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Labor Day Weekend Events: Part 4

Still undecided about what to do for Labor Day Weekend?

Clip Art Courtesy of About.com Clip Art
Labor Day Clip Art

Labor Day Weekend strikes again, signaling the end to another Summer. And there are any number of ways to celebrate that one last hurrah around Northern California! See Part 1 below for Labor Day in the Sacramento/Gold Country, Part 2 for Lake Tahoe, and Part 3 for the Bay Area. Now we have some Labor Day Weekend 2015 activities that are scattered throughout the rest of Northern California:

Antiques and Collectibles

It's three days of quality antiques and collectibles at the Graeagle Antique & Collectibles Faire, held at Graeagle Fire Hall, September 4 - 6. Surrounded by mountains and forests and meadows, Graeagle is an Insider Secret respite from soul-sucking work cubicles!

What do Classic Cars and Tinman have in common?

Labor Day Weekend in Mt. Shasta - it's the Cool Mountain Nights/Tinman Triathlon event duo, September 5 & 6. With the classic show 'n shine and downtown street fair of Cool Mountain Nights, and the sportsmanship of the Mount Shasta Tinman Triathlon, there's fun for everyone in the shadow of Mount Shasta!

Bigfoot is Ba-a-a-ack

Willow Creek is hosting its 54th Big Foot Days Festival September 5, and it's a heck of a lot of tongue-in-cheek fun! See the Bigfoot parade, Bigfoot games, Bigfoot oyster feed and deep pit BBQ, Bigfoot logging contests, petting zoo, lawn mower race, and the Bigfoot ice cream social!

Frolic with the Gods

Join the fun at the Monterey Bay Greek Festival, September 5 - 7, at Custom House Plaza in Monterey and be Greek for the weekend! Greek food, Greek music, Greek dance... OPA!

That's it, folks - the Labor Day Weekend is upon us and it's time to go out and have some fun!

Whatever you decide to do, we're wishing you good times with friends and family and a safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend!

Visit our Facebook albums for photos of Monterey's Path of History and Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf. Visit DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com for more about Monterey County.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October, November, & December Events and Festivals, and our recently updated, Fun Food Festivals

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day Weekend Events: Part 3

Are you making plans for Labor Day Weekend?

Clip Art Courtesy of About.com Clip Art
Labor Day Clip Art

Labor Day Weekend strikes again, signaling the end to another Summer. And there are any number of ways to celebrate that one last hurrah around Northern California! See Part 1 below for Labor Day in the Sacramento/Gold Country area, and Part 2 for Lake Tahoe. Now we're heading over to the Bay Area and some of the activities you can look forward to for Labor Day Weekend, 2015:

Art and Wine on Broadway

That's Broadway in Millbrae, and it's the 45th Annual Millbrae Art & Wine Festival, September 5 - 6. Seven blocks of Broadway are filled with fine art and cool crafts, fabulously festive food, delectably delicious drink, and a music lineup that rocks!

Art on the Bay

One of the oldest, largest and most prestigious events of its kind takes place at the Marinship Park in Sausalito, adjacent to the Ferry landing. The 63rd Annual Sausalito Art Festival is a happening event September 5 - 7, with two stages for musical entertainment, a world-class collection of fine artists and crafters, more than 20,000 original works of art, and the best in festival food and beverages!

Weekend in the Wine Country

The Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is an epicurean event unlike any other with three days; 200 wineries and chefs; Sonoma Starlight Supper Club; winemaker lunches, dinner parties and barbecues; Taste of Sonoma; and the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction! September 4 - 6.

Celebrating Wine Month in Livermore!

The 34th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration on September 6, showcases over 40 Livermore Valley Wine Country wineries, with music, arts and craft vendors, local foods, and festivities!

Wente Vineyards is adding to the fun with its Front Porch Music Festival on September 5!

And, while the Harvest Wine Festival has changed to a one-day event, many of Livermore's wineries have opted to waive tasting fees and continue the festivities for the full weekend.

Stay tuned - there's still more to come...

Whatever you decide to do, wishing you good times with friends and family and a safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend!

Visit our Facebook albums for photos of Sonoma Plaza. Visit DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com for more about Sonoma County.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October, November, & December Events and Festivals, and our recently updated, Fun Food Festivals

Labor Day Weekend Events: Part 2

What will YOU do for Labor Day Weekend?

Clip Art Courtesy of About.com Clip Art
Labor Day Clip Art

Labor Day Weekend strikes again, signaling the end to another Summer. And there are any number of ways to celebrate that one last hurrah around Northern California! See Part 1 below for Labor Day in the Sacramento/Gold Country area. Next we're heading up to Lake Tahoe for more Labor Day Weekend 2015 festivities!

Farm-to-Fork Festival

South Lake Tahoe offers up the 6th Annual Sample the Sierra food, wine and art in the Sierra Nevada Fest on Sunday, Aug 31, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. "The festival pairs local farmers with chefs who produce tasting samples, which are then paired with the appropriate wine or brew. The weekend is full of festivities for the whole family including farm tours, winemaker dinners, music, live entertainment and art; all culminating with a Fireworks Extravaganza over Lake Tahoe." Aug 31, 2015

And in Olympic Valley...

Benefiting Can Do MS, a foundation providing wellness and education for people with Multiple Sclerosis, the 26th Annual Alpen Wine Fest, also Sunday, Aug 31st from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., includes a Spiegelau crystal souvenir wine glass and tastings from over 40 Vineyards. Peruse the Silent Auction items, get your raffle tickets ready, and help a good cause! Aug 31, 2014.

Stay tuned right here for even more to come...

Whatever you decide to do, wishing you good times with friends and family and a safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend!

Visit DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com for more about Lake Tahoe and its attractions.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October, November, & December Events and Festivals, and our recently updated, Fun Food Festivals

Labor Day Weekend Events: Part 1

Hang onto One Last Hurrah this Weekend!

Clip Art Courtesy of About.com Clip Art
Labor Day Clip Art

Labor Day Weekend strikes again, signaling the end to another Summer. And there are any number of ways to celebrate that one last hurrah around Northern California! Starting in the Sacramento/Gold Country area, these are some of the activities you can look forward to for Labor Day Weekend, 2015:

Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento

Turn back the clock and stroll through the 1950s during the California Gold Rush! It's free and it's a BIG favorite! We're talking, of course, about Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento State Historic Park in downtown Sacramento.

Enjoy free live music, Old West reenactments and melodramas, wagon and carriage rides, gold panning, children's activities, and a real Gold Rush era Tent City! September 4 - 7, 2015

Take a Train Ride!

While you're in Old Sac, take a ride aboard an oldtime train. All aboard the California State Railroad Museum's popular excursion railroad - the Sacramento Southern Railroad.

This year marks 32 consecutive seasons that the excursion trains have been operating in Old Sacramento. Travel the rails on a six-mile, 40-minute round trip excursion along the levees of the Sacramento River.

43rd Annual Cedar Center Arts & Crafts Festival in Arnold

If you're near Calaveras County, celebrate the end of summer in the Gold Country town of Arnold with fine handmade crafts, fine arts, gourmet foods, local beer, face painting, live music, and juggling acts amongst the pines and redwoods - September 5 - 6, 2015

Sierra Nevada Logging Museum's Annual Jamboree in Arnold

We'll go out on a limb and guess that you probably haven't had the chance to throw axes and swing chainsaws for sport, so a little friendly competition among aspiring lumberjacks should be pretty exciting!

Amateurs are welcome to compete in the morning, but the pros will be showing up for a full day of timber industry history, food, and entertainment. September 5, 2015

Stay tuned for more to come...

Whatever you decide to do, wishing you good times with friends and family and a safe and healthy Labor Day Weekend!

