Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fort Sutter Sacramento California

Fort Sutter Sacramento California
Located in downtown Sacramento Fort Sutter is a restored 1860 California outpost. Visitors including thousands of school children can take a look into the past and see how life was for the early Californians. The fort was only used for about ten years until the discovery of gold. Most of Sutter's workers headed out to the goldfields in search of riches. Today the restored fort is one of Sacramento's most visited attractions with activities and programs going on year round. Sutter's Fort is located at 26th & K street in midtown Sacramento. It is also surrounded by freeways. Interstate 5 to the west. Interstate 99 to the east. Interstate 50 & Interstate 80 headed off to the Sierra Nevada. And due west is Interstate 80 headed in from the Bay Area. The entrance (parking is available anywhere along the block, bring quarters for the meters, free on Sundays). is located at 2701 L Street. Sutter's Fort is open daily 10-5. Hours Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Sutter's Fort Sacramento

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Southern California Outlet Malls

Ontario Mills Outlet Mall California The day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. With the struggling economy on everyone's mind a good way to save money is shopping at an outlet mall. Southern California has some of the biggest outlet malls in the country. Complete list of Southern California Outlet Malls.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Doheny State Beach

Doheny State Beach Doheny State Beach has 41 acres of ocean front in Southern Orange County. Popular for day use and overnight camping. It's "in town" location makes it an affordable weekend getaway for local folks. Within walking distance of the beach is Dana Point Harbor where you can rent boats or take a whale watching trip. Summer and holiday weekends the beach is packed with people, off season the beach looks like these pictures.
Doheny State Beach Bike Rentals Bring along a picnic lunch and then take a spin on a bike along the ocean front trail. Bike rentals are available at Doheny Beach. Beach Cruisers cost $10/hr $18/half day $28/day and kids bikes $6/hr $15/half day $24/ day.
Doheny State beach Camping Sites Doheny State Beach has 122 camping, some of them are just steps from the beach. Summer time the camping sites are booked up solid. Off season you may be surprised how easy it is to get a beach front camping site like the one pictured above. Doheny beach is just off of Dana Harbor Drive, approximately one mile north of I-5 and about three miles from San Juan Capistrano. Dogs are allowed in the campground but must be leashed and attended to at all times. Dogs are not allowed on the beach at any time. Reserve campsite at Doheny State beach

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train

It's that time of year again and the Irvine Park Train is making it's annual Christmas runs. New for this year, Christmas Train tickets may be purchased in advance to board the train at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 or 8:00 PM -- get in line when it is your time to board the train. And, while waiting for your boarding time, there are many activities for children to enjoy in the Party Pavilions located next to the train station. Hop aboard the train and enjoy the colorful Christmas lights and decorations, as well as the magical “Tunnel of Lights”, on the ride back to the station house. The annual event is one of the park's biggest attractions and has become a tradition for many Orange County families.

Dates: November 28th, 29th, and 30th
December 5th, 6th, and 7th
December 11th through 23rd
Hours: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Cost: $8.00 per person - children 24 months and younger are FREE.
Irvine Park Train

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ruby's Shake Shack Crystal Cove California

Ruby's Shake Shack Laguna beach The Shack Shack is located along Pacific Coast Highway at Crystal Cove. For over fifty years the shack has attracted locals and tourists. For most of it's life it was called the Date Shack serving monkey flips and date shakes. In 1989, state officials canceled longtime owner Virginia McKinney’s lease with plans to widen Coast Highway. The Shack was saved and Corona Del Mar tavern owner Arden Flamson who took over operation of the shack. Today the shack is run by Ruby Restaurant Group. Serving up burgers, snacks and sandwiches. Several of the old drinks and sandwiches are still available, although they are not all on the menu. The owners have changed along with the food served but the view is just as spectacular as ever.  View of Crystal Cove from Shake Shack Just below the shack is Crystal Cove with it's famous beach cottages. Chances of renting one of the historic cottages are pretty slim but for the price of a mango smoothie you can enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean and the beach below.
mango smoothie Ruby's Shake Shack Crystal Cove Crystal Cove's Shake Shack (formerly the Date Shack 7408 Coast Highway Newport Coast.(949) 464-0100. The shack has sandwiches, shakes and malts. Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Parking is limited to 30minutes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend - Low Cost Southern California Day Trips

Thanksgiving weekend means for most of us is a four day mini vacation. The holiday shopping season traditionally starts the day after Thanksgiving filling up shopping malls with crowds of shoppers looking for gifts at sale prices. If your budget is on a diet and there are no funds for shopping try one of these free things to do this holiday weekend in Southern California.

Southern California BeachThe Beach. So far it's still free to go to one of our great Southern California Beaches. If you want to park close you might end up paying but if you don't mind walking parking is free also. Things to do at the beach: ride a bike, tide pools, sleep, fire pit at night, people watch maybe even take a dip in the ocean. No money for a hotel then try some beach camping.

