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April Event: Paradise

Gold Nugget Days: Celebrating Dogtown's 54-Pound Gold Nugget!

Dogtown Nugget Marker;
Photo by Wolf Rosenberg
Dogtown Nugget Marker

That's one heck-of-a big nugget! Most folks figure they're lucky to find a few ounces of gold flakes or dust.

And this 54-pounder was responsible for putting Dogtown (which was later renamed Magalia, and which is just up the road from Paradise) on the California Gold Rush Map!

Since 1959 (the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Dogtown Nugget), the folks of Magalia and Paradise have joined forces - via the Gold Nugget Museum - to remember that nugget and all the good-ole-days stuff that went along with it.

Come on up to Paradise April 26 and 27 to explore Tent City where miners are living and working along the West Branch of the Feather River, panning for gold.

Enjoy a fast game of cards and a glass of beer at the ole saloon (after the deputy checks your ID); take in the Dogtown Revue (Saturday); cheer for your favorite donkey in the Donkey Derby (Saturday)...

Other Eureka finds over the weekend - deep-pit BBQ, panning for gold, carnival, petting zoo, and Saturday evenin'g melodrama. There's lots to see and do during Gold Nugget Days! Don't miss the big parade on Saturday!

Go for the Gold, déjà vu all over again!

Insider Secret: Do you know how Paradise got it's name? There used to be a saloon called the Pair O' Dice. The town took its corrupted version of the name from the saloon and the rest is history - true story, or so I'm told!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Paradise"

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"

April/May Event: San Francisco

The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival...

SF International Film Festival;
Photo Courtesy of SF Film Society
SF International Film Festival

...begins April 24th and runs through May 8th - 15 days of World Cinema films, documentaries, and works by new directors, in addition to live and onstage musical presentations, and shorts - 200 features in all.

Add the glam crowd, Awards Night, and several special events with accompanying parties to the mix, and you're sure to find something to your liking!

It's been the happening Spring event in San Francisco since 1957 and it just keeps getting bigger and better every year!

Here's an Idea - Let's take in a Picture Show!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April/May Event: San Francisco"

Lake County California

Life flows from the Seasons in Lake County California - maybe more-so than any other Northern California locale. Everything centers around the cycles of life!

Continue reading "Lake County California"

Fresno County

Located in California's Great Central Valley, Fresno County offers the visitor a wide range of attractions and activities. Find out more here...

Continue reading "Fresno County"

Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County, California holds many surprises for the Northern California traveler, even for native Californians.

Continue reading "Contra Costa County"

April Events: Northern California

8 More Events for Your Friends and Family
this Weekend in Northern California

Happy Earth Day Weekend & Happy Easter Weekend;
CC Juli
Happy Earth Day & Easter Weekend

There's plenty going on out there this weekend,
so get out and have some Northern California fun!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

California Gold Rush

Has your heart ever skipped a beat at the thought of discovering gold? Then you know how the California 49ers felt! Discover the California Gold Rush...

Continue reading "California Gold Rush"

Alameda County

Much of what we think of as the East Bay resides in Alameda County. Oakland, Berkeley, Pleasanton, Livermore...

Continue reading "Alameda County"

April Event: Chico

You're invited to the 5th annual California Nut Festival
this weekend in Chico!

Almond Blossoms;
Photo Courtesy of Courtesy of UC Cooperative Extension, Butte County (cebutte.ucanr.edu)
Baby Almonds

We love to celebrate our nuts! Why? you ask. Because we have so many of them! With thousands of acres planted to almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, it seems only natural that we should have a festival for them.

And you're invited: This Saturday, April 19, head on over to the historic Patrick Ranch Museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and discover gourmet food, wine and beer sampling, nut-inspired cooking demos, live entertainment, and displays from local artists.

The festival has become a destination event for foodies and festival lovers from all over. It brings local farmers, restaurateurs, artists, musicians, Chicoans, and visitors alike together to celebrate Chico's agricultural heritage!

Celebrity Chef Demos this year are presented by Executive Chef Jay Veregge (of Ten22 in Old Sacramento), and local Chef Ashley Hosmer (from Mom's in Chico).

