Luxurious Destinations
California
Destinations Within California

California Trip Itineraries

San Francisco: Top Attractions

San Francisco: Top Attractions
Destination(s): Mill Valley

San Francisco attractions and activities offer a plethora of delights for the whole family, from world-class museums to outdoor adventures. Exceptional exhibits await at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, while kids and adults will love the California Academy of Sciences’ tribute to the natural world. Visit Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Chinatown for unique San Francisco historic attractions. Soak up some nature in Golden Gate Park and the redwoods wonderland of Muir Woods. For two truly don’t-miss San Fran experiences, ride a Cable Car up, up, up and down the famous San Francisco hills and take a walk across the Bay Area’s most iconic landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge. read more about San Francisco: Top Attractions... Read More

Romantic San Francisco

Romantic San Francisco
Destination(s): San Francisco

We know it’s rather trite—droll, even—to start waxing poetic on how visitors will leave their hearts in San Francisco, et cetera, et cetera. However, we have to admit that the song is right. Once you’ve visited the City by the Bay, you realize there is a certain magic here that sets the heart aflutter, whether you’re basking in beautiful sunset vistas, enjoying stolen moments in serene spots, or savoring the sensual flavors of local cuisine. read more about Romantic San Francisco... Read More

In love in Yosemite

In love in Yosemite
Destination(s): Yosemite National Park

One of the first books about Yosemite was called, "In the Heart of the Sierras." Later, John Muir wrote that, "Nature seems to have put all her best treasures in one place, to draw her lovers closer to her." Today it's still a place we love, and a perfect place to be with that special partner on the trail of life. Whether hiking, snowshoing, or sitting by the campfire together, this park has many ways for catalyzing emotional connections. For this weekend of romance we'll stay at the expansive Tenaya Lodge on the park's southern boundary and make excursions in to the awesome chasm of Yosemite Valley and to the edge of the sky. read more about In love in Yosemite... Read More

North Tahoe Epicurean Delight

North Tahoe Epicurean Delight
Destination(s): Lake Tahoe

When one thinks of Lake Tahoe in the summer, hiking and boating on the magnificent clear blue water comes to mind. And it should! But to truly enjoy Lake Tahoe, there is much more to experience. I beckon you to a four-day fest that includes great food, wine, light invigorating exercise, the best of the water has to offer, and Shakespeare with the most dramatic backdrop. read more about North Tahoe Epicurean Delight... Read More

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles
Destination(s): Los Angeles

It makes sense that here in L.A., a city with so many centers, the downtown area has had its up and downs over the years. Currently the downtown area is in something of a resurgence--and ironically this comeback has probably been made stronger by the recession. The slower pace of recent growth has given the lovely older buildings a chance to be appreciated instead of clumsily renovated or destroyed.
Also note this Art Deco guide, focussing on architecture.

Day 1 -- Sites
Day 2 -- Food
Day 3 -- Bars
Day 4 -- Hotels
Day 5 -- More Buildings and Stuff


[Photo courtesy of kla4067] read more about Downtown Los Angeles... Read More

From Apple Butter to Zinfandel: A Harvest-time Getaway to Healdsburg and the Russian River

From Apple Butter to Zinfandel: A Harvest-time Getaway to Healdsburg and the Russian River
Destination(s): Sonoma

