Jonny Moseley
Kevin Lukens

The California Questionnaire: Jonny Moseley

The California Questionnaire: Jonny Moseley
The Olympic Gold Medallist freestyle skier is ready for new adventures—all over California

No one has left a mark on the sport of freestyle skiing quite like Jonny Moseley. The 1998 Olympic gold medallist built a reputation for pushing boundaries with his innovative skiing style and rule-stretching tricks (like his signature “Dinner Roll”), earning his spot in history as one of the most influential skiers of all time.

In the years following the Olympics, Moseley went on to develop a robust hosting career, including American Ninja Warrior, MTV’s The Challenge, and an appearance on Saturday Night Live. He also lends colour commentary and analysis during Olympic and World Cup Freestyle skiing competitions for NBC. In 2007, Moseley was inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame. 

He can still be found frequenting his home mountain, Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows in North Lake Tahoe, but these days his visits often include his wife and two sons. Moseley has also parlayed his athleticism into other areas of adventure—slacklining in Lone Pine, flyboarding on Catalina Island—which is documented in his series, “Jonny Moseley’s Wildest Dream.”

“I’ve skied a lot,” Moseley says. “But there are so many other things that I’ve got my toes wet with because of living near the ocean—sailing, fishing, mountain biking. I have a list of things that I want to do, and most of them take place in California.”

Where do you live? Tiburon 

Why there? When the snow starts to thaw I love to be on San Francisco Bay, sailing and fishing. I also grew up here and live close to my parents and brothers.

Who or what is your greatest California love? Squaw Valley–Alpine Meadows ski resort has always been my sanctuary. Squaw is a place I associate with great memories with my friends and family. I am grateful to have my kids enjoy the same great terrain and special nature of the valley in the summer and winter. 

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? That we all talk like Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I know what you are going say—well you do, Jonny! That may be true but I’m sticking up for the others.  

What is the stereotype that most holds true? That we all believe we live in the best place in the world! California exceptionalism I guess.

What is your favourite Golden State splurge? Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, wine in Napa and Sonoma Valley, and IPA in Marin. Chez Panisse is simply amazing and the first choice for my wife and me. Napa and Sonoma are in our backyard and that is a great thing. Marin is home to amazing beers, including Lagunitas and Rugged Coast Brewing.  

Time for a road trip. Where are you going? It’s time for Yosemite. We’re going to load it up when school gets out and head over Tioga Pass to Yosemite. Then we will carry on down to Tehachapi so my kids can hit [action sports facility] Woodward West. From there we will head to Malibu and Point Dume area for some surfing and to catch up with our friends in L.A. 

[For more details on Moseley’s dream drive, check out his Ultimate Adventure Trip in the Visit California Road Trips guide.]

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? Go fishing near Bolinas off Duxbury Reef to catch a few salmon and some Dungeness crab. Invite some friends over and boil the delicious crab in a big pot, throw some salmon on the grill, and drink IPAs.

Best California song? “California Love” by Tupac. It gets the party going. Or “Estimated Prophet” by the Grateful Dead to give you some mental imagery of the state.

How would your California dream day unfold? Run the Dipsea Trail to Bolinas at sunrise. Longboard by the jetty. Eat oysters for lunch in Point Reyes. Fly or drive to Squaw and spring ski on KT-22 until sunset. Après in the village.

 

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Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Northern California

Discover the San Francisco Bay Area

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August
Average (°C)
June - Aug
27°
High
14°
Low
Sept - Nov
26°
High
7°
Low
Dec - Feb
16°
High
5°
Low
Mar - May
23°
High
8°
Low

A crimson bridge, cable carriages, a sparkling bay and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes, San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great

"I left my heart in San Francisco. High on a hill, it calls to me." - Singer Tony Bennett

cities. Located in Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine. The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches and the tech-savvy southern end of the Bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation.

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Courtesy of NPS Photo

Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Tour this military memorial that honours soldiers killed on the World War II home front and pays tribute to Concord’s role in civil rights history

California’s smallest national park service outlet covers a mere half-acre in Concord on San Francisco Bay’s east shore—but it tells a very big...

May

Rock rolls into the wine country with this three-day event in Napa that features 2019 headliners Imagine Dragons, Neil Young, and Mumford & Sons. With more than 80 performers in the May 24–26...

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San Francisco has only one drawback - 'tis hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling
SPECIAL FEATURE
Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a pastel coloured pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

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Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for child-friendly fun zones that...

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July

Get the Spanish spirit at this colourful event. Stroll the grounds of Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards with a glass of bubbly, and take in a whirl of passionate music, flamenco dancing and food....

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Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
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World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class hotels and resorts. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills,...

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San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.
William Saroyan
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Trip 8-10 days 10 stops

Ultimate Northern California

Explore the best of Northern California's Great Outdoors
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It may measure less than 50 square miles, but San Francisco justly ranks as one of the greatest cities in the world. Famous for grand dame Victorian homes, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront and a soaring crimson bridge, the  'City by the Bay' is the perfect place to...

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Tucked into an ocean-facing fold of Mount Tamalpais, the signature peak just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, Muir Woods National Monument protects the last stand of uncut old-growth coast redwoods in the Bay Area, where loggers had all but denuded the region by the late 1800s....

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Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

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From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

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Make memories at some of California's family-favourite beaches

Sand, water, and children-it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. These sandy beaches offer appealing, family friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for...

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It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else -- it's so beautiful, and there's that location, and the sense of the free spirit. ... Who couldn't become ravenous in such a place?
Julia Child
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Sample ultra-fresh, hyper-local, and downright amazing

When you come to California, come hungry. This is a state that really knows how to cook. Amazing and innovative chefs sprinkled with Michelin stars work with local farms and artisanal food...

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Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city park charmers and boisterous adventures - smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array of ways to play. These smaller parks offer...

Safari West
Tai Power Seeff
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According to legend, Winchester Mystery House's maze of passages and building oddities were designed to confuse the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles.
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Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your children to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a...

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Trip 3-5 days 10 stops

San Francisco Bay Loop

Discover this something-for-everything loop tour around an iconic bay
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Start your trip with a visit to one of the most iconic spans in the world. With towers soaring 746 feet into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay, and all of it painted fire engine red, the Golden Gate Bridge makes a dramatic destination, and a great way to begin a tour...

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End your road trip by exploring one of the world’s great cities. Famous for grand dame Victorian buildings, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront and a soaring crimson bridge, the 'City by the Bay' truly has it all. Trend defining cuisine ranging from Michelin...

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Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind the scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of actvities...

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Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Golden Gate Bridge

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See one of the world’s most famous landmarks, spanning an elegant bay

With towers soaring 227 metres into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay and all of it painted bright red-orange, the...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and...

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Livermore

Ranches, vineyards, and relaxed appeal east of San Francisco

With warm sun and wide open spaces cradling vineyards, ranches, and wine country estates, the Livermore Valley makes an appealing destination just...

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Sausalito

Explore this quaint town that’s just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a steep hillside covered in brushwood and eucalyptus drops from Highway 101 to a flat, sunny shoreline, two...

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Spotlight: Berkeley

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See a stunning museum, shop, and feast in the Bay Area’s most outspoken city

A haven for backyard artists and coffee-shop philosophers, Berkeley has deep roots in the Flower Power movement of the 1960s and ’70s. But...

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San Francisco's cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.