California Piano Bars

Sing at the Piano Bar at the Mission Ranch, Carmel

the historic Mission Ranch, one of the most spectacular spots on the Monterey Peninsula. The exquisite views are unrivaled: meadows stretch to the south, joining the wetlands and the Carmel River Beach. Point Lobos can be seen in the distance across the bay. ... The ranch has had some 17 owners. It operated as a private club, then as officers’ club for the Army and Navy during World War II. At that time the windows were occasionally blackened against a possible Japanese landing. It was owned in those days by the Dienelt family, who had the ranch for 39 years. It had a rollicking reputation, with dance bands and a lively bar scene. ... Clint Eastwood bought the Ranch in 1986, rescuing the property from an impending fate as a condominium development. He sought out the best craftsmen for renovation, who have replicated moldings, doorframes, and hardware to match the style of the original buildings.
Thirty one unique rooms, many with ocean views, Fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs. Historic 1850's farmhouse Complimentary continental breakfast Restaurant with panoramic views Piano bar nightly Six championship tennis courts Fitness facility Banquet - meeting facilities
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California Celebrity Golf & Other Sports

Dancing no GOLFING with the Stars

Some call it the Super Bowl of Celebrity Sports. Others say it's the best destination vacation event in the USA. Either way, Tahoe Celebrity Golf Week featuring the American Century Championship is fun, exciting and will be the most memorable adventure of your summer. MJ, Ray Romano, LT, Barkley, Big Ben, The Donald, Lemieux, Ronde & Tiki Barber Shine at Celebrity Golf’s 17th Annual at Edgewood Tahoe, July 11-16 Lance Armstrong To Make Thursday Celebrity-Am Appearance (SOUTH SHORE, LAKE TAHOE, NV) -- Grab the shades with heavy UV because the star power is blinding: Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Ray Romano, Charles Barkley, Donald Trump, Ben Roethlisberger, Mario Lemieux, Don Cheadle, Pete Sampras and Jerry Rice will be among the 80 stars of stage, screen, sports arenas and stadiums at the 17th annual American Century Championship, celebrity golf’s most popular event, at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, July 11 – 16. The amped wattage of this year’s celebrity field is the brightest in the 17-year history of golf’s grandest gathering. The increased participation of Hollywood luminaries and hot, new personalities and athletes has tournament buzz at an all-time high. Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France champion will be making his first appearance at the event and playing in the Thursday Celebrity-Am field prior to departing for France to crown his successor. First timers include Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward of the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, Olympic Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, actors Aidan Quinn and Dennis Haysbert, Chargers All-Pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson, 1996 Soccer Gold Medalist Brandi Chastain, Iron Chef superstar Ming Tsai, actor and comedian Cheech Marin, Colorado Avalanche star Joe Sakic, Miami Heat All-Star forward Antoine Walker, Grammy recording artist Michael Bolton, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards, and former Yankees outfielder Paul O’Neill. South Shore Lake Tahoe will be Hollywood North and New York West and the spot for celebrity sightings, parties and superstar entertainment throughout the week. NBC Sports will televise the second and final rounds of the tournament live on Saturday, July 15 from noon - 2:00pm PT, and on Sunday, July 16 from noon - 3:00 PT. The Golf Channel will carry Friday’s opening round from noon – 2:00pm PT. The American Century Championship will award $500,000 in prize money – with $100,000 to the winner. Scoring is based on a modified Stableford format with 10 points for a double eagle, 8 for a hole-in-one, 6 for eagle, 3 for birdie, 1 for par, 0 for bogey, and minus 2 for double-bogey or higher. The 54-hole tournament has been played at Edgewood Tahoe’s 6,707-yard lakeside course since its inception in 1990. Defending champion and two-time winner Billy Joe Tolliver, the former NFL quarterback, will likely see his stiffest competition from four-time winner Dan Quinn and past champions Mario Lemieux, Al Del Greco and Mark Rypien. By virtue of his qualification for a conditional Champions Tour playing card, six-time winner Rick Rhoden is not in the field. In addition to the increased visibility of celebrities from the arts and entertainment fields, the comedic ranks joining the fun include Cheech Marin, Anthony Anderson, Kevin Nealon and John O’Hurley. The National Football League has piled-on the superstars. The All-Pros feature Ronde Barber (brother Tiki is on his bag), LaDainian Tomlinson, Derrick Brooks, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Trent Green, Jason Taylor and the aforementioned Roethlisberger and Ward. Current and future Hall of Famers include John Elway, Marcus Allen, Jerry Rice, Emmit Smith, Bruce Smith, Marshall Faulk and Tim Brown. Basketball will be represented by legends Jordan and Barkley as well as Ray Allen of the Super Sonics, Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets and Antoine Walker of the Miami Heat. Other arenas – sports, political and television, feature tennis stars Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl; the world of cuisine with celebrity chefs Tsai and Bobby Flay; former Vice President Dan Quayle; Olympic Medalists Bleiler, Chastain, Dan Jansen, Mike Eruzione; television’s Dan Patrick, Ahmad Rashad, Digger Phelps and Maury Povich. The event is sponsored by American Century Investments, a premier investment manager serving financial intermediaries, institutions and nearly 1.2 million individual investors. Since its inception in 1990, Tahoe’s celebrity golf tournament has raised over $2 million for a variety of charities including the Uniformed Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund to provide college tuition assistance to the children of NYC firefighters lost on September 11 as well as Mark Cuban’s Fallen Patriot Fund to aid the families of soldiers killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lance Armstrong, history’s greatest bicyclist recently collaborated with American Century Investments making the Lance Armstrong Foundation a major beneficiary of the tournament’s charity fundraising. Recently, the investment firm introduced a new series of asset allocation funds under the LIVESTRONG Portfolios banner. Autism Speaks, an organization involved with awareness of autism and education for parents about the importance of early intervention, is also a beneficiary, as well as Lake Tahoe-based non-profits. Tickets are available daily at the gate. Prices are $10 each day for the Lake Tahoe Celebrity-Amateur on Tuesday, July 11 and the practice round on Wednesday, July 12, and $20 for the American Century Celebrity-Am on Thursday, July 13, and for each tournament round, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For ticket or lodging information as well as Tournament packages, call 1-800-AT-TAHOE or 530-544-5050, or visit the Web site at: www.BlueLakeTahoe.com or www.tahoecelebritygolf.com. Check out the comments for more California Celebrity Sporting Events Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Jazz Clubs

See a show at Yoshi's Jazz Supper Club, Oakland

AOL CITY GUIDE City's Best 2005 Best Place For Live Music USA TODAY'S "10 GREAT PLACES FOR A JAZZY NIGHT OUT!" Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants, Best Club - San Francisco Chronicle Best Place To See Live Jazz - SF Weekly 1997-2004 Best Jazz Club - SF Weekly 1997-2004 Best Jazz Club - San Francisco Bay Guardian 1997-2004 Best Club - East Bay Express 1997-2004 Best Place To See Live Jazz - East Bay Express 2003 - 2004 Best Place To See Local Bands - East Bay Express 2001 Most Innovative Bookings (Live Music) - East Bay Express 2001 Best Sushi - East Bay Express 1998 Best Live Music - Oakland Tribune 1997-2005 Best Dinner Spot With Live Music - San Francisco Magazine 1999, 2000 Yoshi's is the nicest club in the country." - Nancy Wilson

The Best of Nancy Wilson: The Jazz and Blues Sessions

Live At Yoshi's, Vol. 1 Map Check out the comments for more California Jazz Clubs Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Celebrity & Cigar Restaurants

Have A Schnitzel at Schatzi's

Schatzi on Main is one of the reasons, why tourists come to Santa Monica. Our gorgeus outdoor patio, gazebo and bar (cigar friendly) are heated and very special for our guests. Every first Monday of each month you can experience our World Famous "Cigar Night". Whenever Govenour Arnold Schwarzenegger is in town, he attends the Cigar Night party, and celebrities visit this event also, giving you a chance to take a peek into, and experience first hand, the "Hollywood" world.

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California White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting on the Kern River, followed by Prime Rib at Ewing's On the Kern, Kernville

Whether you are a beginner looking to "get your feet wet," or an experienced rafter with a daring spirit, the wild and scenic Kern River and Mountain & River Adventures has just the rafting tour for you. There are beginner sections for all ages 5 and up, and advanced sections for the experienced rafter. If you have a thirst for thrills, we can quench that thirst with a sip or a gulp! At Mountain & River Adventures you can enjoy the Kern River in either big rafts or solo and double inflatable kayaks. Class I, II AND III rapids. It's fun for all abilities and perfect for the pocket book. Getting drenched on Big Daddy, Twisted Sister, Little Las Vegas, Ewing's Rapid and the Powerhouse III+ puts the icing on the cake, or water on the lap. Map Check out the comments for more California Raft Trips Or Click to Add your own recommendation

Lake Tahoe Activities

Take a cruise on the Tahoe Queen, Lake Tahoe.

