Tag Archives: California travel

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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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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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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Backroads: the wild East Bay, alive with wildlife, hiking, scenery, history!

Spouse Susan ascends the Hardy Canyon Trail in Round Valley Regional Preserve.

View from Mt. Diablo, looking west from Northgate Road. Wildflowers just off the Hardy Canyon Trail in Round Valley Preserve. Hikers descend from the native oaks in Round Valley Regional Preserve. Spouse Susan ascends the Hardy Canyon Trail in Round Valley Regional Preserve. Backroads in the wild East Bay, alive with wildlife, hiking, scenery, history! [...]

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Interstate 5 blues; creative cures for a monotonous five hour drive

Old windmill is surrounded by wildflowers on the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Beat the Interstate 5 blues; creative cures for a monotonous five hour drive If you are a California resident, you’ve probably driven Interstate 5 south to the Los Angeles Basin many, perhaps even scores, of times. You likely have your favorite gas or reststop, maybe ventured to Harris Ranch for a burger and a drink, [...]

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Gold Rush history lives on in ghost town gems along the Mother Lode, CA Hwy. 49

A replica of Sutter's Mill stands at the site of California's gold discovery in January, 1848.

Discovering ghost town gems along the Gold Rush Highway, CA Hwy. 49 Recent rains have cast our Sierra foothills in a verdant shade of green, perfect for exploring our state’s gold rush legacy. I always suggest starting in the place of gold’s discovery, just 80 miles northeast of Stockton, at the tiny town of Coloma [...]

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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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