Gilroy Garlic Festival

http://gilroygarlicfestival.com/

Admission: $20

Running for over 36 years, the Gilroy Garlic Festival is one of the biggest, and probably best well known food festival in Northern California.

Celebrating all things garlic, the festival has tons of garlic flavored foods (including free garlic ice cream), as well as cooking demonstrations and competitions.

I have to mention this, as it will mostly likely color the rest of my review. For the most part, the festival seemed very well run and operated. However, the parking situation was atrocious. From the time I hit the line to the parking lot, to the time I actually parked my car was an Hour and a Half. This is not an exaggeration or a guess. I timed it. And it is completely unacceptable. I was so annoyed and frustrated after all that, that I really had a hard time enjoying the actual festival.


Once I hit the parking lot, there was an option to wait in another line to ride a shuttle to the actual fair. Yeah, no. Thankfully, the walk wasn’t too far.

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Historic Colfax

http://www.colfaxarea.com/
Colfax, an historic city in California’s Gold Country, is named after former US Vice President Schuyler Colfax, who visited the town during the construction of the transcontinental railroad. It’s still a pretty railroad heavy town, and has a smallish historical area.


The current railroad depot


Which also houses the Chamber of Commerce and Heritage Museum.

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Micke Grove Park

http://www.sjparks.com/parks/micke-grove-regional-park.aspx

Micke Grove Park, was a 132 acre gift from former farmer William Micke to the city of Lodi, CA in 1938. The park consists of serval attractions including a lake, a Japanese Garden, a 3 acre lake and the three places I was able to visit, the Micke Grove Zoo, Fun Town and The San Joaquin County Historical Museum.

Micke Grove Zoo

http://www.mgzoo.com/zoo/micke-grove/default.htm


Probably the most impressive animal at the Micke Grove Zoo, the snow leopard.

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Zephyr Cove Lake Tahoe Cruise

http://www.zephyrcove.com/
Price: $50

Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, is also one of the most well known features of Northern California (even though half of it is in Nevada). You can drive all the way around it, but the best way to see it up close and personal is with a cruise.


The Zephyr Cover Emerald Bay Cruise takes place on a lovely old paddle wheel boat.


Tahoe has a very busy shoreline. Also, check out how blue the water is.

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San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

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San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers http://www.conservatoryofflowers.org/ Admission: $8 The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers opened in 1878 and is the oldest building in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The Conservatory currently houses 1,700 plant species divided into six sections: Lowland …

 

Historic Murphys

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Historic Murphys http://visitmurphys.com/ Murphys was founded in the mid 1800s by brothers John and Daniel Murphy, who were part of the first immigrant party to bring wagons to Sutter’s Fort. Placer mining in the area was very successful and in …

 

Mercer Caverns

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Mercer Caverns http://www.mercercaverns.com/ Admission: $15.00 In 1885 Walter Mercer, while out looking for gold, accidentally stumbled across what would become the Mercer Caverns. Since that time, the cavern has been open to visitors, though thankfully we now get to take …

 

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

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Six Flags Discovery Kingdom https://www.sixflags.com/discoverykingdom Admission: $65 (can get as low as $40 on presales) The park that is currently known as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has a long and kinda complicated history. For those of my generation, the park …

 

San Francisco Botanical Garden

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San Francisco Botanical Garden http://www.sfbotanicalgarden.org/ Admission: $7 The San Francisco Botanical Garden consists of 55 acres and 8,000 different kinds of plants in Golden Gate Park. Helpful signage, my freind. Oooh, giant bugs.

 

Grass Valley Gold Rush Days

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Grass Valley Gold Rush Days http://www.historicgrassvalley.com/ Price: Free Grass Valley, one of the larger cities in Nevada County, is home to both the Empire and North Star Mines. To honor its gold rush history, Historic Downtown Grass Valley annually hosts …