A trip to Lake Tahoe is not complete without a cruise upon its crystal clear blue water. And no one has a prouder tradition of offering the widest variety of entertaining cruises on this magnificent alpine lake than the cruise experts at Lake Tahoe Cruises and Zephyr Cove Resort & Marina . Between the two, we feature the two most classic and storied vessels on the lake - the Tahoe Queen and M.S. Dixie II. Tahoe Queen - Departing from Ski Run Marina in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, CA and operated by Lake Tahoe Cruises, the classic paddlewheeler Tahoe Queen hosts Family Fun with Tahoe Tessie, Tales of Tahoe by Mark Twain, sunset buffet, weekend dinner/dance, and sightseeing cruises as well as our popular North Shore ski shuttle and après ski cruise. M.S. Dixie II - Departing from historic Zephyr Cove, NV, just minutes north of Stateline on Hwy. 50, and operated by Zephyr Cove Resort & Marina, the M.S. Dixie II has been voted "Best Boat Cruise" at Tahoe for ten years running and hosts a historic breakfast buffet, scenic champagne brunch, dinner, dinner/dance and sightseeing cruises. Specialty Cruises - From a night on the water listening to cool jazz or an afternoon of wine-tasting, to marveling at spectacular 4th of July fireworks or ringing in the New Year, we plan a variety of Specialty Cruises throughout the year. Click here to learn more. Private Charters for Weddings & Groups - We also offer fantastic private charters aboard our fabled flagship paddlewheelers - Tahoe Queen and M.S. Dixie II - as well as aboard our smaller, more intimate craft - the Tahoe Paradise and Tahoe Princess, operated by Lake Tahoe Cruises. So if you're putting together your own special gathering on the water, we're the people you want onboard. Ski Shuttle - In winter, the Tahoe Queen hosts the world's only aqua ski shuttle - departing from Ski Run Marina, taking skiers and snowboarders to and from Squaw Valley USA and featuring an onboard après ski party. Check out the comments for more Lake Tahoe Activities Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Scenic Restaurants

Have a drink at Yamashiro's watching the blinking light at the top of the Capitol Records Building spell out "Hollywood" in Morse Code.

In the late 1920’s Yamashiro served as headquarters for the ultra-exclusive “400 Club”. Created for the elite of Hollywood’s motion picture industry during its Golden Age, Yamashiro gave Hollywood its first celebrity hangout. Here Bebe Daniels, Frank Elliott, Lilian Gish, Ramon Navarro, and the Who’s Who of actors, writers, directors and celebrities in Hollywood formed their first social institution as a monument to their achievement. The restaurant now includes the westside Sunset Room, in addition to the air conditioned main dining room terraces, bar lounge and Skyview banquet room overlooking downtown L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills, past Century City’s distinctive skyline to the beaches beyond. The Inner Courtyard, popular for dining, banquets, and weddings, has been renovated, and the Japanese gardens and pools with colorful Koi fish have been returned to their former tranquil beauty. Today tour groups constantly visit the grounds to take in the unique view of Hollywood.
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California Spa Resorts

Pamper yourself at the Golden Door Spa, San Diego

"Number 1 Destination Spa" —Zagat Survey 2005 Top U.S. Hotels, Resorts, & Spas "'No one does spirituality like the Golden Door,' ...this premier destination spa's beautiful hiking trails, 'luxurious sensing-every-need' service, and Michel Stroot's spa cuisine" are cited as some of the reasons for the Golden Door being named "Best Small Spa"—Spa Finder Reader's Choice Awards " One of the Top 5 Destination Spas"— Travel + Leisure 2004, 2003, 2002 Readers' Poll "Number 1 Destination Spa in North America and the Caribbean" — Condé Nast Traveler's spa poll 2001, 2000 "Number 1 Spa in America" (13 consecutive years) — Zagat US Hotel, Resort and Spa Guide "Number 1 Spa" — Robb Report's 11th Annual "Best of the Best" Awards Town & Country says, "There are spas for every reason and every season but nothing can compare to the Golden Door."

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California Studio Audiences

See the Jay Leno Show, Burbank

Tickets to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno are available by U.S. mail. To order, send a self-addressed stamped envelope with a brief letter listing the desired date of taping and three alternate dates. You can request up to four tickets, but seating is limited. Audience members must be at least 16 years old. If tickets are available for the date you request, they will be sent to you by return mail approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the show date. All mail requests are processed on a first come, first-served basis and should be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance. Tickets for a specific show are available the day of the show only at the NBC Ticket Box, located at NBC in Burbank, CA. The NBC Ticket Box opens at 8:00 a.m. All available tickets are distributed to the public on a first come, first-served two (2) tickets per person basis.
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California Vegetarian Restaurants

Greens - Vegetarian with a Spectacular View

On each visit, you and your guests will enjoy Chef Annie Somerville's daily menu, which draws from a repertoire that has made Greens one of the premiere vegetarian restaurants in the country. From our airy, art-filled dining room, with floor to ceiling windows you are treated to sweeping views of the Marina, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands. Greens Restaurant is located in a converted warehouse at historic Fort Mason, which currently is home to more than 50 non-profit cultural and environmental organizations. We opened in 1979 under the auspices of the San Francisco Zen Center. Built by San Francisco Zen Center carpenters, the restaurant incorporates 12 types of wood - from the massive black walnut doors, the hickory stairs at our entrance, the curved bar featuring Port-Orford-Cedar, and the dining tables of maple, walnut and cherry. Much of the wood has been recycled or reclaimed. Greens Restaurant was a pioneer in establishing vegetarian cuisine in the United States. In the 60's and 70's, vegetarian restaurants were mostly small out-of-the way cafés. There was no high profile vegetarian restaurant in the United States. Greens changed that by raising the bar, by placing vegetarian cuisine on a level with other fine dining restaurants. We have been reviewed by food and design magazines from the time we opened. Today we are surprised if a good restaurant does NOT have vegetarian options. Greens helped pave the way for this acceptance.

