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Garrick Ramirez

Garrick Ramirez

Articles (39)

The best hot springs in California

The best hot springs in California

Hot springs in California lure visitors from far and wide for rest and rejuvenation. With geothermal waters bubbling just below the surface of several places to visit in California, it’s easy to find restorative waters throughout the Golden State. For stress-melting, skin-nourishing bliss, check out these steamy pools of mineral-rich water, just as generations of Californians and health-seekers have for decades. These gorgeous natural hot springs provide far more than a backdrop for Instagram boasting. Sulfur-rich hot springs have been shown to offer healing benefits for skin irritations and infections, arthritic pain, digestive issues, and much more. California hot springs include luxurious soaks at upscale hotels in Napa, laid-back dips at clothing-optional havens within California national parks, or hidden swimming holes that require a bit of work before the reward. Grab your crew and make a weekend of it—you’ll likely be surrounded by multi-generational families and local couples enjoying romantic getaways. Some offer far more than a place to soak, allowing visitors to enjoy fine food and drink, spa services, and other activities that fuel hours of soaking. Whatever aquatic relaxation you need, here are the best California hot springs for soaking to your heart’s content. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in California

The best things to do in the Bay Area

The best things to do in the Bay Area

While Southern California has traditionally received credit for influencing popular culture, today, the Bay Area is shaping the future. Silicon Valley changed the way we live, Pixar made movies fun again, and chances are that last bottle of wine you polished off came from Napa Valley wineries. The region is world-renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation, from hiking ancient redwood groves (check out more great Bay Area hikes) to biking the Golden Gate Bridge. Whether you're looking for high-end Michelin dining or cheap eats, ways to get out in nature, or interested in seeing San Francisco's main attractions, we've rounded up the best restaurants, destinations, and activities that will show you a hella good time in the Bay Area.  We've compiled the best things to do in the Bay Area — from the East Bay to the South Bay to Wine Country — just for you.  RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in San Francisco 

The best camping in California

The best camping in California

From the mountains to the desert and sea, California is home to some of the most majestic and stunning landscapes in the country. It's a gold mine of 110 state parks and glittering beaches where you can spend the night in the ancient redwood forest, alongside crashing waves, next to panoramic vistas and massive boulders. Along the length of the Golden State you'll find 19 national forests, each with its own set of natural wonders and entirely different climates – lush woodlands, shimmering desertscapes and everything in between. Whether it’s a traditional tent and s’mores experience, or glamping with the option of fine dining, here are the best places to camp in California.  RECOMMENDED: The ultimate road trip through California 

The best things to do on the Old Sacramento Waterfront

The best things to do on the Old Sacramento Waterfront

There are plenty of charming things to do on the Old Sacramento Waterfront, but the most essential is rather obvious: taking an old-fashioned stroll. Minutes from Sacramento’s modern Golden 1 arena and bustling downtown, an afternoon spent meandering this riverfront Old West town—lined with wooden sidewalks and 19th century brick buildings—is worth every step. California’s state capital is home to the largest concentration of Gold Rush-era buildings in the nation, most of which are set here, along the eastern banks of the river, in the Old Sacramento Waterfront neighborhood.‹This atmospheric area immerses visitors in a time when Sacramento was a Gold Rush commercial hub and served as the West Coast endpoint for the Pony Express and Transcontinental Railroad. Today, its historic 19th-century buildings house contemporary shops, bars, and restaurants with nods to SacTown’s rollicking past. Here's what to see and do in Old Sacramento, from old saloons to museums and antique shops. And, after you've explored this old-timey neighborhood, don't forget to check out everything downtown Sacramento has to offer, too. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Sacramento

What to do, eat and see in Downtown Sacramento

What to do, eat and see in Downtown Sacramento

After nearly two centuries of hustle and bustle, the sheer amount of things to do, see, and eat in downtown Sacramento isn’t much of a surprise: this place has always meant business. Sitting at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers, Sacramento was a commercial hub during the Gold Rush, and became the Golden State’s capital in 1854. Today, the Downtown Sacramento neighborhood is a delightfully walkable, cultural center filled with a lush tree canopy—Sacramento has more trees per capita than any city in the U.S.—scores of museums, and some of the city’s most notable restaurants. Sacramento earned the title of America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, and you’ll discover why at hotspots such as Ella and Mulvaney’s. Plus, the arrival of the Golden 1 Center infused the area with a thriving nightlife including a fun barcade and fashionable rooftop lounge. Here’s your itinerary for exploring downtown Sacramento. If you're looking for old-timey Sac, don't forget to check out the Old Sacramento Waterfront, too.  RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Sacramento

