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EAT, DRINK & PLAY   -   GET OUT OF TOWN
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Call it the day of the do-overs. That's the best way to sum up a Saturday we spent exploring the Santa Barbara area. Everything we did was worth repeating, although for different reasons.
So how do you like your zipline - with wine or pines? Two distinct adventure opportunities await visitors to the Central Coast and Lake Tahoe. And regardless of which you choose, you can count on finishing with a smile.
Live like a local. That's the credo embraced by Cape Rey, a new resort in the North San Diego County's Carlsbad. But what exactly does that mean?
On the occasion of Inside SCV's 10th anniversary, I was asked to select the 10 most memorable "Get Out of Town" destinations. Over the past decade, my family --wife April, and kids Laurel, Drew, Brooke, and Amber - have wandered all over California, from the shores of San Diego to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, visiting everything from back-country camps to four-diamond resorts.

That's a lot of lot of miles, and even more memories. So the resulting list is necessarily eclectic. Some selections represent the best of a locale or lodging category. Others are included solely for sentimental reasons. They're not presented in any particular order, chronological, alphabetical, or otherwise.

Ready? Let's take a road trip down Memory Lane.
Whether a weekend is truly relaxing hinges on Sunday morning. If three particular elements come together then, I consider myself relaxed. Sleeping in. Indulgent food. Dark coffee. With four kids at home, these things rarely align for me. But sitting down in the dining room at Shaver Lake's Elliott House Bed and Breakfast on a weekend away with April, I found it all.
We didn't go searching for Hollywood history, but we found it any way. Our stated goal was exploring some public stairways hidden in L.A. neighborhoods. Largely unknown except to local residents, they are easy to explore thanks to Charles Fleming's "Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles," and its resulting publicity.
Ladies, move along to the next page. This article is for the fellas. On important male bonding stuff. Like Valentine's Day.
If you've ever been lucky enough to live in a beach town, or at least visit one in the fall, it's likely you discovered a well-kept secret. Fall is absolutely the best time to visit.
In conjunction with this year's PMA Fresh Summit, the growers and distributors of Ventura County are inviting fresh produce industry members into their backyards for the Ventura County Sustainability Exchange. This unique event brings together top growers to put Ventura County on the map and show the industry why it's a one-stop-shop for sustainably-grown produce.
We face big decisions as parents about when our children are old enough to handle certain things. Cell phones. Babysitting. Knives
Beer is a good reason to travel. There's nothing quite like sipping a favorite pint where it was brewed or discovering new flavors not readily available in Santa Clarita.
If you're looking for a late-summer dose of sun and sand, or just do-nothing seclusion, Oceanside has something new to consider.
Early on the second day of our weekend visit to La Jolla, April asked, "Is this what relaxation feels like?"
This wasn't how my morning mountain bike ride was supposed to end: pedaling a four-lane road, five miles off course and an hour later than planned.
Having grown up just a couple of miles away, I thought I knew the Sepulveda Basin. I had ridden its bike trails, played its golf courses and ran around its parks. But I had never kayaked its river.
Just how true is your love? Valentine's Day is not the most accurate gauge for measuring the strength of your relationship. Let's face it: We're all on our best behavior when Cupid's watching.
Idyllwild is the antithesis of the typical Southern California mountain get-away destination. No golf. No skiing. Nothing remotely resorty. And frankly, that's a good thing. It's an unscripted, come-as-you-are, kind of place free of hurry or worry. You don't need to do anything in Idyllwild (unless you want to). You can just be.
Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area is one of those places that leaves you wanting to come back for more. Each trip is filled with, "Where in the heck am I?" moments. It is so unlike its surroundings - or anywhere else in Southern California - that you can't help but want to keep exploring.
"Who wants this gold?" asked a park ranger holding up a small glass tube packed with shiny flakes. Without waiting for an answer, she waved her hand over a trough lined with sand and gravel. The flakes fluttered into the cold water and disappeared to the bottom.
For many years Carpinteria was where we stopped for gas or lunch on the way to somewhere else. We rarely ventured far from the freeway and certainly never made this charming beach town between Ventura and Santa Barbara a destination in its own right. Last summer we finally realized what we were missing.
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