Visit our Facebook albums for photos of Gold Rush Days and the California State Railroad Museum. Visit DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com for more about Old Sacramento and other Gold Rush Sites.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October, November, & December Events and Festivals, and our recently updated, Fun Food Festivals

September Events & Festivals: McArthur

The Shasta County Inter-Mountain Fair starts Thursday!

Inter-Mountain Fair; CC Ron Lute
Inter-Mountain Fair; CC Ron Lute

Starting strong in 1918 with 2000 rodeo and fair goers, the Shasta County Inter-Mountain Fair is still bringing everything you would expect from a county fair: large and small animal shows, feature exhibits and booths, floriculture, baked and preserved goods, clothing and quilting shows, midway rides and games, a lively parade, top-billed live entertainment, motocross, truck and tractor pulls, live music - and it's all done with charming enthusiasm.

Shasta County's Inter-Mountain Fair
Thursday, September 3 - Monday, September 7, 2015
Inter-Mountain fairgrounds, McArthur

Join Shasta County-ites at the Inter-Mountain Fair this weekend, where their motto is, See Ewe There!

For more about the area, take a look at Discover Shasta County. Love pictures? Check out our Shasta County Facebook albums.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "September Events & Festivals: McArthur"

August Events & Festivals: Northern California

4 More Events & Festivals this Weekend!

fair ride

There's bound to be something near YOU!

Fresno

Celebrating 55 Years of California's premier Greek festival!

What: Greek Fest
When: Friday, August 28 - Sunday, August 30, 2015
Where: St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2219 N. Orchard

Brentwood

Bringing together local vintners, artists, and musicians for 14 years!

What: Art, Wine, & Jazz Festival
When: Saturday, August 29 - Sunday, August 30, 2015
Where: Brentwood

Cedarville

A down-home county fair in the land of wide-open spaces, Modoc County!

What: Modoc District Fair
When: Thursday, August 27 - Sunday, August 30, 2015
Where: Cedarville

Colusa

A lot of our hunter friends will be at THIS one!

What: California State Duck Calling Championship Contest
When: Saturday, August 29 - Sunday, August 30, 2015
Where: Colusa

Have a great weekend, whatever you decide to do
in Northern California!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

August Events & Festivals: Carmichael

Old Favorites and New for the Tasting!

Meet & Greet over traditional Jewish Comfort Foods; Courtesy of JewishFoodFaire.org
>Meet & Greet over traditional Jewish Comfort Foods; Courtesy of JewishFoodFaire.org

Congregation Beth Shalom of Carmichael has been hosting the annual Jewish Food Faire for 38 years as a "family-friendly community event featur[ing] delicious, traditional food, live entertainment, and arts & crafts vendors." And it's a favorite of those in the know!

Sample family-favorite Jewish comfort foods that are made with loving hands by local zaydes (grandfathers) and bubbes (grandmothers), and/or flown in for the event from such famous shops as Canter's Deli in Los Angeles. On the menu: falafel, noodle kugel, matzo ball soup, corned beef, chopped liver, honey cakes, and much more... a veritable smorgasbord of fine Jewish dining!

Passing these traditions "from generation to generation" (this year's theme) is considered the solemn duty of every Jewish parent, but Jewish hospitality demands that these gifts also be shared with friends and neighbors who stop by for a nosh!

Come for the food, but also for lots of live entertainment, activities for the kinderlech (children), fine arts and crafts vendors, and even a massage!

What: Jewish Food Faire
When: Sunday, August 30, 2015, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: Congregation Beth Shalom, 4746 El Camino Avenue, Carmichael

"There can be no joy without food and drink."
~ Talmud, Mo'ed Katan

For more about the area, visit Discover Sacramento.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Carmichael"

August Events & Festivals: San Jose

Whether you're Italian or Simply Love Italy, You Can't Miss the Italian Family Festa this Weekend!

Fratello Marionettes; Courtesy of FratelloM.com
Fratello Marionettes; Courtesy of FratelloM.com

The 35th annual Italian Family Festa gets underway this weekend in San Jose to celebrate Italian food, culture, and family.

Of course there's entertainment! Discover the magic of The Fratello Marionettes as they're brought to life by Kevin Menegus and Fred Riley. Or swoon to the crooning of Aussie/Italian, Alfio.

Mangia - enjoy spaghetti & meatballs, pizza, cannoli, gelato... just some of the yummy authentically Italian foods that await.

Sample local wines while you stroll through the olive and lemon tree strung arbors of the Wine Gardens.

Join in on the fun or just enjoy the antics at the Brava Squadra D'uva Family Grape Stomp Contest.

Test your pitching arm with a bocce ball.

What: Italian Family Festa
When: Saturday, August 29 - Sunday, August 30, 2015
Where: Guadalupe River Park, San Jose

AND, discover what Switzerland and Italy have in common at the Italian Cultural Village!

For more about the area, visit Discover Santa Clara County.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: San Jose"

August Events & Festivals: Bangor

Reggae in the Foothills!

Foothills Music Fest Poster; Courtesy of FoothillsMusicFestival.com
Foothills Music Fest Poster; Courtesy of FoothillsMusicFestival.com

Head for the hills on Saturday for cooler weather and hotter sounds! It's time once again for the Foothills Music Festival at Bangor Park - regal live oaks sprinkled o'er undulating hillsides, reggae sounds reverberating through the air, food and craft peddlers, and genuine foods from the Caribbean and South America - sounds like a day of fun to me!

This year's final lineup includes Ras Rebel, IFA Journey, The Green Machine, and DJ Maxx.

What: Foothills Music Festival 2015
When: Saturday, August 29, 2015, Noon to Midnight
Where: Bangor Park, Bangor CA

I am not reggae, I am me.
I am bigger than the limits that are put on me.
It all has to do with the individual journey.
- Ziggy Marley

For more about the area, visit Discover Butte County. To see photos, check out our Facebook albums.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Bangor"

August Events & Festivals: Bodega

Spicing Things Up at the Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Fest!

Oysters at the Bodega Seafood Fest; Courtesy of BodegaSeafoodFestival.com
Oysters at the Bodega Seafood Fest; Courtesy of BodegaSeafoodFestival.com

The 21st annual Bodega Seafood Fest rings in the new every year, even as it brings back the old favorites. New this year is the fourth stage where renowned Northwest seafood chef Becky Selengut, and fruit and veggie carving expert Jimmy Zhang will strut their stuff, and a giant coloring mural with black and white images of previous festivals just waiting for you and/or your kids to bring them to life with washable markers!

And - as always -you'll enjoy great entertainment (David Luning Band, Caravanserai, DGIIN, and Carolyn Wonderland, just to name a few); yummy food (BBQ'd oysters, crab cakes, Caribbean pizza, sweet and savory crepes...); wine and microbrewed beer tasting (always a favorite!); and the best quality artisans from California and beyond offering their creative wares.

All in all, it's a heavenly spot for foodies, art lovers, wine & beer devotees, and music enthusiasts, centered around the filming site of Alfred Hitchcock's infamous thriller, The Birds!

What: Bodega Seafood Art & Wine Festival
When: Saturday, August 29 - Sunday, August 30, 2015
Where: Watts Ranch, 16855 Bodega Hwy, Bodega (not to be confused with Bodega Bay)

In addition to enjoying a fun food fest, you'll feel good about supporting Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, and the essential Bodega Volunteer Fire Department

For more about the area, visit Discover Mendocino County. For more about the story behind the movie, Discover the Adventure of Alfred Hitchcock and The Birds.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Bodega"

August Events & Festivals: Gridley

Opening Day at the Butte County Fair is a Steal!

Butte County Fair Midway; Photo courtesy of ButteCountyFair.org
Butte County Fair Midway; courtesy ButteCountyFair.org

Seniors and children under 12 get in FREE; adults pay only $4 at the Butte County Fair in Gridley opening night (Thursday) - how great is that!

