Tag Archives: music

Love the Place you’re IN! Add MUSIC to your Vacation

Not meant to be a great philosophical discussion – – like “What place are You in?” but rather to mention that when we travel, you can ABSORB the place you are in. I do this with music. You can Google “live music” for any city and come up with a list. You’ll be surrounded by happy locals. Rather than chasing all over the world, to mark off each country, try to make the MOST of your travels. Immerse yourself, learn the culture, don’t merely check it off your list of countries!  It is a part of conservation, to really get to know, to understand, to see an area.

If you are in Hawaii, a favorite vacation spot in the summer, I have loved going to the music places that are everywhere.

In Oahu, try this list of places

Oahu is a hot spot for live music. You can find some of the best local artists performing throughout Oahu, from fine resorts to local bars and restaurants.

You’ll discover music all along Waikiki’s main strip of Kalakaua Avenue, from street performers to local musical legends. Listen to traditional Hawaiian music and watch hula performances at the Moana Surfrider and other Waikiki hotels. Tiki’s Grill & Bar and Duke’s Canoe Club feature contemporary Hawaiian music. Or listen to jazz at the Lewers Lounge in the Halekulani Hotel —Esquire magazine once named this one of the best bars in America.

Beyond Waikiki you’ll find other music venues. Just a few minutes away in the Ala Moana Center — Hawaii’s largest open-air shopping mall — the Mai Tai Bar features popular island music in a lively hot spot. Downtown Chinatown’s urban setting is home to stylish bars and restaurants featuring jazz, rock, acoustic and DJs. For national artists, check the schedule of the Neil S. Blaisdell Arena and Concert Hall or the Pipeline Cafe, both popular venues for touring bands and renowned artists. From Hawaiian music at a local bar to sell-out arena shows, Oahu has a variety of live music spots to discover.

…. but also search out the clubs that do Blues Jams or have “pick up” music sessions. There is joy in walking into a more spontaneous group, working out amazing music that will only be heard once… by you the audience.


There are JAMS all over the SF Bay Area peninsula and south bay.  A few to look up? Try “Biscuit and Blues”, The Little Fox  theatre in Redwood City for Wednesday Blues Jam, the Saloon in Woodside for a lazy Sunday music and dancing, or the ever present music festivals:  Jazz on the Plaz, Redwood City Courthouse, Union Square in SF, there are more in Belmont (Twin Pines), San Carlos (Brittan Park), Palo Alto in Mitchell Park,  really-they are all over.  Shoreline Ampitheatre rounds out the music experience with grass seating and 4-pack tickets. Free or Affordable. Take some time, the music is a special attraction of this area.

San Francisco BAY AREA Blues Jams are all over.

Relax! make the most of your vacation.

Local Fun: Petaluma

We love this place, it is close to SF and perfect for a summer time long weekend:
try out eateries and get the feel by just walking around, but don’t miss
Tall Toad Music Even if you’re not a musician, there is so much here and instruments to try out. 43 Petaluma Blvd. N.; 707/765-6807 Nice T-shirts too, especially if you are partial to frogs!
Cow Girl Cremery Your taste buds will thank you, my cousins had me bring it to them in LA, before we shared it with SoCal! There are Tours $30; reservations required; Foundry Wharf, 419 First St.; 866/433-7834
Mystic Theatre and McNears Funny, Funky and Fun. If you love music or sports, the memorabilia is fantastic. There is food and music – check the schedule it’s  next to Tall Toad. (from $12; 23 Petaluma Blvd. N.; 707/765-2121).
Della Fattoria  Breads, pastries, coffee, a happy community feel here. On the main drag… eat outside, have a sandwich.
McEvoy Ranch  Olive Oil, local, beloved place, 80 acres of olives.  Check the website for a store locator  – you can find the oil at Sur la Table. Definately worthy of a taste or a few dozens!  Nan McEvoy loves both the tuscan olives and this amazing ranch. If you can’t get to the Ranch for an event, try an olive themed book:  The Feast of the Olive by Maggie Klein

Try a walk along the river too, there are sweet small restaurants and the larger Apple Box (224 B St) for breakfast/lunch, snacks and relaxing. There is often live music outside on the decks next to the river.

