Welcome to SavvyCalifornia.com. I love exploring my home state. And I’m not alone — 70+ percent of U.S. travelers who vacation in California are road trippin’ residents like me who go from desert to mountain, wine country to redwood forest, big city to sun-kissed coastal town.
California is a famously diverse state, with plenty of people, places and things represented. Still, the silly stereotypes just won’t quit (you know the ones). For example, some folks call this the “left coast” as a put-down, but the savvy among us consider it a term of endearment. The thing is, California clichés can be a little bit true. And if you ask me …
That’s where the fun is!
Let’s look at it with a little levity, shall we? I’m rockin’ the California coast, in a convertible, wearing cliché-colored sunglasses, for a lighthearted look at all things:
Hippie Dippy, Indie Groovy, Veggie Yogi, Local Foodie,
Artsy Fartsy, Eco Snooty, Beach Bummy, Surfer Dudley,
Tree Huggy, Celebrity Crushy, Culture Quirky, Fruity Nutty,
Trail Trekky, Day Trippy, Wine Tipsy, Bucket Listy.
Love California like I do?
Join me on a journey to map out the awesome, gnarly, hella fun, chill escapes — no hate — in the great Golden State.
PS. Layin’ on the lingo totally tongue in cheek, savvy?
About The Blogger
My greedy goal is to find the real stuff in life right outside our doors, to sleuth out the sweet spots, chat up local experts, nail down the savviest sources, and share what’s great in the Golden State.
I live in a sleepy little beach town 25 miles south of San Francisco called Half Moon Bay, with my airline pilot husband Troy, and my office assistant Gracie (a total
terrorist terrier and terrific road tripper).
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I started in 2009 with a San Francisco blog called “Bay Area On The Cheap” (during the financial crisis) and then started “Savvy SoCal.” To expand nationally (and go less cheap), I rebranded to the more inclusive “Savvy Cities” in 2011. That was fun for a while, but I missed the local focus and felt scattered. So in 2016, I moved the California pages over here to SavvyCalifornia.com and put the rest on autopilot. Now I can once again express my west coast attitude, like my new tagline says: Peace, Love & Levity on the Left Coast. Stay tuned and tell your friends.
Writing Credits: As a freelance magazine writer for more than a decade, I specialize in destination travel and healthy living articles. When I’m not blogging about California, I’m writing for national and international publications. My articles have appeared in Outside, Travel + Leisure, Real Simple, American Profile, Consumer’s Digest, MSN.com, Hemispheres, Journey, Experience Life, Health, Natural Health, Shape, Prevention, Yoga Journal, You & Your Family, Fit Pregnancy, Natural Solutions, and a bunch of other places. I’ve also contributed to books published by HarperCollins, Rodale, Mobil Travel Guide, Forbes Travel Guide, and more.
I love collaborating with select companies (a few at a time) that sponsor special offers and fun stuff savvy readers enjoy. Fair warning: savvy Californians have really good BS detectors. They value my independent opinion and honest reviews to help them decide how to spend their precious time and money in California. To me their trust is all. Think your brand is a good fit? Tell me more.
A few of my Brand Collaborators
California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco Playhouse
Savor Sonoma Valley
Sea Life Aquarium
Goldstar Events, Inc.
Blue Man Group
Entertainment Benefits Group
Electric Tour Company
Happy Sponsors Spill (on LinkedIn)
- “The word ‘savvy’ says it all — trust Kathy to not only recommend the best in your city, but to be an effective business partner as well. Not only is she a great content curator, having an innate feel for what her readers are interested in, but her commercial instincts are razor sharp. I call her “Huffington Jr.” –John Loken, SVP Global Consumer Marketing at WME, formerly with LiveNation and Goldstar Events, Inc.
- “Kathy is a true professional, extremely smart with great business instincts and an unbridled passion to continually develop and drive her company forward. She is extremely personable, warm and friendly blended with an honest and forthright approach – refreshing traits in the online world that led to a long term partnership during my time at the California Academy of Sciences. Since leaving the Academy we have remained in contact and it’s so much fun watching Savvy Cities grow from strength to strength, due in main part to Kathy’s business acumen, genuine respect for her customers and willingness to adapt to the ever evolving marketplace. Consider yourself lucky if you get to work and partner with Kathy, you’ll never look back.” —Deleyse Langdale, International Sales Director, Sonoma County Tourism, formerly California Academy of Sciences director
- “Kathy does an amazing job running Savvy Cities. The site is consistently one of our top partners as she’s developed a loyal and passionate readership that continues to grow. We love working with her and truly value her as a business partner”. —Phil Wallace, Digital Marketing and Business Development Consultant
- “Kathy is always on the top of my list when I need a research-heavy story written. She’s always on deadline (or earlier!) and uses the highest quality sources, along with her superb writing skills, to convey the point of the story.” —Maureen Healy, editor at American Media Inc.
- “Two of the things I like best about Kathy are her positive outlook and her ability to express her thoughts in an engaging yet straightforward manner.” –Sheri A. Bell, Content Manager, Award-Winnng Editor
Savvy Citizens Say it Best
Readers share their thoughts. Thanks a million for the kind words!
