Best of California
The Best of California blends a traditional magazine-style format with a fast-paced, entertaining and informative travel series. Bringing out the best California has to offer, the series explores the Golden State’s natural wonders, icons and landmarks, scenic drives and outdoor adventures.
From classic beach towns to national parks, culinary odysseys to romantic escapes, The Best of California offers the finest for lovers, families, the advernturous and the urbanites – travel experiences that make California one of the most popular and diverse vacation destinations.
1. Landmarks and Icons
California stands as a fantasy realm igniting the world’s imagination. From mythical landscapes to man made creations of awesome splendor, The Best of California will help you to discover the unique icons and landmarks that transform a vacation in California into a journey of wonder.
Romantic Getaways – Hotel del Coronado
At San Diego’s famous Hotel del Coronado, California couple Bob and Grazia Hayes enjoy biking, the beach and even yoga – along with a fun look at the colorful history of this grand beachfront hotel.
Family Fun – San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge set the scene as the Frescas family discovers new ways to play in the city by the bay.
Sports & Adventure – Sequoia National Park
In Sequoia National Park, Botanist Steve Sillet works to preserve the world’s largest trees for future generations of eco-tourists. Climb the giant towers with Sillet and discover their surprises!
2. Outdoor Adventures
From California’s golden shores to its snowcapped peaks, this Best of California episode highlights three amazing outdoor escapes that will delight the romantic, fascinate the family and thrill the adventurer.
Romantic Getaways – Catalina Island
Join Matt and Stephanie Tipton as they journey across the Santa Monica Bay to Catalina and discover the island’s modern-day charms.
Family Fun – Mammoth Mountain Dog Sledding
In this episode’s family fun segment, the Sawyer family dog-sleds into adventure at Mammoth Mountain.
Sports & Adventure – Santa Cruz Island Kayaking
Paddle through the watery caves of Santa Cruz Island in a sea kayak with adventure guide Scott Dunn.
3. Great Food and Wine Escapes
Among the many gifts that California has bestowed upon the world are the mouth-watering culinary delights and wines that embody the spirit, soil and climate of the Golden State. The Best of California takes you on three intoxicating journeys to discover the gourmet destinations that can make for the most tempting of vacations.
Romantic Getaways – Berkeley Getaway
Join Diane and Nate Hanna as they taste and sip to their heart’s content on a romantic getaway in Berkeley.
Family Fun – Napa Valley Wine Train
A French family boards the train to adventure and saddles up for fun as they explore the wine and food that made the Napa Valley famous.
Sports & Adventure – Santa Barbara Wine Country
The Santa Barbara wine country provides an unexpected setting for fly fishing instructor Ryan Morrel to cast his vote for some rugged fishing adventure.
4. The Central Coast
There are very few places on the planet where the mountains meet the sea in such a dramatic display of nature’s power and beauty as they do on the central coast of California. And there are very few better places to vacation!
Romantic Getaways – Santa Barbara High Life
Denise and John Riley taste the high life on a romantic getaway to Santa Barbara.
Family Fun – Monterey Wonders
Check out the marine wonderland of Monterey, and the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Sports & Adventure – Morro Bay Adventure
In Morro Bay, old friends ride and reveal a secret mountain biking trail. As an added diversion, come whale watching and check out some of the most majestic animals on the planet.
5. Motorcycle Road Trips
Take the ultimate motorcycle road trip through the dramatic landscape between Death Valley and the High Sierras. With its otherworldly vistas, exotic formations, and unique characters, this Best of California adventure offers a unique view of this raw and rugged landscape.
Sports & Adventure – High Sierra Motorcycle Trip
From super salty Mono Lake to dramatic Highway 395 get ready to taste the open road in the High Sierras.
Sports & Adventure – Death Valley: Furnace Creek
Visit the Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch resort along with the Borax museum as you descend below sea level into the famous Death Valley.
Sports & Adventure – Road Trip: Ghosts in the Desert
Visit Scotty’s Castle, then roll into “living ghost town” Randsburg to learn about the ‘other’ California Gold Rush.
6. Adrenaline Adventures
Thrill seekers can spend a lifetime scouring the globe in search of the perfect adrenaline rush, yet they need venture no farther than a place called California to find the most extreme adventures of every type.
Sports & Adventure – Bandaloop Ballet: Yosemite’s El Capitan
Join us as the Bandaloop Dance Company turns the cliffs of Yosemite into their stage for a death defying air ballet.
Family Fun – Surfing (Big and Small)
The Galloway’s get a degree in family fun at the San Diego Surfing Academy, while world class surfers challenge Mavericks.
Sports & Adventure – Rapid Adventure on the American River
Raft the raging waters of the American River in the heart of the Gold Country.
