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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

The Old Towns of SoCalFeatured

Southern California is historic for many things — the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the gnarly surf culture, and the iconic Route 66 just to name a few. Tourists may venture here for the wonderful world of Disney or to experience the beauty of a SoCal beach. But older cities with plenty of history are definitely the way to go for a more immersive trip. Rich in history and fun, these old towns of SoCal will give you a glimpse into the past.

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in Featured, Food & Drinks, SoCal Trends

Post-Thanksgiving Tips & TricksFeatured

We all know that Thanksgiving comes with all the yummy family-favorite recipes that include lots of sugar and carbohydrates. For some, this is more calories than you eat in a week you will consume in one day. While one day of overindulgence isn’t too disruptive if you get back on track the following day, but it can cause some digestion issues the night of and the morning after. Here are some tips and tricks that I often recommend following just prior to going to bed and first thing in the morning. 1.    Thanksgiving evening you might feel a little thirsty. This is due to the salt that is added to the food. In addition, it could also be related to any alcohol that you consumed. Your body is reacting to dehydration. So, drink some water before you go to bed. I would suggest lemon water. Lemon water has a natural acidity to it which helps remove fatty acids in the system and create balance during digestion. Also, continuing to drink water throughout the day, and reducing drinks that create dehydration (coffee, tea, or other energy drinks) will help. This brings us to my second tip.  2.    Let’s talk about why you might be…

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in Food & Drinks, Things To Do
Health Conscious Winter Recipe
March 22, 2020
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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

Camping in CatalinaFeatured

Catalina —  a fabulous Southern California spot with land and water adventures that can be enjoyed on every budget. A less expensive, romantic and often overlooked way to explore the magical island with family or a significant other is at one of the five camping sites. The Two Harbors Campground offers both tent camping and cabins which sleep up to six people. This site features 42 individual sites and three group-camping areas. For campground facilities, rangers rent equipment. The Parsons’ Landing Campground is a bring-your-own supplies locale with eight campsites which can accommodate up to six people. It is accessible only via a hike or kayak trip. The Black Jack Campground offers select camping equipment rentals for their 11-site facility which is accessible only by hiking, taking the Airport Shuttle or by Safari Bus. Little Harbor Campground is on the backside of Catalina, right on the beach, accessible by Safari Bus, biking or a somewhat strenuous hike. Select equipment is available for rent. Hermit Gulch Campground is the only campground within Avalon’s city limits, so it is close to the many things town has offer such as groceries, shopping and nightlife. This locale offers a tent cabin rental that sleeps…

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in Family Fun, Featured

Plan Ahead for This Year’s Holiday VacationFeatured

Whether your family counts a holiday vacation among your treasured traditions or you’re anticipating a holiday getaway for the first time, getting an early start on your planning can help ensure your trip is filled with good tidings and joy. Know what you want to spend. If you’re planning to open your wallet a little wider for this trip than you have in the past, you’re not alone. A survey by American Express Travel found more than 60% of travelers are planning to spend more on trips in 2021 since they missed out on travel in 2020. Setting your budget now can help you make choices about things like accommodations and activities while giving you some extra time to save. Working off a budget from the start can also help you take advantage of book now, pay later options that may give you added savings or incentives. Be conscious of high-demand destinations. Popular travel spots tend to fill up fast, so if you’re considering visiting a high-demand location, be aware of how crowds might affect your plans for everything from wait times at attractions to rental cars and more. According to vacation rental company Vrbo, prime warm-weather destinations where families…

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in Featured, Things To Do

La Jolla: The Jewel of San DiegoFeatured

There are many treasures of this Mediterranean-style village that make La Jolla one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in Southern California: luxurious and historic hotels and resorts; fine dining with breathtaking ocean views; retail shopping that rivals northern neighbors Rodeo Drive and South Coast Plaza; sophisticated, world-class arts and culture, and a strikingly beautiful setting complemented by endless outdoor recreational activities. Add to this extraordinary mix a rich history with numerous famous residents, from Gregory Peck to Ted Giesel (aka Dr. Seuss), and some of the nation’s leading scientific research centers, including the internationally renowned Salk Institute and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and visitors can experience an unparalleled leisure holiday. The following are just some of the diverse offerings of La Jolla (pronounced “La Hoya”; translated from Spanish as “the jewel”) that guests can experience throughout the year. BEACHES AND WATER ACTIVITIES La Jolla’s beaches and coastline are considered to be some of the most beautiful settings in the world; its aqua waters provide endless options for fun and relaxation. Lifeguards watch over families splashing in the rocky shallows off La Jolla Cove, a small patch of sand tucked between weather-sculpted sandstone cliffs. This area’s breathtaking views are a favorite…

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in Featured, Things To Do

3 Ways to Make a Positive Impact in Your CommunityFeatured

Acts of kindness, big and small, have the ability to change the world, one community at a time. After more than a year of isolation for many people across the country, now is the perfect time to do good and build unity in your area. According to a national survey from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, more than 1 in 3 Americans (36%) faced “serious loneliness” during the pandemic, including more than 60% of young adults. You can help those craving a sense of connection with a few tips from SECU Maryland. The largest chartered credit union in the state continues to strengthen and enrich the lives of neighbors and communities, in this case aiming to inspire 70,000 acts of kindness nationwide. Use Your Voice Words have power, and you can leverage yours to uplift, support and offer love. Thank a teacher for making a difference in your life or your children’s. Send a “thank you” card to your local fire station or police department. Decorate your children’s bedroom doors with paper leaves, each featuring a reason you love them. Leave a positive online review for a company, business or organization in your community. Write an uplifting text message…

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in Featured, Sports & Adventures

Viking Announces Newest Ocean Ship and Three New ItinerariesFeatured

Viking® (www.viking.com) today announced its newest ocean ship, Viking Saturn®, will join the company’s award-winning fleet in early 2023. The 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing three new itineraries in Scandinavian and Nordic countries, including two 15-day journeys, Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada and Iceland & Norway’s Arctic Explorer, and the 29-day Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Beyond voyage. In addition to the three new itineraries, Viking also announced today that the company will bring back the popular 8-day Iceland’s Natural Beauty itinerary starting in August 2023. “The thousands of guests who sailed our Welcome Back voyage in Iceland this past summer enjoyed the experience so much they provided record-level ratings,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “These new itineraries are ideal for curious travelers and trace routes of the early Viking explorers to Iceland and other North Atlantic destinations known for their natural beauty. We look forward to welcoming Viking Saturn to our fleet and to offering guests even more ways to explore this unique part of the world in comfort.” New and Returning 2023 Nordic Itineraries: Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada (NEW) – This 15-day itinerary spans Iceland, Greenland and the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Sailing between New York City and Reykjavik, guests will admire the volcanic landscape of the…

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in Things To Do

Add Meaning to Halloween and Support a Good CauseFeatured

As the world faces multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, families may have to adjust traditional trick-or-treating plans again this year. However, there are still ways to help make a difference and celebrate Halloween virtually. One way to add more meaning to Halloween is to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. Celebrating more than 70 years of fundraising, this annual tradition is America’s longest running youth engagement campaign and has raised more than $180 million to help support children’s health care, education, nutrition, safe water, emergency relief and more. Last year, the beloved program was launched as a virtual experience in an effort to celebrate Halloween responsibly while social distancing. This Halloween, it is evolving into a fully digital experience. Getting involved virtually can prove just as rewarding.  Funds raised will help support lifesaving work to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to communities, health care workers and families around the world that need them most. As the largest purchaser of vaccines each year, UNICEF is helping lead procurement and distribution in the largest and fastest immunization effort of its kind, and you can be a part of that effort by aiding the organization in raising lifesaving funds and safely celebrating Halloween….

