Set aside time to visit the vast Hearst Castle, the newspaper magnate's fanciful Shangri-la. Perched high on La Cuesta Encantada (“the enchanted hill”) nine miles north of Cambria, the property is the closest thing California has to a grand European palace—and an architectural testament to monomaniacal excess. This sprawling, opulent property is one of the state’s absolute must-sees. Kids will dig the zebras grazing in the surrounding fields.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.