It’s apparently been raining a whole lot in Northern California this year, which is good, because after years of drought, they most certainly need it! For eight glorious days in March, however, the sun came out and warmed our faces and our souls and made me want to move there all over again.

For the San Francisco portion of our trip, we stayed at the Hotel Zetta, which we completely loved. It was well-situated South of Market Street and offered modern and quirky accommodations that were pristinely clean and comfortable while being really fun to take in.

hotel zetta

hotel zetta san francisco

Hotel Zetta San Francisco 

Hotel Zetta is definitely a place to play, with their play room, bar, graffiti-marked stairwells, and whimsy everywhere, but it was also a place to get work done. I absolutely loved the desk and chair in our room and worked about eight hours a day before exploring. The food and wine was great. (I wrote about my dining experience at The Cavalier here.) Best of all, the hospitality and service were second-to-none. We received such a warm welcome and lovely interactions with staff throughout our stay; this hotel would definitely be top of our list for our next trip to San Francisco.

Hotel Zetta San Francisco

hotel zetta san francisco

As you do, I spent most of my time in San Francisco walking all over the city, up and down its famous hills, along the sea, and on the beach.

 Bay Bridge

 

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is always a must visit, and wine and cocktails at Hog Island Oyster were a nice way to refresh after our flight on our first day.

Hog Island Oyster

On my biggest walking day, I wandered the stunning beauty that is Ocean Beach; seriously don’t miss this expanse of sand and waves if you visit San Francisco. I set some intentions for the year while breathing in salty air, and then set off to explore Golden Gate Park.

  Ocean Beach

ocean beach san francisco

You could easily spend days wandering around and experiencing Golden Gate Park; I only had a few hours, but I loved every step.

Golden Gate Park

  I started at the Dutch Windmill and made my way to the Bison Paddock and into the Conservatory of Flowers.

Golden Gate Park

 

 

 Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory, with its greenery and humidity and just that amazing green smell was one of my favorite places in the park.

IMG_0732

And when I got to the butterfly room, I think I was more excited than the children there. Butterflies are just pure magic. They were flying and fluttering all over!

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park  

From flower-filled meadows to hidden paths, to waterfalls, ponds filled with miniature sailboats, and so much more, Golden Gate Park is such an incredible oasis in the city and a place I will return again and again when we visit San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park

 Golden Gate Park

And speaking of places I visit again and again, Pier 39, while incredibly touristy, is a spot I always make a point of getting to; you can’t watch those sea lions without laughing with pure delight. They are adorable and hilarious!

pier 39

The foggy views of Alcatraz weren’t too bad either!

Alcatraz

There is so much to do and see in San Francisco, and plenty of outdoors activities; with the fine weather being outside was an amazing respite from New England winter!

Read all about our recent California travels:

Eating My Way Around San Francisco

The Mendocino Coast

Heritage House Resort

Find all of my travel blog posts, including Sonoma and Napa trips

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Northern California in all of its gloriousness welcomed us with blue skies and warm sunshine. Our weekend home was the Heritage House Resort in Little River, and it gave us the perfect jumping off spot for exploring areas further north than Sonoma County usually does.

Anderson Valley

On the way up to the Mendocino Coast, we stopped in for a beer tasting at one of our favorite breweries, Anderson Valley Brewing Company for a quick flight and a wander around.

Anderson Valley Brewing Company

I love the brewery’s commitment to the environment and the fact that they are solar-powered. We buy their beer whenever we can find it in the Boston area, and it was amazing to be able to try so many different beers.

Their use of the Boontling language is also fun!

Anderson Valley Brewing Company

 Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Their Blood Orange Gose was perfect for the sunny day and just a really delicious beer. They all were!

When we left Anderson Valley, we headed to the coast, where we spent the rest of the weekend on as many cliffs, beaches, and trails as possible.

Mendocino Coast

Our exploring took us to Mendocino Headlands, where the sea sparkled, then into the fog further north at MacKerricher State Park, where we found dozens of bobbing seals at Laguna Point. They were hard to capture on my phone, but I was pretty excited (jumping up and down excited) to see so many seals in one place.

