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Best Burgers in California

We've posted about In-N-Out and it's true, we do love their burgers, but we know they aren't the only burger place in California. We thought we'd welcome the coming of summer by compiling a list of the best burger places in California to get your mouth watering and to give you some possible road trip destinations.

Best Burgers in California

Etna Brewery, Etna

Enjoy a local brew and a fantastic burger at this Northern California local favorite. You can go old-school with a cheese burger or kick it up a notch with their well known Ortega Burger! Flickr by Zane Mulligan Flickr by Zane Mulligan

Burgers & Brew, Sacramento

Grab a brew. Grab a burger.  Grab some friends and head on over to Burgers & Brew in Sacramento. With award winning brews and burgers (we're talking Best Burger in Yolo county!), you can't go wrong. Flickr by Angelo DeSantis Flickr by Angelo DeSantis

Pearl's Deluxe Burgers, San Francisco

The Yelp enthusiasts dub Pearl's Deluxe burgers to have one of the best burgers in California! Check it out for yourself and see if you agree. Flickr by hermitsmoores Flickr by hermitsmoores

Super Duper Burgers, San Francisco

They boast "Fast food burgers, slow food values" and what could be better than that? Everything's all natural and a lot of what they offer is made right there in the shop. Hop on over and check it out. Flickr  by wEnDy Flickr by wEnDy

Zuni Cafe, San Francisco

Hidden amidst an impressive menu, you may not initially think of Zuni Cafe as a "burger place" but if what we're hearing is right, they offer an amazing (albeit high-end) burger! Flicker by Jason Hamner Flicker by Jason Hamner

Burger Lunge, Tahoe

Another Yelp reviewers favorite, this burger joint is the place to be this summer if you're in the Tahoe area. Make sure you come prepared to take your time selecting because they have an impressive lists of burgers to choose from. Flickr by Lauren Flickr by Lauren

Hook Burger Bistor, Southern California Locations

The minute you take a bike of a Hook burger, you're sure to be hooked ;) We also love that they support many different causes. This is an all-around great burger place and definitely a great addition to your summer list. Flickr by Doran Flickr by Doran

Get the Burger, Big Bear

This home-grown burger place is a classic and just what you need whether you're enjoying summer hiking and tanning at the lake or shredding the slopes in the winter! Flickr by Jennifer Flickr by Jennifer

Lucky's Tavern, Hollywood

Lucky's boasts "made from scratch - artisan burgers" and is a prime spot for great beer and great burgers! Burger-Diablo From Lucky's Tavern

Umami, San Francisco and Southern California

With the trademark "U" stamped onto the top of their buns, Umami is in a class all its own. With many locations in Southern California and the bay area, you have no excuse to avoid a satisfying and delicious trip to Umami soon (today maybe?). Flicker by Larry Flickr by Larry

The Father's Office, Los Angeles

This Gastropub created by Chef Sang Yoon features their most popular burger, the "Office Burger". It's also a great place for beer with an European influenced atmosphere. Good burger on a crunchy roll Flickr by Daremoshiranai

Stout, Los Angeles

Stout offers affordable burgers to discerning Los Angeles foodies. Make a trek to discover their amazing gruyere and blue cheese burger toppings among other additions that make these burgers delicious  and some of the best burgers in California. Flickr by Drew Hubbard-Ben Waters Flickr by Drew Hubbard-Ben Waters

Mom's Burgers, Compton

They aren't healthy, and maybe sometimes they look a little overwhelming, but Mom's Burgers will knock your socks off! They are a must-have! 5483050502_8868595926 From LA Weekly

Burger Boss, Riverside & Corona

With the option to order on line, natural ingredients, gluten free options, and so much more, how could we not put Burger Boss on a best burgers in California list? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Flickr by Gabriel Amadeus

Dave's Burgers, Long Beach

At 4.5 starts on Yelp, you know that Dave's Burgers is the place to be! It's small and out of the way, but definitely worth a stop if you're in the Long Beach area. l From Yelp by Louie B.

Rocky's Crown Pub, San Diego

The first thing you'll see on their website is this claim, " Welcome to Rocky's, home of the best burgers in San Diego" - couldn't get any clearer than that, could you? But their legend goes beyond just their website! Any local will tell you they've got what it takes to make the list of the best burgers in California! 9186611131_a9a2771712_k Flickr by Kirk K

Did we miss your favorite burger place? Tell us about it in the comments below!   Cover Photo from Flickr by James Source: Yelp, Thrillist, LA Weekly, We Be Trippin'

Summer Vacation Hot Spot: Shasta Lake has everthing you'll want...and more!

Summer Vacation Hot Spot: Shasta Lake has everthing you'll want...and more!

This summer, Shasta Lake should top your vacation hot spot list! There is so much to do and see that you won't be sorry you ventured to beautiful Northern California for the summer. Check out these actives guaranteed to satisfy everyone in your family, from the dare devil to the adventurer.

