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.

[Read more…]

The Heart of Elk, California

The gazebo at the Elk Cove Inn

Elk is the smallest, nuttiest, loveliest Northern California town you’ve (possibly) never heard of.

To be fair, it’s not easy to reach and the downtown’s about a block long. But together, we’ve travelled there faithfully for the last 15 years.

It’s where Adam’s dad lives, both in another universe and across the street from the blustery Pacific. [Read more…]

Northern California: Our Favorite Places

I took my first trip to Northern California in the summer of 1986, traveling from DC with my parents and older brother. San Francisco was exciting, Monterey dramatic, the Napa Valley a dream. A few years later, when it became clear that my math scores would never merit entrance to Stanford, I mourned the loss of a golden life I could have spent frolicking across the magnificent quad in Palo Alto.

But there was good news ahead — turns out that even if you have to live in Los Angeles as an adult, you can marry into Northern California.

[Read more…]