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Style El Dorado County Foothills



04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

The name “Carmel-by-the-Sea” conjures up visions of storybook cottages with fragrant flowers, cozy cafes and beguiling back street bistros. Carmel’s a great walking town, so book your room in the heart of town and begin to explore on foot beneath a canopy of majestic Monterey pines and giant cypresses that rustle in the breeze. You may begin to wonder why most houses in the square-mile village are named, not numbered. Many years ago, Carmel’s founding fathers of Bohemians and artists decided to ban home delivery of mail because they thought having numbers on their houses was a sign of being “citified.” The tradition continues today as neighbors gather at the post office to gossip and pick up their mail.For an early morning coffee and a decadent pastry, stop in at Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company on Ocean Avenue to chat with the locals and other visitors. Stroll past the high-end shops of Ocean Avenue to where it ends at Carmel Beach, an enchanting crescent of silky white sands set off by the sparkling blue waters of the bay. Ringed with bluffs and showpiece homes, it is one of the few beaches where dogs are allowed to run without a leash.When you return from a brisk sunset walk on chilly days, a crackling hearth awaits you at one of many dog-friendly inns and restaurants. (My current favorite is the historic La Playa Hotel and Cottages, just two blocks from the sea.)On the quiet streets that surround Ocean Avenue are art studios, galleries and antique stores tucked away in secluded courtyard gardens. The small Cima Collina Art Gallery also has a tasting bar of handcrafted local wines. Be sure to include a visit to the Carmel Art Association’s gallery, a cooperative that exhibits and sells affordable pieces by local contemporary artists. In the evening, a walk through the town’s quaint residential neighborhoods (no sidewalks and few streetlights) leads to one of Carmel’s wonderful theaters. The Pacific Repertory Theatre has everything from Shakespearean drama to Tony Award-winning musicals and plays. In the summer, the intimate Sunset Center hosts the Carmel Bach Festival, as well as jazz greats and contemporary pop performers. At the Forest Theater you’ll find films and live productions, often accompanied by picnics in the summer. At the south edge of the village, Carmel Mission Basilica still stands beside Father Serra’s burial spot and hosts regular Catholic masses.On Fridays and Saturdays there are docent tours of Tor House, poet Robinson Jeffers’ stone home. The poet lovingly hand-gathered the stones from nearby Carmel Beach. You’ll need your car again to visit two other special places nearby. The entrance to the winding 17-Mile Drive begins at the bottom of Ocean Avenue. Synonymous with golf and gorgeous scenery, it wanders north through Pebble Beach. For a hike and a close-up view of otters and other sea life, Point Lobos is just two miles south of the village on Highway One. A jewel of California’s coast, Carmel is a great get-away for kids big and small.

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Pismo Beach

02/28/2009 ● By Super Admin

Located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Pismo Beach or South San Luis Obispo county, makes a great “get-away to the beach” destination. Not only will you find a quaint city by the sea with gorgeous views in all directions, but you can simply hop in the car and in 20 minutes or less you will find some of the best vineyards and wineries in California (Paso Robles is California’s third largest and fastest growing wine region) along with a great downtown shopping experience in San Luis Obispo just down the freeway.10 REASONS TO VISITIf lying by the beach, or sipping wine is not your thing, don’t fret, that’s the beauty of visiting Pismo – where there’s a plethora of activity options.1. March through May – Hearst Castle Evening Tours – This legendary California manor sits at 1,600 feet above sea level, and the evening tour allows visitors to experience the Castle at night just as a visitor to the Castle in the ’30s might have. For more information, visit hearstcastle.org2. March 6-March 15 –15th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – The Film Festival will bring filmmakers, film buffs, and celebrities for cinematic events held throughout the county. For more information, call 805-235-5404 or visit March 20-22 – 27th Annual Zinfandel Festival – At the Donati Family Vineyard in Templeton, enjoy guided winery tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Learn the grape’s journey from vine to bottle, and view the crush pad, cellar, barrel room and hospitality center! Catch great spring deals on wine - do you have your white wine yet? For more information, call 805-238-0676 or e-mail April through November – Shell Beach Farmers Market – Enjoy perusing the market for fresh produce, flowers, jams, dried fruits and artisan vinegars, all grown by local farmers. You can also expect to see exotic foods, jewelry, massage therapy, tea and live entertainment. For more information, e-mail April 26 – Taste of Pismo – Restaurants of Pismo Beach and local wineries will showcase multiple culinary and vineyard delights at this event. Tickets are $50 each and include a commemorative wine glass. For more information, call 800-443-7778.6. April 30-May 2 – Hospice du Rhone – an exceptional three-day event that is globally regarded as the “single most essential and enjoyable gathering of international Rhône wine producers and enthusiasts.” Attendees expand their knowledge of the 22 Rhône varieties, while rubbing elbows with the winemakers whose passion spurs the inspiration and energy that sets the tone for every seminar, meal and tasting.7. May through October – Art in the Park ­­– On the first Sunday of the month (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) enjoy 90 local artists, food and music, at the Dinosaur Caves Park. For more information, call 805-704-8128.8. May 15-17 – 27th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival – This is the marquee tasting event along California’s Central Coast, and it’s a perfect excuse to visit Paso Robles Wine Country. More than 100 area wineries host an array of special events including winemaker dinners, food pairings, seminars, winery tours, special tastings and more.9. June 19-21 – Pismo Beach June Car Show – This is one of the largest and finest classic car and street shows in the area, with over 800 classic automobiles and street rods. For more information, visit or call 866-450-7469.10. October 17-18 – 63rd Annual Clam Festival – Get in on the fun in downtown Pismo Beach. There’s a parade on Saturday morning, which kicks off this annual event, followed by a carnival, clam dig, music and food. For more information, call 800-443-7778. POSTCARD FROM PISMO BEACHEATLido Restaurant805-773-8900, thedolphinbay.comNative Restaurant & Lounge805-547-5544, nativelounge.comPelican Point Bar & Restaurant805-773-0000SLEEPDolphin Bay Resort & Spa800-516-0112, thedolphinbay.comCottage Inn by the Sea888-440-8400, cottage-inn.comPismo Beach Hotel805-773-4445, thepismobeachhotel.comPLAYPacific Adventure Tours805-481-9330Extreme Hummer Adventures866-543-6355Avila Beach Golf Resort 805-595-4000 Cypress Ridge Golf Club805-474-7979Patriot Sportfishing805-595-7200The Livery Stable: Horseback Riding805-489-8100

