Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Halloween Best Haunted Attractions Southern California

At one time Knott's Berry's Farm was the undisputed king of Southern California Halloween events. This Halloween the competition is fierce for the title of best haunted attraction. The key players this year for older children and adults are Knott"s, Universal Studios and Magic Mountain. Disneyland, Legoland and Seaworld San Diego are hosting haunted events that are suitable for all age groups.
Knott's Berry's Farm
Knott's Berry Farm Haunt is the world’s largest Halloween celebration. Starting September 24 and running for 27 horrifying nights the typically family friendly theme park will transform itself for its willing victims into 160-acres of sheer terror. Knott’s Halloween Haunt continues to be the leader in theme park Halloween events offering a whopping 13 mazes, seven hair-raising shows, three horrific scare zones and 1,000 roaming monsters roaming throughout the entire park. Knott’s Halloween Haunt dates are September 24-26, September 30-Oct. 3, 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-31, 2010. Event hours are 7pm - 1am; Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm-2am.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Halloween Horror Nights® opened its 17-night run today at Universal Studios HollywoodSM with the annual presentation of the Eyegore Awards, honoring the horror genre’s top stars and creative artists. The 2010 "Halloween Horror Nights" event at Universal Studios Hollywood offers spine-chilling new mazes based upon the horror genre’s most compelling characters. Rob Zombie and other top artists collaborated with Universal Studios Hollywood in the creation of new mazes, "scare zones" and backlot experiences. Halloween Horror Nights’ mazes will include "A Nightmare On Elm Street™: Never Sleep Again," "Friday the 13th™: Kill, Jason, Kill!," Rob Zombie’s "House of 1000 Corpses: In 3D Zombievison" plus "Saw: Game On" and "Vampyre: Castle of the Undead." Among the six "Scare Zones" is a new "La Llorona" experience, based upon the timeless Mexican legend.
Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain is transformed from a "theme park" to a haunted "scream park" for Fright Fest Presented by SNICKERS® beginning October 8 and running for four frightfully fun weekends through October 31. Fright Fest offers 12 days of terrifying haunted mazes, roaming zombies, the scariest clowns on the planet and new shows ... leaving no tombstone unturned to bring the ultimate sensory overload for every range of fear. For the little monsters, a Trick or Treat Trail Presented by Walgreens, Scaryoke and Crafts in Bugs Bunny World round out the activities.
October 8-10, 15-17, 22-24 and 29-31.
SeaWorld San Diego
Seaworld Halloween Spooktacular where can kids meet some spooky and not-so-spooky animals, pose for pictures with mesmerizing mermaids and trick-or-treat among a sea-inspired atmosphere, which includes friendly sea princesses, octopuses and schools of fish? It’s all part of SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular, where Halloween meets the sea this October. Kids are invited to come in costume and enjoy animal meet and greets, special Halloween shows and colorful costumed characters, from 1 to 6 p.m. the following weekends: Oct. 2–3, Oct. 9–10, Oct. 16–17, Oct. 23–24 and Oct. 30–31, 2010.
Queen Mary Dark Harbor
The ship’s crew have ensured this Long Beach Halloween tradition’s unforgettable and macabre makeover at the hands of fright masters long responsible for some of Southern California’s biggest scare-fests. More than 45,000 scares per hour await, along with 160 monsters and 20-foot tall flames. Three shipboard and two onshore mazes confuse and ensnare visitors, and although visitors will have every opportunity to turn back, the food, drink and entertainment inside will ensure leaving is unthinkable.
18 Nights Oct. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31
7:00 p.m. through the darkest hour of midnight

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lake Cachuma Santa Barbara Camping

Located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County is beautiful Lake Cachuma. The lake was artificially created as part of the Bradbury Dam in 1953 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and covers over 3,100 acres. Located just outside of Santa Barbara, consider visiting the lake when you come through on your next wine excursion, or bring the family for a weekend of camping.
For campers there are over 550 campsites, 90 of which offer full electrical, water and sewer hookups for your recreational vehicle. It’s a perfect location if you like to stray from the city without leaving too many of its creature comforts behind. Each of the campsites contains a picnic table and BBQ pit to cook a great meal.Lake Cachuma Camping

