Redding, CA: Shape Up In Shasta Cascade

The breathtaking Shasta Cascade region offers world-class rivers, lakes and trails making it the perfect location to shape up with a plethora of outdoor activities....

Long Beach CA: Hotel Maya

Paying homage to this mysterious culture stands the Hotel Maya along the harbor in Long Beach. Complete with the unique and spectacular architectural style of the stepped pyramids, Hotel Maya welcomes guests into their "village" of modern structures assembled to create this luxurious seaside resort.

Murphys, CA: Murphys Haunted Hotel

When you arrive in the authentic town of Murphys, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, the locals will ask about where you are staying. If your response is Murphys Historic Hotel, expect the response to be, Haunted! That hotel is haunted!

San Diego, CA: The Keating Hotel

Southern California. Italian design. Ferrari. Stainless steel. Maserati. Bang and Olufsen. Rain showerheads. Just one of these by itself is damn sexy. Put them all together, add a king-sized bed, and you have the uber sexy Keating Hotel.

Arrowhead, CA: Mountain Swimming Hole

Nothing beckons the old days of hiking up the mountains to a nearby waterfall and jumping into the water feet first. Local photographer Sam Katz brings us back to those old memories with a look back.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Healdsburg, CA: The Honor Mansion


Right off the 101, just past Sonoma and deep in the heart of wine country in Sonoma County is the beautiful city of Healdsburg, CA. Take a stroll around Healdsburg and discover the riches and treats of small town individuality that make it so special.  Drop in on some of the world class shopping, renowned art and sculpture, wines and cheeses, independent bookstores, treasure troves of antiquing and so much more. There is truly something for everyone.

For a place to stay the night, visit The Honor Mansion. Vacation in one of the thirteen luxurious rooms spread over a four acre property. Every morning there is a breakfast buffet for all guests to delight in. If you are looking to stay on the property for the day, enjoy the lap pool, competition croquet, PGA putting green, tennis, basketball and bocce ball courts as well as spa services.

But being in wine country gives many opportunities for fun. Stroll through some of the art galleries in town or take a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards. There are a multitude of wine tours for tasting and food pairings. If you want some beer instead, visit the Bear Republic Brewing Co. Brewpub in Healdsburg. They have signature burgers and their beer is used in many of the recipes on site. Appreciate the locally produced artisan cheeses and charcuterie plates as well.

For more information, visit The Honor Mansion and Bear Republic Brewing Co. online. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Livermore, CA: The Purple Orchid


Right off the 580 Freeway, near the end of the Mt DiabloSummit Run, is a beautiful wine country in Livermore, CA. There you will find Concannon Vineyard celebrating their 130th Anniversary of making award winning wines.  Come and enjoy their newly-renovated tasting room and historic winery. Taste some of the most delicious and elegant wines in California during a guided private tour of the winery, barrel room and historic vineyards. Their wine bar patio offers a global cuisine in a casual ambiance overlooking the vines.

If you prefer the taste of hops over grapes, you can visit Eight Bridges Brewing also in Livermore. The tasting room is there for you to enjoy their beers, tour the brewery, meet the brewer and even take beer home for later. From time to time they hold special events and have special beer releases that will be available only in the tasting room. Eight Bridges Brewing focuses on providing both your favorite brews and a variety that will keep you coming back for more.

After a long day of riding and drinking, you will want to rest at The Purple Orchid. They have ten modern country suites complete with fireplaces and private Jacuzzi tubs, with breakfast the next morning included. Take a walk through the beautiful rose garden or socialize with others in the common areas with wine and cheese. Their spa has a large selection of services to help relax your body and mind.



 For more information, visit Concannon Vineyard, Eight Bridges Brewing and The Purple Orchid online. Pictures courtesy of their websites. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Diablo, CA: Mt Diablo Summit Run


Take the Mt Diablo Summit Run, starting at the North Gate entrance of the mountain right off of Ygnacio Valley Road, and ending at the south gate in the town of Diablo near the 680 freeway. It is filled with twists and turns for the more advanced rider.The Summit Run offers a stop off at the top for a beautiful 3800 feet view of the Bay Area. On a clear day you can see the Golden Gate Bridge. This 22 mile ride will take you about an hour and on your way up and down, watch out for rapid altitude changes.

You also have the option to take the Marsh Creek Road around the back side of the mountain for a casual cruise.  The Marsh Creek Road has some tight 5mph turns for a short 7 mile ride from Clayton to Livermore.
 
