It’s pouring rain in Washington, DC. I had planned a day of sightseeing around the monuments and memorials, but nature has different ideas. And that’s okay, because there’s plenty to do indoors here, and with more than one day in town I can hope for better weather tomorrow. So I take out my umbrella and begin my 48 hours in Washington, DC.
Just when I think California has the most scenic coastline in the world, I cross the border into Oregon. Suddenly I find myself immersed in mist and surrounded by wildflowers, and I feel like I’m in a dream. This state certainly rivals mine in beauty. My Oregon road trip is taking me up the coast and inland, and there’s more loveliness to come…
The California coast is breathtaking. I’ve been driving it all my life and I still can’t get over how beautiful the beaches and boulders are. Today I’m especially in awe because I’m heading up the Pacific Coast Highway to Mendocino County, one of the highlights of the state. My Mendocino road trip is part of an epic drive to Seattle, and there are three places I have to stop before I continue north.
Hiking is in my blood. My home town in Northern California has more trails than roads, and I spent my childhood roaming the golden hills. But if there’s one place I enjoy hiking more than home, it’s Yosemite National Park. Famed for its dramatic natural scenery, it’s one of the best places in the world to get outdoors. Given this year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service, I’ve traveled out to take on the best hikes in Yosemite.
People always ask me for San Francisco travel tips. Having lived there for years, I love sharing recommendations for my favorite off-the-tourist-trail neighborhoods, sights, and restaurants. Now that I’m in town again, I’m excited to share my guide to 24 hours in San Francisco. Forget the visitor attractions. This is how locals do the city.
Can expats ever know a city as well as natives? I was asked that as part of a panel discussion at London’s World Travel Market last week, and I felt a bit of pressure to justify my answer in front of 200 people. Thankfully I had just been to San Francisco, where as a native I realized I had done fewer of the must-do things in my city than many American transplants, expats, and even visitors. While there, I got to experience 5 unmissable highlights of San Francisco for the first time.
Every time I travel to Sonoma County I wonder why I haven’t moved here yet. The rolling hills, miles of vineyards, and pretty town squares draw me in, and the warm California sunshine begs me to stay. With each successive visit, I discover more about this region that makes me love it, and now that I have 48 hours in Sonoma County, I find more to tempt me.
I’ll never forget my first solo trip. I was eight years old and I flew to Seattle to visit relatives. I felt so grown up, and was beyond excited to visit the Space Needle, the most amazing thing I had ever heard of (hey, I was eight). But said needle was also the place I discovered my fear of heights. Which is why I’m standing at the top right now, determined to overcome my phobia.