In the middle of San Francisco Bay, occupying some of the choicest real estate on the planet, with stunning views, are two islands that are symbols of opposite tendencies--Alcatraz Island (for secure incarceration) and Angel Island State Park (for immigrant hope).
In the middle of San Francisco Bay, occupying some of the choicest real estate on the planet, with stunning views, are two islands that are symbols of opposite tendencies--Alcatraz Island (for secure incarceration) and Angel Island State Park (for immigrant hope).
All year, Chinatown San Francisco presents an intriguing and exotic walk for any visitor to the city. A February visitor will be especially fortunate. The February celebration of the Chinese New Year includes cheerful urban cacophony of unparalleled dimension.
The thrill of a 21-mile ride on an authentic steam train carrying you back to the fabulously wealthy silver mining history of Nevada should be high on your must-do exploration list regarding the American West.
The simple joy of a Cable Car ride in San Francisco is something every visitor should consider.
Coastal San Mateo, south of San Francisco on Highway 1, is a joy to drive. It presents lighthouses and historic shipwrecks as well as ethnic history (such as Portuguese farmers), small towns, and appealing beaches, some with tidepools.
Small railroads played an important role in the historic development of Northern California. Today one of those railroads, the Skunk Train, continues to flourish as an excursion train between Fort Bragg and Willits on the Mendocino Coast.
The California gray whale, art, and the ecological consciousness of the state can be enjoyed along the preserved Northern California Mendocino coast.
There was a time in the early history of California when Russia might have been destined to play a much larger role in the state's history. In its quest for furs, the Russians established a North American beachhead at Sitka, Alaska, at the dawn of the 19th century.
As I update this chapter on Oakland in my book Northern California History Weekends, I see how this great city preserves the legacy of its favorite literary native son and enlivens the downtown with new energy, such as a new Cuban restaurant.