Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bodega Bay San Francisco Day Trip

Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay is perfect for a romantic weekend or a day trip. Miles of beaches to explore, fresh sea food and beautiful Sonoma Coast scenery. Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "The Birds" was filmed in Bodega Bay. Travel time from San Francisco is about two hours and takes you to a different world. In in 1809 the Russians landed at Bodega Bay and the settlement was used as a base to support the building of Fort Ross. Today the Russians are gone and what is left is a picturesque Sonoma Coast village. Bodega Bay has several hotels and Inns catering to north coast tourists and people escaping San Francisco. Bodega Bay has served as a location for several major films including
The Birds (1963) the film was filmed entirely around the two towns of Bodega and Bodega Bay. Special sites used for shooting included Potter School, the Bay, the two towns which were made to appear as one, and the home and barn across the bay from the town of Bodega Bay.
The Pack (1977) Filmed around Bodega Bay.
The Fog (1980)
The Goonies (1985) Some scenes filmed along the Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay
Puppet Master (1989) Setting is Bodega Bay for the first two, fourth and fifth films.
Sleepwalkers (1992) Opening scene filmed in Bodega Bay.
Bodega Bay is perfect for a day trip or romantic getaway.
Pictures of Bodega Bay

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things to do in Southern California this Weekend

Looking for fun things to do this weekend in Southern California well here are some great places to go.
Things to do with kids this weekend:
Here are a some kid friendly attractions that have great end of summer deals. Legoland California is offering $15.00 off on a 1 Day Hopper Tickets and $17.00 off two day Hopper tickets. Hopper Tickets include two-day admission to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium. They also have a limited time offer if you buy a one day ticket you get a second day for free. Legoland discount tickets.
SeaWorld San Diego is another family friendly place and they also have a great end of summer deal. Single day ticket Adults pay kid's price plus you get a 2nd visit free. You can spend the whole weekend at SeaWorld and only pay for one day. SeaWorld discount tickets.
Aquarium of the Pacific Fun and educational place to go if you live in the Los Angeles area. Aquariun of the Pacific half price tickets.
Romantic things to do this weekend.
Send the kids off to grandma and enjoy some time alone you sweetheart this weekend. Here are a couple of fun romantic places to go in Southern California.
Laguna Beach is one of the romantic places to go in Southern California. With Sandy beaches, tide pools, shops, and world class restaurants Laguna Beach is sure to please. Laguna Beach.
Wine tasting in the Temecula Valley Nothing more romantic than taking a tour of our local Southern California Wineries. Head out together or take a guided wine tour , either way this is a great place to spend a romantic weekend.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Harmony California

Harmony California
Harmony is about 12 south of Hearst Castle in Central California. The town grew up serving the local dairy industry and continued to do so until the late 1950s. Harmony was nearly a ghost town until the 1970s when some of the buildings were restored and reopened as restaurants and shops. The restaurant has since closed but the glass works and a pottery studio are still open. In 1989 Harmony Cellars, a boutique winery and tasting room opened on the hill overlooking the town and continues to draw visitors off busy Highway 1. Harmony is definitely worth checking out and makes for a nice side trip on a visit to Hearst Castle. More information and pictures of Harmony Californa.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Redwood Highway Map

The North Coast Tourism Council has rekeased a new map of the Redwood Highway. The highway,actually route 101 travels from San Francisco to the Oregon border. 2009 is the the official 100-year anniversary for the Redwood Highway, named after the giant trees that line the highway. The map highlights visitor centers, points of interest and of course locations of giant redwoods. You can view the new map here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

California State Parks New fees Start

New fees for camping and day use are now being charged at most California State Parks. As of today, August 17, it will cost you more to visit and camp at many California state parks. Here is a run down of some of the Southern California parks that will be charging higher prices:
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Parking went from $6 per day year-round to $5 to $8, depending on the season. Borrego Palm Canyon developed campsites with hookups were $24 to $29 per night, depending on season; now $35 year-round.
Bolsa Chica State Beach: Parking went from $10 to $15. Developed sites with hookups were $29-$34, now $50. Premium (beachfront) sites were $39 to $44; now $65.
Carpinteria State Beach: Parking went from $8 to $10. Primitive campsites were $20-$25; now $35. Hike-and-bike sites doubled, from $5 to $10.
El Capitan State Beach: Parking went from $8 to $10. Primitive campsites were $20-$25; now $35. Hike-and-bike sites were $5; now $10.
Leo Carrillo State Park: Parking went from $10 to $12. Drive-in, developed campsites were $20-$25, now $35. Hike-and-bike sites were free; now $7.
Malibu Creek State Park: Parking went from $10 to $12. Drive-in, developed campsites were $20-$25; now $35.
San Clemente State Beach: Parking went from $10 to $15. Drive-in , developed campsites were $20-$25; now $35. Group camping was $150; now $280.
San Onofre State Beach: Parking went from $10 to $15. In the San Mateo area, drive-in, developed campsites were $20-$25; now $35; developed sites with hook-ups were $29-$34; now $60.