Shasta Lake

Located about 12 miles north of Redding, California, Shasta Lake is a popular vacation spot for families and groups from all over California. With its deep emerald waters nestled among lush pine forests, this lake is perfect for relaxing or enjoying your favorite water activity. Take a picnic lunch and use one of the many day-use areas. Use fees generally run about $6 for a day of fun! Shasta Lake Flickr-Amitanjan

Houseboat Fun

Whether you're a seasoned houseboat adventurer or willing to try something new this summer, Shasta Lake is definitely the place to venture out on a houseboat to beat the summer heat. Check out this link for businesses that rent houseboats on Shasta Lake. A great way to bring the cost down is to consider joining up with several friends to rent a houseboat and then split the cost. It's fun and cost efficient! Shasta Lake House Boat Flickr-wrek23

Camping and Lodging

The great outdoors of Shasta Lake are calling to you! It's time to pack up your tent or hook up your trailer and make the trek to one of the more than 15 campgrounds surrounding Shasta Lake in the beautiful Shasta-Trinity National Forest (find a list of them here). Not a fan of that much outdoor activity? Don't worry - there are other options for staying close to Shasta Lake. You can rent a cabin or cottage near the lake, stay in a hotel or motel, or even stay in a vacation rental near the lake.

Shasta Lake Water Ski

Shasta Lake Water Activities

Whether it's swimming, boating, water-skiing, fishing, or a combination of these things, Shasta Lake has it all. Bring your own toys (boats, water skis, fishing equipment) or rent them there.

Hiking and mountain biking

When you're not out on the water, you can explore the various hiking and biking trails in the forests surrounding Shasta Lake. Make sure you take a snack, some water, and your camera because you'll never want to forget the beauty of the Shasta-Trinity Forest!

Cave Adventure

While you're out enjoying the natural beauty of Shasta Lake, you need to plan a visit to the Shasta Caverns. After taking a boat ride across the lake and a comfortable bus ride up the hill to the mouth of the caverns, you will be awed with the natural beauty of the limestone and the rich history behind the caverns discovery. This is a great excursion for any individual, family, or group. With prices ranging between $14 to $24 you can't pass this up! Check out their website for specific information and to purchase tickets online.

Photo Ben Wiggins


Not everyone enjoys being outdoors all the time. If you find yourself in that position and want a change from nature to civilization, check out the city of Redding California not too far away. There is a cinema, mall, and many popular restaurants too choose from. Source: USDA Forest Service Shasta-Trinty Site and ShastaLake.comCover Photo: Flickr - Rene Rivers Cover photo: From Flickr - Rene Rivers

4 Reasons Why You Should Visit the California Redwoods

If you're a fan of being outdoors or love nature and you haven't taken the time to visit the California Redwoods, then this needs to be your next vacation destination. You will not only find some of the tallest trees on Earth, but a beautiful mix of prairie land,  rocky coastlines, and an abundance of wildlife. There are beautiful rivers and swimming areas as well as fantastic hiking and biking trails lined with lush greens all resting in the shade of the magnificent California Redwoods.

If these descriptions haven't already convinced you to plan your next vacation to Northern California, then maybe these 4 reasons why you should visit the California Redwoods will.

4 Reasons You Should Visit the California Redwoods

California Redwoods Humbolt State Park Flickr-renedrivers

1) The beauty of it all

As Sylvia Plath said in The Bell Jar
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.”
You will have this same experience the minute you step from your car and enter into the beauty of the California Redwoods. The smell of the forest is unlike anything you've experienced before - fresh, clean, cool. The best case to make for visiting the California Redwoods is the fact that you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature without the distractions of every day life.

2) Perfect for camping and hiking

Campfire Flickr-Steven Fong Whether you like to rough it or prefer an RV, you can find something to suit you in the various state campgrounds located in the heart of the California Redwoods. The Redwood National State Park is located in Humboldt County in Northern California, close to the coast line. It stretches from Trinidad all the way to (and past) the California/Oregon boarder.   California Redwoods National Park World For Travel

There are four main camp grounds to choose from:

Jedediah Smith: This is a beautiful campground located near the banks of the Smith River in the midst of old-growth redwoods. Campground actives include swimming, hiking trails, fishing, and seasonal programs hosted by the campground staff. This campground is open all year and does fill up very quickly for the summer. If you're thinking of vacationing there you should plan to call with plenty of advanced notice. Mill Creek: Located 7 miles south of Crescent City, Mill Creek offers a range of programs led by camp rangers and miles of trails to hike! There is a mix of redwoods as well as maple and alder trees that add diversity to the natural surroundings. This camp is only open from May to September so plan accordingly! Elk Prairie: Another great, year-round option especially for those of  you who are bike enthusiasts. There are over 70 miles of biking and hiking trails surrounding this camp ground. Gold Bluffs Beach: Part of the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Gold Bluffs Beach is just that - a campground near the beach with the benefits of towering redwoods, gorgeous coastline, and a variety of hiking and biking trails. There are no reservations here so it's first-come, first-serve.

