Weekend escapes for Southern Californians

  • Rustic Ojai transports the eyes and the taste buds to a spiritual plane

    I was pursuing one of my favorite weekend pastimes, window shopping, when I spotted the perfect T-shirt. "Oh, hi" read the lettering on the front.  It offered a nice welcome to this Ventura County city, which portrayed Shangri-La in the 1937 Frank Capra film "Lost Horizon."  Surrounded by hills...

  • Where ocean meets ranch meets forest meets enchantment in Fort Bragg, Calif.

    Where ocean meets ranch meets forest meets enchantment in Fort Bragg, Calif.

    Crashing waves, rugged cliffs and redwood trees. California's Mendocino Coast offers a striking contrast to the urban blandscape of Los Angeles. When I felt the urge to escape and I read about the recently opened seven-room Inn at Newport Ranch, 20 minutes north of Fort Bragg, I booked a stay....

  • A day out in hipster-haven Oakland, the 'West Coast Brooklyn'

    A day out in hipster-haven Oakland, the 'West Coast Brooklyn'

    Since I moved to California 25 years ago, San Francisco has been the focus of my trips to the Bay Area, and I’ve loved it. But after hearing so much about how Oakland, across the bay, has become a new hipster haven, last month I made a day trip from San Francisco and found it lived up to the hype....

  • Monterey's historic sights, seafood and simple pleasures turn into lasting memories

    Monterey's historic sights, seafood and simple pleasures turn into lasting memories

    My family’s go-to weekend escape — Monterey — has become a true memory maker. Whether it’s walking along Old Fisherman’s Wharf, exploring the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium or toasting s’mores at a beachside bonfire, this coastal city captures the essence of California. In its rich past, Monterey...

  • If you're looking for a weekend escape, Newport, Ore., is quite the catch

    If you're looking for a weekend escape, Newport, Ore., is quite the catch

    I recently packed my favorite writing pen, sketchbook and camera for a solo trip to Newport, Ore., which was a study in contrasts at every turn. Newport is on the Oregon coast, about halfway between California and Washington, and has two distinct areas: the Bayfront, a working port with fishing...

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