Archive | California

Family friendly Napa: Suggested Itinerary

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  “We’re going to Napa!” I enthusiastically told one of my Bay Area friends, intoxicated by the thought of long afternoons picking out favourite wines in one of California’s most famous sun-kissed counties. “You’re leaving the girls with your parents, right?” she asked cautiously. She wasn’t the first to question my intentions. It seemed to be a reigning theme: Wine […]

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San Francisco with kids: Cycling Angel Island

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    We took the ferry from Tiburon and cycled around Angel Island in San Francisco Bay! A photo posted by Susanna Scott (@amodernmother) on Aug 10, 2015 at 9:09pm PDT   One of my favourite things to do when I lived in San Francisco Bay Area during the dotcom boom was to take my bike […]

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Highway 1: A great family beach getaway in Santa Cruz

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Mention that you are visiting California and many Brits will admit aspirations of travelling Highway 1, the iconic West Coast Highway that hugs the Pacific coast. The drive itself is gorgeous, albeit a bit curvy, with stunning views around every corner. But you can’t drive all day and you’ll want to pick a few places to stop. Santa […]

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California: Sonoma Coast for families

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Sonoma Coast for families Not many people in the UK know about Sonoma County. Located only 50 miles north of San Francisco, it’s long been a favourite getaway for city folk wanting to escape the foggy summers. With a family, Sonoma’s the perfect place to enjoy an active holiday, with kayaking/biking/hiking/fishing or just lazing in the sun. […]

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San Francisco Bay Area: Visiting Filoli

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In the UK, it’s inevitable that on the weekend we’ll end up at a National Trust property. Greys Court is nearby and we love wandering through the gardens. If we’re feeling ambitious, we drive out to Waddeson Manor, which the girls adore. While in California, we visit Filoli. Located just 30 miles south of San Francisco, it’s […]

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A Spring saunter through Yosemite Valley

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    One of my favourite times to visit Yosemite is in the Spring, and one of the best ways to discover Yosemite Valley is with a guide. Last April, we met naturalist Michael Ross for a 4-hour nature walk to catch some key Valley floor highlights, plus learn some of the not-so-known facts about this stunning national […]

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Tipping in California: Guide to how much and when

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Americans are used to navigating the highly subjective world of tipping. Like it or not, it’s how their famous “service with a smile” culture is funded.  Most service jobs pay less than $10/£6.30 an hour (minimum wage in California is $8.35/£5.30). That’s not very much if you consider the knowledge of say, a professional sommelier, or a […]

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San Francisco: Tree lighting memories

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  We can’t be at the #Ghirardelli50thTreeLighting on Friday, but we’ll be there in spirit! This annual lighting in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco is what I remember as child. Are you going to a tree lighting this year? What are you memories? A photo posted by Susanna Scott (@amodernmother) on Nov 11, 2014 at […]

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Favourites: The Hitching Post, the BEST Santa Maria Bar-B-Que

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  This summer Visit California suggested we stop in Santa Maria on our trip from San Francisco to Surf City USA. It is about half way, and a nice place to break up the 6 and 1/2 hour drive. My ears perked up at the suggestion. My mother grew up in Santa Maria, and I know how […]

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Newport Beach: 9 activities for families

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I spent my University days in Newport Beach, California. School was nearby and I teamed up with about 500 students to share a three-bedroom flat on the Newport peninsula. I cleverly arranged all my classes for Tuesdays and Thursdays – so I had a 4-day weekend and a day off in between! I loved it … and managed […]

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