California Outdoor Concerts

Get Starstruck at the Watercourt

Grand Performances summer series takes place on two stages at California Plaza the Watercourt stage and the Marina Pavilion. The larger of the two venues - the Watercourt stage - is a unique performance site that can hold as many as 70 performers and is partially surrounded by a system of gardens and water features. The capacity crowd for this stage can be as large as 6,500 people. The smaller Marina Pavilion stage has an amphitheatre style feel and can accommodate close to 300 audience members. This unique outdoor venue is the only one of its kind in Southern California. First-time evening attendees are often mesmerized by this extraordinary location - cradled between two high-rise towers, with water features (including the Watercourt) and the night time sky as a beautiful, natural canopy. 2006 Season Schedule June 06/17 - 3:00 PM: Guthrie Family Heritage Concert 06/23 - 8:00 PM: Crash 06/24 - 8:00 PM: An Inconvenient Truth July 07/01 - 7:00 PM: Sounds Eclectico with Kinky & Sidestepper 07/02 - 3:00 PM: Emeline Michel & Sara Tavares 07/06 - 8:00 PM: Abdelli 07/07 - 12:00 PM: Abdelli 07/07 - 8:00 PM: Kékélé 07/08 - 8:00 PM: Ska Cubano 07/14 - 12:00 PM: Lisa Haley and the Zydekats 07/14 - 8:00 PM: Diavolo Dance Theatre 07/15 - 8:00 PM: Diavolo Dance Theatre 07/16 - 3:00 PM: Torii: The Japanese Portal Connecting the Finite and Infinite Worlds 07/21 - 12:00 PM: Hip Hop and the Wheels of Steel 07/21 - 8:00 PM: David Ornette Cherry with Ensemble for Improvisors 07/22 - 8:00 PM: WAT IV Ensemble 07/23 - 3:00 PM: Jim Gamble’s Tales of the Ashanti 07/23 - 4:30 PM: Jim Gamble’s Tales of the Ashanti 07/23 - 8:00 PM: Simon Shaheen 07/24 - 12:00 PM: DJ-101 07/24 - 6:00 PM: DJ-101 07/25 - 12:00 PM: DJ-101 07/25 - 6:00 PM: DJ-101 07/28 - 12:00 PM: Daara J 07/28 - 7:00 PM: daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra and Daara J 07/29 - 8:00 PM: Sounds Eclectico 2 w/Nortec Collective and Banda August 08/04 - 12:00 PM: Moog Mania 08/04 - 8:00 PM: Film Series - Moog 08/05 - 8:00 PM: Film Series - Dance Camera West: New Visions for Dance 08/06 - 8:00 PM: Film Series – Strange Fruit (MMM) 08/11 - 12:00 PM: Royal Crown Revue 08/11 - 8:00 PM: Henry Mancini Institute Big Band with Maria Schneider 08/12 - 8:00 PM: Mládí Chamber Orchestra 08/18 - 12:00 PM: Speak Theater Arts - N*W*C: The Race Show (MMM) 08/18 - 8:00 PM: Speak Theater Arts - N*W*C: The Race Show (MMM) 08/19 - 8:00 PM: Inside The Creole Mafia (MMM) 08/24 - 8:00 PM: Beijing LDTX Modern Dance 08/25 - 12:00 PM: Chinese Classical Music Ensemble 08/25 - 8:00 PM: Beijing LDTX Modern Dance 08/26 - 8:00 PM: Beijing LDTX Modern Dance September 09/08 - 12:00 PM: Masanga Marimba Ensemble 09/15 - 12:00 PM: Seña y Verbo - Noche del Tigre (Night of the Tiger) 09/15 - 8:00 PM: Seña y Verbo - El Rey Sordo (The Deaf King) 09/16 - 8:00 PM: Seña y Verbo - El Rey Sordo (The Deaf King) 09/17 - 3:00 PM: Seña y Verbo - Noche del Tigre (Night of the Tiger) 09/22 - 12:00 PM: Very Be Careful 09/24 - 3:00 PM: Jacki Breger Family Sing-a-Long 09/29 - 12:00 PM: Double G’s Concert 9net October 10/06 - 12:00 PM: Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra 10/07 - 12:00 PM: Grand Avenue Festival 10/15 - 6:00 PM: Latino AIDS Awareness Event

Santa Barbara & San Luis Activities

Taste a Syrah at the Firestone Winery, Maybe you'll run into The Bachelor

2003 SYRAH EARNS 5TH GOLD MEDAL April 12, 2006 —Firestone Vineyard's 2003 Syrah was awarded a gold medal at the New World International Wine Competitions, its fifth gold medal earned at a major wine competition. The 2003 Syrah has also earned double gold medals at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the San Francisco International Wine Competition, a gold medal for Best of Class at the Long Beach Grand Cru, and a gold medal at the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition. Check out the comments for more Central Coast Activities Or Click to Add your own recommendation

Wine Country Activities

Ride a hot air balloon in Napa.

Excerpt from Atlanta Constitution/Atlanta Journal appearing Sunday, May 18, 1997 READER POSTCARD: Up, up and away to thrills in the air over the Napa Valley A thrilling hot air balloon ride enhanced Atlantan Kay McCall's trip to Northern California. It still takes my breath away just thinking about peering over the side of a hot air balloon basket while high in the sky. I finally realized this experience of a lifetime on a recent visit to the San Francisco Bay area. I booked the ride with Above the West Hot Air Ballooning for four of us, including my elderly aunt and uncle. Leaving our San Francisco hotel at 4:45 a.m., we were driven to Yountville in the Napa Valley for pastries and coffee at 6. As the day dawned beautiful and clear, we met our ace pilot, Donna Dunrud. We Watched the crew inflate our hot air balloon, the Tivoli. What a thrill to see that huge pink and blue sphere come to life. We climbed into the basket and in no time were inches off the ground and slowly, gently gaining altitude to 3,500 feet. the vineyards and wineries below began to look like a model railroad set. Propane tank blasts—and our oohs and ahhs—punctuated the serene quiet. We zoomed low over a range of hills, watching a hawk dive for his breakfast, a deer dashing across a field. And we gasped as the other side of the crest dropped away below us. As we approached the bay, we descended into a hayfield. I was worried, having heard about baskets tipping over on landing. But the ground crew grasped the basket and we felt an easy bounce. We received certificates, hot air balloon-shaped pins and a champagne breakfast, a fine way to cap the trip. Check out the comments for more Wine Country Activities Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Jazz Festivals

Hot Jazz in the Cool Sierras

Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee July 12 - 16, 2006 The Bands for 2006 • Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band • Blue Street Jazz Band • Blue Renditions • Chicago Six • Cornet Chop Suey • Gator Beat • High Street • Hyperion Outfall Serenaders • Ivory & Gold • JAS'M • Jazz Camp Youth Band • Kim Richmond Bob Florence Ensemble • The Mammoth Lakes All-Star Big Band • Midiri Brothers • Mighty Aphrodite • Night Blooming Jazzmen • The Professors • Royal Dixie Jazz Band • Sally Tibbs / Kevin Kirk • Side Street Strutters • Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums • Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra • Temple of Folly with Yve Evans • Titan Hot Seven with Draga and Barnhart • Tom Hook and the Black Dogs *Bands listed are subject to change. Experience the spectacular Sierra to the sounds of some of the world's finest musicians! Something about Mammoth Mammoth Lakes, California is a small but lively spot of only four square miles and about 7,000 year round residents. Bounded on the west by the Sierra Nevada crest, the region's base altitude is 7800 feet and is characterized by its mountains, lakes, streams and forests. Included is one of the finest ski resorts in the West; Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. The Town of Mammoth Lakes economy is tourism-based with nearly 8500 rental units in Mammoth Lakes. The geographic location, 160 miles south of Reno; 220 miles from Sacramento and 325 miles north of Los Angeles and only 32 miles south of the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, makes it a natural nucleus for winter and summer activities. Check out the comments for more California Jazz Festivals Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Unusual Accomodations

Enter the real Animal Kingdom

The natural world awaits you... Nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California's wine country, Safari West is home for over 400 exotic mammals and birds. Not a zoo, not a drive-through park, it's a wildlife preserve where the whole family can experience some of nature's most beautiful animals in a natural habitat. Established by Peter Lang in 1979, Safari West gained membership in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, one of only six private facilities in North America to belong to that prestigious organization. The ongoing mission of Safari West is wildlife preservation through breeding, education, research and public interaction. But Safari West is more than a preserve. We are dedicated to raising awareness of our exotic neighbors and promoting understanding through in-person contact. That's why we offer safaris year-round. If your only experience with a zebra or giraffe has been at a zoo, you should see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. You owe it to yourself, and to them.
Bed, breakfast and a room with a view... of giraffes! "The best way to visit is to spend the night, so you can hear the nightly serenade, the likes of which you've never heard outside of an African savannah." Enjoy all the creature comforts when you spend the night in one of our luxury tents—"It’s like having a tent over your room!" Pale-green canvas walls enclose plush beds, hot showers and rustic but elegant trappings. There are polished wood floors, gleaming copper basins in the private bathrooms and one-of-a kind hand hewn furniture. Tents are imported from Africa and are built on high wooden platforms with spacious decks where guests can take in the view of grazing giraffes or enjoy the serenity of the private lake. It's the height of luxury. Rates: Safari Tents: Choose from one king size bed, king size bed with double size bunk beds, or two double beds. Ensuite bathroom with shower. Outdoor sitting area. $225.00 a night for two people, each extra person $25. Maximum occupancy: five guests. Continental breakfast included. (two night minimum stay Friday and Saturday, May through September) Inquire about availability with Guests Services Cottage: If canvas isn't your style, try our charming cottage. Suitable for up to eight guests, the two-bedroom cottage is equipped with a king bed, a double bunk bed and a queen futon. Private bathroom, kitchenette (mini-fridge, sink, microwave and coffeemaker) and outdoor sitting area are all part of this spacious dwelling. $350.00 a night for four people, each extra person $25.00. Recommended occupancy: four to eight guests. Continental breakfast included. (two night minimum stay Friday and Saturday, May through September)
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California Marathons & 10Ks

Run the Rock-N-Roll Marathon, San Diego.

