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.
Right now, two brave climbers are in the middle of attempting to free-climb the world's steepest stretch of granite, half a mile up, in the peaks of Yosemite National Park. Professional climbers Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell began their journey on December 27 and are the first to try to reach the summit of El Capitan's Dawn Wall in Yosemite using nothing but their hands and feet. If the two succeed to the top, they will make history by being the first to do so without any other tools but their bodies.
Even in the rain, Big Sur is a remarkable place to explore. We holed up here recently on a particularly showery weekend, which didn’t stop us from exploring beaches and redwoods or foraging for high gastronomy. (It also didn’t stop us from bunkering in our room, fireplace ablaze, for cozy afternoons).
Thoroughly fed up with the lack of public transportation from San Francisco to Silicon Valley after midnight (BART and Caltrain both shut their doors for the night at 12am), Santa Clara county resident Michael Horton teamed up with his friend Cory Althoff to solve the problem.
It’s time to consider your next cozy, cold-weather escape. Since cottages can be code for floral chintz and wallpaper adorned with ribbon-necked geese, we’ve assembled 11 stylish hideaways that eschew cutesy for comfort.