7. State Park Adventures
From the coast to the mountains, from deserts to Missions, from old growth forests to poppy fields to ghost towns and lakes many times saltier than the Pacific Ocean, California has a wealth and diversity of state parks like no other state in the union.
Sports & Adventure – State Park Whirlwind
Check out an overview of California State Parks from San Jacinto near Palm Springs, to some California missions, to the ghost town of Bodie.
Family Fun – Mendocino Escape
The Vandestar-Silvas explore Mendocino, nestled on a dramatic, secluded Northern California bay and virtually surrounded by State Parks.
Sports & Adventure – Coastline State Parks
From horseback riding on the beaches of Big Sur to blazing a trail through the hills outside of Morro Bay, California’s State Parks are the perfect playground for those seeking sports & adventure.
8. Best of the Best
Traveling all over California, TBOC looks back on our favorite people, places and attractions from the first thirteen Best of California Episodes.
Favorite People – Olvera Street to Alabama Hills
Re-live Chip and Elizabeth’s Latino LA escape, then hit the trail with guide Rene Dukarts in the fabled Alabama Hills where Hollywood brought the old west to the silver screen.
Favorite Places – Coronado to Santa Cruz Island
Revisit Coronado with Grazia and Bob, and learn about the Hotel Del’s magical blend of history and romance. Then get back in the water in your sea kayak at Santa Cruz Island.
Favorite Attractions – Berkeley to the American River
Sample the killer cuisine at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, then head up to the American River for some great rafting through Gold Country.
9. Legendary Places
Visit state treasures and see first hand what makes them so celebrated and renowned as we explore the past and present of the Queen Mary Ocean Liner, the State Capitol and Pebble Beach on the Monterey peninsula.
Romantic Getaway – Legend of the Queen Mary
T.V. star John Fugelsang and his fiancee meet the Queen Mary’s ghosts during a whirlwind adventure aboard the famous ship in Long Beach.
Family Fun – Capital Tour
An ordinary family meets some extraordinary people underneath the Capitol Dome in Sacramento.
Sports & Adventure – Serious Pebble Beach
The famous and the funny play the round of their lives in Pebble Beach, then it’s off to Roy’s Restaurant on Spanish Bay.
10. Classic Beach Towns
Experience California’s coastal paradises and celebrate its unique legacies as we cruise the coast from Surf City USA and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk to enchanting seaside La Jolla and the famous links at Torrey Pines.
Romantic Getaways – Santa Cruzing
Get whisked away on a wild romantic getaway to Santa Cruz where newlywed-lovebirds Lisa and Michael ride the roller coaster of love.
Family Fun – Surf City, U.S.A.
It’s classic cars and classic waves in Huntington Beach for the Smith Family who take to the stage with surf legends who get their kicks teaching them some monster licks.
Sports & Adventure – La Jolla Laugh-In
La Jolla’s the playground for three comediennes who laugh and play while putting and paddling through fairways and sea caves.
11. Classic Drives
Take sightseeing to a new level as we wind our way through the state along some of the most scenic and well-known roadways from L.A.’s famous Sunset Boulevard, north to the wonderland known as Shasta Cascade.
Romantic Getaways – Brewery Heaven
Monet and Patrick roar into Chico to learn some new tricks and brew up some fun at the Sierra Nevada Brewery.
Family Fun – Sunset Blvd. Scramble
Start your engines and get ready to roll as Best of California’s Family Fun takes you to Los Angeles with the Miles Family — it’s minivan madness as the kids go for a spin they’ll never forget.
Sports & Adventure – Redwoods Ride
Nancy and Beau take a road trip to the redwoods where they drive through trees and bike beneath the tallest living things on earth.
12. Wet and Wild
Play on the rivers and lakes of Northern California as we experience the rush of white water rafting on the American River, the fun of house boating and wave running on the California Delta and the allure of fly fishing in Redding.
Romantic Getaways – Romantic Redding
Rachel and Jim get hooked on each other as they reel in a good time in Redding.
Family Fun – Floating Down the Delta
The Chu Family learns that there’s no place like home when you’re floating down the delta in a deluxe houseboat.
Sports & Adventure – American River Adventure
Guide Peter Gordon leads with laughter as he takes a group of aqua-nuts on the river ride of their lives.
13. Movie Memories
Explore cinema secrets as we go behind the scenes of romantic Hollywood, Universal Studios and the Alabama Hills–the most filmed place for classic westerns in the world.
Romantic Getaways – Romantic Hollywood
It’s a red carpet rendezvous for Philip and his leading lady Pasha as they tour Tinseltown and hit the hippest spots in the “new” Hollywood.
Family Fun – Universal Studios Escape
The Gallaghers take the ride of their lives on a trek to meet an ogre named Shrek as they sample the sights and sounds of Universal Studios.
Sports & Adventure – Lone Pine Adventure
It’s the legendary movie location of Lone Pine where the ghosts of Hollywood heroes still ride.