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December Event: Mendocino Village

Don't Cook for Christmas!

Mendocino Hotel Christmas Tree;
Photo by Suzi Rosenberg
Mendocino Hotel Christmas Tree

Instead, gather up the friends and family for Mendocino Hotel's annual Christmas Dinner on December 25 from 3:00 pm in their beautiful Victorian Dining Room. Choose between two soups and a salad for your starter; four delightful entrees; and three holiday inspired desserts.

Think about it - no cooking, no clean-up, no packing up of leftovers, and no dishes. Just time spent sitting leisurely around the table, enjoying your loved ones in a beautiful Victorian setting with wait-staff to cater to your every need.

Christmas Dinner
December 25, 2014
Mendocino Hotel, Mendocino Village

Call 707.937.0511 for reservations.

Sounds like Heaven to me!

For more about Mendocino Village, visit Discover Mendocino Village. To see photos of this charming Eastern Seaboard wannabe, check out our Facebook album, Mendocino Village.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Mendocino Village"

December Event: Mono County

This just in from Mono County Tourism's newsletter:
It's Snowing in the Eastern Sierra!

A snowy Mammoth;
CC J Cook Fisher
A snowy Mammoth; CC J Cook Fisher

The snow dances are working, dear friends, and a snowy, wonderful, magical holiday season has arrived! Are you in? We sure hope so! Continue reading for more reasons to be in Mono County this holiday!

Snow report: Recent back-to-back storms have blessed Mammoth Mountain with almost three feet of new snow since December 12, and over a foot on June Mountain.

More is anticipated this weekend -- visit Mammoth Weather.

Snow is a good thing in California - not only does it provide the opportunity for Winter sports, the Spring run-off is what fills our reservoirs!

For more about where to find snow in Northern California, visit Alpine County, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite National Park. For staying safe on Winter roads, take a look at Winter Driving Tips. To see more photos of Northern California snow, check out our Facebook album, Yosemite NP in Winter.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Mono County"

Santa Cruz California

Santa Cruz California - Quintessential California Beach Town - municipal wharf for fishing and crabbing, the mainland's first Surf City, salt water taffy, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!

Continue reading "Santa Cruz California"

December Event: Vallejo

Looking for a Fun Way to Celebrate Chanukah?

Chanukah Menorah;
CC Michael Summers
Chanukah Menorah, CC Michael Summers

Six Flags and Chabad team up to bring you the Northern California Chanukah Festival this Sunday with all kinds of delightful holiday activities!

For a discounted park admission, you can celebrate Chanukah at the park with a Menorah Lighting Ceremony, the Story of Chanukah, the Chanukah Choir, Dec-a-Dradel, face painting, Kosher Chanukah foods, Live Music, and family activities.

And that's all in addition to the thrill rides, family rides, kids rides, animal attractions, animal encounters, and many other entertaining amusement park things to do!

Chanukah Festival
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo

Celebrate the Festival of Lights in a brand new way!

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Vallejo"

Fishermans Wharf

Despite that it's such a huge tourist attraction, Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco is an honest-to-goodness neighborhood that still practices the traditions of its Italian fishermen!

Continue reading "Fishermans Wharf"

Winter Driving Tips

When Winter weather arrives in Northern California, it's time for some Winter driving tips!

Continue reading "Winter Driving Tips"

December Event: South Lake Tahoe

It's Snow Time: 13 Days of Christmas = 1 Heavenly Holidays!

Heavenly Holidays Fireworks; Courtesy of TahoeSouth.com
Heavenly Holidays Fireworks; Courtesy TahoeSouth.com

Snow is falling in the High Sierras, just in time for the holidays!

Celebrate the 13 days of Christmas at Heavenly Holidays, a two-week festival for the whole family at the Heavenly Village featuring professional ice skating shows, ice sculptors, carolers, local artists and a 16-foot snow globe where kids can get their photos taken with Santa.

It all starts December 20, 2014 and culminates December 31 with A Heavenly New Year’s Celebration including ice sculptors, live music, fire dancers and a 9:00pm ball drop and fireworks show.

Santa's Workshop Snow Globe
Heavenly Village
Dec 20 - 24
Santa's Workshop will be recreated in the Heavenly Village inside of a 16-foot snow globe. Head inside the snow globe to sit on Santa's lap for a unique photo opportunity.

Ice Spectacular
Heavenly Ice Rink
Dec 28 - 30
The ice skating shows will be different each night, so come back nightly to see a new show.

