The ruins of Jack London’s “Wolf House” mansion, which when nearly completed, burned to the ground. Photo courtesy of Jack London State Historic Park.

“I am building my dream-house on my dream-ranch.”

In the early 20th century, at the peak of his career as a world-renowned author of novels of high adventure, Jack London, and his wife Charmian, built a gargantuan stone mansion in a redwood and pine forest on their ranch in the…

Far from the madding crowds of wine tasters and merrymakers who flood Northern California’s Wine Country, here are some great daytrips and weekend getaways to villages tucked away in lesser-known valleys.

Story and photographs by Karen Misuraca

Blue Wing Saloon in Upper Lake, with a striking interior of old-growth redwood and an 1870s-era back bar.

Redwoods and Ravioli in Occidental

In the late 19th century, the last stop west on the narrow-gauge North Pacific Coast Railroad was the village of Occidental, isolated high in dense redwood forests. An 1890’s account described a “well-built” town with “a neat depot, two shoemaker shops, four hotels, a winery, warehouses and … commodious dwellings.”

Rollicking, seagoing history lives in vintage ships and museums along San Francisco’s waterfront

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park at the Hyde Street Pier. (San Francisco Travel Association)

Story by Karen Misuraca

Draped around a vast, sheltered bay, San Francisco’s rollicking maritime history began when the cry — “Gold!” — rang out in the Sierra Nevada foothills in 1848. The bay soon filled with ships…

Storming the California Coast

Stalwart souls trod the windy beaches, then head for the fireside at a B&B.

The wintertime drama along the Sonoma-Mendocino coastline makes for romantic weekends to remember. November through April, low-pressure systems roll in off the Pacific, one after another, and the tumultuous surf is thrilling to watch. …

Karen Misuraca

Travel journalist, blogger and award-winning guidebook author specializing in California, cultural travel and golf travel. Member SATW/BATW.

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