February 7, 2014 |
If you're 25 or younger, you'll enjoy downtown Flagstaff, Ariz., walking distance to Northern Arizona University. The area is populated with people your age, an independent bookstore, an independent record store, restaurants and plenty of watering holes with cheap drinks. If you're older than 25, you'll enjoy downtown Flagstaff as a fun, inexpensive reminder of what it feels like to be a college student. Either way, you'll have a good time. The tab: Rooms at the Weatherford start at $75 and top out at about $139.
February 2, 2014 |
Taos, N.M., has had many lives: a pre-colonial Native American community, a Spanish settlement and, more recently, an artists' colony for those seeking a quieter pace. Today, many come to Taos to ski, but this resilient small town is enjoying an artistic renaissance after the 2008 economic downturn. The town of just 5,700 has about 80 galleries featuring imaginative, provocative art that captures Native American culture and the beauty of the Southwest. The tab: Our family of three spent about $300 a night for lodging and less than $150 a day on food and sightseeing.
January 24, 2014 |
It's good to be reminded that Sacramento isn't just a consumer of our tax dollars and a dispenser of red tape. It's also a real place with real seasons - daunting heat in summer, golden leaves in fall, chill winds in winter, rampant green renewal in spring. My family and I spent a weekend in November, when fall foliage was still draping Capitol Park (between L and N and 10th and 15th streets) with gravitas. I found J Street livelier than I remembered from a few years before. My wife and daughter liked the wooden sidewalks and Old West flourishes of Old Sacramento.
January 3, 2014 |
Designated a national park just a year ago, Pinnacles can overwhelm with the sheer number of adjectives that leap to mind. "Mind-bending," "extraordinary," "wondrous" - all fall flat when you try to describe this surreal landscape of cloven cliffs, jagged spires and imposing boulders southeast of Salinas off the 101 Freeway. My sweetheart and I took a 10-mile trek through creek bed and cliff top there, earning our sighs of relief in the whirlpool tub that soon followed. The charge for our sweat equity?
December 27, 2013 |
Williams, Ariz., also known as the Gateway to the Grand Canyon, was the last city on Route 66 to be bypassed by the Interstate Highway System. On Oct. 13, 1984, Interstate 40 opened and Route 66 through Williams was forgotten - almost. Over the years, Williams refused to turn its back on the Mother Road and has instead embraced Route 66. Dozens of businesses have been remodeled, and the historic downtown has been revamped, with new gift shops, restaurants and classic roadside motels all paying homage to America's Main Street.
December 19, 2013 |
Presto change-o; now you see it, now you don't. If you're looking for an undiscovered, secluded escape hidden from view yet minutes from the bustling center of San Marcos and its restaurants, bars and entertainment, Lake San Marcos is for you. My husband hurt his back last month and wanted a slow-paced weekend to relax. We came to the right place: Leisure is king in this mellow enclave tucked away on a lake in a quiet residential neighborhood in northern San Diego County. Here, paddle boats rule the lake, and golf is the preferred "action" sport.