So join us in Chico on Saturday, April 19th, at the Patrick Ranch -

It's sure to be the Mutt's Nuts of an event!

There's lots more about Chico events, things to see & do, etc. at Chico California: Small Town Charm, Big City Diversions.

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Chico"

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"

April Event: Red Bluff

Red Bluff's Round-up Promises to be More than Just a Rodeo!

Red Bluff Round-up Calf Roping;
Photo Courtesy of Red Bluff Round-up Assn
Red Bluff Round-Up Calf Roping

The 93rd Annual Red Bluff Round-up, with its parade through downtown on Saturday, and its wild horse races that climax each day's rodeo events delivers more than just a rodeo!

The history of rodeos in Tehama County goes all the way back to the 1918 Clough Ranch Picnic, when Tehama County cattlemen gathered up to celebrate the end of the Spring Round-up with a picnic, saddle bronc and wild steer rides, bulldogging and roping contests.

Nowadays the Round-up includes a bowling tournament, foot racing, the street dance, a golf tournament... I guess it really is more than just a rodeo!

Round-up events begin April 18th with the Open Rodeo Slack Barrel Race, and end with Tough Enough to Wear Pink, and the final Wild Horse Race on April 20th, with a chock-full cowboy-good-ol'-time in between!

Git yer Cowboy/Cowgirl on, Partners!

To discover more about Tehama County, check out, When's the Last Time You Explored Tehama County?.

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Red Bluff"

Big Sur California

Take your next vacation along the Big Sur California coastline to discover dramatic beauty with a Bohemian vibe.

Continue reading "Big Sur California"

April Event: Arcata

From Shore Birds to the Snowy Owl - It's a Birder's Paradise!

Gotwit Drawing;
Courtesy of GodwitDays.com
Godwit Drawing

Godwits are long-billed, long-legged, migratory wading birds that were once popular British tablefare. While we don't eat them much here in Northern California, we do love to spot them on our birding trips!

But there's more than Godwits to the Godwit Days Bird Festival in Arcata, which runs from April 16th through the 22nd - with over 100 field trips, lectures, workshops and boat excursions to choose from, covering such diverse ecosystems as coastal redwoods, bays, marshes, and mudflats, you'll have the opportunity to see a wide range of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, vultures, hawks and falcons, owls, ground birds... the possibilities are endless!

Some of the not-to-be-missed events: the Dawn Chorus - Arcata Marsh Field Trip; the Godwit Mystery Tour; and the Stone Lagoon Kayak Bird and Wildlife Watching Tour!

Check out the link below for more detailed information about this spectacular birding festival!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Arcata"

April Event: Quincy

The Rave Review Event of Plumas County: A Taste of Plumas

Taste of Plumas Logo;
Logo Courtesy of plumasarts.org
Taste of Plumas Logo

Do you adore charming, small-town, community affairs? Then A Taste of Plumas is your cup of tea!

Drawing from Quincy, Chester, Graeagle, Lake Almanor, Portola, and more, this Sierra Nevada county is presenting the best of its best at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds in Quincy on Saturday, April 12.

The festivities include culinary samplings from local establishments, the sipping of wines and microbrew beers from around the North State, and voting for your favorites in the People's Choice Awards contest.

It's a great excuse to head up the Feather River
National Scenic Byway (SR 70) and spend a weekend in the Sierras!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Quincy"

April Event: Sebastopol

Red, White, and Blues Blossoms at the Apple Blossom Festival

Apple Blossom Fest Poster;
Courtesy of Sebastopol Area Chamber
Apple Blossom Fest Poster

Sebastopol's Apple Blossom Festival is all about the apples and the farmers who provide them!

Main Street and Ives Park are the centers of attention for Sebastopol's 68th annual Apple Blossom Festival with its spirited hometown parade and its fun-for-everyone festival.

Cheer for your favorite flowered float, feast your inner Foodie, frolic to the beat of a full line-up of Blues performers, and forage through the festival arts and crafts - whatever your pleasure, you're sure to have a very good time!

