Despite the fact that I have lived in the Carmel/Monterey area for many years, I knew only surface information about the bay area...Fisherman's wharf..the insurance pyramid, Candlestick, etc. But, in spending the 2 1/2 years researching, visiting and shooting the bay area, in order to produce the 8 hour RVing the Bay Area DVD, I must say I was overwhelmed by its' magic story.  The deeper I dug, the more I learned, the more my picture of the bay changed.  Here are the top 10 things that most surprised me...

1.  The people of the gold rush.  I always thought of them as a bunch of old gold miners who wasted most of their diggings on getting drunk and partying.  When the real and rare story of the miners came to light, it changed everything.  First, their average age was about 27 years old. Secondly, they had to have money to get here...passage was expensive, so most of them were fairly affluent already.  Third, they were educated. The literacy rate in San Francisco in 1852 was the highest in the U.S.  

2.  Tom Sawyer was a fireman in San Francisco that Mark Twain met in a bath house.    Twain was only in San Francisco for a short time while but, while here,, Bret Hart and the Bohemians revolutionized worldwide literature. But, later on, so did Jack Kerouac, and then Ken Kesey.  The bay area is the home of creative literature.  Even Robert Louis Stevenson is said to have written Treasure Island during his time in the bay area.

3.  The Waterways...You can take a boat from Fisherman’s wharf to Sacramento and beyond.  It is one of the two largest inland waterways in the world..the other is in China.  You can even take a ferry from the north bay right to AT&T Park and a Giants game.

4.  Land’s End - The first cross country road ever built ends right at Lincoln Park...and it was built with private funds.  The magnificent Cliff House, the incredible Legion of Honor, the Beach Chalet and unbelievable history with the Sutro Baths ruins, the U.S.S. San Francisco memorial, the historic Lincoln Park golf course and the gun placements from World War II that still stand.  This is a part of the bay area that many people miss.

5.  The Tech Museums of Silicon Valley.  The impressive Computer History museum, the Intel Museum, the NASA Ames Exploration Center, the Tech Museum of Innovation are just the beginning.  You can see things here that you can’t see anyplace else in the world..who knew all this was here?

6. The Media - Motion pictures, radio, television, the reel to reel tape recorder and the personal computer were all invented in the bay area.  It was shocking to learn that!  It became clear that this is the most creative place on earth.

7.  The Revolution of the late 60’s that changed the world- The music revolution, the invention of gonzo journalism and the personal computer were all created at the same time...and they were all hanging out together...mostly at Ken Kesey’s house in La Honda.  It was all different manifestations of the same idea.

8. Sonoma - Once you know the bear flag revolution story and revolution of just a handful of people it opens up a magnificent look at California history.  The California vineyard idea started here at the mission as well.  

9.  Incredible Mount Tamalpais - A train used to take people to the top of the it’s a bike path.  Mountain biking, now a world wide sport was invented on Mount Tam.  The Cushing Memorial Theater houses 4,000 people for the Mountain play each spring.  Nearby is Muir Woods, the #1 most visited spot in Marin.

10.  The Unbelievable Beaches from Land’s End to Santa Cruz - Each beach has a story and the whole thing opens up when you realize the history….beginning with the Ohlone Indians to Portola’s expedition party.  The magnificent history continues as the coast is developed in the 1850’s...the train that used to go down the coast...the rum runners, World War II and one of the greatest fishing spots in the world…

Bonus- Lombard street may not be the crookedist street in the world...Vermont street is said to be even more crooked..

This is just a few of the examples you will find when you buy the RVing the Bay area double DVD set.  8 hours and over 100 chapters about every important thing to see and do from Marin to Silicon Valley to the coast and east bay.  It is the best guide you can buy on how to get around San Francisco and the surrounding areas.  To see more go to


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