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Weekend escapes for Southern Californians

Forty-eight hours of fun? You've got it. Here are weekend escapes that offer rest for the weary and restoration for the body and soul. Map

  • Weekend Escape: Morro Bay, anchored to rock

    Weekend Escape: Morro Bay, anchored to rock

    Morro Bay is tough to miss. It's that beach burg off Highway 1 where the 576-foot rock (actually a volcanic landform) looms offshore. The rock is colossal, the vibe very small-town — the sort of charm I've come to expect in communities along the Central California coast. The tab: $538 for two nights...

  • Weekend Escape: Sebastopol exudes artisanal, organic, family-owned charm

    Weekend Escape: Sebastopol exudes artisanal, organic, family-owned charm

    Highway 101 divides Sonoma County neatly in half. East County tends to be sophisticated, and if it had a capital it would be Sonoma. West County is more laid-back, more bohemian. It's where terms such as "organic," "artisanal," "family-owned" and "locally grown" are taken seriously. And if West...

  • Oregon's Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast casts a bright glow

    Oregon's Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast casts a bright glow

    Where can you stay in a historic sentinel — rumored to be haunted — on a rugged coastline? Or watch a towering beacon cast beams of light that extend 21 miles out to sea? Nowhere, except at Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast on Oregon's central coast. My husband and I explored this icon and...

  • Visiting San Francisco? Say yes to NoPa

    Visiting San Francisco? Say yes to NoPa

    A late-summer trip to San Francisco with my wife, child and parents had all of us wanting to check out different parts of the City by the Bay. With some planning, we were able to combine touristy highlights with lesser-known areas, including where we stayed — the city's NoPa neighborhood. NoPa,...

  • Suburban Danville, Calif., is full of all-American charms

    Suburban Danville, Calif., is full of all-American charms

    Having a child is the clichéd motivation to move to the suburbs, and so it was for me and my husband. Our quest to trade our San Francisco one-bedroom led us to Danville, Calif., part of what's known as the Tri-Valley area. I didn't know much about it, except that its main street is darling. Every...

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