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in Featured, SoCal Trends

Say “I Do!” to the Ultimate California Wedding and HoneymoonFeatured

No matter what backdrop you envision for your dream wedding and honeymoon, California delivers! From the snow-capped High Sierra mountains and coastal bluffs to dramatic desert landscapes and lush vineyards, no state offers such a sheer abundance of inspiring vistas. Magical and Whimsical Weddings Disneyland Park, AnaheimThinking about getting married and want to ace your marriage proposal? Give your beloved a magical story she’ll share with your grandkids by proposing in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with Minnie and Mickey at Disneyland Park. Winchester Mystery House, San JoseTie the knot with an air of mystery at Winchester Mystery House, a purportedly haunted Victorian mansion with lavish rooms and gardens. Bodie Ghost Town, Mono CountyThose who say “I do” in Bodie Ghost Town might have some unexpected spectral guests! Enjoy spectacular mountain views while holding your ceremony in one of the state’s best-preserved Gold Rush towns. Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles CountyFor those who want to let their inner child play at their wedding, the Carousel on the Santa Monica Pier is a great location, offering semi-private to private options. Presidio of San FranciscoThis national park offers two hotels for nuptials and honeymoons. The Lodge and Inn at the Presidio offer idyllic trails, including the historic Lover’s Lane—once traveled…

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Let Tea Take You for an AdventureFeatured

Visiting a new or favorite destination is one way to travel, but that’s not always possible. If you can’t escape to a new location, consider taking a mental break in the comfort of your own home with tea as your companion. With many different varieties of tea to choose from, you can infuse your journey with flavor while enjoying wellness and relaxation benefits. Enjoy virtual travels – wherever you are – with these tips from the experts at Buddha Teas.  Rejuvenating Getaway Even when you can’t get to a spa, tea can help you focus on wellness and refresh your body and mind. While yoga, meditation and massages can aid in recharging you physically and mentally, teas like chaga, detox dharma or mushroom wellness can further help you unwind. Chaga, a medium-bodied mushroom tea, can be enjoyed with honey or milk for a nurturing, peaceful escape. It can also help reset your center and give you a boost of healing energy without any caffeine. Mushroom teas blending flavorful herbs and spices can bring power and pleasure to your cup with remarkable immune boosting, wellness potential – no honey or milk is needed. If you’re seeking a total recharge, look for…

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in Featured, Things To Do

Santa Monica Businesses ‘Doing Good’ Deeds While Coming Out Of Bad TimesFeatured

On this summer road to recovery, Santa Monica is recognizing and celebrating some of the businesses that are shining bright with the best of intentions and putting “good work” into their reopening efforts. While maneuvering the road to recovery, visitors are encouraged to vacation responsibly by planning ahead, traveling safely, setting expectations and taking appropriate precautions as they explore Santa Monica and beyond by using these helpful hints https://www.santamonica.com/travel-responsibly/. Santa Monica businesses shine with the best of intentions for locals and visitors alike with these examples: Shutters on the Beach – This summer, Shutters on the Beach has created Chrysalis kites to raise money and awareness for Chrysalis and the great things they do to create job skills and opportunities. Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a pathway to self-sufficiency for homeless and low-income individuals by providing the resources and support needed to find and retain employment. Chrysalis has five centers and locations in Southern California, including a Santa Monica center. Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa del Mar have been long time hiring partners with Chrysalis. Shutters on the Beach guests and locals can support Chrysalis by purchasing a kite for $25 and all proceeds will go to…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Family Fun, Things To Do

Stress Less on Your Next Family VacationFeatured

A vacation is all about getting away and taking a break from the pressures of daily life. Some smart planning and the use of handy travel apps can help ensure your next adventure is a stress-free success. Create a Travel Buffer When booking your trip, plan an extra day or two on the front and back ends of your travel itinerary. This provides you with optimal time to finalize preparations, organize your packing and avoid last-minute scrambles. On the return trip, the added day gives you some cushion so you don’t have to stress about getting back to work if there are travel delays. You’ll also have a chance to unpack, unwind and settle back into your home before diving back into your daily grind. Get Smart About Saving One easy way to take the stress out of vacation planning is to use digital resources to save time and money. An option like a sightseeing pass from Go City offers savings on attractions and activities. A single pass grants access to multiple iconic landmarks and unmissable experiences in more than 25 cities across four continents. For example, in San Antonio you can take advantage of a Natural Bridge Caverns discovery…

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in Uncategorized

Keep the Fun AfloatFeatured

5 tips to make watersport adventures safe this summer For those who enjoy outdoor and active summer lifestyles, water entertainment may be the way to go. Racing the waves with the wind flowing through your hair can be a fun and exhilarating way to enjoy fresh air; a dip in a cool lake can also help keep the heat at bay on hot summer days. Despite world events over the past year, the watersports lifestyle is thriving – potentially due to the nature of personal watercraft riding and ability to practice social distancing. In fact, powerboat sales reached record highs, and while that momentum has slowed some in 2021, personal watercraft sales are still surging – up 77% over 2020, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. This growth means there are lots of new riders on the water, and that can affect the safety of riders both experienced and new. Respecting riding etiquette, wearing protective gear and being conscious of the environment can help ensure riders have fun and continue to enjoy access to watersports. The team at Sea-Doo, a global leader in personal watercrafts, shares this advice to help keep everyone safe while having fun on the water: Know…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured, Things To Do

Enticing EscondidoFeatured

Escondido may not be the first thing that strikes you as you consider vacation destinations, but don’t write off this Northern San Diego town too quickly. Just 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, 15 miles from the Ocean and 40 miles from the Mexican border, this town with population 150,000 offers more than meets the eye.  WHERE TO STAY Welk Resorts San Diego ‘welkomes you home’ to 450 acres of luxurious resort style living complete with 2 golf courses and lighted tennis courts. The 5 different recreation centers offer a host of activities for the whole family. You can plan to spend the entire day at either Mountain Springs or Boulder Springs pools, both of which have waterslides, snack shacks which serve sandwiches and mixed cocktails. Cabanas are available to rent for the day which provide a welcome respite from the blazing sun in the height of summer. The 1-3-bedroom villas (think little apartments, complete with full kitchen and living room depending on the size and location you pick) are tastefully scattered throughout the property and many offer golf course views. Barbeque grills are sprinkled around the premises, so if you’d rather cook than dine out, you’re covered. The…

