Thursday, May 19, 2016

Highway 49--Gold Rush Country: Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia City Hotels

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Columbia City Hotels  Want to spend the night, see a delightful theater production, and/or indulge in an ice cream confection?  Here you go. 
(800) 444-7275, (209) 532-1479.  $50-$115/2; cottages $115-$155.

The City Hotel  22768 Main St.  10 rooms; $$; closed 1st 2 wks. in Jan.  No TVs; all shared baths.  Restaurant.  No pets.  This 1856 hotel provides overnight lodging in keeping with the town's historic flavor.  A steep staircase leads up to the guest rooms, where a large sitting room and outdoor balcony await.  Spartan but comfortable guest rooms have high ceilings, sweet old-time wallpaper, lace curtains, worn wood floors, and are furnished with Victorian antiques from the collection of the California State Parks Department.  They have no TV or phone, but do have free Wi-Fi.  Each room has a private toilet and sink, but the shower is down the hall.  To make the trek there more civilized, rooms are equipped with robes and a wicker basket packed with towels, soap, and shampoo.  
entrance to The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California
entrance to The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California

guest room in The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California
guest room in The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California

amenities in The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California
amenities in The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California

Christopher’s at the City Hotel Restaurant  serves elegant regional cuisine, and four-course seasonal dinners are an option.  Adjacent and under the same management, the cozy What Cheer Saloon retains its original cherry-wood bar that traveled around the Horn from New England.  A full-service bar, it features fine Cognacs, Armagnac, and single malt Scotches, as well as Sierra Nevada foothill wines, local beers on tap, and both foreign and domestic bottled beers.
Christopher's at the City Hotel Restaurant in The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California
Christopher's at the City Hotel Restaurant in The City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California

Fallon Hotel  On Washington St..  14 rooms; $-$$; closed 1st 2 wks. in Jan.  No TVs; many shared bathrooms.  Continental breakfast; restaurant.  No pets.  This historic hotel, dating from 1857, is beautifully restored to its Victorian grandeur.  Many of the furnishings are original to the hotel.  Several large second-floor rooms with balconies are perfect for families.  The hotel is operated in similar style as the City Hotel and is under the same management.
front desk at the Fallon Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California
front desk at the Fallon Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California

lobby lounge at the Fallon Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California
lobby lounge at the Fallon Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park in California

Located in the rear of the hotel, the Fallon House Theatre has been operating since the 1880s.  The second-longest continually operating playhouse in California, it stages both first-run and classic dramas and musicals and employs both professional and student talent.  The semi-professional Sierra Repertory Theatre stages eight major productions each year.
box office at the Fallon House Theater in Columbia State Historic Park in California
box office at the Fallon House Theater in Columbia State Historic Park in California

theater at the Fallon House Theater in Columbia State Historic Park in California
theater at the Fallon House Theater in Columbia State Historic Park in California

The Fallon Ice Cream Parlor dishes up chilled goodies on the main floor and is the perfect place for an intermission snack.  Choose from sundaes, floats, and milkshakes, as well as espresso, hot chocolate, sarsaparilla, and cookies.
Fallon Ice Cream Parlor in Columbia State Historic Park in California
Fallon Ice Cream Parlor in Columbia State Historic Park in California

More things to do in Columbia State Historic Park.

More things to do in Gold Rush Country.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Highway 49--Gold Rush Country: Columbia State Historic Park, Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen

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Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen  22726 Main St.  This vintage shop uses 100-year-old recipes and antique equipment to turn out such old-time favorites as horehound, rocky road, and almond bark.  New favorites include white-chocolate dipped apricots, chocolate-caramel-pecan turtles, and white-chocolate California bears. Sugar-free goodies are also available.  This sweet shop has been in the same family for five generations and is rated as one of the ten top candy shops in the U.S.  

Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California
Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California


jumbo jawbreakers at Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California
jumbo jawbreakers at Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California



caramel-pecan turtles at Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California
caramel-pecan turtles at Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California



fresh fruit jellies at Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California
fresh fruit jellies at Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen in Columbia State Historic Park in California

More things to do in Columbia State Historic Park.

More things to do in Gold Rush Country.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Thursday, May 12, 2016

San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

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former posts

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)  Two entrances:  151 3rd St. & off Howard St., South of Market, (415) 357-4000.  16 Daily 10am-5pm, Thur to 9pm.  16 $25, 65+ $22, 19-24 $19, under 19 free; audio tours $3-$6.   
SFMOMA reopens this weekend, on Saturday, May 14, 2016.
     Located within a striking contemporary 5-story building designed by Mario Botta of Lugano, Switzerland, and closed for the past 3 years to complete a 10-story expansion by architect Snohetta that triples the gallery space, SFMOMA originally opened at another location in 1935.  It was the first museum in the West devoted entirely to 20th-century art.  Its collection is the world’s largest of contributed art and includes abstract art, photography (now the largest such gallery in the U.S.), and the work of acclaimed contemporary artists.  Accesss to the first two floors is free.  The most efficient way to see everything is to take the elevator to the 7th floor and work down.  The new wing embraces an environmentally-friendly design that includes a self-watering vertical wall bearing green plants and a fa├žade of rippling panels.  Many outdoor spaces display sculpture and offer city views. 
     The museum gift shop purveys an array of exceptional merchandise and has a particularly noteworthy section for children.  Adjacent to the previous rooftop sculpture garden casual Cafe 5 offers a lunch menu including organic salads, open-face sandwiches, and light snacks, and Sightglass at SFMOMA serves up coffee and pastries.  Off the 3rd Street entrance, Situ, helmed by three-star Michelin chef Corey Lee, will open in June for lunch and dinner.