How to Register Registering is easy! You may register for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon any of the following ways: Click here to register online Contact the Marathon at : Rock 'n 'Roll Marathon c/o Elite Racing 5452 Oberlin Drive San Diego, CA 92121 Email: rnrm@eliteracing.com Ph: (858) 450-6510 Fax: (858) 450-6905 Entry Fees Entry fees are non-refundable; race numbers and entries cannot be transferred to another year. No exceptions. This means once we have received your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate, and you may not give or sell your number to anyone else. All fees below in U.S. dollars. Late Entry Fee: $95 (until May 26) Expo entry fee: $120 (Jun. 2-3) Mail/fax entries not accepted after May 26, 2006 Mile by Mile Course Description START – Runners start on 6 th Ave. at Palm heading north using whole road. Mile 0.9 – Runners turn right at University Ave and use the whole road. Mile 1.7– Runners turn right at Park Blvd. And use the southbound side of Park Blvd from University to Robinson, both sides of the road from Robinson to Upas, and the southbound side from Upas to B Street. Mile 4.0– Runners turn right at B Street, using the entire road. Mile 4.05 – Runners turn left at 11 th Avenue using the entire road. Mile 4.35 – Runners turn right at G Street and use the entire road. Mile 4.4 – Runners turn left at 10 th Avenue using the entire road. Mile 4.65 – Runners cross J Street. Mile 4.8 – Runners turn right at Park Blvd. around Petco Park using the westbound side of the road. Mile 4.95 – Runners turn right at Tony Gwynn Drive using the entire road. Mile 5.3– Runners turn left at J Street. Mile 5.4 – Runners turn right at 5 th Avenue using the entire road. Mile 5.5 – Runners turn left at Market Street, using the entire road to 4 th Ave., then westbound side. Mile 6.0 – Runners turn right at Harbor Drive, using the northbound side to past Pacific Highway, then the entire road. (one southbound lane open) Mile 6.5 – Runners turn right at Broadway using the eastbound side of the road. Mile 6.8 – Runners cross State Street, and move to westbound side of Broadway. Mile 7.0 – Runners cross 1 st Avenue Mile 7.5 – Runners turn left at 10 th Avenue using the entire road. Mile 7.8 – Runners cross A Street on to southbound side of the 163 running north. Mile 11.5 – Runners turn left at Friars Road from the southbound 163 ramp, using the eastbound side of the road. Mile 12 – Runners pass Fashion Valley Road. Mile 12.9 – Runners pass Via Las Cumbras Mile 13.4 – Runners move to westbound side of Friars Road. Mile 13.5 – Runner turn right at Napa Street, using the northbound side of the road, then move to southbound side. Mile 13.6 – Runners turn left at Linda Vista Road. Mile 13.7 – Runners turn right at Morena, using the northbound side of the road. Mile 13.75 – Runners cross Napa Street, and move to southbound side of Morena. Mile 15.25 – Runners turn right at Milton Street, using the entire road. Mile 15.4 – Runners turn left at Denver Street, using the entire road. Mile 15.8 – Runners turn left at Clairemont Drive, using the east bound side. Mile 16.1 – Runners turn right through island opening to North Mission Bay Drive, using north bound side of the road. Mile 16.7 – Runners turn right then quick left on to one east bound lane of Grand Ave. Mile 17.45 – Runners turn left at Quincy Street, using the entire road. Mile 17.75 – Runners turn right at Thomas Street then quick left at Ladd Street. Mile 18.05 – Runners turn right at Oliver Street, using the entire road. Mile 18.0 – Runners turn left at Olney Street, using the entire road. Mile 18.05 – Runners turn right at Pacific Beach Drive, using the entire road except for one westbound lane. Mile 18.2 – Runners turn left at Crown Point Drive, using the northbound side. Mile 19.2 – Runners pass La Cima and use entire road from here to Ingraham Street. Mile 19.4 – Runners turn left at Ingraham Street, using the north bound side. Mile 20.9 – Runners turn left onto Frontage Road which runs parallel to Sea World Drive Mile 22 – Runners turn right at Friars Road, using the eastbound side. Mile 22.3 – Runners U-turn on Friars Road, heading back on the westbound side. Mile 22.9 – Runners turn right on to #2 eastbound lane (curb lane) on Sea World Drive. Mile 23.1 - Runners turn right on to Pacific Highway. Mile 24.7 – Runners stay right on to the ramp towards Barnett Ave. Mile 24.8 – Runners cross over to the eastbound side of Barnett Ave. Mile 25.5 – Runners turn left through Gate 1 in to Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Mile 25.7 – Runners turn left at Dunlap Road. Mile 25.9 – Runners turn left at Henderson Avenue. Mile 25.95 – Runners turn right at Seminole Street. Mile 26.2 – Runners finish on Parade Deck in Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Headliner Concert - Ozomatli Celebrate your marathon accomplishment at the post race headliner concert featuring Ozomatli. All registered runners get free entry with their race number. Pre-ordered tickets can be picked up at the “Concert Ticket” booth at the Expo. Ticket purchase for $25 is also available at the Expo and the Coors Amphitheatre box office. Coors Amphitheatre 2050 Entertainment Circle - Chula Vista [ Directions ] Gates Open: Left4Dead: Awards Ceremony: OZOMATLI: 5:30 PM 6:30 PM 7:20 PM 8:00 PM Check out the comments for more California Running Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Motorcycle Rides

Take your Harley on the Avenue of the Giants to the 29th Annual Redwood Run

REDWOOD RUN 2006 JUNE 9, 10, & 11 Check back often for updates!! WIN A CUSTOM CHOPPER*! Ticket includes a chance to win a Hard Core II Custom Chopper kit bike from Custom Chrome Inc., Humboldt Performance Cycle and Reality Custom Painting Two Nights of Non-Stop, Kick-Ass Music Featuring: Foreigner Vince Neil, Lead Singer of Motley Crue Dave Mason Joe Bonamassa The Clint Warner Band and More to be announced! * watch website for complete details!! Check out the comments for more California Motorcycle Rides Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Thrill Seekers

Fly Through the Air

For the first timer, the Parachute Center offers an Introductory Jump for $100.00. The Introductory Jump will give you an overall look at the sport. It includes all equipment, training, plane ride, and a freefall jump with a specially trained Instructor. The jump is from 13,000 feet and will give you 60 seconds of freefall (approximately two miles), and a five minute descent under a specially designed parachute. Weight is an important factor on the tandem jump. If you weigh over 200 pounds, there is a service charge of $1.00 per pound for every pound over 200. If you are 215 pounds and under, you will still go to the top altitude, if you are over 215 pounds, the jump is from 6,000 feet with a shorter freefall time, but you will still have a five minute descent under the parachute. The Introductory Jump will introduce you to the sport in the safest possible environment under the direct supervision of your Instructor. NO RESERVATIONS are necessary for The Introductory Jump. We are OPEN EVERYDAY at 9 a.m., we ask you to be here by 3 p.m. during the week and by 4 p.m. on the weekends. We do jump later but set these times to allow us adequate time for the training and the jump. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes and tennis shoes. You must be 18 years of age to begin Skydiving. Please no personal checks, we do accept Master Card/Visa (5% service charge) and ATM ($1 charge) and cash. Feel free to call or e-mail for further information.

