum of History & Art,

museums and The Old Globe theater,

ogling the San Diego skyline from Tide-

winner of multiple Tony Awards. Its most

MUST

SEE, DO

»

Mission Bay Park With plenty of room for jogging, bicycling, boating, kite flying and countless other activities, this 4,600-acre aquatic and land park is centrally located along I-5 near the wildly popular communities of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. Some areas have fire rings, playgrounds or picnic areas, while others are best for watercraft and swimming. Cruise along Mission Bay Drive for an overview and keep an eye out for crowds, as boat races, charity runs and other events are common.

»

POWERHOUSE PARK overlooks the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar, opposite; SeaWorld Turtle Reef, above.

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 SAN DIEGO RESTAURANT WEEK Jan. 21-28, Citywide, sandiegorestaurantweek.com FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN Jan. 25-28, Torrey Pines Golf Course, La Jolla farmersinsuranceopen.com GASLAMP QUARTER MARDI GRAS Feb. 27, Downtown San Diego sdmardigras.com THE MISSION VALLEY CRAFT BEER & FOOD FESTIVAL March 3, Mission Valley mvcbf.com SAN DIEGO CREW CLASSIC March 24-25, Mission Bay crewclassic.org FIESTA OLD TOWN CINCO DE MAYO May 5-7, Old Town San Diego cincodemayooldtown.com SAN DIEGO COUNTY FAIR June 1-July 4, Del Mar Fairgrounds sdfair.com ROCK ’N’ ROLL MARATHON June 2-3, Central San Diego runrocknroll.competitor.com/san-diego OB STREET FAIR & CHILI COOK-OFF June 23, Ocean Beach oceanbeachsandiego.com PORT OF SAN DIEGO BIG BAY BOOM July 4, San Diego Bay bigbayboom.com DEL MAR THOROUGHBRED CLUB HORSERACING July 18-Sept. 3, Nov. 9-Dec. 4, Del Mar dmtc.com COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL July 19-22, Downtown San Diego comic-con.org KAABOO DEL MAR Sept. 14-16, Del Mar kaaboodelmar.com ADAMS AVENUE STREET FAIR Sept. 29-30, Central San Diego, adamsavenuebusiness.com/event-info/adams-avenue-street-fair/

La Jolla This upscale Mediterranean-style community lives up to its name (“The Jewel” in Spanish), with a postcard-ready setting, white sands, turquoise waters, sea caves (including Sunny Jim Cave, California’s only known land-access sea cave) and an Underwater Park teeming with pinnipeds, rays, scuttling lobsters and countless fish. It’s not just another pretty face, though; it hosts the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Murals of La Jolla and the Birch Aquarium—while also offering the “Rodeo Drive of San Diego,” named for Prospect Street’s stellar shops, galleries and restaurants. › lajollabythesea.com

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park There aren’t many places where you can drive from the beach to the mountains and on to the desert in less than a day. San Diego County encompasses all three, including California’s largest state park. Traffic reaches rush-hour proportions during the spring cactus bloom, when the vast brown explodes with color. The park is fascinating any time of year, as is the town of Borrego Springs.

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Balboa Park The country’s largest urban cultural park is a rambling landscape of museums, theaters, artists’ studios and gardens. The tiled California Tower, with its unobstructed 360-degree view of the park and city, has become a treasured landmark, reopened after an 80-year closure for the park’s centennial in 2015. › balboapark.org

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Cabrillo National Monument High above the tip of Point Loma, this sprawling park commemorates Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo and San Diego’s early history. It’s most popular for the panoramas of the boat-filled bay and sea, the mountains to the east and the hills of Tijuana to the south. It’s a great place to look for whales spouting offshore in winter. › nps.gov/cabr/index.htm

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HEAD OF THE SERPENT, one of artist Ricardo Breceda’s 130-plus metal sculptures in Borrego Springs, above; arcade in Balboa Park in San Diego, right; Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, opposite top; LEGOLAND family fun, opposite below.

» TIP

famous tenant, the justly renowned San

modernist condo complexes, trendy shops

Diego Zoo, celebrated its Centennial in 2016

and gourmet restaurants helmed by top

and opened a huge new Africa Rocks

chefs. As the hub of San Diego’s sophisti-

exhibit in 2017.

cated nightlife scene, the entire downtown now pulses with energy day and night.

San Diego is exceptionally pet friendly, even at the beach.

Beach Towns

Though dogs are banned from

The coast between the Mexican border (18

through Bankers Hill and Hillcrest, the

most public beaches, they can

miles south of downtown) and Oceanside is

lively heart of the LGBT community. Over

race from sand to sea at a few

lined with beach towns. Each has a unique

the past decade, the former Naval Training

specific spots. Some say the

character, from Ocean Beach’s hippie vibe to

Center, now called Liberty Station, has

section of the public beach

classy La Jolla’s Mediterranean ambience.

evolved into a mini-town with stores,

beside the MISSION BAY JETTY in

Beloved by surfers and escapists with suffi-

offices, galleries, schools and the Liberty

Ocean Beach was San Diego’s

cient wherewithal, a series of small

Public Market occupying the base’s

original dog playground, and it’s

communities line the coast north of La

Spanish Colonial-style former commissary

still one of the most popular in

Jolla’s Torrey Pines State Reserve.

building. Abundant open space makes

The urban core continues uptown

Liberty Station the perfect spot for art shows,

the county. Nearby FIESTA

ISLAND is beloved by dogs and

City & Town

their human companions for its

San Diego’s cosmopolitan downtown

great expanse of sand edging

encompasses several hip neighborhoods.

The Great Outdoors

Mission Bay. You can count on

The historic Gaslamp Quarter’s picturesque

Surfers, swimmers, boaters and anglers all

finding lots of large, active

streets are packed with classy restaurants

play in and on the Pacific Ocean, from Impe-

family gatherings and special events.

th

canines here. The north end of

and clubs in restored 19 -century Victo-

rial Beach near the Mexican border north to

CORONADO’S BEACH, often

rian, Baroque and Frontier buildings. Petco

Oceanside and the Marine base at Camp

included in Top 10 lists, is open

Park,

stadium,

Pendleton. Snorkeling is especially good at La

to dogs 24/7. DEL MAR’S DOG

anchors the East Village filled with condo

Jolla Cove, while surfers prefer Ocean Beach,

BEACH, near the Del Mar Race

complexes, cafés and a stunning Central

Pacific Beach and dozens of small patches of

Track, is open from just after

Library. Little Italy managed to hold on to

sand with gnarly waves just offshore.

Labor Day until mid June.

some venerable pizza parlors, bakeries and

East and north of the city center, the

bars while evolving from a simple Italian

landscape gives way to rolling foothills and

community into an urban enclave with

canyons. Lakes and reservoirs offer fresh-

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downtown’s

baseball

DOUG JAMES/SHUTTERSTOCK; GABRIELE MALTINTI/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: SMJONES/SHUTTERSTOCK; CITYPASS

INSIDER’S


water fishing and tranquility. The vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, home of “California’s Grand Canyon” at Fonts Point, provides hiking trails through palm canyons, fields of cacti and dazzling wildflower displays.

Heritage & Culture Explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo spotted San Diego Bay in 1542 but quickly sailed on north, leaving the Kumeyaay Indians to their warm, bountiful home. San Diego County’s

Diego.

18 tribes represent the largest concentration

Museum is an eco-friendly playground for

Downtown’s

New

Children’s

in the country, and more than half benefit

all ages, with multicultural, bilingual

from casinos in east and north counties.

exhibits that make learning fun, and its

Cabrillo’s brief stay is commemorated at

adjacent one-acre park allows kids to burn

Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of

energy. Teens flock to fighter planes and

Point Loma overlooking the bay. European

flight simulators at the USS Midway

settlers who returned in 1769 built a fort

Museum. Top choices for inexpensive

and mission church at Presidio Hill, a gor-

Family Fun

entertainment: bicycling at Mission Bay

geous swath of lawns above Old Town State

Adults and children alike relish the San

and Coronado, fishing off piers in Imperial

Historic Park, which contains many of San

Diego Zoo and its separate Safari Park,

Beach and Ocean Beach and stargazing from

Diego’s oldest buildings.

Legoland California and SeaWorld San

Mount Palomar.

DRIVE

» TOUR

OCEANSIDE

CARLSBAD

Historic Highway 101, also called the PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY, runs through San Diego’s idyllic NORTH COUNTY coastal communities, passing by gorgeous long beaches and wild lagoons. You can do the trip in a couple of hours, but why hurry? Begin at the north end of La Jolla at TORREY PINES

STATE PARK and descend a steep hill to Torrey Pines beach, then uphill again to DEL MAR. Stop signs at each block force you to slow down and appreciate the Tudor-style buildings and quaint shops and cafés in town before you

LEUCADIA MOONLIGHT BEACH ENCINITAS

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA

descend again and cruise through SOLANA BEACH, CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA,

ENCINITAS, LEUCADIA, CARLSBAD and OCEANSIDE. Each town’s main street

SOLANA BEACH

presents an array of dining and browsing options, from funky Mexican take-

DEL MAR

out stands to fancy restaurants on the sand. Of the many beaches along the way, MOONLIGHT BEACH in Encinitas presents the most playtime possibili-

TORREY PINES STATE PARK

ties including a playground, snack bar, picnic tables and a year-round lifeguard station. Take your time and stop often. The distance between Torrey Pines and Oceanside is only 25 miles, but you can easily spend a full day exploring. When you’re ready to return to central San Diego, just hop on I-5 South at one of the many entrances along 101.

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SAN DIEGO ZOO & SAFARI PARK Born to be wild

BY MARIBETH MELLIN

ONE OF THE WORLD’S 10 largest zoos, San Diego Zoo earns its worldwide fame on many fronts. It pioneered the concept of zoos without cages. It houses 3,500 animals representing 650 species and subspecies on 100 acres of Balboa Park, forming a lush, 700,000-plant arboretum while re-creating the animals’ natural habitats. Many of its denizens are increasingly scarce in the wild. Perhaps most important, the zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research lends A GREY KANGAROO RELAXES in the Australian Outback exhibit, above; an endangered African penguin surveys the scene, left.

its expertise to 140 conservation and species-preservation projects in 80 countries and has been instrumental in

SAN DIEGO ZOO & SAFARI PARK

replenishing populations of the giant condor, giant panda and Tasmanian devil,

world’s fastest cat speeding past you.

among many other species.

Riding on the popular Africa Tram presents

The Panda Trek, Asian leopard habitat

photo ops with herds of giraffes, crashes of

and the Australian Outback, home to koalas

rhinos and flocks of exotic birds. To focus

mingling with other marsupials and birds,

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

on a favorite animal, attend an animal

are among the most popular areas. Under

Originally a breeding facility for the down-

encounter with zookeepers explaining the

construction for two years, a major new

town zoo, this 1,800-acre adjunct park 35

characteristics of Sumatran tigers or

Africa Rocks project opened in 2017 at the

miles to the northeast in Escondido offers

training birds for the Frequent Flyers bird

center of the zoo. The eight-acre habitat is

wide-open spaces where more than 2,600

show. For a complete overview, join one of

the largest attraction created for the zoo in

animals run free. While it concentrates on

the various safaris, undertaken by cart, car-

its 100 years in operation. The landscape

herd animals such as giraffes, antelopes

avan, jungle ropes or zip line. You can even

recreates parts of six African regions, with

and rhinos from the African and Asian

sleep close to the animals on a Roar and

a 65-foot waterfall representing Mada-

savannahs, the park houses about 300

Snore Safari. Like the downtown zoo, the

gascar, and is designed to make baboons,

species and subspecies.

Safari Park creates a lineup of special

monkeys, zebras and crocodiles feel right

Getting close to these creatures can be as

exhibits and animal presentations that

at home. Endangered African penguins

simple as walking through areas such as the

guarantee a new experience even for visi-

have their own habitat, where the zoo

Tiger Trail, the Lemur Walk or the Cheetah

tors who return over and over throughout

hopes to breed flocks of baby penguins.

Run, where you can feel the whoosh of the

their lives.

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INLAND EMPIRE Discover quintessential California in this often-overlooked region of mountains, deserts, abundant vineyards and casino action

BY LENORE GREINER TOP CITIES Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Temecula, Ontario, San Bernardino, Riverside, Redlands INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Ontario International Airport (ONT), 35 miles (56 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, 23 miles (37 km) west of San Bernardino, 16 miles (26 km) west of Riverside TOURISM WEBSITES bigbear.com lakearrowheadchamber.com visittemeculavalley.com riversidecvb.com GOcvb.org

T

he vast 5,000 square miles of the Inland Empire deftly capture California’s Spanish and Native American origins, the stagecoach era and the Golden Age of traveling Route 66. The perennially sunny,

scenic landscape and historic sites here reflect Golden State extremes: snowcapped granite peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains to the north and the San Jacinto range to the east fast descend into arid high deserts and, finally, to verdant vineyards and groves. In the birthplace of California’s citrus industry, discover tranquil, scenic beauty among vineyards, hiking paths or ski runs. Or partake in distinctly Californian pursuits: wine tasting, escaping to a quiet golf resort, or soaking in steamy hot springs. The crowds are fewer and the prices are lower than Lake Tahoe and Napa Valley, yet you’ll find the same thrills and diversions

POPULATION 2.2 million

in the Inland Empire.

The Great Outdoors For year-round recreation, travelers can head into the San Bernardino Mountains, to two popular alpine lakes. At Big Bear Lake, outdoor enthusiasts find winter alpine sports at Big Bear Mountain and Snow Summit for excellent skiing and snowboarding. Come summertime, the lake offers watersports lovers abundant fishing, boating, kayaking and even parasailing. Lake Arrowhead offers hiking, horseback riding, biking and ice-skating. Or INLAND EMPIRE

wander in the natural beauty and charming shops of the Swiss Chalet-style alpine village of Lake Arrowhead. Or simply stargaze, watch the autumn leaves turn or the winter snowflakes fall.