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01/31/2009 ● By Super Admin

Down Interstate 5, and across the “green bridge” to Highway 160, you’ll find Clarksburg, a tiny, tranquil town with a population of 1,400. The town fronts the languid, murky Sacramento River in true delta-town style. Clarksburg was settled in the mid-1800s as an agricultural community, and today, is known for its grape production. Golden-green grape vines and rows of spectacular vineyards dot the highway to the west, and the docile river, including boats and waterfowl, borders the west.A wine-lover’s dream, Bogle Vineyards might be the most well known winery in the area. Owned by the Bogle family since the 1800s, the 1,000-acre farm originally produced tomatoes and corn. The first grapes were planted in 1968, and picturesque chardonnay grapes are abundant on the property, beckoning visitors to pack a picnic basket and set a spell at outdoor tables with maximum views. The tasting room is a perfect place to sample the especially tasty 2006 Ghosts du Roam, a red and fruity blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Of course, any wine in the tasting room is sure to please. Don’t miss the 11th Annual Petite Sirah Port Weekend,?February 14-15, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For multiple grape-filled offerings, stop at the historic Old Sugar Mill. The mill, which processed sugar beets in the 30s, is home to wine-tasting rooms, representing five unique wineries, including Carvalho Family Wines,?Heringer Estates,?Todd Taylor Wines, Solomon Wine Company, and?Revolution Wines. Step inside the cavernous red-brick building and you will quickly find that each tasting room has a unique, charming ambiance. Heringer Estates, lined with skyscraper-like rows of barrels filled to the brim with both robust and delicate wines, is worth a visit. When you’ve worked up an appetite, Husick’s Country Store is the perfect stop. The building, here since the 1800s, now houses the purveyor of fine wines, gifts, and most recently, homemade, mouth-watering cuisine. The Pump House Sandwich – slow roasted turkey and provolone on handcrafted bread with homemade cranberry and orange relish – is popular, as are the many additional lunchtime offerings. Husick’s also makes specialty coffees and other beverages, and hosts wine tastings on third Saturdays, from 1 to 5 p.m.Schumacher Ceramics and Gallery is a must-see. Schumacher, who creates his one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces in a studio beneath his gallery, works and shows his art in a historical building that originally housed Husick’s Hardware. He specializes in handmade sinks and custom tiles, and showcases works of 20 or so potters and artists throughout the area. Schumacher’s work can be seen throughout Sacramento. He created the base for the famed guitar outside Sacramento’s Hard Rock Café, a fountain at the State Capitol’s Rose Garden and other public works. Items like dishware, bowls, sculpture and more line the gallery’s shelves. So, if you're in the mood for a little wine sipping, a little shopping and some great sight-seeing, Clarksburg is a great destination off the beaten path.For more info on Clarksburg be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email, or call 916-988-9888.

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Bodega Bay

06/30/2008 ● By Super Admin

On the coast of California, approximately 60 miles north of San Francisco, lies Bodega Bay; a charming, windy inlet that hugs the Pacific Coast shoreline and marks the boundary between Marin and Sonoma counties. Most famous as the setting of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, The Birds, Bodega Bay offers far more than cinematic allure. Among the many reasons to visit the breezy, coastal enclave are quick daytrips to area hotspots, charter sportfishing and stunt kite-flys, but there are several more. Here’s a look at five Style faves.Take Flight at The TidesThe Inn at the Tides has become a beacon for Birds-watchers, as its famed eatery, The Tides Wharf Restaurant and parking lot are prominently featured in the film. Naturally, Hitchcock’s flock of followers land at the legendary Inn each year before migrating south to San Francisco for the Vertigo movie tour – a quirky ode to the Master of Suspense and his most famous Bay Area film. For more information on his others, read Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco. Members of the Inn crowd can make a reservation online at For more about Bodega Bay, be sure to pick up this month's copy of FoothillStyle edition. Click on the "Get Your Copy" link on the bottom of this page for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email Gloria Schroeder at, or call her at 916-988-9888 x116.

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