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in Pets & Wildlife, SoCal Trends, Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

GlampingFeatured

Gotta be honest: We’re not campers. Two small Jewish women from the city go camping sounds like the start of a joke or the end of a serial killing spree. I know, I know, stereotypes. But in this instance, they’re true. We don’t own a tent, or camp stove, or camping, well, anything, unless sleeping bags and hiking boots count. That said, one of us is otherwise a fan of waking up surrounded by nature and the other is a fan of comfortable accommodations that don’t require set up or clean up and allow the dog. In other words, glamping – glamorous + camping – was invented for semi-outdoorsy families like ours. Especially when it’s less than two hours from home, in southern California wine country, and surrounded by cute towns filled with shops we can meander during some seriously hot afternoons. We – that’s me, my 18-year-old daughter and our 12-pound pup – found our way easily from Los Angeles to Eco-Camps’ glampsite in Warner Springs, maybe 30 minutes southeast of Temecula, entered the combination to the lock on the gate to the property, parked the car, and hauled our luggage (I won’t embarrass myself by using the word…

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in Featured, Things To Do

Romance in the Newport Beach HarborFeatured

Nothing says romance quite like an evening stroll along a Southland Beach as the sun slowly sinks into the sea. The air is crisp, and the warm summer breeze feels refreshing and soothing. These are the moments that make milestones. The ones where couples find themselves away from the everyday, in surroundings that feel new, yet comfortable. So much of those experiences hinge on the ambiance. A perfect setting with ideal surroundings. For starry-eyed lovers seeking that romantic getaway, Newport Beach is where those memories are made. Couples seeking a magnificent waterfront experience in Newport Beach will want to visit Balboa Bay Resort, where long strolls along the harbor, great food, and boatloads of fun are at every turn. Located over the Balboa Bay harbor, the hotel is ranked the Number One Resort in Newport Beach by U.S. News & World Report.  There are 159 luxurious guestrooms and suites, and the Bayview rooms offer stunning panoramas of grand yachts and luxurious sailboats against a backdrop of people of all ages enjoying a variety of water sports. Balboa Bay Resort features everything an active traveler wants from a luxury hotel: A full-service 10,000-sq. foot spa, a fitness studio, a heated outdoor…

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in Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

Family Fun MonthFeatured

August is Family Fun Month, and Alpine Slide Big Bear (Alpine Slide) is the premier spot in Big Bear that gives families an opportunity to soak up the joys of summertime fun together. Alpine Slide provides guests of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, a variety of family-fun offerings, which includes a double waterslide, a mountain coaster thrill ride, a zipline-style flight, the Alpine Slide bobsled experience, go-karts and miniature golf.  “The great thing about having a variety of attractions is it gives families a chance to pick and choose what best appeals to them,” said Alpine Slide Big Bear General Manager Julie Eubanks. Family Fun Month occurs every August, and undoubtedly August happens to be one of the hottest months that many Southern California communities have to face each year. However, Big Bear is a great place to escape the daunting heat. Not only is Big Bear 20 to 30 degrees cooler than most of Southern California’s hot zones, but Alpine Slide’s double waterslide gives families who seek refuge from the heat an extra bonus to cool off. Kids can splash all day on two flumes of cascading water, turning and banking on the way to a 3 ½ – ft….

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in Things To Do

Happiness Comes In WavesFeatured

“Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly” – Van Morrison The Endless Summer takes on new meaning with more and more travelers re-discovering iconic Highway 101/1 and the idyllic sun-kissed playground that is uniquely Ventura Harbor Village.  With a stunning backdrop of majestic yachts, stunning sunsets, blissful weather with gentle ocean breezes paired to casual open-air and sit down dining and unique one-of-a kind boutiques, galleries, and specialty stores, this seaside enclave is the picture-perfect midweek getaway for couples, friends and families. What’s more, admission and parking are FREE at Ventura Harbor Village all summer long! Located on a spectacular stretch of prime Pacific coastline, this California “go to” spot is definitely worth the drive.  Below are top picks (some new) of how to celebrate summer at its best: Sea-sational Experiences Set sail into the weekend with harborside entertainment at Ventura Harbor Village where a menagerie of summer seaside vibes is in the air on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Revel in genres that include Blues, Pop, Rock Soul, Caribbean and Reggae. A roster of top-notch local DJs set the stage and take turns showcasing an ongoing musical variety (made possible Party Proper!) as part of NEW Friday Nite Seaside DJ…

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Making a Case for Advanced Cancer Care Close to HomeFeatured

A generation ago, it was widely accepted that if you had cancer, your best bet was seeking care at a large cancer center that was typically far from home. That center was usually an expansive building, high on a hill, and almost always difficult to access. How times have changed.  Today, City of Hope Orange County is making advanced cancer care close to home for the people of Orange County. We’re building a network of care and a cancer campus of the future in Irvine that will make advanced treatments more convenient for the 20 percent of patients who still travel out of the area for care – and for every new patient who will need City of Hope’s lifesaving care and pioneering research. This is a bold initiative that makes sense right now. Here’s why: Cancer incidence – With one-in-three Americans receiving a cancer diagnosis, we must make highly specialized care more accessible. Even in Orange County, where we’re known for our healthy lifestyle, we are not immune to this jarring statistic. What’s more, our population is aging, and we’re more at risk for cancer as we age. Also, certain cancers, such as breast cancer, are unfortunately on the…

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in Family Fun, Featured, Things To Do

Set Your Sights on Earth-Shattering Science in LompocFeatured

By Kellie Searle From L.A.’s California Science Center to MOXI in Santa Barbara and all the way up to the STEAM-focused San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum, Southern California is home to dozens of fun, fan­tastic science-related activities and opportunities. But there’s another place where you can actually see and feel true scientific exploration happening, in about the most exciting way possible: Vandenberg Space Force Base. Where visitors can experience the power, ingenuity, and magnificence of a rocket launch, up-close and personal. Located near the city of Lompoc in Santa Barbara County, Vandenberg Space Force Base (or Vandenberg, as the locals call it) is one of the country’s most important military and space installa­tions, overseeing several unmanned test missiles and satellite launches each year. Because it’s the closest city to the base, Lompoc is the best vantage point for viewing rocket launches on the West Coast. Consider this friendly city as your front-row seat to see an Atlas rocket light up the morning sky — and feel the thunderous rumbling through the ground, for miles around. Vandenberg is host to many public and private aerospace entities, including NASA, SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and others. In fact, it’s the only military base…