San Diego Activities

Sail the America's Cup

You can sail on an America's Cup sailboat with Next Level Sailing in San Diego Stars & Stripes / USA 34 Length: 79 feet Weight: 50,000 pounds (85% of the weight is in the ballast) Mast height: 114 feet (11 stories) Upwind Speed: 10-12 knots Downwind Speed: up to 18 knots (in very high winds) "Stars & Stripes." It is arguably the most widely-recognized name among all American sailing vessels. Team Dennis Conner's original Stars & Stripes went to Australia in 1987 and won back the America's Cup in Fremantle, defeating the Aussies'Kookaburra III. Next Level Racing's Stars & Stripes / USA 34 was designed by David Pedrick and built in 1994 by Goetz Boat Works for Team Dennis Conner's single-boat campaign during the 1995 America's Cup in San Diego. Stars & Stripes / USA 34 rose to notoriety by winning the Citizen Cup in 1995, earning the right to defend the Cup on behalf of the San Diego Yacht Club. But in one of the most bizarre twists in the history of America's Cup racing, Conner chose to defend the Cup, not aboard his Stars & Stripes / USA 34, but rather using Young America / USA 36, which he had just defeated in the finals of the Citizen Cup. In head to head competition, Team New Zealand's Black Magic proved to be much faster, defeating Team Dennis Conner in four straight races. The Cup resided in New Zealand until the controversial 2003 victory by the Swiss Team's Alinghi, with Team New Zealand's former skipper, Russell Coutts as its Master. The weather is beautiful in San Diego. Come sailing with us. Public trips available every week. Reserve on-line or call 800-644-3454 Welcome to the ultimate sailing experience: racing, leisure cruising, day charters or learning to sail on our 80-foot International America's Cup Class (IACC) yachts. Next Level Sailing in San Diego, California offers this exhilarating and unique experience to individuals, groups and corporations through our Corporate Sailing, Team Building, Instruction (sailing lessons), Fantasy Sailing Camp programs and Corporate Advertisement. Our boats are among the fastest mono-hull sailing vessels in the world. Your sailing experience with Next Level Sailing will be unforgettable, breathtaking and surprisingly affordable. It's by far the finest sailing experience America's Finest City has to offer. Public Sailing Excursions Aboard Actual America's Cup Yachts! Now there's a faster, more exotic way take in the awe-inspiring scenery of San Diego Bay. Next Level Sailing offers 2-hour public sailing excursions aboard our two 80-foot International America's Cup Class (IACC) racing yachts. You've watched these magnificent, high-tech boats race for sailing's ultimate prize-the America's Cup. But nothing compares to the thrill and excitement of sailing aboard an IACC yacht. With masts that stretch skyward as high as an 11-story building, these precision-engineered racing yachts are the fastest mono-hull sailing vessels in the world. Sit back, relax and hold on to your hat as you glide quietly and effortlessly through San Diego Bay, breezing by popular landmarks, attractions, and military points of interest which may include: * America's Cup Harbor * Coronado Bay Bridge * North Island Naval Airstation * Submarine Amphibious Base * Aircraft Carriers (when in port) * San Diego Convention Center * Downtown San Diego Skyline * Cabrillo National Monument * Star of India and other historic ships * Ocean wildlife, such as seals, sea lions, pelicans and gulls * and much more. Reservations & Pricing There is no minimum group size required, however, reservations are recommended. Make your reservations on the web here or by phone at (800) 644-3454. The cost of a 2-hour Next Level Harbor Sailing Tour is $99 per person. Credit cards are accepted, and Gift Certificates are available. I sailed on an America's Cup yacht in Hawaii and it was one of the most exciting tourist activities I've ever done. -- the Irish Lass Check out the comments for more San Diego Activities Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Golf

Nice and gentle Palm Springs golf? Hah! Golf California says Try these wicked courses

If you think Palm Springs is all about casual resort golf, you will find yourself shocked by some of the brutal courses this famous desert city has to offer. By adding the Arnold Palmer-designed Silver Rock, Palm Springs now has several courses that will leave even the most experienced golfers feeling overwhelmed, including Pete Dye's seriously difficult PGA West TPC Stadium. Here's a look at some courses that prove Palm Springs is no pushover.
Department List Check out the comments for more California Golf Or Click to Add your own recommendation

Hollywood Activities

Feel the celebrity handprints at Mann's Chinese Theatre.

It was once stated that “to visit Los Angeles and not see the Chinese is like visiting China and not seeing the Great Wall.” Grauman’s opulent, awe-inspiring presence and history has been a cornerstone of Hollywood for over 75 years. The grand opening of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on May 18, 1927, was the most spectacular theatre opening in motion picture history. Thousands of people lined Hollywood Boulevard and a riot broke out as fans tried to catch a glimpse of the movie stars and other celebrities as they arrived for the opening. The film being premiered that night was Cecil B. DeMille's “The King of Kings,” which was preceded by "Glories of the Scriptures," a live prologue devised by master showman Sid Grauman. A Wurlitzer organ and 65-piece orchestra provided music for the prologue. The theatre opened to the public the following day, May 19, 1927. Previously, Grauman built the Million Dollar Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and the lavish Egyptian Theatre a few blocks from the Chinese, but he wanted to build his dream theatre. Real estate mogul C.E. Toberman helped him secure a long-term lease on a piece of property on the boulevard and Grauman developed the plans for the theatre with architect Raymond Kennedy. Norma Talmadge turned the first spade full of dirt in January 1926 and beautiful Chinese actress Anna May Wong drove the first rivet in the steel girders. Built at a cost of $2,000,000, eighteen months later the Chinese Theatre opened. Authorization had to be obtained from the U.S. government to import temple bells, pagodas, stone Heaven Dogs and other artifacts from China. Poet and film director Moon Quon came from China, and under his supervision Chinese artisans created many pieces of statuary in the work area that eventually became the Forecourt of the Stars. Most of these pieces still decorate the ornate interior of the theatre today. April 30, 1927: Practicing for the very first footprint ceremony, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Sid Grauman (kneeling) later placed individual prints in two separate squares. Protected by it’s 40-foot high curved walls and copper-topped turrets, the theatre’s legendary forecourt serves as an oasis to the stars of yesterday and today. Ten-foot tall lotus-shaped fountains and intricate artistry flank the footprints of some of Hollywood’s most elite and welcome its visitors into the magical world of fantasy and whim known as Hollywood. The theatre rises 90-feet high and two gigantic coral red columns topped by wrought iron masks hold aloft the bronze roof. Between the columns is a 30-foot high dragon carved from stone. Guarding the theatre entrance to this day are the two original giant Heaven Dogs brought from China. Grauman never owned the theatre outright, but held a one-third interest with his partners, Howard Schenck, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Grauman sold his share to Fox West Coast Theatres in 1929 and was the Managing Director of the theatre until his death in 1950. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is the most sought-after theatre in Hollywood for studio premieres. Fans flock to these events to see the celebrities arrive and walk up the red carpet into the theatre. Rich in movie tradition, with its cement handprints and footprints in the forecourt, the Chinese Theatre immortalizes the brightest stars. More than four-million visitors from all over the world visit Grauman’s every year. The Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was declared a historic-cultural landmark in 1968, and there has always been a restoration program in process to maintain the theatre's beauty. Following the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake, geological experts were brought in to inspect the theatre and advise the owners with regard to protecting and strengthening the entire structure. The theatre has undergone a major renovation. Timed to coincide with the opening of the Hollywood & Highland mall and the new Mann Chinese 6 Theatre, the renovation is designed to rejuvenate and enhance the Chinese Theatre. Additionally, several earthquake retrofits were required to protect the structure and ensure its permanence. With this facelift, the Chinese Theatre will continue to be the preferred location for the industries’ most prestigious premieres for years to come. Grauman's Chinese Theatre VIP Backstage Tours
Be a star!!! Experience the famous Grauman's Chinese as if you were a movie star. The only tour in Hollywood that takes you backstage to the newly renovated Grauman's Chinese. On your walk to fame you will be guided through the new Mann Chinese 6 theatres, featuring the VIP Lounge. Learn the history that is unique to the Chinese dating back to 1927 along with fun facts about the famous Grauman's Chinese forecourt. Tours are offered 7 days a week. Please call in advance for tour times and prices. For more information call: 323-463-9576
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Make a wish in the Snow White Fountain at Disneyland

The biggest celebration in Disney history is happening now! Come home to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Disneyland® Resort and be a part of the magic!
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San Francisco Bars and Nightclubs

Stay awake at the Buena Vista

THE IRISH COFFEE STORY The historic venture started on the night of November the 10th in 1952. Jack Koeppler, then-owner of the Buena Vista, challenged international travel writer Stanton Delaplane to help re-create a highly touted "Irish Coffee" served at Shannon Airport in Ireland. Intrigued, Stan Accepted Jack’s invitation, and the pair began to experiment immediately. Throughout the night the two of them stirred and sipped judiciously and eventually acknowledged two recurring problems. The taste was "not quite right," and the cream would not float. Stan’s hopes sank like the cream, but Jack was undaunted. The restaurateur pursued the elusive elixir with religious fervor, even making a pilgrimage overseas to Shannon Airport. Upon Jack’s return, the experimentation continued. Finally, the perfect-tasting Irish whiskey was selected. Then the problem of the bottom-bent cream was taken to San Francisco’s mayor, a prominent dairy owner. It was discovered that when the cream was aged for 48 hours and frothed to a precise consistency, it would float as delicately as a swan on the surface of Jack’s and Stan’s special nectar. Success was theirs! With the recipe now mastered, a sparkling clear, six-ounce, heat-treated goblet was chosen as a suitable chalice. Soon the fame of the Buena Vista’s Irish Coffee spread throughout the land. Today, it’s still the same delicious mixture, and it’s still the same clamorous, cosmopolitan Buena Vista. Both…delightful experiences.
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California Rat Pack Activities

Cross the border at the Cal-Neva Lodge where Frank used to hang out, win a big jackpot, bring the money back to California to spend it.

