SANTA MARIA — Driving from Los Angeles to the Central Coast over the weekend, I spotted the most Californian of autumnal scenes: vineyards showing off their fall colors.

Highway 101 ran through Santa Maria Valley, a highly sought-after Central Coast wine region. There were rows and rows upon rows grape vines sporting crimson or yellow leaves. The striking contrast of the golden rolling hills was breathtaking.

And it wasn’t an aberration. Though it doesn’t have the reputation of New England, California has plenty of fall colors every year — if you know where to look. Kyle Cotner, who compiles The Foliage ReportIt tracks fall colors across the country and is called California “a sneaky great fall foliage state.”

The state’s bad rap when it comes to its autumnal show is probably because 80 percent of Californians live along the coast, where there’s little fall color, so we don’t see much of it, said John Poimiroo, a travel writer who runs the blog California Fall Color. “We’re our own worst publicity agents,” He told me.

However, all types of trees throughout the Golden State go scarlet, orange, or bronze in fall. This is especially true for the eastern part. Poimiroo stated that the fall foliage season begins in September in Mono County and Inyo Counties. Then, it spreads to lower elevations throughout fall.

Because California Poimiroo explained that the state’s fall color season is the longest in the country because it has such a large area with so many trees and topography. “In California, if you miss peak at one elevation, just go to a lower elevation elsewhere and see it there,” He wrote it on his blog.

Today we’re sharing some photos you sent in of this year’s fall show. If you’re still interested in leaf-peeping, CaliforniaPoimiroo has a crowdsourced database map There are many spots where autumn colors can still be seen. Enjoy.

Butternut squash and sage latkes.


Today’s tip comes from Robin Weintraub:

“More than 50 years ago I was young, single, teaching in a Los Angeles elementary school and beginning my life as an adult. I was one of the few faculty to ‘stay late’ in order to finish my work — correcting papers and planning for the following day. I liked leaving school without any work to do at home. When I left each day, I drove to the PCH and then north until I found ‘my spot,’ Zuma Beach.

I kept a beach mat and small blanket in my car so that I could sit or lie down on the sand and read. As I did, I heard the crashing waves and was often distracted by their force and beauty. It is a memory I continue to cherish. I left California soon after I married, but have returned often to see family, friends and the ocean waves. And while I have seen the ocean in many parts of the state, and the world, every visit to L.A. draws me back to Zuma, and thoughts of it bring me peace.”

We want to hear about your top places to visit. California. Your suggestions can be sent to CAtoday@nytimes.com We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.


Have you visited any of the travel destinations that we’ve recommended in the newsletter? We would love to hear about your trip and send you a photo.

We’d like to share them in upcoming editions of the newsletter. Email us at Catoday@nytimes.com Please include your name as well as the address where you live.


Lanny Seth Grossman and Samantha Loren Moray matched up on Lox Club in February 2021. This is a private app that only members can use for Jewish singles.

They both reside in Los Angeles and began to communicate via text messages. They met in Beverly Hills for the first time shortly after.

“Conversation was easy and Lanny made me laugh,” Moray shared his story with The Times. Grossman offered Moray a ride to her car after dinner because they were parked on opposite levels of the same garage. He then asked Moray to drive him there.

“We continued to talk in her car for another 45 minutes,” Grossman stated. “That really put me over the edge. I definitely needed to see her again.” The night ended in a first kiss.

Read the rest of the couple’s love story, which continued last month with their wedding at the Beverly Hills Hotel.


Thank you for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Harrison Hill, Briana Scalia and Isabella Grullón Paz contributed to California Today. Contact the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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