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- Insider advice on how to get the most out of the Golden State, from its city lights and wine-growing regions to its ancient redwood forests, beaches, deserts, lakes, and mountains. Learn where to get free tickets to TV tapings in LA, hear about the best hiking paths in the state's top parks, and get tips from local celebrities like Top Chef Just Desserts winner, Yigit Pura, who tells you where to find his favorite desserts in his hometown, San Francisco.
- Where to find the best wine bars in San Francisco, the most scenic stretches of highway along the coast, the best food trucks in LA, the best beaches in San Diego, and the best golf courses, parks, wineries, and museums for kids throughout the state.
- Insightful commentary on getting the most out of a tasting at a winery, finding a hotel to match your needs on any budget, and planning an itinerary of one or more regions--from the Pacific Coast highway in 1 Week to Tahoe & Yosemite in 1 Week to 1 Week for Food & Wine Lovers.
- Opinionated reviews. No bland descriptions and lukewarm recommendations. Our expert writers are passionate about their destinations--they tell it like it is in an engaging and helpful way.
- Exact prices listed for every establishment and activity--no other guides offer such detailed, candid reviews of hotels and restaurants. We include the very best, but also emphasize moderately priced choices for real people.
- User-friendly features including star ratings and special icons to point readers to great finds, excellent values, insider tips, best bets for kids, special moments, and overrated experiences.
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About the Author
Tara de Lis is a native Angeleno. She spent six years as the L.A. City Editor for Citysearch.com and has been published in L.A. Times Magazine, Gayot, dineLA, AOL, and CitySpots. Never offi cially off -duty, she spends her "free time" seeking out new restaurants and hand-crafted cocktails.
A third-generation Southern Californian, Mark Hiss is a writer and photographer who has spent more than 25 years in San Diego. He was founding editor of both the visitor guide Where San Diego and Performances, the playbill magazine for the city's leading performing arts venues. He is also a recovering publicist who spent many years working for several of San Diego's top theater companies.
A native San Franciscan, Erika Lenkert spends her time traipsing around the Bay Area and across the globe in search of adventure and great food. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Bride's, Wine Country Living, San Francisco Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, and Time Out. Her latest work is an entertaining and cooking guide called The Last-Minute Party Girl: Fashionable, Fearless, and Foolishly Simple Entertaining (lastminutepartygirl.com).
Kristin Luna hopped around a bit before fi nding a permanent home in San Francisco. Her intrepid spirit has led her all over the globe in search of adventure, whether scuba diving cageless with sharks in the South Pacifi c or hurling herself out of a plane at 15,000 feet in the Pyrenees. Kristin has worked on other Frommer's guides and been a contributor to Newsweek, Forbes Traveler, and the Travel Channel. Her work has also appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Islands, Real Simple, Sherman's Travel, Glamour, People, and Entertainment Weekly.
Matthew Poole, a native Californian, has authored more than two dozen travel guides to California, Hawaii, and abroad. A regular contributor to radio and television travel programs, he has made numerous guest appearances on the award-winning Bay Area Backroads television show, among other broadcast outlets. Before becoming a full-time travel writer and photographer, he worked as an English tutor in Prague, ski instructor in the Swiss Alps, and scuba instructor in Maui and Thailand. Highly allergic to office buildings and mortgage payments, he spends most of his time traveling the globe in search of new adventures.
Table of ContentsList of Maps ix
1 THE BEST OF CALIFORNIA 1
2 CALIFORNIA IN DEPTH 22
3 SUGGESTED CALIFORNIA ITINERARIES 44
4 SAN FRANCISCO 56
5 THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA 159
6 THE WINE COUNTRY 201
7 THE NORTHERN COAST 247
8 THE FAR NORTH: LAKE TAHOE, MOUNT SHASTA & LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK 29
9 THE HIGH SIERRA: YOSEMITE, MAMMOTH LAKES, SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON 346
10 SACRAMENTO & THE GOLD COUNTRY 392
11 THE MONTEREY PENINSULA & THE BIG SUR COAST 422
12 THE CENTRAL COAST 480
13 LOS ANGELES 536
14 SIDE TRIPS FROM LOS ANGELES 666
15 THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DESERT 720
16 SAN DIEGO & ENVIRONS 769
17 PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO CALIFORNIA 852