And that's just the beginning of four days of fun with entertainment by Legend, Amanda Gray, High Noon, and the James Slack Band; the Midway of Fun carnival with rides and games of chance and skill; 4-H/FFA livestock shows; local team roping; extreme bull riding; and Splash Dogs - dock jumping, diving, and big air dogs struttin' their stuff.

But there's plenty more county fair fun to be had as well: catch the tractor pull and destruction derby at the arena; Becky's Creations' Farm-Tastic Show and Circus Imagination for the kiddies; food contests and tastes of Butte County; Missette, Miss Teen, and Miss Butte County competitions; Farmer's Hall and exhibits of all kinds; fun fair food booths, and the Flying U Rodeo Extreme Bull Riding Event!

What: Butte County Fair
When: Thursday, August 27 - Sunday, August 30, 2015
Where: Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley

Butte County Fair has been "Creating memories for over 75 years!"

For more about Butte County, visit Discover Butte County, California.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Gridley"

Things To Do in Northern California: Shasta

Let the Adventure Begin in Shasta County... with a Boat Ride!

Bus Ride up to Shasta Caverns; By Suzi Rosenberg
Bus Ride up to Shasta Caverns; By Suzi Rosenberg

A visit to Lake Shasta Caverns is a little bit different from visiting other caverns!

When you first arrive you'll think you've stumbled on a kid's park or a playland.

You're greeted by the Rock Box where the kidlettes can utilize the climbing wall, climbing tunnel, climbing rock, and tree house to their little hearts' content.

Or the whole family can take part in sluicing for gemstones and fossils - purchase a bag of mining rough and head for the sluice to sort it all out!

Once you enter the main store/ticket office you'll realize there's even more adventure ahead when you discover you'll have to take a catamaran ride across the McCloud Arm of Lake Shasta, then a bus ride up a scenic-but-skinny mountain road on the other side, just to get to the caverns.

The boat ride is relaxing, informative & fun, you'll enjoy the scenic bus trip up to the caverns from the boat landing, and the grand prize in the end is the caverns themselves, with stalagmites, stalactites, cave coral, and flow stone.

This adventure takes mobility and a bit of stamina, so it might be too much for a wee one or great-great-grampy!

For photos, visit our Photo Gallery, Lake Shasta Caverns.

For more about the area, see Discover Shasta County, and Discover Siskiyou County.

Continue reading "Things To Do in Northern California: Shasta"

Things To Do in Northern California: 2 Insider Secrets

Visit Old Faithful and The Petrified Forest - without leaving Northern California!

Old Faithful Geyser near Calistoga; CC Alan Fung-Schwarz
Old Faithful Geyser near Calistoga; CC Alan Fung-Schwarz

Who knew? Most of us think of Yellowstone National Park when we hear Old Faithful, but there are actually three (only) Old Faithfuls in the world, and one is in Northern California!

But don't be fooled by the close-up picture above - that's just the beginning of the show!

Calistoga's Old Faithful erupts about every 30 minutes, forecast by rising steam and boiling water, to shoot thousands of gallons of 350 degree water over 60 feet into the air. Head for Calistoga, spend the day, bring a picnic lunch, and visit the interestingly different animals (Tennessee Fainting Goats and Guard Llamas) in a petting-zoo-like atmosphere while you’re there.

Old Faithful Geyser of California

(By the way – the 3rd Old Faithful is in New Zealand. Now there’s something for your Bucket List – visit all three Old Faithfuls before you die!)

The Queen, one of many petrified redwoods in Calistoga's The Petrified Forest; by Suzi Rosenberg
The Queen, one of many petrified redwoods in Calistoga's The Petrified Forest; by Suzi Rosenberg

How many of you know there's a petrified forest right here in Northern California?

It's called, oddly enough, The Petrified Forest, and it's a few miles down the road from Calistoga.

Billed as the world's largest petrified trees because they are redwoods, this forest was covered in ash and mud from an active volcano millions of years ago.

You can do a self-guided tour of the trail anytime during open hours, or you can take a docent led walk at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., or 3:00 p.m. to learn more about this fascinating site.

The Petrified Forest

Another great stop in Sonoma County - two for one!

For more unexpected things to do in California's Wine Country, see Discover Napa, and Discover Sonoma.

August Events & Festivals: Fortuna

Good Beer & Live Music coming to Fortuna this Weekend!

Hops in Humboldt crowd; Courtesy of HopsInHumboldt.com
Hops in Humboldt crowd courtesy HopsInHumboldt.com

It's the 12th Annual Hops in Humboldt Beer Fest this Saturday at Rohner Park in Fortuna, with unlimited samples of hundreds of different micro-brews offered by over 35 breweries from across the country - including NorCal's very own Sierra Nevada, Eel River, and Lost Coast breweries.

Join the crowd and enjoy the musical entertainment from four bands rockin' the stage. Then there are games (win cool prizes); voting for your favorite in the Tasters Choice Award event; art and craft vendors with Humboldt clothes, hand-blown glassware, and more; and food vendors with all kinds of good eats.

What: Hops in Humboldt
When: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Where: Rohner Park, Fortuna

HiH wants you to know: "Please note that this is a pet, free, adults only, small children- and baby-free zone. 21 and over only, please."

To learn more about the area, please visit Discover Humboldt.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Fortuna"

August Events & Festivals: Samoa

Last Lumber-style Cookhouse Standing

Timber Heritage Association Banner; Courtesy of TimberHeritage.org
Timber Heritage Assn Banner courtesy TimberHeritage.org

Well, one of the last, but it's a pretty amazing experience none-the-less!

And on Saturday the Samoa Cookhouse, Roundhouse, Historic Shops and Museum are central to the Oysters, Salmon, Ales and Rails fundraising event, which supports the Clarke Museum and the Timber Heritage Association.

Ride the rails aboard the Timber Heritage crew car speeder, partake in the festivities - BBQ salmon served with salad, baked beans and soda ($20); Oysters, ales and wines available for additional purchase; kid's hot dog meal available too ($10); live music, artisan booths, and kid activities - and spend an afternoon in historic Samoa, where they've been "Preserving Humboldt County's Timber History since 1977"!

What: Salmon, Oysters, Ales & Rails
When: Saturday, August 22, 2015
Where: Samoa Roundhouse & Shops, Samoa

The dinner bell's ringin' - Come and get it in Humboldt Bay!

For more about this area of California's North Coast, take a peek at Discover Humboldt.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Samoa"

August Events & Festivals: Portola

Celebrate Portola Railroad Days Festival this weekend!

Portola RR Workers; CC David Brossard
Portola RR Workers

Portola is a railroad town, being a crew change site on the Union Pacific Railroad Feather River Route over the Sierra Nevada mountains. It's only natural that they would want to celebrate their railway heritage!

And you can join in on the fun! Enter the Bass Fishing Derby to try for the Biggest Bass cash award. Visit the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, one of the largest in the West. Sign up for the Coed Softball Tournament or the Lucky Duck Race. Take a Railfan Tour through Feather River Canyon. And enjoy the lively entertainment and commercial vendors hawking their wares in Portola City Park.

What: Portola Railroad Days
When: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, August 21 - 23, 2015
Where: Portola (Plumas County)

Beware the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it's a train!
Paraphrasing Charles Barkely

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Portola"

August Events & Festivals: Willits

Powering It Up at the Willits Kinetic Carnivale!

Willits Kinetic Carnivale Participants; Photo Courtesy of KineticCarnivale.com
Willits Kinetic Carnivale Participants; Courtesy of KineticCarnivale.com

If you love watching hand cars, crafting kinetic creations, or power sourcing your transportation, put the Willits Kinetic Carnivale on your calendar!

Offering an amazing array of activities for aficionados of kinetic energy and steam power, the fair brings craft and food vendors, entertainment, rail car rides, and historic and steampunk-themed workshops, lectures, and discussions.

Plus local and regional bands will entertain, along with dance performers, aerialists, and Black Bart Gunfighters (formerly the Wild Bunch).