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»

MUST

SEE, DO

»

Saddle Up Wine Tours This equine and wine tour winds through Temecula’s vineyards and winery estates until you say “Whoa” at up to three wineries for tastings. › saddleupwinetours.com

»

Sand to Snow National Monument

In 2016, President Obama designated our newest national monument, 154,000 acres of San Bernardino National Forest and BLM land jutting skyward from the Sonoran desert floor to the 11,502-foot peak of Mount San Gorgonio. This biologically diverse monument encompasses wildlife corridors, sacred Serrano and Cahuilla tribal sites and 30 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. › fs.fed.us/visit/sand-to-snow-national-monument

»

University of California Riverside’s ARTSBlock A cultural anchor in downtown River-

side, three miles from UCR’s main campus, ARTSblock occupies adjacent historic buildings and former department stores. The California Museum of Photography exhibits contemporary photography and has a comprehensive collection of early cameras. The Sweeney Art Gallery acts as a laboratory of experimental art. The Culver Center of the Arts hosts films, lectures and theatrical programs. › artsblock.ucr.edu

»

Ballooning over Temecula Drift serenely in a hot-air balloon over the vineyards, citrus groves and horse ranches of Temecula’s wine country, tinged by the rising sun’s golden light. Sunrise Balloons first pioneered these flights in 1975; their capable, licensed pilots ensure a safe float that begins with a mimosa and ends with cold champagne. › sunriseballoons.com

»

Mission Inn Hotel & Spa This 1902 National Historic Landmark has hosted presidents and movie stars in this ramble of Mission Revival, Moorish and Oriental architecture, and Louis Comfort Tiffany mosaics. It’s authentic, never touristy and worth a visit. Sip a drink in the Spanish Patio under colonnades draped with red bougainvillea. › missioninn.com

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SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 RIVERSIDE DICKENS FESTIVAL Costumed Dickens characters descend upon downtown Riverside. Festivities include a Steampunk fashion show, a Victorian tea room with music hall performances, parasol dueling and Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig’s Ball in full Victorian regalia. February 24-25 dickensfest.com TEMECULA ROD RUN Roaring hot rods descend upon Old Town Temecula. March 2-3 temeculaca.gov/rodrun RAMONA OUTDOOR PLAY Playing since 1926, this tragic romance about the Ponca Indians is America’s longest running drama and California’s Official Outdoor Play. April 21-22, 28-29, May 5-6 ramonabowl.com TEMECULA VALLEY BALLOON & WINE FESTIVAL This festival features hot-air balloon rides, wine and craft beer tastings, gourmet food, live music and more on Lake Skinner. June 1-3 tvbwf.com LAKE ARROWHEAD ANNUAL ANTIQUE & CLASSIC WOODEN BOAT SHOW Rare antique and classic wooden boats gather in Lake Arrowhead Village. June 9-10 lakearrowheadchamber.com BIG BEAR LAKE & LAKE ARROWHEAD VILLAGE OKTOBERFESTS These events feature bands, beer and brats at a 7,000-foot elevation. Weekends, Sept. 8-Oct. 28 bigbearevents.com/Oktoberfest, lakearrowheadoktoberfest.com

HORSEBACK RIDING in Temecula, previous page; Ontario Mills Mall, below; ballooning over the vineyards in Temecula Valley, opposite page..


INSIDER’S

» TIP

Settled in the 1840s, Louis Robidoux’s Jurupa Rancho property eventually became a city park, the MT. RUBIDOUX

TRAIL AND MEMORIAL PARK. West of downtown Riverside, this local favorite has a 2.7-mile

and oldest navel orange tree, planted in 1873,

Mojave, Serrano and Gabrielino. Within

paved trail ascending the 1,399-

stands on the spot where California’s multi-

the

foot-high mountain amid

million-dollar citrus industry began. Since

museum, the Zimmerman Citrus Kiosk

historical plaques. The climb,

1880, the iconic Mission Inn has hosted U.S.

explores the area’s citrus heritage.

lined with spring wildflowers or

presidents and delighted travelers with a

views of the snow-dusted San

Hearst Castle-like eclectic mix of Spanish

Family Fun

and Moorish architecture, adorned with

The fun begins with rides on the locomo-

priceless Italian and Spanish treasures, as a

tives and trolleys of the Orange Empire

church bell tolls on the hour.

Railway Museum in Perris. At Tom’s Farm

Bernardino Mountains in winter, rewards hikers with expansive Riverside valley views.

VISIT TEMECULA VALLEY. OPPOSITE: VISIT TEMECULA VALLEY. PREVIOUS PAGE: JACK YONN/ONTARIO CVB

mt-rubidoux.org

citrus

groves

surrounding

the

The San Bernardino Museum explores

in Corona, kids can mine for emeralds and

local history by exhibiting a covered

rubies, ride a pony, board the 1800s steam

City & Town

wagon that crossed the Mojave Desert

train or drive a tractor. In the summertime

Foodies and oenophiles should explore Old

from Salt Lake City and a Wells Fargo

heat, take cool water rides on the Alpine

Town Temecula’s historic district of 1880s

stagecoach. The Hall of Anthropology

Slide’s twisting curves at the Magic Moun-

buildings for wine tasting and sampling

showcases local native cultures, the

tain Recreation Area at Big Bear Lake.

local fare in a friendly, Old West ambience. Or visit Redlands, the “City of Beautiful Homes,” and its opulent Victorians and Arts and Crafts style homes of yesteryear. North of Temecula, play in the mud or

DRIVE

» TOUR

soak in the soothing mineral waters of the 157-year-old Glen Ivy Hot Springs, dating from early stagecoach days. Get in on the action at the gaming tables at the Pechanga Casino. Or soar in a hot air balloon over Temecula

Valley’s

35,000-acre

wine

RIM OF THE WORLD SCENIC BYWAY: This 107-mile scenic drive begins on State Highway 138 just west of I-15 at the

MORMON ROCK FIRE STATION. Travel east on 138 to

country, dotted with B&Bs and luxury

the CAJON PASS OVERLOOK

resorts amid vines and citrus groves. After-

for breathtaking views, then

wards, relax with a glass of local wine on a

east to SILVERWOOD LAKE

winery portico or play golf in this quiet

and the Mojave River basin. 138 merges with 18 along the rim of the San

oasis of the California good life.

Bernardino forest and provides sweeping vistas of San Bernardino,

Heritage & Culture

road around Big Bear Lake to MILL CREEK RANGER STATION. This tour

Riverside harbors a wealth of California his-

can be done in four hours.

Redlands and the Los Angeles Basin. At BIG BEAR LAKE DAM, follow the

tory. On Magnolia Avenue, the state’s first

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ONTARIO A trove of discoveries in under-the-radar SoCal home base

SHOP, DINE, » SEE A PERFORMANCE Greater Ontario Visitor Information GOcvb.org

CITIZENS BUSINESS BANK ARENA, above; Victoria Gardens, below.

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ONTARIO IS KNOWN primarily as an

furniture designer of the postwar period.

alternative home base away from the chaos

Twice-weekly guided tours show why

of LAX, stratospheric hotel rates in LA and

Maloof insisted on calling himself simply

the beach cities, and legendary freeway

a woodworker—his craftsmanship shines

congestion. But once they land at pain-free

in every detail.

Ontario International Airport, visitors soon

Ontario claims the largest concentration

find the unheralded historic spots, shop-

of movie screens west of the Mississippi,

ping and entertainment of Ontario and its

while Citizens Business Bank Arena hosts

surrounding communities, dubbed Greater

acts ranging from Lucha Libre to the Los

Ontario, well worth seeking out.

Angeles Lakers to Cirque du Soleil to

The Sunkist water tower south of down-

Miranda Lambert. More intimate entertain-

town harks back to Ontario’s origin in 1882,

ment can be found at the Lewis Family

when the Chaffey brothers founded the

Playhouse and the Improv at Ontario Mills,

model township and named it after their

which hosts top comedy acts.

home province in Canada. That era lives on

Shoppers can choose from more than

in Ontario’s Museum of History and Art and

200 stores and entertainment venues at

at the Graber Olive House, where the same

Ontario Mills, or find a change of pace at

family has used the same recipe since 1894.

Rancho Cucamonga’s Victoria Gardens. Its

More recent history endures at the quaint

anchor stores are surrounded by small

Logan’s Candies shop, famous for candy

shops arranged as city blocks with a pedes-

canes it has made the same way since 1933

trian walkway leading to a cultural center

(including a record-breaking six-footer). For

including a theater and city library.

more glimpses of the past, get the Historic

While Greater Ontario enjoys its prox-

Downtown Ontario self-guided walking

imity to scenic mountain and desert

tour map at ontarioca.gov.

landscapes, one of Southern California’s

Next door in Rancho Cucamonga

standout natural sites is in its own back-

(where legendary Route 66 runs right

yard: Rancho Santa Ana in Claremont

through town on the way to its terminus at

claims the largest botanic garden dedicated

Santa Monica) is the exquisite home of

to California native plants, meandering

Sam Maloof, perhaps the most renowned

through natural terrain.

ONTARIO CVB; JON EDWARDS

BY CHRISTINE DELSOL


ORANGE COUNTY Diverse cities harbor troves of California history, ethnic cultures and thriving arts scenes

BY CHRISTINE DELSOL TOP CITIES Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Orange, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, San Clemente INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA), located at the juncture of Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Newport Beach near I-405

D

ays when Disneyland, 42 miles of idyllic beaches and swaths of orange groves were all that lifted “The O.C.” out of Los Angeles’ shadow are long gone. Orange County today is a diverse collection

of cities counting famous surf breaks, historic missions, art colonies and scenic marinas among its attractions. While beach towns—from surf-centric Huntington Beach to tony Newport to artsy Laguna to serene San Clemente—still embody the casual,

TOURISM WEBSITES visittheoc.com visitanaheim.org visitbuenapark.com travelcostamesa.com surfcityusa.com destinationirvine.com visitlagunabeach.com visitnewportbeach.com sanjuancapistrano.org

creative California of popular imagination, inland cities have grown into

POPULATION

Packing House food market, has distinguished itself from the Magic

3,172,532

Kingdom. About 30 percent of OC residents hail from another country, and

shopping, entertainment and sports meccas. Irvine—encompassing a University of California campus, the evolving Orange County Great Park and several “villages”—was the vanguard of a trend toward master-planned communities in recent decades. Defying the suburban stereotype, Orange County cities possess distinct personalities. Even Anaheim, with its modern convention center, revival of the historic Center Street Promenade commerce district, and bustling

English is a second language for 45 percent; Little Saigon is the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam. A true melting pot, the county hosts a dizzying array of ethnic food, festivals, markets and cultural events. ORANGE COUNTY

Performance venues such as the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the South Coast Repertory are sprinkled throughout the county. Destination shopping malls, including Irvine Spectrum, Costa Mesa’s South

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»

MUST

SEE, DO

»

Disneyland Resort Walt Disney would hardly recognize his original “happiest place on Earth” today. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy took over the former Tower of Terror drop ride at California Adventure in 2017, and Pixar (formerly Paradise) Pier is slated to open this summer with an Incredibles-themed roller coaster and four neighborhoods invoking Pixar stories. Meanwhile, a chunk of Frontierland is gradually morphing into Star Wars Land, to open in 2019; adventures include a secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and getting caught in the thick of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. › disneyland.disney.go.com

» Orange County Great Park The 1,300-acre park

HUNTINGTON BEACH CVB; CHRIS COSTEA; NEWPORT BEACH CVB. OPPOSITE: TALLGRASS PICTURES LLC

SUNSET CALLS FOR champagne in Huntington Beach, opposite; Huntington Beach, le ; Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, top; Newport Beach Harbor, above.

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 DANA POINT WHALE FESTIVAL March 3-4, 10-11, Dana Point festivalofwhales.org SWALLOWS’ DAY PARADE AND MERCADO STREET FAIRE March 24, San Juan Capistrano swallowsparade.com BATTLE OF THE MARIACHIS May 12, Mission San Juan Capistrano missionsjc.com SAWDUST ART FESTIVAL June 28-Sept. 2, Laguna Beach sawdustartfestival.org HUNTINGTON BEACH 4TH OF JULY PARADE & FIREWORKS July 4, Huntington Beach www.hb4thofjuly.org PAGEANT OF THE MASTERS July 7-Sept.1, Laguna Beach foapom.com TALL SHIPS FESTIVAL Sept. 7-9, Dana Point Harbor tallshipsfestival.com NEWPORT BEACH CHRISTMAS BOAT PARADE Dec. 19-23, Newport Beach christmasboatparade.com

slowly evolving from the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station is already a popular family destination. In addition to 2017’s opening of the first phase of a 194acre sports park (stadium, soccer fields, tennis and volleyball courts; baseball and softball fields to come), 200 acres already were occupied by the now-iconic orange Great Park Balloon rising 400 feet into the air, a hand-painted carousel, a Kids Rock play area, a hands-on Farm + Food Lab, Palm Court Arts Complex gallery and studios, walkable historical timeline, and a weekly farmers market. › cityofirvine.org/orange-county-great-park

» Lot 579, Huntington Beach Just south of “Surf

City’s” downtown, steps from Huntington Beach Pier and the city’s famous sands, the sidewalk cafés and markets of this waterfront food hall offer a delicious variety of towering gourmet sandwiches, fresh fish, authentic Aussie meat pies, gelato on a stick and other treats. Lot 579 is an anchor of Pacific City, the two-yearold shopping, dining and entertainment complex whose Craftsman-style bungalows pay homage to the early oceanfront village that became Huntington Beach. The communal space upstairs offers plenty of seating and a killer ocean view. › gopacificcity.com/lot-579

»

Laguna Beach and Pageant of the Masters

Art literally comes to life in the unique Pageant of the Masters, in which living actors take up positions against painted backdrops to re-create world masterpieces in eerie 3-D fidelity. It’s the pièce de résistance among the festivals, workshops, galleries and proliferation of public art in the picturesque beach town that began life in the early 1900s as a small artists’ colony. › visitlagunabeach.com › foapom.com

»

Old Towne Orange Not to be missed in this square mile of Early California homes, sporting handsome Victorian, Craftsman, Bungalow and Spanish architecture, is the Old Towne Orange Walking Food Tour. The county’s oldest operating bank and soda fountain can also be found among the locally owned shops, galleries, fountains and pretty sidewalk cafés. › iheartoldtowneorange.com › oldtownorangewalkingfoodtours.com

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Coast Plaza and Fashion Island in

City & Town

Newport Beach, vie with dozens of

Anaheim is the largest of Orange

local shopping districts.