And while in Livermore, stop off for a taste at the Working Man Brewing Company. Working Man Brewing Company is a micro-brewery dedicated to hand crafted artisan beers. The tasting room is officially open to the public and visitors are able to sample a variety of beers and have growlers filled fresh while you wait.


For more information visit Working Man Brewing Company online.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hollywood, CA: Hollywood Wax Museum


The world famous Hollywood Wax Museum is located off of Hollywood Blvd, near Mulholland Drive and is a great place to go for a pit stop. It is the only wax museum in the country devoted entirely to celebrity figures meaning it puts you face to face with some of your silver screen favorites. Everything from Hollywood stars, television personalities to characters from your fa
vorite movies. There are also sets devoted to the scariest and most memorable horror movie villains and blockbuster moments from the top 100 movies of all time.

When you are done there, take a walk across the street to the Pig N’ Whistle for a drink or two. One of the few remaining staples in Los Angeles that still offers patrons a true taste of “Old Hollywood” since opening its doors in 1927, the Pig ‘N Whistle has remained a cultural landmark. In addition to the comprehensive menu and bar, they feature Live Entertainment every Wednesday through Saturday in the Back Room along with Karaoke in the Main room every Wednesday and Thursday.


For more information on these places and special events, visit their websites. Pictures courtesy of Pig N’ Whistle. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hollywood, CA: Museum of Death

If you are already in Los Angeles on a cruise of MulhollandDrive, take a detour to Hollywood Blvd if you really want to feel alive. There, near the corner of Hollywood and Gower St, is the Museum of Death. It was established in June 1995 by J. D. Healy and Catherine Shultz with the museum's stated goal being "to make people happy to be alive". The Museum of Death is a self-guided tour, lasting approximately 45 minutes to an hour, but those who can stomach it stay as long as they like.

The Museum of Death houses the world's largest collection of serial murderer artwork, photos of the Charles Manson crime scenes, the guillotined severed head of the Blue Beard of Paris (Henri Landru), original crime scene and morgue photos from the grisly Black Dahlia murder, a body bag and coffin collection, replicas of full size execution devices, mortician and autopsy instruments, pet death taxidermy, and so much more!

For more information, visit their website

Monday, December 22, 2014

Los Angeles, CA: Mulholland Drive and The Rock Store



If you are looking for a cruise this weekend, take a trip into Los Angeles and ride Mulholland Drive.  This 21 mile, mostly two lane road runs through the east side of the Santa Monica Mountains. Just off the 405 Freeway, filled with beautiful California landscapes, it has stunning views with some turn offs to enjoy the  Los Angeles Basin, the San Fernando Valley, and the Hollywood Sign. And while you are on your way stop off halfway between Malibu and Calabasas, enjoy a brew at The Rock Store.


The Rock Store is one of the most famous motorcyclist and biker hangouts in the world.  It's the perfect place to come by bike or by car for breakfast or lunch and a drink on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. Among the attractions are the rustic settings, celebrity sightings, hundreds of bikes to look at and the food and drinks. The Rock Store is most popular for their hefty breakfasts, BBQ tri-tip sandwiches, teriyaki chicken sandwiches, homemade chili and more and don't forget those ice cold beverages.

For more information, visit The Rock Store online. Pictures courtesy of their website. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Vacaville, Ca


In the rolling hills just west of Sacramento Valley is Vacaville. This town, nestled in the hills is off the 99 freeway, just an hour from San Francisco, and within minutes of the Napa and Sonoma wine countries.

If you want to soak in some of the local art, there are a few places you can go. The Vacaville Museum, a Center for Solano County History, has the current exhibit, Serigrafia, designs from California’s silkscreen master printmakers.  Only $3 for adults to tour the museum Tuesday through Friday. Vacaville is also becoming known for its Public Art, located throughout the community. Some of the best places to find public art in Vacaville are in the downtown, at City Hall, and at the Vacaville Cultural Center. And while you are downtown, pick up a brew at TJs Tavern.

If you are in the mood for something a little richer, visit the BackDoor Bistro. At BackDoor Bistro, they emphasize local and sustainable cuisine and offer a variety of wine selections. Balanced plates and local music create a great atmosphere for gathering after a nice ride. Join them for their Happy Hour from 5 to 7.


For more information about these places, visit their websites. 



