If you’ve never been to Alcatraz, the notorious prison in operation from 1934 to 1963 that housed infamous criminals like Al Capone and “Machine-Gun” Kelley, now is a good time to go. A multi-million renovation includes a new entrance that allows visitors to enter the same way convicts once did and to visit the gardens that inmates and guards once tended, their cell houses and showers, and a new museum store. The audio tour narrated by former inmates and prison guards will give you an eerie perspective on life in this grim high-security prison. To steer clear of crowds, take the first tour of the day or opt for an early-evening tour (great views of the city skyline and sunset are a bonus). If you think the place is spooky by day, wait till you see it after dark. Reserve one week in advance during peak season, from April through October.
Arlington Center for the Performing Arts
Artesa Vineyards & Winery
Following a $10 million investment, Codorníu Napa, the California cousin to the longstanding Spanish winery, reopened as Artesa. The roster, which previously comprised only sparkling wines, now boasts a number of premium still wines, all sourced from various Napa appellations. Many are tasting-room only, which provides even more excuse to visit this Carneros property known for its stunning hilltop views and contemporary design scheme.
ARTHA Yoga & Wellness Sanctuary
Artha is a yoga and meditation sanctuary that also has cryotherapy, flotation tanks and an infrared sauna. Travelers can get a day pass for any class or experience, all for very reasonable prices. There is a newer outpost in Studio City as well.
Recommended by an Indagare community insider
Asian Art Museum
The Asian Art Museum boasts one of the largest collections of Asian art outside of Asia. Housed in a 1917 Beaux Arts building (the city’s former Main Library), the Asian Art Museum was designed by Gae Aulenti, an Italian architect specializing in the adaptive reuse of historic structures. (In the mid-1980s, she converted a defunct 1900 Paris railway station into the acclaimed Musée d’Orsay). The collection spans 6,000 years and contains more than 16,000 artifacts, roughly half of them originally donated to the city by Chicago industrialist Avery Brundage, including a gilt-bronze Buddha dated A.D. 338, the oldest known dated Chinese Buddha. The galleries, organized by geographic region (China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Himalayas and the Tibetan Buddhist World, the Persian World and West Asia), elegantly showcase ceramics, ritual bronzes, jades, calligraphy, painted screens, bamboo baskets, woodblock prints, textiles and jewelry. Closed Monday.
Asilomar State Beach
During low tide, the Asilomar State Beach is home to one of the richest tide pool habitats in the world. Kids will love ambling over the rocks and exploring the diverse range of sea life.
Attend a Wine Auction
Sometimes you can find amazing wine treasures at smaller fund raisers and auctions. Find out about these events in the local papers—even big-time collectors and spenders send their scouts to get deals on unusual bottles. Check the events listings in the Napa Valley Register, which publishes a weekly calendar every Friday or contact Indagare's bookings team for assistance.
B Cellars uses blends from multiple vineyards to produce exceptional wine with distinct flavors. The result is balanced and complex artisanal wines. Reservations are required for all tastings, which include pairings with dishes prepared in the on-site kitchen.
This 1,200-acre park, which hosted the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, is home to many of San Diego’s museums and cultural attractions such as the Old Globe theatre, which hosts a summertime Shakespeare festival. Other highlights include the park’s iconic conservatory building with its serene lily pond, the Natural History Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, a darling carousel and miniature railroad train. Several gardens dot the grounds, a legacy of local resident Kate Sessions, who donated hundreds of trees to the park in exchange for using a portion of a land as a nursery. A free daily tram provides access to many of these attractions.
This passion project of three friends produces excellent Pinot Noir.
Bay Area Discovery Museum
This is more of a play-oriented outing than a museum per se, but it’s a fabulous facility in a great location right across the bridge in Sausalito. A lot of fun for kids.
Depending on who you ask, there are numerous favorite beaches in the Santa Barbara area. Some of the best are gated, like Hope Ranch, and you need a pass or a friend with one. Don’t miss: East Beach (great for volleyball), West Beach (with a nice path for biking and walking), Montecito’s Butterfly Beach; Arroyo Burro (known as Hendry’s) and Miramar Beach. Aspiring surfers should head to Padaro Beach, located just before Santa Claus Lane, which has a good surf camp and shop. While there, break for lunch at the Padaro Beach Grill. You can eat outside there, and they have a giant sandpit for children.
Big Sur Helicopter Tour
Bike Rentals: Blazing Saddles
Nothing fancy but a central location to rent bikes for riding along the beach. They do have guided tours with headsets in the helmets if you would like a local to give you some history and anecdotes about Santa Monica and Venice as you ride along.
