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The Summer Go List: San Jose, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, Napa, Santa Rosa, more

Staycation. Staycation. Staycation. This summer we are sticking around the house, but it's gonna be great. I have plans to go to local hotels, to concerts, and to free outdoor movies all closeby within a tank of gas.  Why not? The Bay Area is rife with things to do, and it serves as an international destination for millions of visitors annually.  No need to go too far, actually.  Our first activity will be to head to the San Jose Fairmont to see the fireworks on July 4th from the convenience of its rooftop pool.  

On ordinary weeknights, there is more to do. Hit Palo Alto's Stanford Shopping Center on Thursdays for outdoor concerts on the plaza in front of Nieman Marcus.  It's the 31st Annual Summer Jazz Concert Series, that runs 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and families all over the region have found this as the super secret summer nugget in Silicon Valley. 

While in Palo Alto, create your dream escape at The Clement Hotel, the valley's only five-star, all inclusive hotel.  We review it here, and we hope you will come and give it a test drive.  Walking distance to shopping and also Stanford University campus, The Clement is your passageway to Nirvana as you have all you need within the walls of your hotel for a snuggly weekend away from your responsibilities.   

Outdoor movies are free throughout the Bay Area. From Oakland to San Francisco, from Redwood City to San Jose, take time out to see something fun with the kids. Lookup the events at and your local city's website to see what is playing and where.   

We next take you to the revamped Dream Inn in Santa Cruz. So instead of going to the beach for one day, this summer, do staycation with a twist.  Stay at the Dream Inn where you can walk to the pier and to the boardwalk.  Make it a two-night affair with the kids, and you can rediscover your old love. See our review of the Dream Inn Makeover

In this issue, we give you a peek at the Indian Springs Resort.  Nestled in Calistoga, the resort has been around since the 1800s, and has recently been renovated. It's got an Olympic-sized pool with snack area, and all the activities you need to enjoy a weekend away. Check out our review: Indian Springs Resort: A Step Back in Time, A Great Leap Forward.   We recently checked out the  recent BottleRock rock festival to see what family activities were to be had.  Check out our BottleRock Review

On your same vacation, drive to nearby Santa Rosa. We offer up ten cool things to do in this city where Peanuts' creator Charles Schultz once lived. 

Have you ever wondered what is the best booking engine for your family needs? Next Advisor, a research group, recently completed a survey to find out how the top travel booking sites rate. See the chart here.  Let us know what you think!

For those who love sizzing scorchers, we offer you a visit to Arizona. Yes, there are those who love dry heat. Go figure. If you are one of those sun lovers, do check out Barbara Sloan's review of Arizona resorts

Like to barbecue? We found some great spices that would make for excellent gifts with JustSpices. See our coverage of this and other products in our Summer Products Roundup

Other stories in this issue include:
Review of the Toyota Sienna – Products
Snack-in-a-Box Review, etc.  – Products
Where to Find The Best Views in San Francisco – North Bay
San Francisco, Hawaii hotel deals and more - Deals
Go Green On Your Next Vacation - Consumer Lookout
Intercontinental's Planet Trekkers Kids Program - Foreign 

Jams and Mess Free Crayons - Products
ittsburg, Penn. is on the Rise - States
eview of the Highlander Hybrid - Products
lays, concerts, festivals - Calendar

Happy Summer!

Kathy Chin Leong
Executive Editor


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