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Because Missing Out Is Never Fun!

Charles M. Schulz Museum

Santa Rosa, CA

Step inside the world of Charles Schulz.  Charlie Brown is there with the whole gang, and admission costs peanuts!

Likely Santa Rosa’s most beloved resident, Charles Schulz created a myriad of characters, each of whom personified him in one way or another.  Maybe that’s why his Peanuts strip portrayed emotions running the gamut from joy to despair, and why so many people can relate to the comic which ran for nearly 50 years.

Stroll through the museum and browse through dozens of Schulz’s personal belongings.  You’ll find cases housing early childhood sketches, a picture which earned him a mention in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and plenty of awards celebrating his achievements as a cartoonist, athlete, and philanthropy.

My favorite part of the museum was the recreation of his artist’s studio.  In an interview, Schulz joked that the simple tools necessary to create the comic strip didn’t result in much of a tax deduction; it just goes to show you that his own creativity was his most valuable asset.

This is where the magic happened!

You can spend the whole day in the Auditorium catching up on Peanuts animated specials and archived interviews with Schulz, then lament in the fact that you can barely write with a fountain pen, let alone draw with one.

Avenue of the Giants

Try this with your oversized SUV so we can all
laugh at you!

Avenue of the Giants
Throughout Humboldt County, CA

Three words:  Big.  Ass.  Trees.

Humboldt County is well-known for a variety of recreational activities, but the most impressive of nature’s gifts to this region is the long stretch of old Highway 101 between Fortuna and Garberville.  You can spend days on end exploring over 30 miles of redwoods, camping, hiking and swimming along the way.

The Avenue of the Giants is a tourist’s paradise.  Visitor centers at either end provide free information and maps for you to plan your trip, and roadside souvenir and snack shacks supply you with the necessary fuel for short or long hikes.  The route is peppered with captivating attractions such as the Immortal Tree, nearly 1,000 years old, which has survived a lightning strike and a flood.  You can tour the Tree House, an actual home built into a live redwood.  Several Drive-Through Trees offer double-pronged forms of entertainment: you’ll giggle as your slowly roll your vehicle through a tree, windows down so you can touch the inside of it like thousands before you; then, you can wince in anticipated failure as too-large SUVs realize they are, indeed, too large to complete the task.

If a quiet afternoon is more your style, seek out the Dyerville Giant, a behemoth at over 350 feet tall, and contemplate whether anyone was around to hear it make a sound when it fell in 1991.

Ironstone Vineyards

This place is barrels of fun!

Murphys, CA

It’d be a damn shame to pass through Calaveras County without making a stop at Ironstone Vineyards.  But if picturesque views, tasty eats and historically significant artifacts aren’t your thing, so be it.

Belly up to the bar inside the gorgeous tasting room and learn about its surprising connection to the Brunswick Bowling Ball Company.  Munch on sandwiches, salad and other treats in the Delicatessen while you wait for your free winery tour to begin.

Daily tours leave from the tasting room and are led by knowledgeable guides who will take you through the history of the winery.   Chilly caverns house hundreds of oak barrels containing any number of varieties currently being produced.  You’ll stroll through rich, colorful gardens and park areas perfect for a picnic and see why the Amphitheatre is an obviously popular summer destination for music lovers of all genres.

Before heading to the Alhambra Music Room to view the exquisitely restored Alhambra Theatre pipe organ, or to the Museum to check out a 44-pound gold leaf, linger outside a bit longer.  If you’re lucky, you’ll meet resident miner, Mario, who teaches gold panning techniques.  While he wouldn’t divulge the location of his biggest gold find, you can’t argue that he’s found a pretty choice location for his current gig.

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