Category Archives: California

Reporter Reflects On His Time In Los Angeles

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Leaving Los Angeles: farewell to a city of dreamers and squalor – Read On  The Guardian

I called Los Angeles home for six years and now, as I bid goodbye, I sift through memories that feel incompatible, discordant.

There was the endlessness of the city, horizons of concrete, as you fly into LAX. New skyscrapers rising over downtown. Dolphins leaping in the surf off Malibu. Hustlers and dreamers and visionaries inventing things, making movies, mega-mansions, plans for Mars…Keep Read On  The Guardian

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‘Strong Odor’ Forces Alaska Airlines Flight To Divert To Los Angeles

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A stinky situation aboard an Alaska Airlines flight forced the plane to make an uncheduled landing on Sunday.

The plane, which was headed from San Francisco to New Orleans, was forced to divert to LAX when a “strong odor was detected onboard during the flight in the aft cabin,” a representative for Alaska Airlines told Fox News. 

Keep Reading On Fox News

Emergency crews responded to the scene, though no hazardous substances were found on board. (WBTW)

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Small Plane Crashes In Orange County, Killing 5

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A twin-engine Cessna made an emergency landing at a shopping center parking lot in Orange County, California on Sunday, killing 5 on board.

At 12:30 p.m. the plane went down as it was headed for an emergency landing at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. The plane was enroute from Concord to Santa Ana.

No one on the ground was injured but there was extensive damage to an unoccupied car.

Other Notes: 

  • The plane went down 1-1/2 miles from the airport near a Staples parking lot. 
  • Other stores near the center had been evacuated.
  • Information on the nature of the emergency wasn’t immediately available.
  • The plane had been given approval to land at John Wayne after the pilot declared an emergency.
  • A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety said the pilot didn’t declare a flight plan and had decided to fly under visual flight rules, which is common in good weather.
  • The spokesman also said “It looks like it went down pretty abruptly,” and that it had been leaking fuel but it did not ignite.
  • Orange County Fire Capt. Tony Bommarito said “I don’t know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic,” and that “This was a Sunday afternoon, and we have people shopping, so the fact that we have no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself.”

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The 21 most essential San Francisco hotels, mapped

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“Where should I stay in San Francisco?”

You could do Airbnb. Why not? Many do. But it can be risky. And spotting the homeowner’s half-used Kirkland toiletries in the bathroom is always a deflating sight. For visitors who yearn for more top-drawer treatment, staying at one of San Francisco’s many hotels is a must. (Also good for locals who want to get away for the night without having to leave the 7×7-mile confines of the city.)

Only the best hotels have made this cut; though keep in mind, the list is presented in no particular order. The collection includes historical stunners like the Palace, the Fairmont, the Sir Francis Drake, the Obama-approved Intercontinental (one of several SF hotels with a presidential suite), the even the kitschy coolness at the Clift.

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The Presidio of San Francisco is set to open its second historic boutique
hotel, the plush Lodge at the Presidio, in a former military barracks built
in the 1890s by the U.S. Army. (The Presidio Trust)
Hotel Del Sol
Hotel Vitale
Fairmont San Francisco
Hotel Drisco
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

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The Scarlet Huntington
Sir Francis Drake Hotel
The Laurel Inn
Hotel Adagio
The Marker
Hotel Zetta San Francisco
Phoenix Hotel
Proper Hotel
Ocean Park Motel

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9 Dog-Friendly California Hotels That Totally Pamper Your Pup

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Sometimes it’s difficult to leave your pup at home, and some hotels say they’re pet friendly when what they really mean is they’re pet tolerant. These California hotels, however, really put the welcome mat out for well-behaved canine pals.

1. Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa, Sausalito

Sausalito’s Casa Madrona offers a Go Fetch Package that includes welcome treats, a cozy bed, fashion-forward leashes and collars, and upscale crates, if needed. Once there, you can hike the Marin Headlands or stroll the waterfront. If your dog acts up, just point out Alcatraz in the distance and explain just how good he’s got it. 801 Bridgeway, Sausalito……Click Here To Keep Reading

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A Whisky-themed Hotel Is Coming to Los Angeles

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A boutique hotel celebrating whisky is coming to Los Angeles. Appropriately called The Whisky Hotel, the new 134-room property will feature whisky-themed minibars filled with rare selections in each of the rooms, restaurateur and hotelier Adolfo Suaya told Travel + Leisure.

