Up here you may not have heard the word that GQ recently dubbed Venice Beach's Abbot Kinney Boulevard “The coolest block in America.” The reality is that Abbot Kinney (AK for short) is more than one block and it's pretty cool. It has everything a shopper and foodie could consume. It runs through historical beach bohemia. Colorful people abound. And, it's summer in Los Angeles—the perfect time for a quick escape south.
Portland is the town for outdoors dilettantes. Situated equidistant from coast and mountains and surrounded by crystal clear rivers and lakes, Portland has something for everyone - and it's all close. In an hour's time you could be snowshoeing on Mount Hood, and a 90-minute drive can get you exploring tide pools at the base of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach. So whatever it is that draws you outdoors, be it fly-fishing or bird watching, kayaking or swimming, mountain biking or skiing, this is the list for you.
Corn dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes. The off-the-charts caloric combination can only mean one thing: the Sonoma County Fair is about to get cooking. It’s an American pastime of sorts – eating, drinking, riding the Ferris Wheel and getting your “country fix” petting barnyard animals. Running July 25 through August 12, (closed on Mondays) you’ve got 17 days to get your fair fill.
The Sonoma County Fair Concert Series
It’s fun to be pleasantly surprised when you travel, especially when it’s a the type of situation where you wind up enjoying a place much more than you anticipated. Here’s my scenario; it's a trip to Old Sacramento with six teen girls, now officially high schoolers, celebrating the end of the school year. The possibilities are endless, yes?
For locals and travelers to San Francisco who need an evening or weekend getaway, the obvious choice is often Monterey, Napa, or Sonoma. However, just past Sonoma another hour is Mendocino County. Maybe you know that Mendocino County is known for their sparkling wines and pinot noirs, but there’s much more to this offbeat region of Northern California than just wine. Today I introduce you to a few parts of Mendocino County that may be new to you, making a visit up Highway 101 and through the curvy roads of 128 more than worth it.
Summer is the time to head for Seattle. In July and August, the rains dry up, temperatures hit the mid-70s, and an indie spirit and burgeoning arts scene pulse with summer fun. The northwestern neighborhood of Ballard is a destination in itself since a sudden dose of modernity in recent years has attracted young, style-savvy creatives—like the on-fire folk band The Head and the Heart, which calls this area home.
California is no exception to the quirky and bizarre. Spend a couple minutes on the streets of San Francisco and you’re bound to see something that makes you scratch your head. However, beyond the Golden Gate and Bay Bridge, more quirkiness awaits the inquisitive traveler. Today I spotlight a handful of Northern California’s quirkiest attractions.
It may have to do with its waterfront setting, but Vancouver has a certain sparkle to it. In the winter, skiers and boarders enjoy nearby snow-covered mountains. In the summer, its seaside location provides beaches, waterside trails, and a variety of ways to get out and about to enjoy the fresh air. San Francisco folks may be reminded a tad bit of home when they hit the ground. But they’ll be able to hit the ground running. Time in the air is just a little over two hours and a number of airlines offer direct flights from SFO to Vancouver.