The parade starts at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and festival hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

It's lively, it's legendary, and it's a loverly great time for one and all!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Sebastopol"

California Missions

The California missions of Alta California were built as religious and military way stations to help spread Spain's influence in the New World.

Continue reading "California Missions"

April Event: Davis

UCDavis' Annual Picnic Day Reaches Century Mark!

Saturday, April 12th, marks the 100th annual Picnic Day at the University of California Davis campus. Imagine, 100 years worth of Open Houses - inviting anyone and everyone to come and see what it is that you do!

But UCDavis has every reason to be proud of its accomplishments as you'll find out by way of over 200 events taking place all over campus. Some of the highlights are The Battle of the Marching Bands, the Chemistry Magic Show, and the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Demo. But my favorite is the Doxie Derby - color-coded Dachshunds (Doxies) racing for all they're worth to find their owners!

More than 50,000 people attend UCDavis Picnic Day each year, but don't worry - there's plenty of room for everyone and hundreds of opportunities to have a good time!

So bring your own lunch or buy your eats on campus,
but come on out and have a picnic!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Davis"

Things to do in Northern California: Fishing

Known for it's outdoor activities,
Trinity County is a NorCal Fisherman's Insider Secret!

Trinity River Fishing;
(CC) Greg J. Miller
Trinity River Fishing

And the fishing is positively fabulous this time of year - for quality, quantity, and variety! You've got your Rainbows, Browns, and Brook Trout; there's Bass and Blue Gill, Catfish and Steelhead; not to even mention the Salmon!

Here are some of the best spots for fishing in Trinity County:

Lewiston Lake - A major destination for Fly-Fishing via boat, canoe, pram, and float tube. Trollers and Bait Anglers also love Lewiston Lake!

Ruth Lake - Early Spring is ideal for Trollers and Bait Anglers to get in some surface Trout fishing!

Trinity Lake - Best know for Tim Brady's 1976 record Smallmouth Bass, you'll also discover Largemouth Bass and Trout fishing!

Trinity River - You won't find better Steelhead or Salmon fishing anywhere than the Trinity River, but you'll also find a wild population of trophy Brown Trout!

Trinity County's spectacular any time of year, and so's the fishing!

Click here to learn more about Trinity County Attractions.

To discover April, May, & June Events and Festivals in Northern California: April through June

Continue reading "Things to do in Northern California: Fishing"

April Event: Fairfield

Are you looking for an unusual way to celebrate Easter?

Jelly Belly Art;
(CC) b0jangles
Jelly Belly Art

Try Brunch with Mr. Jelly Belly and the Easter Bunnies on Saturday, April 19th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am in the Grand Bean Room!

You'll join Mr. Jelly Belly, plus Wendell and Wendy Bunny, and Kelly the Clown for a special private brunch with entertainment and Easter Treats at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Fairfield, California!

Tickets are $19.99 for adults and children three and over; children two and under are free.

While you're there, take a guided factory tour
to see how Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are made!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Fairfield"

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"

April Event: Gualala

Gualala's Whale and Jazz Festival Rocks

Gualala, California;
CC Raymond Yee
Gualala, California

I'm not really sure what whales and jazz have to do with one another in terms of coming together in a festival, but this is one heck of an excuse to spend quality time at one of my favorite places - the Mendocino Coast.

Gualala (pronounced wa-LA-la by the natives) is one of those little, unincorporated communities that spring up serendipitously for no other reason than that someone liked the spot, decided to stick around, and others soon followed suit. If you're looking out to sea, watching for whales as you drive along Highway 1, you might just miss the town.

So make sure you're on the lookout - you really don't want to miss out on Gualala!

The festival runs March through May and it's chock full of whales and jazzy things to do - 17 events in all - truly something for everyone!

And, of course, whale watching opportunities abound as the Gray Whale cows escort their little ones north for the summer!

Continue reading "April Event: Gualala"

April Event: Manteca

Manteca Celebrates its 18th Annual Manteca Crossroads Street Fair this weekend!

Manteca Crossroads Logo;
Logo Courtesy of VisitManteca.org
Manteca Crossroads Street Fair Logo

Manteca's Crossroads Fair this weekend, April 5 & 6, honors Manteca's roll as the meeting place for several major highways with its first big outdoor gathering of spring.