- While looking for things to do in San Francisco, I happened across Savvy California, and now I’m completely addicted. I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had this summer going to all of the suggested festivals and museums on your site. Yes, there are other sites on the internet that offer “great things to do,” but they don’t even compare to yours. It’s user friendly to the max and I’m just so impressed (and grateful!) It has gotten me out of the house and into the fun of the city. You and your site are fantastic, so thank you. ~Renée K
- I came upon your site fairly recently and it’s been wonderful getting updates regularly. It’s so much fun digging through each section and just browsing around to see all of the possibilities out there in the City. Not only do you offer deals and offers to such a wide variety of things to do and see and shop….but I hear about things I would have never known about and for that I THANK YOU. ~Michelle
- Thank you so much for the GO passes I won a while back. My husband and I took turns taking our son into the City for adventures the last three days of spring break and had such a blast! AT&T Park, MOMA, Zeum, Exploratorium, aquarium, bay cruise and on and on… even the wax museum was a hoot! Thx for the opportunity to win the passes and your awesome web site! ~Lara Starr, producer of Consumer Talk with Michael Finney on KGO Newstalk 810
- I’m a big fan of your website. Not only is it a mainstay in my daily readings, but over the last year it has truly shaped how I spend my time off, especially on weekends. Thanks for everything you do! ~Samik B
- You guys are amazing, always find something fun to do with help from the web site. Thanks for helping us get to know the city. ~Sarah
- Wow I really don’t know what I would do without you! You have definitely made my last year a he’ll of a lot more fun for me and my girl. Thank you!!! ~Graham
- Awesome website you guys got there because in this tough economy any help around town for things to do is great. Thanks. ~Michele J
- Hello & congratulations on your successful blog. I’m very grateful for all the info of local happenings on the cheap during these hard economic times. ~S. Andregg
- Thanks so much for giving us some fun things to do without breaking my bank account! My friend told me about your website yesterday after me and 7 others went to the DeYoung Museum yesterday! Yeah cheap fun outings! ~Jacquie L
- Thanks for keeping my girlfriend and I involved with events in the area. They’ve been fun and the last couple of months have saved me more than ever. Still need to watch Wicked though, but nevertheless, Happy anniversary! ~Samuel L
- I found your savvy site when looking for cheap tickets to see Cirque du Soleil. This site is great, listing all the options to save money. My husband and I are going at half price in March! Thank you, Savvy California! Thank you. ~Heidi
- I found your site a while ago and was really excited about all the possibilities of exploring new things in the area and look forward to years and years of many more treasures found there! Thank you! ~Varaxy Y
- Had the best time ever in California because of you. Feeling so savvy now 😉 ~Jonathan
- LOVE the website. With three kids, we need to do stuff on the cheap! ~Alyssa P.
- I just love giveaways and your website! As a frugal person new to the area, I’ve found so many amazing deals on here. I visit your site weekly to find even more great deals. ~Huong N
- I love this site. I just moved here and have been using it every day practically. Thank you! ~Lana N
- Thanks for all the great, cheap inside scoops around the city! ~Hannah
- I love the blog! Please keep it up for years to come! ~Erin
- I Love Savvy California. Great Idea. ~Linh TN
- Your website has given me great ideas for my frugal bf. ~Deanna L
- I love your website and have told all my friends about it too. Thanks! ~Anna L
- Thanks so much for your website, it’s so helpful for a student on a budget!! ~ Yvonne Chou
- Love your webpage. Great job of pulling the information from so many different sources! ~Sheila
- I’ve only been using your website for a short time but i’ve gotten so many ideas from it. Thanks! ~Winnie
- You guys are great!! 🙂 Thank you!! Keep up the good work! ~Natalia H
- Congratulations on a successful year of stellar bloggingness. Cheers to greater triumphs and further growth. ~Shannon
- You’re doing a wonderful job out there. You are helping so many people plan their weekends, family fun, can’t thank u enough. ~Sangeeta
- I love this website! Thanks for creating it! ~Ben N
- Thank you so much for sending us great emails about fun things to do for not a lot of money in the city. ~Amy
- Thank you so much for sending us such great information about things in my favorite cities! ~Anne C
- I also wanted to Thank You(!) for such a great service, its a wonderful help in these tough times. ~AJ
- Savvy California is the best! Keep up the good work. ~Sam T
- Thanks for the great tips on discounts in the city! Love it! Happy 1st Anniversary, and keep doing what you do! ~Regina F
- Congratulations on your 1st Anniversary of SavvyCities! You have created a very useful website! ~Doreen
- Happy Anniversary! I love your site, and visit it everyday! Thanks! ~Jennifer
- Love your website! It’s saved me lots of money 🙂 Thank you!! ~Adrianne G
- You rock! And thanks. Soooo many great things to do. so little time…. ~dave g
- I love seeing your email in my inbox. I wish you many many more. ~Melissa Vega
- Congrats on helping make the awesomeness that is the Bay area easier for us all to digest. ~GP
- I think your email alerts and web site are great. Hope you celebrate many more anniversaries. ~Chris C
- I recently discovered your site while browsing for deals and bargains on the internet. I love what you’re doing! Thank you. ~Lisa W
- I’m so glad I found your website. This is such a great resource for families around the metro area! Thanks! ~Siubhan
- Your site is awesome! I check it frequently to see how I can enjoy the Bay area on a tight budget. Keep it up! ~Patrick
- Thanks for the great site. Love your logo, too. ~Ed
- Thank you for all the great information on things to do in California, cheaply. ~Michael
- Love your twitter feed, I always look forward to doing new things in Los Angeles. If they are fun and cheap it’s all the better! Thanks, ~Mary
- I have been enjoying your website for about six month now and I look forward to many more great deals. Keep up the great work/ Thanks. ~Thayton
- Thank you so much for helping me save money on my San Diego activities! As a college student, it’s hard to go out with $0 in your wallet. ~Todd LG (Stanford Class of 2010)
- My boyfriend and I moved to San Francisco last January and have used your email updates as a way to get to know the area and entertain ourselves on the cheap. Thanks and Happy Anniversary! ~Kathy D