Tag Archives: places

THINGS TO DO IN MARIN COUNTY

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I used to go up to San Francisco about once a week for awhile from the Monterey Pennisula and I always found going north of the bridge to Marin County to be absolutely amazing. Not to mention the drive in. There are alot of things to do in Marin County. My first stop was usually at Guaymas in Tiburon. Sitting right on the water, Guaymas has some of the best authentic Mexican fair you can ask for. I ordered the ceviche every time I went. They serve it in an ice cream sundae glass that’s literally overflowing with fish. Next, I would go to a quaint cool bookstore in Sausalito. This little water village has the coolest houseboats imaginable. San Francisco native Jerry Garcia even lived there. Next I would cruise over to downtown Mill Valley. It’s like a mountain retreat nestled in a thick forest of beautiful trees. Stop there at Mill Valley coffee for a double espresso. Hey, pick up some groceries at Whole Foods. Think about Sweetwater Music Hall at night to jam out with the latest bands also. San Anselmo is another place I would go and it’s a great place to just cruise around with your jeep top down or your convertible in full swing. After that, go to Muir Woods, and see these just stunning Redwood trees that you can’t even come close to wrapping your arms around. It’s absolutely amazing.

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A DAY ON 30A

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I have been going to 30A since I was a kid, so if you want to know the best way to spend a day on 30A, take it from me.

So I went to the 30-A area in Florida to hang out, and had an awesome time! Beach shells, swimming in the ocean, grubbing at Modica Market, walking through the lovely Seaside sand swept streets at night, cozying through the small little nook walks here and there—the green spaces, the food, the white sand beach, the people, nothing beats Seaside, except Watercolor right next door! I really like all these communities along the Gulf Coast down the highway 30-A from Grayton Beach to Alys Beach to Rosemary! They all have their unique appeal, cool shops, and great food! Just south of Destin, Florida, Seaside was born in 1980 and features a sprawling array of cottages built close together in a new urbanist community based on small towns of the South.

Sitting out on the beach in my blue chair with my umbrella, watching the waves roll in while reading a nice book was how I spent my late mornings and early afternoons. I also spent a lot of time in Seaside’s swimming pool, which came equipped with its on towels and lounge chairs to lay out on. Another thing I did was cruised on foot everywhere. Be sure to stop at Sun Dog Books and Record store. It’s like awesome reading for me there, plus off the wall LPs upstairs. Get a coffee across the way at Amavida and browse the grove marketplace (an open-air market!). That’s right, I said it, an open-air market! There’s a pizza joint there also that hit home runs on my appetite, but nothing really appealed to me more than sitting in an Adirondack chair right next to the beach, listening to singer songwriters being pumped through the stereo system, and drinking a cold beverage. It was like that for me right out in front of the Shrimp Shack (that’s where my beer came from). Up and down 30-A, the Shrimp Shack is my pick for the freshest, quickest seafood to eat. Nothing beats their marinated crab claws I tell you. They also serve Dreaming Tree wine and have a whole cooler full of beers and beverages alike—anything to cool you down when you’ve been in the hot Florida sun. The atmosphere is unbeatable with screen doors and sand coming up to the back door entrance. You feel like you’re in paradise—some kind of Jimmy Buffett song I guess. A cool breezeway for eating at picnic style two-seaters is a great place to take it away on the food or out back at the big gazebo overlooking the Gulf. Just take it away there and trust me, it’s the place to be. Another place to check out is Bud N’ Alley’s in the grove. More of a sit down place, they offer anything you could want seafood-wise, plus they have a killer bar upstairs that overlooks the Gulf. It’s a great place to catch a game—we saw the World Cup there! For fancy dining, don’t forget Thirty A up the road. Named after the legendary drive and area, it has simply the best high dining fare you could ask for. I had the scallops and loved it.

