Oxnard is a “little bit country, little bit rock-and-roll” kind of place. It sits halfway between bigger (and better known) cities, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and although it’s Ventura County’s largest city, it maintains a cozy, small-town feel. Here, home-style salsa and strawberry festivals peacefully coexist with the famous Hollywood Beach (a past getaway spot for the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Clark Gable). Whether you choose to kayak
On a recent car-free weekend in wine country, we discovered the lesser known pleasures of Napa Valley, from a classic 1960s-style diner to educational adventures in aging caves to a 13th century-inspired castle on a vineyard. Settle in to Old Napa I set up base camp at the Wine Country Inn (1152 Lodi Lane), a quintessentially quaint establishment located just off of the St. Helena Highway. The first bed and breakfast
Since 1905, La Playa Carmel has been standing watch over the rugged Pacific coast, both a “hidden gem” and a landmark mainstay of artsy Carmel-by-the-Sea. And in August of 2012, Carmel’s “Grand Dame” entered a whole new era when it re-opened after a multi-million dollar makeover, as notable for what it left the same as for what it changed. To be sure, La Playa Carmel received myriad lavish upgrades, from
On a recent weekend getaway, we biked around an oft-overlooked town at the base of Sierra Azules, drank wine in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and relaxed among the redwoods at a clothing optional resort. Here is our guide to the best things to do in Los Gatos, some 60 miles south of San Francisco. What to Do 1. Wine tasting is one of the region’s biggest draws. There are more than
Leg three of my coastal California train trip has us trading in the green valleys of San Luis Obispo for beach-y environs of Santa Barbara, the gateway to SoCal—and, more importantly, to excellent Mexican food. Things to Do: 1. When you think Santa Barbara, you think beach. The good news is that, unlike in L.A., you don’t need gasoline to reach the best beaches here. If you want a bike for
Palm Springs is a desert paradise with an urban sensibility. Visually striking, the natural scenery and deep blue sky form a perfect backdrop for this vibrant city’s eclectic display of modern architecture. Sun-starved? Look no further, as this Coachella Valley community, nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, enjoys 350 days of sunshine annually. Outdoor activities rule here, whether you want to hike, bike, hot air balloon or just lie by your
Romantic, adventurous, therapeutic, culinary—there are countless ways to undertake a visit to this beautiful, budget-busting wine region. Yet on a recent rail road trip, we discovered there are plenty of ways for foodie travelers to enjoy an affordable Napa Valley getaway.
We live in one of the most photographed cities in the world, but city dwellers have a tendency to forget the unparalleled, natural beauty sitting just outside the man-made structures of San Fran proper. Remind yourself why your East Coast friends are jealous of your Nor Cal life by taking a good, long look at it. Escape the city to visit national parks, restaurants, and vineyards for spectacular views of