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Ash Mountain - the headquarters for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon
• Malibu Lagoon Beach: A beautiful lagoon beach with 22 acres of wetlands, gardens and sandy beach. It’s considered one of the worlds premiere surfing beaches. On the east side of the Malibu Creek Bridge is the Malibu Pier, which is excellent for saltwater fishing. On the west side is a nature area.
• Venice Beach: No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a trip to this iconic beach. Street performers, artists and "the beautiful people" mingle and stroll all the way to Santa Monica along the famous boardwalk that runs through this inimitable California beach town.
• El Capitan Beach: This shady, sandy, Santa Barbara beach features rocky tide pools along El Capitan Creek. It’s perfect for swimming, fishing, surfing, picnicking and camping. A long stairway gives access from the bluffs to beach and a bike trail connects the park with Refugio State Beach.
• Ocean Beach: O.B. as the locals call it is a laid-back beach-community know for its surfers and liberal politics. It is an eclectic beach community with a leash free “dog beach”, a fishing pier, swimming, surfing and volleyball. It has separate swimming and surfing zones, which is definitely a good idea.
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Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park
Furnace Creek Visitor Center & Museum
Located in the Furnace Creek resort area on California highway 190. Furnace Creek is 30 miles from Death Valley Junction to the east, and 24 miles from Stovepipe Wells Village to the north and west.
Phone: (760) 786-3200
The Furnace Creek Visitor Center is the main visitor information source for the park. There is a fully staffed information desk with information on all aspects of the park and it's operation.
At 85.5 meters below sea level, Badwater Basin is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. Left after an ancient lake evaporated and stretching for miles, the basin is covered in white salt. As we walk across its empty expanse, salt crystals cling to our shoes in big clumps. To the west, mountains rise abruptly from the valley floor to heights where real snow falls. Looking back to the roadside, we spot a sign high up on the cliffs. It marks where sea level is...read more »
Eaton Canyon Natural Area Nature Center
Eaton Canyon Natural Area Nature Center, entrance, 1750 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena, Ca. 91107, is a 190-acre natural park is located at the base of Mt. Wilson. There are five miles of nature trails, an equestrian trail, creeks and a waterfall. The canyon is very lush and has beautiful displays of local flora and fauna. The park is open daily sunrise to sunset.
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Giant Forest - Sequoia National Park (northern section)
The Lodgepole Visitor Center provides information for visitors to Giant Forest and the northern section of Sequoia National Park, our country's second oldest National Park. Giant Forest is one of the main visitor destinations in Sequoia. Four of the world's five largest sequoias grow here, and scenic meadows dot the area. High ridges to the east of the area culminate in Mount Silliman and Alta Peak, both over 11,000'. Popular foot trails lead to glacial lakes, and a side road winds down to Crystal Cave, a beautifully decorated marble cavern....read more >>
Giant Sequoias – Hiking Boole Tree Loop
...the drive to Boole Tree is incredible. As you drive through Stump Meadow, you will see some of the biggest stumps in the world and get a real feel for what has been destroyed. The biggest is the Chicago Stump measuring 70 FEET around its perimeter. Sadly, the tree was cut down so it could be displayed in a museum in Chicago in the 1880s when such trees seemed plentiful....read more about hiking Boole Tree Loop in Sequoia National Park >>
Grant Grove houses the General Grant Tree, which is the Nation's Christmas Tree and our only living national shrine, commemorating those Americans who lost their lives in war. This giant sequoia and its neighbors were initially protected in the 4 square-mile General Grant National Park; General Grant and Yosemite were created by the same legislation on October 1, 1890, one week after Sequoia was established. In 1940, General Grant was absorbed into the newly designated Kings Canyon National Park. Big Stump Basin was added in 1958 and allows visitors in the Grant Grove area to compare the remnants of destroyed sequoias with nearby giants....read more >>
Joshua Tree National Park
For a first-time visitor the desert may appear bleak and drab. Viewed from the road, the desert only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals. A rich cultural history and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place.....read more >>
Built to resemble a castle using Redwood trees, and maples from the Pan Pacific Expedition, Julius Castle dates back to the 1920’s. An Italian immigrant Julius Roz envisioned a “castle on the hill”, and his vision became reality when the doors opened in 1922. Patrons of the castle have watched the scenery outside its windows slowly change since then as the Bay Bridge began construction in 1933, and Treasure Island was literally built from the earth at the bottom of the bay for the 1939 World’s Fair......read more >>
- Skiing. Lake Arrowhead's climate is perfect for skiing: just cold enough for snow, but rarely below freezing during the day. The most popular places to ski are Snow Valley and the Big Bear Lake area.
