Bears attracted to spawning salmon attract tourists to Tahoe's Taylor Creek

Bears attracted to spawning salmon attract tourists to Tahoe's Taylor Creek

LAKE TAHOE — Under a golden canopy of quaking aspen, red Kokanee salmon swim up Taylor Creek on the south edge of Lake Tahoe to spawn just as their larger cousins do in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. In their wake come black bears, merganser ducks and other predators seeking to feed on...

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Salinas, Calif. — welcome to Steinbeck country

Salinas, Calif. — welcome to Steinbeck country

Although writer John Steinbeck died 45 years ago, we continue to visit Salinas, Calif. — his birthplace — and surrounding...

 Northern California: At Vacaville's Silent Stay, bring on the solitude

Northern California: At Vacaville's Silent Stay, bring on the solitude

VACAVILLE, Calif. — A few months ago, I found out that my life was about to get louder. Seeing the word "pregnant" appear on a stick...

Lots of upside to staying in downtown Berkeley

Lots of upside to staying in downtown Berkeley

Telegraph Avenue may be the spiritual heart of Berkeley and the University of California campus the focal point, but from a visitor's...

Napa Valley for the whole family

Napa Valley for the whole family

Many Napa Valley wineries are beginning to welcome visits from families, and they're making a serious effort to keep the kids engaged....

Nibbling encouraged along the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail

Nibbling encouraged along the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail

PETALUMA, Calif. — As you drive north of San Francisco into Marin and Sonoma counties, the countryside begins to unfold before you....

More than 'Peanuts' in Santa Rosa

More than 'Peanuts' in Santa Rosa

Fifty miles north of San Francisco, straddling U.S. Highway 101, sits Santa Rosa, former home of Charles M. Schulz and the gang from...

California's Pleasanton lives up to its name

California's Pleasanton lives up to its name

Pleasanton, Calif., is — no surprise here — a pleasant small city east of San Francisco Bay that was off the beaten track for...

More things to do and places to eat in San Francisco

More things to do and places to eat in San Francisco

SFO Terminal 2. This bright space, formerly the airport's international terminal, was redone and reopened in 2011. Its 14...

49 places in San Francisco that you might have missed

49 places in San Francisco that you might have missed

You've been to San Francisco. You know not to call it "Frisco," not to expect ample parking, not to forget your sweater. You know the Powell...

 Where to stay in San Francisco on the relatively cheap

Where to stay in San Francisco on the relatively cheap

Your choices in San Francisco hotels are overwhelming. The prices can be too. So during our staff visit to the City by the Bay, we looked...

 California: Yreka a gold mine of natural wonders

California: Yreka a gold mine of natural wonders

YREKA, Calif. — Deep in Siskiyou County in far Northern California, high granite peaks and rocky streams have long incited gold...

Lone Pine a cinematic slice of Old West

Lone Pine a cinematic slice of Old West

Hollywood loves Lone Pine, Calif., a dusty town in the Eastern Sierra. Since 1920, crews have been making the 3 1/2- drive to shoot hundreds...

 Alpine County, Calif.: Peace and quiet in California's smallest county

Alpine County, Calif.: Peace and quiet in California's smallest county

In a state with nearly 38 million residents, it's inconceivable that there's a county with a peewee population. But Alpine County, with just...

Fresh food, thoughtful history hold sway in Petaluma

Fresh food, thoughtful history hold sway in Petaluma

While working on an update to a Napa and Sonoma guidebook, I realized that Petaluma, 15 miles west of Sonoma Plaza, might merit its own...

Yreka is a capital place to relax

Yreka is a capital place to relax

The 51st state. The closer you get to the Oregon border along the 5 Freeway, you begin to see signs announcing the State of Jefferson. After...

Piers of California

Humboldt County piers

Humboldt County

Sonora, Calif.'s antiques, eateries and train ride

Sonora, Calif.'s antiques, eateries and train ride

Sonora, Calif., the county seat of Tuolumne County, has a charming downtown full of antiques shops, clothing boutiques and restaurants....

The Oakland renaissance

The Oakland renaissance

Oakland is feeling its oats. Steel-cut oats, that is. Sprinkled atop a puree of onion soup ladled over smoked dates at the Michelin-...

Animal encounters in the green glades of Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose

Animal encounters in the green glades of Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose

Since the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose completed a $72-million renovation in March, it's attracted a new set of visitors besides...

Sacramento Valley: A haven for birds – and birders

Sacramento Valley: A haven for birds – and birders

It was like a lottery-winning moment for birders. I looked up through the windshield, and there it was: brown and striped, gliding toward...

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Watch Rob Delaney

Watch Rob Delaney

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Zooey Deschanel's style

Zooey Deschanel's style

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Jonathan Gold's Bite Nite

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Special Features

California: Steinbeck fest highlights in Salinas

California: Steinbeck fest highlights in Salinas

Tough times. Drastic climate swings. Sound familiar? The 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s momentous “The Grapes...

California: Gold medal conditions at Mammoth

California: Gold medal conditions at Mammoth

Glazed with more than three feet of fresh snow, Mammoth Mountain is fully loaded for President’s Weekend, with 100% of the terrain...