See (or participate in) kinetic handcar races, the Whimsy Circus for children, a mustache and beard competition - then attend the spectacular Grand Ball (in vintage or steampunk costume, if you'd like).

What: Willits Kinetic Carnivale
When: August 22 - 23, 2015
Where: Willits

Catch up with the Movers and Shakers at the
Willits Kinetic Carnivale Fair!

For more about the area, take a look at Discover Mendocino County

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Willits"

August Events & Festivals: Woodland

One of the Last Free-Gate Fairs!

Yolo County Fair; Courtesy of YoloCountyFair.net
Yolo County Fair; Courtesy of YoloCountyFair.net

As one of the last entrance-fee-free fairs in the state of California, the Yolo County Fair in Woodland, August 19 - 23, is a real-deal surprise!

The catchy-phrase theme, "It Gets Better Every Year," fairly shouts out about what's to come: livestock exhibits and demolition derby; musical entertainment; flower house and gardens; antique equipment; with carnival rides, carney games, and fair food thrown in for good measure.

Interestingly, the fairgrounds was once the Blowers Ranch, and still contains and utilizes the old farmhouse, the horse and cattle barns, and the bunkhouse - take in a little history with your fair fun!

What: Yolo County Fair
When: Wednesday, August 19 - Sunday, August 23, 2015
Where: Woodland

Don't miss out on Wednesday Night's Yolo County Bounty Gala - filled with Yolo produce, yummy food & drink, and live music!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Woodland"

Things To Do in Northern California: Humboldt County

Humboldt County Harbors Lots of Insider Secrets - Here are 4 that You'll Want to Know About!

Fern Canyon in Humboldt County; CC Redwood Coast
Fern Canyon in Humboldt County; CC Redwood Coast

Looking for something to do? Try these Humboldt County Insider Secrets on for Size!

Discover Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World!

Hike Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and you'll start looking over your shoulder for T-Rex, it's that prehistoric!... Continue reading

Eat like a lumberjack!

The Samoa Cookhouse - one of the last original lumber camp type cookhouses - perches on Samoa Peninsula where they've been serving lumber-camp-style since 1890 with large communal bowls and platters for serving yourself and passing around!... Continue reading

Play with Otters!

Spend a few hours at the oldest zoo in California - Sequoia Park and Zoo - and meet a Red panda family, hang out in the barnyard, discover the secrets of the forest, stroll through the aviary, and play with otters!..." Continue reading

Dally with Apparitions!

Explore the paranormal and Eureka's bawdy past on an Old Town Haunted History Ghost Tour. Do you know what happened in Opera Alley, what's under 2nd Street, or what's upstairs in Ruby's room?... Continue reading

For more about what there is to see and do in Northern California, visit: DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com

Things To Do in Northern California: Alameda

Explore San Francisco Bay without Getting Wet!

Crab Cove Visitors Center Sign; CC Trisha Fawver
Crab Cove Visitors Center Sign; CC Trisha Fawver

Alameda is an island-city on San Francisco Bay in Alameda County with an unexpected past. An amusement park called Neptune Beach Amusement Park opened at the site of present day Crab Cove in 1917, bringing with it a Coney Island-esque mood and quality that set the place a-jumping.

Bay Areans flocked to the park to enjoy carnival rides, swimming pools, picnics, dancing, vacation cottages, and all that comes with a beachside resort - only this beach was on a bay instead of on the ocean. But alas, all good things must come to an end - Neptune Beach closed in 1939 thanks to the Great Depression.

What does all of that have to do with Crab Cove today? Visit Crab Cove Visitor Center to time machine back to Alameda's splashy past = learn what life was like during the heydays of Neptune Beach or pretend to navigate a ship in 1940 when the area hosted the Maritime Academy.

But there's so much more! Crab Cove's Visitors Center became the first California estuary to be designated as a Marine Reserve in 1980 - as expected of a site with such a lofty honor, you can journey through interactive exhibits and interpretive displays to explore the rocky shores, mud flats, and brackish waters surrounding Alameda, and discover the habitats and creatures that call this Marine Reserve home when you probe depths of a variety of aquariums.

If you're interested in more history, visit the USS Hornet Museum moored nearby!

To find more adventures around the East Bay, check out Discover Alameda County. For more things to do in Northern California, Free Things To Do in Big Sur, and Free Things To Do in San Francisco.

Continue reading "Things To Do in Northern California: Alameda"

August Events & Festivals: Sacramento

Experience Hands on History: Fun on the Frontier this Saturday at Sutter's Fort in Sacramento

Pioneer Reenactor at Sutter's Fort; Photo by Suzi Rosenberg
Pioneer Reenactor at Sutter's Fort by Suzi Rosenberg

Ever wonder what the pioneers did for fun? We all know how hard they must have had to work to just get to their new homes, let alone to build a house, provide food and clothing, and perform the daily tasks of living like washing clothes, cooking meals, getting water... But, like people everywhere and in every age, they somehow managed to carve out some time for fun as well. So, what did they do?

Hightail it to Sutter's Fort on Saturday and find out! Kids, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles - everyone, in fact - come out and play Game of Graces, toss bean bags, move your tush in sack and barrel hoop races; test your luck at a game of chance; craft yourself a very special keepsake to remember the day!

And always a showboat event, stick around for the black powder weaponry demos and the blasting of Sutter's cannon.

What: Hands on History: 175th Anniversary Celebration
When: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Where: Sutter's Fort, Sacramento

There's no better way to get to know our history than through
hands-on experiences like this one!

For more about Sutter's Fort and the Sacramento area, visit Sutter's Fort and Discover Sacramento. To see photos of Sutter's Fort, check out our Facebook album, A Virtual Tour of Sutter's Fort.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: San Francisco

I can't think of a better place for a Street Food Festival
than San Francisco!

People enjoying the street food; Photo courtesy sfstreetfoodfest.com
People enjoying the street food; Courtesy sfstreetfoodfest.com

But it happens only once a year - Saturday, August 15th through Sunday, August 16th.

This year, the festival moved on from the Mission District to a new and bigger site, but one where they felt they could continue to fulfill their mission of representing local vendors in an inclusive atmosphere and an iconic urban area.

So get yourselves on over to Pier 70 in the Insider Secret of the Dogpatch neighborhood for some of the best food and music in the Bay Area at the 7th Annual Street Food Festival!

With over 100 food vendors participating, and offerings from vendors such as Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas, Bacon Bacon, Curry Up Now, Drake's Bay, and Kabob Trolley, you're sure to find at least a million tasty bites! Insider Secret: several of the vendors included in this year's festival are La Cocina Graduates!

What: SF Street Food Festival
When: Saturday, August 15 - Sunday, August 16, 2015
Where: Pier 70, Dogpatch Neighborhood, San Francisco

Please note that there is NO parking available. You'll need to make use of the free shuttle service from the Civic Center, the Ferry Building, and the Mission District, or rely on public transportation, taxi, or fleet feet power in the form of bicyling or walking. Whichever way you arrive, SF Street Food Fest is...

Calling all Foodies to the City by the Bay!

Discover more about San Francisco. And for more Foodie fun, check this out: Ferry Building Marketplace

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Grass Valley

And speaking of fairs - puttin' on five days of fun
at the Nevada County Fairgrounds!

Nevada County Fair at Night; CC Lily Gicker
Nevada County Fair at Night; CC Lily Gicker

Located in Grass Valley, California, the Nevada County Fairgrounds has been called California's most beautiful fairgrounds, with nearly 100 acres covered with hundreds of pine trees to provide shade and a gorgeous setting.

Starting August 12 and running through the 16th, the Nevada County Fair promises lots of fun and excitement.

Arena events include the Flying U Extreme Rodeo, Monster Trucks, and the Destruction Derby.

Special contests involve the Newlywed Game, several Ultimate Food Contests, an Instagram Contest, Minute to Win It, and more.

