Whale Watching in California

Spring Whale Watching

It’s time to witness one of the greatest wildlife migrations on the planet, and it’s happening just west of you. Every March and April herds gray whales can be spotted from shore as they journey northward along the coast, completing the last leg of their 14,000-mile annual round-trip. The proud parents are heading back to […]

Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park

Six Sensational Getaways to the East Bay

  I know, it doesn’t sound very sexy, but you’d be surprised how much fun you can have on a weekend getaway to the East Bay. Think of it as a far more affordable and closer alternative to Carmel or Napa, yet with all the same (and often better) attractions: wine tasting, botanical gardens, farmers […]

Wine Tasting Fall Foliage California

Family Wineries & Fall Colors in the Sierra Foothills

Each year I plan a November visit to the wine regions of the Sierra Foothills to photograph the amazing vistas of fall color and visit some of my favorite winemakers in California. Harvest (and the few weeks following) is the most romantic time of year to be in a vineyard; the vines are heavy with […]

Lake Shasta Houseboating California

Fall Houseboating Getaways

Now stay with me on this one, because I’m about to let you in on one of my top outdoor getaway secrets: fall-season houseboating on Lake Shasta. Why? First, because you can save more than $1000 off summer rental rates. Second, it’s still plenty warm both above and below the water. And third, that lake […]


Half Moon Bay: The Perfect Coastal Getaway

One of the questions I get asked the most as a Bay Area-based travel writer is “Where’s a great place get away for the weekend?” And my answer is always the same: Half Moon Bay. It has everything you could possibly want for a fun, relaxing, romantic, and adventurous getaway: superb restaurants, pristine beaches, a […]


Paradise in Palau

It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life—swimming among millions of golden jellyfish, so many that you couldn’t avoid bumping into them with your bare skin. But what should normally be an excruciatingly painful experience (and if you’ve ever been stung by a jelly you know what I mean) wasn’t. On a tiny island in Palau is one of most famous snorkeling sites in the world: Jellyfish Lake. And if there is one place you need to see before you kick the bucket, this is it.


Walnut Creek: A Shopper’s Paradise

I shop for a living. It started as a favor, sizing up my friends and helping them buy a few things here and there that I thought would look good on them, but always at a steep discount. Eventually I got so good at it that people started paying me to shop for them, especially […]

Post Ranch Inn Big Sur

The Super-Luxury-Seven Hotels of Northern California

We’ve all stayed at nice a hotel during our vacation, but when’s the last time you stayed at a hotel that was so special it was the vacation? The seven Northern California hotels listed below offer that sort of experience. Yes, they’re expensive, but you can’t put a price on a lifetime of fond memories. […]


Mendocino Getaways

If you’re the type that likes to hop in the car on Saturday morning and hit the backroads for some fun and adventure, keep reading. Just a couple of hours north of San Francisco in on one of my favorite weekend getaway regions in the state: Mendocino County. With more than 4,000 square miles of […]

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