Healdsburg may draw throngs of visitors with its verdant fields of vino, but there's much more to it than booze. Here are five things to do in the little Sonoma County gem that will leave you feeling footloose sans alcohol.
Mendocino's Anderson Valley is a pastoral, wine-and-farm-fueled escape any time of year. But go in spring and you’ll delight in verdant hills, apple blossoms, and newborn lambs—lord help us, it's lovely.
Having grown up in the southwest, I feel a deep affinity for all desert landscapes. The otherworldly terrain of southern Utah is particularly close to my heart. I have spent many winter holidays over the last 15 years hiking in Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, as the days are usually sunny and the cold is never too bone-shattering.
As someone who grew up in two deeply spiritual locations (Hawaii and New Mexico), swings a pendulum for clarity on yes-or-no quandaries, consults two different decks of oracle cards, and employs a psychic, seeing a shaman was hardly out of the realm of my New Age adventures.
Although the name implies the presence of pirates, the only seafaring creatures you'll spot in Smuggler’s Cove in Mendocino are gray whales. March and April are the ideal times to spot the gentle giants. Mendocino goes all out for the occasion, from whale watching tours to the Whale & Jazz Festival (April 3 - May 13), so clear your calendar and get ready to head north.
The natural volcanic hot springs in Calistoga were originally discovered by the Wappo tribe more than 500 years ago; their rumored healing powers remain a draw today, along with venerable wineries, classy eateries, and luxury resorts. Knowing this, we have just two words to describe this gem of a town: Napa, who?
For this week's Escape from SF, we headed east of the Bay toward Mount Diablo (reaching almost 4,000 feet!) to Rock City in Mount Diablo State Park. If you didn't get enough flowers on Valentine's Day, this is a great time of year to see the wildflowers in bloom. Also, you can explore Rock City's noted sandstone formations carved by wind, rain, and time.