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Candlestick Park


Candlestick Park is closing for good, 49ers are moving to Santa Clara. What are your memories of the ‘Stick? Built in 1960 for the San Francisco Giants, Candlestick Park was considered to be the first modern baseball stadium as it was built entirely of concrete. In 1971, the 49ers moved in. I’m not a sports fan but I was invited ... Read More »

Bowling Ball Beach: Hard to Find, Worth the Effort

Bowling Ball Beach2

I almost don’t want to spoil this place by blogging about it, because it’s such a cool, off-the-beaten-track destination. But if you like beautiful and deserted beaches with the added attraction of a fascinating geological oddity, you have to check out Bowling Ball Beach. Getting there is definitely an adventure. I googled the location and found a couple of links ... Read More »

Wine Country Day Tripping

Bistro Don Giovanni Terrace 2

Day trippers intent on wine tasting often overlook the city of Napa’s charming historic downtown. Visitors can stroll along and admire turn-of-the-20th-century houses and buildings in a variety of architectural styles, including Art Deco, Spanish Colonial and Victorian Gothic. One local landmark is the restored 1880 Napa Valley Opera House at 1030 Main St. The town is also a departure ... Read More »

Napa Valley Wine Train

Napa March 2014 121_89413

Recently, I had the opportunity to evaluate the Napa Valley Wine Train, which is celebrating their 25th year in operation. After making my reservation in advance, I checked in at the modern train station complete with a gift and wine shop and waited for my time to board. You can bring your own wine aboard the train, but there will ... Read More »

Trinidad – One of Northern California’s Best Kept Secrets


You can quickly drive right past the three exits for Trinidad, CA. You might even miss the green-colored “Population – 311″ sign while cruising along the dense tree lined US 101, also known as the Redwood Highway, on the Northern California coast. My recommendation? Plan a stop in Trinidad, perhaps even two. Exit number 728 will take you to the ... Read More »

Golden Gate Bridge Electronic Toll: What You Need to Know

Golden Gate Bridge 6

A year ago, when electronic toll charges for the Golden Gate Bridge went into effect, many San Franciscans breathed a huge sigh of relief. While driving northbound to Marin County is free, a toll is charged if you’re crossing southbound. Afternoon and evening rush-hour congestion into the city was slowed further by commuters stopping to pay the toll, creating headache-inducing ... Read More »

Soaking up the Serenity at Point Reyes


San Francisco is awesome. That said, it’s also crowded, hectic and often noisy (police sirens really are shrill). And the traffic congestion never seems to let up. Granted, there are plenty of hidden spots in the city where you can get away from the hustle and bustle, and I’ve blogged about several of them. But for a clean break—and as ... Read More »

Memories of the Monterey Peninsula


“Otters?!?” we asked in bewilderment. “Yes, otters that’s what they are,” explained my patient friend who has lived in Monterey her whole life before being swept off her feet by an East Coast man. A gang of Rhode Islanders have come to her hometown in preparation for their wedding. Each of us was in awe as we stared out into ... Read More »

Northern California’s Spectacular Sonoma Coast

Bodega Head

I recently blogged about my trip to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, a protected redwood forest about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. My base for this two-day road trip was the tiny hamlet of Occidental, at the approximate midpoint of the scenic, 10-mile Bohemian Highway. After reveling in redwoods the first day, my travel companion and I spent ... Read More »

How to Beat the Heat in Northern California


I don’t care for temperatures above 90 degrees. I could handle an entire summer at a pleasant 78 degrees, but unfortunately I don’t live by the coast. For those of you who are like me, I’d like to make two family-friendly summer destination recommendations here in northern California — minus the heat. I’m not saying these areas won’t get hot, ... Read More »