The Cal Neva survived many owners during the early years, but none were as famous or visible as Frank Sinatra who purchased the Cal Neva and was licensed on September 10, 1960. He did extensive remodeling, and the Celebrity Showroom was built on the Nevada side with a helicopter pad on top of it. The helicopter pad was used only while Sinatra owned the Cal Neva Lodge. The Cal Neva Lodge filled to capacity during the summer months when Frank Sinatra owned and operated it. He booked big name entertainers for the Indian Room and for the Celebrity Showroom. A controversy with the Nevada Gaming Control Board resulted in the revocation of Sinatra's license on October 22, 1963. On Labor Day, September 1963 Frank Sinatra closed the Cal Neva Lodge bringing and end to a reign that was as colorful as himself.
Frank Sinatra - Fly Me to the Moon Dean Martin - That's Amore Sammy Davis Jr. - The Candy Man Check out the comments for more California Rat Pack Activities Or Click to Add your own recommendation

Dean Martin Roasts

California Shakespeare

Brush Up On Your Shakespeare in Lake Tahoe

Sand Harbor State Park, Lake Tahoe, Nevada July 13 through August 20, 2006 Lake Tahoe Entertainment at it's finest. The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor State Park is an exciting way to enrich your Reno-Tahoe summer vacation at or the perfect evening escape from ordinary city life. If you've never visited the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival before, or if you're a seasoned veteran of our performances, 2006 is set to be a wonderful year on the beaches of Lake Tahoe's Sand Harbor State Park. For more than 25 years, people have spread out on the pristine beaches with wine and cheese, and enjoyed the Bard at his best. Next year, it promises to be better than ever, with the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival's feature production of the dramatic Othello,balanced nicely with Twelfth Night. This year, attendees at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival will find that "festival food" has been elevated in quality with more variety and several gourmet additions, said Catherine Atack, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. By providing such a variety of high-quality dining choices at the Sand Harbor venue, we feel we have really improved the Shakespeare experience for our guests. Enjoying great food and fine wine with your toes in the sand, it makes for a great night out on the town for Shakespeare lovers of all ages.
Looking for Macbeth, Hamlet or As You Like It? Find it and all of Shakespeare's works on Alibris Check out the comments for more California Theatre Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Scenic Drives

Drive a Convertible on the 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach

Discover Nature’s treasures as you explore the serene majesty of Del Monte Forest. Here you’ll quickly experience the magic of a legendary scenic tour that’s home to The Lone Cypress, Seal and Bird Rocks, Fanshell Beach, Point Joe, and the colliding currents of The Restless Sea. You’ll see black cormorants, brown pelicans, California sea otters, harbor seals, and idle sea lions all in their natural habitat. Colorful native wildflowers dot the scene, adorning the cool, soothing hues of the seashore and carefully preserved dunescape. Along the way, you’ll encounter the emerald fairways of such famous golf courses as The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. For a gourmet picnic lunch along 17-Mile Drive, visit Pebble Beach Market adjacent to The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Acer XP Trio Check out the comments for more California Scenic Drives Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Auto Racing

Learn to Race at Thunderhill Park, Willows

Thunderhill High Performance Driving School Our School is a High Speed driving event on an FIA class road track with a licensed racing instructor. You drive, they teach. In 1.5 hours of lecture and track orientation, plus 5-20 minute high speed driving sessions, you'll learn and practice "line", threshold braking, car control, consistency and smoothness. You'll learn a few new things about yourself and your car and you'll aquire knowledge, experience and respect for the art of car control. What you'll need 16 years or older can attend (16/17 require parents signature) Clean maintained street vehicle (OK to trailer) Snell 85+ helmet (loaners available) The standard belt that came with your car All convertibles must be equipped with a "roll bar" that is above the drivers head. Vehicles with factory hoops, or pop up rollover systems are not allowed. $195 - includes lunch, Thunderhill T-Shirt, and post event social.
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California Biking

Rent a beach cruiser in Santa Barbara

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Yosemite Activities

Have an afternoon beer at the Awahnee Hotel, Yosemite

A World Class Hotel As a National Historical Landmark and one of the most distinctive resort hotels in North America, The Ahwahnee is well known for its great granite façade, striking beamed ceilings, massive stone hearths, richly colored Native American artwork, and finely appointed rooms. Featuring 123 rooms, comprised of 99 hotel rooms, parlors and suites and 24 cottages, The Ahwahnee offers a perfect balance of history, hospitality and elegance. It's no wonder that for generations this grand hotel has been the destination of queens and presidents alike. The Ahwahnee Dining Room - The site of some of the most remarkable culinary events in the country, the Ahwahnee Dining Room features a 34-foot high ceiling with large sugar pine trestles and ceiling-to-floor windows framed with stained glass. The Great Lounge - A study in size and grace, the Great Lounge is 77 feet long, 51 feet wide with 24-foot-high ceilings. Ten floor-to-ceiling windows topped with stained glass panels, bathe the Lounge in light during the day. Wrought-iron chandeliers provide a warm glow in the evenings. The Solarium - Abundant natural light floods the room from windows on three sides. Adding to the room's sunny ambiance are an indoor fountain of local jasper and a profusion of beautiful plants. Winter Club Room - Deep leather chairs, a winter sports theme, vintage photographs and large windows create a relaxing mood that's particularly comforting in winter. Mural Room - A spectacular mural of Yosemite's flora and fauna overlooks this elegantly paneled room. A copper-hooded fireplace and French doors looking out on the landscaped grounds make this the perfect place to read a good book, write or entertain a small group. Colonial Room, Tressider Room and Tudor Lounge - Private meeting spaces with rich dark wood appointments and balconies overlooking Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls.
Top Brands at Mountain Gear Check out the comments for more Yosemite Activities Or Click to Add your own recommendation

Tahoe Restaurants & Nightclubs

Fab Food at the Cafe Fiore

As featured in- The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee and Best Places To Kiss In Northern California. Awarded the "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence" since 1992.
Reviews "You don't have to worry about distractions at Cafe Fiore- there are only 7 tables! It doesn't get more intimate than this. Candles glimmer at each of the window side tables arranged in the cozy wood paneled dining room. In the summer, tables are set up outside. Wherever you sit, be adventurous: the Italian menu features items such as Eggplant Crepes served with sun-dried tomatoes with sherry wine sauce, among other unusual selections. Desserts are out-of-this-world, especially the homemade white chocolate ice cream. We were tempted to stay an extra day in South Lake Tahoe just to come back here..." From the book, "The Best Places to Kiss in Northern California" As featured in the Sacramento Bee By Allen O. Pierleoni 1996 Assistant Features Editor A short drive from Casino Row, on the California side, is the Cafe Fiore, a seven-table restaurant that has lived many lives over the years, including one as a private residence. Luckily for us, Nick Ashmore has had the place for the past year and a half. Between him and young (26) self-taught chef Gilbert Ruelas, the restaurant has never been stronger or more versatile. (The sauces really stand out; they're not timid about making a statement.) The high ceilings and overhead fan give the small room at least a sense of spaciousness (there's summertime alfresco dining that doubles the seating). It is rather ironic that conversant diners enjoy more a sense of privacy here than in many larger dining rooms. Cafe Fiore has the world's second-best garlic bread, based on the theory that there likely is a better one elsewhere in the world -- though we haven't found it. The house-specialty appetizer is eggplant crepes, four thinly sliced eggplant rounds stuffed with smoked salmon, grilled and served in a sherry cream and sun-dried tomato sauce. Luscious. Another winner was the grilled tiger prawns with pancetta, served with a fresh fruit compote. The menu has some hearty pasta dishes -- linguine with seafood sautéed in a cognac, caper and lemon butter sauce; fettuccine tossed with garlic, artichoke hearts, broccoli, olives, pinenuts and tomatoes in a white wine sauce -- and a lineup of imaginative dinners starring chicken, pork tenderloin, filet mignon and veal. But it was two specials that grabbed our attention the other night: grilled lamb chops with shiitake mushrooms and pine nuts in a Madera wine reduction sauce; and tender ahi with crushed black peppercorns, seared in olive oil and finished with garlic butter sauce. The chops and the fish were some of the best we've tasted anywhere. The house-made white chocolate ice cream with sliced strawberries ended things nicely. And the two Wine Spectator awards by the front door reminded us that more than130 vinos are available. Cafe Fiore, 1169 Ski Run Blvd., No. 5. Dinner from 5:30-10 p.m. nightly. Entrees from $13 to $28. Call (530) 541-2908.
We saw Charles Barkley and Ben Roethlisberger dining here during the Tahoe Celebrity Golf Tournament - the Irishlass

California Surfing

Go to Corky Carroll's Surf School, Huntington Beach

The Ultimate Birthday Party!! Huntington Beach A Birthday Party For Any Age Where: Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington Beach, lifeguard tower 18, 2.5 miles north of the Huntington Beach pier. When: All year Prices: $40 per person Includes: Three hour party , Surfboards,Wetsuits, Instruction, Party Favors No more than one instructor per five students. First hour is in the water with instructor. Seond hour is on the beach resting and doing party functions Third hour is back in the water with instructor and group
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California Food Festivals

Eat your way through Garlic Alley Gilroy's garlic festival and learn what good food really tastes like.

