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The Best Escapes of 2011

Posted: December 30, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Updated: December 30, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Escape editor selects his best issues of 2011

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While any issue of Escape is a valuable artistic commodity, suitable for binding and cherishing for a lifetime, each issue also offers a wealth of information on what to eat, see and do around the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond. However, there are a few issues each year that take on added importance by the sheer volume of information they provide or the extra-beautiful manner in which they present it. Here are my choices for the best Escapes of 2011.

Holiday Light Tour
Dec. 16 - 22

It will probably be a long time before any other issue of Escape beats out our annual Holiday Light Tour issue for the "best" of the year. That's because this story encompasses more "community" than any other each year and gets the light tour judges out among our friends at the happiest time of year. This coverage brings you fun, color and just a ton of information that allows you to get out there and see if you agree with our selections for the winning homes and streets. This year's tour involved 29 stops and nearly eight hours of "observation," but we distilled it all for you.
Restaurant profile: As usual, there just wasn't room for a restaurant profile in this issue.

And the others...


SC Marathon
Nov. 4 - 10
Another of the Santa Clarita Valley's signature events is the annual Santa Clarita Marathon. Few other happenings in our valley bring the community together on such a large scale.
Restaurant profile: No restaurant profile in this issue, either.

Local boos
Oct. 28 - Nov. 3
While Halloween is growing all across our valley each year, there are a few of your neighbors whose decor deserves special mention and observation, and this issue of Escape told you where to find them.
Restaurant profile: Jim's hidden gems - favorite "unknown" restaurants in the SCV.

Jazz Festival
Sept. 23 - 29
Jazz came back to the Santa Clarita Valley in a big way this year with the Santa Clarita Jazz Festival. This issue gave you all the details and featured all the artists - and previewed an event that is sure to become an annual must-do.
Restaurant profile: Togo's Party Footers.

Summer concerts
June 24 - 30
The Santa Clarita Valley goes all out on summer evenings, with live music presented at several outdoor venues, the largest of which are the Concerts in the Park at Central Park. This issue of Escape gave you the full rundown.
Restaurant profile: Pho Sure.

Summer movies
June 3 - 9
Everyone loves summer movies, as many of them are the biggest films released each year. Our annual coverage of upcoming films helps people plan their vacations around release dates, so they can be the "first" to see them.
Restaurant profile: Roman Holiday.

Festival fun
May 13 - 19
Sometimes you've just got to get out of town, and this issue of Escape gave you two great choices, with its coverage of the 51st annual Topanga Banjo, Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival, and the 28th annual California Strawberry Festival.
Restaurant profile: StoneFire Healthy Alternatives.

Cowboy Festival
April 22 - 28
Maybe we are just a bunch of cowboys out here in the SCV, or maybe we just want to be. Either way, the Cowboy Festival is one of the highlight events in the valley, and this issue of Escape helped cowpokes plan their festival visits.
Restaurant profile: Dink's New York Diner.

SCV for newbies
April 1 - 7
The SCV is changing rapidly, and newcomers are often a bit short on knowing what is where and what used to be what, but now isn't. Confused? This issue of Escape helped clear things up and had some fun doing it.
Restaurant profile: Las Rocas.

Academy Awards
Feb. 25 - March 3
Our annual "Oscar" issue of Escape sets the stage for your Academy Awards viewing and parties, bringing you all the nominees, along with Roger Ebert's thoughts on who and what might win. No one should plan a gathering without it.
Restaurant profile: Thai Pepper.

Time to ski
Jan. 21 - 27
This issue of Escape gave you the low-down on the local ski resorts, as well as those in the Mammoth Lakes area. With it you could plan your skiing and snowboarding and tubing and sledding for the coming weeks.
Restaurant profile: Mixers.

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