Point Dume Nature Preserve
Point Dume Nature Preserve Point Dume is at the northern most point of Santa Monica bay about 18 miles along Pacific Coast Highway from Santa Monica. The view from the point is worth the drive alone this place is really magical. For people that have some energy to burn take the trail down to the beach and enjoy the secluded bay, you might even see a celebrity surfing the waves. Point Dume.

Griffith Observatory has free admission and free parking. Inside the restored Los Angeles landmark there exhibits on three different levels that teach you about our universe. Outside (on a clear day) visitors are treated to spectacular views of downtown LA and the Hollywood hills with it's famous sign. Griffith Observatory

Cabrillo National Monument Located at the end of Point Loma in San Diego. The drive along Catalina Boulevard (Cabrillo Memorial Drive) takes you past modest homes and million dollar mansions before you enter Fort Rosecrans Military Reserve. Hike down to the rocky beach and explore the tide pools. Five dollar parking fee. Cabrillo National Monument

Monday, November 10, 2008

California Academy of Sciences San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences San Francisco
Now open in San Francisco's Golden Gate park the California Academy of Sciences has an aquarium, planetarium and a rain forest. The building design, which features a living roof, blends into the Golden Gate Park and make nature a part of the building’s structure. Approximately 1.7 million plants blanket the 2.5 acres of roof.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Point Arena Lighthouse

Point Arena Lighthouse Point Arena Lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake in 1906 and then rebuilt in 1908, Point Arena Lighthouse is 115 feet and one of the tallest lighthouses in the U.S. Guided tours of the light station as well as self guided tours of the grounds are available daily. Afterward, spend some time browsing through our Lighthouse Gift shop featuring unique souvenirs, interesting gifts, custom made Abalone Jewelry, beautiful collectibles, and lighthouse clothing.
For those who want to spend more time by the sea, you can stay in comfortable accommodations in our historic keepers' home vacation rentals which are available year round. Travel Instructions: From the town of Point Arena, proceed one mile north on Highway 101 then turn left onto Lighthouse Road and follow it two miles to its terminus at the lighthouse.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

California High Speed Rail

Proposition 1A has has been passed by the voters of California. Passage of the proposition will start funding construction of a high-speed rail line between the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco and Los Angeles Union Station. The trip would take about 2 1/2 hours, and would cost $55 one way. After departing San Francisco, the train would make stops on the Peninsula and in San Jose and Gilroy before heading over the Pacheco Pass to the San Joaquin Valley and points south.
The system would be the largest public works project in California history - bigger than the California Aqueduct - and would cost $32 billion for the main line between San Francisco and Los Angeles and another $10 billion to $12 billion to complete the network with extensions to San Diego, Sacramento and Riverside County. The state is banking on getting about a third of the construction budget from state taxpayers, a third from the federal government and a third from private investors.

Statement on Voter Approval of Proposition 1A
From Quentin Kopp, Chairman, California High-Speed Rail Authority
“History will remember this night, when Californians demanded a new transportation system for California's 21st century travel needs. Thanks to tonight’s vote, a state-of-the-art, new transportation choice will link every major city in the state and move people and products like never before. The citizens of California have put the 21st century golden spike in the ground with a clear affirmation of high-speed trains.
As chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority, I pledge to honor the spirit of those who established our state's pioneering transportation system, by working to build a first-in-the-nation high-speed train system to benefit future generations.
This effort will improve our once-matchless transportation systems in California by delivering a high-speed train system that will cost two to three times less than expanding freeways and airports to accommodate millions of new Californians by 2030.
A reliable 220-mile-per-hour electric high-speed train system will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by more than 12 million barrels per year and reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming by 12.7 billion pounds annually. In short, we seek to reduce traffic congestion, protect our environment and give energy and life to our economy to the tune of 450,000 new jobs.
In turbulent economic times, this vote is particularly satisfying. The voters have demanded we face the future by planning for continued population growth at a time in which airports and freeways have reached capacity.
Our approach will be grounded by public-private financing and guided by scrupulous fiscal discipline and accountability. We accept the charge to build this train and we recognize our enormous responsibility to the current and future residents of this great State. We will live up to their expectations and aspirations.”

Monday, November 03, 2008

Lompoc Murals

Lompoc Murals
Lompoc is known for it's beautiful flower fields, and the local Air Force Base, Vandenberg AFB. Located through out the city are many colorful murals. Lompoc's first mural was of the “Flower Industry” painted in 1990 by Santa Monica artist, Art Mortimer. Today, Lompoc has close to 30 major commissioned murals in its inventory. They all depict a part of Lompoc's history and are located primarily in the old downtown area. There are also dozens of smaller murals within the community. Some of these have been part of the Mural Society's Community Canvas Project and Outdoor Art Competition. Many privately created murals have also sprung up all over town. Today, tourists come to view Lompoc's murals year round from all over the world. Map of Lompoc murals. Lompoc (pronounced /Lom'-poke/) is located in Santa Barbara County, California.