County’s 34 cities. None has a typical

Sports fans cheer the Los Angeles

downtown,

though

INSIDER’S

» TIP

Huntington

Angels at the Angel Stadium of Ana-

Beach offers a vibrant seaside city

As Orange County’s seat, second-

heim and the Anaheim Ducks hockey

center. History buffs gravitate to San

most populous city and home to

team at Honda Center, which doubles

Juan Capistrano’s beautifully pre-

JOHN

as a big-name concert venue. More

served 18th-century mission, Yorba

AIRPORT, which a new J.D. Power

than 40 championship courses and a

Linda’s Nixon Presidential Library

survey ranked the No.1 large (as

temperate climate await golfers,

and the restored Victorian homes

while hotel and day spas stand ready

and historic city centers in Santa Ana

to soothe aches and tone muscles.

and Orange.

WAYNE

INTERNATIONAL

opposed to mega, such as LAX) U.S. airport, Santa Ana projects an image more businesslike than fun. However, residents treasure their artsy downtown with its funky galleries, theaters, folk-art shops and inexpensive sidewalk cafés. Start a journey into Santa Ana’s bohemian side at the 10-block ARTISTS VILLAGE, anchored by Cal State Fullerton’s GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER with its theater, dance studios, edgy galleries and artists’ livework spaces. Just outside, go gallery-hopping SECOND

STREET

around

the

PROMENADE,

which serves as the village’s leafy, fountain-studded central courtyard. For a broader sense of the downtown arts scene, the first Saturday of the month brings ARTWALK, when more than 20 galleries open their doors at 6 p.m. Trees twinkling with lights, street vendors and corner musicians, and live arts performances provide a festive atmosphere for glimpses into art studios and design workshops. grandcentralartcenter.com downtown-santaana.com/artwalk

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LAGUNA BEACH OCEAN VIEW, opposite; catching a wave, le ; Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, below.

The Great Outdoors The coastline with its world-famous surf spots (Huntington Beach, the Wedge at Newport Beach, Trestles in San Clemente), yacht harbors (Newport Beach, Dana Point) and protected areas (Crystal Cove State

CHRISTOPHER HALLORAN/SHUTTERSTOCK; CITYPASS. OPPOSITE: PETER KUNASZ/SHUTTERSTOCK

Park’s underwater reserve, the wetlands of California’s first state beach, Doheny) are just the beginning of Orange County’s natural wonders. Inland canyons and parks teem with wildlife and hiking and biking

DRIVE

» TOUR

trails, such as Irvine’s 300-acre San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.

The most scenic drive, best attempted on weekdays

Family Fun

between rush hours, follows

Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are a

Highway 1 along the coastline

given, but don’t overlook fun at Sky Zone

from SAN CLEMENTE to LONG

Anaheim’s indoor trampolines and Pre-

BEACH. Stop in the popular

tend City Children’s Museum in Irvine,

towns of LAGUNA BEACH,

where kids go to “work,” collect their pay

NEWPORT BEACH or

from ATMs and buy groceries. Santa Ana’s

HUNTINGTON BEACH—or all

Discovery Science Center offers more than

three—for a taste of the

100 hands-on exhibits, and Dana Point’s

casual, diverse Southern

Ocean Institute runs marine science and

California beach scene.

history expeditions on a tall ship or a research vessel.

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SHASTA CASCADE A mystical mountain towers over an outdoor adventure paradise

BY JOHN FLINN TOP CITIES Redding, Mount Shasta City, Weaverville, Weed, Chico, Oroville GATEWAY Redding Municipal Airport (RDD) has flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is 9 miles (14 km) from the Redding city center TOURISM WEBSITES visitsiskiyou.org shastacascade.com visitredding.com

P

oets, artists, adventurers and New Age mystics are drawn inexorably to snow-capped Mount Shasta, which juts 14,179 feet into the Northern California sky. It is such an imposing

presence that it creates its own weather—most notably the strangelooking lenticular clouds that form on its summit. Some people see in them a jaunty beret, others a UFO mother ship. Some believe the mountain to be a vortex for spiritual activity, and at least two religions have been founded on its flanks. Mount Shasta is the focal point of one of California’s least-populated regions, a land of high-desert tumbleweeds, majestic rivers and

POPULATION 274,000

craggy volcanoes. This is where the West Coast’s two major mountain ranges—the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades—run headlong into each other. Just to the south of Shasta, Mount Lassen, the southernmost of the Cascade peaks, erupted less than a century ago, spewing ash as far as 200 miles away. Today, pots of boiling mud and steam vents smelling of rotten eggs attest that this volcano is far from dormant. To the west rise the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains, relatively unvisited gems that are popular venues for fly fishing and horseback SHASTA CASCADE

trips. To the north, the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge, which extends into southern Oregon, is part of the Pacific Flyway: In the fall its skies are darkened by more than a million migratory birds.

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SHASTA CASCity & Town CADE

For travelers, Redding was nothing more than a pit stop along Interstate 5 until the

»

opening of the instantly iconic Sundial

A mystical mountain towers Bridge across the Sacramento River in

MUST

SEE, DO

2004. On the lower flanks of its namesake peak, Mount Shasta City sports a

»

Men in Tights Stretching 11 miles from the southern Cascades to the Central Valley, Chico’s sylvan Bidwell Park stood in for Sherwood Forest in 1938’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood” staring Errol Flynn. › visitcalifornia.com/attraction/bidwell-park

main street lined with New Age bookstores and shops selling crystals said to have mystical powers. No less an authority than James Hilton, author of Lost Horizon, once claimed that the pretty

»

alpine hamlet of Weaverville, gateway to the Trinity Alps, was the closest he’s ever KAYAKING ON LAKE ALMANOR, above; Lava Beds National Monument, Valentine Cave entrance, boom; Mount Shasta, opposite.

come to a real-life Shangri-La.

The Great Outdoors Mount Shasta is irresistible to climbers; in the spring, summit-seekers are strung out along its most popular routes like ants on an anthill. To get to the top you need an ice axe, crampons and the skill to use them safely. But on Mount Lassen,

SHANNON MORROW/VLSB PHOTOS; KENNETH INGHAM/VLSB PHOTOS. OPPOSITE: MARK STENSAAS/VLSB PHOTOS

its neighbor to the south, a well-graded

INSIDER’S

» TIP

While hiking on MOUNT SHASTA, keep an eye out for the

LEMURIANS, a race of psychically

trail runs all the way to the 10,457-foot-

advanced beings believed by

high summit. World-class fly fishing

some to live in an enormous cave

abounds in the Trinity Alps, and those

inside the mountain. They are

willing to walk a short distance with their

said to speak excellent English,

rods are almost guaranteed a spot to

with a “slight British accent.”

themselves. On the Salmon River,

lemurianconnection.com

Summit Fever With the help of a local guide, fit beginners can reach the 14,179-foot-high summit of Mount Shasta via its classic Avalanche Gulch route. › shastaguides.com › swsmtns.com

»

Crystal Persuasion Feel the metaphysical vibes of Mount Shasta City by shopping for a Lemurian Seed Crystal at The Crystal Room. But be warned that they won’t let it go home with you unless it’s a “good energy match.” › crystalsmtshasta.com

»

Romance of the Rails In Dunsmuir, a classic old railroad town, rail buffs can inspect a 1927 Willamette steam locomotive, dine in a vintage Pullman Club Car and bed down for the night in a genuine caboose at the Railroad Park Resort. › rrpark.com

»

Sundial Bridge Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s now-iconic cantilever pedestrian span across the Sacramento River is the centerpiece of the worthwhile Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding. › turtlebay.org/sundialbridge

between the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains, Otter Bar Lodge (otterbar.com) is one of the West’s premier whitewater kayaking schools.

Heritage & Culture The Shasta Tribe of Native Americans, a band of hunters and fishermen who lived in cedar-plank houses with basements, once occupied much of what is now farnorthern

California

and

southern

Oregon. Their population dropped rapidly as settlers seized land following the discovery of gold in Yreka and Upper Soda Springs in 1850. To the east, at what is now Lava Beds National Monument, the Modoc tribe and the U.S. Army fought the

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last of the Indian wars in California in 1872-

DRIVE

» TOUR

73. In the late 1880s, the Central Pacific Railroad spurred development of the timber and tourism industries, and in the 1970s,

The VOLCANIC LEGACY

New Age seekers began filtering into the

SCENIC BYWAY is a

area, culminating in 1987’s “Harmonic Con-

500-mile-long route that

vergence,” which identified Shasta as one of

winds from LAKE

the world’s “power centers.”

ALMANOR, south of Mount Lassen, to CRATER

Family Fun

LAKE in southern Oregon,

The Sundial Bridge is the big draw, but for fam-

with access to most of the

ilies, the surrounding Turtle Bay Exploration

region’s major attractions.

Center in Redding offers a full day’s worth of

volcaniclegacybyway.org

activities emphasizing the Sacramento River watershed, including an aquarium, museum, zoo, botanical garden and a recreated logging camp. turtlebay.org

PADDLE BOARDING on the Sacramento River by the Sundial Bridge, Redding, right; winter fun at Chester Lake, below.

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 Miles of classic cars, an officially designated cruising route and ’50s-style sock hops are the big attractions of Redding’s KOOL APRIL NITES. April 21-29 koolaprilnites.com

May is rodeo month in Redding, kicking off with a barbecue and dance May 12 and then four days of classic riding and roping events, plus “mutton bustin’” for the kids, at the REDDING RODEO. May 16-19. reddingrodeo.com

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VLSB PHOTOS

Eighty wild horses run free on the 5,000-acre WILD HORSE SANCTUARY near Mount Lassen. Guided, two- and three-day rides are offered spring through fall, and a special wildflower-themed ride is April 21-22. wildhorsesanctuary.org


REDDING Your outdoor adventure headquarters BY DAVID ARMSTRONG

HIKE, PADDLE, » BIKE, STROLL Redding Visitor Information visitredding.com

SUNDIAL BRIDGE top; Whiskeytown Falls, below.

th

th

in the late 19 and early 20 centuries, this city of 90,000 in the far northern reaches of California has diversified its economy and culture in recent years to emerge as an engaging travel destination. Located three-hours’ drive northeast of San Francisco on Interstate 5 beside the Sacramento River, Redding takes full advantage of its many nearby natural wonders. It’s an ideal base for exploring Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen, Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. These prime attractions offer cycling, hiking, climbing, fishing and camping. The 11-mile Sacramento River National Recreation Trail, an asphalt path for walkers and cyclists, follows the river.

Stunning Architecture Turtle Bay Exploration Park, located near downtown, is anchored by one of California’s best examples of contemporary architecture and engineering: Sundial Bridge, designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. A striking, cantilevered beauty for walkers and cyclists, with a translucent, hardened glass walkway, it premiered in 2004 and became an instant icon of Redding. At one end of the white, 700-foot-long bridge is the span’s namesake: a sundial, one of the largest in the world. Turtle Bay Exploration Park also includes the Redding Visitor Center at 844 Sundial Drive.

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Natural Wonderland With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Redding is first and foremost an outdoor recreation hub. The Sacramento River and nearby lakes help locals and visitors alike to beat the area’s summer heat with ample opportunities for swimming, kayaking and other watersports; 30,000-acre Shasta Lake is an especially popular place to chill. Taking free guided tours and walking across 602-foot-high Shasta Dam are popular, too. Most big events are keyed to the outdoor life. On April 7-8, the popular Sportsman’s Expo draws crowds. Latter-day cowpokes will be riding and roping at the annual Redding Rodeo on May 16. WinterFest, which runs annually from November through February, encompasses  a wide range of off-season activities. Views of 14,179-foot Mount Shasta are amply available in city and countryside. Beholding the snowcapped volcanic peak in 1874, naturalist John Muir exclaimed, “When I first caught sight of it, I was weary and 50 miles away and afoot. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.’’ Redding does not neglect indoor fun. Performances are staged year-round in the beautifully restored Cascade Theatre, a 997seat city landmark built in Art Deco style and opened in 1934.

VISIT REDDING

CREATED BY MINING and the railroads


NORTH COAST Beneath the world’s tallest trees lie Victorian villages, picturesque fishing harbors and—perhaps—Bigfoot

BY JOHN FLINN

TOP CITIES Mendocino, Eureka, Crescent City, Fort Bragg, Garberville, Arcata, Ukiah, Cloverdale, Ferndale

TOURISM WEBSITES delnorte.org exploredelnorte.com northcoastca.com visitredwoods.com visitmendocino.com

T

his should put things in perspective: The North Coast’s tallest building is only 77 feet tall, but its tallest tree stands 379 feet tall. Until you’ve seen one up close, it’s hard to

grasp just how neck-craningly high a coastal redwood tree can grow. These 3,000-year-old arboreal titans—nature’s loftiest skyscrapers—grow in only one place in the world: a narrow strip of fog-shrouded mountains along California’s wild and relatively unvisited North Coast.

The Redwood Highway POPULATION 782,000

Old-growth redwoods are preserved in a chain of parks strung along Highway 101, known in these parts as the Redwood Highway. In southern Humboldt County, Humboldt Redwoods State Park straddles the scenic drive known as the Avenue of the Giants. In northern Humboldt and Del Norte counties, a cluster of parks—

NORTH COAST

Redwood National Park (which turns 50 this year) and Prairie Creek Redwoods, Del Norte Coast Redwoods and Jedediah Smith Redwoods state parks—form one contiguous redwood reserve.

