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Destinations & Landmarks

Want to know where to go in Southern California? Our editors scour every nook and cranny to provide readers with the most fun and unique events that are not to be missed. In addition to upcoming events, Southern California is packed with landmarks and famous hot-spots that have fascinating historical features. This section reveals the behind-the-scene story lines about the prominent places that have made So Cal one of the most desirable sightseeing destinations in the U.S. This section offers readers options of places to visit to make their stay in the Southland even more eventful.

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

Beachy Summer Reset in Pismo BeachFeatured

Pismo Beach – all things to all people — couples, families and even dogs — elegant and rustic, relaxing and adventurous, beaches and trails, romantic and just sheer fun.  Sun yourself or surf at the beach, bike or hike on the trails and bring your pup along as long as he’s on a leash, dinner for two or lots of kid-friendly things to do. It’s all there and just a three-hour car ride from Los Angeles. “What’s unique about Pismo is we’re a beach community with oceanfront hotels and affordable vacation rentals and one of our unique selling points is we have a wine region with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay just about 10 minutes away,” says resident John Sorgenfrei.  “With the gasoline prices, it’s just about a tank of gas to get up here from Southern California and once you’re here, you really don’t have to go very far to enjoy yourself,” Sorgenfrei continues. “There’s the wine region and there are tasting rooms within the town itself, and a variety of different kinds of dining.” There is also an assortment of places to stay that offer different price points including many oceanfront hotels like the magnificent Cliffs Hotel and Spa,…

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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 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 Destinations & Landmarks, Things To Do

Alisal Guest Ranch & ResortFeatured

Celebrating its 76th anniversary this year, The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort is one of more than 300 hotels and resorts throughout the country that is recognized for maintaining its history and distinguished architecture. “The Alisal,” in the Chumash language means “grove of the Sycamores,” which describes the backdrop of the celebrated ranch, located in the Santa Ynez Valley. The 10,500-acre property was once known as Rancho Nojoqui and is still a working ranch today.  The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort boasts 73 private guest cottages and suites, a 6,500-sq.ft. spa, swimming pool and fitness center. With an array of amenities and activities from which to choose, this renowned luxury dude ranch is the ideal destination for a fabulous family vacation, given the multitude of activities suitable for all ages and interests. This full-service, Western-themed ranch has been enjoyed by guests from around the world since it opened in 1946.  The resort features a weekly schedule of events that list daily happenings and special activities. Some are scheduled, such as classes and cultural events, and others are self-guided.  Hikers will enjoy the Deer Canyon Trail, a 2.5-mile loop that begins at the gated entrance. There are plenty of signs to keep…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, People & Personalities, Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

Rediscover Wide Open SpacesFeatured

Outdoor Experiences in Palm Springs Post card-worthy landscapes. Endless sunshine. Fresh air and room to breathe! Palm Springs is home to some of the best outdoor experiences in Southern California. Luckily, this haven for outdoor enthusiasts is only a short drive from Los Angeles. Yes, you read that right! Hike, bike or take a tour; whatever your activity preference is, it’s bound to be more enjoyable when done Palm Springs style. Shift your adventure into high gear by exploring Palm Springs on two wheels Predominantly level streets, 13 miles of marked bike lanes, vast mountain trails and notorious neighborhoods filled with colorful doors makes Palm Springs a true bicycler’s paradise. To kick-start your adventure, check out Bike Palm Springs for all your cycling needs. Whether you’re an avid mountain bicyclist, a road bike junkie or you’re simply looking to take a cruise through the neighborhoods, Bike Palm Springs can bring your ideal biking adventure to life. Does all this bike talk seem like too much exercise? Don’t worry, we know just the fix! Check out Pedego Palm Springs and rent an electric bike to power you through town instead! (Cue Fleetwood Mac ‘Dreams’). Moun-tain your distance by hitting the trailsSoak in…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Family Fun, Things To Do

Solace and SustainabilityFeatured

Cuyama Buckhorn There’s a lot of chatter among SoCal travelers seeking “off the grid” destinations that are within driving range. Loosely defined, these are getaways that offer solitude and serenity—hotels and resorts that are far enough away from civilization but close enough to access when the urge to escape suddenly hits. In Southern California, one of these idyllic locations is the tiny town of New Cuyama, known as “The Hidden Valley of Enchantment,” approximately 2.5 hours from Los Angeles. The first hint of how remote this area truly is, can be detected early into the drive as travelers realize that the road to New Cuyama, regardless of one’s starting point, is no doubt off the beaten path. Highway 33, one of the few course options, leads drivers through a lonesome mountain path. The road, which at some points is green and lush and at other points brown and dry, seems to last hours beyond the GPS’s ETA. The scenic commute leads to an alluring valley that is set at the junction of Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Kern, and Santa Barbara counties. And at this point, the Cuyama Buckhorn, a charming mid-century gem that is worth every bit of the drive…

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