Figure A


Other Events & Directions:
From San Francisco, take U.S. 101 north to the E. Washington St. exit. Head west on Washington, then make a left on Petaluma Blvd. to reach downtown. You can pick up a walking-tour map at the very helpful visitor center in the Historic Depot Building (210 Lakeville St./State 116; visitpetaluma.com or 877/273-8258)

Various events at the Theatre Square Plaza Second St Petaluma, CA Phone: 707-283-5555  Summer Music – check the visitor’s schedule.

The annual quilt show, gums up the streets with traffic for several days in August. If you don’t like quilts, homespun or art fairs, you might want to avoid Petaluma then….. however,  I love this fair and it is great fun!!


Go to Madrone’s for Music and Fun! 

Check the CALENDAR, this happens monthly, if you miss it, go to Motown Mondays!  MOM is 6pm to 2am.

There is always something fun at Madrone’s.

Cover:$5 at the door, and starting at 9pm the venue will feature dancing to DJ album cuts, remixes, rare tracks and classics of the two artists greatest hits.  So sharpen your splits and tighten up your toe stands for a night full of moon walking at the Madrone, and make sure to”Dont’ Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”

500 Divisadero (and Fell St)
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 241 0202

“Madrone introduces a new frontier in the world of theme parties while it simultaneously expands people’s minds in the world of art; the walls are covered with continuously changing artworks exhibited throughout the bar. Attendees are able to check out artists that are both new to the scene and who have been covering walls with their pieces for years. All forms of creativity have an equal opportunity as Madrone shares the work of sculptors, painters, photographers and anything else a person puts their mind to. This is beneficial for those who need to take a breather from dancing his/her ass off to Prince’s “Erotic City” as they are continually submersed in the bar’s atmosphere by admiring the work of Jerimiah Jenkins, Micah Rivera, or Dennis McNulty.” (Breakthruradio.com)

In the Western Addition of SF. Parking can be sticky near these major thoroughfares. From Market and Sansome (at Montgomery BART) take the 21 outbound towards Fulton and Shrader. Get off at Hayes and Divisadero and walk down to Madrone.

SF Symphony at Stern Grove July 6! Smokey Robinson June 22!

SF Symphony in Stern Grove
Stern Grove is a SF institution: a beautiful, unique place, and a perfectly relaxing way to spend a Sunday listening to a free concert in SF. This free concert given by the SF Symphony. Come join the fun, get there early to reserve your spot, bring a blanket or a small chair, and enjoy the concert filled with melodies and music you all know and love.
  • Parking is a night mare! There, I said it. Take the bus or plan on a nice hike to the Grove. That makes it fun.
  • Getting to the flat grass area to set up your picnic is a well worn dirt / paved trail.

Entrance at 19th Ave and Sloat Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94132
415 252 6252

If you cant make the Symphony, consider getting tickets (a guaranteed seat) for this fantastic fund-raiser for the GROVE!
Smokey Robinson and Patti Austin!! Sunday, June 22, 2014
Celebrate Stern Grove Festival’s 77th Season at
The Big Picnic, an afternoon of music, food, drinks, and dancing in beautiful Sigmund Stern Grove.

The Big Picnic

Out and About – Santa Cruz

Ocean exploration and fun at the beach is such a good way to relax. Check out these places if you want a snack.

Aptos St. BBQ –  an INCREDIBLE beer selection. The best BBQ you’ve ever had in your life. And live blues 7 days/week from 6-8pm. Location 8059 APTOS STREET, APTOS CA 95003   (831) 662-1721

Pono Grill – for drinks and poki bowls (and often music). Might be a bit more lively depending on the time of day. It’s a traditional Hawaiian eatery bringing you the freshest, most creative and most ‘ono … the  only SC Poke Bar, serving over 15 different types of poke all made to order! Location 120 Union Street, Santa Cruz, California 831-426-PONO

Lulu’s at the Octagon – (at the corner of Cooper and Front in downtown SC), great coffee, art displayed, quirky historic building. location: 118 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (831) 429-5858

Lulu Carpenter’s at the northern end of Pacific Ave. –  1545 Pacific Ave Santa Cruz 95060 (831) 429-9804 Coffee, chai, exotic coffee like Lavender Latte Also check out the Abbey or Verve for coffee.Pacific Garden Mall and many other coffee shops to choose from.

