Emerald Bay and South Lake Tahoe. Photo © Christopher Arns.

Planning Your Time in Lake Tahoe

The San Francisco Bay Area is a top vacation destination for people from all over the world. So where do people who live there take their vacations? Sparkling blue Lake Tahoe and its surrounding mountains, lakes, ski resorts, hiking trails, hot springs, charming mountain towns, casinos, and varied wilderness areas say “vacation” to just about anyone.

No California 7e - Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Photo © Juliegrondin/Dreamstime.

Hiking the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Bishop is a great jumping-off point for travelers to explore the little visited Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Located in a section of the Inyo National Forest in the White Mountains. this is where the world’s oldest trees reside. Three hiking trails begin right outside the Bristlecone Pine Forest Visitors Center.

Springtime at Daffodil Hill. Photo © Brandon Bourdages/123rf.

Visiting Volcano, California

Little Volcano is an often-overlooked town in the Shenandoah Valley. While it has its own share of wineries, the real draws are the stunning Black Chasm Caverns–inspiration for the atmosphere in the film The Matrix–spring on Daffodil Hill, which explodes each March into a profusion of sunny yellow, and hotels with vintage Gold Country charm.

Sonoma Mission. Photo © Mariusz Jurgielewicz/123rf.

Highlights of the Sonoma and Carneros Wine Region

The Sonoma and Carneros wine region features beautiful scenery, excellent and unique wineries, and wonderful spas. Make sure to spend time in the small city of Sonoma, which includes the famed Sonoma Mission Inn, historical sights, and a charming town square with plenty of shopping and great places to grab a bite. Here are the highlights.

Seismic activity is a common occurrence in California. Photo © crystaleyemedia/123rf.

Staying Safe in a California Earthquake

Visitors from outside California may have the impression that big earthquakes happen here all the time. Well, that’s only partly correct. Earthquakes do happen all the time, but most shakers aren’t strong enough to be felt by people. In the event of a big one, though, the California Office of Emergency Services has a list of some things you can do to protect yourself during an earthquake.

Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco. Photo © jejim/123rf.

Spend a Day in San Francisco Like a Local

Dedicate a day to living like a true San Franciscan by jumping on a bike, pedaling through the hippest neighborhoods, shopping for local designs, and—most importantly—eating and drinking your way through the city.

Warning signs are posted in areas where wildlife are likely to block the road. Photo © Harris Shiffman/123rf.

Driving Tips for a PCH Road Trip

Before you gas up the car and go, make sure you’re prepared for the challenges of the Pacific Coast Highway! The highway has many sharp curves, steep ledges, and high cliffs without guardrails; long, isolated stretches of blacktop; low visibility at night; wildlife encounters; and the chance for inclement weather any time of year. Slow down, stay safe, and enjoy the scenery!

Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Photo © Ann Marie Brown.

Sights Near Glacier Point in Yosemite

Often referred to as “the grandest view in all the West,” Glacier Point is a 7,214-foot overlook with a vista of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome and all its granite neighbors, and the High Sierra. Nearby are other amazing–and often overlooked–vistas, along with the Badger Pass Ski Area. Badger Pass is the oldest ski resort in California, great for playing in the snow or simply stopping for lunch on a sunny day.

Avenue of the Giants. Photo © Suppavut Varutbangkul/123rf.

Explore Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Surprisingly, the largest stand of unlogged redwood trees isn’t on the coast, and it isn’t in the Sierras; it’s here in Humboldt, bisected by U.S. 101. Come to this park to hike and camp beneath the 300-foot-plus old-growth trees of the Avenue of the Giants, and cool off with a swim or boat trip down the Eel River.