new Snohetta wavy exterior at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
new Snohetta wavy exterior at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
 
new Howard Street entrance at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
new Howard Street entrance at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Andy Warhol gallery at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Andy Warhol gallery at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

new gallery at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
new gallery at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

"Cindy," by Chuck Close, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
"Cindy," by Chuck Close, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

"Cindy" closeup, by Chuck Close, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
"Cindy" closeup, by Chuck Close, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


gift shop items at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
gift shop items at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Cafe 5 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Cafe 5 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Sightglass at SFMOMA at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Sightglass at SFMOMA at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Highway 49--Gold Rush Country: Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia Kate’s Teahouse, Bakery, and Boutique


Columbia Kate’s Teahouse, Bakery, and Boutique  Columbia Kate’s has taken over feeding the town with a teahouse and bakery, and as if that isn’t enough--a sweet boutique is also part of the empire. 
Columbia Kate’s Teahouse  22727 Columbia St., (209) 532-1885.  Daily 11-4.  This sweet little teahouse operates within a historic 1880s barn just a block over from Main Street.  Diners here are seated at tables named after real mining claims from Columbia's heyday.  Choose from classic tea set-ups, or opt for just a scone or a few tea sandwiches.  Regular lunch items are also available—salads, sandwiches, quiche, pot pies, and soups.  Everything is baked fresh daily across the street in the bakery.  Apricot scones (my favorite!) and praline-pecan-pear pie are particular popular, but don’t miss the breads, bread pudding, and other desserts.
exterior of Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California
exterior of Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California

china display at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California
china display at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California


tea display at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California
tea display at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California


tea room at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California
tea room at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California

lunch plate at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California
lunch plate at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California

dessert and cuppa at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California
dessert and cuppa at Columbia Kate’s Teahouse in Columbia SHP, California
 Columbia Kate's Teahouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Columbia Kate’s Bakery  11256 State St., (209) 532-2177.  Daily 7am-4pm.  Famous around town for their cinnamon rolls, it is clear that anything you select here will be delicious.  Do try the unusual "Runsas"—a popular pocket sandwich made with a yeast-bread bun and stuffed with egg, bacon, and cheese (the breakfast) or ground beef, cabbage, and Swiss cheese (the lunch).  And don’t miss the cookies and cupcakes.
exterior of Columbia Kate’s Bakery in Columbia SHP, California
exterior of Columbia Kate’s Bakery in Columbia SHP, California

apricot scones at Columbia Kate’s Bakery in Columbia SHP, California
apricot scones at Columbia Kate’s Bakery in Columbia SHP, California

Columbia Kate’s Boutique  Next to the bakery.  Located inside another converted house, this sweet shop purveys tea-time accoutrements along with a large selection of locally made crafts items.  Buttons are a specialty and so you find them here in bulk—in drawers, in suitcases—as well as made up into delightful jewelry.  Clothing is also for sale.
exterior of Columbia Kate’s Boutique in Columbia SHP, California
exterior of Columbia Kate’s Boutique in Columbia SHP, California

button display at Columbia Kate’s Boutique in Columbia SHP, California
button display at Columbia Kate’s Boutique in Columbia SHP, California

suitcase full of buttons at Columbia Kate’s Boutique in Columbia SHP, California
suitcase full of buttons at Columbia Kate’s Boutique in Columbia SHP, California

More things to do in Columbia State Historic Park.

More things to do in Gold Rush Country.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images
©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Thursday, May 5, 2016

80 North: Albany, Sam’s Log Cabin


Sam’s Log Cabin  945 San Pablo Ave./Solano Ave., in Albany, (510) 558-0494.  B-L Tu-Sun; $$.  No reservations.  Built in 1930 from a Sears & Roebuck catalog kit, this tiny, cozy log cabin has worn floors, lace curtains, and comfy banquettes along the walls.
exterior of Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California
exterior of Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California

I was expecting a counter with swivel stools, but that isn’t happening.  However, seating is comfortable, and overflow tables are available on a back porch that is especially nice in good weather.  The crowd here is notably hipster.
interior of Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California
interior of Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California

Quality ingredients include local organic produce, in-house whole-animal butchery, and in-house curing (it’s hard to imagine how they manage this, since this is a very little log cabin).
counter area at Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California
counter area at Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California

Breakfast is perhaps the most popular meal here and is served all day.  The menu features pancakes with fruit, a daily scramble special made with organic eggs (I enjoyed a satisfying white cheddar cheese-smoked ham-zucchini version, but had them put the zucchini on the side),
daily scramble at Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California
daily scramble at Sam's Log Cabin in Albany, California

and mild chilaquiles.  OJ is fresh-squeezed, and scones and biscuits are housemade and a don’t-miss.  Lunch includes soups made from scratch, seasonal salads with local greens, and housemade fish sticks.  Thanksgiving coffee from Mendocino is the drink of choice.  Items remaining on my to-try list include banana walnut pancakes, biscuits with gravy, and the egg salad and turkey sandwiches. 
Sam's Log Cabin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 


More things to do in Albany. 
 
More things to do in nearby Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley.  

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers