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California Now Podcast

Travel

The California Now Podcast explores the people and places that make California a unique travel experience. Host Soterios Johnson, veteran radio journalist and former host of NPR’s Morning Edition on WNYC in New York City, has recently moved to California and is using his journalism skills to learn every fascinating thing about his new home state. He interviews travel experts, chefs, local guides and many others on his journey of discovery. For more ideas on California travel, go to www.visitcalifornia.com

The California Now Podcast explores the people and places that make California a unique travel experience. Host Soterios Johnson, veteran radio journalist and former host of NPR’s Morning Edition on WNYC in New York City, has recently moved to California and is using his journalism skills to learn every fascinating thing about his new home state. He interviews travel experts, chefs, local guides and many others on his journey of discovery. For more ideas on California travel, go to www.visitcalifornia.com

Location:

United States

Description:

The California Now Podcast explores the people and places that make California a unique travel experience. Host Soterios Johnson, veteran radio journalist and former host of NPR’s Morning Edition on WNYC in New York City, has recently moved to California and is using his journalism skills to learn every fascinating thing about his new home state. He interviews travel experts, chefs, local guides and many others on his journey of discovery. For more ideas on California travel, go to www.visitcalifornia.com

Language:

English


Episodes

Northern California's Greatest Hits

8/2/2020
In this special episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson looks back at some of the most memorable Northern California highlights from previous episodes. Join Johnson as he starts his journey with a tour of some of the trendiest boutiques in San Francisco and the East Bay before heading north to visit the farms that comprise the mouthwatering destinations along the California Cheese Trail. Subsequent stops include some farm-to-table dining in Sacramento, a bit of...

Duration:00:41:26

Central California's Greatest Hits

7/19/2020
In this special episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson revisits highlights from interviews conducted across the center of the state. Follow along as Johnson travels up the Central Coast, learning about the hidden gems of Ventura County, getting a taste of the bounty of Paso Robles wine country, sampling Julia Childs–approved bites in Santa Barbara, and discovering where to find an unforgettable cattle-wrangling adventure. Johnson also gets the inside scoop on how to...

Duration:00:42:21

Southern California's Greatest Hits

6/21/2020
In this special episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson revisits some Southern California hotspots, hidden gems, and mouth-watering local cuisine featured on previous episodes. It’s a whirlwind tour through sunny SoCal that focuses on quantity and quality and will no doubt inspire a future road trip. Listen in as Johnson secures detailed directions for a perfect family outing in San Diego’s Balboa Park, gets the inside scoop for visits to both the San Diego Zoo and the...

Duration:00:40:08

California's Wide-Open Spaces

4/26/2020
Do you dream about spelunking your way through a prehistoric cave? Is glamping under the stars more your style? Whatever your outdoor pleasure, you're sure to find it in California. And no matter how you choose to commune with nature, exploring by RV is a great way to go, according to Dyana Kelley, who heads up the CampCalNOW RV Park & Campground Alliance. On this episode of the California Now Podcast, she provides host Soterios Johnson with insider information about the state’s many...

Duration:00:36:43

Phil Rosenthal: Live in California

3/15/2020
Phil Rosenthal established himself as a Hollywood player in the mid-1990s when he created the iconic sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. But these days Rosenthal is perhaps best known as the host of Somebody Feed Phil, a Netflix travel show that chronicles his journeys — and dining experiences — around the globe. In a wide-ranging interview, Rosenthal took California Now Podcast host Soterios Johnson behind the scenes of his show, reflecting on his strong belief in the power of travel and the...

Duration:00:29:10

The Pacific Ocean and California Coast

3/1/2020
Given its 840 miles of beautiful coastline, California's relationship with the Pacific Ocean is deep and abiding. And if you ask SeaWorld San Diego's Jody Westberg, getting up close and personal with California's sea-dwelling inhabitants is a great way to understand and appreciate the connection between land and sea. In this episode of the California Now Podcast, Westberg—who has helped rescue thousands of wild marine animals over the years—talks with host Soterios Johnson about conservation...

Duration:00:43:40

L.A. Hotels, Family Learning Adventure, McCloud

2/16/2020
Stay at certain upscale hotels in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, or Beverly Hills, and you have a pretty good chance of spotting a few celebrities in the lobby or at the bar. Even if you don’t, the posh amenities and glamorous atmosphere at these Los Angeles County hotels will have you feeling like an A-lister, according to Travel + Leisure Editor-in-Chief Jacqui Gifford. Gifford joins California Now Podcast host Soterios Johnson to wax poetic about this distinctly L.A. phenomenon. Johnson...

Duration:00:39:26

Culinary Road Trips, Catalina Island

2/2/2020
There's nothing worse than a wasted meal, according to Esquire's Food and Drinks Editor Jeff Gordinier—and if you follow his suggestions, you won't be in danger of facing any wasted meals on your next California road trip. Gordinier is the author of Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World, and he joins California Now Podcast host Soterios Johnson to talk about his favorite culinary destinations from San Diego to Wine Country, and why food and road...

Duration:00:43:09

Curtis Stone, Hiking with Kids, SoCal Taco Tour

1/19/2020
Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone believes that cuisine is the true soul of a place. And as he discovered on a recent trip, Sonoma and Mendocino have a lot of soul. He joins host Soterios Johnson on this episode of the California Now Podcast to dish on his recent journey to the region while filming his new show Field Trip, and where he found culinary inspiration. There are thousands of hiking trails in California, and a good many of them offer thrilling kid-friendly adventures. Author and tour...