Where else can one feast on food laced with over two tons of fresh garlic, enjoy three stages of musical entertainment, shop in arts and crafts, view the great garlic cook-off and other celebrity cooking demonstrations, spend time in the children's area, visit interactive displays set up by many of our sponsors, soak up some glorious sunshine, and mingle with a fun bunch of garlic-loving people? The GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL in Gilroy, California!! We have over 4,000 spirited volunteers ready to make your trip to the Gilroy Garlic Festival a most memorable experience. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a "seasoned" veteran, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is always a fun and fragrant experience. Over 3 million honored guests have made the pilgrimage.
Recipe Contest and Cook-Off What It Is The Great Garlic Cook-off is one of the most well-known cooking contests in the country. Starting in December of each year, the Gilroy Garlic Festival puts out a call across the United States and Canada for the best garlic recipes. Hundreds of amateur chefs respond with delicious sounding recipes that run the gamut from soups to desserts and from every type of cuisine. Recent winners have included Basil and Garlic-Stuffed Sea Scallops wrapped in Prosciutto and served with a Spicy Citrus Beurre Blanc and Garlic Seafood Soup The most delicious-sounding recipes, approximately 50, are forwarded to a professional food consultant who makes the final selection of the eight recipes. The consultant prepares each recipe to ensure correct measurements and use of ingredients. These finalists' recipes are those considered to make the most interesting and exciting contest. The finalists come to Gilroy to prepare their recipes on the Saturday of the festival in front of the public. By 12:15, celebrity judges pick their favorites. The winner of the Great Garlic Cook-Off is appropriately honored with a crown of garlic and goes home $1,000 richer. Second place is awarded $750; third, $500. The other finalists are given $100.00 each. For garlic tips and new recipes, the Great Garlic Cook-Off Stage is the place you want to be!
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California Nature

Watch a Whale, Half Moon Bay

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California Classical Music Festivals

Enjoy Opera at the Bear Valley Music Festival

July 29 - August 13, 2006 Voted the best summer attraction in the Central Sierra, the Festival offers a full symphony orchestra, international soloists, legendary entertainers, and renowned opera stars in a unique mountain setting. The Festival offers an outdoor musical experience while under the shade of a large 1250 seat tent. An easy three-hour drive from the Bay Area through the historic gold country, Bear Valley sits along Highway 4 on the Ebbetts Pass Corridor. The Bear Valley Village and surrounding area offers an abundance of recreational activities - hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, swimming, boating, camping, mountaineering, and relaxing between Festival performances. Refreshments and BBQ are available at the Festival Tent prior to all performances and during intermission, proceeds directly benefiting the Festival. Campgrounds, lodging, fine dining, and casual eateries are available in and near the Village as well as in the nearby communities of Arnold, Murphys, and Angels Camp.
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San Francisco Restaurants

Celebrate the Foodies Favorite City, San Francisco

My favorite fancy restaurant in San Francisco is Farallon, where my pals Stacey and Susan took me a few years back for a birthday celebration.
From a San Francisco Chronicle review, Farallon, the newest big-ticket affair near Union Square, has just about everything a restaurant needs to be great. The interior, a $4 million extravaganza designed by Pat Kuleto, exudes a magical, feel-good air. The food by Mark Franz, who was the backbone of the Stars kitchen for a decade, is already some of the best in the city. Franz focuses on seafood, creating innovative and imaginative combinations. For example, he uses Napa cabbage leaves to bundle together prawn mousse with wild salmon fillets and striped bass. He steams the package, cuts it open to expose the mosaic pattern inside, and places it on a bed of tiny diced, gingered vegetables and an unctuous foie gras sauce.
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California Fireworks

Fireworks on the Beach in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Patriotic Association for the Return of Kabooms to Light the Sky for Everyone SPARKLE believes that the Fourth of July is a day to celebrate our American Heritage, honor our active and veteran military personnel, and be sure that everyone, especially our children, understand what Independence Day is about. They need to know why we celebrate, what those kabooms bursting in the sky represent - A generation who fought for and died for the freedom of future generations. It is truly electrifying to be on the beach, the awesome fireworks in the sky, people holding American flags, the sound of the public reacting to the intensity of the display. 80,000 people come together in a display of love of country and community. Check out the comments for more California Fireworks Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Cheap Eats

Visit the oldest McDonald's in Downey

This site is the oldest in the worldwide chain of 20,000 restaurants and the last one with red-and-white striped tile exterior. After opening in 1953, it immediately become the standard for the fast food franchises across the country. The building and its 60 foot high neon sign with "Speedee the Chef" are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Employees wear 50's style uniforms of paper hats, white shirts and bolo ties. The restaurant serves the original menu of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and old fashioned milkshakes. Also available are more recent McDonald's items such as Big Macs and Happy Meals. McDonald's reopened the facility as it was with walkup windows and outdoor seating. They also constructed and addition housing a museum, gift shop, restrooms and more outdoor seating.
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California's Best Brunch

Praise the Lord and Pass the Biscuits, Sunset Strip

The award-winning Gospel Brunch at House of Blues Sunset Strip is a one-of-a-kind live music show and dining experience. Guests enjoy a delicious all-you-can-eat southern style buffet that features breakfast favorites plus a host of southern specialties. Every week different gospel groups from around the region perform live on stage. The music is uplifting and energetic and guaranteed to get the crowd standing on their feet!
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San Francisco Shopping

Shop with the musical geniuses on Haight Street, San Francisco

Born in 1990 in Berkeley, California, Amoeba Music is inspired by many of the great independent record stores. We stock everything -- from the most popular artists to the most obscure in all genres -- including jazz, international folk and popular music, roots music, classical music, all kinds of rock and soul music, just to name a few of the most obvious categories. Our staff is an all-star team of record store veterans who make music their lives in one way or another. Many are musicians themselves and their collective depth of knowledge is virtually unparalleled in the business. Amoeba Music started at a time when huge chain stores were mercilessly swallowing up smaller chains and independent stores, depriving many communities across the country of the opportunity to have a personal connection with their music retailers and a chance to find music other than what the major labels wanted them to see. Since opening on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, it became amply apparent that the community greatly appreciates our style. We focus on customer service first and foremost, with a knowledgeable staff who understand how important our customers' relationship with their music is. San Francisco and Los Angeles obviously deserve a similar resource, and since we truly love those places too, we decided to bring our show down the road and set up giant big-city sized versions of our store in easy-to-get-to locations. So far, everybody seems to LOVE having us in the mix!
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California Ski and Snowboard

Ski or Snowboard the Gunbarrel, Lake Tahoe

Heavenly Valley Epic Mountain With 4,800 acres, we are one of North America's largest mountains. At over 10,000 feet, we are Tahoe's highest. Our 3,500 foot vertical is unmatched on the West Coast. And our average annual snowfall is a formidable 360 inches. And just in case that's not enough for you, we have one of the largest snowmaking systems on the continent at the ready, covering 70% of the mountain. Let's talk terrain. Put simply, we've got it all, from breezy blue squares to hair-raising black diamonds. There's no better tree skiing on earth. And experts will have a field day at Mott and Killebrew canyons. This is what other mountains want to be when they grow up. This is Heavenly. Epic Location A truly epic ski vacation isn't just about skiing. Enter Lake Tahoe. Where wildlife meets the wild life. Hot springs. Spas. Sleigh rides. Lake cruises. Restaurants. Shopping. We've got it all.
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California Art Galleries

Be a Hip Chick at a Shag show.