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in Family Fun, Featured, Things To Do

Buena Park: Summer Starts HereFeatured

The grand summer-long celebration, Knott’s 100th Anniversary: A Knott’s Family Reunion, has been in the works since 2018, according to Cherie Whyte, direc­tor of communication for the park. The park’s Grand Opening was May 21, marked with a special appearance by Steve Knott, grandson of Walter Knott, the park’s original owner. The festivities, which conclude September 6, pay homage to the park’s storied history and bring back some of the guest favorites in different configurations. For instance, the popular ‘80s ride Soap Box Racer returns in the form of a 3D photo op with a newly built car from that beloved attraction. While guests sit in the car, the moving backdrop gives the appearance that the car is being driven. Guests often inquire about the Haunted Shack which had its debut in 1954. A photo op has been created from that attraction, as well as the beloved Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.  The oldest piece of nostalgia returning is Cordelia’s Tea Room.  “In the 1920’s Cordelia started serving chicken dinner out of her own kitchen,” Whyte says of the Knott matriarch. “With that, she created this tea menu with little ham sandwich­es because they saw that Beach Blvd., the only thoroughfare…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured, Things To Do

Getty Center and Getty Villa Reopens to PublicFeatured

The Getty Center and the Getty Villa museum and gardens will reopen to a limited number of visitors with free reservations on Tuesday, May 25, with specific one-way routes and other measures in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. Getty Center “We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the iconic Getty Center, one of Los Angeles’ most visited cultural destinations,” said Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “As well as all the familiar highlights of the Museum’s collections, gardens, architecture, and vistas, we will be featuring our newly acquired painting of Lucretia by Artemisia Gentileschi, and special exhibits of photography and other media. With both the Villa and Center opening, the staff are excited to welcome visitors back to their Getty.” In addition to Lucretia, by the most celebrated woman painter of 17th-century Italy, also on view are new exhibitions Photo Flux: Unshuttering L.A.; Power, Justice and Tyranny in the Middle Ages; Artist as Collectors; and Silk & Swan Feathers: A Luxurious 18th-Century Armchair.  “We are grateful for the support of the community, and glad that people have continued to engage with us online throughout this long year….

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Huntington Beach Pier Festival Will Kick off Fourth of July Weekend Surf City Dreamin’Featured

Family-friendly festival will be staged on the iconic Huntington Beach Pier and includes entertainment, amusements, vendors, and gourmet food trucks The City of Huntington Beach will kick off its Surf City Dreamin’ 4th of July Celebration with the Huntington Beach Pier Plaza Festival from July 2-4, 2021! This outdoor Festival will offer nonstop activities for visitors of every age – all from the vantage point of the renowned Huntington Beach Pier. The Festival will run 9:30AM-10:00PM daily July 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and will play host to more than fifty local vendors and food trucks, games, and a 12,000 square-foot beer and wine garden that offers the best seat in the house during the July 4 fireworks show.   The City’s Pier Plaza, as well as the Beach Parking Lot at 6th Street and Pacific Coast Highway will host various vendor booths showcasing a mix of retail offerings including high end surfboards from the iconicHuntington Surf and Sport, island home décor, modern swimwear, children’s toys, pet products, handmade jewelry, and crafts. The area will also feature gourmet food trucks and carts, making this event a one-stop shop for all your weekend needs. Lastly, all vendors will be staged twelve feet apart in…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured, Things To Do

Not Your Average BearFeatured

Big Bear is a beautiful and beloved vacation spot for SoCal residents looking to get away from it all. The Bear’s “keepers” want to keep it that way. Yogi, America’s favorite cartoon bear, is “smarter than the average bear.” He says so himself. So “hey, hey, hey,” it has to be true, right? Unfortunately, his human friends are not always so smart — at least when it comes to the “leave no trace” ethos that should be deeply engrained in every traveler’s mindset.  “We’ve Got a Bear Disturbance Here.” – Ranger Smith (Yogi’s pal) Lately, there’s been a disturbing trend at popular nature-centered vacation spots, including iconic Big Bear. It appears that “Leave No Trace” has been supplanted by “Trash This Place” —marking a new low in responsible environmentalism. Call it a fallout from COVID-19, where restless urbanites seeking relief from their cloistered, masked existence have been descending in even greater numbers upon Big Bear. And who can blame them? A 6-feet-apart-while-wearing-a-mask mandate, job and business losses, and a feeling of constant uncertainty is no way to live months on end. We all feel that urge. We need space. We need a place away from the cloud of COVID hanging…

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in Featured, Pets & Wildlife, Things To Do

Camping With Your KiddosFeatured

By Maria del Cisne Vital   Camping is a great way to teach your kids the importance of the outdoors and to spend some quality time together. Ditch the technology, take in your surroundings, and become one with nature at these kid-friendly SoCal camping spots:   Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park One of two camping sites that can be reserved at Joshua Tree, Black Rock is a great place for family camping because of its beauty and accessibility. It is located on the edge of the park, and it lies within one of the thickest Joshua tree forests. It is ideal for RV camping, but also has amenities (showers and laundry) within five miles. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive desert tortoise and other desert creatures! Waking up for an early morning hike will be a truly breath-taking experience for the whole family as you watch the sun rise over the desert. https://www.recreation.gov/camping/black-rock-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70953   Crystal Cove State Park’s Moro Campground Who needs a white noise app when you can get the real thing at Moro Campground? Fall asleep and wake up to the beautiful sounds of the Pacific at this campground. You can enjoy the beauty…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

Secrets of Downtown LA’s Underbelly HistoryFeatured

By Melissa Curtin Carefully climbing down into the bowels of a famous watering hole that still exists today on the outskirts of Skid Row, I wonder if I should turn back. The smell of rodents or maybe dead air from 100 years ago wafts into my nostrils, suffocating my senses. I try not to breathe too hard. Are those rat droppings? A cockroach skitters. Ducking below an old cobweb, I wonder what life was like down here in the 1920s. Images quickly come to mind from the HBO show Boardwalk Empire of gangster life in Atlantic City. But here we are in the recesses of Wild West Los Angeles. Once a fake piano shop above the bar, a mural of kegs painted on the wall are still present under the city streets next to a false wall made of light wood and sideboards for food and drink. Evidence of what was once a Prohibition-era tunnel is slathered and sealed off with concrete – apparently just cemented in the last 20 years. A crumpling dusty room nearby in the cellar exposes old metal bank vaults where booze money was kept – exchanged and transported underground from banks. Once upon a time,…

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in Featured, Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

