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

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

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Gorgeous Fall Getaways to Sonoma Wine Country

Picture yourself cruising in your car on a sunny afternoon along the winding backroads of Sonoma Wine Country. It’s the fall season, the air is brisk and crystal clear, and as far as the eye can see are harvested vineyards blazing with colors of autumn: bright yellows, fiery reds, vibrant golds. There’s a science to […]

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Family-Run Farm Getaways

So there you are, sitting in your office or cubical on a sunny day, wishing you were working somewhere, anywhere else right now. Like on a small family farm for instance, planting strawberries and picking pears in dirty jeans and warm sunshine. It’s not an impossible dream you know. Mavericks such as Dee Harley of […]

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The Best Kid-Friendly Museums in Northern California

Now that winter is upon us (and how), it’s time to plan some indoor getaways to get everyone out of the house. So here’s a roundup of my favorite kid-friendly museums in Northern California, starting with FREE ADMISSION DAY at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. As the author of the Frommer’s California guidebook for the […]

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The Top 10 Hiking Getaways in Northern California

When I was a kid my mom would retain her sanity each summer by sending me off on a 10-day YMCA backpacking trip with a bunch of strangers (which, by the way, I highly recommend for all you over-protective parents out there). Not only did these hiking trips get me out of the house and […]

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“Who Knew?” Wine Tasting Getaways

When you mention the Wine Country most people think of Napa or Sonoma Valley. But true wine geeks have long known that some of Northern California’s best wine and wine-tasting experiences can be found well beyond the valleys, often at family owned wineries tucked away on one-lane roads that would be impossible to find if it weren’t for the periodic signs pointing you in the right direction.

It’s experiences like these—casual yet captivating conversations with winemakers as you savor the fruits of their years of hard work—that make visiting these esoteric wineries worth the effort. Ergo, here are a few of my “Who knew?” favorites.

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Your 7-Day Dream Getaway to Lake Tahoe & Yosemite

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

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Lake Oroville ~ The Perfect 3-Day Summer Getaway

As a travel writer, one of my favorite things to write about is secret getaways to places that most Californians have never experienced. Well, here’s another gem: Lake Oroville. Located 70 miles due north of Sacramento, Lake Oroville is the sleeper vacation spot that really does offer something for everyone: houseboating, fishing, biking, hiking, sailing, […]

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7 Summer Adventures to California’s Great Outdoors

Now that winter has passed, it’s time to start planning your summer getaways to the great outdoors. But instead of sitting on your fanny in a camp chair all weekend (not that there’s anything wrong with that), consider taking a recreational getaway that gets your blood flowing and calories burning. As a serious outdoors nut I could write a book on Northern California’s recreational getaways, but for this week’s theme I’ve narrowed it down to my seven top picks for getting some healthy exercise while exploring some of my favorite outdoor adventure destinations.

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