Dawn Bonker

Travel and Lifestyle Writer

Location icon United States

Award-winning writer and journalist with credits in The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Westways, Texas Journey, Coastal Living, Orange Coast and numerous trade publications. Humor essay included in the anthology “Sand in my Bra: Funny Women Write from the Road,"​ Travelers’ Tales, Inc. Fiction included in "Manzanita: Poetry & Prose of the Mother Lode & Sierra."​



In Solvang, have drama with your Danish

In my book, summer is all about being outdoors. So when friends raved about the kid-friendly productions at Theaterfest, the outdoor summer repertory theater of the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts in Solvang, it sounded ideal. But Solvang? The Danish-themed place in the Santa Ynez Valley?

Near San Diego, a slice of Welk life

Escondido, Calif. Like old duffers stretching out after 18 holes, my boys sipped soft drinks and did that thing golfers love almost as much as the game itself: They talked about golf.

A Local's New Look at Newport

My cherry red paddle dribbled water onto the head of my 8-year-old son. Ethan's paddle was small but in his hands proved mighty enough to flick bay water onto my sunglasses and into the kayak we shared. Gossamer threads of sea moss dripped from our feet, remnants of our shore launch.


Guinea pigs need shelter too

Franklin and Bart are 3-month-old brothers abandoned in a park, left to watch as their mother got run over by a car. Itchy has arthritis and requires medication to stave off kidney failure. Brad and Angelina are a bonded pair, and now that their pups are weaned and Brad has been neutered, they're ready for a fresh start in a new, loving home.

Dead end for the cul-de-sac?

CITY planners shun them. New urbanists hate them. Boulder, Colo., all but banned them. Cul-de-sacs -- those once-beloved icons of the suburban good life -- have become something of a demonized concept. The growing consensus among urban planners is that these lollipop-shaped streets hurt communities by chopping up neighborhoods, isolating children, intensifying traffic woes and discouraging walking.

A quiet sanctuary in central Orange County

It's not easy to get into Cowan Heights. And that's just fine with the residents. "People here like that. They like the quiet. The streets are arranged in such a way that you don't get much traffic," says resident J.R. Haxton.