Category Archives: Central California

Dodge Ridge, Tuolumne County prepare for coming winter!

Skier enjoys deep powder in the Sonora Glades of Dodge Ridge Resort Family enjoys a groomed run with spectacular view in Boulder Creek Canyon. Kids pan for gold, including grandson Hunter Blomgren (center), at Columbia State Historic Park The old roundhouse and turntable at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park Engine #3 from the Railtown 1897 [...]

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Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe; winter touring in Northern California

Vernal Falls in Yosemite, taken last January; again, no snow in a drought year.

Cross country skiers on road to Glacier Park, usually snowed in from December to March (photo courtesy National Park Service). Our Scotty in front of Yosemite Falls last January; note, no snow in the valley. The Truckee Hotel is just north of Squaw Valley; and provides overnight accomodations. Rangers lead a snowshoe tour along Lake [...]

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California coastal touring in fall, winter; Big Sur to Morro Bay!

Bixby Bridge, circa 1932, is a fixture on the scenic Big Sur Coast.

McWay Cove in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is highly photographed. Ragged Point Resort in Big Sur offers beautiful gardens. Hearst Castle’s Casa Grande mansion is quite the place. Sunsets are often spectacular at Morro Bay! Horseback riders enjoy a sunny afternoon with Morro Rock and Bay in background. Take a California coastal tour this [...]

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Best road trips for Fall color in Northern California and the Central Sierra

Aspens turn bright yellow, dusted by light snow, near Ebbett's Pass on Hwy. 4.

Sierra mountainside is alive with yellows and oranges, off Hwy. 88. Ironstone Vineyards, just above Murphys, offer yellows, ochres and reds during the fall. Aspens turn bright yellow, dusted by light snow, near Ebbett’s Pass on Hwy. 4. Oranges and reds dot this Sierra mountainside near Tuolumne Pass. Plan a road trip for best Fall [...]

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Shenandoah Valley wineries, gold rush history make Sierra foothills the place to visit!

View of Shenandoah Valley vineyards from Karmere Winery.

Our out-of-town guests Janet and Patricia sample wines at Karmere Winery’s tasting room, done in French chateau style. Band entertains at Helwig Winery in the Shenandoah Valley. Fiddletown’s Community Center features a giant fiddle over the doorway. The old Imperial Hotel in Amador City also boasts a fine restaurant. Old Wells Fargo stagecoach thunders down [...]

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Upgrading from tent or car-camping to a new or classic travel trailer

Author's '64 Serro Scotty trailer with Yosemite Falls in background.

A sleek Casita trailer, at Bryce Canyon National Park. A-liner Ranger trailer, a hard-sided pop-up, at Death Valley National Park. Classy old Shasta trailer, shot at Fallen Leaf Lake, CA. Vintage Airstream trailer and its equally classy tow vehicle, Fallen Leaf Lake, near South Lake Tahoe. Author’s ’64 Serro Scotty trailer with Yosemite Falls in [...]

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San Francisco and Oakland waterfront; showing off the Bay Area via public transportation

Historic Ferry Builing, 120 years old!

Historic trollies offer quick transit on the Embarcadero. Historic Ferry Builing, 120 years old! Ferries arriving, departing at SF’s Ferry Building. USS Pampanito in foreground, and Liberty Ship Jeremiah O’Brien, open for tours on Pier 45. Share San Francisco and Oakland waterfront with guests; showing off the Bay Area via public transportation.  You have guests [...]

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Old Sacramento, born again as the place to begin Sacramento exploration!

Western Pacific locomotive 913 prepares for a departure from the California Railroad Museum.

Members of the Sacramento History Society take to the Old Sacramento streets. Old buggy takes visitors past the California Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. The Delta King Hotel and Pilothouse Restaurant offers lodging, dining and a floating museum on the Old Sacramento waterfront. The zenith of American auto’s tailfins is celebrated with this ’59 Cadillac [...]

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Five cool places to beat summer’s heat, close to home!

Pinecrest Lake, just off Hwy. 108, attracts big summer crowds to its cooling waters.

Caples Lake, near Kirkwood on Hwy. 88, is a favorite fishing and camping destination. Pinecrest Lake, just off Hwy. 108, attracts big summer crowds to its cooling waters. Big Sur’s Bixby Bridge dates to 1937 and allows access to the rugged coast. Five cool places to beat summer’s heat, close to Stockton and San Joaquin [...]

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Big trees, gold rush towns, summertime resorts and high alpine lakes – it’s Highway 4 in the high Sierra!

Lake Alpine is a high Sierra gem, just above Bear Valley Resort on Hwy. 4.

Lake Alpine is a high Sierra gem, just above Bear Valley Resort on Hwy. 4. Huge redwood trees reach over 250 feet tall in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Historic Murphys Hotel anchors quaint Main Street in downtown Murphys, CA. Find big trees, gold rush towns, summertime resorts and high alpine lakes – take Highway [...]

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    Tim Viall

    Viall is a local travel writer who retired in 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA's, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his ... Read Full
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