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California Dreamin' In The Autumn Season

Travel contributor Elaine Lablame takes us to the "Golden State," which she says is most beautiful in the early fall.

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray. So what could be better than some California dreaming on an autumn day? Travel contributor Elaine Labalme recently returned from the golden state and shares her experience with Essential Pittsburgh.

There is no better time to visit California than in the early fall,” says Labalme.  She begins by recounting her trip to San Francisoc’s “Mission District,” where she indulges in Mexican food that’s both delicious and affordable.  She notes that housing accommodations can be a little pricy in the city, but unconventional options like Airbnb can provide a cheaper stay.
Lablame recommends taking advantage of the beaches and the beautiful sunsets along the coast.  She says it’s also imperative to take the trolly around the city’s hilly geography.

Labalme and her family then journeyed to Yosemite National Park where she says she first really took notice of the state’s four-year drought.  She tried to show her son some of the park’s iconic waterfalls only to find that two of them had been reduced to a trickle.

“Still go,” says Labalme. “But with a new sense of awareness, profound appreciation for what’s there.”

She found great hiking locations along the central California coastal area, namely Monteray, Santa Cruz and Big Sur.  She says it’s also a great place to see some of the state’s great redwoods.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.