People who go see the California redwoods for the first time tend to notice something beyond just the sheer size of these awe-inspiring trees: It is intensely quiet. That’s just one of the insights that Lonely Planet writer Alison Bing shares with host Soterios Johnson in the latest episode of the California Now podcast

Lonely Planet recently named California’s Redwood Coast the top destination in the country and Bing, a self-described “redwoods superfan,” takes listeners on a tour of her favorite places to see the giant, ancient trees around Northern California.

 

Listen as Bing explores both big-name and lesser-known redwood parks—and shares some unique ways to appreciate the trees beyond just strolling underneath their canopies. (One way: tasting the wines from one specific region affected by redwoods.) She also offers some practical tips on visiting the parks, like what to bring and which parks require that you plan ahead.

Also in this episode, Johnson challenges Travel + Leisure’s Nathan Lump to a rapid-fire quiz on his favorite California hotels. Lump, who has stayed in countless luxury hotels in the Golden State, shares his top picks for best splurge, best oceanfront hotel, best value (an L.A. surprise with cool bungalows,) and even the Most Instagrammable.

The episode ends with an inside look at the dynamic Sacramento restaurant scene, which draws heavily on the surrounding local farmland. Local dining critic Kate Washington offers up three don’t-miss farm-to-fork restaurants, and shares why the state capitol is increasingly becoming a hotbed for global cuisine—representing Ethiopia, Vietnam, the Middle East, and beyond.