"I think people like the idea of slowing down a little bit and immersing themselves in places," Travel + Leisure Editor in Chief Nathan Lump tells Soterios Johnson in the latest episode of the California Now Podcast. "Getting in a car and driving is such a wonderful way to not only experience the landscape of a place but to give yourself the freedom to stop and do the unexpected. You're always coming upon things when you drive and so I think that is really appealing to people. I think it allows them to feel like they're having an experience that's more authentic and more rooted in what's local and in communities."

Lump found all sorts of delightful moments during a recent drive from Calistoga to Mendocino. He visited bucolic wineries, enjoyed memorable meals, and walked in a majestic redwood grove—and that was all before he arrived at Highway 1 and drank in all of its scenic beauty.

"I'm gushing a little bit but seriously, it was a really wonderful trip," Lump says. "The slowing down aspect of going to a place like that that's not too busy and not too commercial, where you really feel like you can just be and enjoy and see and sample. The vibe is really laid-back. For those of us who live quite busy lives, it's a really nice change of pace."

Also in this episode, rock critic Fred Schruers taps into a lifetime of attending live gigs to reveal his top five music venues in Los Angeles. After that, Pauline Frommer shares her passion for traveling with her children and offers up some family-friendly destinations in the Golden State. Her recommendations include the stretch of Highway 1 near Big Sur, the Madonna Inn, Olvera Street, La Jolla, and Balboa Park.