Posts Tagged ‘California’

Lady in Rancho Santa Fe

Mention Rancho Santa Fe to someone in San Diego and you’re bound to get a memorable reaction. “It’s where all the golf courses are,” some say. “It’s where all the rich people live,” others claim. “It’s where my favorite spa is,” my brother’s mother-in-law tells me. And it’s that last one that gets my attention. Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa is her favorite place to relax and rejuvenate, and I have a feeling it’s going to be mine, too.

Rancho Valencia Hotel in Rancho Santa Fe

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Lady in Paso Robles

There’s nothing quite like taking a road trip in California. The bright sun, the beautiful coastal scenery along the state’s iconic Highway 1, and the golden beaches make it one of the most popular routes in the world to travel. But there’s one catch. With so many wineries up and down the coast, it can be hard to stay focused on the road. That’s particularly true in Paso Robles.

Vineyards in in Paso Robles

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Lady at Hearst Castle

If you made millions as a media mogul, how would you spend your fortune? Would you buy a private jet and travel the world? Use it to live the life you’ve always wanted? Give it all to charity? If you were William Randolph Hearst, you would build a castle. Hearst Castle.

Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle

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Lady on the Sideways Wine Trail

It has been 10 years since the movie Sideways came out. That makes me feel two things: 1) really old, and 2) embarrassed that I have never retraced the steps of Miles and Jack’s wine tasting adventures in California. But now that I’m in Santa Barbara with Visit California, I have the perfect excuse to head over to the Santa Ynez Valley to follow in the footsteps of Sideways.

Wine Tasting Room in Los Olivos, California

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Lady in Santa Barbara

Despite growing up in California, I’m sometimes surprised at how little of the state I’ve actually seen. On this trip alone I have visited several new-to-me travel destinations in SoCal, and I’m excited to add another: Santa Barbara. The beautiful beaches, pretty hills, and famous wine country have beckoned for years, and now that I live 5,000 miles away, it only makes sense to visit. Yes. It does.

Flowers by the Beach in Santa Barbara, California

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Lady in Downtown Los Angeles

San Francisco and Los Angeles have always been rivals. Like Sydney and Melbourne, their geographic proximity belies their cultural competition. Having grown up in the former, I naturally side with San Francisco in the perennial debate over which city is superior. But some parts of Los Angeles challenge my belief, and downtown LA is one of them.

Eastern Building in LA, California

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Lady in Palm Springs

I am the only Californian that has never been to Palm Springs. How do I know? Every time I tell people I haven’t been, they raise their eyebrows in disbelief. “You’re from California and you’ve never been to Palm Springs?” they ask. Clearly this is because it is the most amazing place on Earth (Earth being California, obviously). To remedy this situation, I put Palm Springs at the top of my Southern California travel itinerary.

Marilyn Monroe Statue in Palm Springs, California

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Lady in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz needs no introduction. The famous city on the Pacific Ocean is known the world over for its great surfing. But my experience with Santa Cruz has always been a bit different. My family had a boat there when I was growing up, and most of my childhood weekends were spent sailing. When we weren’t on the water, we were usually at the beach, leaving a lot of Santa Cruz to be discovered.

Surfing Statue in Santa Cruz, California

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Lady in Los Carneros

When you’re in California, you have to go wine tasting. It’s not just because we have great wines here, it’s because there are wineries all up and down the state. No matter where you are, there will be some vines nearby. In the case of San Francisco, those vines are in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. The closest of them are in Los Carneros.

Fountain at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in Los Carneros

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Lady in the New San Francisco

I know San Francisco. We’re old friends, and we go so far back I can’t even remember. But ever since I moved to London, I have found the city increasingly changed. At first the alterations were gradual, but now every time I return, the city’s face looks even more different. This trip is no exception, and I find myself discovering all kinds of new restaurants and sightseeing attractions in San Francisco.

Sculpture Outside the Exploratorium in San Francisco

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