Robert Louis Stevenson called it "bottled poetry." Ben Franklin called it "proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." But in here Northern California, we just call good wine "a way of life." The region immediately surrounding San Francisco is blessed with endless rows of lush vineyards, innumerable wineries, and plenty of friendly folks ready to share their knowledge of local viticulture with visitors.
The California coast has long exerted a powerful pull for visitors in the summertime: When the weather heats up, locals and travelers alike start to dream of mornings riding Pacific waves, afternoons of lazy beachcombing, and evenings cooled by ocean breezes.
Whether you're a history buff or a political junkie, a sun-worshipper or a locavore foodie, we've got a surprise destination that's perfect for you: Sacramento. Sure, California's State Capital may not get as much attention in the guide books as its more glamorous cousins to the north and south. But Sacramento's been quietly making a name for itself for well over a century: this is one the oldest cities in the state (with the architecture to prove it), the seat of California's government, and a magnet for chefs, farmers, artists, and musicians.
It's summertime, and San Francisco's in bloom. Sure, it may not seem like it as you wander in the shadow of skyscrapers or window shop on Fillmore Street, but this is a city where trees tower and blossoms beckon. Don't believe us? Then it's time to get yourself over to Golden Gate Park, a thousand-acre oasis of greenery near the city's northernmost point.
We get it: planning a getaway is tough. Vacations get jam-packed with must-see cities and must-do check lists, and every-day life gets so busy it can be hard to remember to slow down for a few days. But sometimes we all need a little time to surround ourselves with trees instead of skyscrapers, to seclude ourselves and recharge.
Living in San Francisco, we hear it all the time: good-natured ribbing about the nearly 50 hills this city's built on; griping about the hamstrings of steel one has to develop to get around SF on foot; literal huffing and puffing at the top of Lombard or Fillmore Street. As much as the hills are an iconic part of our fair city, after a while, it can be tempting to swear off any walking route that takes you up an incline.