California


San Francisco Ferry Building at Fisherman's Wharf / the Embarcadero
San Francisco Ferry Building/Wikimedia Commons

San Francisco’s northeastern waterfront used to be characterized by Fisherman’s Wharf, conjuring up images of a cheesy boardwalk, kitschy stores, street performers, and clam chowder in sourdough bowls. Not that there’s anything wrong with the clam chowder, of course, and we love the barking sea lions. But these were the... Read More

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The outdoor pool at Hearst Castle in California
Neptune Pool/Nilina Mason-Campbell

One of California’s grandest landmarks is Hearst Castle, a gilded and stately property that sits atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Recently, the U.S. National Historic Landmark finished nearly two years of construction, finally taking down a large expanse of unsightly scaffolding and returning the roof of the... Read More

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The Shops at Columbus Circle in New York City
The Shops at Columbus Circle/Flickr/Jim Pennucci

In the market for the right gift for that special someone? These are to best malls to seek out. From super-sized to high-end, they have something for everyone on your shopping list — plus an opportunity for you to get a dose of holiday cheer. Mall of America (Bloomington, MN) The... Read More

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Living room at The Allison Inn & Spa in Oregon
Living room/The Allison Inn & Spa

What’s the best thing about winter? Curling up by the fire in one of these fabulous hotel rooms. Bear rugs not required (but preferred). Big Cedar Lodge (Ridgedale, MO) Big stone fireplaces and rustic furnishings up the cozy quotient at this Ozark Mountain retreat. Rooms start from $368. The Allison Inn & Spa... Read More

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Rosenthal Malibu Estate Wines - a new Malibu, California winery
Rosenthal Malibu Estate Wines

Move over, celebrity homes and blissful beaches. These days, Malibu is angling to get wine drinkers and foodies into their parts of town. Just 40 minutes north of Los Angeles, it’s home to California’s newest and least-known wine region, already nabbing national awards and garnering the attention of wine... Read More

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Charles Schulz Museum
Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

The new Peanuts flick — appropriately titled “The Peanuts Movie” — opens on November 6. But if you can’t wait till then, here are five places you can hang with Snoopy and the gang as you count down the days.  ... Read More

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Guestroom at Orlando World Center Marriott
Orlando World Center Marriott

According to this Orbitz report, the next couple of days will be some of the best for nabbing the lowest Thanksgiving airfare, whether you’re heading home to see family or venturing out on a vacation. Here are 11 great Thanksgiving hotel deals that dip as low as $99 per night, and... Read More

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Pacific Islander Festival in San Diego - pifasandiego.com
Pacific Islander Festival/pifasandiego.com

San Diego is part of the mainland, but in places, it can feel outright tropical thanks to the sailors and soldiers who brought a love of Polynesia back with them after World War II. While there’s no shortage of attractions in the kitschy, Americanized “tiki” style, there are plenty of places where... Read More

Salvation Mountain in California
Nilina Mason-Campbell

Salvation Mountain in Niland, California is a roadside attraction that draws legions of visitors to the Colorado Desert (which, confusingly, is not located in the state of Colorado). Built by local resident Leonard Knight in the 1980s as a tribute to his love of God, the 50-foot-tall “mountain” is... Read More

The Painted Ladies in San Francisco
The Painted Ladies in San Francisco/Elena Sonnino

Traveling to San Francisco with only a day to explore? Throw on a pair of comfortable walking shoes, grab your camera, and set out to see the city on foot with this walking itinerary that traverses the city’s best landmarks and most charming neighborhoods. ... Read More

beach cabanas at rancho pescadero, baja california, mexico
Rancho Pescadero

Typically, a yoga retreat costs several thousand dollars. But in the Baja California area of coastal Mexico, near the town of Todos Santos, Rancho Pescadero — a posh spa-focused hotel with only 29 rooms — is offering two affordable retreats through September 30. ... Read More

Tank Garage winery tasting room in Calistoga, California
Katie Hammel

Calistoga, located on the north end of Napa Valley, was once an upscale resort town. Founded by California’s first millionaire, Sam Brannan, it was home to a hot springs resort popular with well-heeled San Franciscans escaping the city. Eventually its popularity declined — as did the properties that made it... Read More

Jungle Cruise, Disneyland
Flickr/Sam Howzit

There’s more to Mickey Mouse than meets the eye. Believe it or not, Disneyland is a haven of secret lairs, wild felines, and a touch of magic at every corner. Here, four secrets (and a bonus) of Walt Disney’s playground that will have you in the know. ... Read More

hotel z san diego (gaslamp quarter) - rooms
Hotel Z

It’s not often that you can score a good rate at a brand-new hotel in a beach city, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Hotel Z, snug in San Diego’s hip Gaslamp Quarter. ... Read More

Disneyland
Flickr/HarshLight

With dozens of attractions that top must-do lists, a day or two spent wading through crowds and taking in the sights at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure can get dizzying. To ensure a memorable trip to the “happiest place on Earth,” make sure not to make these five mistakes. ... Read More