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The 7 Natural Wonders of California

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Sometimes we need to remind ourselves how lucky we are to be living in California. We have it all: beaches, mountains, volcanoes, coastal forests, and a host of natural wonders—the world’s tallest and largest trees; the country’s highest peak, tallest waterfalls, and largest alpine lake; and even the continent’s deepest submarine canyon. So consider this a wake-up call to everyone who loves the outdoors but has yet to explore all of The 7 Natural Wonders of California. Read full article »

Huntington Beach – Surf City USA

Huntington Beach Surfer

Cue up the Beach Boys tunes and let’s kick this off with some SoCal trivia!

Did you know that the famous Huntington Beach Pier in Orange County, California is the longest recreational pier on the West Coast at 1,856 feet, making it a must-see for any visitor to Southern California? First opened in 1904 and rebuilt several times since then, the Huntington Beach Pier remains a classic Orange County landmark and… drum roll, please… celebrates its Centennial Anniversary this year!

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A Visit with The Queen Mary

Queen Mary Ship Hotel Long Beach CaliforniaIf you’ve ever been to Long Beach you’ve probably seen it from a distance: the majestic RMS Queen Mary, one of the most beautiful ocean liners ever built and a pristine time capsule of Art Deco artistry.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Queen Mary was officially retired from service in 1967 and is now permanently moored on the sunny docks of Long Beach, gracefully living out her retirement as one of the most historic floating hotels in the world.

If you’ve never set foot upon this astonishing piece of history, there is no better historical getaway to Southern California than a date with Her Majesty, The Queen Mary, enjoying a taste of what travel was like when luxury ocean liners ruled the seas.

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7 Summer Adventures to California’s Great Outdoors

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Now that winter has passed, it’s time to start planning your summer getaways to the great outdoors. But instead of sitting on your fanny in a camp chair all weekend (not that there’s anything wrong with that), consider taking a recreational getaway that gets your blood flowing and calories burning. As a serious outdoors nut I could write a book on Northern California’s recreational getaways, but for this week’s theme I’ve narrowed it down to my seven top picks for getting some healthy exercise while exploring some of my favorite outdoor adventure destinations.

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Blue Whale Watching Getaways


SPECTACULAR!! ORCAS-”KILLER WHALES!!”THE MIGHTY GIANTS “BLUE WHALES!!” HUMPBACK WHALES!! BEAUTIFUL WEATHER!!

That’s a typical “Sightings Report” from the Princess Monterey Whale Watching company. Each year from May through November, whales and dolphins are routinely spotted off the California coast, and so far this is one of the best years for sighting orcas, the big blues, and playful humpbacks in recent memory.

The only caveat is that they tend to feed far offshore, so you’ll need to hop on a whale watching boat to see them. So here are my picks on the best humpback and blue whale watching tour companies in Northern California.
 
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Top 5 Secret Adventures to Marin County

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Spend some time in Marin County, at the “other” end of the Golden Gate Bridge, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that the redwood-shaded, coastal hill country north of San Francisco has a ridiculous number of things to do. Miles of coastal wilderness and redwood forests to explore by foot or by bike, farm-to-table restaurants and artisan food-makers, charming towns, theaters and clubs where locals like Robin Williams, Carlos Santana, and George Lucas might be on stage or in the crowd—what’s not to love about Marin?

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3 Perfect Days in San Luis Obispo

3 Perfect Days in SLO

We always enjoy sharing a local’s perspective on California getaways. As seasoned travelers well know, a local’s insight is always the best. This one, written by our Guest Guru and longtime San Luis Obispo resident Kathleen Forster, is sure to inspire a visit to this Central Coast gem.

By Guest Guru Kathleen Forster
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West Hollywood & The Sunset Strip

West Hollywood

Donald Fagan had it right when he sang, “Drive west on Sunset to the sea…” in the famous Steely Dan tune Babylon Sisters. But only if a stay in West Hollywood is part of the journey. Officially founded in 1984 as the 84th city in Los Angeles County, West Hollywood is a young, vibrant community with a colorful and entertaining past. In WeHo, as the locals call it, you’ll find art, shopping, museums, music, dining and people watching at its absolute best.

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Matt’s Top Tips to Yosemite National Park

It always amazes me to meet people who’ve lived in California for years and have never been to Yosemite National Park. This national treasure is a wonderland of record-setting statistics: three of the world’s tallest waterfalls (Upper Yosemite Fall, Ribbon Fall, and Sentinel Fall); the tallest granite monolith in the world (El Capitan); and the world’s most recognizable mountain (Half Dome).

But trying to explain the majesty of Yosemite Valley in words is impossible; you simply must experience it firsthand, and early spring—when the wildflowers are going nuts—is the best time to visit. Here’s what you need to know…

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Your 3-Day Dream Getaway to Catalina Island

Mention to any Californian that you’re heading over to Catalina Island, and invariably you’ll get this response: “Ooh, I’ve always wanted to go to Catalina! It looks amazing!” Well, if you never been to Catalina (or it’s been ages since your last visit), now is definitely the best time to visit.

There’s so much to see and do, in such a beautiful and idyllic setting, that you’ll find yourself wondering what kept you away so long. Here’s everything you need to know for your 3-Day Dream Getaway to Catalina Island.

By Guest Guru Kim Sudhalter

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