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in Destinations & Landmarks

SoCal’s Interactive Collegiate Museums

By Baraa Alkassir Museums are more than places to preserve art and collect cultural objects. They also help us reconnect with our predecessors and learn about technologies and stories. Interactive collegiate museums in SoCal allow visitors a peek into collections that may be lesser known but no less innovative. Visiting these venues is sure to inspire and motivate art lovers.

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in Things To Do

LOVE Week Ideas

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to spoil your honey. We know you’re busy, so we came up with suggestions for the perfect V-Day gift. Whether you want to take your sweetheart out or pick up a thoughtful present, we have you covered. These last minute gift ideas are sure to excite your sweetie and will arrive before the big day. Best of luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!   First, there’s dinner: insideOUT’s urban oasis is the only place to spend Valentine’s Day in San Diego. Romantic dinner vibes coupled with special creations by Executive Chef MJ Testa and Creative Director of Wine & Spirits Moe Girton will elevate your evening and create memorable moments. insideoutsd.com/ You can also sweep your loved one off their feet and whisk them away for a romantic weekend at Palm Garden Hotel. The Valentine’s Day specials have you covered with a fabulous room, three-course dinner and breakfast. After dinner, cozy up by the fire and sip on champagne and indulge in chocolate covered strawberries. This is a V-Day you won’t forget.palmgardenhotel.com   You can’t forget the value of a great destination visit. Wine, flowers, horses and beautiful beaches. What more can…

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in SoCal Trends

Shopping Guide for Mall-Haters

Holiday gift-buying can be overwhelming, even for the most expert shoppers among us. Shopping-haters dread this traditional holiday ritual. Perhaps it’s because there’s an underlying expectation that we must buy gifts and therefore it steals a bit of the joy away from giving spontaneously. But if we can connect with the true joy of giving and shrug off the resentment that comes with the notion that we HAVE to shop it makes the process easier. Still feel stumped? Here are a few gift ideas and the best part is you don’t need to step foot in a crowded mall to shop. Gift Cards Once considered impersonal, gift cards are now a hot commodity – especially to Amazon.com where most people have a full shopping cart waiting for that “buy now” click. Gift cards have increasingly become one of the most popular holiday gifts. They allow the recipient to purchase what they’ve been wanting most instead of receiving something they may not be crazy about.  Experiences Most women would love a facial but may not want to splurge to get one. Men may want tickets to a local event and kids always love a special recreation activity. Groupon offers an array of choices to hundreds of special…

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in Pets & Wildlife, Things To Do

Camping With Your Kiddos

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 Food & Drinks

So Cal’s Fab Coffee Bars

When you got to have it, you must have the best. Those who love coffee know exactly what that means. A cup from the thermal carafe at the gas station just won’t cut it. Lucky for us, Southern California has a solid group of coffee aficionados and an impressive collection of independent coffee houses to meet their strict standards of caffeinated excellence. There are so many from which to choose, but we thought we’d share a few of our favorites:   Urth Caffè A popular choice for many Santa Monica locals, Urth Caffe carries its own brand of premium, fresh roasted whole bean organic coffee. Besides delicious coffees and unique coffee drinks, Urth Café serves salads, sandwiches, and pizzas. Everything here is locally sourced and farm fresh. 2327 Main St Santa Monica, CA 90405 www.urthcaffe.com (310) 314-7040     Stumptown Coffee Roasters Stumptown sources the best coffees in the world and they strive for transparent, quality-based relationships with both coffee growers and customers. They maintain quality control in their cupping labs, meticulous roasting profiles and extensive barista education. And their coffee’s pretty darn yummy too! 806 S Santa Fe Los Angeles wwww.stumptowncoffee.com 213-337-0936     Café Virtuoso Cafe Virtuoso entered…

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in Things To Do

SoCal’s Beachside Recreation Sites

By Lisa Kestenbaum   In California, we love our coastline. And dotting the Southland’s best beaches are some must-visit piers; from roller coaster rides to private bungalows, there is plenty to see and do at these often overlooked spots. Orange County is home to San Clemente Pier, where time seems to stand still and ocean waves crash on a pristine beach below.   Travelers on the Pacific Coastliner Amtrak train can board and depart at the pier, which feels like a time warp, between the Spanish Colonial design of the homes surrounding it and the 50s style surfer dudes. Pop into the Oyster Bar for a casual bite or catch the last slivers of sun as it goes down over the water. In San Diego, you can make an entire daytrip out of visiting the Coronado Ferry Landing. Filled with shops, galleries and restaurants, this strip inside the City of Coronado offers a great view of San Diego across the water. On the weekends, there are often live bands and every Tuesday, you can visit the Farmer’s Market. The Ferry Landing also offers bike and kayak tours, if you’re feeling adventurous or want to do something active. You can also visit…

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