It's true there's no place like home for the holidays...but sometimes you just want to get away from it all before the chaos ensues (or rather family togetherness--or in-laws--becomes just too much to bear). The current state on the economy has put a damper on many people's travel plans, but hotels are beginning to take note of this by significantly lowering their rates to an affordable level and creating packages that allow you more bang for your buck this holiday season. Check out these amazing opportunities before it's too late.
Christmas is just two-and-a-half weeks ago and you haven’t even started your shopping? Not a problem. But the more important issue at hand is what do you buy the chic jetsetter who has everything? Lucky for the last-minute shopper, we have a few suggestions that will meet all your gift-giving needs.
It was a heart-sinking sight after a wildfire erupted on the Bay Area's Angel Island State Park on Sunday, October 12, lighting it up in bright orange streams. The park reopened to visitors on Monday, and though areas that were burned and most hiking trails are currently off-limits, this is a great time to visit, with fewer crowds, nice fall weather, and almost half the island untouched by the fire.
It’s surprising how many locals have never been to the Wave Organ; many don’t even know where it is. This “acoustic sculpture” is actually a huge marble-and-granite musical instrument created in 1986 by the Exploratorium’s senior artist Peter Richards and master stone mason George Gonzales. This surprise is located on a jetty behind the Golden Gate Yacht Club; follow Lyon Street toward the water from where it meets Marina Boulevard, continue as it becomes Yacht Road and go all the way out to the end of the jetty.
The Big Easy: Part Lewis and Clark, part laid-back lazing, the Big River invites the exploration of a wide tree-lined estuary with resident river otters, sea lions, and kingfishers. The water vehicle of choice is a handcrafted, wooden outrigger canoe that’s as smooth and steady as it is swift and fun. Because the river is tidal, you want to paddle upstream with the incoming tide and downstream with the outgoing tide.
Photography by Mike Powell.
Phenom Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum hardly needs any introduction—even people who don’t really follow baseball know about that kid and his arm. Since joining the team in 2006—an acquisition the Giants made with the lure of a $2 million signing bonus—the slight, baby-faced Lincecum has won the Cy Young Award (only the second Giants pitcher to do so; the win inspired the name of his French bulldog, Cy) and aided in the team’s first real shot at the championship since Barry Bonds’ heyday.
Photography by Ben Moon.
Accomplishment is nothing new for Katie Brown. She began sport climbing in Kentucky at the age of 13, and today is heralded as one of the world’s best, achieving in 14 years more than many climbers do during their entire careers. This includes winning the X Games and a climbing World Cup. She’s also completed an onsight (free-climbing without knowledge of the route) of the northwest face of Yosemite’s Half Dome, and, along with climber Lynn Hill, the first female free ascent of the Leaning Tower.