Category Archives: Northern California

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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Exploring Stockton and San Joaquin County with out-of-town guests!

Sunset, with Mt. Diablo in distance, graces the outdoor dining deck at Garlic Brothers Restaurant in north Stockton.

  Giant wind-art adorns the Joan Darrah Promenade behind the Stockton Ports Ballpark on the Stockton Deepwater Channel. A tour group admires the Fox California/Bob Hope Theatre, circa 1930, in downtown Stockton. The Haggin Museum graces Victory Park and features huge art collection as well as Native American and pioneer Stockton history exhibits. Exploring Stockton [...]

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Frugal travel across the US, Canada, the world: Affordable Travel Club and Evergreen Club

The Elk River and Canadian Rockies were just north and east of the Marchant's home in British Columbia.

David and Nancy Marchant, of Baynes Lake, British Columbia, were our first Affordable Travel Club hosts. Judy and Ward Lowrance, who introduced us to the Affordable Travel Club and invited us to split a house-sitting assignment in Seattle. A natural bridge slowly forms in Zion National Park, our destination in a week or so! Frugal [...]

Also posted in Alaska, Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, Central California, East Coast US, Europe, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, United States beyond! | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pedaling the American River Bike Trail and rides in your hometown!

Rider heads east past Hagen Park on the American River Bike Trail, with river on right side of photo.

Friends help Rich Fowler ride 75 miles on his birthday on the American River Trail. Performance Bike Saturday morning rider group gathers outside the store prior to their ride in north Stockton. Shadow rider on Weston Ranch bike trail (Matt Beckwith photo). Full moon riders gather on a balmy evening in downtown Stockton. Long, Slow [...]

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High Sierra adventure; Hwy. 108, Sonora to Sonora Pass offers fun and adventure!

Pinecrest Lake, at almost 5,700 feet, attracts crowds of both swimmers and fishermen to its clear, cold waters.

Pinecrest Lake, at almost 5,700 feet, attracts crowds of both swimmers and fishermen to its clear, cold waters. Relief Reservoir shines its azure blue waters about 2.5 miles up the trail from Kennedy Meadows Resort. The high Sierra, looking northeast from Sonora Pass; great hiking from this vantage point! Horsemen and pack animals from Kennedy [...]

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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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