COVID-19  We are believers in the life-changing aspects of travel. While travel may at this time be limited, not possible, or beyond your personal safety boundaries, that doesn’t mean you cannot dream, plan or get inspired, and our stories will help you do just that. If you do hit the road, traveling near or far, always remain informed and respectful of an area’s safety guidelines. Remember that operations and hours of businesses may temporarily change. To help guide your decisions about traveling during the pandemic please visit the CDC and check with local travel destinations.

California

Feather River Fish Hatchery fish saved from Oroville Dam disaster

Feather River Fish Hatchery fish saved from Oroville Dam disaster

On a sunny, spring day about a year ago, we stopped in at the Oroville Dam and its Feather River Fish Hatchery. Little did we know the peaceful shots we snapped would be such a contrast to the thundering water of the overfilled Oroville Dam in February 2017 that forced the evacuation of more than 180,000 people. In addition to the evacuation of people, however, was the mandatory evacuation of several million baby fish from the hatchery we had enjoyed.

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Discovering San Francisco secret gardens and public rooftop open spaces

Discovering San Francisco secret gardens and public rooftop open spaces

POPOS may sound like a funny name for something you’d munch on during happy hour, but that is so wrong. POPOS stands for “Privately Owned Public Open Spaces,” a.k.a. San Francisco secret gardens. Whether you as a traveler call them POPOS, secret gardens, or rooftop parks, they are ideal respites and secluded open spaces when wandering and touring cities for travelers who just need to rest weary feet or simply take in the surroundings or do a little people-watching – for free, often in a really pleasant venue.

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Mozzeria Pizzeria: Dining experience more than extraordinary food

Mozzeria Pizzeria: Dining experience more than extraordinary food

Mozzeria pizzeria on 16th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District seems like any other pizza joint from the outside looking in. Unassuming sign, simple door, narrow long room, tables full, a line of patrons waiting to be seated, and wait staff bustling about. The noise-level inside is subdued, but unless one is very observant, you may not even notice the out-of-the-ordinary experience provided by dining at Mozzeria. Not until the hostess greets you do you begin to realize this is not your everyday pizza joint.

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The gold panning world championships – not just about panning for gold

The gold panning world championships – not just about panning for gold

Since HI Travel Tales is based in California’s so-called Gold Country, we naively thought that this was the center of the panning for gold world. You know, Sierra Nevada gold rush, gold discovery at Sutter’s Mill, gold miners, ‘49ers, and all that jazz. Boy did we learn a thing or two, like gold panning is a world-wide pursuit and there is even a world championships each year.

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Historic Gold Rush town Michigan Bluff off beaten path

Historic Gold Rush town Michigan Bluff off beaten path

Situated at about the halfway point of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, Michigan Bluff is a California Gold Rush town so tiny nobody even bothers to count how many people live there. Could be about 20. Give or take. An old mining hamlet that once teemed with thousands of gold-seeking pioneers, this is what they call in true Old West cowboy slang a “one-horse town.” No, there’s not much there, but that’s what makes it charming and worth a stop for a hike or a walk when in the Sierra Nevada Gold Country.

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Sierra foothills wildflowers hike: Fields of California wildflowers

Sierra foothills wildflowers hike: Fields of California wildflowers

With springtime comes the search for California wildflower walks to enjoy the multicolored beauty of sometimes fleeting blooms. Sierra foothills wildflowers are everywhere as are relatively easy hikes to view them – you just have to know where since you often can’t see the blooms from a road. This short hike showcases some amazing wildflowers such as lupine and poppies.

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Corpse Flower: stinking good time in Sacramento

Corpse Flower: stinking good time in Sacramento

When a giant flower only blooms about every two decades – and promises to fill a hall with the smell of road kill rather than jasmine – I just had to go. I’m a garden nut when I’m not traveling – and sometimes even when HI Travel Tales is circling the globe we love to ferret out great gardens.

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UC Davis Arboretum: free award-winning gardens

UC Davis Arboretum: free award-winning gardens

Alongside the roar of Interstate 80 connecting the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe is an award-winning botanical garden that beckons plant-lovers, gardeners or anyone looking for a relaxing park setting – the UC Davis Arboretum. The park-like arboretum itself beckons with winding paths, benches and plant collections with different themes.

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