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ADRI/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: JEJIM/SHUTTERSTOCK

GATEWAY The Arcata-Eureka Airport (EKA), 16 miles (26 km) from downtown Eureka, has service from San Francisco and other hubs, but no international flights


»

MUST

SEE, DO

»

Forest Tracks Built in 1885 to haul redwood logs from the tangled backcountry to coastal sawmills, the iconic Skunk Train now carries passengers on two different runs starting at Fort Bragg and the inland town of Willits, respectively. The shorter coastal route snakes along the Novo River canyon, through redwood groves and past an old logging camp. And don’t worry: The train’s name derives from an original, stinky gasoline engine that long ago was consigned to the junkyard. › skunktrain.com

»

Boulevard of Big Trees The Avenue of the Giants is a 31-mile detour from Highway 101 that weaves in and out of lofty, old-growth redwood trees like a slalom course. The route takes you through the heart of Humboldt Redwoods State Park, one of the best places along the North Coast to gaze up in awe. Sunnier and drier than redwood parks farther to the north, it’s less tangled with undergrowth, making it easier to wander and wonder. › avenueofthegiants.net

»

Community Forest Arcata, with a town square lined with a mixture of hippie-chic boutiques, eclectic restaurants and old-time lumberjack bars, is home to Humboldt State University. Spend some time wandering its community forest and the innovative wastewater treatment facility that has become a thriving sanctuary for migratory birds. › cityofarcata.org

HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHORE, above; the “Pink Lady” Victorian in Eureka, right.

The sounds of chainsaws and buzzing

INSIDER’S

» TIP

sawmills that once dominated the North Coast are rapidly fading as the lumber industry winds down. In former mill

Once a seedy skid row, EUREKA’S

towns such as Fort Bragg, tourism is

WATERFRONT has been

replacing timber as innovative galleries,

transformed into the city’s

restaurants and brew-pubs spring to life.

liveliest and most inviting district,

Although it’s sometimes called the

with Victorian storefronts

Redwood Empire, the North Coast is

housing restaurants, galleries,

more than just tall trees: It’s also salmon-

shops and museums, all crowned

fishing boats bobbing in tiny harbors;

by the iconic CARSON MANSION,

Roosevelt elk bugling across misty

a masterpiece of over-the-top

meadows; steam trains chuffing through

Victorian opulence.

a damp and dripping forest; hole-in-the-

eurekaoldtown.com

wall restaurants serving fish smoked according to traditional Native American

»

Big Eats To satisfy a lumberjack-sized appetite, drive across Humboldt Bay on the Samoa Bridge to the Samoa Cookhouse for colossal, allyou-can-eat meals served family style. The last surviving cookhouse of its kind in the U.S., it’s been serving hungry mill workers, longshoremen and tourists since 1890. › samoacookhouse.net

»

Victorian Hamlet Gaily painted Victorian mansions line the streets of Ferndale, an idyllic hamlet on the Eel River delta in southern Humboldt County. Lovingly preserved, they give the town a turn-of-the-last-century look that has proven irresistible to Hollywood. More than a dozen movies have been filmed here. Main Street’s shops keep the Victorian theme going, with old-fashioned mercantiles and even a blacksmith shop. Cradled between two redwood forests, the entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. › victorianferndale.com

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recipes; vineyards close enough to the coast to catch the salt spray; an old Russian trading fort; handsome Victorian villages; possible glimpses of the elusive creature known as Bigfoot; wealthy, tie-dyed growers of the region’s largest cash crop, which California voters recently legalized; and bouts of creative madness such as elaborate sculptures racing across the landscape. For generations, the North Coast was said to be on the far side of the “redwood curtain,” the psychological barrier formed by narrow, tortuous Highway 101, which

DRIVE

was little more than a two-lane conduit for heavily-laden logging trucks. But California has spent the last two decades improving the road—straightening curves, widening it in many places to four lanes— and now the road is an easy drive. CRESCENT CITY

» TOUR From the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, head over to the SONOMA COAST

EUREKA

at BODEGA BAY (yes, that Bodega Bay: Alfred Hitchcock filmed The Birds there), and follow dramatic, winding Highway 1 north past the

HUMBOLDT REDWOODS STATE PARK

AVENUE OF THE GIANTS LEGGETT

old Russian fort, FORT ROSS, and Sea Ranch, GUALALA, MENDOCINO and FORT BRAGG before heading inland to connect with Highway

MENDOCINO

101—“The Redwood Highway”—at

LEGGETT, site of the DRIVE-THRU TREE PARK. Continuing north on the Redwood Highway, you’ll come to HUMBOLDT REDWOODS STATE

GUALALA FORT ROSS BODEGA BAY

PARK and the AVENUE OF THE GIANTS, EUREKA and the cluster of redwood parks extending almost to the Oregon border.

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SAN FRANCISCO

KRIS WIKTOR/SHUTTERSTOCK; EVENFH/SHUTTERSTOCK; CARRIE EPLEY/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: KERRICK JAMES

ROOSEVELT BULL ELK at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Humboldt County, above; Drive-Thru Tree Park, Legge, le ; Baery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City, boom; walking with sheep in the vineyards of Pennyroyal Farmstead, Boonville, Mendocino County, opposite.


SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 City & Town Transplanted New Englanders founded the town of Mendocino on a rocky bluff above the crashing Pacific Ocean, and it still

WHALES AND WINE Gray whales pass by Mendocino in November on their way south for the winter. At the Mendocino Whale Festival, you can sample all manner of chowder, locally brewed beer and wine, while—with any luck—the passing cetaceans spout just off the Mendocino headlands. March 3-4 mendowhale.com

sports a whitewashed Cape Cod look. Once a mill town, it went into decay in the 1930s

KINETIC SCULPTURE RACE Peripatetic artists of genius or possibly borderline sanity

as the local timber trade waned but was

gather each Memorial Day weekend to race giant, whimsical, people-powered sculptures

rediscovered in the 1960s by bohemians

from Arcata to Ferndale along a 40-mile course that includes a crossing of Humboldt

and artists. On the shore of Humboldt Bay,

Bay. It’s called “the triathalon of the art world.” May 26-28 kineticgrandchampionship.com

Eureka, the largest town on the North Coast, has also reversed decades of decline

BIGFOOT DAYS The earliest and most persistent sightings of that elusive creature known as Bigfoot have happened around the Siskiyou Mountain town of Willow Creek.

and turned its waterfront Old Town into an

Each year on Labor Day weekend, the community fetes its furry friend with Bigfoot Days.

inviting Victorian district of galleries, bou-

Don’t expect to see the big guy himself, but you’ll encounter a number of people who

tiques and cafés. Crescent City was

claim to have met him. Sept. 1 bigfootcountry.net

virtually wiped off the map by a tsunami in 1964. Rebuilt now, it sports a smattering of hotels and motels that make it a good base for exploring nearby Jedediah Smith Red-

SYMPHONY OF THE REDWOODS For more than 30 years, this organization has brought a wide variety of classical performances to the North Coast, including a seasonal concert series in Fort Bragg. Feb. 2-3, April 28-29. symphonyoftheredwoods.org

woods State Park.

Heritage & Culture Native American tribes such as the Yurok and Hoopa lived along the North Coast for centuries before the arrival of fur trappers—both Russians working their way down from Alaska and American mountain men such as Jedediah Smith coming overland. For more than two centuries, resource extraction—primarily logging— was the region’s economic engine. As dwindling forests and stricter environmental laws took their tolls starting in the 1970s, the North Coast has transitioned to tourism as its mainstay.

Family Fun Young children might have trouble fully appreciating the timelessness of an ancient redwood tree, but they’ll enjoy a gondola ride through the silent forest canopy and a chance to have their picture taken with four-story-high statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Look for it at Trees of Mystery, near the town of Klamath.

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DEL NORTE COUNTY Primeval forests that are out of this world

HIKE, DRIVE, » REFLECT, EXPLORE Crescent City/ Del Norte County Visitor Information delnorte.org exploredelnorte.com 1-800-343-8300 PACIFIC OCEAN OVERLOOK, top; Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox welcome visitors to Trees of Mystery, below.

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STAR WARS CREATOR George Lucas

acre than anywhere else in California.

wanted “a jungly kind of place, the color of

Densely packed with impossibly tall,

life, a cradle-of-life environment” to repre-

impossibly ancient trees, its 10,000 acres

sent the forest moon of Endor in Return of

contain 7 percent of all old-growth red-

the Jedi.

woods in the world.

He found his home for the Ewoks in Del

Howland Hill Road, an old stagecoach

Norte County, in the far upper left-hand

trail that cuts through the park, has been

corner of California, not far from the

described as “hiking in a car” and “one of

Oregon border.

the best redwood drives anywhere.” Be pre-

Some of the state’s most gorgeously

pared for anything from a smooth ride to a

primeval redwood forests abound here,

juddery succession of potholes, depending

along with 37 miles of rugged, wave-bat-

on how recently it’s been resurfaced.

tered coastline and great fishing.

Lighthouse buffs make a beeline for the

The county boasts only one incorporated

Battery Point Lighthouse, which has been in

city—Crescent City, pop. 7,600—and even

operation since before the Civil War. You

that has tenuous footing in this wild land.

can only get there at low tide, so be sure to

Much of the city was destroyed by a

check the timetables to make sure you have

tsunami in 1964, and today one of its most

enough time to get back.

popular attractions is the Tsunami Histor-

Be aware that the county name is not

ical Walk, with eight sites within easy

pronounced as you would expect. It’s “Del

walking distance of downtown.

Nort,” not the normal Spanish pronuncia-

Del Norte’s crown jewel is Jedediah

tion of “Del Nor-tay.” That’s because the

Smith Redwoods State Park, just a few

area was originally settled by dairy farmers

miles inland from Crescent City. There

from the Azore Islands, who used the Por-

you’ll find more old-growth redwoods per

tuguese pronunciation.

JEFFREY M. FRANK/SHUTTERSTOCK; OVIDIU HRUBARU/SHUTTERSTOCK

BY PETER WATTS


HUMBOLDT COUNTY Sip a craft beer beneath the world’s tallest trees BY JOHN FLINN

HUMBOLDT COUNTY IS FAMOUS the

EXPLORE, » IMBIBE, INDULGE, ENJOY! Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau visitredwoods.com

out of hipster industrial parks.

world over for its cloud-scraping forests,

From Lost Coast Co.’s Great White Beer

but there’s plenty else to do while you give

to the Redwood Curtain Brewing Co.’s hop-

your neck a rest from all that craning.

crazy Space Oddity Double India Pale Ale,

You might, for example, investigate the

there’s a pint for every palate. At Lost Coast,

region’s fascination with a certain green

you can even order a beer float. If cider’s

bud. No, not that one. Humboldt might be

more your taste, the Humboldt Cider Co.

as renowned for cannabis cultivation as

offers refreshing organic brews made

Napa is for Cabernet, but that crop is mostly

exclusively from Humboldt County apples.

for export. The bud that obsesses Humboldters these days is the hop.

Chocolate & Oysters In a little plant in downtown Eureka, two

AVENUE OF THE GIANTS, top; Lady Washington and the Carson Mansion in Eureka, below.

Brewpubs & Cider Presses

former woodworkers, Adam Dick and

With five destination-worthy brewpubs

Dustin Taylor, produce some of the nation’s

and microbreweries within 10 miles of

most well-regarded chocolate at Dick Taylor

Eureka, Humboldt has become a mecca for

Craft Chocolate. Roasting, refining and

lovers of craft beer. Some venues sit atop

conching raw cacao into a silky finished

bluffs with riverine views, others operate

product, it’s “good every time,” according to Sandra Boynton, author of Chocolate: The Consuming Passion. Humboldt Bay’s clean water, muscular tides and temperate climate make it a paradise for oysters. Roughly 70 percent of all California oysters come from its chilly water, and you can taste them fresh out of the bay while hopping among a handful of oyster bars in Eureka’s waterfront Old Town. And if that’s still not fresh enough harvest your own on a tour organized by the Humboldt Bay Tourism Center in Eureka. Oh, and if it’s that other little green bud that interests you, note that in California it is now legal for recreational use.

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VISITREDWOODS.COM

for you, you can go out onto the water and


HIGH SIERRA Living right in the Range of Light

BY JOHN FLINN TOP CITIES South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Tahoe City, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, Oakhurst, Madera INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), 3 miles from Reno, Nevada city center

“O

f all the mountain ranges I have climbed,” wrote John

Muir, “I like the Sierra Nevada the best.” His pet name for it was “The Range of Light.” It’s not just the ethereal lumi-

nosity of the glacially polished granite that drew the renowned naturalist—and continues to draw people—to the Sierra again and

POPULATION 600,000

again. It’s the pristine lakes and rivers, the dramatic hiking and biking trails, the contrast between the green meadows and stony battlements. The Sierra Nevada may be one of the highest and most majestic mountain ranges in North America, but it’s also one of the most accessible and user-friendly. Stretching 400 miles from north to south, and about 70 from east to west, it’s crossed by seven highways—four of them open all year—and encompasses everything from Lake Tahoe—where you might find yourself crowding shoulder-to-shoulder around a boisterous craps table—to remote canyons in Yosemite or Kings Canyon national parks where you can spend a silent and solitary afternoon watching Muir’s favorite bird, the water ouzel, plunge into waterfalls and cascades. In a state with no shortage of superlatives, the region has more than its share: It can boast the world’s oldest tree, the world’s most

HIGH SIERRA

massive tree, the Old West’s largest ghost town, the nation’s highest waterfall and—until Alaska came along and rewrote the record books—the nation’s highest peak.