Suaya, whose hotels and restaurants have become hotspots for celebrities, locals, and travelers alike, is also planning a rooftop restaurant and bar on the seven-story hotel. The rooftop will resemble a giant greenhouse, with lush plants and glass panels offering views over Hollywood….Click Here To Keep Reading

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Visit These First-Class Sonoma Valley Wineries

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Anyone visiting this region of California must make a stop to sample some of the world’s finest wine. Sonoma Valley is renowned for it’s giant selection of exquisite cheese, vegetables, and fruit as well as it’s superior wine. The valley is home to over 400 vineyards and wineries, so it can be a bit overwhelming when trying to figure out which ones to visit. We’ll try to help you sort it out with a closer look at a few the finer ones.

The Sonoma Valley is about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco and is a must-see for any wine connoisseur. Home to some of California’s finest cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rhone-inspired wines, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvingnon, the valley is surrounded with gorgeous scenery, the beautiful coastline and the neighboring Napa Valley.

If you plan on visiting any of these locations, be sure to check their website as some allow for online reservations and some even allow walk-ins. We’ll provide a link below.


The vineyard is located in Freestone and was founded in 1973 by Joseph Phelps. The vineyard has been recognized globally since they released their first wines back in 2006 and specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It’s family owned and operated estate has become an internationally critically-acclaimed winery known for it’s commitment to quality. Unlike many of the other wineries in the area, you do not need an appointment for a tasting. You can just show up and partake!

Find out more on their website

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The Buena Vista Winery was founded in 1857 by the eccentric pioneer Count Agoston Haraszthy and is California’s first premium winery. The exotic estate and historic building provide an experience that is more than just a wine tasting and more of memorable afternoon. You can buy a bottle of their Pinot Noir or Chardonnay and savor it in the gardens surrounding the vineyard or take a tour of the winery and tasting room. The storied history of this estate is one worth visiting and you can do that any time of the year as they are always available for tours.

Find out more on their website


A visit to Rodney Strong Vineyards should be on the itinerary of anyone that considers their-self a wine connoisseur. Named Wine Enthusiast’s American Winery of the Year in 2013, the winery was established in 1959 by Rod Strong, a celebrated American dancer turned wine maker. Despite being the 20 th largest winery in the US, it still manages to have a smaller boutique feel to it. You are sure to notice the dedication to quality and brand loyalty which makes this a  must-see.

Find out more on their website

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The Matanzas Creek Winery is tucked away in the Valley region of Sonoma County among stunning lavender and vineyard fields that make a perfect backdrop for your date. Established in 1977, the winery is known for their Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot and also has lavender products available in their shop, including a variety of soaps and lotions.

Find out more on their website 


This winery was founded in 1981, Ferrari-Carano is located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley and boasts reasonably priced wines and amazing views of the landscape. The elegant property is home to a vineyard that offers a number of different tours and tastings as well as an amazingly beautiful 5 acre garden. Make a trip to the Enoteca in the underground cellar and sample a variety of 5 different cheeses, chocolates, and wines.

Find out more on their website

Gundlach Bundschu Winery

Founded in 1858, the GunBun Winery is California’s oldest continuously family-owned winery and is still owned and operated by the founder’s heirs and today. Experience a guided wine tasting of five current releases, learn about their history and winemaking practice that take place on the estate. Wines may include Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, our famous Merlot, cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon, winery-exclusive varietals such as Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and of course, our flagship Vintage Reserve.

Find out more on their website

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Cheap Flights To San Francisco

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A popular tourist destination – San Francisco is home to more than 220 parks, spectacular hills within city limits and is the major traditional, commercial, and economic center of North California. The city is the birthplace of the United Nations. Whether you are a local resident or a tourist, San Francisco is all about exploring different things, sights and life.

Know more about San Francisco

San Francisco is well known for its climate, rich heritage, mixed architecture and landmarks including Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown District, amongst many others. The city is also famous for its world-class and state-of-the-art tourist spots, museums, galleries, beaches, parks, sports, education, entertainment, events, festivals and performing arts. It has got several nicknames including ‘The City by the Bay,’ ‘Fog City,’ ‘Baghdad by the Bay,’ ‘The Paris of the West,’ or simply ‘The City.’ It was founded in 1776 and is one of the most favorite holiday destinations in the world.