Ice Sculpting
Heavenly Village
Dec 31
Large ice sculptures will be created during ice sculpting exhibitions that will create a magical ice wonderland in the Village.

New Year's Eve Celebration
Heavenly Village
Dec 31
The evening is packed with world-class music, games, fireworks, and the world's only Gondola Ball Drop. The party continues into the night at one of the many casino nightclubs.

Heavenly Holidays
December 20 - 31, 2014
Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe

Celebrate your Heavenly Holidays in the Winter Wonderland of
Lake Tahoe!

For more about Lake Tahoe, visit Discover Lake Tahoe.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: South Lake Tahoe"

San Francisco Chinatown

Did you know there are actually two versions of San Francisco Chinatown - the Tourist version, and the Locals' version. Just how different are they?

Continue reading "San Francisco Chinatown"

San Francisco Fishermans Wharf

Sailing ships, fishing fleet, walkaway seafood snacks, shopping, street performers - you'll find all this and more at the San Francisco Fishermans Wharf!

Continue reading "San Francisco Fishermans Wharf"

December Event: Yosemite

No More Lottery - Tickets are on sale now!
Yosemite is Fabulous in Winter and so is Bracebridge Hall!

Each December, The Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite National Park provides the perfect backdrop for The Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite, a unique American holiday tradition.

It’s a captivating blend of world-class musical theatre and cuisine, inspired by Washington Irving’s tales about a 17th-century Old English Yuletide, all set in the majestic natural beauty of Yosemite in winter.

Since it began in 1927, The Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite has earned an unrivaled reputation for reconnecting each guest with the spirit and enchantment of the holidays.

As a result, it is recognized as one of the most sought-after holiday events in the U.S. In 2006, The Wall Street Journal reported, "Bracebridge is, without much doubt, the country's, if not the world's, premier Christmas dinner."

Join Squire Bracebridge and Company at the beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel for dining and merriment on the following dates: December 12/13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, or on Christmas Day itself.

It's a fabulous way to celebrate the Christmas spirit!

For more about Yosemite, visit Discover Yosemite National Park. To see photos of the park ensconced in snow, check out our Facebook album, Yosemite in Winter.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Yosemite"

December Event: Benicia

Benicia's Annual Christmas Parade & Holiday Market tomorrow!

Benicia Christmas Parade, Santa;
CC Peter Metsopoulos Photography
Benicia Christmas Parade, Santa; CC Peter Metsopoulos Photography

This spirited holiday parade begins on First and D Street and ends on H Street in downtown Benicia.

The parade features local marching bands, dancers, and the much-anticipated Santa Claus.

Enjoy a Holiday Market featuring handcrafted arts and crafts, gourmet items and delicious foods.

Christmas Parade & Holiday Market
Saturday, December 13, 2014; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Downtown Benicia

It's fun for everyone in Benicia this Saturday!

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Benicia"

Chinatown San Francisco

Pass under the Dragon Gate on Grant - you'll feel you've stepped into another country. Chinatown San Francisco, with it's pagoda roofs and bright colors, is the largest Chinese community outside Asia.

Continue reading "Chinatown San Francisco"

San Francisco Neighborhoods

San Francisco neighborhoods are the BEST part of San Francisco. IMHO, they are what MAKE San Francisco the unique city that it is. Visit the neighborhoods with us!

Continue reading "San Francisco Neighborhoods "

December Event: Sacramento

Christmas Memories at the Governor's Mansion

Governor's Mansion and Grounds;
Photo Courtesy of parks.ca.gov
Governor's Mansion and Grounds

Today’s guests see marble fireplaces from Italy, gold framed mirrors from France, and exquisitely handcrafted hinges and doorknobs, all of which are reminders of the Gallatins and the Victorian era. Outside some of the Mansion’s abundant vegetation includes flowers, shrubs, and trees dating back to 1877. But when visitors look behind the grape stake fence and see Governor Brown’s swimming pool built in 1959, they are reminded that the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park is really a walk through time.

Visit Sacramento this Saturday, December 13, and experience the Governor's Mansion in lavishly re-created period decor with an impressive array of live holiday music during the special Christmas Memories events.

Surrounded by docents in period costume, Mansion visitors will be transported back in time to the very place where thirteen of California's early governors and their families lived, spent Christmas seasons and shared holiday traditions.

Christmas Memories
Saturday, December 13, 2014
The Governor's Mansion, Sacramento, CA

It's like walking in a winter wonderland...