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ADONIS VILLANUEVA/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE: ANJELIKAGR/SHUTTTERSTOCK

TOURISM WEBSITES travelyosemite.com visitinglaketahoe.com tahoesouth.com yosemitethisyear.com visitmammoth.com


The range is home to three national

Geographically speaking, the mountain

parks, 15 state parks, two national monu-

range is pretty much one big chunk of gra-

ments

designated

nite tilted like a badly placed brick in a

wilderness areas. Hikers get itchy feet at the

cobblestone street: It’s gently sloped on the

mere mention of its celebrated walking

west side and quite steep on the east, lower

paths: the John Muir Trail; the Tahoe Rim

in the north and higher in the south. Keep

Trail; the Pacific Crest Trail; the Tahoe-Yose-

that in mind when choosing a hiking trail:

mite Trail. At the drop of winter’s first

for an easier amble, look to the north and

snowflake, skiers begin making plans for

west; for a challenging ascent, head south

the three premier ski resorts on America’s

and east.

and

20

officially

West Coast: Squaw Valley (site of the 1960

»

MUST

SEE, DO

»

Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines growing

high in the White Mountains are the world’s oldest trees, some surviving nearly 5,000 years.

Winter Olympics), Heavenly and Mammoth

City & Town

To visit them, follow Highway 168 for 26 miles

Mountain. Streams rushing down the

Now connected by gondola to the Heavenly

east from the town of Big Pine. An easy, mile-long

range’s sheer east slope into the Owens

ski resort, the bustling town of South Lake

trail winds through the Schulman Grove.

Valley are renowned for their fly fishing.

Tahoe, located on the lakeshore and the

»

bishopvisitor.com/activities/bristlecone-forest

Mountain Hamlet The picturesque town

of Markleeville (pop. 210) is the largest metropolis in Alpine County, California’s least populated county. It makes a great base for fishing excursions and for soaking up the Sierra’s version of fall colors—the turning of the aspens.

»

alpinecounty.com/area-info/markleeville-woodfords

The Wild, Wild West Possibly the Old

West’s most notorious mining town, Bodie now exists in a state of “arrested decay” on a high, windswept plain northeast of Yosemite. It’s one of America’s most extensive ghost towns.

»

www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509

Mountain Light The late photographer

Galen Rowell was the Ansel Adams of the Kodachrome era. Stop by his Mountain Light gallery in Bishop to see mountain images both iconic and surprising, from Rowell and other adventure photographers.

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018

»

mountainlight.com

Climbing “California’s Everest” At

14,495-feet, Mount Whitney is the highest summit “LIGHTS ON THE LAKE,” held each Fourth of July at South Lake Tahoe, is the largest

in the lower 48 states. It is also, surprisingly, the

synchronized fireworks show west of the Mississippi. July 4 tahoesouth.com

most frequently climbed peak in California— thanks to a well-graded, 11-mile trail to the top.

With past participants such as Justin Timberlake, Steph Curry and Michael Jordan, South Lake

Very fit hikers make it up and down in one long,

Tahoe’s AMERICAN CENTURY GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP has been called the “Super Bowl

arduous day. Sounds tough, but it’s so popular

of Celebrity Sports.” July 10-15 americancenturychampionship.com

there’s a lottery for the coveted permits.

nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/whitney.htm

The hundreds of Hollywood westerns and other movies filmed in and around Lone Pine, from 1925’s Riders of the Purple Sage to 2008’s Ironman, are celebrated by the LONE PINE FILM FESTIVAL. Oct. 6-8 lonepinefilmfestival.org

SUNRISE AT LAKE TAHOE, opposite; outdoor dining in South Lake Tahoe, above le .

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137


Nevada border, has seen an injection of energy and interest in recent years, with new restaurants, shops and galleries. With a large inventory of hotel rooms and a cluster of hotel-casinos just a few steps over the border, it’s a good bet for inexpensive lodging. In Truckee, a handsome old railroad and lumber town between Donner Pass and Squaw Valley, a collection of Old West historic buildings along Commercial Row now houses busy restaurants and bars, some adorned with portraits of gunslingers and desperadoes. Farther south, sprawling Bishop sports the Owens Valley’s most extensive collection of lodging, dining and resupply outlets.

The Great Outdoors

DRIVE

» TOUR

Just a few hours’ drive from San Francisco or Los Angeles, the Sierra Nevada has been California’s outdoor playground almost Yosemite Valley, spectators with telescopes watch the progress of climbers inching their way up the impossibly sheer granite walls. Tempted to try it? Sign up for an introductory class at the Yosemite Mountaineering School—or at least treat yourself to a “Go Climb a Rock” T-shirt. With some of the most reliably sunny summer weather of any major mountain range, the High Sierra is a hiker’s paradise, from easy day walks in the Desolation

Highway 120 is a magical mystery tour through the heart of Yosemite National Park’s exquisite high country. From the handsome old mining town of GROVELAND, follow 120 east into the park (HETCH HETCHY, the fraternal twin of Yosemite Valley

Wilderness to challenging, multi-week journeys through Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. Skiers have their

that was dammed to provide San Francisco’s water supply, is a short side trip) past

choice of world-class venues, from

the TUOLUMNE GROVE of giant sequoias and up into the rarefied alpine world.

beginner-friendly Granlibakken to the

Pull over at OLMSTED POINT to view HALF DOME from an angle you’ve never seen

double-diamond chutes of Squaw Valley

before. You’ll traverse TUOLUMNE MEADOWS, the jumping-off point for some of

and Heavenly. In summer, many of the

Yosemite’s finest hiking trails, and cross 9,943-foot TIOGA PASS before descending

resorts—particularly Northstar and Mam-

three-quarters of a vertical mile to shimmering MONO LAKE.

moth—convert their lifts and gondolas to carry mountain bikes.

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LARRY HABEGGER. OPPOSITE: MAMMOTH LAKES CVB; KATELEIGH/ISTOCKPHOTO; MAMMOTH LAKES TOURISM

since the arrival of the original 49ers. In


Heritage & Culture

steep hike from Tioga Pass in Yosemite.

Native Americans, pioneer emigrants and

You’ll find the remains of old miners’

gold miners all left their marks on the High

cabins, but exercise care around the shafts,

Sierra—often literally. At Grinding Rock

several of which remain open and

State Historic Park near the town of Twain

unfenced.

BACKPACKING THE HIGH COUNTRY in Yosemite National Park, opposite; skiing at Mammoth, below; Yosemite Valley panorama, center; Bodie Ghost Town church, boom.

Harte, Miwok Indians once ground acorns on an outcrop of marbleized limestone. The

Family Fun

1,185 mortar holes they left behind consti-

If the kids aren’t yet ready for full-on cam-

tute the largest such collection in North

ping, Lake Tahoe has two old-timey resorts

America. In the Hope Valley, just south of

with knotty-pine cabins scattered in the

Lake Tahoe, you can still see ruts in the

trees near the lakeshore, bike and paddle-

rocks left by the covered wagons of settlers

boat rentals and ice cream parlors. Camp

on the Emigrant Trail. The shafts of

Richardson is on the west shore, near

thousands of abandoned mines pockmark

Tahoe City; Zephyr Cove is on the south

the High Sierra. One of the best places to see

shore, just over the border in Nevada.

one is the Great Sierra Mine, a short but

camprichardson.com zephyrcove.com

INSIDER’S

» TIP

For an intimate and unusual exploration of MONO LAKE, rent kayaks to paddle around the weirdly picturesque TUFA

TOWERS and other landmarks. calderakayak.com

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MAMMOTH LAKES Play at the top of California

BY BILL FINK

TWO

HIKE, FISH, » GOLF, SKI! Mammoth Lakes Visitor Information

HOURS

NORTH of Mount

(including Convict, Crowley and several

Whitney, the Continental United States’

lakes in Mammoth Lakes Basin) gives

highest point, and only 45 minutes from

everyone a chance to try their specialty or

Yosemite’s east entrance, the Mammoth

pick up a new skill. The full “grand slam” of

Lakes region is an epicenter for outdoor

trout—rainbow, brook, brown and golden—

activities throughout the year.

await your arrival. Or you can skip the

visitmammoth.com

fishing, and simply paddle a kayak, canoe

Summer Fun

or stand-up paddle board through the lakes

Mammoth Mountain Skiing & more

Up in the hills and meadows of the Eastern

and take in the scenery, or even try out a

Sierra mountain range, hikers and bikers

floating historical tour of Mono Lake.

mammothmountain.com junemountain.com

can explore the extensive Mammoth Lakes

Explore the wonders of geology at Devils

Trail System, whether it be for rugged

Postpile National Monument and gaze at its

multi-day adventures or a gentle walk

towering basalt columns, then cool off in

through a park. Golfers enjoy extra-long

the spray of the hundred-foot-tall Rainbow

drives in the high elevations of Sierra Star

Falls just downstream. Summer is also fes-

and Snowcreek Golf Courses. The Mam-

tival time, the calendar filled with music

moth Lakes area is well known for fishing,

events and food and drink gatherings,

so much so, that many local motels feature

including the combination of “blues and

fish-cleaning facilities. Fly fishing in

brews” for Mammoth’s Festival of Beers and

streams, and lure-based fishing in lakes

Bluesapalooza each August.

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PADDLE BOARDING ON SILVER LAKE, opposite; kicking up the powder on June Mountain, right; casting for a big one at Lake Mamie, below.

Winter Sports As the name suggests, Mammoth Mountain ski resort is gigantic, with terrain descending from multiple peaks providing runs suitable for all levels of skiers. The resort creates more than a dozen terrain parks for snowboarders, and hosts regular competitions for those who just want to watch. Tamarack Ski Center and the Mammoth Lakes Nordic Trail System are destinations for cross-country ski enthusiasts. For non-skiers, Mammoth Lakes also connects visitors with dogsled rides, snow-

JOSH WRAY/MAMMOTH LAKES TOURISM; OPP CREATIVE/MAMMOTH LAKES TOURISM. OPPOSITE: JOSH WRAY/MAMMOTH LAKES TOURISM

mobiling, snowshoe tours, fat-tire snow biking and even snowcat rides to scenic picnic spots. Small kids can come to enjoy Mammoth’s tubing park, winter parades with mascot “Woolly” or a scenic gondola ride. June Mountain, a 20-mile drive from Mammoth Lakes, is a laid-back location for downhill fun (and kids 12 and under ski for free!). If it’s too cold outside, warm up with

people try for the “spring triathlon” of

a grilled cheese at the new Melt House at

skiing, biking and fishing in a single day.

the base of Chairlift #14, or leave the hill for

Spring is also a good time for birding, when

the Mammoth Rock ’n’ Bowl with its

visitors can see many of the 300 species of

bowling lanes, golf simulator, bar and

local and migratory birds that have been

restaurant. To quench your thirst, try the

spotted in the area, including the horde of

Eastern Sierra Brewery Tour of three local

50,000 California gulls nesting at Mono

microbreweries, or a whisky tasting at the

Lake each year. The new Bleu Market and

new Shelter Distillery, then explore the

Eatery can provide fresh provisions for any

always lively Mammoth nightlife.

day exploring the outdoors.

the June Lake Loop to see the spectacular colors in groves of aspens and cottonwood

Spring Activities

Fall Colors

trees below towering pine forests. You can

Often considered just a “shoulder season”

Fall foliage is a treat for the eyes around

soar above the colors on helicopter tours.

between skiing and fishing, spring around

Mammoth Lakes. Enjoy hiking through the

Or go back in time and join a multi-day

Mammoth Lakes offers great deals on

colors in the crisp fall air on the Mammoth

horseback ride down from the hills. For a

lodging and activities for those looking for

Rock Trail or the Heart Lake Trail, or even

spooky Halloween, or any quiet day, visit

some late-season sunny skiing (Mammoth

stay for a couple of days amidst the trees at

the ghost town within Bodie State Park, the

Mountain often stays open past Memorial

the Sherwin Creek Campground. Go for a

abandoned remnants of a gold mining set-

Day) or some early biking and fishing. Some

drive around winding mountain roads of

tlement about 60 miles north.

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LAKE TAHOE SOUTH SHORE Year-round mountain playground

HIKE, PLAY, » EAT, DANCE!

FROM SERENE VIEWS over mirror-flat

Summer

morning waters of Lake Tahoe and the

Summer activity around the South Shore is

gentle footfall of hikers on pine needle-

understandably focused on the beautiful

covered forest paths, to the jangle of slot

waters of spectacular Lake Tahoe. Beaches are

Visitor Information

machines and the pumping bass of a casino

packed with summer revelers, while the

tahoesouth.com skiheavenly.com biketahoe.org americancentury championship.com fs.usda.gov/ltbmu kirkwood.com sierraattahoe.com hotelbecket.com edgewoodtahoe.com zalanta.com

dance club, Lake Tahoe South Shore (what

waters are filled with every type of floating

the marketers call Tahoe South) is a desti-

vessel imaginable—from kayaks and stand-

nation hosting a unique mix of wilderness

up paddle boards to small sailboats, fishing

and wild-ness, an indoor and outdoor play-

cruisers, water-ski boats, luxury cruising ves-

ground with equal measures of altitude and

sels and even the 500-passenger paddlewheel

attitude. Visitors can follow their desires to

ship M.S. Dixie II that runs daily Emerald Bay

find peace and solitude on back country

sightseeing trips and sunset dinner cruises.

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hikes or ski runs, or dive into a swirling

For fun out of the water, the South Shore

social scene at a packed summer beach,

is a hiker’s paradise with journeys ranging

holler at a crowded craps table or slurp

from multi-day treks into the Desolation

microbrews at an après ski bar complete

Wilderness and a steep day’s climb up to the

with go-go dancers. It’s dealer’s choice on

awe-inspiring views of Mount Tallac, to

the South Shore. And South Lake is contin-

relaxed family strolls in flat meadows at

uing

ongoing

Camp Richardson and around the Tallac

openings and renovations of hotels, restau-

its

renaissance

with

Historic Site or just lazing at the beach.

rants and retail spaces across the area.

