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A Traveler's Guide to Thanksgiving in Northern California

We've all heard that there's no place like home for the holidays. But at HI USA, we believe there's a hidden meaning behind the old adage: sometimes, spending the holidays far from your comfort zone can be a great thing! Just ask any traveler who's ever shared a holiday meal with a group of new friends, or anyone who's unwittingly arrived in a foreign country at the start of an exotic holiday season. 

10 Ways to Eat Farm-to-Fork for $10 in Sacramento

Sacramento and agriculture are inextricably linked: each year, the region churns out a huge percentage of the produce consumed in California and the rest of the country. Its dedication to – and skill at – feeding the country has even earned Sacramento the nickname "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital."

In fact, eating local has become such a big deal in Sacramento that indulgence in the city's foodie scene is just as important a visitor experience for as a tour of the Capitol or a stroll around Sutter's Fort.

101 Ways to Recreate in the Marin Headlands - Part III

The year 2016 will mark the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service (NPS), and though we're still a couple years away from the centennial our friends at the NPS are already excited! As a lead-up to the organization's big birthday, our friends from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) have put together a list of 101 Ways to Recreate in the Golden Gate. And we liked their list so much, we decided to put together our own!

Where to Get a Shot of Coffee Culture in Northern California

A caffeine fix, a break from the go-go-go lifestyle of backpacking, a ringside look at the local culture – there are so many reasons we love stopping into neighborhood cafés wherever our travels take us. And here in Northern California, there are endless ways to make a run-of-the-mill refueling stop into a one-of-a-kind experience: from no-frills cups of Joe at corner mainstays, to sweet concoctions in exotic neighborhoods, to artful pours of espresso at high-class hideaways, here a few of our favorites spots for coffee and culture.

Near Sacramento, it's Autumn on Apple Hill

It's mid-October, but it still feels like summer in Sacramento. This shouldn't, perhaps, be too much of a surprise: about 80% of days around California's state capital are sunny, often in defiance of the season. But I've come here today to do something specifically, traditionally, quintessentially autumnal, and so it's taking me a while to wrap my head around the heat: who dresses for a day of apple-picking, pie-tasting, cider sipping, and pumpkin patching wearing shorts and a T-shirt and SPF 50?

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