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Things To Do

Must Do highlights day trips, fun activities, and entertainment and recreation options every tourist and local of Southern California should check out. SoCal’s hidden gems, local secrets, unique finds and off-the beaten path venues will also be uncovered and explored.

in Things To Do

Santa Barbara Car Free 2019

Santa Barbara Car Free Project invites visitors to show their train tickets in Santa Barbara County and enjoy savings on fun experiences now through December 31, 2019. The new 2019 “Take the Train” offer features specials on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train tickets, bicycling, sailing cruises, wine tasting, dining, shopping, museum and zoo visits, as well as hotel savings.  “Cars contribute significantly to air pollution, and visitors to our area can help improve air quality by taking the train into town instead of driving,” said Lyz Hoffman, of Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, which coordinates the award-winning Car Free program. “It’s easy and relaxing to explore our area without your car.” Complete details at https://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/2019-car-free-experience/   Santa Barbara Car Free travelers can save 20% on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner® for travel to or from the following Santa Barbara County train stations: Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Goleta (UCSB), Lompoc-Surf and Guadalupe (plus associated Amtrak thruway buses to Solvang, Santa Maria and Buellton). Tickets must be purchased three days in advance (certain restrictions apply) at: https://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/train/   Through December 31, 2019, travelers to Santa Barbara can show their Amtrak tickets (paper, e-ticket, or mobile device) at the following attractions and activities for special savings and experiences: Ø  Adventure Company of Santa…

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in Things To Do

SoCal’s Seductive Sunsets

By Lisa Kestenbaum When it comes to sunsets, Southern California boasts some of the best. From the peaks of the Palisades to the dunes of Dana Point, there are countless places to catch the last bits of light. 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. Pick your destination and dash out with your darling to one of these top spots. One of Santa Barbara’s few west-facing strands, Butterfly Beach beckons locals and lovers to its shore. Nestled in front of the luxurious Four Seasons Biltmore hotel, this narrow strip of beach offers the perfect spot to wind down after a day in the waves or spent wandering through this sleepy Southern California town. Or better yet, make one of the many tasting rooms in Santa Barbara an afternoon stop before you settle in with your toes in the sand and hands intertwined. And don’t worry about it being too crowded – while most of the area’s beaches are full of families and tourists, Butterfly Beach…

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in Things To Do

Book Review: National Geographic’s Almanac 2019

By Kimberly Schmidt   To all you weary-eyed holiday warriors—the National Geographic Almanac 2019 is hot off the press and it’s the first-ever edition for adults! That’s right, now we can stop pretending to know as much as the Nat Geo almanac-reading kids in our lives and respond to their trivia with some dignity.   National Geographic is doing what it does best—delivering cutting-edge information to help us rekindle a childlike wonder and, ultimately, try to make this world and our short lives on this magnificent mote of dust a little bit better.   This 400-page gem is jam-packed with innovative research in chapters like Exploration & Adventure, This Planet & Beyond, Life on Earth, The Science of Us, Yesterday to Tomorrow, and Our World. You’ll find section quizzes, infographics, timelines, and exquisite photography. And folks…these new discoveries are MIND-BLOWING.     Also included, travel guides for bucket-list destinations (including SoCal’s own Pacific Coast Highway), iconic must-visit National Parks, plus food recommendations, and tips on eco-friendly exploration.   In our busy adult lives, we don’t have time to dive too deep into the subjects that we love but National Geographic knows this. That’s why each topic is condensed to 1-2…

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in People & Personalities, Things To Do

National Geographic’s MARS

National Geographic’s MARS Series and NASA’s Insight Probe Landing By Kimberly Schmidt   Just several hours ago, NASA InSight Spacecraft successfully landed on Mars to collect data to further assess the reality of life-sustaining properties. This makes National Geographic’s miniseries MARS not only entertaining but informative, relevant, and thoroughly exciting.   As MARS Season Two continues to unfold, this scripted and documentary footage hybrid, executive produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, bares the day-to-day lives of the first pioneers to settle on the red planet. During a panel discussion with the show’s Big Thinkers, Stephen Petranek, Antonia Juhasz, and Casey Dreier, we talked about the new season’s themes and the current social commentary regarding our future as an interplanetary species.   According to Stephen Petranek author of How We’ll Live On Mars for which the series is based, we must become an interplanetary species to avoid extinction. The misconception of pursuing life on Mars is that we ought to fix Earth instead of seeking life elsewhere but realistically both actions must occur. “By terraforming Mars and making it more like Earth we will actually learn how to control things on Earth that seem uncontrollable at this point as far…

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in Pets & Wildlife, Things To Do

How To Help SoCal

Our beautiful area has been impacted by two horrific events this past week. We at SoCal Life Mag want to express our condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones at the Borderline shootings and the hundreds whose lives have been impacted by the Woolsey Fire. We are all so proud of our first responders, firefighters and law enforcement and grateful for their diligence and hard work. The kindness and generosity extended by our community to those who have been affected is admirable and inspiring. Many more want to help and don’t know where to begin, so we’re offering the following suggestion.   BORDERLINE RESOURCES https://www.facebook.com/donate/1443215382550759/2253563041597609/ https://www.gofundme.com/borderline-shooting-victim039s-fund https://vccf.org/donate/make-a-donation/ https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-sgt-ron-helus-family http://da.lacounty.gov/victims   FIRE RESOURCES https://www.vcemergency.com/ https://www.kqed.org/news/11628364/how-to-help-a-friend-who-lost-their-home-in-a-wildfire?fbclid=IwAR2SFKzXlJqPaunpzSYMlaW2ENDo9jJbZO5pQVQjPYkxzpN1H2yTshYhdeY https://www.unitedwayla.org/en/give/disaster-relief-fund/ https://westernusa.salvationarmy.org/usw_thq/news/california_wildfires/ https://secure.eifoundation.org/site/Donation2;jsessionid=00000000.app367a?df_id=4520&mfc_pref=T&4520.donation=form1&NONCE_TOKEN=BD586CAC59FBAE663577626DA737EA87 http://www.cafirefoundation.org/programs/supplying-aid-to-victims-of-emergency/ https://www.calfund.org/wildfire-relief-fund/ https://www.redcross.org/donations/ways-to-donate.html https://www.readyventuracounty.org/   PET RESOURCES https://www.hsvc.org/donate http://www.shelterhopepetshop.org/donate.php   *No Particular Order*

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in Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

SoCal’s Winter Oasis

ENJOY THE DESERT, THE COAST, OR THE PALM SPRINGS AREA, THEN RELAX AND REJUVENATE HERE!   Catalina Spa and RV Resort is a winter oasis AND summer respite. Its proximity to the Coachella Valley, a breathtaking desert region that includes Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park, makes it an ideal location.   Catalina Spa and RV Resort is situated in the quiet and unpretentious Desert Edge area, just east of Desert Hot Springs. The resort overlooks magnificent Mt. San Jacinto, where visitors can ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tram to view the breathtaking valley below or hike the numerous mountaintop trails.   ODORLESS Mineral Hot Springs This area is known for its hot springs and their healing qualities. Catalina features five ODORLESS mineral hot springs pools and spas. Two of our hot spring pools are located within our brand-new community center, with access to our modern fitness center, billiard room, and country store while being cooled by a state-of-the-art misting system. Float under the stars here or in our upper pool and spa, where gorgeous sunsets take your breath away. We offer 482 ways to stay. Our beautiful sites, each separated by flowering oleander bushes, accommodate small RVs…

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