Cyclists can take advantage of a network of

RACHID DAHNOUN. OPPOSITE: RACHID DAHNOUN; ARAMARK/RACHID DAHNOUN/ TAHOE SOUTH

BY BILL FINK


road rides and mountain paths with every-

Winter

South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento) with

thing from a scenic roll in the woods to

Lake Tahoe South Shore boasts three world-

newly designed learning terrain for 2018.

treacherous,

mountain

class ski resorts: Heavenly, Kirkwood and

descents. The ambitious can even bike the

Sierra-at-Tahoe. Heavenly is an expansive

24/7/365

entire 72-mile circumference of Lake Tahoe,

and popular mountain spanning two states,

When the day of outdoor activity is done, the

while the cautious can pedal bike paths close

with contrasting views of the blue Tahoe

second shift of fun is just beginning around

to town and teens can stunt-ride at the Bijou

waters and the high-prairie Nevada coun-

South Lake Tahoe. On the Nevada side of the

Bike Park. Golfers can check out several area

tryside. The Heavenly Gondola drops

border, high-rise casinos rock with the

courses, including the lakeside Edgewood

visitors right into the action in the center of

sounds and energy of non-stop gambling.

Tahoe Golf Course (home of the popular

the city. Heavenly’s Tamarack Lodge fea-

Gamers get recharged in an array of restau-

American Century celebrity golf tournament

tures a lively après ski scene, as does their

rants and buffets, as well as at comedy

in July) and stay in their recently opened 154-

new LAT 38 rooftop bar at the California

shows and live music events at Harveys

room Lodge at Edgewood.

Lodge. Kirkwood, about a 45-minute drive

Summer Concert Series and the Hard Rock

Heavenly Mountain Resort’s on-moun-

from town, is known for its chutes, off-piste

Hotel (which has upgraded with $60 million

tain Epic Discovery adventure center

terrain, deep snow and relaxed vibe. Sierra-

of renovations). Packed bars and clubs give

features a gravity-powered Mountain

at-Tahoe is a medium-sized family-oriented

this indoor playground a Vegas feel, albeit at

Coaster, long zip lines, an educational forest

ski resort (located on Highway 50 between

6200 feet above sea level.

teeth-rattling

canopy tour and a kids ropes course, as well

Outside the casinos, the main strip of

as a network of hiking trails leading from

town boasts shopping opportunities with

their gondola (which is worth a sightseeing

continued new openings in the Chateau at

ride even if you never step off it) and guided

the Village, with name-brand boutiques as

4x4 tours to further explore the mountain.

well as quirky local ski shops and crafts stores along the shores. Dining can be anything from sushi to pizza and gourmet cuisine (like at the recently opened Lake House Restaurant). To quench your thirst, the South Lake Brewing Company and Lake Tahoe AleWorX opened in 2017 to add to the local beer options provided by recent additions Sidellis Brewery, Cold Water Brewery and Outpost Brewing Co. at Basecamp Hotel. When you finally decide to take a rest, South Lake Tahoe offers a vast array of lodging options, with recent openings and remodels to more than a dozen hotels, including Hotel Becket, the Landing Resort and Spa, Hotel Azure  and  the MontBleu Resort Casino, as well as condo-rentals at Zalanta Resort at the Village.  Regardless of your choice of food, activity or season, Lake Tahoe South Shore is a spot to satisfy any sort of appetite— you’ll only be hungry for another trip. MS DIXIE II paddle-wheeler cruises on Emerald Bay, opposite; snowmobiling above Lake Tahoe, le ; geing the night started at the Heavenly Village fire pit, above.

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GOLD COUNTRY Eureka! Strike it rich with adventure, history and wine

BY JOHN FLINN TOP CITIES Sacramento, Sonora, Placerville, Auburn, Downieville, Sutter Creek, Nevada City, Jackson, Columbia, Murphys, Jamestown, Angels Camp INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Sacramento International Airport (SMF), 13 miles (21 km) from the city center

I

t was a flash in the pan that changed the world. The sparkling nugget that caught the eye of James W. Marshall as he tended a sawmill in the Sierra Nevada

foothills in January 1848 set off a gold rush that drew more than 300,000 would-be prospectors the following year from

TOURISM WEBSITES discovergold.org visit-eldorado.com visitsacramento.com

the eastern U.S., South America, Europe, even China. They were known as the 49ers. Overnight, the Gold Rush transformed San Francisco from a sleepy port to a rollicking city and persuaded Congress to

POPULATION 650,000

put California—wrested from Mexico by war just two years earlier—on the fast track to statehood. Most of the gold was found in a 300-mile belt that extended through the Sierra foothills, from Downieville in the north to Coarsegold in the south. Miners called it the “Mother Lode.” In a state working tirelessly to invent the future, the Gold Country remains the most visible manifestation of its notso-distant past, with towns sporting wood-plank sidewalks, swinging saloon doors, hitching posts and red-brick buildGOLD COUNTRY

ings. (You’ll quickly discover that the best preserved of these belonged to Wells Fargo and, oddly, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.)

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MENKA BELGAL/GOLD COUNTRY VISITORS ASSOCIATION; MENKA BELGAL/GOLD COUNTRY VISITORS ASSOCIATION; MYLES MCGUINNESS/GOLD COUNTRY VISITORS ASSOCIATION. OPPOSITE: MYLES MCGUINNESS/GOLD COUNTRY VISITORS ASSOCIATION

SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018

»

Sacramento’s legendary Memorial Day weekend jazz festival is now the SACRAMENTO MUSIC FESTIVAL, with a broadened program that includes everything from big-band music to zydeco, along with plenty of jazz in its varied traditions. May 25-28 sacmusicfest.com Angels Camp returns to the days of Samuel Clemons for the Mark Twain Wild West Fest, with period costumes, blacksmithing and saloon dancing girls. Oct. 20 marktwainwildwestfest.com

SEE, DO

Nearly three dozen El Dorado County wineries participate in TALES FROM THE CELLAR, a blend of wine tasting, live music, food and literary-themed events. April 21-22 and 28-29 passporteldorado.com Wager on a jumping frog as Mark Twain’s most beloved story is commemorated each year at the CALAVERAS COUNTY FAIR & JUMPING FROG JUBILEE in Angels Camp. May 17-20 frogtown.org

MUST

»

Covered Bridge The longest covered bridge west of the Mississippi stands at Knight’s Ferry, an old-time Mother Lode town so picturesque that scenes for Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie were filmed there. › knightsferry.com

»

Have a Sarsaparilla Step back to the 1800s at Columbia State Historic Park, with its woodplanked sidewalks, historically costumed shopkeepers and strict “horse-drawn vehicles only” policy. › visitcolumbiacalifornia.com

»

Appellation Trail Leave the tippling crowds behind as you taste rich, jammy Zinfandels and other wines at dozens of wineries in California’s up-and-coming wine region—Amador, El Dorado and Calaveras counties. › discovercaliforniawines.com › discover-california/sierra-foothills

» SIERRA VISTA WINERY, opposite; zip line fun, le ; gold mine in Amador County, below; historic downtown Placerville, boom right.

Apple Watch Allow the aroma of freshly baked apple pies, fritters, turnovers and strudel to lure you off Highway 50 east of Placerville to a place called Apple Hill. More than 50 growers participate in a celebration of the apple harvest— and of autumn itself—with cider, hayrides, pumpkin patches, hay mazes and other family fun. It runs from Labor Day to Christmas. › applehill.com

»

California Underground Rappel into the darkness and explore a chamber large enough to hold the Statue of Liberty in Moaning Cavern near the town of Vallecito. › caverntours.com

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Today you can still pan for gold—it’s often said there’s more left in the ground than the original 49ers ever took out—but you can also raft some of California’s frothiest rivers, explore caverns and sample Chardonnay and Syrah in uncrowded, upand-coming wineries.

City & Town Sacramento was the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad—from there, passengers completed their journey to San Francisco by ferry and barge—and the city still plays a vital role as the jumping-off point for exploring the Gold Country. Since the arrival of the 49ers, the small towns of the Gold Country proper have morphed

DRIVE

through several distinct stages, from

» TOUR NAVIGATING A TOUR through the Gold Country couldn’t be easier: HIGHWAY

49—named for the original 49ers—traverses the entire region. It stretches nearly 300 miles through the Sierra foothills, from

DOWNIEVILLE in the north to OAKHURST in the south, linking all the Gold Country’s major towns and

days for the journey. Start with a mountain-biking excursion in DOWNIEVILLE, poke around the galleries and antique shops of NEVADA CITY and drop by the site where Marshall and Sutter found those first sparkling nuggets in COLOMA.

SUTTER CREEK, with a bounty of inviting B&Bs and restaurants serving the local wine, is a good place to spend the night. On your second day, explore ANGELS CAMP—perhaps pausing to wager on a frog if it’s jumping season (the third week in May)—try your hand at panning for gold at COLUMBIA STATE HISTORIC PARK and take a ride on the historic steam train in JAMESTOWN’S RAILTOWN 1897 STATE HISTORIC PARK.

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MYLES MCGUINNESS/GOLD COUNTRY VISITORS ASSOCIATION

sights. Allow at least two


rough-and-tumble boomtowns, to somnolent hamlets, to destinations for biker rallies, to, finally, genteel venues for weekend getaways sporting comfortable B&Bs, sophisticated restaurants, antique stores and nearby wineries. Among the most popular are Sutter Creek, Nevada City and Murphys. The two largest towns of the Sierra foothills—Sonora and Placerville— offer all this, plus a large selection of motels, restaurants and shops in all price categories.

The Great Outdoors From May to mid October, the American River is California’s top venue for white-

rafters are assured of good conditions. Out-

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park

water rafting. The river flow is controlled

fitters offer both half-day and full-day trips

or Folsom Lake. In the northern Sierra, the

by releases from upstream reservoirs, so

through Class III whitewater, ending up at

town of Downieville has become a center for mountain biking. Local bike shops offer rentals and shuttles on old mining roads and single tracks from the casual to the technical, including a 15-mile ride with a 4,000-foot descent. Houseboaters flock to vast, sprawling Gold Country reservoirs such as New Melones Lake, Don Pedro Lake and Lake McClure.

SMITHING at Columbia State Historic Park, opposite top; Folsom Hotel, above; flycasting for trout, le .

INSIDER’S

» TIP

The signatures of everyone from Mark Twain to Ulysses S. Grant to Charles Bolles (better known as Black Bart) are on display in the register of the historic MURPHYS

HOTEL, one of the oldest continually operating hotels in California. murphyshotel.com

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149


CENTRAL VALLEY California’s agricultural heartland

BY JILL K. ROBINSON TOP CITIES Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield, Davis, Stockton, Fairfield, Merced, Visalia, Madera, Vacaville, Manteca, Lodi

T

he rich green strip wedged between the Sierra Nevada Range and the coastal mountains in the center of California is considered by many to be the greatest garden in the world. The Central Valley,

which runs 400 miles north to south, is filled with farms, orchards and vineyards growing everything from almonds to cherries to peaches to

San Francisco International Airport (SFO), 94 miles (151 km) from Modesto, 186 miles (299 km) from Fresno Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), 118 miles (190 km) from Bakersfield

grapes, and supplies as much as 45 percent of the food eaten in the United States. See and taste the state’s bounty when you travel here to discover the soul of these vibrant communities. California’s Central Valley contains thousands of acres of land under cultivation and small farming communities that seem to have been frozen in

TOURISM WEBSITE visitcentralvalley.com

time. The larger cities here (Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield) still have a

POPULATION 4,858,000

that there’s more going on beyond the farmland. From the quiet, northern-

small-town friendliness that encourages visitors to slow down and find out most towns of Orland, Yuba City and Davis to Visalia, Tulare and Maricopa at the southern end, it’s easy to feel at home and see what some call “the Other California.” Travelers using Interstate 5 to get through the Central Valley may believe the agricultural region is nothing more than a sleepy little farming area, but don’t speed by and discount the wealth of spectacular scenery, opportunities for outdoor recreation, highlights of California history and funky roadside

CENTRAL VALLEY

diners. The best way to discover the area on a leisurely itinerary is by taking Highway 99, which feels more like a back road. Cities and towns are clustered along the route, giving you a chance to pull off and explore any time you want.

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SONIA CERVANTES/SHUTTERSTOCK. OPPOSITE:JEFFREY B. BANKE/SHUTTERSTOCK; FRESNO/CLOVIS CVB

INTERNATIONAL GATEWAYS Sacramento International Airport (SMF), 80 miles (129 km) from Modesto, 172 miles (277 km) from Fresno


DRIVE

» TOUR

MUST

»

SEE, DO

It may be tempting to cover the Central Valley by zooming along on Interstate 5, but instead, take the slower

HIGHWAY 99—often referred to as “California’s Main Street,” and the very same road the fictional Joad family traveled

»

Expansive Wetlands Explore Grizzly Island

in the Suisun Marsh, which makes up more than 10 percent of California’s remaining natural

in The Grapes of Wrath. Start

wetlands.

in oil-town BAKERSFIELD and

head north toward FRESNO,

suisunwildlife.org/grizzly.html

MERCED and MODESTO. As

»

you pass from the San

culture in Bakersfield, where there’s a rich history

Joaquin Valley into the Sacramento River Delta, take a jog over to Interstate 5 to pass to the west of Sacramento and into Yolo, Colusa and Glenn counties at the north end of the great Central Valley.

Basque in the Desert Get to know Basque

of transplanted sheepherders.

»

noriegahotel.com

Wine Tasting Visit wineries in Lodi, which

produce more than 40 percent of the state’s premium Zinfandel.

»

lodiwine.com

Fresh off the Farm Reap the benefits of

Fresno farms’ bounty at the Vineyard Farmer’s Market, held every Wednesday and Saturday, year-round.

»

vineyardfarmersmarket.com

Old Town Wander through the delta town of

Locke, the only U.S. town built exclusively by the Chinese for the Chinese.

locketown.com

LONE BULL TULE ELK at Grizzly Island Wildlife Area, le ; canoe tour with the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, above; Panorama Vista Preserve and the Kern River, Bakersfield, opposite.

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151


FORESTIERE UNDERGOUND GARDENS, Fresno, right; sunset paddle boarding at Lodi Lake, below.