The sunshine and scenery make Santa Barbara an optimal place for scenic biking. For bike tours we recommend Santa Barbara Adventure Company (www.sbadventureco.com) and Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours (www.winecountrycycling.com), which offers half and full day tours of different intensity, as well as multi-day trips overnighting at luxury accommodations. At Wheel Fun Rentals (www.wheelfunrentals.com) you can rent everything from tandem bikes to strollers.
En route from Carmel to Big Sur, State Route 1 goes over this iconic open-arch bridge. you drive over the iconic and oft-pictured Bixby Bridge. Stop prior to crossing the bridge to enjoy the view and snap a few photos on the west side of Highway One.
Seemingly suspended between rolling hillside and open sky, Cade occupies a breathtaking location high on Howell Mountain that offers views of the valley floor and beyond. The property itself sprawls across 54 lush acres, but some 60 percent of its evergreen forests and blooming meadows were left untouched; the rest is planted with neat rows of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, all farmed organically. The winery is the brainchild of the team behind Plumpjack, the successful brand founded by Gavin Newsom and Gordon Getty in the early 1990s. Cade become the first LEED Gold Certified winery in the Napa Valley for its green architecture.
The group’s third partner, vintner John Conover, said completing Cade was a dream come true. The use of recycled materials is just one of many cool eco-details at Cade. The 35,000 square feet of solar panels lining the roof of the winery produce more energy than is actually needed for nine months out of the year (and which feeds directly back into the St. Helena grid); the caves’ temperature is controlled naturally, thanks to radiant flooring (about four times more efficient than cooling with air); and the sleek table in the barrel tasting room was made of steel salvaged from a submarine from local Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
Best of all, however, is the beauty of the wild expanses surrounding the modern tasting room and its stunning terrace, both places where you can while away an afternoon sipping Cade vintages. Regular tastings are by appointment only. “We wanted the winery to be really accessible,” says Conover. “There’s been a lot of interest in green businesses, which I find so encouraging when looking to the future.” Of course, when visiting the state-of-the-art Cade, one cannot help but think that the future is now.
Read more about Cade.
Cain Vineyard & Winery
Set on a former homestead on Spring Mountain, Cain’s terraced vineyards host the five classical Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Owners Jim and Nancy Meadlock purchased the property from Joyce and Jerry Cain in 1991 and continued the tradition of focusing solely on Cabernet blends, like the signature Cain Five.
California Academy of Sciences
Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning Renzo Piano, this $500 million architectural marvel in Golden Gate Park is a pioneer of environmentally friendly design: its “green” planted roof can be seen from across Golden Gate Park and it received Platinum LEED certification.
Best of all, however, the exhibitions are presented with a lot of imagination; it’s the kind of place that will keep both kids and parents entertained for hours. The main floor is divided into three main spheres: the rainforest, aquarium and planetarium. Each is a massive space that houses everything from interactive displays to live animals, but thanks to the brilliant architecture, the exhibitions are flooded with light. While you can eat at the Moss Room and the more casual Academy Café, we recommend lunching by the sculpture garden of the café in the de Young Museum directly across the way.
Indagare Tip: Especially on the weekends, ticket lines can be long, so consider ordering yours in advance on the Academy’s website. Prices are lofty, but the quality of this educational museum and the amount of time you can spend here make it worth it. Afterwards, you can explore Golden Gate Park, making this museum and environ a perfect escape from city bustle.
This historic theater sells gourmet items in concessions and is the oldest single-screen theater in the US.
Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea
With the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea passport, you can visit any nine of the 14 tasting rooms along Ocean Avenue in Carmel. The passport does not expire, so it may be fun to buy a pass at the beginning of your trip and try out a few tasting rooms throughout your stay. Indagare can assist with purchasing a passport.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Located downtown, within walking distance of the Music Center, Disney Concert Hall and MoCA, this soaring contemporary space designed by Spanish architect José Rafael Moneo, with monumental bronze doors by L.A. sculptor Robert Graham, is the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the western U.S. in thirty years.
Classes: Aziam Yoga
There are tons of yoga studio in wellness-obsessed Los Angeles, but a great, centrally located one is Aziam at the Brentwood Country Mart. All the instructors are great but try to get a class with Tom Morley.
Clif Family Winery
Clif Family Winery offers guests with the munchies both a Bruschetteria food truck and an outdoor garden patio with fabulous views on which to enjoy their purchases.
Guests of Cliff Lede are invited to ramble through its sculpture garden and art gallery, which mounts rotating exhibitions.
Clos du Val
Picknickers at the Clos du Val have their choice of venue—overlooking the vineyard or in the property’s olive grove—for an alfresco lunch surrounded by the most picturesque landscape in Napa Valley.