3) You could drive through a tree

California Redwoods Drive Through Chandelier Tree Flickr-David Dugan Yes, you read that right. Only in the beautiful California Redwoods could you actually drive through a tree! Dating back to the 1930s a hole was cut through this tree (picture above) to allow cars to drive through. Today, guests can visit the park where the tree is located and drive through for $5. A small price to pay for bragging rights and a snapshot or two to prove you, in fact, drove through a tree!

4) Less expensive than staying in a hotel

Let's face it. Everyone is on a tight budget these days, which means vacations are becoming harder to plan and execute. When you visit the California Redwoods you won't need to break the bank. Average cost for camping is $35 per vehicle ($8 for an additional vehicle) or $5 per hiker or biker per night. What a steal! The listed campgrounds (above) all offer RV and tent sites in addition to the hiker/biker campsites so you can pick your level of 'roughing it'. California Redwoods National ParkDWrappers-Ricky These reasons are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to all that the California Redwoods have to offer. A trip to these beautiful forests crowded with towering trees and lush underbrush will remind you of the sheer beauty of nature. Paired with crystal clear rivers and an abundance of wildlife, you'll never want to leave. California Redwoods National Park World For Travel


 Source: National Park Servic Cover photo from Deviant Art by nmsmith

Sacramento: Under the Spotlight

It may not be on top of the list for many travelers who prefer better known cities, but at a closer look California’s capital is definitely a fun, relaxing landmark on the map of holiday destinations. Sacramento offers attractions for everybody: families will be thrilled to meet cheetahs and jaguars at the Zoo, all visitors, regardless of their age, will feel the magic of the most creative chocolate shops, a train tour along the river is bound to become a lifetime memory and the culinary experience is absolutely unique in America’s ‘farm-to-fork capital’. Check out top 5 activities for the best vacation ever.    

California State Railroad Museum: travel in old times’ luxury & style

The museum draws 500.000 people every year. Need we say more? Maybe just a few words about the impressive old steam trains exhibited here, the dining carwhere railroad china are displayed and the Pullman style sleeping car. And the best part is you can actually visit the inside of several of them. After you visit the Museum, a ride in El Dorado will make your experience complete. The 1920s observation lounge car will take you in a luxurious and scenic ride along the Sacramento River.  

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: step into Hansel and Gretel’s sweet cottage

           While it is famous for the great collection of old fashioned caramel apples, granny style we might add, the Chocolate Factory has a wide range of delightful sweets: truffles, chocolate coated fruits, fudge and so much more… Once you dip into this chocolate gold mine, you won’t know what to try first: Zebra Caramel Apples, Chocolate Pecan Fudge or maybe Dark Chocolate Covered Red Licorice? Don’t buy everything at once, just grab a snack each time you come to Old Sacramento.  

Old Sacramento: where it all began

It is a pleasure to walk on the picturesque waterfront, do some shopping at the quaint specialty stores and eat an ice cream while you enjoy the live music played during the weekends. If you are a history passionate, we recommend the interesting Old Sacramento Underground Tours. You will explore excavated foundations, learn that ‘the net of tunnels’ underneath the city is just a legend and how the city was elevated 10 feet in the late 1800’s.  

Crocker Art Museum: fall in love with Art at one of the first art museums in America

Some of the visitors enjoy the oil painting collection the most. Some say the African and Oceanic art collection is highly educative. Others are fascinated with the European art exhibits. But everybody agrees on one thing: the museum is the gem of Sacramento when it comes to art, history and culture.  

The Kitchen: is it a fabulous restaurant, a theater or a socializing place?

  The Kitchen is an interactive culinary experience, where you can choose from menus with fixed prices, set in ‘acts’ and using local and seasonal ingredients. Although the menus are predefined, modifications are made if you don’t want one dish or another. The show begins with the Chef presenting himself and the dishes. That is the precise moment when your mouth starts to water. Besides eating the best trout tartare and caviar paired fabulously by the restaurants sommeliers with great wines, you interact with your ‘neighbors’ in the restaurant’s patio. By the end of the evening you will have made new friends and tasted divine sushi and sashimi, creamed blueberry tart and many other culinary delights.    

It may not be on top of the list for many travelers who prefer better known cities, but at a closer look California’s capital is definitely a fun, relaxing landmark on the map of holiday destinations. Sacramento offers attractions for everybody: families will be thrilled to meet cheetahs and jaguars at the Zoo, all visitors, regardless of their age, will feel the magic of the most creative chocolate shops, a train tour along the river is bound to become a lifetime memory and the culinary experience is absolutely unique in America’s ‘farm-to-fork capital’. Check out top 5 activities for the best vacation ever.


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