And the stage entertainment is vast and varied, providing multitudinous styles of music from Dance Band to Reggae and Rock and Roll, with everything in between that's sure to please.

What: Nevada County Fair
When: Wednesday, August 12 - Sunday, August 16, 2015
Where: Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley

It's Simply Fun! at the Nevada County Fair!

For more about the area, see Historic Downtown Grass Valley by Julia Jordan, Nevada City by Melissa Sweat, and A Gold Country Drive by yours truly.

Also check out our To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Yreka

It's time for some Fun in the Mountain Sun
at the Siskiyou Golden Fair!

Siskiyou Golden Fair by Annie Baker on Pinterest
Presenting the flag

You won't want to miss this great hometown county fair in Yreka, August 12 - 16! They really know how to put on a fair with Battle of the Bands, CCPRA Rodeo, Destruction Derby, an Exotic Petting Zoo, and the Country Artist Tribute with Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Eric Church.

And that's in addition to the usually anticipated fair menu of livestock exhibits, home arts, fine arts, floral and horticultural competitions, and talent shows!

With these daily specials, you can go day after day after day: Wednesday is Two Dollar Day ($2 admission for everyone); Thursday is Kid's Day (kids 12 and under free); Friday is Seniors Day (Ages 62 and older free); Saturday is Armed Services Day; and Sunday is Family Day (free for everyone)!

What: Siskiyou Golden Fair
When: Wednesday, August 12 - Sunday, August 16, 2015
Where: Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds in Yreka

Sounds like a dynamite deal to me!

Looking for more to do in the area? Check out Discover Siskiyou!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Monterey Peninsula

It's all about Cars - all week long -
all throughout the Monterey Peninsula!


If you're into cars, you'll love this event! Follow the shows from classic cars to little ones; from the most luxurious automobiles to the Concours d'Lemons (Pintos, Pacers, & Corvairs), and you won't be disappointed.

It's the Monterey Auto Week & Concours d'Elegance, kicking off with Carmel's Concours on the Avenue - followed through with The Little Car Show in Pacific Grove, Legends of the Autobahn at the Nicklaus Club in Monterey, Concorso Italiano at Black Horse Golf Course, - and culminating with the over-50-year-old-tradition of Pebble Beach's Concours d'Elegance along the legendary 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links.

What: Monterey Auto Week
When: August 11 - 17, 2014
Where: Monterey Peninsula

It's beach-to-raceway vintage cars this weekend in Monterey!

For more about the area, visit Discover Monterey. And to see some fabulous photos of the Monterey Peninsula, check out our Facebook albums!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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Things To Do in Northern California: Tahoe City

Want adventure on your Lake Tahoe vacay?

Part of the Windchimes Course;
Photo Courtesy of NorthTahoeAdventures.com
Part of the Windchimes Course

How does Ropes Course, Ziplines, Skyjump Bungee Trampoline, and Climbing Wall sound?

Best part?

You'll find them all at the Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park in near Tahoe City!

An aerial adventure park is just about what it sounds like: a bunch of courses up in the treetops that link one tree platform to the next, with various means of getting from one to the other.

Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park offers the Flying Squirrel Courses for beginners and kids (5+), and Monkey Courses for beginners through advanced canopy explorers.

Acrophobic like I am? Did we mention they also have Miniature Golf?

To find more adventures around the area, check out Discover Lake Tahoe.

For more about what there is to see and do in Northern California, visit: DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com

Continue reading "Things To Do in Northern California: Tahoe City"

Things To Do in Northern California: San Jose

Step into our time capsule and harken back to ancient Egypt

Planetarium in Rosicrucian Park; CC Fritz Liess
Planetarium in Rosicrucian Park; CC Fritz Liess

How many of us have had the opportunity to explore Ancient Egypt? Too far away, you say? Too expensive right now?

Maybe not - visiting the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose takes you back in time to discover the secrets of the ancient ones - their history, their beliefs, their practices...

Even before you enter the museum, you'll feel as if you've time-warped onto foreign and exotic soil!

Set amongst the broad lawns and rose gardens of beautiful Rosicrucian Park, you'll find not only the museum - which was modeled after the Temple of Amon in Karnak - but also the Planetarium building, the Rosicrucian Temple, the Research Library, and the Peace Garden, all of which were inspired by Moorish and Egyptian architecture.

What's so special about this Egyptian Museum? It's not just about the exhibits. Naturally, you'll learn about burial practices and the Afterlife, you'll meet kings and pharaohs; but you'll also find out about the daily lives of your average ancient Egyptian - the farmers and craftsmen, scribes and homemakers.

That's what brings ancient Egypt to life for us today!

For more about what there is to see and do in the San Jose area, visit Discover Santa Clara County

Continue reading "Things To Do in Northern California: San Jose"

August Events & Festivals: Crescent City

The Del Norte County Fair is in Full Swing This Weekend!

Del Norte County Fair Poster, Courtesy of DNFair.org
Del Norte County Fair Poster, Courtesy of DNFair.org

And they're "Proud of the Past, Poised for the Future!" You'll discover so much to see & do at this exciting event, you won't know where to start! Should it be Splash Dogs, Mind Surfin, Interactive Music 4 Kids, Dan the Fire Juggler, Aaron Tippin Concert, or Del Norte County's own Amazing Race?

Or you could start with the carnival rides like Super Shot or Giant Wheel or Silver Streak; the farm animal exhibits (bunnies, pygmy goats, cattle, sheep, and swine); carnival food wagons, Wherever you begin, you're sure to have a high old time!

Every day of the fair offers a special discount: Kid's Day on Thursday, Senior's Day on Friday, discounts for the Military on Saturday, and Family Day is on Sunday. Check their website for more discount options.

What: Del Norte County Fair
When: Thursday, August 6 - Sunday, August 9, 2015
Where: Del Norte County Fairgrounds, Crescent City

Joint in on the excitement of the Del Norte County Fair!

For more about the area, visit To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Crescent City"

August Events & Festivals: Squaw Valley

Weekend Event at Squaw Valley Village:
Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest!

Guitar Playing;
Courtesy Squaw.com
Guitar Playing Courtesy Squaw.com

Benefiting the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, this fab and popular annual event brings western states' breweries together with Jazzy funky music making for a fun-filled weekend!

AND guess what? Dogs are welcome!

Please your palate with 40 different brews, and entertain your ears with funky Jazz from Rebirth Brass Band, Thick Newton, Con Brio, Mark Sexton, and more - all while aiding and abetting our fine furry friends.

What: Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest
When: Saturday, August 8 & Sunday, August 9, 2015
Where: Squaw Valley Village

Making great summer memories for you and your pup in 2015!

For more about the area, visit Discover Lake Tahoe.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Squaw Valley"

August Events & Festivals: Sebastopol

The 42nd Gravenstein Apple Fair Hits our Sweet Spot!

Gravenstein Apple Fair Poster, Courtesy of GravensteinAppleFair.com
Gravenstein Apple Fair Poster, Courtesy of GravensteinAppleFair.com

Billed as "The Sweetest Little Fair in Sonoma County," the Gravenstein Apple Fair drinks to the Gravenstein harvest with reverence. One of the trendiest of new trends all over the country is the re-upsurgance of hard cider, and Sonoma County is producing some mighty fine artisinal ciders. Visit the Craft Cider Tent to meet those in the forefront of production and sample some of their wares.

Learn about the latest in farming at Life on the Farm and the DIY Arena. Enter the Pie Eating or Apple Juggling contests. Rock out to the live bands performing everything from Mariachi to Blues from the Bayou. Shop the Arts & Crafts Vendors vending art, beauty & Health, Ceramics & Glass, Farm Fresh, Fiber & Leather, Home & Garden Jewelry, and Kid's Clothing & Play products. Eat and taste your way through the food vendors and the tasting tents.

What: Gravenstein Apple Fair
When: Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9, 2015
Where: Ragle Ranch Park, Sebastopol

So grab your Sweetheart and light out for Sebastopol this weekend!

