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Featured stories from Southern California Life Magazine

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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 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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