For more about Sacramento, visit Discover Sacramento. For more stepping back in time, visit Old Sacramento, or see photos at Old Sacramento Gold Rush Days.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Sacramento"

San Francisco California

What's San Francisco California mean to you? Theater? GG Bridge? Dining? Alcatraz? Shopping? It's all that, but what about neighborhoods? Not your usual image? Come and see what you might have missed.

Continue reading "San Francisco California"

December Event: Santa Cruz

Christmas Fun for the Family!

I love to report on this every year because it's just so festive! It's the Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train...

Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through the streets of Santa Cruz as passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider or hot chocolate, and listen to musical entertainment while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart!

Continue the merriment with inclusive activity at Santa's Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

The train departs from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the ride lasts for about an hour. Other holiday train rides in Santa Cruz include the Chanukah Train (December 18), and the Holiday Tree Walk. Click on the Permalink below for more information.

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train
November 28, 29
December 6, 7, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, & 23
Santa Cruz Boardwalk

It's a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

For more about Santa Cruz, visit Discover Santa Cruz. To see photos of California's pentultimate beach town, check out our Facebook album, Santa Cruz.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Santa Cruz"

San Francisco Attractions

Looking for San Francisco attractions? This is the place! Let's explore Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Coit Tower, Union Square & Union Street..

Continue reading "San Francisco Attractions"

December Events: Nevada City & Grass Valley

A Christmas Tale of Two Gold Rush Towns

Victorian Christmas Carolers;
CC Nevada City Chamber
Victorian Christmas Carolers; CC Nevada City Chamber

Two famous Gold Rush towns, Nevada City and Grass Valley, are more than just neighbors - they share similar histories, so we shouldn't be surprised that they have similar events during the holidays!

Nevada City jumps back in time to Victorian days with its Victorian Christmas on several Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons in December. Store merchants are garbed appropriately, musical entertainers stroll the streets, lights twinkle, gas lamps glow, chestnuts roast, folks ride in horse-drawn carriages, holiday foods and libations are tasted, and Father Christmas puts in an appearance.

Victorian Christmas
Wednesdays, December 10 & 17; 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Sundays, December 7, 14, & 21; 1:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Nevada City, CA

Grass Valley time travels to recapture its Cornish roots with a Cornish Christmas celebration that includes carolers caroling, jugglers juggling, musicians playing, Tommyknocker Cloggers clogging, handmade arts and crafts, and more (don't miss Santa!) - all ensconced in a festive holiday atmosphere of lights and decorations and period costumes.

Cornish Christmas
Fridays, November 28 - December 19; 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Grass Valley, CA

Nevada City & Grass Valley sure know how to celebrate Christmas!

For more about Nevada City and Grass Valley, visit Nevada City by Melissa Sweat, and Visit Historic Downtown Grass Valley by Julia Jordan. To see photos of Grass Valley and the Empire Mine, check out our Facebook albums.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Events: Nevada City & Grass Valley"

Big Sur Free

Looking for free things to do in Big Sur? We can help you with that!

Continue reading "Big Sur Free"

Shopping in Downtown Chico

Shopping in downtown Chico is a truly unique experience! You'll find one-of-a-kind boutiques, specialty shops, antique stores, and local restaurants.

Continue reading "Shopping in Downtown Chico"

Downtown Chico

Downtown Chico is one of the most inviting downtowns in all of California. California State University Chico is easy walking distance. Students and natives alike are active users of Chico's Downtown.

Continue reading "Downtown Chico"

December Event: Fresno

92 Years of Extreme Christmas Spirit!

Candy Cane Arch;
Photo Courtesy of ChristmasTreeLane.com
Candy Cane Arch

It's hard to believe that this one two-mile-long neighborhood in Fresno - in the heart of California's agricultural Great Central Valley - has been lighting up the nights from December 2 through December 25 for 92 years now, but it's true!

Sponsored by the Fig Garden Home Owners Association, Fresno's Christmas Tree Lane has a long and venerable history with millions of lights, 140 homes, and 300 decorated trees as of this year. There are two Walk Nights, reserved for walkers only so you can take your time and see it all.

One of the longest-running holiday events in the United States, Christmas Tree Lane has made Sunset Magazine and the Washington Post as a holiday tradition. It's so popular that more than 100,000 people visit each year.

Make this the year that YOU go!

Christmas Tree Lane
December 2 - 25, 2014, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Van Ness Blvd between Shields Ave and Shaw Ave in Fresno

For more about the Fresno area, visit Discover Fresno County.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Fresno"

Chico Day Trips: Gold Country Drive

Relive the Gold Rush with another of my Chico day trips! Historic buildings, hard-rock mining, museums, Old Towns, gold discovery site, gold panning, historic main streets-it's all on this day trip!

