Mammoth, California: Snow + Fun + Food

Frozen-over Lake Mary, one of the Mammoth Lakes, rimmed by the eastern Sierra Nevada

High up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on the eastern side of Central California, the Mammoth area is like a perfect storm for winter vacationers: enormous mountains, brilliant sunshine most of the time, and relatively mild temperatures. It’s the kind of place where you’re likely to run into New Englanders disappointed by their home-peak elevations and Europeans fed up with the biting cold back on the Continent.

Mammoth is also a magnet for L.A.-area folks who drive here with their SUV trunks full of groceries, hunker down in their condos, and hit the slopes all day. Little has tended to draw these folks and their wallets into town, as Mammoth has long had only a few lodges, bars, restaurants, and shops. City folk and locals don’t tend to engage a lot, and there’s a distinct have/have-not townie vibe.

In other words, it’s a mountain town in California.

Home to some of the most stunning peaks in the state,  Mammoth has never been what you’d call a foodie destination. But now that’s starting to change. 

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TWT Travel Binder: California

I live in California and love it dearly.  

I’m based in Los Angeles, but gravitate repeatedly to the gorgeous center of the state. 

California is almost a country unto itself, and full of adventures.

Here are some resources to help you plan your own “travels with two” to California.

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Weird Houses of LA: A Series

Discovering a truly weird house is like traveling to another world. And Los Angeles, dear readers, is full of different worlds.

There are few things Adam and I love to do more than tool around and gawk at houses. In fact, we looked at 43 homes before committing to our present, beloved cottage of 10 years in the LA neighborhood of Studio City.  

Since then, we’ve found ourselves ogling homes in some pretty far-flung places.  Here in LA, though, we largely do it in-between trips, to soothe our wanderlust.   [Read more…]

Tasting the Anderson Valley

Northern California’s Anderson Valley wine region, a 2 1/2 hour drive north of San Francisco, runs 18 miles along State 128 through a quiet, cozy wedge of woodland countryside.  It’s less traveled than Napa or Sonoma, but offers friendly people, rustic architecture, and some darn good wines.

It’s perfect for getting away from any city you can think of, and hearing yourself think.  Especially if you want to think about wine. [Read more…]

Elk, California: How to Get There

Where the remote town of Elk, California is concerned — plunk in the middle of the Mendocino County coast — let’s just say that the journey is the destination.  It’s three hours north of San Francisco by car, or just shy of two hours from Santa Rosa’s small airport.

In other words, it’s up there.  Which is exactly why you should get away from it all and go.

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