BMW Driving Experience – The Ultimate SoCal AdventureFeatured

By Matthew Goldberg While many of us dream of racing professionally, few of us will likely ever get to. We can, however, participate in the BMW Performance Center’s BMW One Day M-School in Thermal, California. Equipped with an ID badge, lanyard, and lunch, drivers can spend an exciting day learning the ins and outs of professional racing and walk away with a certificate of completion at the end of the day.  School begins at 8:30 a.m. when students gather in an outdoor seating area for a classroom session. Instructors greet drivers, introduce themselves and outline their respective backgrounds in professional racing. Their expertise ranges from Indy 500 races to winning the Long Beach Grand Prix and they had decades of teaching experience between them.  Students are given a detailed course with key points for driving a vehicle efficiently with a presentation and discussion. The first few slides detail the importance of proper seating, including correct seat height and seatbelt fit, allowing for the most comfortable and effective handling of the steering wheel and gas/brake pedals. Drivers must have maximum steering control and the precision of turning corners is underscored. Proper technique and keeping eyes far in the distance allows the…

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Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau Kicks Off National Travel and Tourism Week With Town Hall and Volunteer OpportunitiesFeatured

‘Drive to Change Lives’ encourages Greater Palm Springs tourism community to give back Prior to the pandemic, tourism supported over 53,000 jobs in Greater Palm Springs and contributed $7.5 billion to the local economy. While the past year has presented extraordinary challenges, Greater Palm Springs and the tourism industry are turning the page to a new chapter with the start of National Travel and Tourism Week, May 2-8, an annual tradition that spotlights the collective strength of the U.S. travel industry. May is also Visit California’s California Tourism Month, which celebrates tourism and hospitality across the Golden State.  To showcase how the power of travel will drive recovery, the Greater Palm Springs CVB will host a virtual town hall meeting, led by President & CEO Scott White, on May 4 at 10 a.m. to provide updates on consumer sentiment, highlights of state and regional destination marketing plans, and updates on the CVB’s newest programs. Other town hall speakers include Lynn Carpenter, Vice President of Marketing of Visit California, Erin Francis Cummings, President & CEO of Destination Analysts and Nick Forro, President of AHL Palm Springs and SVP of the Seattle Kraken. Guests can RSVP to attend the virtual town hall meeting here.  Additionally, during the…

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Sylmar Earthquake 50 Years LaterFeatured

Destructive temblor marked turning point in the science of quakes This year marks 50 years since the 1971 Sylmar-San Fernando earthquake unleashed its fury on Los Angeles just after 6 a.m. The seismic waves began their destructive path seven miles beneath the earth’s surface, then traveled up at an angle and burst through the ground along a 12.5 mile stretch of the northern San Fernando Valley. “The 1971 quake woke California up to the real earthquake hazard that it had in its own backyard,” says Brian Olson of the California Geological Survey . “It exposed a lot of problems, it exposed a lot of weaknesses.” Renowned seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones tells Eyewitness News the Sylmar quake was the first time a major fault ruptured to the surface through homes in the Los Angeles area. “We saw all of these houses ripped apart,” says Dr. Jones. “It helped change the focus and made us realize that this is a big risk for Los Angeles in particular.” It left a mark on the Southern California landscape, pushing the Santa Susana Mountains up by about 6 feet. “The reason Southern California is a wonderful place to live is because of the earthquakes,” says Dr….

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Get Away Without Going AwayFeatured

5 Family Staycation Ideas That Won’t Break Your Budget Family vacations are a great way to bond and take a step back from the hectic schedules that accompany everyday life, but sometimes time or money (or both) make planning an elaborate trip a non-starter. However, a staycation – a vacation you take right in your hometown (or nearby) – can be much less expensive and fit into nearly any amount of available time with the added bonus of skipping out on potentially stressful travel. Consider these staycation ideas to take advantage of your local area’s attractions and prove you don’t have to go far to spend quality time together. Visit local landmarks. Just because it’s not a traditional vacation doesn’t mean you can’t pretend to be tourists. Start by visiting the places you recommend to friends and family from out of town or pick up a city guidebook to uncover hidden spots you may not even know exist. Make a plan to seek out historic sites, visit local landmarks like museums or try an out-of-the-way restaurant (or two) you’ve never eaten at before. Camp out in the backyard. Camping doesn’t have to be done far from home. In fact, it…

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Spring-Time Group Bike ToursFeatured

By Dustin Clendenen Our weather is the envy of the world year-round, but even SoCal blooms in the spring. Now’s the time to venture out of your car and experience all the Golden State has to offer. Our roundup of group bike tours are the perfect excuse to explore the great outdoors and work up a sweat while you’re at it. Having such an eco-friendly hobby won’t hurt either! If you want to experience Los Angeles, you’re in for one of the most diverse urban landscapes in the entire world, from a bustling downtown metropolis, to sun-soaked beaches, to beautiful hiking trails and national forests, not to mention all the celebrities, world-class food and an art scene getting attention across the globe. LA Cycle Tours offers a number of group bike adventures in all these areas, every single day. Focusing mostly on the diversity of downtown, the company’s tours take riders on a sightseeing expedition of the areas brightest street art and murals, the city’s best taco stands or pastry shops and a 40-mile ride from the urban core to the beach. Tours start at $65 and up. Check out the event calendar for more details and specific pricing at…

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An International Culture Tour Through Los AngelesFeatured

If you are fortunate to be in Los Angeles and are inclined to explore, you have a variety of different cultures right at your fingertips. The diverse Los Angeles culture is vibrant and inclusive and SoCal visitors can get a taste of its international flavor just by walking the bustling streets. Never been to China? No problem. We’ll bring China to you. Chinatown is located in downtown Los Angeles and has been since the 1800s. With the shops, the language, the smells and the sights, it is easy to believe you’ve flown thousands of miles, rather than a driven a short distance.

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Discovering Channel Islands National ParkFeatured

Just off the coast of Ventura is Channel Islands National Park, one of our richest, rarest national treasures.  Known as America’s Galapagos, the park’s five islands — Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara — are treasure troves of history and recreation. It also includes some 2,000 diverse animal and plant species, 145 of which exist nowhere else in the world.

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Savoring San Juan CapistranoFeatured

San Juan Capistrano is blessed with ideal Southern California weather year-round. Originally tribal land occupied by the peace-loving Acjachemen Indians, the Capistrano Valley in Orange County has long been home to communities that love to celebrate the land, its culture and heritage. Hardly a month passes without one event or another marking the calendars of its residents and visitors near and far. As a historic destination and a charming community, a visit to San Juan Capistrano is a day of enrichment on many levels.