The 10 best things to do with kids in San Diego

The 10 best things to do with kids in San Diego

Figuring out the best things to do with kids in San Diego is pretty easy—the city has about 70 miles of coastline, and its beaches are hard to resist. And while it's completely fine to spend your entire time in parked on the sand, you may find yourself wanting a little variety. Beyond the sunny shores are attractions like some of the best amusement parks in California and the world’s largest comic book convention, which means there’s no such thing as bored children in sunny San Diego.Among the most kid-friendly experiences in San Diego are activities like mingling with exotic animals, splashing through waterfront fountains, walking or riding along the beach boardwalk, and marveling at towering Lego sculptures. Plus, like a good Pixar flick, these activities tend to be great for the whole family and won't leave adults gaping at their phones or counting the hours until nap-time—an ice cream shop means parents can enjoy a double scoop, and a destination park features al fresco libations to wind down the day. Some of the best restaurants in San Diego are kid-friendly, too, and many cater specifically to young audiences (like Corvette Diner) with fun play areas or dancing waitstaff. So if you're planning to bring the whole family to SoCal, plan to stay busy with our list of the best things to do with kids in San Diego. RECOMMENDED: our full guide of the best things to do in San Diego

The 18 best restaurants in San Diego

The 18 best restaurants in San Diego

While beach towns are often regarded more for their surf and sun than their savvy dining, the best restaurants San Diego prove to be an exception—from stylish dining rooms to casual beachside eats, the coastal city bursts with creativity and bonafide kitchen chops.While it once sat in the shadows of Los Angeles' flashy dining scene, San Diego has attracted several big name chefs in recent years, including Richard Blais, Brian Malarkey, and Claudette Zepeda (of Top Chef fame). Now, San Diego stands firmly on its own culinary reputation, popular enough that dinner reservations are recommended in bustling areas such as Little Italy, La Jolla, and the Gaslamp Quarter. Looking for a signature dish? If there’s a staple order, it’s Baja-style fish tacos paired with local craft beer (likely a hoppy IPA from one of San Diego’s many craft breweries), a bright combo that’s perfect in the city’s gloriously sunny climate where dining al fresco (or inside chic, open-air spaces along its best beaches) is possible year-round. So if you’re headed to this coastal hot-spot, check out our list of the best restaurants in San Diego—and don’t forget to bring a healthy appetite. RECOMMENDED: the best things to do in San Diego

The best ways to get from Portland to Seattle

The best ways to get from Portland to Seattle

Seattle and Portland, as the top two Pacific Northwest cities, are often compared. They are, however, very different. Both have unique vibes, great restaurants, and access to the outdoors. Both are very much worth a visit, and at less than 200 miles between them, getting from Portland to Seattle and back is easy. Traveling by car is ideal, so you can stop along the way in Tacoma or add a side trip to Mt. St. Helens or the coast. But for a straightforward two-city visit, there are a few easy options. Here are the best ways to get from Portland to Seattle so you can explore both and decide for yourself which city comes out on top. Will it be Portland, with its famous food trucks and doughnuts? Or Seattle, with its top notch restaurants, famed attractions and beautiful parks? Are you a fan of the City of Roses or the Emerald City—or both? Combine the two cities for an exciting two-fer of a vacation, via plane, train, car or bus. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Seattle

The 10 best Laguna Beach restaurants

The 10 best Laguna Beach restaurants

You better be hungry because the best Laguna Beach restaurants are ready to fill you up. This Orange County resort town has become beloved worldwide as a de facto artist colony, but all those creatives need to eat from time to time, and there’s plenty of options. Where to begin? Well, how does wolfing down tacos on the beach sound? If ramen and beers sound more up your street, there’s a modern izakaya waiting to inspire. Throw in steaks and wine in an early 20th-century house, and you’ve got a culinary scene that deserves your undivided attention. Arguably the OC’s most rewarding foodie destination, Laguna Beach has a global culinary mix that feels right at home amidst the sunshine and ocean breezes. We can’t promise that you’ll find artistic inspiration of the energy to hit the waves, but we can promise good food and a darn good time. What more could anyone want?