In conjunction with the December 2005 publication of SHAG, LTD. Fine Art Limited Editions, A Catalogue Raisonné, Copro/Nason Gallery is proud to present the unprecedented exhibition of all 144 fine art limited edition prints by the phenomenally popular California-based artist Josh Agle, better known as Shag. Fresh off a series of successful serigraphs of Disneyland and the re-imagining of the Pink Panther for Sony, this comprehensive retrospective of Shag’s limited edition prints includes his earliest professional efforts and his newest 2005 releases, Behind the Screen and Well Hung. Finding incongruous delight - and a bit of truth - in such recognizable human habits as courtship, seduction, sin and modes of entertainment, Shag’s paintings are rendered in eye-popping, mood-enhancing colors resulting in bright, irreverent takes on the swingin’ lifestyles of jetsetters, lounge crawlers, (literal) party animals and scene-stealing supervillains that has prompted heavy demand and rising prices. Determined that his art should be available to the broadest audience possible, Agle turned to high quality prints beginning in 1999, issuing them in limited editions to retain a sense of uniqueness at a fraction of the cost of one of his originals. These prints are collected together for the first time in SHAG, LTD. Fine Art Limited Editions, A Catalogue Raisonné. Packed with over 175 full-color reproductions – from Agle’s “pre-Shag” artistic endeavors to his very latest efforts – the book surveys the evolution of color, content and composition in his work that has turned fans into fanatics. Annotated with information from the artist’s own secret archives, this complete chronicle of Shag’s mass-produced art contains insight and enjoyment for collectors, as well as those hitherto-unacquainted with his long sold-out limited edition prints. Do not miss this rare opportunity to experience the vibrant perspective of one of America’s foremost painting talents. The SHAG, LTD exhibition opens Saturday, December 3, 2005 with a reception at 8 p.m. sponsored by Juxtapoz magazine, the leading light of today’s “lowbrow” art movement, and runs through January 21, 2006. The catalogue raisonné is due to be released December 10 with a signing beginning at 2 p.m.

California Art Festivals

Squish some clay at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach

200 Laguna Beach artists invite visitors to stroll along sawdust-covered paths through a village of fine arts and superb crafts. Since 1966 this event has drawn visitors from around the world who are looking for one-of-a-kind artwork, including paintings, jewelry, ceramics, photographs, sculptures, hand-blown glass and more. Meet and purchase directly from the artists! Varied art demonstrations including glass blowing, complimentary art workshops, children’s art activities, refreshments and live entertainment make this a memorable event. When Friday, July 1 through Sunday, September 4. Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. *Sawdust Art Festival will close at 6:00 pm on the 4th of July
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California Cooking Classes

Live Like a Princess in Your Very Own Castle, Oakhurst

CHATEAU du SUREAU is a fairy tale Inn that has received some of the highest ratings granted a hotel. Since its opening in 1991, this magical destination has earned both the Mobil Five-Star and American Automobile Association's Five-Diamond awards as well as membership in the prestigious Relais & Chateaux organization. Located just miles away from Yosemite National Park, Château du Sureau is a romantic haven wherein the classic traditions of old Europe live today. While you're visiting, learn to cook! LEARN TO COOK WITH CHEF JAMES OVERBAUGHIN ERNA’S ELDERBERRY HOUSE KITCHEN Whether you are interested in surprising your family with something more creative than meat and potatoes or have your heart set on treating friends to a version of Babette’s Feast”, ERNA’S ELDERBERRY HOUSE COOKING SCHOOL presents the ideal opportunity to hone your culinary skills Check out the comments for more California Cooking Schools Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Movie & TV Locations

Pretend you're Alexis or Crystal or Blake, or even Sammy Jo at the Filoli Mansion.

The Carrington mansion was actually the Filoli Estate located thirty miles south of San Francisco off Highway 280 at 86 Canada Road in Woodside, California. It was built in 1916 by William Bower Bourn, Jr., with the profits from his Empire Mine in Grass Valley, and is now operated as a museum by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The name "Filoli" was derived from the first two letters of the three words derived from the motto "To FIGHT for a just cause, to LOVE your fellow man, and to LIVE a good life."
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California's Coolest Pools

Take a dip where Elvis and Nancy Sinatra use to swim, Palm Springs.

The Caliente Tropics Resort in Palm Springs, California opened again in March of 2001 after undergoing over $2 million in renovations. It's a prime example of one of the last standing Polynesian-themed motor hotels out of the 60's. Our Tiki and Polynesian style hotel now offers rooms that are both spacious and luxurious, with unique furnishings. Our exterior has been re-designed to reflect the mid-century look of when the resort first opened back in 1964. While lounging in our pool and spa area, one will enjoy the Palm Springs sun. We also offer cabanas and BBQ's which are located on our spacious lawn area right by the pool and spa. A day of relaxation and sun, whether it's enjoying yourself out and about or just relaxing by the pool, in beautiful Palm Springs will sooth the soul. Facials, massages and other spa treatments are available to our guest and can be enjoyed outdoors poolside or under one of our cabanas. There are many great services and amenities at The Caliente Tropics Resort, so many we couldn't possibly list them all such as a complimentary continental breakfast, voicemail, shuffleboard, desktop data ports and much more. Relax, swim, and enjoy the spectacular mountain views surrounded by the aura of the tiki torches, where Nancy Sinatra lived and Elvis visited. The hotel offers indoor/outdoor meeting space for up to 250 people. We offer only non-smoking rooms and are always pet-friendly. Room packages are available.

Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made for Walkin' Check out the comments for more California Cool Pools Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Gardens

Get your hands dirty in a California Garden

Take yourself out of the ordinary and spend a few hours in one of nature's wonders - our Fields of Dreams, our Fields of Color. A place where kids can run and adults can linger - 50 acres of extraordinary color in bloom on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a special nursery, garden, and gift shop by Armstrong Garden Centers, and festivals throughout the season. Visit our Miniature Rose Garden - The American Rose Society's highest award for miniature roses, The Award of Excellence, is presented to cultivars that have proven to be outstanding in designated test gardens throughout the United States over a two year period. Roses are evaluated on 11 criteria including novelty, bud form, flower form, color opening, color finishing, substance, habit, quantity of blooms, vigor or renewal, foliage, and appearance along with resistance to insects and plant diseases. New This Year: Sweet Pea Maze - Be amazed! Immerse yourself in this living maze of fragrant red, white and blue sweet peas. Explore the many walking paths in this patriotic color display to explore, amuse and entertain you! Sand Sculpture - A dominant figure worldwide in the art of sculpting sand, Gerry Kirk, brings visual delights of epic proportions to The Flower Fields®! Enjoy the whimsical sand art created just for The Flower Fields®. Poinsettias - Stroll through memory lane, a 1,500 square foot greenhouse filled with the world famous Ecke poinsettias. More than 50 years of poinsettia breeding history on display. Learn about the Ecke family, the world's largest producer of the country's best selling potted plant - The Poinsettia. Visit Our Walk of Fame: The only display of each of the more than 180 All-American Rose selection winners since 1940. Also enjoy the new AARS test garden, in bloom this spring at the Flower Fields®. Located in Carlsbad, California, east of Interstate 5 off Palomar Airport Road, near LEGOLAND, California and Carlsbad Premium Outlets. 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008 Check out the comments for more California Gardens Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Camping

Sleep on the beach at Pt. Mugu

Point Mugu State Park, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, features five miles of ocean shoreline with rocky bluffs, sandy beaches and sand dunes, rugged hills and uplands, two major river canyons, wide grassy valleys dotted with sycamores, oaks and a few native walnuts. There are more than 70 miles of hiking trails. The beach also features swimming, body surfing and surf fishing. The 13,300-acre park includes the jagged pinnacles of the Boney Mountains State Wilderness Area. Check out the comments for more California Camping Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Sporting Events

See the Giants beat the Doggies at AT&T Park, San Francisco.

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Los Angeles Bars and Nightclubs

Have a beer at Brennan's and watch the turtles race in Marina del Rey

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California Cowboys

Cut a rug with Buck Owens, Bakersfield

Come visit us! Come to Buck Owens' Crystal Palace for great food and great country music 5 days a week. From live dance music to concerts by some of your favorite performers.

Tributo a Buck Owens Dwight Yoakum - Streets of Bakersfield Check out the comments for more California Cowboys Or Click to Add your own recommendation

California Sailing

Sail the San Francisco Bay

Join us for a day of sailing, blue skies (or fog), good company, and fun on the beautiful San Francisco Bay! We usually sail out of Sausalito on weekends, often enjoying a picnic lunch on Angel Island. The cost averages $40-$60 per person for cruising and a bit more for lessons.
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