- Blue Jay Ice Castle. A world-class ice skating rink often used by the premier American woman figure skater, Michelle Kwan.
- San Bernardino National Forest. The San Bernardino National Forest wraps around Lake Arrowhead, ensuring that much of the area's natural beauty remains open to all, and protecting the area from over-development. Wildlife includes the Southwestern Arroyo Toad, an endangered species. Activities include camping, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
- Deep Creek Hot Springs: one of the most popular areas of natural hot springs in southern California. The springs are located inside San Bernardino National Forest. You have to hike to the springs themselves, but the springs and the surrounding canyon landscape are worth the relatively easy trek.
- The Arrowhead Queen. See the lake area from the best perspective: the lake itself, on this enclosed paddleboat.
- Lake Arrowhead Film Festival. The theme of the 2006 festival (May 5-7) is “The Future of Film In the Digital Age - the newest in techniques and services that bring strong and innovative movie-making.”
- Shopping: Check out the Lake Arrowhead Outlet, as well as specialty stores on the south shore of the lake.
- VIP and Hollywood celebrity-watching. Lake Arrowhead has been one of southern California's “playgrounds of the rich and famous” since at least the 1930s....read more about Lake Arrowhead California
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Starting at the Ventura County line and heading east towards Santa Monica, there's Leo Carrillo State Beach, which has camping, tide pools, trails and interesting rock formations. Then comes Nicholas Canyon County Beach, where you park on the bluff and hike down to surf or dive.
The next three beaches are scenic coves with more unusual rock formations. El Pescador State Beach at the end of Decker Rd. has a narrow sandy beach and picnic tables on the bluff above. La Piedra State Beach is similar, only further east.
El Matador State Beach is larger, with a larger pay parking lot and a trail and stairway down to the beach. It also has stunning sea stacks, which attract cormorants and other sea birds.
...read more about Malibu Beaches >>
*** The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse: it is here that actor Jim Carey romanced his girlfriend in the movie, The Majestic.
*** Ten Mile Beach: Jennifer O'Neil and a young teenager came together here in the Summer of 42
*** The Heritage House: Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn stayed here as they explored new horizons in Same Time Next Year.
*** The Harbor House: this redwood lumber baron home-turned-B&B is perched on a cliff at the edge of the town of Elk and offers views that rival the storied Big Sur Coast.
*** The Greenwood Pier Inn: this Elk, California B&B offers a room with a tower that holds a hot tub overlooking the ocean.
*** Pacific Star Winery: located at the north end of the Mendocino Coast, you can wine taste with a sweeping ocean view....read more about Mendocino >>
***Colton Hall: that was started in 1847 and completed in 1849. It was the site of the Constitutional Convention in 1849, it is where California became as state;
***Presidio of Monterey Museum. It is located in the heart of the Lower Presidio Historic Park, which is 26 acres of some of the most historic land in all of California. The Museum traces the city’s military heritage through the Spanish, Mexican and American periods.
***Located on Cannery row we have 3 “worker shacks” interpreting living conditions for the seasonal workers who helped make Monterey the Sardine Capital of the World.
***Across the street from the shacks is the Pacific Biological Lab This was the home, office and laboratory of Edward Flanders Ricketts, who Steinbeck immortalized as Doc....read more about Monterey >>
Base camp sits at 12,000 feet — stark, windy, unshaded from the blazing August sun, but an otherwise great place to stop for a snack. Voices echo across cold granite as the breeze wraps around dozens of tents, backpacks, cooking stoves, and bear-proof food canisters. An unopened package of banana chips on my lap is immediately snatched up by a marmot, unhindered by my presence and unfazed by my pursuit.
