Simple strategies can help make road trips run smoothly

Courtesy of Costanoa Lodge
Consider a road trip along the coast to Pescadero, where the Costanoa Lodge awaits. The resort also features tent cabins for under $100 per night.

If you’re hitting the road this summer, take time to plan your adventure to reduce agony levels later on.

Whether you’re driving to a Tahoe cabin or touring the Icelandic outback, road trips can save money and get you closer to points of interest.


They had me at hello: RedCap service offers private drivers

He showed up at my door at the appointed hour, carrying a Starbucks tray with a large dark-roast coffee, my favorite. Several Equal and sugar packets spilled out of the cup holder.

“I didn’t know if you liked nonfat or low-fat, so I brought both,” he said eagerly.


Central Coast village offers seaside features amid the pines

Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
A stop at Cambria’s Moonstone Beach proves a highlight on a romantic getaway to the Central Coast.

Cambria’s Moonstone Beach has probably been the site of more than a few marriage proposals. With its rugged 1.5-mile-long boardwalk trail and hills stretching the length of the little Central Coast town enveloped by pines, the spot offers a romantic backdrop.


Ayers Rock: Mega monolith rises from Australian desert

Photos Courtesy of Voyages
Ayers Rock Resort, above, offers four hotels with a range of accommodations near Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Activities include performances by indigenous Wakagetti dancers, below.

Australia’s Ayers Rock, or Uluru, as the indigenous people call it, rises 1,200 feet above the desert floor, one of the world’s largest monoliths. The nearly 6-mile walk around the rim provides ecotourists glimpses of sacred water springs, rock cave art and a plethora of flora and fauna not seen in these parts.

It’s such an amazing Northern Territory landmark that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate and William, visited Uluru last month to meet with students at the National Indigenous Training Academy. Body-painted Wakagetti dancers greeted the young couple.


Tahoe Tidbits: Chasing waterfalls in spring

Spring is the season to catch the waterfalls in South Lake Tahoe. Viewing Upper Eagle Falls requires a moderate, half-mile round-trip hike.

Spring is waterfall season in South Lake Tahoe, and several hikes will usher you to gushing water.

• Visit Cascade Falls, which, according to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, is a good, short hike. From the Bayview Campground, you can walk to a great view of Cascade Lake and the 200-foot waterfall. It’s a moderate, 1.5-mile hike round-trip. To reach Bayview Campground, take Highway 89 north from the Highway 50 intersection in South Lake Tahoe and drive approximately 7 miles.


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