For more about the area, visit Discover Sonoma County. To see photos of the famous junk art sculptures of Sebastopol, check out our Facebook Album for a sampling. They're pretty awesome!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Sebastopol"

August Events & Festivals: San Francisco

Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival Comes into its Own!

SF Outside Lands; CC Saket Vora
SF Outside Lands; CC Saket Vora

It has always shown promise, it's grown every year, it's had its die-hard believers, but Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival has proved it's got what it takes to draw in the greats!

With headliners like Elton John, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, and Sam Smith, they've taken this festival to a whole 'nother level and music fans are the beneficiaries. Check it out for yourself, August 7 - 9.

Oh yeah, then there's all the other stuff! OLMAF has taken over the meadows, hollows, fields and forests of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to bring you A Taste of the Bay Area (restaurant and food trucks, Choco Lands and Cheese Lands), Beer Lands (32 breweries), Wine Lands (35 wineries), Eco Lands (you supply the power), Outsider Art (live-painting, installations, and one-of-a-kind musical theater), The Barbary (comedy and variety), and Summer Pairings (food, wine, and music) - all of which are bigger, badder, and better than ever before.

And GastroMagic returns, presenting "all things startling and unexpected in food, drink, music, magic, and more."

When you go, just remember that parking is extremely limited at Golden Gate Park, so take an alternative mode of transportation such as the Shuttle service from downtown San Francisco!

Ranger Dave says, "We recommend getting there by bicycle."

For more to do in San Francisco. For photos of San Francisco, see our Facebook albums. For an alternative way to get to San Francisco for the festival: How to have a better (San Francisco) commute.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: San Francisco"

August Events & Festivals: Lassen Volcanic NP

Stargazing from Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Lassen Star Party; NPS Photo
Lassen Star Party, NPS photo

"Half the park is after dark!"

Many people don't realize it, but the civilized, urban lifestyle that is our country - especially in California - creates light polution, which inhibits our ability to see the stars and planets as our forebearers did.

Even in more bucolic settings out in the countryside, there's a certain amount of light polution that blocks out part of the Milky Way. But there's hope for us!

Join budding astronomers and sky rangers alike for the Lassen Dark Sky Festival, August 7th through the 9th.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of few places that can boast a complete lack of light pollution - where better then to host a Dark Sky event!

Highlights of the festival include: nightly constellation tours and stargazing, astronomy activities, and discussions and demonstrations by National Park Dark Sky rangers.

What: Dark Sky Festival
When: August 7 - 9, 2015
Lassen Volcanic National Park

Take back the night - dark skies, that is!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Lassen Volcanic NP"

August Events & Festivals: Santa Cruz County

Looking Forward to a Great Beer Event this Weekend!

Beer Flight; CC Adam Fagen
Beer Flight by Adam Fagen

California Beer Festival comes to Santa Cruz County once again, so hop on over to Aptos Village Park this weekend!

Friday evening brings the Food and Beer Paring Competition where local chef/brewmaster teams will vie for your vote.

Craft Beer Haven - always a favorite - on Saturday provides sampling over 85 craft beers on tap and enjoying live music, fabulous food, and - wait for it - Bocce Ball.

And on Sunday, join the exciting Hamburger & Hops Music Festival, presenting gourmet hamburgers and sliders, craft beers (for sale; there are no samples on Sunday), and more live musical entertainment!

What: California Brew Festival &
Hamburger & Hops Music Festival
When: Sat & Sun, August 9 & 10, 2014
Where: Aptos Village Park, Aptos

Looks like the place to be this weekend is Santa Cruz County!

For more about it, visit Discover Santa Cruz County.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Santa Cruz County"

August Events & Festivals: Ukiah

Changing it up every year in Ukiah!

Redwood Empire Fair Poster; Poster courtesy of RedwoodEmpireFair.com
Redwood Empire Fair Poster, Courtesy of RedwoodEmpireFair.com

A couple of years ago it was Aloha, last year it was Ocean Adventures, this year it's Western Round-Up from the Redwood Empire Fair! Let that be your first clue that this is no ordinary country fair!

Oh sure, they've got your Carnival Midway Rides, Stars on the Stage, Ag Displays, Flower Arranging, Home and Fine Arts Exhibits, and FFA/4H Livestock Judgings just like any country fair.

But have you ever been to a fair with barnyard racing or blacksmith shop? I ask you! Then there's the Waylon and the Wild Cats and Mudd Bogg Races and a free Kids' Park!

What: Redwood Empire Fair
When: August 6 - August 9, 2015
Where: Ukiah, Mendocino County, CA

Here's to Western Round-up from the Redwood Empire Fair!

Mendocino County is a place of romantic adventure, reknowned for its awe-inspiring scenery...

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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Things To Do in Northern California: CA Missions

5 Northern California missions you should see

Carmel Mission; CC Roger Wollstadt
Carmel Mission

Carmel Mission: Officially San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, Carmel Mission was originally founded in 1770 in Monterey (relocating later to Carmel) and served as the headquarters for the Alta California missions and for Father Junipero Serra, founder of California's mission system. Today it is an active parish and a museum. It's also the only California mission to still have its original bell tower dome.
Location: 3080 Rio Road, Carmel, CA

Sonoma Mission: Officially San Francisco Solano de Sonoma, Sonoma Mission is part of Sonoma State Historic Park. It was the last of the California missions to be built and at the epicenter of the Bear Flag Revolt. Visit the mission, Sonoma Barracks, General Vallejo's home (Lachryma Montis), and the largest original pueblo plaza in California.
Location: NE corner of Spain and First Streets, Sonoma, CA

Mission Dolores: Officially San Francisco de Asis, Mission Dolores is the oldest San Francisco building to have survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and it's still an active parish today - playing a vital role in the Mission District community - 238 years after its establishment.
Location: 3321 16th Street, San Francisco, CA

Mission Santa Clara: Officially Santa Clara de Asis, this mission is surrounded by Santa Clara University (the university having been built up around the mission) - and it's the only California mission that's on a university campus. Today it serves as a parish church and the chapel for the university.
Location: 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA

Mission San Juan Bautista: Known simply as San Juan Bautista, the mission is an active parish today, having served mass every day without fail since 1797. Visit the mission, the museum, soldiers' barracks, a nunnery, the cemetery, and the gardens. Then take the historic walking tour around the city of San Juan Bautista.
Location: 2nd and Mariposa Streets, San Juan Bautista, CA

Experience California's history under Spanish rule first hand!

For more about all of the missions of California: Discover California Missions.

For more about what there is to see and do in Northern California, visit: DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com

Things To Do in Northern California:

3 Insider Secrets from our Readers

On the Road to Casa de Fruta by Suzi Rosenberg
On the Road to Casa de Fruta by Suzi Rosenberg

Looking for something to do? Check out what some of our readers have to say about their favorite ThingsToDo!

David Rose of Los Gatos tells us how to break up a long trip:

"Casa de Fruta: Fun, Food and Treats for the Whole Family!

"Anyone who's driven from the Central Valley to the coast and vice versa knows what a dull and tiresome trek it can be. To break up the monotony..." Continue reading

Danielle shares her favorite getaway style:

"Sonoma: Top Wine Destination

"The highlight of most vacations is the chance to relax, eat great food and enjoy some excellent wine. Many folks love to stop by a vineyard or two when they’re in a wine-growing region.

"Why not consider a wine vacation as the theme of your next getaway?..." Continue reading

William G. Hoppes of Livermore gives us boring with a twist:

"The Most Boring Road in California

"Interstate-5 in running north to south in California; from Tracy to Buttonwillow is the most boring stretch of highway in the western U.S; certainly in all of California.

"How to make a long, boring road less numbing, ask why places are where they are?..." Continue reading

For photos of these areas of Northern California and more, visit our Facebook Photo Albums.

