When Marin is packed and Big Sur is feeling crowded, we like to take off for Mendocino County. Just a few hours drive north up Highway 1, this place is a NorCal dream with acres of redwood forests, hot springs, and long stretches of wild, untamed coastline.
No longer just a sleepy SoCal enclave for posh retirees, Santa Barbara is getting in on the hipster scene with the rise of the Funk Zone, a warehouse district that's been transformed over the past few years by a new set of creative tenants—tattooed and Warby Parker–spectacled makers of all kinds.
Finding a little piece of peace along the California Coast isn't as difficult as it may seem, and the rewards are as infinite as the Pacific horizon.
On a New Year’s trip to Sedona, Arizona (a reward for spending an intense three days hiking in the Grand Canyon), I visited energy vortexes (vortices?), saw a tarot reader, and attended a music and meditation class—on Day One. While I’m naturally inclined toward New Age arts, dabbling here and there in oracle cards and crystal-healing treatments, this total immersion seemed a bit over the top, even for me. Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy every last minute of it.
If you’re not feeing the redwoods and are more in the mood for desert, there’s no better place to go than Joshua Tree National Park. It might be a full eight and a half hour drive south of San Francisco — or an hour and a half by plane — but believe us when we say that the hikes, bouldering, and night views are worth it. Here’s what to do in and around this arid oasis.
Redwoods are one of the greatest treasures California has to its name. If you’re looking to explore the redwood forests in Northern California, we’ve got just the road trip you need.
California is fortunate to be home to nine national parks (yes, nine!), more than any other state. With such a plethora of natural and national treasures, it may not come as a surprise that two of the state's most spectacular parks, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, are often overlooked.