Tourist Attractions

Golden Gate Bridge: The huge red bridge engulfed by fluffy white fog with the glittering clear blue waters below, makes for a sight that gets engraved in our hearts for eternity. The Golden Gate Bridge, which is internationally known as the symbol of San Francisco, California and the U.S, is one among the wonders of the modern world. Also, the bridge has been featured in many films, music albums, and television series.

Alcatraz Island: Originally founded as a military fortification facility, a military prison, and a lighthouse, the island is now a major attraction for history buffs and regular tourists alike. Located on the San Francisco Bay, it features sea-bird colonies and rock-pools. The island was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and got featured in media and popular culture, including films such as X-Men, The Last Stand, The Rock and much more.

Fisherman’s Wharf: A lively neighborhood, it is famous for its delectable seafood dishes, museums, shopping opportunities and sea-lion colony. It is one among the busiest and famous tourist attractions in San Francisco. Fisherman’s Wharf hosts many events including world-class fireworks display and Fleet Week air shows featuring The Blue Angels. Grab some cheap airline tickets to San Francisco and try some of their signature dishes such as Clam Chowder, Dungeness Crab, and Oyster Shooter.    

China Town: This place is the oldest in North America and the largest Chinese community outside Asia. China Town has been highly important and significant in the history and values of ethnic Chinese immigrants. Numerous parks, two hospitals, a post office, squares, social clubs, worship places and other infrastructure is located in the town.

Exploratorium: Founded by Physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer, it provides a hands-on learning experience. Exploratorium covers various topics of arts and science and believes that a person’s interest to learn something new goes a long way when it comes to understanding many theories. It puts emphasis on human perception in most of its exhibits making them even more interesting for the visitors. The site has been described as the most important science museum to have opened since the mid-20th century by the New York Times.  

Aquarium of the Bay: Located at Embarcadero and Beach Street, it is a public aquarium which houses many aquatic animal species from the San Francisco Bay. One if its best features is the stunningly beautiful underwater tunnel which provides an up close and personal view of its many residents. It gives the visitors an idea of the lives these magnificent creatures live.     

When to visit

San Francisco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with moist and mild winters. The best time to explore the city is during the fall season which starts from September to November. San Francisco witnesses a huge rush of tourists during rest of the months too.

Major Airport

The nearest primary airport is San Francisco International Airport. It is located 13 miles away from the center of San Francisco and holds both international and domestic flights.

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Getting Around in the City

  • Cab Service
  • Bus Service
  • Car Rentals
  • Trains
  • Cable Cars

Other Popular Cities to Visit

  • Fremont
  • Oakland
  • San Jose
  • Palo Alto
  • Walnut Creek

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Best Western Of Long Beach

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Property Location
With a stay at Best Western of Long Beach in Long Beach, you’ll be close to City Place Shopping Center and RMS Queen Mary. This hotel is within close proximity of Museum of Latin American Art and One World Trade Center.

Make yourself at home in one of the 99 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and microwaves. Your room comes with a pillowtop bed. Flat-screen televisions with cable programming provide entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers.

Don’t miss out on recreational opportunities including an outdoor pool and a fitness center.

A complimentary continental breakfast is served daily from 6 AM to 9:30 AM.

Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, express check-in, and express check-out. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary during limited hours, and a cruise ship terminal shuttle is also provided at no charge.

  • Surrounded by a number of nearby attractions
  • Shuttle service to and from Long Beach Airport and Long Beach Convention Center
  • Continental breakfast
  • Metro-rail located just outside the hotel’s front doors
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Best Western Plus Hill House – Bakersfield

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Property Location
A stay at Best Western Plus Hill House places you in the heart of Bakersfield, walking distance from Bakersfield Museum of Art and Rabobank Arena. This hotel is within close proximity of McMurtrey Aquatic Center and Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science.

Make yourself at home in one of the 97 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and MP3 docking stations. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and desks, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Enjoy recreational amenities such as an outdoor pool and a fitness center.

Satisfy your appetite at the hotel’s restaurant, which serves breakfast and dinner, or grab a snack at a coffee shop/caf+¬. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, express check-in, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. This hotel has 3 meeting rooms available for events. Free self parking is available onsite.

  • Close to many of Bakersfield’s popular attractions
  • Pet-friendly
  • Close proximity to events at the Fox Theater
  • Free continental breakfast
  • On-site restaurant

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  • 700 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301
  • (661) 327-4064
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