For more about what there is to see and do in Northern California, visit: DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com

August Events & Festivals: San Jose

Knights and Ladies and Jesters, Oh My!

Dancers at San Jose Renaissance Faire; Courtesy of SanJoseFaire.com
Dancers at San Jose Renaissance Faire; Courtesy of SanJoseFaire.com

Weave your way through the costumed crowds of an olden Tudor village for the pleasure of turning an ear to the medieval language of long ago, attending a joust pitting the Knights of Mayhem against one another, feasting on roasted turkey legs and corn on the cob literally soaked in melted butter, and witnessing Shakespearean troupes in a play of The Bard's.

It all happens this weekend at the San Jose Renaissance Faire, where you'll also find a jester or two, storytellers, and English country dancers.

Or try your hand at such medieval activities as calligraphy, weaving, fencing, and archery while the kidlettes enjoy puppet theater shenanigans, games, and crafts.

What: San Jose Renaissance Faire
When: Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2, 2015
Where: Discovery Meadow, San Jose

Revel in the merrymakeing and the ribald,
but beware the double entendre!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: San Jose"

August Events & Festivals: Fort Bragg

Sample a Multitude of Artistic Media this Weekend!

Artist Julie Higgins at last year's event; Courtesy of GardenbytheSea.org
Artist Julie Higgins at last year's event; Courtesy of GardenbytheSea.org

The ever-beautiful Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens presents the 24th Annual Art in the Gardens on Saturday, August 1st. This always popular event provides much more than a display of artists' works (although there is that!)

You'll discover a much broader perception of artistic media - one that includes not only watercolors and marble sculptures, but culinary offerings, horticultural displays, the art of musical entertainment, artisinal wines and beers, and handcrafted products with a botanical theme.

Enjoy meeting local North Coast artists, take in an art demonstration, and browse the artistic crafts booths with pocketbook in hand - all the while viewing the artworks displayed throughout the gardens.

What: 2015 Art in the Gardens
When: Saturday, August 1, 2015
Where: 2 miles south of Fort Bragg on Highway 1

This event benefits the non-profit public gardens and its horticulture, conservation and education programs.

For more about the area, visit Discover Mendocino County. To see photos, check out our Facebook albums.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Fort Bragg"

August Events & Festivals: Monterey

The 48th Annual Monterey Scottish Games and Celtic Festival is Only a Caber Toss Away!

Monterey Scottish Games; Courtesy of MontereyScotGames.com
Monterey Scottish Games; Courtesy of MontereyScotGames.com

Rodeos grew out of the American West as a way for cowboys and cattlemen to test and show off their cattle wrangling skills. Similarly, Scottish games and heavy events developed originally to test the strength and conditioning of Scottish troops, especially in the Highlands.

Today there are whole festivals surrounding these games, not only in Scotland, but around the world. One such is coming up this weekend in the Central Coastal town of Monterey. And you're in for a real treat, whether this is your first Celtic festival or your 50th!

The games include Celts (both men and women) vying for recognition as the strongest and most skilled in caber pitching, Scottish heavy hammer throwing, hoisting weight over the bar, sheaf tossing, and more.

Also offered are music and entertainment. March your feet to the pomp of (bag)pipe bands and drum majors; thrill to the Parade of Clans; listen to the poetry of Scottish songs and ditties; watch the Braveheart-style historic reenactments...

And especially don't miss a stroll through Clan Village where you might find your family's tartan, or the excitement of seeing those intelligent and highly skilled sheep dogs get their ducks (and sheep) in a row!

What: Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival
When: Saturday, August 1 - Sunday, August 2, 2015
Where: Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey

The Monterey Scottish Games and Celtic Festival:
Home of Kilts, Celts, & Kings!

For more about the area, visit Discover Monterey County. To see photos of various popular places in Monterey, check out our , Facebook albums.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Petaluma

Listen Up: Catch 15 Bands on 3 Stages at the Petaluma
Music Festival this Saturday!

Petaluma Music Festival Banner; Courtesy of PetalumaMusicFestival.org
Petaluma Music Festival Banner; Courtesy of PetalumaMusicFestival.org

Petaluma presents the 8th annual Petaluma Music Festival this weekend at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Originally the dream-child of Cliff Eveland, band instructor at Petaluma High, the purpose of the festival is to raise money to keep music programs alive throughout Petaluma area schools. Success has been achieved and we, the general public, are the benefactors as well!

This year's line-up begins with a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy concert on Friday night and continues through the afternoon and evening on Saturday with rockin' performances by the likes of Nahko and Medicine for the People, Midnight North, The Wood Brothers, ALO, and Arizona & The Volunteers.

But it's not all about the music. Check out the food, drink, and merchandise vendors, and the Kids Area; join in on the Silent Auction, and snag your raffle tickets for a chance to win a celebrity autographed guitar. And remember - all proceeds help support music ed programs in the schools!

What: Petaluma Music Festival
When: Friday, July 31 & Saturday, Aug 1, 2015
Where: Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma

Petaluma Music Festival: Keeping Music in the Schools

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Livermore

There's nothing quite like a good Taste of...!

Buggy Ride in Downtown Livermore; Courtesy of LivermoreDowntown.com
Buggy Ride in Downtown Livermore courtesy LivermoreDowntown.com

And Taste of Downtown Livermore is a great one, with barrels of local wines; tasty treats from local chefs, wineries, and restaurants; free horsedrawn buggy rides; shopping till you're dropping; and live entertainment throughout the downtown area.

Taste of Downtown Livermore
August 2, 2015, 12 pm - 5 pm
Downtown Livermore

Sip and taste your way through Livermore this Sunday afternoon!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

Continue reading "August Events & Festivals: Livermore"

August Events & Festivals: Santa Rosa

Sonoma County Presents Three Weekends of Fair Fun!

Sonoma County Fair; Courtesy of SonomaCountyFair.com
Sonoma County Fair; Courtesy of SonomaCountyFair.com

The 2015 Sonoma County Fair started this last weekend at the fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, but not to worry - there's still plenty of time to get in on the fun as it runs through August 9th!

Special attrations include Barnyard Fun (Sweet Lil's Farmery, the Great American Petting Zoo, the Milk Barn, and many many animals), Farmer's Day (featuring a rather unique rodeo), Free Family Fun (Barrel Racing, Variety Show, Blacksmith Show, Free Clover Ice Cream, and more), Free Live Music, Inspiration Stations (Listen, Learn, & Do), the Kids Area (with all sorts of farm-themed things to do), and a Mexican Village (celebrating Latino culture through music and fiesta).

And don't miss the colorful carnival rides, entertaining concerts and arena shows, yummy fair food, exciting Horse Racing in the Wine Country, competitive exhibits featuring local entries, and shopping Grace Pavilion, street vendors, and the Mexican Village!

Sonoma County Fair
July 24 - August 9, 2015
The Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa

Get in the spirit for the Sonoma County Fair this weekend and next!

For more about the area, visit Discover Sonoma County. To see photos of NAME OF PLACE, check out our Facebook albums.

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Fremont

Doing it up BIG at the Fremont Festival!

32nd Fremont Fest Poster; Courtesy of Fremont Festival of the Arts & Music
32nd Fremont Fest Poster; Courtesy of Fremont Festival of the Arts & Music

Fremont Festival of the Arts organizers claim it's the "largest free street festival west of the Mississippi River."

With over 700 artisan booths, close to 400,000 attendees, 18,526 ice cream bars eaten, and 23,552 mugs of beer sold, it's hard to dispute their claim!

The main attraction is four miles of juried and hand-crafted, quality artisan booths with offerings of fine art, arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, and specialty items you'll want to pick up to tick off the items on your gift-buying list.