Continue reading "Chico Day Trips: Gold Country Drive"

Chico Day Trips: Sutter Buttes

Looking for an interesting Day Trip from Chico, CA? Try Chico to Sutter Buttes! Drive or bike the circumference, or arrange for a guided hike! Which ever way you do it, the Buttes are amazing!

Continue reading "Chico Day Trips: Sutter Buttes"

Day Trips from Chico

Thinking you'll probably have to postpone any big vacations this year? But you still get the travel itch, right? Have you given Day Trips a thought? Here are some of our favorites starting from Chico.

Continue reading "Day Trips from Chico"

Discover Chico California

Many Chicoans are surprised to learn how many people have heard of their town. But Chico California has so much to offer, it's really no mystery!

Continue reading "Discover Chico California"

December Event: Woodland

Fantasy on Main Street!

Parade Banner;
Banner Image Courtesy of WoodlandChamber.org
Holiday Parade Banner; Image courtesy of WoodlandChamber.org

Originally known as the Woodland Christmas Parade, the recently named Woodland Holiday Parade has been providing Woodland and its neighboring cities in Yolo and Sacramento Counties one of the largest holiday parades of its kind in Northern California for the past 49 years.

Now in its 50th year, the spirit of Christmas Joy will again bring friends and families together to gather and line the sidewalks of Main Street, Woodland. Santa Claus will be riding on the final unit, an antique fire engine, spreading Christmas cheer to this fun-filled festive parade. The Woodland Holiday Parade will begin at California Street and end at Sixth Street. People have been known to gather for this merry parade as early as 7 a.m. to make sure their favorite spot on Main Street, Woodland is secured. Whether it's called the Woodland Christmas Parade or the Woodland Holiday Parade, one thing is for certain - this Woodland parade is a beloved tradition and is held close to the hearts of family and friends of the Woodland community.

Woodland Holiday Parade
Saturday, December 6, 2014; 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
First & Main Streets, Woodland

This is truly a Fantasy on Main Street - come rain or come shine!

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Woodland"

December Event: San Francisco

We never miss San Francisco during the Holiday Season!

Lighted Palm in Union Square;
Photo by Suzi Rosenberg
Lighted Palm in Union Square

Especially Union Square with its towering Christmas Tree and colossal Menorah; the brightly lit palm trees and dazzlingly white cyclamen displays; and - right in the middle of the square - the rockin' ice skating rink!

But this year we've found a new way to celebrate the holidays in The City and make sure we don't miss a thing - this time it's a Holiday Evening Tour with Tower Tours!

For $45 per adult ($25 child, ages 4 - 11), we can enjoy twinkling neighborhoods, glittering holiday displays, Cow Hollow, the Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, City Hall, the Bay Lights art show, and even Treasure Island - all dressed up for the holidays, and all from the cozy comfort of a warm and stylish luxury coach.

San Francisco Holiday Evening Tours
Fridays and Saturdays in December
Tower Tours, 288 Beach Street, San Francisco

Don't miss a single holiday display this year!

For more about The City by the Bay, visit Discover San Francisco. To see photos of Union Square decked out for the holidays, check out our Facebook album, Union Square Dazzles.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: San Francisco"

December Event: Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Wharf Celebrates 100 Years!

Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf;
CC Michael Kappel
Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf; CC Michael Kappel hspace=

The Santa Cruz Wharf officially opened on December 5, 1914, and thrived as a hub of the Santa Cruz fishing industry.

One hundred years later, the Santa Cruz Wharf serves as a bustling center of recreation (including fishing), plus dining and shopping.

To commemorate 100 years of the Santa Cruz Wharf’s history, culture and glorious setting, join Santa Cruzans for special ceremonies on the Wharf stage with honored guests and Santa Cruz citizens.

The Santa Cruz Wharf is Santa Cruz's gateway to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and a testament to its spirit of ingenuity, perseverance and optimism.

Celebrate the milestone and toast the Santa Cruz Wharf's future at this free event.

Santa Cruz Wharf 100th Aniversary Commemoration Ceremonies
December 5, 2014; 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf Stage

You only get one chance to celebrate a 100 year history!

For more about the Santa Cruz area, visit Discover Santa Cruz County, and The City of Santa Cruz. To see photos, check out our Santa Cruz Facebook albums.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Santa Cruz"

December Event: Visalia

2014 is the 69th Year for Visalia's Candy Cane Lane!