Monday, December 8, 2014

Boonville, CA: The Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Founded in 1987, the Anderson Valley Brewing Company brews some of the smoothest ales around in the small town of Boonville, CA, less than 150 miles north of San Francisco or west of Sacramento. It is a great ride either right up the 128 Anderson Valley Highway or the 101 freeway to the winding 253 Highway to get into town.

In 1996, the Anderson Valley Brewing company built their current 30-barrel facility at the corner of Highways 128 and 253, a mile from the center of Boonville. They give daily tours of the brewery and the three-story Bavarian-style brew house every afternoon. And don’t miss the Tap House open daily from 11am to 6pm (7pm on Fridays). In addition to the brewery grounds, which include picnic groves, horse pastures, and a famous disc golf course, the Tap Room is where Anderson Valley residents and friends of the brewery come to meet. The Tap Room has beers you won’t find outside of the brewery too.

If you want to stay the night, look up the Boonville Hotel. With fifteen unique rooms, from family suite to just-for-two, top floor of the hotel or set apart, there is something for everyone’s needs. Visit their family style restaurant, Table 128. They serve family style, prix fixe meals that delight and satisfy with menus inspired by whim and season. The wine bar has a number of unique and reasonable wines from abroad. The bar opens daily at 11am so stop by for a hot or cold drink, by the fire or in the garden.


For more information about Anderson Valley Brewing Company, their events and where to find their brew, visit their website. Also, to find more information a room at the Boonville Hotel, visit them online. Pictures courtesy of Anderson Valley Brewing Company. 


Monday, December 1, 2014

Huntington Beach, CA- The Cruise of Lights


For those of you in the holiday spirit, take a trip down the Pacific Coast Highway to the Huntington Harbour.  On December 13 and 14 they will have the 52 annual Huntington Harbour Boat Parade, themed “Music in Paradise” this year, kicking off the annual event, The Cruise of Lights.

From December 17 to the 23, take a ride on a boat through the harbor and see the entire glory.  Hundreds of boats, decks, docks and homes decorated in thousands of lights all through the holiday season.  A 45-minute narrated boat tour through the sparkling waterways of Huntington Harbourwill take you what is called one of the most remarkable holiday light shows on water and voted Top 10 by Coastal Magazine.

And while you are there, stop into the Red Table Gastrobar, with their edgy interpretation of comfort food. The menu is comfortably priced with interesting yet approachable items intended to share and savor. Craft beers and outstanding wines have been selected to compliment the distinctive menu items and enhance the dining experience.


The tours leave from the parking lot of the Huntington Harbour Mall. For more information visit the HuntingtonHarbour Boat Parade, The Cruise of Lights and Red Table on their websites. Pictures courtesy of The Cruise of Lights. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Indio, CA - Indio International Tamale Festival


Next weekend take a trip to the 23rd annual Indio International Tamale Festival on December 6-7, 2014. Right off of Highway 111, in Old Town Indio, this festival is a favorite for many. Food Network-TV has ranked it in the top 10 "All-American Food Festivals" in the nation. No matter your taste in entertainment, this festival is sure to please. And best of all it is free to the public!

Wind through the streets of Miles, Towne, Smurr and Requa to see the entire splendor. The festival begins with the Parade at 10 am on Saturday, featuring boxing champ Randy Caballero as Grand Marshall, riding with Indio Mayor Lupe Ramos and also see Santa on an antique fire truck at the end. Also view some of the show cars that will be featured during the 2nd annual Car Show that accompanies the festival. Take a trip down Requa st to view and judge for yourself in seven different categories. Sunday afternoon, trophies will be awarded to the winners.

If you have a bottomless stomach, sign up for the annual tamale eating contest. The reigning champ since 2009, Charles G. Bill, Jr, is looking for challengers. You can sign up for that at any one of the stages that will have entertainment. Live music, dancing, singing, juggling, and other diverse performances will be held on one of the five stages available. Stay and watch the Best Tamale Contest where last year’s champion, Texifornia Tamale Co., will again be vying for the title. A carnival will be open until 10pm each night too, providing rides and games to play. Original art work, including painting, photography, sculpture, and textiles from at least 25 artists will be on display and for sale.  Guests can enjoy wine tasting in the wine lounge, and beer from Coachella Valley Brewery will also be available in an adjoining beer garden.


For more information, visit the Indio International Tamale Festival website. Pictures courtesy of  www.tamalefestival.net