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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 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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in Featured, Things To Do

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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