Maybe the higher prices will make it a litter easier to get a camping reservation. Even with the price hikes many California State Parks are still in danger of being closed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Little Tokyo Los Angeles Nisei Week Festival

Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles is celebrating the 69th annual Nisei Week Festival with booths, musical performances, art exhibits and free admission to the Japanese American National Museum. This year's Nisei Week Japanese Festival theme is "A Year of Celebrations" celebrating many centennial milestone anniversaries of community-based organizations and the golden anniversary of the first ever sister-city of the City of Los Angeles, Nagoya, Japan. Here are some pictures from the Little Tokyo Los Angeles Nisei Week Festival.

NeNe dog at Nisei Week Festival This little dog had to be the star of the festival. While its owner participated in the fashion show NeNe checks out the crowd.

Lanterns Nisei Week Festival Lanterns sway in the wind at the Los Angeles Nisei Week Festival in downtown Los Angeles.

Chefs barbecue food at Japanese at the Nesei Festival Chefs barbecue food at Japanese at the Nesei Festival Los Angeles.

Dogzilla Japanese style hot dogs Dogzilla Japanese style hot dogs. Thes dogs are huge and and are a big hit at the Nisei Week Festival.

Karaoke group performs on stage at the Los Angeles Nisei Week Festival A Karaoke group performs on stage at the Los Angeles Nisei Week Festival.
Los Angeles Nisei Week Festival continues today with a parade at 5:30. Events and food all day long. More about Los Angeles Little Tokyo Here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

John's Incredible Pizza Review Buena Park Ca

Cheap pizza and expensive games. John's Incredible Pizza just opened a new location in the Buena Park mall and we went for a look see. John's Pizza takes up almost the entire bottom level of the Buena Park Mall which is good for the mall because half the stores are empty. The Pizza place has its own entrance so it will probably not to much to increase traffic to the mall. John's Incredible Pizza is a clean well laid out operation with all you can eat pizza, salads and deserts. John's is divided into two areas, food buffet and a huge game area. Branching off from the food section are different theme rooms where you can sit down to eat. They also sell beer and wine if you are so inclined.
Food: The pizza is OK with lots of choices but the crust tastes like the 5 buck pizza from Little Caesars. Salad bar has plenty of choices but the day we visited some items we not so fresh. Most people were piling on the salad dressing so I doubt they even tasted the greens. Deserts were were good and I'm sure kids will make several trips to the desert bar. Over all you get a lot of food for your ten bucks even though its not the best tasting you will ever eat. There were lots of overweight people carrying huge plates of food and this is not how John's Incredible Pizza makes its money. They are lucky if they break even on the food.
Games: John's Incredible Pizza has a huge game area with full size rides, plus bowling and bumper cars. This is one of the places they get their money back they lost on the food. To play the games you buy .25 cent credits and apply them to your Fun Card. Rides cost ten credits games less. When you win at a game you get tickets which you can trade in for toys and novelties. Bottom line is you end up paying twenty bucks for a toy you could buy at Walmart for a dollar.
Birthday Parties: This is the big money maker for the John. There are eleven party rooms at John's Incredible Pizza in Buena Park all lined up like a party factory. The most prominent feature of each room is the clock on the wall where you time your 1 hour and 45 minutes party time. Party Packages are for groups of 12 or more starting at $12.99 per guest. With this you get 20 credits per guest for the games. This will last the kids about five minutes and then they will be after mom or dad for more credits. If you looking for a cookie cutter kids party then John's Incredible Pizza is for you.
Conclusion: John's Incredible Pizza is clean and efficient operation. If your looking for a place to gorge yourself on food for only ten bucks this is the place. Food is just OK but for ten dollars its a deal. Game room great for kids, not so good for parents who end up paying top dollar for dollar store items. Parties, well this is a party factory nothing more, if you want a unique kids birthday party then keep looking.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park Los Angeles

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park Los Angeles
Vasquez Rocks are located north of Los Angeles in the Santa Clarita Valley. If you have every watched and Star Trek television show or movie you have see Vasquez Rocks. Captain Kirk has fought many alien creatures on these spectacular rock formations. Vasquez Rocks was named after the outlaw, Tiburcio Vasquez, who used the caves as a hideout. Since the days of silent movies the rocks have been a favorite place to shoot westerns and science fictions productions. Today the park is still used as a location for movies but most of the time you can find visitors climbing over the rocks and enjoying the spectacular scenery. There are a couple of picnic tables, a few trails to hike and of course the rocks. It can be windy here and the dust really kicks up so bring plenty of water and some good hiking shoes.
From Los Angeles, take the I-5 northbound to the Antelope Valley Freeway (14 east). Drive about 25 minutes, exit right at Agua Dulce Canyon Road and turn left. You will drive under the freeway and across the Sierra Pacific Railroad and wind uphill until you reach Escondido Canyon Road. Make a right turn and you will see the park off to your right.
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park
10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road,
Agua Dulce

Sunday, August 09, 2009

California State Historic Parks

Bodie State Historic Park
California State Historic Parks help to preserve the rich history of the Golden State. There are a total of 35 of these historic parks scattered across California. Unfortunately several of these parks are under the threat of closure due to a lack of funding. Each of these parks are a treasure with thousands of visitors each year including tourist and school children. Let us hope that none of these wonderful parks are closed and some way is found to keep them all open.
These parks include Bodie State Historic Park, Bodie State Historic Park, Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park, Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park plus many more. For a complete list of all California State Historic Parks follow this link.