Cutesy Healdsburg might be, but get a block or two off the plaza and the tourist trappings fall away, revealing a hard-working Sonoma valley town where viticulture is taken seriously, and has been for many generations.No matter which road you take out of town, you'll stop umpteen times for snaps. The Alexander Valley boasts the Jimtown Store, everyone's favorite haute-roadhouse lunch stop, and the best bike route. Dry Creek Valley has some of my favorite wineries, including Preston, where the picnic area features bocce ball courts and a wood-fired oven turning out hot loaves of homemade sourdough bread. After dinner at Dry Creek Kitchen and breakfast on the inn's sunny terrace, you'll be wondering if Sonoma residents ever eat anything that's not phenomenally fresh.Head south along River Road and you can taste sparkling wine from Korbel, and consider whether it's as good as the French version from the Champagne region whose name Californian bubblies are not allowed to use. Or stop being grown-up for a while and join the kids paddling in the river. Whether you'd rather kayak, canoe, or float downstream in an inner tube, the Russian River is the quintessential lazy river, with sandy beaches, cool green water and plenty of deep swimming holes to choose from.Though a short distance away from the river, the Farmhouse Inn is worth the drive for the rustic elegance of its atmosphere, sort of a cross between English manor house and Tuscan villa. The food is anything but rustic, though; San Franciscan foodies make the drive just for Chef Steve Litke's savory creations, which make the most of local ingredients like goat cheese handcrafted at an organic dairy just down the road. On the way home, be sure to stop at Mom's Apple Pies and pick up one made from gravensteins so fresh they were probably picked that morning in the orchard behind the bakery. Take home a slice of Sonoma graciousness to start the week off easy. read more about From Apple Butter to Zinfandel: A Harvest-time Getaway to Healdsburg and the Russian River... Read More

Ten Best Yosemite Dayhikes

Ten Best Yosemite Dayhikes
Destination(s): Yosemite National Park

So much to choose from! I had to put Half Dome at the top of my list; it's so unique. For the fit and determined it's just the right amount of challenge with a great reward on top. Key: start up in the dark, drink lots of water. Be aware that for 2010 you need a day use permit for Fri, Sat, Sun, holidays on Half Dome. For an easier jaunt, almost anyone can make the pleasant grade to Mirror Lake for a more intimate view of the canyon floor. Off Glacier Point Road, the hike up to Sentinel Dome affords a grand 360-degree panorama. Do a bit less than Half Dome but with the best of the dramatic start/finish miles by hiking up to Vernal Fall and/or go beyond it to the top of Nevada Fall - good training for a Half Dome assault next summer. Another way to see this part of Yosemite is to pay for the hikers' bus up to Glacier Point and hike down the Panorama Trail. At Tioga Pass, crawl up over a steep ridge to an isolated glacial basin at Gaylor Lakes; classic Sierra alpine terrain. In Tuolumne Meadows, getting to the top of Lembert Dome is the must-do viewing platform. A fine subalpine hike gets you to the two Cathedral Lakes. In the south part of the park, take a great climb up the Chilnualna Falls Trail from Wawona; warm work, but worth it. It is truly hard to go wrong with Yosemite trails; do get a good map at the Visitor Center and ask rangers about route difficulties. Always have plenty of water, snacks and layers for the weather. read more about Ten Best Yosemite Dayhikes... Read More

Urban Santa Barbara

Urban Santa Barbara
Destination(s): Santa Barbara

Hit the urban wine trail, indulge in Mediterranean eats and fresh fish, and catch live music during a weekend of downtown happenings. read more about Urban Santa Barbara... Read More

Holiday Weekend in Sonoma

Holiday Weekend in Sonoma
Destination(s): Glen Ellen

West Sonoma has it all: the Russian River, with all it's water fun options, wine tasting in one of the best undiscovered appellations left in California, and a wealth of great hotels, B&Bs and inns that often have rooms available last-minute. And then of course there's the food. You can eat your way across Sonoma County without ever crossing the threshold of a chain establishment. Farm-to-Table cuisine was born here in Sonoma, and everywhere you look there are chefs, cheesemakers, bakers and other artisanal food specialists waiting to tempt you with food so fresh you probably saw it growing minutes before you sat down.

So if the Fourth of July weekend or another holiday has caught you off-guard and unprepared, no worries.The minute you're off the highway the fun begins. read more about Holiday Weekend in Sonoma... Read More

Tahoe Winter Sports for Kids

Tahoe Winter Sports for Kids
Destination(s): Lake Tahoe

Kids and snow go hand in hand. At Lake Tahoe, there are dozens of places where little skiers and non-skiers can hit the bunny slopes, tube down a fast hill, play on a zip line course or enjoy some ice skating.

Photo by Chad Crowell/Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecrowells/2214831614/sizes/m/in/photostream/ read more about Tahoe Winter Sports for Kids... Read More