The 22 best San Diego beaches

The 22 best San Diego beaches

San Diego has a lot of beaches. There, we said it. The metropolis and its surroundings boast a whopping 70 miles of beautiful coastline, featuring some of the best beaches not just in California, but on the whole planet. If you’ve ventured towards the so-called Birthplace of California in search of sand, sun and surf, you’re not going to be struggling for results. Of course, 70 miles of beaches throws up plenty of options, and separating the good from the great is no easy task. Luckily, we’ve done the hard yards (the sunbathing, but that can be dangerous work) and have identified the best of the best beaches in San Diego, for your sun-kissed pleasure. This place has a standard forecast of 70 and sunny, with seemingly perfect weather year-round, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy. San Diego also happens to have a fantastic culinary scene and some seriously good craft beer options, if you weren’t entirely convinced by the whole “America’s Finest City” thing. RECOMMENDED: the best things to do in San Diego

The 12 best bars in San Diego

The 12 best bars in San Diego

If you prefer sipping on craft beer and cocktails rather than dancing til dawn, well, the best bars in San Diego are just for you. Although the city’s vibe tends to be rather carefree, we’re pretty serious about quality nightlife here—a flourishing cocktail scene has locals sipping hand-crafted concoctions on hip rooftops while craft breweries seem to pop up around every corner. Plus, the city’s tropical environs have inspired a reinvigorated tiki scene that puts rum cocktails in the spotlight. In other words, San Diego knows how to have a good time. Thanks to city’s nearly perfect year-round weather, many of its bars and restaurants have ample outdoor seating and spacious rooftop decks. While there are nightclubs and dance parties throughout the Gaslamp Quarter and Pacific Beach, most nightlife spots are lounges where you can actually have a conversation with good company. And while most bars in San Diego close by 1:30 or 2 a.m., plenty of late-night dining options extend into the evening just a bit longer—even if it’s just a means of soaking up all that booze. After catching a sunset over the bay, stroll San Diego’s varied neighborhoods and you’ll discover that the laid-back beach town keeps humming long after the surfboards have been stowed and the kids have gone to bed. Ready to explore? Follow our guide to the best bars in San Diego. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in San Diego

The 15 best breweries in San Diego

The 15 best breweries in San Diego

San Diego is to craft beer what Napa is to wine. Well-renowned as the Capital of Craft, this city isn’t new to the game — the best breweries in San Diego are part of a decades-old obsession. The sunny coastal town saw its craft beer scene take shape in the 1980s with the pioneering brewpub Pizza Port, followed by a secondary wave of breweries including Stone and Alesmith. As these initial spots flourished, they fostered subsequent generations of brewers who would eventually branch out on their own. Fast-forward to today, and there are more than 150 independent breweries in San Diego County (and the nightlife in San Diego is beer-heavy as a result). While visiting the tasting room at each individual brewery is always a good time, most local bars and restaurants also have beer lists that showcase the region’s bounty of quality brews. San Diegans would agree that IPAs reign supreme as the city’s unofficial beer style, but there are plenty of options on tap for those who prefer fewer hops. The majority of breweries have rotating food trucks parked outside on weekends (unless they have their own on-site kitchen, of course), and if not, will kindly let you bring your own food. Many tasting rooms are also dog-friendly and family-friendly.Time your visit during the epic San Diego Beer Week in November (look for cheap hotels in San Diego here), and you’ll sample the region’s latest boozy trends and offerings. For any other time of year, the following list should provide a worthy overv

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Soak in the sun at Sacramento’s chic new rooftop pool and bar

Soak in the sun at Sacramento’s chic new rooftop pool and bar

If San Francisco’s chilly marine layer is putting a damper on your summer fun, we suggest a day trip. Sacramento may not be on your short list of weekend escapes, but a stylish new rooftop infinity pool and cocktail bar is certain to change that. The Kimpton Sawyer Hotel is part of a new downtown, state-capital–invigorating hub centered around the Golden 1 Center, an open-air concert and sports arena that’s home to the Sacramento Kings. In addition to a dreamy rooftop pool terrace, this one-stop, warm-weather retreat has reliable Sacramento sun and a collection of hip bars and restaurants. Plus, the hotel is a breezy, five-minute stroll from the historic Amtrak station, which means you can ditch your car and enjoy a scenic, traffic-free trip out of town. The design-forward hotel features a sky-high lobby that brims with greenery and 250 guest rooms awash in natural finishes and gold accents. Perks include Atelier Bloem body products, an evening wine tasting and public bikes for quick jaunts to the buzzy Midtown neighborhood. Yet the property’s most compelling amenity is the infinity pool—a first for Sacramento— surrounded by a lushly landscaped rooftop and flanked by cabanas, fire pits and the glam indoor-outdoor cocktail lounge, Revival. The Sawyer is also home to the excellent Echo & Rig, a swanky Las Vegas–style steakhouse beloved for its red-oak–grilled steaks and popular sides, such as the portobello mushroom fries and the grain-and-veggie–fueled Over the Rainbow Salad.