Last updated on February 25th, 2020 at 11:25 am
California has so much to offer travelers. From striking mountains to miles after mile of beautiful beaches, water and wine, parks and extraordinary things to do for fun, this is a state that has it all and no matter where your travel plans take you, you are bound to enjoy the trip. While a person could simply fill up the car with gas and aimlessly take off down the open road to see what California offers, why waste time and gas with no true destination in mind? If you want to see California and all it offers, you may want to plot your next road trip by checking out these popular California road trip destinations up close and in person.
Road Trip #1 – Santa Monica
If you could spend a few days lounging on the beach in a place where fun abounds around every bend, Santa Monica would be the place to visit. With personal access to nearly 4 miles of shoreline, palm lined streets and the famous Santa Monica pier, this city has it going on and is an ideal location to include in your California road trip frenzy. While traveling to Santa Monica, you can take advantage of cruising down the west coast’s most famous roadway, the Pacific Coast Highway, where you can take quick stops to check out the scenery, stop for a bite to eat or plan a layover at a local hotel when you arrive.
Besides the beautiful beaches, great waves for surfing and many waterfront attractions, you will also find a huge indoor/outdoor shopping center where you can find goods of all kinds. Santa Monica Place, a great place to shop, also includes casual and romantic places to have dinner, movie theaters and the best of California culture in every store you enter. Be sure to include Santa Monica on your itinerary. You can always stay a few days in a local hotel where you can enjoy spa treatments, full body massage and much more to help ensure you’re relaxed and ready for your next adventure.
Road Trip #2 – Monterey Peninsula
Highway 1 in California leads to many wonderful places, and on this trip, you’ll want to take in the Monterey Peninsula. The coastline is amazing, but you’ll also be able to visit some great attractions that are fun for all ages. These include Monterey Bay Aquarium, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and Dennis the Menace Park. Nothing beats a day exploring the aquarium followed by a quick walk to hang out on the beach until the sun sets over the ocean. You can always fly in and arrive early and have your car delivered (see https://www.a1autotransport.com/california-ca for more information) to allow you plenty of time to spend seeing the local sights and having a little family fun before hitting the open road and moving on through the great state of California.
Road Trip #3 – Carmel-by-the-Sea
While technically located on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a romantic getaway where you can take time to unwind, sip on a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery around you. This is a storybook town where people enjoy scuba diving, surfing, whale watching and even hiking through Point Lobos State Nature Reserve where spotting jellyfish is a common activity and spending time with friends or family is always a great thing to do. You can spend hours or even days checking out the local wineries where you can feel as if you’ve stepped back in time or even taken a flight to a whole new area of the world as you visit the French inspired chateaus and other beautiful scenery. Leave the stress behind and take a little time to unwind by cruising down to Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Road Trip #4 – Los Angeles
You cannot road trip through the wonderful state of California without taking time to visit the ever-popular Los Angeles. Spanning more than 469 miles and with mountain peaks extending as high as 10,000 feet into the beautiful sky, Los Angeles, or L.A., has long been that city where young actors travel in hopes of being discovered, tourists flock to when they want to see California and the young, and young at heart can spend hours on end every day exploring new attractions, hiking the hills to the famous Hollywood sign and cruising down Hollywood Boulevard in hopes of seeing a celebrity pop up in front of them.
While in the L.A. area, be sure to check out Disney & California Adventure, the Santa Monica Pier and the Hollywood Sign. You can spend time shopping along the pier or even have some fun on the amusement rides. This is a great place for adults as well as children and those who still enjoy a little fun and adventure in their life.
Road Trip #5 – Sonoma County
When you hear the name Sonoma, chances are that you may think about wine. If so, you will be happy to know that while Napa Valley just north of San Francisco may be popular for wineries, Sonoma can stand her own ground with several local vineyards and lavish wineries waiting to tour. Sonoma County is the large county with more than 400 wineries and beautiful forest land filled with towering redwoods. You can also take a spin down miles after mile of the spectacular coastline of California and spend plenty of time checking out the local beaches.
