Tag archives for California

The next time you’re traveling through Southern California, think about making one of these fab mid-century modern pads your home base.

Beyond Farm to Table in Carmel

A pregnant doe munched on lavender bushes as I rolled into Carmel Valley Ranch, a 500-acre property in the heart of California’s central coast. After checking into one of the modish earth-toned guest suites and walking through a pool area where families sat around a fire roasting marshmallows, I felt completely transported back to my days at summer camp.

Scent-sual Escapism in Ojai

It’s always a relief to make it through Los Angeles when you’re en route from San Diego. But just a few miles farther down the road in a little town called Ojai, I had even more reason to exhale deeply.

Our Curious Traveler, Shannon Switzer, is taking a trip down the Road to Wellness to uncover off-the-beaten-path places and experiences that rejuvenate mind, body, and spirit. The adventure begins this Monday, April 8th. Follow Shannon’s journey on Twitter @CuriousTraveler and on Instagram @ShannonSwitzer.

Wine Road Wonderland: Day 3

I’ve done my fair share of wine tasting, but I’m a far cry from a sommelier. Lucky for me, I was about to learn a lot, including fun new terms like sur lie, cordon pruning, and cork hopping. I would also learn that Sonoma is the land of owl boxes, enigmatic dog ambassadors, and fun-loving people who work hard while making it look easy.

Day 3: Dry Creek Valley….

Wine Road Wonderland: Day 2

I’ve done my fair share of wine tasting, but I’m a far cry from a sommelier. Lucky for me, I was about to learn a lot, including fun new terms like sur lie, cordon pruning, and cork hopping. I would also learn that Sonoma is the land of owl boxes, enigmatic dog ambassadors, and fun-loving people who work hard while making it look easy.

Day 2: Alexander River Valley….

Wine Road Wonderland

I’ve done my fair share of wine tasting, but I’m a far cry from a sommelier. Lucky for me, I was about to learn a lot, including fun new terms like sur lie, cordon pruning, and cork hopping. I would also learn that Sonoma is the land of owl boxes, enigmatic dog ambassadors, and fun-loving people who work hard while making it look easy.

Day 1: Russian River Valley….

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in April.

James Conaway’s long love affair with wine began with a column at the Washington Post and inspired him to pen two non-fiction books on the subject — but he eventually came to realize that fiction has advantages over journalism when dealing with “a subculture as broad as the Earth and as deep as history itself.”

The Forgotten Zoo

Towards the end of my Curious Traveler road trip last summer, I promised myself I’d spend more time exploring my own backyard. So when I learned that my friend had been hired as a bird keeper at the L.A. Zoo, I jumped at the chance to hit her up for a behind-the-scenes tour.

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in March…

Less than three percent. That’s the portion of the world’s oceans now set aside for conservation — a small safety net that ecologists are working to increase. Joining a wave of new marine reserves, Australia recently designated 382,000 square miles in the Coral Sea to preserve an area of fish-haloed seamounts, turtle nesting areas, and…

Urban Insider Annie Fitzsimmons lets the cat out of the bag about what makes San Francisco magical at this time of year.

Tinseltown with the Kids

Here they are: ten kid-friendly things you can do in Hollywood.

Travels on the Run: San Francisco Bay

For National Geographic Books Senior Editor Barbara A. Noe, going on a run is the best way to get oriented in a new city, and a great way to take in the sights. So lace up your sneaks and read on to get Barbara’s tips on where to run in some of the world’s greatest places — and what to see along the way.

The Radar: The top travel news, stories, trends, and ideas from across the web. Got Radar? Follow us on Twitter @NatGeoTraveler and tag your favorite travel stories from the Web #ngtradar. Check back on the blog for our roundups. Photograph by David Mulder, Flickr.

Wine schmine. The new Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail winds about a hundred miles through the redwood canyons, pastures, and oak-covered hills of Marin and Sonoma counties, linking more than two dozen artisans who make distinctive cheeses using local milk from grass-fed cows, sheep, and goats.

As you know, Shannon Switzer, otherwise known as the Curious Traveler, just returned from an epic road trip around the American West. Though she’s happy to be back in her hometown of San Diego, she aims to keep her curiosity goggles on now that she’s back in familiar territory. Now, without further ado, these are a few of her favorite things.

I was being that person — a creeper. I usually avoid being that person, especially when it comes to celebrities. Yet here I was walking around with my purple camera snapping furtive pictures of people’s homes. But the houses I was hunting didn’t belong to Britney Spears or Brad Pitt, and I wasn’t high in the Hollywood Hills. I was in the California desert searching for low-profile bungalows once owned by some of Old Hollywood’s biggest icons.

Fort Bragg: A Glass Act

Most coastal towns try to keep glass OFF their beaches. But not Fort Bragg. They’re fighting to keep theirs full of the stuff.

The Secret Garden in Bolinas

I was already twenty miles past it when I realized I’d missed the turn. The citizens of Bolinas had done it again. To be fair, I had been warned. A friend told me that the people who lived in the tiny unincorporated community were notorious for cutting down the highway sign that points “outsiders” towards their hamlet. Yet for some foolish reason I had looked for it anyway.

Photo Gallery: Very Venice Beach

There are few places that sum up L.A. quite like an area called “Venice.”

And this one isn’t sinking — it’s kept afloat by all manner of West Coast Weird.

The Lettuce of Wrath

Salinas is Monterey’s overlooked stepsister — the workhorse that produces $3.8 billion of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and strawberries each year, earning it the nickname “The Salad Bowl Capital of the World.” But the town has had its fair share of fans, too. Most notably, John Steinbeck. He’s one of my favorite American authors, so I just had to zag inland for a side trip. And when I got to Main Street, I could understand why he had so much love for his hometown.

The New Napa?

When I knew I’d be passing through Monterey County, I thought Cannery Row, not wine. What I discovered was a “wine sleeper.” A grape-growing hotspot waiting for its time in the sun…

Follow Shannon’s adventures on Twitter @CuriousTraveler and on Instagram @ShannonSwitzer.

At the world-famous aquarium in Monterey (where Curious Traveler Shannon Switzer is passing through right about now), jellyfish are the star attractions. Varieties you never imagined existed float silently in tanks flooded in blue light. It’s spectacular. In Atlanta’s aquarium, it’s the whale sharks. You never expected to see these enormous creatures outside a TV documentary, yet there they are in front of you. And they’re amazing. Which one’s better? Or is there a better one out there? Tell us your opinion by leaving a comment!