From Indian Canyons to West Marin
With Big Sur, Topanga Beach, Malibu Mountains
And Home In Between
My Slow California sweetspots
These are just a few of my favorite places:
I was inspired by an article in the New York Times last week about America's Secret Corners. Ken Burns says, "Inspiration comes from lesser known authentic places that represent the region's traditions." I have a few of my own in California where I am from. I have lived between Los Angeles, Marin, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Each place reveals something new every time I go. When I meet a new person, walk a different path or visit at a certain time of year, there is something always different in the air. I just spent a couple of sunny days in Marin County, specificallly West Marin which has always been a magnet for me. It continues to seduce me year after year with smells of bay trees and deep forest, the foggy or sunny light, sounds of sea lions or booeys, wildlife, characters, surf, architecture and presence. People who live in Marin are specialists at so many things, from preserving open space, to developing technology, trending artisanal food, meditation and a little competition with their enlightenment.
Hiking with friends Pan Toll
see Joyce Maynard's NYT article about MT. Tam Murders
Dipsea Trail 9 miles from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach
I traverse a lot from Los Angeles to Ojai, Big Sur, Santa Cruz and Marin. I came of age in Santa Cruz and Big Sur and middle age in Marin, the age of reason in San Francisco and the magic of patches of land, the smell of bay trees, the light of Mount Tam, the herds of pelicans over the water in Big Sur and the luck of living and being there.
The Tourist Club Mt. Tam
A patch of regional culture and natural beauty is Bolinas in Marin County just north of Stinson Beach. I stayed with a local family in quintessential Marin where coffee, a local library, a free bin, and a spectacular beach reach a community of thought leaders and slow lifers just feeling grateful to live in such a place.
My Field Of Dreams
A small sanctuary at a retreat near Bolinas to meditate and heal
A soft landing for me after a long journey from LA
Happy surfer woman with her coffee, bike and cute shoes!
View From My former livingroom In Larkspur's Little Red House
Larkspur By Madrone Canyon
My redwood porch across from
Throw darts, eat, drink and be merry after a kick ass hike and mountain bike across Mt. Tam by moonlight and spend the night there. Magical spot, locals and tourists off the beaten path.
Natural Hot Springs floating on rafts, mud baths, wine tasting or relaxing by a fire pit. The grounds feel like an old American Resort with California Palms, and the rich lush Napa Valley right there.
Friday Night Sausalito Gathering for Live Jazz
A cottage in Sausalito- Heath Ceramics Owners little hideaway
My Writing Retreat
You Can VRBO This gem view of the bay too
Owners of Heath Ceramics and this cottage
California Icon of Domestic and Decorative Arts
View From Sausalito Cottage
Great places stay in Marin -
Live like a local:
- Highway One Properties - home rentals get very local for as long as you want
- Cottage - Heath Ceramics Owners vrbo number (see cottage link above)
- Deep West a little pricey but
- Nick's Cove
- The Pelican Inn
- Cavallo Point Frolic by The Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands with wellness retreats, amazing city views, a serene spa and restored Presidio architecture.Amazing location and resort.
- Costa Noa (Glamp above Santa Cruz on HWY 1)
Timeless Nepenthe and one of the best accessible views in Big Sur
Nepenthe and The Henry Miller LibraryGo for a stroll through this literary bohemia redwood magical spot filled with sexual freedom, beauty, intellect, a raw and passionate library, gallery and shrine. It's a great way to learn more about the man who electrified Paris, Big Sur and Pacific Palisades California and was a true bad boy with a beautiful soul.
Land of the free and the wildly creative, cliff hanging above the clouds with aliveness, Big Sur from the river to the beaches and the dwellings is truly a unique California corner I keep coming home to.
Garden at Esalen
In the Santa Monica Mountains another culture exists. Old movie sets, real cowboys, boutique wineries, scrub manzanita, coyotes and rattle snakes. Sure there are movie stars and haunts and deserted sets and eccentric outposts. Losts of them. With the far away glow of Hollywood and the influence close enough there are some daring folks in the hills and a slice of California as authentic and inspiring as any charming off beat place. Consider a hidden saloon and cafe where Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpaw hung out, and countless other off the grid actors with motorcycles and character. It's away from the city yet just a close drive away tucked in the Malibu Mountains. The Old Place has singers and strummers out front, fresh clams, steaks, heavy delicious fresh food and atmosphhere that's close to Malibu Lake and the old Paramount Ranch and connected to the Cornell Winery next door, The Old Place is a regional slice of rustic historic Malibu Mountains mixed with a raw Hollywood magic.
Soulful Singer Sage Belts It Out In Front Of Old Place
Paseo Miramar Trail Pacific Palisades
Near The Getty Villa
Topanga Beach at Sunset
Just down Pacific Coast Highway from Topanga, is a trip to the Amalfi Coast and a villa that immediately transports you to ancient Italy. The gardens, architecture and collections as well as seasonal outdoor theater in Malibu make this corner of California a perfect merging of the Mediterranean and the Pacific.
Herb Garden Gifts
Santa Monica Beach Umbrellas
Santa Monica Beach and Cliffs Where I Grew Up
The Desert and My Palm Springs- Korakia Pensione
Indian Canyons- Palm Springs
Show me some of your secret corners (places), and I'll keep adding to this. I have many more to share, please share with us!