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Alex L
Created byAlex L
I've been a travel writer and journalist since 1998, and...

California Coast

Featured Guide
I've spent over 30 years living on the California coast, from Palos Verdes to San Francisco to Arcata. Here's where I would go if I had a week to drive the length of California's beaches and cliffs.
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Carmel

There is a little something for everyone in Carmel. Gorgeous windswept California beaches? Check. Art galleries filled with well-known and up-and-coming artists and sculptors? Yep. Add to that great restaurants, sumptuous hotels and a one-of-a-kind outdoor theater in town, multiplied by Big...

San Luis Obispo

A college-town through and through, SLO is just that: slow, relaxed, fun. Almost exactly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on Highway 101, SLO is a good stop for lunch or to stay the night. A pedestrianized downtown with a California Mission and walking trail along the small river is now...

Ferndale

If you've ever seen films like Outbreak or The Majestic, you'd recognize Ferndale. The only reason it isn't overrun by millions of tourists is because it's a five-hour drive to San Francisco, so those looking for a weekend village head to Carmel or Monterey instead. But if you like Victorian...

Arcata

There is no better way to describe why I love this town to pieces than to say this: At the weekly farmers market, there is a woman who sells organic angora hats made from thread she makes from her angora bunnies she brings to the market (I call my hat from her my 'bunny butt' hat). Plus, every restaurant in...

Redwood National and State Parks

The trees here are big, tallest-trees-in-the-world big. George Lucas shot the Endor scenes from Return of the Jedi here. Julia Butterfly Hill camped out for over a year in a redwood not far away. Plus, the scenery along the entire North Coast (the redwoods start about 4 1/2 hours north of San...

Post Ranch Inn Big Sur

What can be said about hospitality perfection? No, it's not cheap, but this is special event/trip of a lifetime fodder. Here's one hint as to how perfect their customer care is: on the walking trails throughout the expansive grounds, you'll find coolers filled with fresh bottles of cold water. I...

Big Sur

There's this weird blip in the space-time continuum in the air around Big Sur. Stress can't exist here. Maybe it's the grand California condors flying overhead that whisk it away. I personally think all of the fresh air from the trees and wildflowers probably have something to do with it. People come...

Costanoa Coastal Lodge & Camp

I love hiking, being outdoors, bonfires, nature, s'mores, and everything connected to camping. Except sleeping on the ground. Seriously, that hurts. Which is why I love Costanoa. You can stay in 'luxury' canvas tents under all the elements, but sleeping on a comfy queen-size bed that's...