The Crossroads Fair is a Fun Faire Carnival with music, food, arts, crafts, rides, games, and more. If you haven't been by Manteca since the days of the Spreckles Sugar Factory (which is no longer, alas), it's time to take another look!

Another FREE event this weekend!

To find more April, May & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Manteca"

April Event: Pacific Grove

Welcome to Pacific Grove's Good Old Days Celebration!

Pacific Grove Good Old Days Poster;
Poster Courtesy of PacificGrove.org
Pacific Grove Good Old Days Poster

Pacific Grove is hosting the 57th Annual Good Old Days Street Festival and Fair this Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6, in downtown Pacific Grove.

5 stages, 70 bands and shows, 220 arts and crafts booths, 35 food vendors, PG Rotary Parade, carnival rides, petting zoo, pony rides, beer and wine garden...

I'd say their claim that it's "the largest event of its kind in Monterey County" holds a gold nugget of truth!

Best of all - it's FREE!

To see photos from a trip we made to this home-towny little coastal town in Monterey County, check out our Facebook album.

To find more April, May & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Pacific Grove"

April Event: Jamestown

Grand Opening Festivities at Railtown 1897 this Weekend!

Pullman coach at Railtown 1897;
CC Paul Sullivan
Pullman coach at Railtown 1897

And it looks like the weather will be lovely for the first weekend of the season, April 5th and 6th, aboard the vintage trains at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown!

Enjoy steam-powered excursion train rides behind the Movie Star Locomotive and along the rails of the Movie Railroad. (Railtown 1897 SHP has been participating in the making of hundreds of films and television programs since 1919, and that participation continues to this day.)

The Early Bird program allows visitors to watch as the Roundhouse crew lights the fire to prepare the locomotive for the day - it starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 5. The Great Mother Lode Brass and Reed Band performs starting at 10 a.m., and behind-the-scenes tours start up in the afternoon.

It's all aboard for a railway trip trough the tunnels of time!

To find more April, May & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Jamestown"

April Event: Clearlake Oaks

April means Wildflowers in Lake County!

Eleven Roses Ranch Mule Wagon;
Photo Courtesy of Eleven Roses Ranch
Eleven Roses Ranch Mule Wagon

Take a daytrip to Eleven Roses Ranch in the Spring to visit this family-owned and historic cattle and hay ranch while enjoying Lake County's bounteous Spring Wildflower display!

You'll enjoy local Lake County wines and hors d'oeuvres, while Anne Garner shares stories of her family history and heritage, the ranch they settled in 1883, and the country life she's built in the midst of it all.

Then climb aboard the wagon drawn by Anne's very special mule team of Belle and Blue for an open-air tour through the Wildflowers that's narrated by Anne with tales of local legend and lore.

It's a beautiful way to celebrate Spring in Lake County!

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Clearlake Oaks"

April Event: Old Sacramento

Discover the Facts Behind the Legends of Sacramento's Underground

Old Sacramento Underground Tour;
CC Tess Shebaylo
Old Sacramento Underground Tour

Old Sac Underground Tours are resuming on Saturday, April 5th - Sacramento is the only city in California that raised its streets to protect itself from flooding when the Sacramento River repeatedly outgrew its banks during the rainy seasons of the 1800s.

Imagine the devastation of having your home or business flooded year after year as the Sacramento River jumped its banks and became more of a lake than a river.

This is why Sacramentans in the 1860s took on the horrendous project of raising the street level of the entire town between 10 and 14 feet.

For almost 100 years, the underground first floors and tunnels created by the landfill project were lost and forgotten - with only rumors and urban myths alluding to their existence.

But having been fairly recently rediscovered, Old Sacramento's best-kept secret is revealed and open for touring. Take an hour-long guided walk through the tunnels beneath today's street level and learn about the facts behind the legends.

And, if you feel a prickliness along your spine and the hairs on your neck tingle and jump, don't be alarmed.
It's probably just a resident ghost from days gone by.

For more about Old Sacramento, visit Discover Old Sacramento.

