Summer is synonymous with road trips, and we in the greater Sacramento area are conveniently located to reach the mountains or the sea for a glorious long weekend in just a few hours.
Choose your pleasure: Santa Cruz's sparkling blue waves to the southwest or the breathtaking expanse of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley to the east in the Sierra.
But here's the thing: You've got to make the trip in your car, which can be fraught with either pleasure (if you bring the right music), pain (if you have bickering siblings or spouses in tow), or drudgery (this is the Bay Area; there will be traffic).
We've thought of alleviating the tedium by making the trip getting there more enjoyable with fun-filled, sometimes edifying, sometimes kitschy, spots along the way.
After all, studies show that too much sitting and haggling over the radio dial with family members is deleterious to one's health. So ignore the GPS advice and take the long route to adventure.