Friday, August 07, 2009

San Diego SeaWorld Adults at Kid's Price plus 2nd Visit Free

Exclusive Online Special
For a limited time 2 day passes for Seaworld San Diego cost less than a 1 Day Pass. Purchase adult and kids 2 day passes for $55.00 per person, retail gate price is $70.00 for 2 day/ $65.00 for one day. Only 4 more weeks before the kids head back to school! Take the family out for a fun day at Seaworld San Diego and enjoy these end of summer savings.
Click Here to purchase your Tickets Now

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Central California Beach Camping

Central California Beach and Coastal Campgrounds are a great way to explore California on a budget. With hotels rooms costing 100 dollars a night or more it can get very expensive driving the central coast. Campgrounds average about 25 dollars a night or 200 for the whole week. If your not lucky enough to own an RV there are several companys that rent Recreational Vehicles for a few days or the enitire summer. Tent camping is another option, letting you use the family car for camping without having the stress of operating a big RV. California Central Coast stretches from Oxnard to San Francisco

Big Basin Redwoods State Park - Big Basin Redwoods State Park is the oldest State Park in California. It was acquired in 1902. The park has miles of trails, which serves hikers and equestrians, links Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reach of the Santa Cruz range.
Butano State Park - Butano State Park is a 3,200-acre redwood park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, featuring excellent hiking through the redwood groves. Only three miles from the coast, the park's trails offer views of the ocean.
Fremont Peak State Park - This park features expansive views of Monterey Bay, from its hiking trails in the grasslands of the higher peaks of the Gavilan Range. The park also features an astronomical observatory with a 30-inch telescope, which is open for public programs on selected evenings.
Hearst Castle Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Pacific Ocean while camping at San Simeon Creek Campground.The campground is NOT on reservations from October 1st through March 14th and open on a 1st come / 1st served system using the Self-Pay envelope system
Montana de Oro State Park - Features over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills - with 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park trails.
Morro Bay State Park - Morro Bay State Park features lagoon and natural bay habitat. The bay's most prominent landmark is Morro Rock. The park has opportunities for sailing fishing, hiking, and bird watching.
Pismo Beach State Beach - Offers all kinds of attractions: hiking, swimming and surf fishing (and digging for the famous Pismo clam); the annual winter migration of millions of monarch butterflies
Sunset State Beach - Sunset State Beach features pine trees, mountainous sand dunes, and ocean side picnic spots. Bordered by large agricultural fields between the cities of Santa Cruz and Monterey, the beach is a year-round destination for thousands of visitors.
More Central Coast Beach Camping

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Things to Do With Kids - Southern California

With one more month on summer vacation left chances are you are running out of things to do with the kids. Before you know it your children with be back to school and the only chance to spend the day with them will be on the weekend. Here are a few popular places to take the kids for the day in Southern California.
Discovery Science Center - 120 hands-on exhibits, live science shows, and a 3D laser show. Kids participate in live science and more. One of the best places to take kids in Southern California. Discount print at home tickets available.
Orange County Zoo - The zoo has animals and plants from the southwestern United States. 1 Irvine Park Road Orange, California. Plan on visiting next time your at Irvine Regional Park.
Aquarium of the Pacific - Located in Long Beach this is one of the largest aquariums in the United States. It has nearly 1,000 species filling 19 major habitats. Half Price Tickets.
Adventure City - Theme park for kids; rides, petting zoo, children's theater, puppet shows and a train ride. The little theme park is expanding services and attractions and ready for a full summer of fun.
California Science Center - The west coast's largest hands-on science center. located in Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Admission to the main exhibition galleries is free. More than enough things to do here to keep your family busy all day long.
Here is a list of even more things to do with kids.
Things to Do With Kids in Southern California

Monday, August 03, 2009

San Clemente California

San Clemente California
San Clemente is the southern most town in Orange County, California. Unlike other Southern California beach cities San Clemente has so far avoided huge resort hotels and retains its small town charm. The hills and valleys inland have mostly been developed but downtown San Clemente is still full of family owned shops and restaurants. San Clemente is a surf town with several excellent surfing areas in or near the 1,200 foot long wooden pier. A few miles down the coast is the world famous trestles surfing beach. San Clemente State Beach offers beach camping if you are lucky enough to get a reservation. If no campsite can be found there are ample hotels and motels, some with beach views. If you are planning a weekend getaway or So Cal vacation, San Clemente is ideal being located half way between Los Angeles and San Diego. More about San Clemente.