To find more April, May & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Old Sacramento"

April Event: Suisun City

Wildflowers, California History, and Interurban Trains
Join Forces this Weekend

Suisun City Wildflower Train;
Photo Courtesy of Western Railroad Museum
Suisun City Wildflower Train

It's gloriously Spring in Northern California and we've discovered a wonderful way to celebrate both the Springtime and some of Northern California's unique history.

Municipal streetcars and interurban electric trains played very important roles in the development of Northern California.

The Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railway, which opened on September 3, 1913 as a high-speed electric interurban railway between San Francisco and Sacramento, was one of the most important.

Visit the Western Railway Museum in Suisun City during the month of April to relive those days of the interurban railroad with a ride on the Scenic Limited - a special wildflower tour along the old Sacramento Northern Railway line.

You'll be treated to a comfortable hour's ride on one of Northern California's interurban railroad cars through some of the Suisun/Sacramento Delta region's most beautiful countryside, along much the same route Californians of the early 1900s took when they traveled from one city to another.

Recently added are the Vintage Comet Wine Tasting Trains - same comfortable and historic ride, same beautifully iconic Northern California wildflowers - but with the addition of wine tasting and a souvenir wine glass!

And museum docents will be on hand to help you identify the ever-changing landscape of Spring wildflowers: poppies, goldfields, brass buttons, vetch, sheep's sorrel...

The museum is open Wednesday, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

It's the perfect time of year to experience these historic trains
if you enjoy a little wildflowers with your Wild Wild West!

To find more April, May & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "April Event: Suisun City"

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"

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"

March Events: Northern California

6 Unusual Things To Do in Northern California
This Weekend, March 29-30

Three Rivers Bathtub Race;
Photo Courtesy of Three Rivers Bed and Breakfast
Three Rivers Bathtub Race

Sidewalk Fine Arts in Belmont: Sidewalk Fine Arts Festival, Carlmont Village Shopping Center, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Showing off Horses in Chowchilla: Chowchilla Fair Horse Show, Chowchilla Fairgrounds, Saturday Only, 8 a.m.

Bull Riders at the Casino in Fresno: Table Mountain Casino Invitational PBR - Professional Bull Riders, Table Mountain Casino, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. on Friday, 6:50 p.m. on Saturday

The Wild, Wild West in Sacramento: Crossroads of the West Gun Show, Cal Expo, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday

Wine Country Brews in Santa Rosa: Battle of the Brews, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Saturday Only, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Racing Bathtubs in Three Rivers: Family Picnic and Bathtub Race, Lake Kaweah, Saturday Only, 11 a.m.

Welcome to Northern California's Life through the Looking Glass

For more Northern California events and festivals, take a peek at
January through March, and April through June

March Event: Sacramento

One last March Event before we move on to April!

-
Old Sacramento;
Rendering courtesy of Historic Old Sacramento Foundation
Old Sacramento

Saturday, March 29th is Women's History Day in Old Sac! Find out what the women and men who emigrated to California were feeling and thinking via their own journals and diaries as read by the folks from the Old Sacramento Living History Program. And be sure to visit the California Gallery to see some of their belongings that traveled overland with them!

It's California History at its finest!

To learn more about Old Sacramento, visit Discover Old Sacramento; and for more about the city of Sacramento, Discover Sacramento California.

To find more January, February, & March Events and Festivals: January through March; For April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "March Event: Sacramento"

March Event: Benicia

Benicia's Annual Great Bowls of Chili Fires Up on Saturday!

Bowl of Chilis;
CC Robert Engberg
Bowl of Chilis

The Great Bowls of Chili Challenge is coming to Benicia's Main Street this Saturday, March 22, from Noon to 4 p.m.

Individuals, organizations, and businesses compete to make - not only the fieriest - but also the best tasting chili in the world (or at least in Benicia)!

This contest is so fiery that they might even run out of water! But come on out and YOU be the judge...

If you like spicy, head for Main Street Benicia on Saturday!

To find more January, February, & March Events and Festivals: January through March

Continue reading "March Event: Benicia"

March Event: Eureka

Proclaimed by its promoters...
The Best Small Town Festival in the West...