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The Los Angeles ColiseumFeatured

As the only venue to host two Summer Olympics (and soon a third in 2028), two Super Bowls, home to numerous professional teams, appearances by six U.S. Presidents — Franklin D Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan — and such dignitaries as Martin Luther King, Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela and such performers as Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, the Los Angeles Coliseum has deservedly earned its title – The Greatest Stadium in the World. One hundred fourteen billion people have come through the stadium in 96 years. Originally commissioned in 1921 as a memorial to Los Angeles veterans of World War I (and rededicated to all U.S. veterans of WWI in 1968, it is the largest memorial outside of the one in Washington, D.C. The official ground breaking of the Coliseum took place in December, 1921. The construction of the then largest stadium in Los Angeles was completed on May 1,1923. Its capacity was 75,144, but in 1930, with the Olympics due in two years, the stadium seating capacity was expanded to 101,574 and the Olympic torch was added. The inaugural game at the Coliseum took…

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2ND & PCHFeatured

2ND & PCH, Long Beach’s premier coastal retail, dining, and lifestyle center welcomes the community back safely to stay, shop, dine, and relax. The open-air center offers a diverse selection of retailers, dining, boutique fitness, lifestyle services and outdoor promenade experiences. “We are thrilled to invite the community back for outdoor dining and to enjoy our common area amenities responsibly,” said Samantha Lopez, General Manager of 2ND & PCH. “Our priority continues to be providing a safe and welcoming environment for the community, our businesses and all visitors to enjoy.”  Restaurants currently open for outdoor dining include: Hungry Angelina, Noble Bird Rotisserie, Ola Mexican Kitchen, Otosan Sushi, Shake Shack, The Italian Homemade Company, and Urban Plates. Ample Hills Creamery, Boba Guys, Caffe Luxxe, Tuesday’s Sweet Shoppe, and Whole Foods Market are also open and serving the community. Boutique fitness studios BeFit Modern Pilates and BoxHaus continue to host outdoor classes providing the community with safe open-air options to meet their active wellness goals. For a high-intensity workout at home, Barry’s Bootcamp is providing 45-minute virtual workout classes, Hawt Yoga is offering Zoom streaming classes and Peloton offers online classes for members.  Seaport Way remains closed to vehicular traffic to offer…

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Greater Palm Springs CVB Launches Trailicious Pass For Hiking & DiningFeatured

The Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), the official destination marketing organization for the Coachella Valley, has launched the new Trailicious Pass, a free program that all visitors and locals can sign up for.  With the Trailicious Pass, locals and visitors can enjoy hikes and bites and win prizes throughout Greater Palm Springs. Users can choose from 30 trails via the Trailicious pass, filtered by experience level or location, as well as receive suggestions for nearby things to do like outdoor art. Additionally, the pass features discounts and specials from a variety of Greater Palm Springs restaurants for take-out and alfresco dining. Users can check in while on their hike or redeem one of the special restaurant deals featured on the pass for a chance to win a $50 gift card from a Greater Palm Springs eatery. With hundreds of miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding paths, Greater Palm Springs is a haven for hungry thrill-seekers who can pick up a snack, pack a takeout picnic or refuel after hiking by dining alfresco on one of our perfect patios.  “We are thrilled to be launching the Trailicious Pass to encourage visitors to experience our wide open spaces…

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Downtown Santa Monica Celebrates Black History Month on Third Street PromenadeFeatured

WHAT:This February, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM) will recognize and celebrate Black History Month on Third Street Promenade with art installations by local Black artists and a banner program to honor historic Santa Monica Trailblazers for their significant achievements and contributions to the community. DTSM will present three public art displays in storefront windows beginning Wednesday, February 10 through March 15, 2021, from A Brilliant Dummy, Shplinton, and Mira Gandy. Each art installation celebrates the Black experience as part of a greater effort in the City of Santa Monica to deepen the community’s knowledge and foster understanding of other cultures and experiences that have been marginalized or overlooked due to a legacy of slavery and institutional racism. DTSM worked closely with Black Santa Monica Tours and Concierge, Robbie Jones, and the Quinn Research Center, whose mission is to empower community members by being an educational resource that promotes the study and research of Black Family History and Culture in the Santa Monica Bay Area, to feature Black Santa Monica Trailblazers on decorative banners along the Third Street Promenade. DTSM encourages everyone to visit DowntownSM.com to read more about their contributions in our community and to find a full calendar of Black History Month events produced…

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Take To The Great Outdoors With Winter Whale Watching and Excursions To Channel Islands National ParkFeatured

Island Packers, the official boat concessionaire to Channel Islands National Park, with daily departures to the Channel Islands from Ventura Harbor Village, has now re-opened!  www.islandpackers.com.  A winter Whale Watch is a perfect way to gather with family and friends to view Pacific Gray whales migrating through the Santa Barbara Channel from their feeding grounds in Alaska to their breeding grounds in Baja. Pacific Gray Whales are normally sighted in the National Marine Sanctuary near Anacapa and Santa Cruz Island beginning in late December and extending through middle of April 14, 2021. This mammoth migration of over 20,000 whales and 6,000 miles twice a year remains a major attraction in Southern California.  Sightings of the southern migration began in December for Pacific Gray Whales. Island Packers has also witnessed humpback whales, fin whales, and occasionally orcas. Common dolphin that frolic with the boat and ride the bow can be enjoyed by passengers year-round. For our most recent sightings visit www.islandpackers.com or find us on Twitter. The half-day Winter Whale Watch Cruise provides stunning views of the Ventura coastline or the Channel Islands; depending on where the whales may be sighted.  Winter Whale Watch excursions are available now thru mid-April from Ventura and/ or Channel Islands Harbor departing at 9:30 a.m. and/or 1:30 p.m.  Rates for half-day trips are $40 for adults, $36 for…

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It’s a New Day for Downtown L.A.Featured

Most tourists head to cities to enjoy their fine hotels, restaurants, shopping, and activities. Not so with Downtown Los Angeles … until recently. It was a place where people worked and left it pretty much shuttered at 5 pm.  Happy Hours, movie nights and home were in the valleys, Inland Empire, Westside and coastal cities. And then the renaissance began. Los Angeles was founded in September 1781 when 44 settlers established El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles—The Town of the Queen of Angels, which a century later, had grown into the largest town in California. With the arrival of the railroads and land boom of the 1880s, the population of 11,000 exploded to 97,000.  Los Angeles was here to stay. Growth of Downtown continued until 1957 when the building boom moved to outlying areas creating masses of shopping malls, business centers, entertainment complexes, and residential neighborhoods.  The city went into decline, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that the renaissance began. A vibrant new energy in economic and social environments created by millennials and other professionals began building a new social and economic dynamic in the heart of the city. With the resurgence came an influx of new…

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Inside Modernism WeekFeatured

