I thought I knew wine until Larry Turley poured me a sip of his finest zinfandel. I was wrong. I thought I knew haute cuisine until I experienced The French Laundry. Wrong again. And I thought I knew luxury hotels until, many years ago, I was invited to stay at the Post Ranch Inn. Words […]
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 […]
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 […]
Lake Tahoe Hotel Casinos Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Understatement is not a word that crosses your mind at Harrah’s, the most luxurious and glitzy of Tahoe’s casinos. Harrah’s takes great pride in its special blend of luxury, beauty, unparalleled guest service, and casino entertainment. Large rooms have two bathrooms, each with a TV and telephone, with […]
Summer’s almost over, but there’s still time to plan one last getaway 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 thrilling and adventurous weekend getaway that gets your blood flowing and calories burning. As a serious […]
There’s nothing more sad than saying goodbye to your dog as you leave for a vacation. Poor little guy, sitting there with his big brown eyes pleading with you to take him along. Well I’m about to make your doggie’s day with five of my all-time favorite pet-friendly getaways to Northern California, from Carmel’s leash-free […]
The Golden State owes almost as much to the “iron horse” as to the yellow mineral that spurred the nation’s westward expansion in the mid-19th century. The first railroad in the state, a 22-mile line linking Sacramento and Folsom, went into service in 1855. Completion of the transcontinental railway in 1869 brought the world to […]
We may be the most powerful and influential nation in the world, but when it comes to the art of relaxing, America lags far behind. Most of us have yet to discover what the Native Americans, Japanese, and many other cultures have known for centuries—that immersing one’s body in a natural hot spring is incredibly rejuvenating to the body and spirit.
In the past, most hot spring resorts were havens for hippies and New Age types, but these days more and more mainstreamers are discovering the calming effects of a good mineral soak. In Northern California there’s a hot spring resort for every type of person—luxury spas, New Age retreats, pro-nudity spas, Japanese bathhouses, and even inexpensive mom-and-pop enterprises.
Hot Springs are one of the rare benefits of living in an earthquake zone. Along California’s fault line, a mere 4 miles below the earth’s crust, lies an enormous magma core that superheats the mineral-rich ground water and brings it gushing to the surface. This isn’t just tepid tap water, mind you, but mineral-enriched, spring-fed, naturally heated nectar that seeps into your pores, erases your worries, and turns your skin baby-soft. Give it a try—your body will love you for it.
ROMANCE ON THE RAILS Now here’s an idea for romantic getaway that you probably haven’t considered: Enjoying a gourmet dinner and wine tasting on a vintage passenger train in the Wine Country. There’s something about riding on a train that oozes with romance, and to ride along with your significant other is all the better. […]
ELEPHANT SEAL MATING SEASON, Ano Nuevo State Reserve One of the most spectacular animal attractions on the entire California Coast is the elephant seal breeding grounds at Ano Nuevo State Reserve (located 55 miles south of San Francisco off Highway 1), where you can see massive elephant seals sunning themselves on the beaches year-round. […]