Duration:00:43:41

Sonoma County’s Hidden Gems

1/5/2020
With more than 425 wineries located within its borders, Sonoma County is truly a dream destination for wine lovers. But as Soterios Johnson discovers during this episode of California Now, this wine region offers more than just great Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Johnson’s first guest, Wine Road Executive Director Beth Costa, shares suggestions in and around the Alexander Valley viticultural area—with multiple recommendations in the towns of Healdsburg and Geyserville. Costa also points...

Duration:00:40:26

Family Travel, Idyllwild, Wild North Coast

12/15/2019
The Golden State’s astonishing variety is on full display in this episode of the California Now Podcast. Travel + Leisure Editor in Chief Jacqui Gifford kicks things with off with a preview of a family trip she has in the works. Gifford, her son, and her husband are planning a getaway that includes attractions in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and the Central Coast—and she shares some of her planned stops (and a few essential strategies) for keeping everybody happy and...

Duration:00:42:04

Skiing and Snowboarding in California

12/1/2019
California is known for its surf culture, certainly, but come wintertime, thrill-seekers look to the mountains to ride the slopes on skis, snowboards, and other vehicles. On this episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson talks to a few folks who know just where to go for some epic winter adventures. First up is Mike Reitzell, who helms Ski California. Next up, Johnson speaks with Olympic gold medalist and professional adventurer Jonny Moseley. Finally, Johnson chats with...

Duration:00:39:54

Craft Spirits, California Cheese Trail, Asian Cuisine

11/17/2019
California distillers have become pretty crafty with their spirits in the last few years. With award-winning distilleries now dotting the state, you're likely to have the chance to try a sip wherever you go. On this episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson talks to Ryan Friesen, head distiller at the Blinking Owl distillery in Santa Ana. Friesen is also the vice president of the California Distiller's Guild and has no shortage of recommendations for the adventurous...

Duration:00:41:28

LEGOLAND California, Pacific Crest Trail, Bay Area Boutiques

11/3/2019
When you think of your dream job, does it involve playing with LEGO bricks? It certainly does for P.J. Catalano, who joins California Now Podcast host Soterios Johnson on this week's episode. In it, Catalano describes his working life as a Master Builder at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, north of San Diego. From constructing North America’s tallest LEGO tower to trading minifigures with guests, it's fair to say that his job is pretty unique. Johnson is next joined by Mark Larabee, who...

Duration:00:46:09

Emma Gannon, Gold Country, Haunted Sites

10/20/2019
Millennial-favorite Ctrl Alt Delete Podcast host Emma Gannon regales host Soterios Johnson with tales of her latest road trip down Highway One from San Francisco to Huntington Beach. Travel blogger Jessica Wright shares Gold Country hidden gems from the farm-to-fork capital Sacramento to the heart of the state's “golden” history in Coloma to the vineyards of Amador County. Author and ghost-hunter Richard Senate gives few recommendations for those bold travelers who are seeking a little scare.

Duration:00:38:00

San Diego Zoo, Bishop, Mount Shasta

10/6/2019
Rick Schwartz, spokesperson and ambassador for the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, shares his love of animals and a few pro-tips for visiting the zoo. Travel writer Ann Marie Brown uncovers the off-the-beaten-path town of Bishop in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Mount Shasta tour guide Andrew Oser describes the spiritual side of one of the most iconic peaks in California.

Duration:00:38:05

Cowboy Culture, Highway One, Bikes and Hikes LA

9/22/2019
Cattle rancher John Varian tells listeners how they can spend a couple days driving cattle in the Central Coast. The Food Network host Aida Mollenkamp describes her ideal road trip down Highway One, including the best fresh fish restaurants, farmers markets, beaches, and even a special “bee” experience. Bikes & Hikes LA tour guide Elizabeth Conway takes listeners on a virtual hike up Mt. Hollywood and describes what it’s like to cycle around town, with stops in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills,...

Duration:00:46:54

California Surfing Day, Ryan Robinson, Glamping

9/8/2019
As the state’s official sport, surfing is integral to California culture. There’s never a bad time to catch a wave in the Golden State, but thanks to warmer waters September is one of the most popular months to hang ten or otherwise go for a ride. In preparation for California Surfing Day on September 20, host Soterios Johnson welcomes Izzy Tihanyi, a former pro surfer and co-owner of the La Jolla school Surf Diva onto the podcast. Tihanyi shares what to expect from a lesson, while assuring...

Duration:00:47:59

California Wine Month

8/25/2019
In celebration of harvest season, this episode of California Now Podcast is dedicated to vintages and vineyards. Host Soterios Johnson learns the best way to swirl, sip, and savor from Anna McPeck, co-founder of the tour operator West Coast Wine Country. McPeck shares essential tips on making the most of a wine country excursion, and highlights some of her favorite stops in the Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, and beyond. Katie Hayward, owner of Uncorked Wine Tours in Paso...

Duration:00:42:16

Michelin Guide, Central Coast Road Trip, LGBTQ Travel

8/11/2019
Meet an anonymous Michelin inspector and learn how he helped anoint 90 California restaurants with coveted stars In an unprecedented move, California Now Podcast host Soterios Johnson does not introduce listeners to one of his guests during this episode. That’s because Johnson’s first interview is with a Michelin inspector—an anonymous restaurant critic who goes undercover to determine which establishments receive one, two, or three stars. It’s a fascinating look behind the scenes at a...

Duration:00:46:03