Tag Archives: Big Sur

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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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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Valentine’s Day destinations close to home!

The historic Murphys Hotel, always a gold rush favorite!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these classy destinations close to home! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – if you’re seeking adventuresome and romantic destinations in northern California here are several recommendations from my wife, several friends and me, both locally and further afield. With the holiday falling this year on a Wednesday, you can celebrate [...]

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12 must-visits in California; freshen your travel bucket list!

Wildflowere bloom after winter rains in Death Valley National Park; photo taken in February, 2016.

Freshen your California travel bucket list with 12 months of suggestions! As we enter the new year, take time to tune-up your travel bucket list. Let’s start with 12 ultimate destinations in California, with suggested month by month schedule (next week we’ll bring you suggestions for the western US). Here are California’s best, as well [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southern California, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day destinations: Big Sur, North Lake Tahoe and Old Sacramento offer romance, adventure!

Bixby Bridge, circa 1932, on the rugger Big Sur coast.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – if you’re seeking adventuresome and romantic destinations in northern California here are several recommendations from my wife, several friends and me. In many years of marriage, I’ve learned that such special destinations should offer these attributes: be somewhat secluded, scenic, with fine restaurant(s) nearby, classy lodging if [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Elephant seals, Big Sur and wild California coast

A bull Elephant Seal lays claim to his stretch of Ano Nuevo beach (Chuck Higgs photo)

Old friend and wonderful photographer Chuck Higgs passed along a few photos, and reminds us all what a great time of the year this is to see Elephant Seals and the California coast, from Monterey south towards San Simeon. Chuck and a friend recently found Elephant Seals at Ana Nuevo State Beach, just south of [...]

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Northern California summer travel destinations – leave the crowds behind!

Bixby Bridge, circa 1932, is typical of Big Sur scenery on Highway 1.

  Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Appellation map. Main Street in Sutter Creek, a Gold Rush gem, taken from Hotel Sutter balcony. Bixby Bridge, circa 1932, is typical of Big Sur scenery on Highway 1. Hearst Castle’s outdoor pool looks out over the Santa Lucia Mountains! In my last post, I noted five summer travel destinations (three California [...]

Posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Stockton/San Joaquin County, Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

California’s central coast; elephant seals, stunning coast, Hearst Castle and Morro Bay

Hearst Castle's Grand Mansion, looking up from the outdoor pool area.  The mansion houses most of William Randolp Hearst's extensive art collection.

Hearst Castle’s Grand Mansion, looking up from the outdoor pool area. The mansion houses most of William Randolph Hearst’s extensive art collection. Hearst Castle’s beautiful pool looks out over the Santa Lucia Mountains along the California coast; the complex also includes a huge indoor pool! Several hundred elephant seals lounge on beach in early April, [...]

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Big Sur; elephant seals, sea otters, wild coast and Hearst Castle!

Several hundred Elephant Seals lounge on the beach, just off Hwy. 1, four miles north of San Simeon.

Two male Elephant Seals joust for supremacy on beach just north of San Simeon! The iconic Bixby Bridge on Hwy. 1, constructed in 1932. Ragged Point Resort, with restaurant, motel and cabins – and flowers in full bloom in early April! McWay Bay, and McWay Waterfall, in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Big Sur coast [...]

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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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