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Road Trips / Highway 1 / California Travel / San Luis Obispo Travel / Los Angeles Travel / San Francisco Travel / San Diego Travel / → All Tags
We all know that Highway 1 runs nearly the entire coast of California, from Mexico up through San Francisco to the Oregon border. Most people drive it in a day or two from San Diego or Los Angeles up to the Bay Area, with many itineraries including stops in Santa Barbara, Carmel, and Monterrey. Sprinkled between these well-known tourist towns is what this writer considers to be one of the best kept secrets in the country, the rural Central Coast of California.
San Luis Obispo has made headlines in recent years for its happy citizens, and San Simeon draws its fair share of attention thanks to Hearst Castle. Still, the Central Coast is largely bypassed and just a drive-through for out-of-state and international travelers in favor of the bright lights and beaches of Los Angeles and the beautiful bay of San Francisco. As a former resident of Santa Barbara, I had the pleasure of exploring this area in all its untouched glory, where the sea, mountains, and vines of wine country all come together along the coast.
Travel Alerts / Tourism Problems / Los Angeles Travel / San Francisco Travel / Hollywood Sign / Lombard Street / → All Tags
Remember when SF decided to close one of its most infamous tourist attractions, the crooked Lombard Street, on certain weekends due to complaints by locals? Well, its rival city in the south, Los Angeles, is now experiencing similar problems with one of its landmarks, the Hollywood Sign.
According to the LA Times, an impromptu task force consisting of eight police officers has formed in response to "growing complaints from residents who say their neighborhoods are being overrun by tourist vans and rental cars drawn to the sign." Problems include double parking and congestion that has resulted in both physical damage and logistical frustration.
Travel Alerts / San Francisco Travel / Lombard Street / California Travel / Tourism / Travel News / → All Tags
Bad news for those with plans to visit San Francisco this summer: The city announced yesterday that it will close Lombard Street, perhaps the most famous crooked road in the world, on certain weekends this summer.
According to reports, the local board received many complaints from residents about tourism on the street, citing traffic congestion and overcrowding that disrupts daily life. Tourists line up to drive and walk down the street, which gains its popularity from its steep grade, tight turns, expensive real estate, and beautiful views.
Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" tripa Tax Refund Vacation.
Starship sang about it, Armistead Maupin wrote about it, Alfred Hitchcock often filmed it, and Rice-a-Roni fills our belly with it. We're talking about the golden child of the west coast, San Francisco, a city that offers up more than hilly thoroughfares, foggy afternoons, and an island prison.
Although it sits at number 14 on the list of largest cities in the U.S., 'Frisco' sits just behind New York City for population density, but don't let that deter you from exploring the 'City by the Bay.' With its unique architecture, healthy lifestyle, and the proximity to world-class vineyards, anybody flying into or out of SFO won't be disappointed.
How To Get Tickets To / Music Festivals / Outside Lands / Live Music Travel / San Francisco Travel / → All Tags
The Outside Lands Music Festival returns to San Francisco August 8 - 10 and there's just one last chance for tickets.
The annual festival brings together dozens of bands, local visual artists, wineries, breweries, and restaurants for three days in Golden Gate Park. With a lineup including Kanye West, Tegan & Sara, Death Cab For Cutie, Macklemore, and more than 70 other acts, it's no great surprise that General Admission tickets and most VIP Passes to the fest have sold out in less than two weeks.
Airport Security / Terrorism / Travel News / Airline Security / San Francisco Travel / SFO / San Francisco / Congress / Travel Politics / Politics Travel / → All Tags
This is a downer of a Friday story, but it's already getting some traction on travel sites. Plus it's going to be airport security news for the next few weeks. Plus it's probably going to affect your actual, physical airport experience. So you might as well get it on your radar now.
The short version - and you can read longer takes with details and videos here and here - is that the spring issue of Al Qaeda's lead magazine Inspire had a picture of the SFO AirTrain, which they captioned "Stand up, pack your tools of destruction, assemble your bomb, ready the detonation." You can understand why some people are talking about this.
New Year's Travel / San Francisco Travel / Holiday Travel / Music Travel / Fireworks / Events / → All Tags
It’s never too early to start planning for the New Year, and that’s especially the case when we’re just days away. We’ve checked out what our favorite cities are up to when it comes to welcoming 2014, and we’re here to share. So check out what’s going on in and around San Francisco to celebrate the countdown to 2014.
It seems like the best places to ring in the New Year are cities on the water, because after all—that’s a great place to check out the fireworks as the countdown reaches midnight. Over in San Francisco there’s plenty of different ways to celebrate the beginning of 2014, and none of them involve crowding around a ball the drops from the top of building.
For those looking for some music to welcome the New Year there’s always what’s going on over at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion. Moby is in town for one night only, and he’s starting things up on December 31 and he’s not stopping until well into January 1. Tickets start at $200 per person for general admission, but that does include a premium hosted bar between 9pm and 2am.
If you’re going with a bunch of friends—or your grandma—you can buy things in sets of four for just $150 per person. There’s views of the Golden Gate Bridge, promises of live art installations, and over 60 bartenders to ensure your cup is filled at all times.
Let’s all agree that Muir Beach Overlook is awesome, but it’s not exactly the best place to take a stroll along the shore and the sea. That’s why you need to get back in the rental car, and continue up the coast for a just a bit. It’s only a few miles away—maybe around 15 minutes—but it feels much longer as you navigate the twists and turns of Highway 1. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road and not on the scenery.
With the sun setting over the horizon there’s never a better time to take a walk along Stinson Beach. Here the mighty Pacific seems a little tamer, as you can actually get close enough to the water to feel the waves, the water, and the chill—the extreme chill—of the ocean.
We’re hardly claiming that we’re calling this spot as our own, but with so many things to check out in and around San Francisco it just might get overlooked. We took the time to get out to Marin County and drive along the coast, and we recommend that you do the same—even if you have to skip the city for a bit.
Plenty of people head north of the city to check out the old-growth Coast Redwood trees, and we too recommend a visit to Muir Woods National Monument. However, when you’re done walking among the giant trees—and have purchased a stuffed banana slug from the gift shop—don’t just head back just yet. Make sure you take the twisty, turny, and ten minute drive out to the Muir Beach Overlook.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is giving one five-year-old the chance to live out his dream of being a superhero, but they need volunteers in the Bay Area to help out.
On Nov. 15, San Francisco will be transformed into Gotham City so that Miles, who is fighting Leukemia, can become Batkid for the day. On Friday morning, the Gotham Police Chief (aka the San Francisco police department) will put out a call for help which is when Miles, along with a grownup sidekick, will jump into action.
Zoo Travel / Nature Travel / California Travel / Summer Travel / California / Los Angeles Zoo / San Francisco Travel / Los Angeles / San Francisco / → All Tags
Summer travel means zoo travel which, for the purposes of this week, means giraffe travel. We'd argue that it should also be giraffe travel for the purposes of every other week, but we're content to use what time we have together right now to urge you to go see baby giraffes in various zoos up and down California.
In case you can't - and we feel badly for you, genuinely - we've embedded some videos at the bottom for you to look at. View, and be jealous.
The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco is teaming up with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy this spring for a new Give Back Getaways program that includes voluntourism excursions to Alcatraz Island and the Presidio Nursery.
The program will give hotel guests the chance to help preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, which stretch 70 miles north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge, by spending a half-day volunteering, cleaning, pruning, weeding, and planting in the parklands.