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Holiday Travels in California

There's no place like the Golden State to spend the holidays

On this episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson learns about a few jolly ways to enjoy the holidays in the Golden State, from embracing the snowy vibes of the High Sierra to taking in the sparkling lights—and sparkling wines—of Sonoma County.

First, Johnson talks to Sonoma Magazine Dining Editor Heather Irwin, who highlights four distinctive towns that boast all sorts of holiday fun. In Santa Rosa, for instance, visitors can skate on Snoopy's Home Ice and then nosh on a seasonal favorite: tamales. Healdsburg, on the other hand, is a fantastic place to shop for hard-to-please people on your list and Petaluma is a Mayberry-like city that features abundant craft fairs and festive decorations.

Next, Johnson connects with Vincenzo Giammanco, who is bringing actual snow—and more than one million twinkling lights—to Ventura and Del Mar. The producer of the Snow n Glow Holiday Festival says 70-degree temps and sunshine won't melt the fun, so visitors can enjoy traditional winter activities like snow tubing and sledding, and they can even reserve a private igloo.

Finally, Johnson chats with Brendan Madigan, who owns the Tahoe City outfitter Alpenglow Sports. Madigan notes that though downhill skiing and snowboarding reign supreme in the region, there are plenty of other activities to consider—from window shopping in quaint villages to snowshoeing in the back country.

Guests

Heather Irwin, Sonoma Magazine dining editor

Vincenzo Giammanco, founder of the Snow n Glow Holiday Festival

Brendan Madigan, owner of Alpenglow Sports

Resources

Sonoma County is best known for being a wine destination, but Sonoma Magazine Dining Editor Heather Irwin says it's also an amazing place to visit during the holidays.

Sonoma County

Petaluma

Stellina Pronto

Field Works

Heebe Jeebe

Walnut Park Farmers Market

Stockhome

Central Market

Seared Steak & Seafood

Della Fattoria

Wishbone

Santa Rosa

Trail House

Spring Lake Regional Park

Snoopy's Home Ice

Warm Puppy Cafe

Healdsburg

Alexander Valley

Lambert Bridge Winery

Barndiva

SingleThread

Sebastopol

Graton

Underwood Bar and Bistro

The Barlow

Region.

Kosho Sushi

Snow n Glow Holiday Festival producer Vincenzo Giammanco is bringing real snow to sunny Southern California for the holidays. Really!

Concerts in Your Car

Holidays in Your Car

Snow n Glow Holiday Festival

Del Mar

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Ventura

Brendan Madigan, owner of Tahoe City mainstay Alpenglow Sports, says North Lake Tahoe transforms into a cozy winter wonderland during the holiday season.

Alpenglow Sports

North Lake Tahoe

Tahoe City

North Tahoe Regional Park

Palisades Tahoe

Winter Speaker Series

Olympic Valley

PlumpJack Cafe

Kings Beach

Homewood Mountain Resort

Wolfdale's

Tahoma Market & Deli

About the Host

Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis in 2016. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson uses the California Now Podcast platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.

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