Back at Seaside, check out the Airstream trailer line-up anytime you’re hungry or parched. Go to Raw n’ Juicy for a fresh green juice after body surfing in the Gulf or to Frost Bites for ice cream! At night, the green space offers outdoor movies sometimes, and there is also an awesome theater. Also, nothing beats just walking around gazing up at the stars. While we were there, two rainbows lit up the sun baked sky! It’s that kind of place. Magical things happen there all around you. Check Seaside out, it’s worth the trip. Rent a house or a condo or stay at Watercolor Inn! Thank me later.

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NEW ENGLAND SEAFOOD MEMORIES

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One of the coolest places for fresh seafood that I have been to other than Seattle’s Pike Fish Market and neighboring seafood restaurants are the restaurants / seafood markets in Westport, Connecticut. Nothing beats the fresh raw oysters, clams, salmon, tuna, haddock, halibut, and many other delicacies you will find right on the water there on The Long Island Sound. I grew up going to boarding school in Kent, CT and loved it, so Connecticut has always been close to my heart. Just 47 miles northeast of New York City and home to artists and writers alike, Westport’s oceanic ties conjures up images of old craggly men sitting on flipped over wooden boxes that were once full of crabs, chatting about the tides and their last time at sea. Last time I was in Westport, Connecticut, I went to eat at Splash. A serious place for clamshells and oysters on the half, Splash is a hip restaurant that sits right across from the water and contains its own seafood market upfront. I also managed to pick up some stellar quality milk and cheese at the market across the street. We dined on Little Neck clams and Blue Point oysters, and they were briny sweet oysters from around the way that knocked my socks off. I wondered if Paul Newman himself, a lifetime resident, had eaten there once. The atmosphere was outstanding also with a spacious, intimate and interior decorated space that had a New York feeling in a small town setting. Check it out sometime if you’re around the way. Other names we ran across for seafood were The Whelk, The Mansion Clam House and Westfair Fish and Chips!

There is something about New England seafood that distills memories that never go away. I can literally taste meals I had at Shelly’s in New York. That gorgeous space filled with Peter Max paintings created memories for me that are just like yesterday—even though they have since closed or moved, and gone away. I will always return to New York for the seafood. We ate at Nobu there and had one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Even though it was high and outrageous, it was also unforgettable. Let’s not forget, Maine lobster and clam chowder houses. All the way up the coast there I’ve had simply the best small town seafood hut stuff you could desire. Keep New England seafood alive! Also, speaking of Connecticut we had some of the best dairy I’ve ever had—grassfed cows and raw artesian sheep cheeses—at a dairy in East Lyme’s, Connecticut. Check it out sometime! It’s always cool to do the homestead thing on a brisk drive through the country side. Pike Fish Market has that too if your on the other side.

LA ON THE WEEKEND

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If you need some exciting things to do in LA on the weekend just follow me and you’ll be well on your way to big laughs and fun times. Whether you’re just visiting the wonderful City of Angles or if you are lucky enough to call this city home, try starting out in Santa Monica on the 3rd Street Promenade. While you’re there, walk up and down the promenade and watch the local street performers—some truly talented singers perform there. Shop at J Crew or Banana Republic, get some custom One Star kicks made at the Converse star or even eat at Sonoma Wine Garden’s rooftop at the Santa Monica Place mall—there, look out over the breathtaking ocean and take in the sun. After you’ve finished with the 3rd Street Promenade, go to the 4rth Street area and get a cup of coffee at Urth maybe and shop some more. The Patagonia Store, my favorite, is there. Hey, walk to the beach afterwards—you’re there! This area is a great landing spot for the Santa Monica beach. If traffic is light, hop in your cruiser, hopefully, a convertible, and head down Wilshire until you get to Beverly Hills and do a driving tour of the streets for architectural gems in Beverly Hills and even Bel Air back towards the West a bit. Miles of historic residences dot these streets on and off of Sunset Avenue in all styles of architecture. Next, go visit the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills for more houses! Afterwards, either head to L.A. for the museum or go back to Santa Monica to Palisades Park and watch the sunset. From there, head over to Montana Avenue for dinner and an old movie at the Aero. There is nothing like watching Indiana Jones or Casablanca on the big screen in the town that made it all take place. Maybe drinks there or in WeHo after supper and back to your hotel or home.

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