Gator Nation (formerly Gator Beat);
Photo Courtesy of gatornationband.com
Gator Nation (formerly Gator Beat)

...the Redwood Coast Jazz Festival is celebrating its 24th anniversary and promises to bring you four days of Dixieland, Jazz, Swing, Calypso, and Zydeco music at its finest.

Bob Draga, Blue Street Jazz Band, and Gator Nation are headlining the festival. Performances will be presented on five stages throughout the Eureka area, and you'll have the opportunity to choose from over 90 performances between March 27th and the 30th.

And the Emerald Coast Lindy Exchange runs concurrent with the Jazz Festival, featuring Stompy Jones - they have their own Friday and Saturday late night dance venues to add to the fun!

The Redwood Coast Jazz Festival and the Emerald Coast Lindy Exchange are a great excuse to visit this port city (the only port of any size on the Northern California coast north of San Francisco). And while you're there, be sure to explore Old Town Eureka with its Victorian architecture, picturesque marina, and unique shops, galleries, and restaurants.

Dust off your dancing shoes - it's finger pop, poppin' time!

Learn more about the Eureka area with a look at Discover Humboldt County.

To find more January, February, & March Events and Festivals: January through March

Continue reading "March Event: Eureka"

Humboldt County

On the coast, and just south of Del Norte County, discover rough and ready Humboldt County with its mighty rivers, redwood forests, and Lost Coast.

Continue reading "Humboldt County"

March Event: San Francisco

When's the last time you celebrated Italian Father's Day? Never, you say?

Italian Veal Meatballs
CC Alpha
Italina Veal Meatballs

Well, Palio d'Asti is celebrating Italian Father's Day today and all week long. If you're anywhere near the Bay Area and you love Italian food, here's your chance to check out the best!

Italian Father's Day, also known as St. Joseph’s Feast, is served family style with six antipasti, three risotti, five secondi piatti, and Papa DiGrande's favorite cannoli.

Remember: At the table with good friends and family,
you do not become old!
Old Italian Folk Saying

For more about San Francisco, visit Discover San Francisco, and San Francisco Neighborhoods. To see photos of San Francisco, check out our Facebook Albums.

To find more January, February, & March Events and Festivals: January through March

Continue reading "March Event: San Francisco"

Things to do in Northern California: Fort Bragg

Spring has Sprung in Mendocino County!

Botanical Gardens Rhododendron;
Photo Courtesy of Scott Chalmers
Botanical Gardens Rhododendron

Spring is the perfect time to visit one of the most beautiful attractions along the Northern California coastline: the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens just outside of Fort Bragg, California!

You’ll find colorful displays during every season of the year, with manicured formal gardens; a coastal pine forest; native plants, animals, and birds; and flower-filled coastal bluffs overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean.

But Spring is special for that's when you'll discover the early rhododendrons, camellias, daffodils, magnolias, cherries, and Pacific Coast iris in bloom. The gardens are awash with pinks, lavenders, magentas, whites, yellows and oranges as these lovely plants and flowers come into their own.

Stroll through these gardens on your own
or join a free guided Rhododendron Walk!

For photos of Fort Bragg and more, visit our Facebook Photo Albums.

For more about the Fort Bragg area, visit our Discover Mendocino pages.

Del Norte County

Sitting in the farthest northwest corner of California, Del Norte County is home to temperate rain forests filled with giant redwoods, and rivers that run wild and untamed.

Continue reading "Del Norte County"

Calaveras County

Calaveras County is deep in the heart of California's Gold Country, but it's also known for wine making, water sports, winter activities ... come along and find out more!

Continue reading "Calaveras County"

California Central Valley

Snuggled between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Coastal Range, the California Central Valley is a place of agriculture, california history, and now - california wines as well!

Continue reading "California Central Valley"

March Event: Sacramento

Sacramento Food Film Festival showcases
food themed documentaries and dramas

Sac Food Film Fest Banner;
Banner Courtesy of SacFoodFilmFest.com
Sac Food Film Fest Banner

Only in its third year, the Sacramento Food Film Festival has grown to 10 days worth of events, from March 20th to March 30th, with a full schedule of events and happenings.

From the Food Film Fest Premiere at Ten22 on Thursday, March 20th - complete with appetizers and swag bag - through Sunday, March 30th's documentary on sea urchin harvesting at Sunh Fish - complete with Sushi and Uni tasting - this exciting event has something for the food lover in all of us!

All of the proceeds from the festival are donated to the
California Food Literacy Center.

For more about Sacramento, visit Discover Sacramento. To see photos, check out our Facebook albums, Facebook albums.

Continue reading "March Event: Sacramento"

Things to do in Northern California: Lake Tahoe

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? Did we mention they also have Miniature Golf?

To find more adventures around Lake Tahoe, 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: Lake Tahoe"

Things to do in Northern California: Sutter County

Hike through the world's smallest mountain range
to see wildflowers, wildlife, and more

Sutter Buttes Hikers;
Photo Courtesy of MiddleMountain.org
Sutter Buttes Hikers

As the saying goes, I've got good news and bad news about Sutter Buttes. The Bad News is that almost every inch of Sutter Buttes is privately owned.

Originally a sacred spiritual site for the Maidu Native Americans, and the center of their Creation Story, and then part of John Bidwell’s land grant, the Buttes were homesteaded in the early days of European settlers to avoid valley flooding. The land has been used for small farms, cattle and sheep ranches, coal mining, rock quarries, and – in the 1950s – for a Titan missile base.

Today, the Buttes are pretty much off-limits to the public, unless . . .

The Good News is that the Sutter Buttes Land Trust (formerly Middle Mountain Foundation), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the land, is able to offer interpretive guided hikes to the public from Fall through Spring each year. March and April are perfect times to sign up for the Wildflower Study hike, Ridge Trek, Native Ways hike, or Wild Nature in Buttes hike. Each hike has its own emphasis, but all are interesting and informative, and all share the story of the human and natural history of the area.

Plan on about a 7 hour day during which you will experience the unique ambiance of this special place with its golden eagles and gnarled oaks, its ringtails and chaparral, its Native American legends and its geologic history.

What can you plan on not doing? You’ll not be visiting California’s newest State Park! Quietly acquired in 2003 – a long-time dream-come-true for the State Park System – the informally named Sutter Buttes State Park in Peace Valley cannot be opened to the public because it is completely surrounded by private land. The State has been unable to negotiate public access to the park, so it remains a truly hidden jewel.

I don't usually pontificate on politics, but that’s an Insider Secret I’d rather not have to share with you - the state of California needs to work this out so we have access to our state park!

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

Continue reading "Things to do in Northern California: Sutter County"

Things to do in Northern California: Clearlake Oaks

Spring means wallowing in wildflowers in Lake County!

Eleven Roses Ranch Mule Wagon;
Photo Courtesy of Eleven Roses Ranch
Eleven Roses Ranch Mule Wagon

Take a daytrip to Eleven Roses Ranch in the Spring to visit this family-owned and historic cattle and hay ranch while enjoying Lake County's bounteous Spring wildflower display!

You'll enjoy local Lake County wines and hors d'oeuvres, while Anne Garner shares stories of her family history and heritage, the ranch they settled in 1883, and the country life she's built in the midst of it all.

Then climb aboard the wagon drawn by Anne's very special mule team of Belle and Blue for an open-air tour through the wildflowers that's narrated by Anne with tales of local legend and lore.

It's a beautiful way to celebrate Spring in Lake County!

To learn more about Lake County's hidden gems, visit Discover Lake County.

To find more April, May, & June Events and Festivals: April through June

Continue reading "Things to do in Northern California: Clearlake Oaks"

March Event: Santa Cruz

Wednesday Night Sailboat Races begin tonight,
March 12, at Santa Cruz Harbor

Sailboats lined up on the beach;
Photo Courtesy of SantaCruzHarbor.org
Sailboats line up on the beach

As soon as Daylight Savings begins, so do local sailors gather along the beach of Santa Cruz Harbor for the Wednesday Night Sailboat Races, a time for friendly fun and competition on the water.

Watch the kaleidoscopic spectacle as it plays out against the setting sun from a blanket on the beach or from one of the wonderful harbor restaurants. It's a fun night out for the entire family.

Colorful sails, awesome sunsets, Santa Cruz Harbor every Wednesday night into October - life doesn't get much better than that!

For more about Santa Cruz, visit our Santa Cruz page.

To find more January, February, & March Events and Festivals: January through March

Continue reading "March Event: Santa Cruz"

March Event: San Francisco

Visit San Francisco Saturday, March 15,
for the 8th annual Chocolate Salon

Chocolate Box
Chocolate Box

Now that's what I call a box of chocolates! I'm not saying you'll find one of those at the 8th Annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon, but I'm not saying you won't, either...

But you will definitely find a world of premium chocolate in all flavors, shapes, and sizes! In fact, you'll find 55,000 square feet of chocolate, wine, and confections along with chocolate tasting, demos, celebrity chefs and authors, wine pairings, chocolate art, games, and book signings.

You'll feel like you've died and gone to Chocolate Heaven
at San Francisco's Chocolate Salon!

For more about San Francisco, visit San Francisco Attractions. To see photos of some of our favorite spots around The City, check out our, Facebook albums.

To find more January, February, & March Events and Festivals: January through March

Continue reading "March Event: San Francisco"

March Event: Yountville

You know how I love a good Taste of... Event!

Taste of Yountville Event;
Photo Courtesy of Napa Valley Mustard Festival
Taste of Yountville Event

They're like giant block parties! And this is one of the finest in all of Northern California! The charming village of Yountville is filled with and surrounded by world-class restaurants and gourmet chefs, nearly all of whom will be bestowing their talents for fine foods and wines upon us as we visit during the Taste of Yountville on Saturday, March 24th.

Wind your way through the billowing white tents along Washington Street, V Marketplace, and Washington Square to sample Thomas Keller's Bouchon, Mustard's Grill, Bistro Jeanty, and many more of the area's finest; take a tour of the French Laundry's two-acre kitchen garden; sample wines from the Yountville appellation, and enjoy the arts and crafts exhibits and the live entertainment scattered throughout the town.

What better way to spend a beautiful Spring day
than among the fruits and labors of the Napa Valley!

For more about the Napa area, visit Napa County, and Napa Attractions. For our photos, take a look at Napa County Photos.

To find more January, February, & March Events and Festivals: January through March

Continue reading "March Event: Yountville"

Things To Do in Northern California: Central Valley

5 things to do in California's Central Valley
that you probably don't know about

Insider Secrets from California's Great Central Valley

1933 Lincoln KB 4 Door Sedan
at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento;
CC Jack Snell
California Automobile Museum in Sacramento

Sacramento

Sometimes called the best kept secret in Sacramento, the California Automobile Museum displays an historic time line of classic automobiles in prime condition from the early 1900s to current times. Wear comfortable shoes and plan to spend the day!

Stockton

With over 90 larger than life and colorful statues celebrating the story of Cambodia's Buddha, the Stockton Cambodian Buddhist Temple welcomes visitors daily and admission is free. Featured on Huell Howser's Road Trip in 2007, the temple is located at 3732 Carpenter Road.

Modesto

Relatively new to the community, the Gallo Center for the Arts opened in the Fall of 2007 to provide a venue for outstanding regional, national, and international cultural activities. Named for and endowed by the Gallo family, it's a Central Valley gem.

Merced

Featuring antique engines, farm equipment, washing machines, old-fashioned toys, and even a chuck wagon, the Merced Agricultural Museum offers an eclectic and fascinating look at the agricultural history of the Central Valley. It's located at 4498 E. Highway 140, about 10 minutes outside Merced.

Fresno

Dug out by hand over a 40 year period, the Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno contains underground rooms, fruit trees, courtyards, and gardens. Actually the home of Sicilian emigrant, Baldassare Forestiere, it's a fascinating tribute to what one man with vision can do.

Continue reading "Things To Do in Northern California: Central Valley"

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

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, CA 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!

Continue reading "Things to do in Northern California: San Jose"


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