Elizabeth Linhart Veneman has always viewed growing up in Northern California as both a blessing and curse. There is so much to see, do, and experience all within a short drive--from broad sequoias in the Sierras to ancient lava beds north of Mount Shasta, from creaky Gold Rush towns to the pampering Wine Country--that she began to wonder why anyone would ever leave. Elizabeth was eventually lured out of the Golden State to Alaska's far north, where she traveled the Inside Passage, baked bread under the midnight sun in Denali National Park, and chronicled the state's burgeoning sustainable agriculture for Alaska Magazine. These adventures culminated in penning the travel guide InsightGuides: Alaska. But Elizabeth knew her California roots were too deep to stay away for long. Raised in Carmel, where her great-great grandmother opened the first restaurant (a soup kitchen with dirt floors!) at the turn of the 20th century, she would always call California home. So she returned and devoted herself to writing about the state she loves most. Her work has included the travel guides SmartGuide: San Francisco and InsightGuides: San Francisco, as well as reporting on food and sustainable agriculture for local publications. Elizabeth is still enchanted by Northern California's wondrous melding of natural splendor with cultural charm. She currently lives with her family in San Francisco's Richmond district.