Here, the animals, the people, and the barren granite form a bustling community in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. The trail to Mount Whitney sees thousands of people each year...read more about Mt. Whitney >>
Play golf where the pros play. The Palm Springs area has over 100 beautiful, exquisitely maintained golf courses, some of which are famous throughout the world. Play tennis at some of the best tennis courts and clubs around. If you like shopping, you will find a myriad of art galleries, antique shops, designer boutiques, craft shops, jewelry stores, malls and shopping centers, carrying almost anything you might wish to purchase....read more about things to do in Palm Springs >>
Palm Springs Golf Courses
When searching for the right course for you, two to consider are Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort and Cimarron Golf Resort. The Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort offers two 18-hole courses, however, the Legend is the one to try if you want a traditional layout combined with a stiff test of nerves and ability. With over 40 newly-added bunkers and severely sloped greens, even the most seasoned veteran will have trouble getting the ball up and down on this course...read more
Point Loma Sea Caves
Below Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, there lies a series of caves cut into the cliffs by the waves. They have remained a relatively unknown spot due to the difficulty of reaching the caves. The trip can be challenging, as you must climb down the cliffs to reach the caves. Also, depending on the tide levels, you may have to go through the water to get to some of the caves. Be prepared to climb, wade, and scramble to get to the caves. Once you're there, the views are excellent, picture opportunities abound, and you'll want to come back again and again.......read more>>
River rafting is a major attraction in California. The most popular California river rafting destination is the mighty American River. The American River begins in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and runs to the Sacramento River. The American River splits into three forks before it converges. The North Fork, the Middle Fork, and the South Fork each offer rafters unique adventures.......read more about River Rafting in California >>
The Rose Bowl Flea Market and Swap Meet
The Rose Bowl Flea Market And Swap Meet, at 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena Ca. 91103, is probably the largest and most famous swap meet held in California. On the second Sunday of each month, rain or shine, over 1,800 vendors from all over the country set up their booths and spaces in order to display and sell merchandise, including but not limited to accessories, antiques, clothing, collectibles, discontinued merchandise, dolls, handmade crafts, home furnishings (new and used), paintings and other fine art items, pins and buttons (sports, olympics, election, etc.), plants, specialty foods, used books, watches, etc......read more>>
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San Mateo - Things to See and Do
Skiing at Big Bear
- GRAY WHALE COVE STATE BEACH: A small, isolated, clothing-optional and adults-only beach that involves walking down a steep trail and stairs to get to the sand. Parking is difficult. Gray Whales are often seen quite close to the shore here from mid-April to mid-May.
- MONTARA STATE BEACH: On the north end of Montara is the beach, a popular spot that attracts surfers, picnickers, frisbee throwers and sunbathers. There is parking available, but the paths down to the beach are quite steep. The lighthouse, on the south side of town, is a sure way for visitors to know they are in Montara. American Youth Hostel Association has one of their facilities beside the historic Point Montara Lighthouse and can accommodate groups up to 25 people.
- MOSS BEACH'S FITZGERALD MARINE RESERVE: This beach is one of the best spots on California's coast to study intertidal ecology at the James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. At low tide, the tide pools serve up sea urchins, crabs, sea anemones, starfish and other aquatic life for viewing. Naturalists are on hand to point out interesting facts, lead hikes, and focus on understanding the ways of the reserve. Information booklets are available at the reserve.
- HALF MOON BAY BEACHES: On a hot day the coastline in Half Moon Bay is packed with sunbathers, hikers, kite flyers, surfers, and picnickers. Half Moon Bay has several miles of good beaches, such as Surfers Beach, Dunes Beach, Venice Beach, Francis Beach and Poplar Beach. There is also overnight camping available and, above the beaches for the adventurous, horseback riding on the plateaus.
Whale-watching boats depart Pillar Point Harbor during fall and winter. Kayaking rentals and lessons are also available at the harbor year round.
....read more about things to see and do in San Mateo, California >>
Big Bear boasts two excellent ski resorts, Snow summit and Bear Mountain Resort. Between the two of them you will find 75 trails, 20 lifts, four high-speed chairs, and seven snowboard parks for all levels of skill. Big Bear also has numerous, beautiful, groomed, cross country ski trails. If you don't know how to ski, don't worry, there are plenty of instructors. If you don't have equipment, don't worry, there are plenty of places where you can rent or buy your equipment.
Big bear is not just a winter wonderland, it is a year round wonderland. At Big Bear, you will find beautiful scenery, clean mountain air, plenty of things to do, friendly people and much more.....read more about Big Bear >>
Things to See and Do in Santa Barbara
Beaches: Dozens of them. Some have snack bars, picnic areas, volleyball nets, bike paths, and lifeguards. Others have outstanding fishing, surfing, and windsurfing. Some are just plain ol' sandy and quiet, and since S.B. has rules against building on the beach, you can always walk along it without hitting private property.
Mountains: Go hiking or mountain biking to a waterfall, meadow, or mountaintop in the 4,500-foot Santa Ynez mountains, which drop right into town. There are also three outfits that offer horseback trips. Ronald Reagan himself had a ranch in the area, where he used to pose for cowboy pictures; Michael Jackson owns the place now.
Wineries: There are 30 of them, with nearly 10,000 acres of vineyards, from downtown S.B. to way up in the mountains, and most are open for visits year-round. Sample the chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, Riesling, and others.
Whale watching: This goes on more or less year-round. read more about Santa Barbara >>
Things to See and Do in Yosemite
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