Modernism Week is the largest celebration of mid-century and modern architecture, design and culture and is held annually in Palm Springs, California. What started as a modest series of programs held over a weekend has now grown into an internationally acclaimed annual event that spans 11 days in February. Increased demand for Modernism Week events prompted the creation of a shorter October version called “Modernism Week Fall Preview.” Both events include home tours, lectures, films, double-decker bus architectural tours, vintage themed parties and more. More than 10,000 attendees participated in Fall Preview in 2019 and the 2020 Modernism Week attendance was estimated at 162,000 with more than 375 events during the festival. In 2020, Modernism Week attendees came from all 50 States and the District of Columbia, with California accounting for the majority of attendees. In addition to many California visitors, the event was popular with attendees from Washington, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York. Attendees also came from all across the globe with 25 countries represented including Canada, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, France and many more. Community Impact The annual festival has a significant community impact. Last year, it generated an estimated economic impact of $65 million for area hotels,…

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Best Places to Do Water SportsFeatured

Flowers are blooming, trees are filled with new leaves, and the days are longer and warm which means summer is almost here. It’s time to find stop binge-watching the latest series and make more space for outdoor activities. Southern California is known for its blue skies and golden sands, but there’s nothing more exciting than doing water sports on its emerald waters. Water sports are the perfect way to be active and stay cool. If you love being in the water but are tired of your backyard swimming pool, SoCal has limitless options. These water activities are for beginners, experts and those just looking to have a fun, memorable time. So put on your swimsuits and grab your friends and families. Huntington Beach Surf Lessons 19881 Brookurst St., Suite C156 Huntington Beach 92646 949.558.2075 huntingtonbeachsurfinglessons.com If you’ve always wanted to surf but never learned how, Huntington Beach offers a wide range of lessons. Not only do they encourage children to get involved; they have something for all ages. Huntington Beach Surfing Lessons include private, semi-private, mini groups of three,  groups of four people, and larger groups for birthday parties. Expert surf instructors make it their mission to have everyone stand…

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Flying Over Southern CaliforniaFeatured

The Gold Coast’s Best Zip Lines By Dustin Clendenen Once upon a time, ziplining was an actual mode of transportation in countries such as Australia and China, but here in America, soaring through the air on a rope is just a really cool and fun way to spend an afternoon. With year-round 72 degree and sunny weather, Southern California is replete with lots of options for ziplining, granting riders the ability to enjoy mountain, ocean, forest and valley views all within a radius of several hundred miles. If you want to have one of these pseudo-hang-gliding experiences yourself, here are the best places in SoCal to hop on a zipline: The Catalina Zipline Eco-Tour 1 Descanso Canyon Rd., Avalon, CA 90704(310) 510-7422www.visitcatalinaisland.com Catalina Island is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Southern California, and perhaps the best way to really see it in all its glory is by a two-hour zipline tour. The course is intense but perfect for beginners, with friendly guides talking you through each progressively steeper incline. The final even runs a seemingly endless 1,100 lineal feet from platform to platform. As you soar through the air, you’re probably going to see some of…

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La Jolla: the Jewel of San DiegoFeatured

With a winding coastline of stunning views and unique microclimate rarely dropping below 50 or exceeding 90 degrees, it’s not surprising that La Jolla is one of the most desirable coastal cities in California. Surrounded on three sides by the ocean and backed by the steep slopes of Mt. Soledad, La Jolla’s classic Mediterranean village ambience suggests a casual, upscale lifestyle in keeping with its nickname, “the jewel” of San Diego. Just 15 minutes north of downtown, La Jolla’s seven-mile stretch of picturesque coastline may be officially within the San Diego city limits, but it has shaped an esteemed identity as a city in its own right.  It is also one of the country’s most affluent communities with fine dining, shopping, art galleries, events and renowned research centers including the Salk Institute and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, now a part of the University of California at San Diego.   In 1913, the original Colonial Apartments and Hotel made big news when it opened, charging a nightly rate of $1 and has since watched a century of storied growth. Following its first renovation in 1928, the property reopened boasting the first sprinkler system in the western U.S., reinforced cement stairways and…

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Staycations Are The New VacationsFeatured

Are staycations the new vacations? After all, Americans are staying close to home and taking shorter vacations. They did it this summer, and they’ll do it again this Thanksgiving and Christmas, the other two most popular vacation periods. You could blame the pandemic or the recession for the abbreviation of your vacation, but that only begins to explain what’s happening. The way we take time off is changing — has been changing for years — and this is only the latest stage in the evolution of the American vacation. Jamie Simpson, who is in constant communication with hotel operators in Los Angeles, sums up the staycation trend succinctly: “People are staying closer to home.” But terms like nearcation, homecation or staycation don’t adequately describe this shift. Simpson, the vice president of communications at the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, says Los Angeles residents are checking into hotels in their own neighborhoods, often filling a void left by travelers from out of state. At the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, for example, 85% of current business originates in California, and most of it is local. Properties such as the 1 Hotel West Hollywood are seeing a surge in business from people who walk — yes, walk — to the hotel. That’s called microlocal business…

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5 Best Southland Beaches to Visit in the FallFeatured

Summer in SoCal is the best time to go to the beach, which is why most are so crowded. But the fall is even better because the beaches are just as spectacular, but much less crowded. If you’re looking for a little piece of peace, be sure to visit these secluded pockets of heaven. Trestles beach, or just Trestles, is a mystery beach for sunbathers but a home to surfers. It’s divided into sections; Church, Middles, Lowers, Uppers and Cottons; depending on surfer skill level. Located in San Clemente, the beach is known for taking a while to get to but being one of the most gorgeous in the area. After parking, take a hike through brush and trees, under Interstate 5, over a small hill and a straight trail walk before reaching the beach. During the hike, you’re likely to run into beautiful views and some wildlife, so have your camera ready. http://funorangecountyparks.com/trestles-beach-walk.html Since Laguna is a hotspot for beachgoers, weekends are often overcrowded. With Wood’s Cove, skip the hordes of people all together. The rocks on the shore make the beach less popular because surfing is too dangerous, but the water is more turquoise and the beach is…

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The Fantastic-Four “Castles” in Southern CaliforniaFeatured

When you hear the word “castle,” you might immediately think of stone-spiraling relics of antiquity that serve as reminders of a bygone era of humanity when vassals, lords, and fiefs ruled the land. But “castle” can also be used to describe postmodern architectural phenomena that are as relevant today as they were when they were first erected. There are four prime examples of “castles,” re-imagined with class, dignity, and prestige for the contemporary Southern California resident. The Desert Castle in Palm Desert desertcastle.com The Desert Castle in Palm Desert is one of the foremost vacation retreats in the area. The 7-bedroom, 7.5-bath mansion is what opulent and lavish dreams are made of.  The castle is situated rather unexpectedly on the 18th fairway of the Desert Springs Golf Course. The main house is beige in color and wonderfully rustic in design, with plenty of palm trees and welcoming archways for visitors. At night, the castle lights up with an attractive orange incandescence that infuses the observer with inspiration. Inside the Great Hall of the property is a particularly classic overhead mural on the vaulted ceiling featuring women (of possibly the Baroque era) playing instruments and dancing, in addition to a loving…