For families, there's Kid City with peformers, hands-on amusements, and rides. Two stages provide continuous music for your listening and dancing pleasure. The popular trade show, Business Alley, offers local goods and services to browse and buy. Local non-profits earn money with their food booths, and they get a little help from the addition of Food Truck Mafia and their gourmet food trucks. The Wine Garden returns again with its shady oasis and lovely buffet...

But my favorite spot is the Gourmet Marketplace. Browse around the specialty food items and cooking ingredients - you won't find these in your local supermarket! Tea-time treats; grow-at-home-mushroom kits; hand-crafted jerkys, pastas, oils, and vinegars; specially blended rubs, seasonings, and marinades - there's plenty to choose from for spicing up your own cooking or finding the perfect hostess gifts! I like to do a first round trying the free samples, then zero in on the things I liked best!

August 1st & 2nd ... Fremont Festival of the Arts... Be there!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Mammoth Lakes

Fun is the name of the game at Bluesapalooza!

Slideshow courtesy of MammothBluesBrewsFest.com

Mammoth Lakes probably puts on more festivals per capita than any other town of its size in Northern California!

But the biggest and the bestest is the Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza that's happening this weekend, July 30 - August 2, 2015

Kick it off with a special Thursday Night of Tommy Castro & The Painkillers plus ROBBEN FORD...

Finish it off at the Soulful Sunday Hangover Party and Concert...

Fill in the middle with Friday Night Rock 'n' Blues, Saturday's Grand Tasting and Bluesapalooza, beer offerings from over 70 handcrafted microbreweries, jammin' blues from 16 bands and performers...

And you're gare-awn-teed to have FUN!

Mammoth Blues and Brews Festival and Bluesapalooza
July 30 - August 2, 2015
Sam's Wood, Mammoth

Get your tickets, grab your tasting glass, and go party!

To find more Events and Festivals: July through September, October through December, and Fun Food Festivals

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August Events & Festivals: Santa Cruz

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music begins Sunday

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music; Photo Courtesy CabrilloMusic.org
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music

CabrilloMusic.org is fearless about bringing you the au courant and the extraordinaire because it's all about the new!

Mixing it up each August with both well-known outstanding composers and composers that are new and upcoming, audiences are treated to exceptional orchestra presentations led and conducted by the famed Marin Alsop and other worldwide artists. Most presentations are barely more than a year or two old, and often more recently produced that that!

Highlight events: several programs of new works, a chamber recital, open rehearsals, talks, meetups, and the Church Street Fair.

Don't miss this most excellent opportunity to see what's new on the orchestral music scene!

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
August 2 - August 16, 2015
Santa Cruz, CA

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Musicjust gets
more fresh and feisty every year!

Discover Santa Cruz, California; Discover Things To Do in Santa Cruz

Discover Santa Cruz Photos on Facebook

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

Get a great price on Santa Cruz area hotels.

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Things To Do in Northern California: Modoc

Explore Lava Beds National Monument

Skull Cave in Lava Beds National Monument;
CC Ray Bouknight
Skull Cave at Lava Beds Nat'l Monument

Hidden in the Northeast corner of Northern California is this amazing land of volcanic lava tube caves with their own micro-climates, Native American rock art, wilderness, and historic battlefields!

Experience the centuries-old culture of the Modoc tribe and their tumultuous history with the late-coming white settlers. Learn about the diverse plants and animals that call this harsh environment Home, Sweet Home. Have a moonscape wilderness experience for the day or during an overnight stay.

Explore a cave, hike a trail, photograph wildlife, climb a spatter cone, contemplate a battlefield, peer into a crater, visit rock art sites...

There's no end of things to do at Lava Beds!

For more Modoc County, see: Discover Modoc County

For more about what there is to see and do in Northern California, visit: DiscoverNorthernCalifornia.com

Continue reading "Things To Do in Northern California: Modoc"

July Events & Festivals:
Throughout Northern California

Coming up this Weekend: 5 More NorCal Events and Festivals!

Tahoe Wooden Beauties; CC Doug Jones
Tahoe Wooden Beauties; CC Doug Jones

Summer is in full swing in Northern California - proof of the pudding? The fact that there are five Northern California events and festivals to still announce for the weekend of July 24 - 26, 2015!

Annual South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic

The South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic is presented each year by the Antique & Classic Boat Society on the last weekend of July. Enthusiastically awaited and well-attended each year, this event provides a classy setting for classic wooden beauties!

When & Where:
July 24 - 25, 2015
South Lake Tahoe

Bay Area Black Expo®

In its 25th year, this is the largest African-American cultural event in Northern California. Discover and utilize educational, community, and health and wellness resources, network, and enjoy classic live musical entertainment, vendors, food booths, and stuff to entertain the kids."

When & Where:
July 25, 2015
Oakland

Benicia Waterfront Festival

The popular summer event is back with a splash! Benicia celebrates its picturesque waterfront locale with two days of music, microbrews, arts & crafts, delectable foods, and fun for the kids!

When & Where:
July 25 - 26, 2015
Benicia Waterfront

Donner Lake Triathlon

Once again the Donner Lake Triathlon is the triathlon favorite of many talented athletes. It's not hard to believe when you consider the epic setting and the challenging course. Not to mention its proximity to Truckee and North Lake Tahoe!

When & Where:
July 25 - 26, 2015
Truckee

Moss Landing Antique Street Fair

The little fishing village of Moss Landing becomes the antique capital of the world where hundreds of antique booths set up on the streets for the Moss Landing Antique Street Fair, where you'll find antique furniture and every kind of vintage item you can imagine.

When & Where:
July 26, 2015
Moss Landing

This weekend promises fun in the sun
throughout Northern California!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

July Events & Festivals: Gilroy

There's Garlic Everywhere at the Gilroy Garlic Festival!

Garlic Flame-up; Photo Courtesy gilroygarlicfestival.com
Garlic Flame-up

This weekend, you have the opportunity to join the other 3,837,796 guests who have experienced the Gilroy Garlic Festival over the last 36 years! That's an average of 116,297 visitors per year, but no worries - they're spread out over three days - July 24, 25, & 26!

Insider Secret: Go on Friday if you can - most people are still working!

Fun newer stuff: Teen Zone, featuring an Orbitron Gyroscope Ride, a Mechanical Bull, the "Titanic" Slide, and the Quad Jump - an inflatable maze and a 250-foot long Zip Line!

But you can expect the Old Regulars to show up too! Gourmet Alley and Christmas Hill Park offer garlic in just about anything you could think of to eat - including a Surf & Turf Wrap, Ice Cream, and Jelly!

Don't miss the Celebrity and Local Celebrity Chefs struttin' their garlic, the Master Chef Challenge, the Garlic Showdown, or the ever popular Gourmet Alley Pyro Chefs and the Great Garlic Cook-off!

Gilroy Garlic Fest
July 24 - 26, 2015
Gilroy

There's tons to discover at the Gilroy Garlic Fest,
but nary a vampire will you find!

To find more July, August, & September Events and Festivals: July through September

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July Events & Festivals: Pacific Grove

Over 100 Years of Tradition!

Feast of Lanterns Collage;
Collage Courtesy of feast-of-lanterns.org
Feast of Lanterns Collage

Back in 1905, the residents of Pacific Grove celebrated the end of the popular Chautauqua Assembly with a Feast of Lanterns festival - a ceremonial parade of lighted lanterns, a boat parade across the bay, and fireworks over the cove.

Visit PG this week, July 24 through the 26th, for all that and more! Feast of Lanterns has grown and evolved to include the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday; a Feast of Flavors on Thursday, Pet Parade, and Feast of Dancing on Friday; Children's Activities, Entertainment, a Sand Castle Contest, and the Pagaent Presentation of the Legend of the Blue Willow at Lovers Point on Saturday; and Sunday's Closing Ceremonies, which conclude the weekend with more entertainment.

Feast of Lanterns
July 24 - 26, 2015
Pacific Grove

Celebrating the history and culture of Pacific Grove -
100 Years at a Time!

For more about Monterey County

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