Two river valleys—the Sacramento and San Joaquin—dominate much of the region, and the waterways provide opportunities

for

sport

(fishing,

rafting,

waterskiing) and bird migration rest stops, as well as an essential element of farming. In the hot summer months, the area’s rivers and lakes help residents and tourists alike cool off, and a shady swimming hole is an ideal spot to spend a weekend. Swing by one of the roadside produce stands for the best souvenirs in the Central Valley. Be sure to enjoy your prizes before you return home, because the edible treasure of the region is best sampled fresh.

City & Town College-town Davis has more bikes per capita than any U.S. city. Modesto and its

» TIP

hot rods were the stars of American Graffiti—and auto fans still flock to the valley city. Fresno’s architectural history includes brick warehouses along the Santa Fe rail-

Catch a baseball game at Banner Island, home of the STOCKTON PORTS.

road tracks and the 1928 Pantages Theatre.

An offshoot of the team credited with inspiring Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s famous “Casey at the Bat” poem, the Ports got their name because

The Great Outdoors

Stockton was California’s only inland port.

A sprawling web of rivers twists through the Central Valley—from the Sacramento to

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LODI CVB; FRESNO/CLOVIS CVB

INSIDER’S


SPECIAL

» EVENTS 2018 MARCH MEET March 1-4, Bakersfield famosoraceway.com ROGUE PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL March 1-10, Fresno roguefestival.com PICNIC DAY April 21, Davis picnicday.ucdavis.edu ZINFEST WINE FESTIVAL May 18-20, Lodi zinfest.com AMERICAN GRAFFITI CAR SHOW & FESTIVAL June 8-10, Modesto americangraffitifestival.com VILLAGE FEST Sept. 8, Bakersfield bakersfieldvillagefest.com FESTIVAL OF ROSES Sept. 8, Wasco ci.wasco.ca.us BIG FRESNO FAIR Oct. 3-14, Fresno fresnofair.com

the San Joaquin to the Feather. The best

SANDHILL CRANE FESTIVAL Nov. 2-4, Lodi cranefestival.com

place to enjoy river life is in the Sacra-

BRUBECK FESTIVAL Nov. 26-27, Stockton pacific.edu/Brubeck-Institute.html

mento Delta, with lush wetlands among vast orchards. The Sutter Buttes—considered the world’s smallest mountain range—rise above the flat valley at its northernmost point.

Heritage & Culture Agriculture has drawn a diverse group of people here over the years, including migrant workers from Latin America, Dust Bowl-era farmers and entertaining country music masters. Visitors are always welcome to join regional celebrations, from harvest days to Basque festivals to Portuguese festas—complete with bloodless bullfights.

Family Fun Families who love the outdoors and wideopen spaces will find plenty to do in the Central Valley. Escape the summer heat by tubing down the Sacramento River, discover the amazing Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno, wander through the historic delta town of Locke, or gawk at restored military aircraft at the Castle Air Museum.

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2018 TRAVEL GUIDE TO

CALIFORNIA RESOURCES »

»

GENERAL INFORMATION

CALIFORNIA WELCOME CENTERS

POPULATION: 39,536,653

THERE ARE SIXTEEN OFFICIAL state Welcome Centers in 10 of the state’s tourism regions. Each center is listed by the region in which it is located. For more information, go to VisitCWC.com.

AREA: 158,693 square miles. It is approximately 770 miles long from the Mexican border to the Oregon border, and 250 miles wide from the Pacific Ocean to the Nevada and Arizona borders.

San Diego County 928 North Coast Highway Oceanside 760-721-1101

Central Valley 710 W. 16th Street, Suite A Merced 209-724-8104

TIME: California is in the Pacific Time Zone (GMT minus 8 hours). The state observes daylight saving time.

Inland Empire One Mills Circle, Suite 1054 Ontario 909-937-3000

San Francisco Bay Area Pier 39, Building B, Second Level, Unit B12 San Francisco 415-981-1280

Desert Region 2796 Tanger Way, Suite 100 Barstow 760-253-4782

9 Fourth Street Santa Rosa 800-404-7673

TAXES: The state sales tax is 7.25%. Local taxes may be as much as an additional 2.5%. DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE: For local numbers, dial 411; long-distance, 1 plus area code plus 555-1212; toll-free, 800-555-1212. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE: Call 911 toll free from any public telephone to obtain police, fire or medical assistance. LIQUOR LAWS: Alcohol is sold throughout California. Legal drinking age is 21. SMOKING LAWS: You must be 18 to purchase tobacco products. Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings and enclosed spaces throughout California. Many cities in California have passed ordinances prohibiting smoking in all public places. It is even illegal to smoke on certain beaches in Southern California—watch for signs.

56711 29 Palms Highway Yucca Valley 760-365-5464 Orange County 6601 Beach Blvd. Buena Park 800-541-3953 Central Coast 333 Five Cities Drive, Suite 100 Pismo Beach 805-773-7924 1213 North Davis Road Salinas 831-757-8687 2786 Seaglass Way, Space 5105 Oxnard 805-988-0717

Gold Country 1103 High Street, Suite 150 Auburn 530-887-2111 2085 Vine Street, Suite 105 El Dorado Hills 916-358-3700 High Sierra 10065 Donner Pass Road Truckee 530-587-8808 2510 Main Street Mammoth Lakes 760-924-5500 Shasta Cascade 1699 Highway 273 Anderson 530-365-1180

QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO TRAVEL GENERAL TRAVEL visitcalifornia.com BEACHES beachcalifornia.com BORDER SERVICES cbp.gov BUS TRAVEL greyhound.com CALIFORNIA STATE GOVERNMENT ca.gov CALIFORNIA NATIONAL PARKS, NATIONAL FORESTS & PUBLIC LANDS nps.gov/state/ca fs.fed.us/r5/ca.blm.gov CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS www.parks.ca.gov COOKING SCHOOLS epitourean.com/Destination/8/California.aspx ECO, ADVENTURE, OUTDOOR adventureout.com infohub.com

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FESTIVALS californiafairsandfestivals.com festivals.com FISHING wildlife.ca.gov fishingnetwork.net FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAMS flyertalk.com webflyer.com GAY & LESBIAN TRAVEL gaytravel.com gogaycalifornia.com GOLF golfcalifornia.com golflink.com HUNTING wildlife.ca.gov RAIL TRAVEL amtrak.com ROAD CONDITIONS dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

SENIOR TRAVEL roadscholar.org aarp.org SKI CONDITIONS onthesnow.com SOLO TRAVEL cstn.org STUDENT TRAVEL statravel.com SPORTS TRAVEL sportstravel.com TRANSPORTATION REGULATIONS dmv.ca.gov TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN travelforkids.com/Funtodo/California/california.htm familyvacationcritic.com TRAVELERS WITH DISABILITIES accessnca.org/resources WEATHER CONDITIONS wunderground.com WOMEN TRAVELERS adventurewomen.com journeywoman.com


Âť

CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAUS

Amador County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau 209-223-0350 amadorcountychamber.com Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau 1-855-405-5020 visitanaheim.org Bakersfield Convention & Visitors Bureau 866-425-7353 visitbakersfield.com Berkeley Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-847-4823 visitberkeley.com Beverly Hills Visitors Bureau 800-345-2210 lovebeverlyhills.com Buellton Visitors Bureau & Chamber of Commerce 800-324-3800 visitbuellton.com Calaveras Visitors Bureau 800-225-3764 gocalavaras.com Central Valley Tourism Association visitcentralvalley.com Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau 888-588-9417 travelcostamesa.com Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce 800-343-8300 exploredelnorte.com Destination Lancaster 661-948-4518 www.destinationlancasterca.org El Dorado County Visitors Authority 530-621-5885 visit-eldorado.com Eureka/Humboldt County Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-346-3482 redwoods.info

Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-452-7829 visitlongbeach.com

San Luis Obispo County Tourism Information 805-548000 visitsanluisobispocounty.com

Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-228-2452 discoverlosangeles.com

San Mateo County Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-288-4748 smccvb.com

Mammoth Lakes Tourism 888-GO-MAMMOTH visitmammoth.com Marin County Convention & Visitors Bureau 415-925-2060 visitmarin.org Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau 424-526-7900 visitmarinadelrey.com Mendocino County 866-466-3636 visitmendocino.com Modesto Convention & Visitors Bureau 888-640-8467 visitmodesto.com Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau 888-221-1010 seemonterey.com Morro Bay Tourism 805-225-7411 morrobay.org Napa Valley Destination Council 707-251-5895 legendarynapavalley.com Newport Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau 888-5-NEWPORT visitnewportbeach.com North Lake Tahoe Visitors & Convention Bureau 888-434-1262 gotahoenorth.com Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau 510-839-9000 visitoakland.org Palm Desert Visitors Center 760-346-0611 palm-desert.org

Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau 805-966-9222 santabarbaraca.com Santa Clara Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-272-6822 santaclara.org Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council 800-833-3494 santacruzca.org Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor & Convention Bureau 805-925-2403 santamaria.com Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-544-5319 santamonica.com Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau 805-688-6144 solvangusa.com Sonoma County Tourism Bureau 707-522- 5800 sonomacounty.com Stockton Convention & Visitors Bureau 877-778-6258 visitstockton.org Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau 888-363-2852 temeculacvb.com Travel Paso Robles Alliance 888-988-7276 travelpaso.com Tri-Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau 925-846-8910 visittrivalley.com

Fairfield Tourism Association 877-793-7386 visitfairfieldca.com

Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism 800-347-7746 visitpalmsprings.com

Fresno City and County Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-788-0836 playfresno.org

Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Authority 800-967-3767 visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

Gilroy Visitors Bureau 408-842-1625 gilroywelcomecenter.org

Pasadena Convention & Visitors Authority 800-307-7977 visitpasadena.com

Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-455-5755 gocvb.org

Pismo Beach Conference & Visitors Bureau 805-773-4657 classiccalifornia.com

Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau 707-433-6935 healdsburg.com

Redding Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-874-7562 visitredding.com

Huntington Beach Visitors Bureau 800-729-6232 surfcityusa.com

Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau 310-376-6911 visitredondo.com

Kern County Tourism Bureau 661-868-5376 visitkern.com

Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-292-2334 visitsacramento.com

West Hollywood Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-368-6020 visitwesthollywood.com

Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau 949-497-9229 visitlagunabeach.com

San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau 619-232-3101 sandiego.org

Yolo County Visitors Bureau 530-297-1900 yolocvb.org

Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority 530-541-5255 tahoesouth.com

San Francisco Travel Association 415-391-2000 sftravel.com

Yosemite Mariposa County Visitors Bureau 866-425-3366 yosemiteexperience.com

Lodi Conference & Visitors Bureau 209-365-1195 visitlodi.com

San Jose Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-726-5673 sanjose.org

Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau 559-683-4636 yosemitethisyear.com

Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau 800-446-1333 tcvb.com Vacaville Conference & Visitors Bureau 707-450-0500 visitvacaville.com Vallejo Convention & Visitors Bureau 707-642-3653 visitvallejo.com Ventura County Coast 800-648-2124 venturacountycoast.com Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau 805-648-2075 visitventuraca.com

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RESOURCES »

»

HOLIDAYS

January 1

New Year’s Day

July 4

Independence Day

January 15

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday

September 3

Labor Day

February 19

Presidents’ Birthdays

November 12

Veterans Day

March 31

César Chávez Day

November 22

Thanksgiving Day

May 28

Memorial Day

December 25

Christmas Day

CLIMATE/TEMPERATURES

Average temperatures reflect those of a city centrally located in the region. Temperatures at the coast are often 5 or more degrees cooler than inland temperatures because of coastal breezes and fog, and farther inland, temperatures are often significantly warmer than central locations at the same elevation. Cities for average temperatures: San Diego County: San Diego; Desert: Palm Springs; Orange County: Irvine; Inland Empire: San Bernardino; Los Angeles County: Los Angeles; Central Coast: San Luis Obispo; Central Valley: Merced; San Francisco Bay Area: San Francisco; Gold Country: Sacramento; High Sierra: Truckee; North Coast: Arcata; Shasta Cascade: Redding Source: Weatherbase.com

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUG

SEPT

OCT

NOV

DEC

SAN DIEGO COUNTY

F° C°

49/65 9/18

51/65 10/18

53/66 12/19

56/68 13/20

59/69 15/20

62/71 17/22

65/75 19/24

67/76 19/25

65/76 18/24

61/73 16/23

54/69 12/21

48/65 9/18

DESERTS

F° C°

46/69 8/21

48/73 9/23

53/79 12/26

57/85 14/29

65/93 18/34

71/102 22/34

77/107 25/42

78/106 25/41

73/100 23/38

62/89 17/32

52/77 11/25

44/67 7/20

ORANGE COUNTY

F° C°

40/67 5/18

43/68 6/20

44/69 7/21

48/73 9/23

52/75 11/24

56/79 13/26

59/84 15/29

59/85 15/30

57/84 14/29

52/79 11/26

44/74 7/23

41/68 5/20

INLAND EMPIRE

F° C°

39/66 4/19

41/68 5/20

43/70 6/21

46/76 8/24

51/80 10/27

54/89 12/31

59/96 15/36

59/96 15/36

56/92 13/33

50/83 10/28

42/77 6/23

39/68 4/20

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

F° C°

48/66 9/19

50/67 10/20

51/69 11/20

53/71 12/22

57/73 14/23

60/77 15/25

63/82 17/28

64/83 18/28

63/82 17/28

59/78 15/25

53/73 12/22

49/67 10/20

CENTRAL COAST

F° C°

41/64 5/18

42/64 6/18

44/65 7/19

45/69 7/20

48/72 9/22

51/75 11/24

54/77 12/25

55/80 13/26

54/79 12/26

50/76 10/24

44/70 7/21

40/65 4/18

CENTRAL VALLEY

F° C°

37/53 3/12

39/60 4/16

42/65 5/19

45/73 7/23

51/82 11/28

58/90 14/32

61/95 16/35

60/93 15/34

56/88 13/31

49/78 9/26

41/64 5/18

36/53 2/12

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

F° C°

46/56 7/13

48/60 8/15

49/61 9/16

50/63 10/17

51/64 10/17

53/66 11/18

54/66 12/18

54/66 12/18

56/70 13/21

55/69 12/20

51/64 10/17

47/57 8/13

GOLD COUNTRY

F° C°

39/54 4/12

41/60 5/15

44/65 7/18

46/71 7/21

51/80 11/27

55/87 12/30

58/92 15/33

58/91 14/32

56/87 13/31

50/78 10/25

43/64 6/17

38/54 4/12

HIGH SIERRA

F° C°

15/39 -10/4

17/42 -9/6

21/47 -6/8

26/54 -3/12

32/63 0/17

37/73 3/23

42/83 5/28

40/81 5/27

36/74 2/24

29/63 -2/17

22/50 -5/10

16/41 -9/5

NORTH COAST

F° C°

40/55 4/12

40/55 4/13

40/55 5/13

41/56 5/13

45/59 7/15

48/61 9/16

50/62 10/17

50/63 10/17

47/63 9/17

44/62 7/17

42/57 5/14

39/54 4/12

SHASTA CASCADE

F° C°

37/55 3/13

40/60 4/15

43/65 6/18

46/71 8/21

54/81 12/27

62/90 16/32

66/98 19/37

63/97 17/36

58/90 14/32

49/78 10/25

41/63 5/17

36/55 2/13

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»

MEDICAL CARE & TRAVEL INSURANCE DRIVING REGULATIONS

Visitor Medical Insurance plans are designed to cover medical expenses resulting from a sudden illness or injury while visiting the USA or other countries. Typically, visitor insurance plans offer benefits to cover inpatient hospital, outpatient doctor ojjfice visits, surgery and prescription drug expenses.

