Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Kim Weir

Host, Up The Road

Kim Weir is the founder of Up the Road, a nonprofit public-interest journalism project. She researches, writes, and hosts Up the Road, a radio show and mini-podcast about California co-produced by North State Public Radio. Kim got her start as a travel journalist in 1990 with the publication of the first and original Moon Handbooks Northern California, a surprise best-seller. Six other Moon books on California soon followed. She is a member, by invitation, of the venerable Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). Kim earned a BA in environmental studies and analysis, with an emphasis on botany and ecology, and also holds an MFA in creative writing. She lives in Paradise.

  • We’re finally arriving at Orange County’s Disneyland. When I was a child, we went a few times. I didn’t know going to Disneyland was a privilege. It was just fun. Kid’s stuff. So why do grownups go there to pop the question, get married, honeymoon, and even celebrate anniversaries? What’s that about? Join us for more, just up the road.
  • Often in the south state, at the first sign of aging a bulldozer or plastic surgeon gets called in. Not at Orange County’s Mission San Juan Capistrano, where saving local heritage is the priority. As for the mission’s returning swallows, Father Junípero Serra started the story, and a schmaltzy song carried it forward. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • Artsy Laguna Beach goes its own way. Before 2002, for example, high school football players wore team jerseys for the Laguna Beach Artists—honoring local history but not intimidating opponents. Now they’re the Laguna Beach Breakers, at least honoring the subject of much local art. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • As mentioned earlier, Orange County’s beach towns have very different personalities. Huntington Beach gained fame as a supremely casual home to California surf culture, while next-door Newport Beach and its yacht harbor has been a rich-people’s playground since the 1920s. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • After Disneyland (don’t worry, we’ll get there), what’s there to do in Orange County? Obvious next destination is the coast. Which, here, means the white-sand beaches of California fantasy. Their beaches may be similar, but beach towns here are quite different. Take Surf City. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • Disneyland is open, social distancing and masks required. (Yes, you can get Disney-themed face masks, even a $300 Minnie Mouse backpack.) Disneyland—like home, but more so, fans say. The surrounding neighborhood, Orange County, is like California. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • Some say the most engaging museum in Sacramento is the old city cemetery, once known, poetically, as the City of the Dead. Grand monuments, lovely gardens. Some of downtown’s public buildings could be taken together as an art and architecture museum. And area reserves, a natural history museum. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • There’s so much to see and do in Sacramento, California’s capital city, we’ll never move on unless I speed-walk through the basics, what else is downtown and around—at least major museums and sites. But then you’re on your own for Big Tomato parks and recreation, water sports, and all the rest. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • Sacramento feels something like other valley towns, but bigger. And it has big surprises. An exciting food scene, for one thing, at least before COVID. (The Big Tomato was always farm-to-fork.) Cool evening breezes in summer, outdoor a/c, thanks to the nearby Delta. And a spectacular State Capitol. Join us for more, just up the road.
  • The original gold rush boomtown of Sacramento boomed first as a tent city along the river’s mudflats, an area more or less defined these days by Front and J Streets, west of I-5—Old Sacramento. Then came California’s Great Flood, which inundated the entire valley for 45 days straight. Join us for more, just up the road.