Hoffman’s –  Hoffman’s wants you to check out the FULL BAR!  Brunch, Booze and JAZZ!!!  Delicious Bloody Marys, Mojitos, and a specialty cocktail list that will knock your socks off!


April 27 -Tahitian dancing and live drumming & music!

From my wonderful friend Julie:
My Polynesian dance group Manuia is having a recital show and I’d love if you guys could make it! It’ll be a great show of Tahitian dancing and live drumming & music! There will be some food and shopping vendors as well. Tix are $15. A fantastic show! Feel free to bring friends or kids, it’ll be a great show for the family too.  Please come out and support this group!
April 27th, 12-4pm
College of San Mateo Theatre
Displaying Show flier.jpg

Stern Grove, Free Concerts Every Summer

Stern’s Grove offers a wide variety of music every summer. Opera, Symphony and more, check out their schedule.

It’s Free on Sundays in the Summer. You can download a festival guide, or get the phone app.

Located in the Park between 19th Ave and Sloat

It’s been going strong since 1938. Bring a blanket, rent a Pink Picnic Table, enjoy the day. There are even pre-event talks to learn more.

For More Free Music…. Try these venues:

    • Santana Row in SJ
    • Redwood City Events (most days all summer long)
    • San Carlos, Brittan Park
    • Redood Shores, Foster City Music on the Shore
    • Many Restaurants in the Bay Area have live music, ask and you’ll love it. (Try Cafe Claude or Sheba Piano Lounge in SF, or many of the wine bars in SF and SJ)
    • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk , they also have great beach movies, in addition to concerts



Git yer Boots On! Explore RWC while you are here!

Great exercise, fun crowd, try out this great local place and enjoy dancing in a group!

Line Dancing Class, Bands, and Booty Shakin’ – you’ll love it.
Head down to Angelica’s for the special Wednesday night Line Dancin’. The fun begins at 6:30 with a line dancing class.
You’ll be out on the big floor learning all the steps before the Cougars band come on to play their unique blend of New Country.

Angelica’s does many events: Open Mic, Comedy, Blues, Jazz, and a Murder Mystery Dinner to name a few. The are located on Main St, there is lots of parking available in several parking lots and at the train station.

So much to do–It’s a nice area for a walk. Check out the old historic Library, have a margarita at Milagros, stop by local restaurant for  Thai food, tacos, tequila purveyors have tastings — if you want this night to be a “crawl”, you can explore the rest! of the ‘hood  There are about 100 restaurants and shops, plus movies, and the Courthouse Square is very close as well. 1 block away from Cal Train. Skip the hassle, take the train!

 Check their CALENDAR for more fun! 

863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 679-8184

The RAVE Run

Get your Glow on!
The Rave Run was founded in 2012 by a runner, an artist and an insomniac. The idea was to bring the adrenaline pumping music and special effects from electronic festivals onto a 5K course. The dazzling light effects are designed by EDC artists and industry experts. It’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory except with lights. It’s candy for your eyes and ears. It’s a glow run…gone wild! Get ready for the night of your life. Experience a magical world of light and sound unlike anything else out there.
 RAVE run
THE RAVE RUN SELLS OUT – register early OR you will not be able to participate.
The event culminates with an after party, where DJs spin tunes and powerful black lights cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots.
Don’t want to run? No problem! You can walk it! This is a non competitive race.
More info: 
344 Tully Rd  in San Jose, California

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Hidden Villa Concert – Sunday 8/29

What better way to celebrate the end of the summer than a visit to the beautiful HIDDEN VILLA
WHEN: Sunday, August 29, 2010 from  5:30 to 7:30 pm. HV has been closed during the week for campers this summer. Now it is our chance to relax and enjoy. The cost is just $10 per car.

26870 Moody Rd
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
(650) 949-8641

This event features two incredible bands! Chelle & Friends will pump out their New Orleans sound and Orquesta d’Soul will inspire everyone to get up and dance with Latin rhythms! Bring a picnic and lawn chair or blanket. Hidden Villa fresh produce salads and sandwiches will be available for purchase. Parking is located at Foothill College in Lot #7. Shuttle bus service to Hidden Villa begins at 4:30 pm.

Advanced Registration is required.$10 per car. Limit of one car per household! Advance registration is required.