Swiss Wine Country: The Valais region near Lake Geneva

Sion Domaine du Mont d'Or vineyards with steep terraces - Credit: Deborah Grossman

Sion Domaine du Mont d’Or vineyards with steep terraces – Credit: Deborah Grossman

This post (the third of a three-part Switzerland travel series) was written by Deborah Grossman from the San Francisco Bay Area.

There’s no denying that Lausanne and the Montreux Riviera of Lake Geneva offer many attractions. But the charming wine country and mountain area of Valais is a short drive or train ride southeast of the lake. The name is derived from the Roman word for valley. The Rhone River begins in the Valais Alps and flows through the plains, meandering south to the celebrated wine region of France.

With a similar terroir to the French Rhone Valley, the Valais is the largest wine-producing region in Switzerland. Though much of Swiss wine is produced by smaller wineries and consumed in-country, some wineries present creative and alluring tasting rooms and a few export to the U.S.

In addition to oenophiles, skiers and hikers will also be at home in this Alpine region. The spas of Leukerbad and other villages are famous for R&R of the water-plunge sort. As for gastronomy, the specialty is raclette, the warmed Alpine cheese served with accoutrements.

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Lausanne: A star in the Swiss universe

Lausanne old harbor with classic hotels - Credit: Deborah Grossman

Lausanne old harbor with classic hotels – Credit: Deborah Grossman

This post (the second of a three-part Switzerland travel series) was written by Deborah Grossman from the San Francisco Bay Area.

In South West Switzerland, Geneva may get the fame. But Lausanne has won my heart. Some cities are the perfect size, and Lausanne fits the bill. As the fourth-largest city in the country and home to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Lausanne has grand hotels, a bustling tourist life, and an excellent metro system. Yet the many quiet neighborhoods, the mix of historic and trendy venues, plus many local festivals and traditions give the destination a small-town ambiance.

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Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular – Our All-Time Favorite Holiday Show

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular in New York City - Credit: Viator

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular in New York City – Credit: Viator

Get into the holiday spirit! Treat yourself and your family to an unforgettable experience at the “must-see” Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular – our all-time favorite holiday show. This only-in-NY Christmas extravaganza features the legendary Rockettes (the most celebrated precision dance team in the world), an enchanting Nutcracker scene, a Living Nativity with real camels, donkeys and sheep – and the sensational show-stopping “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.”

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The Montreux Riviera: Swiss Gems along Lake Geneva

Lavaux tending the vineyards with Lake Geneva and the Alps in the background - Credit: Deborah Grossman

Lavaux tending the vineyards with Lake Geneva and the Alps in the background- Credit: Deborah Grossman

This post (the first of a three-part Switzerland travel series) was written by Deborah Grossman from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Switzerland has a mighty mix of attractions considering it’s ten times smaller than California. Though Zurich and Lucerne receive more tourist attention, the towns along the Montreux Riviera hugging Lake Geneva in South West Switzerland are hidden treasures. From Montreux, the famous jazz-obsessed town, to Charlie Chaplain’s town of Vevey with an easy segue to Rougemont in the Alps, you may fall in love with a destination surrounded by natural beauty.

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Napa Valley and Sonoma Wine Country Tour from San Francisco

Napa Valley vineyard, Napa Valley Wine Country, CA – © LoveToEatAndTravel.com

Napa Valley vineyard, Napa Valley Wine Country, CA – © LoveToEatAndTravel.com

Thinking of visiting Napa and Sonoma Wine Country this year and want to avoid peak season crowds? Consider a visit during the Spring or early Summer. Although both areas are popular year-round tourist destinations, wine country tends to be especially busy from late summer to mid-October during harvest “crush” season.

Take a fun Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour from San Francisco and enjoy a leisurely day of wine-tasting in California’s historic wine country. No need to worry about drinking and driving. Sit back, relax and enjoy the views as you travel by luxury, air-conditioned coach across the Golden Gate Bridge to scenic Napa and Sonoma Valley. And yes… there’s free Wi-Fi onboard, as well as an expert friendly narrated tour guide to answer any questions and keep you entertained as you wind your way through picturesque wine country. Continue reading

5 Top Reasons to Visit Pier 39 Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco (videos)

Moon Jellies at Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco - photo © LoveToEatAndTravel.com

Moon Jellies at Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco – photo © LoveToEatAndTravel.com

Get an up close view of captivating Moon Jellies, native Sharks, Bat Rays, Sea Turtles and adorable River Otters at Aquarium of the Bay – the only aquarium and nature center devoted exclusively to showcasing the marine life of San Francisco Bay. See if you can find Nemo and Dory. Meet Tahoe, the Aquarium’s the newest addition to their River Otter family. This fun and educational aquarium is conveniently located at Pier 39, near historic Fisherman’s Wharf.

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4th of July – Independence Day Celebrations & Fireworks

Updated 2017

 Happy 4th of July!

Time to fire up the BBQ and feast on your favorite 4th of July foods, beer and wine. Enjoy live music, parades and spectacular fireworks. Have fun celebrating Independence Day with your family and friends.

Here are a few of the larger 4th of July Celebrations, Parades and Fireworks going on in the San Francisco Bay Area and major U.S. cities:

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