Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last minute Northern California Fourth of July ideas

San Franciscans have a love/hate affair with the 4th of July. Oh how we love to celebrate BBQ, family and friends, the languid days of summer, lounging in Dolores Park with Bi Rite honey lavender ice cream, and a six pack, just waiting for the fireworks to explode. Yet, most years we are plagued with dense fog and chilly winds that make the holiday downright miserable. Most years, we wait to see what the weather is like before getting in the car and heading to warmer pastures. So if you are like me and looking for some summer on the first weekend of July, here are a few last minute ideas.

For details, click here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The How-To guide to planning a trip in the Internet age

After prowling through Travelzoo, Travel-ticker, and Smarter Travel, we finally found a reasonable airline flight to Thailand. But this fickle traveler had to marinate on the price ($670--in summer!), the dates, and if I could handle a 25 hour travel day with a two year old. When I return to the above-mentioned websites the next day, I suddenly found that I could fly from San Francisco to Rome, or Athens, or Barcelona, or Paris, or Amsterdam for $350. Now my brain was fried. Would I rather sip sangria or ouzo on a beach or drink from a freshly chopped coconut? Would I sacrifice some rainy days in Phuket for epic sun drenched strands on the Costa Brava?

For more, click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Searching for that special romantic getaway?

Sometimes a hotel captures your heart. In the most unlikely of Sonoma County locations, the Farmhouse Inn is my Wine Country destination of du jour.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Northern California's top kid-friendly music venues--part one

People call me crazy when I say I bring my toddler most everywhere. He's stayed at Meadowood, eaten Thomas Keller meals, and been to more festivals than many adults I know. With all this experience, though he might not remember his night, say, at Auberge du Soleil, I imagine he will be a more adaptable adult because of it.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Northern California hot springs

Imagine dipping your toes in a pool of natural hot springs, while surrounded by whizzing birds and prancing deer. Or maybe you prefer soaking in clawfoot tubs perched on a cliff with the ocean crashing below. Whether you aim for maintained hot springs or wild hike-in ones, Northern California offers a wealth of soaking options.

For more information, click here: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-6346-Northern-California-Getaways-Examiner~y2009m6d10-Northern-California-hot-springs

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hob Nob Tours in San Francisco--the correct contact info

HI all,

I just learned from Val at the wonderful Hob Nob tours that the phone and address for Hob Nob is incorrect in the new Northern California: An Explorer's Guide. The correct contact information is 650-814-6303 and P. O. Box 2302 Livermore, CA 94551. As you might expect with us humans, we occasionally mess up. I hope you all understand and forgive my blunder.

For detailed information about the excellent Hob Nob Tour of Nob Hill, pick up Northern California: An Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press).

Escape to California's secret mountain towns--Part two

I'm letting the cat out of the bag. But I assume that if you are on the prowl for secret mountain towns, you probably deserve to know about Northern California's finest. This is the second installment of my favorite hidden mountain towns, this time highlighting Dunsmuir.

Click here for information about Dunsmuir.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Northern California June events

With summer, comes a slew of Northern California's finest events. An array of June festivals leave you no excuse to be bored at home. Here are a few of my favorites.

Click here for more information:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Northern California: An Explorer's Guide: A guidebook for all budgets

Looking for summer road trip ideas? Romantic getaways? Family friendly getaways? Campsites, gourmet taco trucks, hikes and hidden mountain towns? My new guidebook Northern California: An Explorer's Guide addresses the need for honest coverage of California's most beautiful landscape from a local perspective. The book covers the region from Big Sur to Yosemite, all the way up to the Oregon border, including hidden gems like Dunsmuir, Gualala, Shelter Cove and Twain Harte, not to mention Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Wine Country and the redwoods.

For more information, click here.