The holidays may be right around the corner, but instead of spending your weekends shopping, give yourself a gift: A getaway to the beach. Whether it's for the day or the weekend, being able to spend a typical winter Saturday on the beach is a huge Bay Area perk. One of my go-to favorite beaches is Bodega Bay.
Wine Country is known as a great place to celebrate, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that wineries know how to get into the holiday spirit. Already impressive estates and vineyards are even more striking when dripping in twinkling lights and garlands. But not all of the holiday displays are electric; many are powered by molasses and sugar.
The last round of rain may have slowed down some fine tuning, but the drenching hasn’t put a damper on holiday decorations in the North Bay. Folks were out in full force this weekend hunting for neighborhoods decked out in their season’s best, and they were not disappointed.
The holidays are coming fast and furious. While some stores have been decorated for months, last weekend was the official, albeit wet, kickoff for homes and neighborhoods around the Bay Area to flip the switch on their holiday spirit. I went hunting during my weekend trip to in the South Bay and found some standouts.
The calendar’s turned to December and the countdown to the holidays is on. If you need a little help getting into that jolly state of mind, take a break from shopping, grab the kids and find your way to San Jose. There’s some holiday happenings going on even Scrooge would be impressed with.
In the 20-plus years I’ve called California home, I’ve heard Solvang thrown out there more than once, but had never been. My husband has entertaining memories of being dragged.. I mean taken.. antiquing with his parents when he was a kid. So when a family get-together looked to drop us in the center of the Danish tradition-based town, a family-friendly challenge was born.
First it was gold that got everyone’s attention. Then Mark Twain wrote the “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” and all bets were off. Gold Country made its mark on the map and California history. And though the days of striking it rich are over, there’s a mother lode of reasons to plan a weekend escape of your own.
It’s no secret that in San Francisco, we have some of the greatest parks at our disposal. Hiking, biking, running, swimming – you name it – we’ve got a place to do it. With so many choices, not knowing about, or even forgetting a good one is bound to happen every now and then. Perfect example? Alcatraz Island.
The Sacramento Delta is the equivalent of a water playground for many Bay Area folks. Water skiing, wakeboarding, fishing… and you can do it all less than two hours from San Francisco. But as the hot summer sun gives way to chilly fall days, staying dry can lead to hidden surprises.
We eat well in the Bay Area. You might even make the case that we’re spoiled. You can grab carne asada for dinner from your favorite taqueria one night, then order pasta the next without leaving the block. Folks might be tempted to eat at home more often if they could make it taste like the pros. Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma teaches chefs-in-the-making there's no reason to starve in your own kitchen.
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