In Sonoma County, you’ll find numerous small diners, locally owned and extremely unique boutiques, clothing shops and other places to pick up souvenirs and things you may need during your road trip. This is a lovely area with breathtaking views, huge waves and plenty of park space where you can take the kids to let them run off some the pent-up energy from riding all day.
While road tripping can be a great way to see the state and all that it offers, be sure to take time to get to know the local scene as you travel from one place to another. Spend a few days in every spot and who knows? You may discover you’ve found a whole new place to call home right in the heart of California.
Last updated on January 20th, 2020 at 01:35 pm
Los Angeles is a gorgeous, exciting city with countless attractions to offer. However, Los Angles is also a HUGE city with a pretty overwhelming list of things to experience! So before you plan your next visit, make sure to develop your checklist of what you MUST do before leaving this beautiful city. I also put together a little list
to assist you in this process. These are 5 things that I recommend you not leave LA without giving a try!
1. Put your feet in the sand
One of the main features that makes Los Angeles so appealing is our lengthy coast of beautiful and relaxing beaches. Each beach has its own character, and attracts a different type of individual. Attraction to a particular beach could also depend on the purpose of the beach visit.
For example, Venice beach is very active and artsy, filled with vendors, a plethora of food options, and street performers. A stroll down the Venice Beach boardwalk is like finding yourself in the middle of the stage during an
exciting musical theater performance. Almost everything you pass will catch your attention –So much so that it may feel a bit hectic at times. However, even the chaos adds to the excitement, and this is the beach that one must
visit at the very least just to say they’ve experienced it!
Now, if you travel up the coast a bit, you’ll find yourself in Santa Monica, which carries a very different vibe. The Santa Monica Pier could be compared to the Venice Beach boardwalk, but it is a much calmer experience with more of a theme park atmosphere. There are rides and carnival games that families, couples, and friends can all enjoy. If you head down to the water a peaceful layout experience awaits you. The water is beautiful to watch, and the sound of the waves soothes the mind.
But, if you desire ultimate relaxation, then the real beach experience starts even further up the coast in Malibu. Malibu is absolutely gorgeous in every way, and lying out in front of the water here makes an ideal getaway for a
couple’s trip. After lying out on the beach the couple/group can decide on one of the wildly popular fine dining restaurants lining the water (Some even sit right above the water)! So, as you can see, LA has so many beaches with so much to offer, and these are only a small few! Make sure to do further research on the beach and figure out which one speaks to you.
2. Look down on the city from the Hollywood sign
One of the most popular questions asked by Los Angeles visitors is “Where can I see the Hollywood sign from?” It is often assumed that access to the historic Hollywood sign is impossible so many settle for a ground level view of the beautiful work of art. This is only half true. What if I told you that you can not only get up close and personal with the Hollywood sign, but you can also experience some of the best views of the city from this location?
Yes it is true that the sign itself is gated and under 24hr surveillance, and that it is illegal to actually walk up to the sign. However, there are perfectly legal trails in Griffith Park that will lead you close enough to get an amazing photo of the sign! Then, turn around, and take in just about all that LA has to offer because views from this trail are breathtaking! Griffith Park is located at 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90027, and specific information on trails can be found on their website. If you’re going to come all the way to Hollywood, might as well do it right, right?
3. Visit a taco truck!
Right after San Diego, some of the best Mexican food in California can be found in Los Angeles. Furthermore, the best Mexican food in the city can be found at some of our authentic taco trucks located on various street corners around the city! If you wish to feel like a true Angelino for a moment, park your car, hop out, and experience all of the taste bud stimulating variations of a street taco. Try it extra spicy with sour crème and onions or keep your Carne Asada taco simple.