Mendocino Coa Northern California Laguna Point California

The park had plenty of paths for us to get some exercise in before we stopped to eat and taste beer again.

The Tap Room,Fort Bragg California

The Taproom is a must-visit if you ever get to the Fort Bragg/Mendocino area. Even before it opened, people were lining up by the door, and we knew we’d made a good choice.

The space was super cute and cozy, and we quickly decided to share a beer sampler to get a taste of all that North Coast Brewing had to offer.

beer tasting at The Tap Room

We’re huge fans of Old Rasputin, and we ended up loving every beer on the tray, even the IPAs, which we often don’t like.

The Tap Room beer

We paired our beers with this insanely good ceviche and homemade chips plus plenty of fresh California avocado. . . heaven!

The Tap Room, Fort Bragg

At the suggestion of some locals, we then headed across the street to Pacific Star Winery for a splash of their It’s All My Fault, a delicious blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc,  and Roussanne, named because of the fault running directly beneath the winery.

Pacific Star Winery

The tasting room was so vibrant and beautiful, filled with local art and lovely regulars who were ready and willing to give us recommendations for the area, including sending us to Roundman’s Smokehouse for all sorts of incredible smoked meats, fish, and cheese. I love meeting people when we travel!

Pacific Star, Fort Bragg California

Glass Beach was another one of their recommendations. Glass Beach is a former dump, which, thanks to the trash dumped there years ago, now offers an abundance of sea glass, in addition to stunning views.

Northern California

Glass Beach

Glass Beach

Our time on the Mendocino Coast was simply spectacular, peaceful, and delicious. It was also too short, but I think a lifetime in such a beautiful place would even have you asking for more!

 

Read more travel posts about Northern California on my travel blog post page.

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Tags: Anderson Valley, California, coastal living, Mendocino, Northern California, travel blog, wine, wine tasting

Lovers of great Irish whiskey and the Boston Red Sox (or visiting teams) are in luck this year, with the arrival of Tullamore D.E.W. as the official whiskey of the Boston Red Sox,  now being poured at the recently unveiled Tully Tavern.

Tully Tavern at Fenway Park

Tullamore D.E.W. Monster Mule

About Tully Tavern:

Located in the Right Field Grandstand section, the 2,450 square feet bar features a magnificent view where fans can gather to cheer on the Sox while enjoying the convivial atmosphere of a good Irish pub. Created with the look and feel of the legendary Irish whiskey distillery, Tully Tavern will give ticket holders the opportunity to enjoy Tullamore D.E.W., a triple-blended, triple distilled Irish whiskey in signature cocktails such as the Monster Mule.

 

Boston Red Sox

The team from Tullamore D.E.W. kindly hosted us at a game earlier in the week, sharing plenty of delicious, easy-to-drink Monster Mules paired with Fenway’s favorite snacks. We’re whiskey fans in our house, and it’s well-worth noting how smooth Tullamore D.E.W. is, whether mixed in a cocktail or on its own. Fenway can’t pour it on its own because, Boston, but having a bottle on hand at home for a chilly spring/never-ending winter night is definitely a necessity here!

drinks at Fenway Park

Red Sox game

Despite the cold, we warmed up nicely after a couple of Monster Mules! Tully Tavern and Tullamore D.E.W. are great additions to the time-honored Boston ballpark.

Interested in visiting Tully Tavern?

Seats are sold through group sales (http://m.mlb.com/redsox/tickets/group/) and tickets range from $35 to 75 a seat depending on the game.

 

Can’t get to a Red Sox game? You can still enjoy a Monster Mule at home! You’ll find me mixing these up for boat days this summer!

monstermule

The Tullamore D.E.W. “Monster Mule”

Created by Tullamore D.E.W. Ambassador Tim Herlihy for the Tully Tavern at Fenway Park

Ingredients:

1 part Tullamore D.E.W.

4 parts Ginger Beer

Juice from one fresh lime

Method:

Combine all ingredients and pour into an ice-filled mule mug. Raise your glass in a toast to the Boston Red Sox!

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Tags: Boston, cocktails, events, ginger beer, Ireland, Red Sox, Tullamore, whiskey

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