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Camarillo Ranch HouseFeatured

The Home that Remains a Jewel in the Seaside City’s Crown for More than a Century Known for picturesque scenery that ranges from agricultural-rich land to Spanish architecture, Camarillo, California, is a lively mix of modern amenities, lush, century-old vegetation and plenty of early California charm; and a pristine, 18th century ranch house is its anchor. Juan Adolfo Camarillo first ventured to California in the early 1800s during the Hijar Padres Expedition There, he would purchase a 10,000-acre ranch. Camarillo’s land, which would become the site of his home, was one of the last remaining Rancho Calleguas (Mexican land grants) of the era. Development and Public Relations Director for the Camarillo Ranch House, Niki Chopra Richardson, says, “The ranch house was the original home of the Camarillo family. It was a working ranch, but it was also very much a family home. When Juan Adolfo passed away in 1880, his eldest son, 16-year-old Adolfo, took over the ranch.” Camarillo would not only run the day-to-day operations of his father’s ranch, he would take it from having only cattle and mules, to a booming agricultural business, including barley, corn, alfalfa and lima beans, as well as Citrus and Eucalyptus trees. Camarillo…

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Frank Gehry: Constructing the ExtraordinaryFeatured

The corner of Sunset & Havenhurst in Los Angeles is about to go down in history. 8150 Sunset is already across the street from the legendary Chateau Marmont on the most famous stretch of boulevard in the world, but now the southeast side of this intersection is being “utterly transformed” by a $300 million mixed-use project designed by architect Frank Gehry. Whether you’re familiar with his name or not, you’ve seen Gehry’s work, and you know his curvy, reality-bending aesthetic. He’s the visionaire behind such world-famous attractions such as The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the Experience Music Project in Seattle and Prague’s surreal Dancing House. In 2010, the World Architecture Survey cited his contemporary works as among the most important in architecture, and Vanity Fair named him “the most important architect of our age.” It’s no surprise that when Gehry’s name is on something, people pay attention. And the kind of clout he brings also eases minds. He was actually hired onto 8150 Sunset after an outcry from the neighborhood’s residents over the original designs for the lot. When Gehry was brought on board, the project was elevated to a…

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Southern California’s Prettiest Coastal CitiesFeatured

By Eric Plante No need to fly across the globe to experience glitz and glamour in a seaside setting. Here are 5 of our own Southern California coastal towns that can hang with the world’s best. Dana Point is a boater’s playground. The city was named for Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the picturesque area. Dana described the coastal town as “the only romantic spot on the coast.” For the best view of Dana Point Harbor, drive the Street of Green Lantern to the top and look east. If you’ve not yet seen the largest animal to have ever inhabited the Earth, Dana Point is the place to try your luck. Blue whales pass closer to the coast here than any other California shoreline. Blue whale tours run May – October; gray whales cruise this coast during the winter. Sink your toes into the off-white sand at Salt Creek Beach, one of the city’s finest. Every Saturday evening during the summer, curious adults and children gather on the lobby terrace at the St. Regis Monarch Beach to witness a flicker of orange and yellow, as a staff member releases a…

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Walking Tours in Southern CaliforniaFeatured

Every city has its own persona, its own feeling, and its own story.  Besides the exercise, walking tours offer another dimension to your visit.  A walking tour gives visitors the chance to connect with the character of a city and get a first-hand understanding of what the area is really about. By taking a step into a new place, tourists and locals alike can get a feel for the energy of the city they are in.  And in Southern California, energy is everything.  Vintage Venice Tours Voted “Best Walking Tour” of 2012 and 2013 by Los Angeles Magazine, the Vintage Venice Tour is one of the best ways to experience this iconic boardwalk.  The Vintage Venice Tour allows you to indulge in the modern attractions that the beach has to offer, while also showing you the rich history of the town through film clips that span the past 105 years.  See the past come to life and witness the development of the culture of Venice Beach with stops at Muscle Beach, the Venice Canals, the Ocean Front Walk, and more. www.vintagevenicetours.com Santa Barbara Walking Tour While on your visit to Santa Barbara, be sure to sign up for the Santa…

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A Year in LA: How to Stay Alive in the Biz—Five Survival Tips To Make Things HappenFeatured

Once upon a time, I was that girl: I picked up everything and moved to LA to pursue a career in acting. To offer a little back-story, I had a tumultuous breakup with my teenage love and ran to Chicago after college three years prior. After a few years in the city, I was burnt out—holding down a restaurant job and temping to make ends meet. I was garnering theatre gigs consistently—I just wasn’t getting paid. Unfortunately, that is the reality in the theatre world and I thought the time was right to make my move to LA. I had a deep, gnawing pit in my stomach that LA was beckoning me and I couldn’t let it go. It was 1998—I was 25, doe eyed, and full of ambition.  It was then or never. LA was a different place than it is now. The Internet was only about to boom, the bag phone was being replaced by a first generation flip phone (that resembled a miniature tank), and social media didn’t exist. There was no such thing as You Tube, bloggers, Twitter, or Facebook. The oversaturated business of reality TV had not yet happened. The creation of the Internet has made auditions more accessible…

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Stay at Home Orders Cramping Your Style?Featured

We’re into our sixth week of stay-at-home orders and even the stellar homebodies among us are getting antsy at this point. It’s been awhile since we’ve met friends at a restaurant or cycled ourselves into a dreadful sweat at the gym. And unless we’re actively walking or jogging outdoors or have found wellness apps that offer virtual workout options, we may be starting to feel a bit flabby and unmotivated. Since conducting business is prohibited unless it’s deemed “essential” (and that’s a pretty subjective definition – just ask the millions of women whose acrylic nails have fallen off), we’ve had to figure out how to function on our own instead of relying on our routine services. But we’ve begun to sort out solutions to help fight the ho-hums, since as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Here are some alternatives we’ve found to help solve our most common requirements from home.

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STUCK AT HOME? TAKE VIRTUAL TOURSFeatured

“Stay at Home” orders have been instituted across our nation, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re feeling like climbing the walls right about now, you might enjoy this activity. You’ll get to travel without actually getting out of your seat. Many local and distant points of interest offer free and easy virtual tours and here are a few to get you started.

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SoCal’s Seductive SunsetsFeatured

When it comes to sunsets, Southern California boasts some of the best, especially this time of the year From the peaks of the Palisades to the dunes of Dana Point, there are countless places to catch the last bits of a spectacular SoCal Sunset. But what’s better than gazing at the glow of the setting sun than doing it with your special someone? Here, we’ve curated a list of locations that we not only consider fantastic for sunset viewing, but some of the most romantic, too. So as we inch closer to Valentine’s Day, pick your destination and dash out with your darling to one of these top spots.

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