We live near the base of Montara Mountain. The 1,900-foot peak impacts our weather, our sunrise and our TV reception. It protects us from the urban sprawl of the San Francisco Peninsula. We decided to climb it. Continue reading “Looking for the Best Panoramic View of the Bay Area? Climb Montara Mountain”
Part 6 in a series:
There comes a moment during most vacations when the travelers are ready to go home. For us, that day arrived in Valencia. We were weary of old towns, bored with cathedrals and battlements, and frustrated by our substandard Spanish. So, we went native. Continue reading “Road Weary in Valencia, Spain, We Refresh with Gulliver in the Garden and Paella at the Beach”
A stroll through the overcrowded Muir Woods National Monument now requires a reservation. Good grief. Fortunately, spontaneous redwood lovers have plenty of Bay Area alternatives, including the Coastside’s Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve. Continue reading “Redwoods Without a Reservation at the Coastside Alternative to Muir Woods”
Part 5 in a series:
In a world obsessed by real and imagined threats, an Iberian Peninsula itinerary would be incomplete without a stop in the Spain of Miguel de Cervantes, the 17th century novelist whose protagonist in “Don Quixote” mistakenly tilted at a windmill or two. Continue reading “We Conquer Toledo and Consuegra in Don Quixote’s Spain; No Windmills were Harmed”
Since every picture tells a story, we thought we’d kick off a new year of Coastside Slacking with some of The Geek’s favorite shots of 2017, highlighting our local beaches, bluffs and biodiversity. Many of these images are appearing in the blog for the first time. Enjoy! Continue reading “The Coastside in Pictures 2017: Beaches, Bluffs & Biodiversity”
What’s your favorite holiday tradition? There are plenty to choose from on The Coastside. The Night of Lights parade in Half Moon Bay, quiet walks on tourist-free beaches, shopping local in a community overflowing with boutiques and paddle-boarding Santas are just a few. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Holiday Lights at Pillar Point Harbor Brighten our Christmas”
Part 4 in a series:
You don’t have to pay 400 euros to visit the Alhambra, the 14th century mountaintop fortress and palace complex in Granada billed as one of the top architectural wonders of Spain. Unless you dawdle booking tickets ahead of the visit. Then you might. We did.
Half the fun of visiting Big Sur is the drive. And the newly opened bridge at Pfeiffer Canyon means the good times are back, at least as far as Gorda. For now, think of Highway 1 southbound from Carmel-by-the-Sea as a curvaceous 65-mile cul-de-sac with a view. It was so nice we drove it twice. Continue reading “Road Repairs Restore Big Sur Thrills South to Gorda; Where is Everybody?”
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Part residential, part historic, part shopping mall, Old Town Seville has something for everyone. Perhaps it should be no surprise that the selfie mirror at Seville Cathedral attracts more attention than the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Continue reading “The Americans Discover Columbus in Seville and Olive Oil in Spain’s Andalusian Mountains”
Gravenstein season ended months ago. “U-pick” opportunities are over. But the Bay Area apple harvest doesn’t end officially until Nov. 30, and fresh late-season varieties are available. So go ahead, schmoosh some apple butter! Recipe included. Continue reading “As Bay Area Harvest Ends, Apple Butter Season Begins; Time to Schmoosh!”
If the flapping wings of a single butterfly can alter the weather, imagine the impact of thousands of monarchs fluttering around a small eucalyptus grove. Or visit Santa Cruz and see for your yourself. Continue reading “Butterfly Effect at Monarch Preserve in Santa Cruz Whips Up Big Smiles, Stiff Necks”
Part 2 in a series:
Madrid is a modern metropolis, the third-largest in Europe and the capital of Spain. The business of government and industry dominates the streetscape. But lose yourself in the parks, alleys and El Museo del Prado, and the ancient city emerges. Fortunately, we had no problem getting lost. Continue reading “Lost in Madrid Amid the Ghosts of Pious Ladies, Old Masters & Grandpa Ray”
We met in the Midwest, where October means crisp leaves, warm apple cider and that first cold snap. It was classic. For 20 years in suburban L.A., fall meant hot winds, choking dust and fires. It was miserable. Now here we are Coastside enjoying a whole new fall tradition. And it’s amazing!
Continue reading “A Letter to The Coastside: Thanks for a Spooktacular October! We Needed That”
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Culture is resilient, shaped gently even when handled roughly by politics, religion or brute force. Tourists need to respect the constitutional crisis that currently embroils Catalonia and Spain. But the world-class cultural delights of Barcelona persevere unfettered. We felt very welcome. Continue reading “Barcelona’s Beauty, Traditions and Hospitality Persist Amid Constitutional Crisis”
Recognizable as the nimble HMS Interceptor in the 2003 Disney movie blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” the replica tall ship Lady Washington sailed into Pillar Point Harbor this week for a two-week stay. We clambered aboard for a visit. Continue reading “Lady Washington Ties Up at Pillar Point Harbor; Tall Ship Sailed in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’”
Love it. Hate it. Hide from it. Everyone living Coastside has an opinion about the annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival. Our opinion? Embrace the madness. And here are a few tips for enjoying next year’s gourd gala. Continue reading “How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival”
NOTE: We’re sorry to report that shortly after posting this story we discovered that Z Pie had closed several weeks earlier. But there are still plenty of fruit pie options on the road to Tahoe. Enjoy!
Lots of travelers enjoy stopping for a sweet slice of fruit pie at an Apple Hill orchard on the road to Lake Tahoe. But the most unique pies in the region just may be the savory variety available at a tiny pot pie restaurant not far away in Placerville.
“With a labyrinth, you make a choice to go in – and once you’ve chosen, around and around you go. But you always find your way to the center.”
Nice centering metaphor. That is until someone completely lacking in inner peace pitches the labyrinth’s border stones into the ocean. Bummer. Continue reading “Quest for a Coastside Labyrinth Travels from a Quarry to Lands End and Back Again”
A hillside of shiny obsidian born of liquid rock and thrown by Mother Nature herself atop a fiery geologic potter’s wheel rises from the Newberry Volcano just south of Bend, Oregon. It’s so cool they named a beer after it!
It smells bad. It tastes bad. A sign cautions moderation. Yet the lithia mineral water streaming from eight cheery bubblers in the town square of Ashland, Oregon, has attracted health naïfs and the merely curious for more than 100 years.