Winner Float in a previous Candy Cane Lane Parade;
Photo courtesy of DowntownVisalia.com
Winner Float in a previous Candy Cane Lane Parade

If you're anywhere near Visalia this evening and you've never experienced their Candy Cane Lane Parade (the largest and longest-running nighttime holiday parade in the Central Valley), here's your chance!

This year's theme is Christmas in Toyland, and there will be more than 80 entries marching, driving, and dancing along the 1 1/2 mile parade route. And I'm sure you won't want to miss Santa's annual debut! The parade starts at 7 p.m. and lasts about two hours.

Visalia's Candy Cane Lane Parade
Monday night; December 1, 2014; 7 p.m.
Main Street between Santa Fe Ave and Conyer St, Visalia, CA

Bundle up!
It's sure to be chilly out there, but well worth it on the fun-o-meter!!

For more about California's Great Central Valley, visit Discover the California Central Valley.

To find more Events and Festivals: October through December, January through March, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "December Event: Visalia"

Discover Northern California

Discover Northern California is your one-stop, online California vacation Travel Guide to NorCal's best. Visitors and residents alike will find both tourist attractions and Insider Secrets to explore!

Continue reading "Discover Northern California"

Discover the World

We have been lucky enough to discover the World through our travels, and we thought it would be fun to share what we've learned with you!

Continue reading "Discover the World"

Ashland Oregon

Ashland Oregon is the ultimate walking town! Stay in the city center as we did, and you'll have no reason...

Continue reading "Ashland Oregon"

Wine Tasting Tips

You don't need to be an expert to go wine tasting. All you need is a desire to give it a try and have some fun! Here are a 10 great Wine Tasting Tips to help you get more out of the experience.

Continue reading "Wine Tasting Tips"

California Whale Watching

Why are we so fascinated with whales? Maybe it's because they seem as curious about us as we are about them. It's California whale watching season all year, so come along...

Continue reading "California Whale Watching"

Weekend Trips

Looking for somewhere to go this weekend? Check out my NorCal weekend trips; romantic, cheap, educational, or just plain fun, they'll be an adventure that you will enjoy!

Continue reading "Weekend Trips"

Travel Tips

Here are 7 easy travel tips for getting the most out of all your adventures, whether they be in Northern California or around the globe!

Continue reading "Travel Tips"

Tide Pool Tips

Tide pool life is very fragile; we should be careful not to harm these mini-ecosystems in our enthusiasm to enjoy them! Here are some tide pool tips to help...

Continue reading "Tide Pool Tips"

Travel Secrets

My 3 Best Kept Northern Callifornia Travel Secrets are . . . shhhhh

Continue reading "Travel Secrets"

Panning for Gold

How's the recession treating you? Not so great? Worried about your finances? I have a thought - have you ever considered panning for gold? It's an idea more and more people are embracing!

Continue reading "Panning for Gold"

Northern California Camping

Northern California camping includes beaches, mountains, redwoods, rocky rugged coastlines, wilderness... every camping environment imaginable!

Continue reading "Northern California Camping"

Northern California Beaches

Though they're not always sandy and they're not always overcrowded, Northern California beaches have a lot to recommend them.

Continue reading "Northern California Beaches"

Activity Village

Welcome to Discover Northern California's Activity Village, where people share some of their insider secrets about awesome activity experiences they've enjoyed throughout California.

Continue reading "Activity Village"

Photo-of-the-Week

#TravelTuesday #Photo-of-the-Week collectables from DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com.

Continue reading "Photo-of-the-Week"

Lake Shasta Caverns Photo Gallery

Photo gallery of pictures that Wolf and I took on a trip to Lake Shasta Caverns in Shasta County, California in May of 2009.

Continue reading "Lake Shasta Caverns Photo Gallery"

Fun Food Festivals

I absolutely love festivals, especially food festivals! That's why I've gathered the fun food festivals of Northern California together in one place. Find the one(s) that you love best!

Continue reading "Fun Food Festivals"

Events and Festivals January through March

Now you can find fabulous Events and Festivals from all over Northern California, in one convenient location. Looking for a nearby January event? February? March? You'll find them here!

Continue reading "Events and Festivals January through March"

Introducing Me

I'll bet you're wondering who I am! Visit "Introducing Me" to find out who I am, how I came to create this website, and how you could do the same.

Continue reading "Introducing Me"

Shasta County California

Shasta County California is home to Lake Shasta, Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park, Turtle Bay, and the Sundial Bridge...

Continue reading "Shasta County California"

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Have something to add to what you've seen here? Please leave your comment in the box! ;D
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