The taco trucks can be found just about anywhere, but one of the most popular would be in the gas station parking lot on the corner of La Brea Ave and Venice Blvd. This intersection is fairly accessible from most areas in Los Angeles. If you’re into tacos with a twist, try Sky’s Gourmet tacos for a more gourmet taco experience. Here you will find everything from the traditional street taco to Shrimp and Salmon tacos with flair. Sky’s does have an actual location on Pico Blvd, but their truck can also be seen cruising down popular Los Angeles streets.
4. Shop on Melrose Ave.
Express your fashion sense (or develop one) while poking your head inside of a few Melrose Ave boutiques for a very “LA Chic” shopping experience! Los Angeles is filled with malls, shopping centers, and strips of boutiques, but there’s just something about Melrose that really captures the LA culture and style. This is where you’ll find the pieces that give our fashion scene a unique edge.
The Melrose shopping experience doesn’t end with the clothing scene. Melrose Ave. is also home to cozy antique shops, art galleries, and unique furniture stores. There’s something for almost everyone in the family down this strip, and plenty of restaurants to relax and unwind after the long eventful walk. It also doesn’t hurt that this is the famous neighborhood from the once popular TV show Melrose Place!
5. Enjoy a Cocktail and a Sunset from a Rooftop Lounge
Los Angles is home to one of the best hotel Rooftop scenes in the Country, spanning all the way from West Hollywood to Downtown. The rooftops all have their personal character and attract different crowds, but all provide the luxury social experience deeply embedded in the Los Angeles culture.
For example, if you’re looking for a trendy upbeat hangout experience ideal for the single young professional, then the Sky Bar at the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Blvd. is a perfect destination! A star sighting is highly likely throughout the course of the evening, as well as that exclusive “Hollywood” vibe that so many desire access to.
However, if you prefer a quieter, more intimate scene, then the Rooftop at The London Hotel in West Hollywood may be an ideal destination. With a 360 degree view of the city and less of a party atmosphere, The London Rooftop makes for a gorgeous, relaxing toast at sunset! If you’re all about the views, then this just may be your new favorite hangout.
There are gorgeous Rooftops all over Los Angeles! If you decide to head downtown, Perch and The Standard present excellent options! If you head towards mid-city, then The Roof on Wilshire offers a lovely dining and drinking experience with a view as well. Once again, it depends on the intent of your outing, so read plenty of reviews for each location before taking the trip. No matter which Rooftop you choose, just don’t leave LA withoutfinding yourself at one of them!
Now you are ready to plan your trip, and experience all of the highlights that this city has to offer! The beauty and endless list of activities don’t have to be overwhelming as long as you’re properly prepared. So feel free to add in afew extras depending on the length of your trip, but just don’t forget these five things!
Enjoy your vacation!
Last updated on January 5th, 2018 at 03:40 pm
Take a stroll on the Downtown LA Art Walk, a popular Los Angeles attraction that takes place every 2nd Thursday of the month, and learn what the LA art world is all about. The event goes from 12pm-10pm (Specific times vary by gallery), and features various exhibitions in local galleries, along with surrounding activities taking place at neighboring venues. The exciting part of this event is the diverse groups of people who walk the streets from sun up to sun down, mingling and admiring the local talent together.
This month’s Art Walk will take place on Thursday, November 13th. Some of the must see Art Shows include “Streetscapes: Downtown Los Angeles,” showing at the Blackstone Gallery, and the photographic exhibit “Pool,” showing at the Carol Cirillo Stanley Studio Gallery. You may also want to check out the live painting that will take place in front of the Downtown Art Mart by Haider Ali, a talented Pakistani truck artist.
Art Walk LA also features an intimate art lounge, where other exciting events will be held, including an art show from the featured artist. This month’s featured artist is Alex Schaefer. Also, in honor of Latino Heritage month, there will be activities and giveaways held in the lounge celebrating Latino contributions in our society.
So, if you happen to find yourself in LA on the November 13th, make it a point to take a trip to downtown LA, because needless to say, it will be a sight to see. Walk, eat, socialize, and admire! Maybe even buy? If you are into a relaxing yet eventful social environment, then this is the event for you!
Detailed location/time information can be found at www.downtownartwalk.org.