Fodor's Northern California 2015: with Napa, Sonoma, Yosemite, San Francisco & Lake Tahoe (Full-color Travel Guide)
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Fodor’s correspondents highlight the best of Northern California, including wine tasting, farm-to-table food, scenic coastlines, and stunning national parks. Our local experts vet every recommendation to ensure you make the most of your time, whether it’s your first trip or your fifth.
MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS from San Francisco to Yosemite
PERFECT HOTELS for every budget
BEST RESTAURANTS to satisfy a range of tastes
GORGEOUS FEATURES on Lake Tahoe and the Gold Rush
VALUABLE TIPS on when to go and ways to save
INSIDER PERSPECTIVE from local experts
COLOR PHOTOS AND MAPS to inspire and guide your trip
a combination pizzeria and wine bar, and Olio Crudo, a raw bar. | Average main: $30 | 17 W. Victoria St., at State St. | 805/899–2699 | www.olioelimone.com | No lunch Sun. Palace Grill. SOUTHERN | Mardi Gras energy, team-style service, lively music, and great food have made the Palace a Santa Barbara icon. Acclaimed for its Cajun and creole dishes such as blackened redfish and jambalaya with dirty rice, the Palace also serves Caribbean fare, including a delicious coconut-shrimp dish. If you’re
excellent spot for sunsets. Just up the highway, narrow, unpaved Kruse Ranch Road leads to the Kruse Rhododendron State Reserve, where each May thousands of rhododendrons bloom within a quiet forest of redwoods and tan oaks. | 25050 Hwy. 1 | 707/847–3221, 707/865–2391 | www.parks.ca.gov | $8 per vehicle | Daily sunrise–sunset; some sections closed in winter, call ahead. Sea Ranch Lodge. B&B/INN | Wide-open vistas and minimalist design keep the focus on nature at this tranquil lodge 29 miles
for 22 days before it was taken over by the United States. The republic’s flag has survived, with minor refinements, as California’s state flag. The park’s main attraction is an adobe home built in the 1850s and outfitted with period furnishings. | 21659 Adobe Rd., at Park Pl. | 530/529–8599 | www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=458 | $6 per vehicle | Park and picnic facilities, adobe home, and historic sites Fri.–Sun. 10–4. Where to Eat and Stay Green Barn Steakhouse. STEAKHOUSE | You’re likely to find
www.galeriepleinaire.com. Gallery Sur. Fine art photography of the Big Sur Coast and the Monterey Peninsula, including scenic shots and golf images, is the focus here. | 6th Ave., between Dolores and Lincoln Sts. | 831/626–2615 | www.gallerysur.com. Weston Gallery. Run by the family of the late Edward Weston, this is hands down the best photography gallery around, with contemporary color photography complemented by classic black-and-whites. | 6th Ave., between Dolores and Lincoln Sts. |
Valley Village has crafts shops, art galleries, and the tasting rooms of numerous local wineries. Getting Here and Around From U.S. 101 north or south, exit at Highway 68 and head west toward the coast. Scenic, two-lane Laureles Grade winds west over the mountains to Carmel Valley Road north of the village. Tours The Carmel Valley Grapevine Express, aka MST’s Line 24 bus, travels between downtown Monterey and Carmel Valley Village, with stops near wineries, restaurants, and shopping centers.