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Where to Get a Shot of Coffee Culture in Northern California

A caffeine fix, a break from the go-go-go lifestyle of backpacking, a ringside look at the local culture – there are so many reasons we love stopping into neighborhood cafés wherever our travels take us. And here in Northern California, there are endless ways to make a run-of-the-mill refueling stop into a one-of-a-kind experience: from no-frills cups of Joe at corner mainstays, to sweet concoctions in exotic neighborhoods, to artful pours of espresso at high-class hideaways, here a few of our favorites spots for coffee and culture.

NorCal's Greatest Hits: a Musical Itinerary

Every great trip needs an awesome soundtrack. But sometimes, the perfect soundtrack can actually be the jumping-off point for a great trip. So today, we're composing a "playlist as itinerary" for travelers in Northern California. From enduring classics, to forgotten favorites, to modern musical postcards, cue up these songs on your iPod and let the music take you away.

 

HI-USA Sleeps - and Gardens, Talks, and Watches - for Peace

On September 21, HI-USA and guests from across the world joined together to promote tolerance, understanding, and world peace. 

It sounds like a lofty goal, sure, but it's one that the United Nations encourages people to spend at least one day each year working towards. Since 1981, the United Nations has recognized an International Day of Peace; in 2001, the UN established September 21 as an official annual day of global non-violence and ceasefire. 

Our Favorite End-of-Summer Cycling Destinations in Northern California

Ever hear the old saying that life's about the journey, not a destination? Out here in Northern California, we tend to take it a step further: Here, sometimes the journey is the destination. Transit time in our lovely region isn't just a way of getting from Point A to Point B – it's an eye-opener in and of itself. Just ask anyone who's ever taken a bicycle tour, big or small, around our neck of the woods! 

A Beginner’s Guide to Naming Your San Francisco Oddities

San Francisco is a city that's famously full of instantly recognizable landmarks: from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Transamerica Pyramid, it’s easy for visitors to match many of our skyline’s star features with their guidebook descriptions. But for every Coit Tower or Alcatraz Island, there’s also an eye-catching oddity whose name might not spring so easily to mind. 

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