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Recent California reviews

  • a wonderful place!!!!

    "We spent 3 months in this condo and absolutely love it. Cound not be a better place to relax and enjoy sunny southern California. The unit is beautifully appointed, has a large glass enclosed porch, is on the golf course, has its own garage and washer dryer. This definitely feels like our home and not a rental. We are coming back next year! The owner is meticulous and on top of everythng, so no need to have any worries about things being taken care of. This place is truly a gem!!!"
    Guest: Ellen Date of Stay: February 2014 Review Submitted: April 18, 2014
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  • A great condo and complex

    "A well appointed condo, beautiful and well kept grounds, large and not crowded pool, friendly residents, all and all a great vacation condo experience."
    Guest: Mike H. Date of Stay: March 2014 Review Submitted: April 25, 2014
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  • Terrific location and amenities - Everything was perfect!

    "To start, this home is beautiful and very large. We found everything described on VRBO to be exactly as it said. We were 4 couples on vacation for a week visiting Sonoma, Napa, Russian River (inc the ocean) and Alexander Valley regions. Ann was very helpful prior to arrival, patiently answering all our questions. Norm was very responsive to one minor problem. They were very welcoming but did not interfere even though they live across the drive way. The king size bedrooms are all very large and the queen is quite spacious too. There is no a/c but you DON'T need it! Upon our arrival it was 95 degrees, but the house was very cool. To maintain that comfort just follow the window and whole house fan directions, it really works! Besides on the Sonoma side you tend to get a nice breeze. We prepared all our own meals; never eating anywhere but on the patio or in the kitchen. Plenty of room for 8 good sized adults. Shopping at the Kenwood Market was fun, but a little pricey; however close by. For more economical purchases take the 5-8 mile ride into Sonoma and shop the Safeway at 5th and Napa Valley Road; very clean and new; lots to choose from. The views from this home are tremendous. Star watching was a huge hit the first couple of nights, especially with our star gazing apps to help tell us what we were looking at, little moon light! The house is well stocked with towels (Bath & Pool), linens, TP, books to read, games to play (current and timely), coffee starters, spices, sugar, as well as baggies, foil, saran wrap and even a styrofoam cooler. Good to have the cooler with you and some ice to keep your wine purchases cool in the car (chocolate too). We were centrally located but we could have planned better. it would be advisable to plan wineries visits within a 30 minute radius, and there are plenty, to avoid spending too much time in the car. A couple of favorites are within 15 minutes: Madrone (aka Valley of the Moon), St Francis and Chateau St. Jean, each was very distinct and very good. At Madrone ask for Nancy, at St. Francis ask for Karen and Chateau St. Jean ask for Paul, they all have a strong knowledge of the wine industry. If you venture to Napa be sure to stop at Sterling, beautiful views and good wines. Also try White Rock and ask for a tour by Henri, he is the best!. Damien at Raymond was very knowledgable given his short tenure, but clearly this is his passion. Thank you Ann and Norm for a great time!"
    Guest: Mary S. Date of Stay: August 2014 Review Submitted: September 9, 2014
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  • Huge house!! On the water

    "We must say it is a huge house.... lots of rooms, with tons of beds. The house is on the river- with a fabulous view. Great if you are on the water- or off to the dunes. The house is not on a map... and it is a scary ass long drive down a dark deserted road to get to the house... it was safe- but scary the first time in the dark!!! The jacuzzi is empty when you arrive, so it did take a good 24 hrs to heat up. But heated up beautifully. The bedrooms are good sized, two "master" bedrooms with onsuites, but full or queen beds in those rooms. Lots of rooms down stairs and a bathroom down. Unfortunately the bbq is rusted to the point its almost dangerous to cook on. There is a ton of "stuff" in the kitchen, but its tough to find cooking tools, and the knives are good for butter only."
    Guest: Heather W. Date of Stay: October 2013 Review Submitted: November 14, 2013
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California Travel Tips

Our country’s largest state by population, and third largest by area, is home to a wonderful diversity in cultures, climate and landscapes. Here are the top sites to see and things to do in California by region:

The Bay Area

The Bay Area is best known as a free-spirited locale that is home to the biggest tech giants in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft. It’s anchored by two major cities - San Jose to the south and hilly San Francisco, a major tourist destination on the north end. Here are the top things to do while you’re in the Bay Area:

- Visit the sites in San Francisco. You can’t miss the iconic Golden Gate Bridge - bike across it, walk or take an open-air tour bus to experience the massive bridge in all its glory. Visitors can also take a ferry and tour spooky Alcatraz Island. Other attractions include shopping on Fisherman’s Wharf, checking out the sea lions on Pier 39 and immersing yourself in science at The Exploratorium and California Academy of Sciences. If you’re traveling here in the summer, bring a jacket! SF can be blazing hot and then overcast and chilly within the same day as the famed fog rolls in.

- Head north across the Golden Gate to see the giant redwoods in Muir Woods and check out some excellent wineries in the charming Sonoma and Napa valleys.

- Visit the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium and nearby beaches San Carlos Beach Park and Pebble Beach.

- Be one with nature at Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevadas or climb the famous Half Dome and El Capitan mountains.

- Go skiing or participate in other adventure sports in Lake Tahoe, just north of Yosemite.

Southern California

SoCal, as it’s sometimes called, is one of the sunniest and most celeb-studded places in the country. There’s plenty to do and see in and around Los Angeles and San Diego, the two major cities in the area. Here are the top spots:

- If you’re traveling with kids around L.A., head to Disneyland in Anaheim - the only Disney Park built under the direction of The Man Behind the Magic himself. Or, check out Knotts Berry Farm, a perennial childhood favorite that first opened in 1940. There are roller coasters, kids’ rides, games and plenty of fun for everyone. Don’t miss dining at Mrs. Knott’s California Marketplace for the renowned fried chicken, biscuits and boysenberry pie.

- L.A. is also the epicenter of the entertainment industry. Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, take a tour of Universal Studios and hike in the area surrounding the Hollywood Sign.

- Catch a Lakers game or popular concert at the Staples Center

- Take a hike in the Joshua Tree National Park in the beautiful Mojave Desert.

- Southern California is also home to some excellent festivals: Coachella Music Fest in Coachella Valley, the annual L.A. County Fair and the Newport Beach Film Festival, not to mention the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. If you want to see some major celebrities, hang out in one of the cafes or restaurants on Rodeo Drive.

- If you’re traveling with kids in San Diego, Seaworld or the esteemed San Diego Zoo are excellent options, and Legoland in nearby Carlsbad will provide hours of fun.

- The valleys in central California are less-populated than the coastal areas, but one must-see is the Hearst Castle. It’s an ornate, palatial, 165-room home built for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and set among 127 acres of gardens in San Simeon, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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