LICENSE/DOCUMENTATION: You must have a valid driver’s license from a U.S. state or foreign country. Minimum driving age is 16. For more information about California driver’s license regulations, call 800-777-0133. SEATBELT: By law, everyone in a vehicle must wear a seatbelt. Children under the age of eight (8) must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Infants should stay in rearfacing seats until they weigh at least 20 pounds, can pull themselves up to stand, or reach one year of age.

Go One Global Corporation 800-257-7718 g1g.com Distributor of online travel and international medical insurance products and services.

HELMETS: Motorcycle helmets must be worn by all motorcycle riders, as well as their passengers. Bicycle riders under the age of 18 must wear helmets.

Insubuy 866-467-8289 insubuy.com Provides a variety of short—term medical insurance for foreigners visiting the USA.

SPEED LIMITS: These are posted in miles-per-hour (mph). Generally, the speed limit on multilane freeways is 65 mph. On two-lane highways it is usually 55 mph. The speed limit on city streets is usually 25-35 mph. In residential areas, near schools and in areas with heavy foot traffic, the speed limit is almost always 25 mph.

International Services, Inc. 877-593-5403 nriol.net Financial services company with focus on providing quality insurance for U.S. residents, travel insurance for tourists, and medical insurance for international students.

CARPOOL LANES: Major urban areas have carpool lanes (or “diamond lanes”) identified by small black-and-white signs and by diamonds painted on the roadway. To drive in a carpool lane, you must usually have two people (including the driver) in the car. Some carpool lanes in the San Francisco Bay Area require three people (including the driver). CELL PHONES: The Wireless Communications Device Law makes it an infraction to write, send or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle. Drivers must also use a hands-free device when speaking on a cell phone.

Multichoice Insurance Services 855-444-6247 insurancemultichoice.com Fast, simple, online (secured) and effective way to fulfill travel insurance needs.

ACCIDENTS: You must report accidents to the California Department of Motor Vehicles if injury or death occurs, or if damage exceeds $750.

Patriot America 877-778-4562 patriotamericainsurance.net Worldwide travel medical insurance for non-U.S. citizens traveling outside of their citizenship country.

DRINKING AND DRIVING: It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol (blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher).

USA-Assist Worldwide Protect

ROAD CONDITIONS: The California Department of Transportation maintains a free 24-hour hotline for information at 800-427-7623. Throughout the state you can dial 511 on your phone to get up-to-the-minute transportation information.

877-539-8619 usa-assist.com Provides travel insurance, assistance and protection to all kinds of travelers, including groups and business travelers worldwide.

OTHER: Roundabouts are uncommon in California. Most intersections are either signed by traffic lights or by stop signs. Unless signed otherwise, it is legal to make a right turn on a red light after you come to a complete stop.

»

RESOURCES FOR THE DISABLED

RESOURCES FOR THE DISABLED ACCESS NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: A non-profit organization dedicated to providing increased opportunities and improving access to travel and outdoor recreation for people with disabilities throughout Northern California. Website (accessnca.org) has a large resource section with lodging, parks, transportation, adaptive recreation and more. ACCESSIBLE SAN DIEGO: This is a non-profit information center for travelers with disabilities in San Diego County. Information available via their website (access-sandiego.org) and they publish an annual guide available via download or hard copy.

CAR RENTAL: Avis Rent a Car has an “Avis Access” program that offers a dedicated 24-hour toll-free number (888-879-4273) for customers with special travel needs; special car features such as swivel seats, spinner knobs and hand controls; and accessible bus service. HEARING IMPAIRED ASSISTANCE: Dial 711 for TDD-to-voice or voice-to-TDD relays. LOS ANGELES HANDICAPPED TOURIST ACCESSIBILITY GUIDE: Available online at latourist.com. Includes accessible tourist attractions, hiking trails, outdoor activities, transportation and more. NATIONAL PARKS: Free access to national parks is available to U.S. citizens and residents who have a

permanent disability. The Golden Access Passport is available at any National Park Service Headquarters. STATE PARKS: The California Department of Parks and Recreation offers a Disabled Discount Pass which provides a 50 percent discount for use of all basic facilities (including day use parking, camping and boat/day use parking fees) at any unit of the California State Park System operated by the State Department of Parks and Recreation. Cost is $3.50 and is available online (www.parks.ca.gov) or by calling 800-777-0369. TRAIN TRAVEL: All rail services in California are wheelchair accessible. In addition, Amtrak offers a 15% discount to travelers with disabilities (800-8727245 or amtrak.com).

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RESOURCES »

AIR DISTANCES BETWEEN SELECTED CITIES SAN DIEGO (SAN)

PALM SPRINGS (PSP)

LOS ANGELES (LAX)

SAN JOSE (SJC)

SAN FRANCISCO (SFO)

SACRAMENTO (SMF)

SAN DIEGO

mile/km/h

85/137/<1

109/175/<1

417/671/1

437/703/1

480/772/1

LOS ANGELES

mile/km/h

109/175/<1

110/176/<1

308/495/1

327/527/1

373/600/1

SAN FRANCISCO

mile/km/h

437/703/1

410/660/1

327/527/1

20/32/<1

84/135/<1

NEW YORK

mile/km/h

2440/3928/5

2373/3819/5

2469/3974/5

2562/4124/5

2570/4136/5

2514/4046/5

MIAMI

mile/km/h

2267/3649/5

2232/3593/4

2432/3769/5

2559/4118/5

2574/4142/5

2552/4107/5

CHICAGO

mile/km/h

1723/2773/3

1652/2658/3

1744/2807/3

1829/2944/4

1837/2956/4

1781/2867/4

DENVER

mile/km/h

853/1373/2

776/1249/2

862/1387/2

948/1526/2

957/1541/2

910/1464/2

SEATTLE

mile/km/h

1050/1690/2

987/1589/2

954/1535/2

696/1121/2

682/1097/2

605/974/2

TORONTO

mile/km/h

2157/3472/5

2085/3355/5

2176/3501/5

2245/3612/5

2251/3622/5

2191/3526/4

VANCOUVER

mile/km/h

1177/1894/2

1114/1793/2

1080/1739/2

819/1318/2

804/1293/2

729/1173/2

h = flight time rounded to nearest number of hours; <1 = less than 1 hour

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DRIVING DISTANCES SAN DIEGO

PALM SPRINGS

LOS ANGELES

SANTA BARBARA

MONTEREY

SAN JOSE

SAN FRANCISCO SACRAMENTO

YOSEMITE

LAKE TAHOE

REDDING

SAN DIEGO

mile/km

126/203

127/204

218/351

450/724

468/753

514/827

509/819

482/776

604/972

664/1069

PALM SPRINGS

mile/km

126/203

114/183

204/328

453/729

447/719

487/784

490/789

468/753

591/951

651/1048

LOS ANGELES

mile/km

127/204

114/183

91/146

327/526

347/558

387/623

388/624

359/578

484/779

544/875

SANTA BARBARA

mile/km

218/351

204/328

91/146

242/389

286/460

327/526

379/610

398/641

500/805

535/861

MONTEREY

mile/km

450/724

453/729

327/526

242/389

69/111

114/183

188/303

203/327

284/457

316/509

SAN FRANCISCO

mile/km

514/827

487/784

387/623

327/526

114/183

44/71

90/145

182/293

185/298

217/349

YOSEMITE

mile/km

482/776

468/753

359/578

398/641

203/327

174/280

182/293

196/315

198/319

247/397

LAKE TAHOE

mile/km

604/972

591/951

484/779

500/805

284/457

214/344

185/298

102/164

198/319

256/412

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NATIONAL PARKS & HISTORIC SITES

Arranged north to south. Lava Beds National Monument, Tulelake Rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features. Hiking, camping. nps.gov/labe Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Whiskeytown Mountain lake recreation area. Hiking, mountain biking, camping, water sports. nps.gov/whis Redwood National and State Parks, Del Norte & Humboldt counties An ancient coast redwood ecosystem that is home to the world’s tallest trees. Park is comprised of 112,000 acres of forests, rivers and wild coastline. Hiking, camping. nps.gov/redw Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mineral Large group of volcanic domes set in the Cascade Mountains. Hiking, camping, geothermal pools. nps.gov/lavo Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Rare undeveloped California coastline hosting myriad plant, animal and marine life. Hiking, mountain biking, bird and whale watching. nps.gov/pore Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley Set just outside San Francisco, this old-growth forest leads down to Muir Beach. Hiking only. nps.gov/muwo Alcatraz Island, San Francisco The first lighthouse and fort on the West Coast that later became an (almost) inescapable federal prison. Tours. nps.gov/alca San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, San Francisco Located at Fisherman’s Wharf, this museum is host to a number of historic sailing vessels. Tours. nps.gov/safr Fort Point National Historic Site, San Francisco A decommissioned fort in the Presidio, you can tour the facility that began guarding the entrance to the Bay during the Civil War. nps.gov/fopo Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco A former army post, this 1500-acre park contains a museum, national cemetery, historic architecture, miles of coastline and forested hiking trails. Tours, hiking, biking. nps.gov/prsf

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco One of the world’s largest urban parks, the GGNRA encompasses venues from San Mateo to Marin counties and includes such sites as Alcatraz, Sutro Baths, Fort Funston, Crissy Field, Muir Woods and more. Hiking, cycling, camping, water sports, tours. nps.gov/goga

Manzanar National Historic Site, Independence Manzanar served as a relocation center for Japanese citizens during WWII. This internment camp is now a museum that illustrates the land’s past uses. Tours. nps.gov/manz

Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, Danville The home of the famed American writer is now a museum, and can be visited by reservation only. Tours. nps.gov/euon

Pinnacles National Park, Paicines These massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages are the remains of an ancient volcano. Hiking, camping, caving, backpacking, tours. nps.gov/pinn

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, Concord This memorial to the men and women who lost their lives loading munitions during WWII is located inside the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Tours. nps.gov/poch

Death Valley National Park, Death Valley Three million acres of mountains and desert terrain, Death Valley is also home to abandoned mines, Scotty’s Castle, hiking trails and large stands of Joshua Trees. Hiking, camping, tours. nps.gov/deva

Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park, Richmond One of the newest national parks, this park honors the men and women who worked behind the scenes during WWII. Includes the SS Red Oak Victory Ship, which is accessible to visitors. Tours. nps.gov/rori

Mojave National Preserve, Barstow Another desert wilderness covering 1.6 million acres, the Mojave is home to sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones, Joshua Tree forests and carpets of wildflowers. Hiking, camping, hunting, tours. nps.gov/moja

John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez John Muir is considered the father of the National Park Service. His home and Mt. Wanda are both part of this historic site. Hiking, tours. nps.gov/jomu Devils Postpile National Monument, Mammoth Lakes Devils Postpile formation is a geologic wonder towering 60 feet high and one of the world’s finest examples of columnar basalt. The area also boasts the 101-foot high Rainbow Falls and pristine mountain scenery. Hiking, camping. nps.gov/depo Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Nevada One of the first wilderness parks in the United States, and now a World Heritage Site, this famous park spans three counties and 760,000 acres. It is host to spectacular waterfalls, mountains, granite cliffs, forests and backcountry. Hiking, rock climbing, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, fishing, water sports, tours. nps.gov/yose Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Southern Sierra Nevada in Tulare & Fresno counties Also known as the Land of the Giants, this park is home to huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and some of the world’s largest trees. Hiking, camping, backpacking, rock climbing, tours. nps.gov/seki

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Thousand Oaks This park encompasses multiple mountains, parks and open space preserves and is one of the best examples of a Mediterranean climate ecosystem in the world. Hiking, camping, tours. nps.gov/samo Channel Islands National Park, Ventura This park is made up of a chain of five islands located off the Southern California coast and is also a national marine sanctuary. Hiking, camping, snorkeling, kayaking, birdwatching, tours. nps.gov/chis Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms This desert wilderness, composed of both the Mojave and Colorado deserts, lies atop hundreds of earthquake faults, allowing visitors to see unique rock formations throughout its 789,745 acres. Hiking, camping, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, tours. nps.gov/jotr Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego Celebrating the first European to step on West Coast shores, this park boasts a monument, tidepools, trails, a lighthouse, museum and former military installations. Hiking, bird and whale watching. nps.gov/cabr

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