Luxurious Destinations
Northern California
Destinations Within Northern California

Northern California Trip Itineraries

Top 10 Hidden Gems

Top 10 Hidden Gems
Destination(s): Lake Tahoe

These places may not be on the main section of any guide book, but they are tried and true local favorites that many tourists avoid. read more about Top 10 Hidden Gems... Read More

Foodie Guide to Yountville

Foodie Guide to Yountville
Destination(s): Napa Valley

When Thomas Keller chose tiny Yountville for The French Laundry, foodies the world over had to study maps even to figure out where it was. That was a long time ago. Today Yountville is a pilgrimage destination of sorts for fans of farm-fresh locally sourced food. And with Bistro Jeanty, Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and now the Bardessono Hotel's new restaurant, there are more destination dinners to be had in Yountville than most long weekends will accommodate. What to do? Make lunch a centerpiece meal as well, so you can fit in more stops. Here's how I do it; I pick up a quick cafe breakfast at Bouchon -- a scone or morning bun, perhaps, and a big steaming to-go cup of the best coffee anywhere. Then I head out on a bike ride or short hike, to work up plenty of appetite for lunch. Another hike or wine tasting breaks up the afternoon; it's also important to make time for a spa treatment, soak or swim. Then a fashionably late dinner, European-style, and a night of deep, restful sleep, before setting out to eat my way across town again tomorrow. read more about Foodie Guide to Yountville... Read More

Small Winery Tour of Napa

Small Winery Tour of Napa
Destination(s): Napa Valley

If you pull into a winery parking lot and see a row of tour buses belching exhaust, turn around. This isn't the Napa Valley you came to see. Luckily, the old Napa, with its family-owned hardscrabble wine culture, is still there, you just have to hunt a little harder — and turn off onto some steep, winding side roads — to find it.

It's actually surprising how many small family-owned and boutique wineries are still operating around the Napa Valley -- in fact it can seem like there are more every day. But they don't have the big marketing budgets to advertise their wares, nor the land and budget for a splashy tasting room. What they do have is great wine, and sometimes if you're lucky you'll be drinking wine poured by the hands that made it.

Some family-owned wineries are small enough that visits are by appointment only, but don’t be put off by that. Make a quick call, and you’re likely to have the memorable experience of sampling boutique wines that never make it to the shops. And many of these wineries are operating by sustainable principles, participating in widespread initiatives to green Napa winemaking. Here are a few of my favorites. read more about Small Winery Tour of Napa... Read More

Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in California

Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in California
Destination(s): Yosemite National Park

With scores of candlelit bistros, oceanfront dining rooms, and intimate cafes, California is poised to impress and create the perfect setting for romance – if you know where to go, that is. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 picks for romantic restaurants in California. Try La Boheme in Hollywood for California cuisine and classy décor with strong red tones; Chez Spencer in San Francisco for fine French dining in a comfortable, classic atmosphere (there’s live piano music on the weekends, a good pairing for a French cocktail); Gitane in San Francisco for Spanish- and Mediterranean-influenced contemporary cuisine and a sexy setting (the bar seems to remind us of the movie Moulin Rouge); Embers restaurant near Yosemite National Park for sustainable upscale California food and California wines in a mountain lodge setting; and Baleen in Redondo Beach near Los Angeles for fine dining on the waterfront illuminated by candles and fireplaces. read more about Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in California... Read More

Beth & Sarah Waxse in Northern California Redux

Beth & Sarah Waxse in Northern California Redux
Destination(s): Oakland

Arrive from NYC To beautiful OAKLAND on day one. Day Two, move to the elegant Berkeley City Club for ravishing two night stay. Tuesday -- awake to a scent of lavendar and fresh crushed grapes. DASH to Napa/Sonoma for a wine-filled trip North, ending at Chez Marzetta. Three night stay includes woodchips, water, trees, 4 cases of wine. Return to Oakland on Friday Fly to NYC on Saturday read more about Beth & Sarah Waxse in Northern California Redux... Read More

Lake Tahoe Westshore in the Winter

Lake Tahoe Westshore in the Winter
Destination(s): Lake Tahoe

The West Shore of Lake Tahoe is the most picturesque. There is great skiing, dining and non skiers can enjoy shopping and sightseeing. There are 2 quaint old west towns in this area, Truckee and Tahoe City, both are off of Route 89. There are a number of lake side restaurants with wonderful views. Both Truckee and Tahoe City have music on weekends, but in that is not enough the North Shore has a number of casinos with some big name headliners. read more about Lake Tahoe Westshore in the Winter... Read More

My Trip

My Trip
Destination(s): San Francisco

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Highlights of Yosemite in one weekend

Highlights of Yosemite in one weekend
Destination(s): Yosemite National Park

Even in 1.5 days, you can see much of what Yosemite has to offer without going overboard (For me this translates to not more exhausted after the weekend than you were before the weekend) - including a good solid hike and lots of beautiful views. read more about Highlights of Yosemite in one weekend... Read More

A Getaway in San Francisco

A Getaway in San Francisco
Destination(s): Palm Springs

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Channel Islands

Channel Islands
Destination(s): San Francisco

Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking and Camping read more about Channel Islands... Read More