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

San Francisco Food Tours An Adventure in Eating

Food tours are a great way to explore San Francisco's neighborhoods. These popular gastronomical adventures are popping up in most major California cities, and San Francisco has some really tasty tours to enjoy. Here are a couple of the most popular San Francisco food tours.
Taste the Mission Guided Culinary Tour
"On this tour, the epicurean concierge makes a beeline to San Francisco's Mission District, where the traditional and often lusty Latino and South American flavors are a part of a changing community of various background and cultures. Tours include a mouth-watering assortment of tastings and samples both savory and sweet. It's a world of tacos and maple bacon donuts; salsa (the sauce, not the dance), freshly made ice cream and savory pies. Guests will enjoy learning in person the stories of Mission culinary artists and shopkeepers, with insights into the area's history and beautiful, world famous murals."
Tasty Tour of the Ferry Building and Farmers Market
"Within the Marketplace, tour-goers will sample olive oil varieties at McEvoy Ranch, indulge a sweet tooth for chocolate at Recchiuti Confections, makers of sublime, artisanal sweets, discover the creamiest, most delicious cheeses they have ever tasted at Cowgirl Creamery and fill their homes with cooking, dining and gardening treasures from The Gardener."
North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto Culinary Walking
Stops on the tour through the historic culinary mecca will include the original Peet's Coffee & Tea in Walnut Square, the eclectic food shops at Epicurious Garden, the Vintage Berkeley Wine Shop, and the area's weekly all-organic Farmers Market. Along the way, participants will get to taste some of the following local artisan edibles
• Cupcakes made from scratch at Love at First Bite Cupcakery & Bakery
• Raw food goodies at Cafe Gratitude
• Crispy Potato Puffs at Gregoire's
• Local pastrami on ACME rye with housemade soda at Saul's Delicatessen
• Coffee at the Original Peet's Coffee & Tea
• Organic specialties from the Juice Bar Collective
• Chocolate works of art at Alegio Chocolates
• Housemade Soups from SOOP in Epicurious Garden
• The Cheeseboard Collective; a Berkeley institution
• Local, seasonal and organic produce at the North Berkeley Farmers Market
Food tours are a delicious way to see San Francisco. These walking tours are fun for both locals and out of town visitors. Next time your looking for a unique way to spend the day consider taking a San Francisco food tour.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Anza Borrego State Park Camping

Anza Borrego State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is California's largest state park, and a popular place for camping. Located in the southeastern corner of California, bound by the rugged mountain of the Santa Rosas on the north, the Jacumba Mountains on the South. Anza Borrego State Park has three developed campsites run by the state of California. There are also numerous primitive camping areas throughout the park. Wildlife found in the park include roadrunner, golden eagle, kit fox, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas. All together, over 110 miles of hiking trails are available. The Vern Whitaker Horse Camp provides a camping location for those who decide to try the park on horseback. Many trails are set up for horses. Coyote Canyon is a great spot for nature observation.

The three main campgrounds are:
Palm Canyon
Reservations from 9/16 to 05/14 each year.
Borrego Palm Canyon Campground has Hook Up sites, Developed sites, ADA sites and 5 - Group Camp sites and is located within the town of Borrego Springs at 200 Palm Canyon Drive.
To book a Group site you must have at least NINE occupants
Horseman's Camp
Reservations from 10/01 to 05/14 each year.
Vern Whitaker Horse Camp is located roughly 8 miles north of the town of Borrego Springs off of Henderson Canyon road and includes a 3 mile drive on a single track dirt road to the camp.
Tamarask Grove
Open to reservations from 2 pm Fri to noon Sun (11/6/09 - 5/15/10) except 11/20 - 11/28/09 AND 12/26/09 -1/2/10. Tamarisk Grove is located roughly 18 miles south of the town of Borrego Springs on Highway S-3 near the intersection with Highway 78.
Anza Borrego State Park offers year round back packing, hiking, camping and off roading. Anza Borrego State Park is located on the eastern side of San Diego County, with parts extending east into Imperial County and north into Riverside County. It is about a two-hour drive from San Diego, Irvine, Riverside, and Palm Springs. Many visitors approach from the east or west via Highways S22 and 78.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Julian Apple Picking

Julian Bakery
Its apple picking time in Julian California. This years apple harvest gets into full swing from about middle of September to the middle of October. Picking season is rather short due to the popularity of this annual event. U-Pick apple season has become a victim of its success with very limited supplies of these delicious treats. Apples and Art Orchards has U-Pick for groups of ten or more however you must make a reservation. The trip up the mountain is still worth the drive especially if you arrive early. O'Dell's Organic Orchard is open weekends for you pick along with Raven Hill Orchard which is also open on Fridays. While the pickings may be slim you can still fill up on apple pie at Julian Bakery or take a gold mine tour at the Julian Mining Company. Julian California directions: From Los Angeles and Orange County take 5 or 15 south to 76 East to 79, turn right to 78/79 (Santa Ysabel) turn left to Julian, or take 5 or 15 South to 78 east to Julian. From San Diego take I-8 east to highway 67 (toward Ramona). 67 turns into 78 in Ramona, follow to Julian, or take I-8 east to 79 (through the Cuyamaca State Park) to Julian. From the Carlsbad - Vista take 78 east to Julian. You can pick up 78 east from I-15 in Escondido or I-5 in Carlsbad.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Walt Disney Family Museum San Francisco

When The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco was looking for a way to illustrate the ancestry and family roots of Walt Disney, they turned to an imaginative Bay Area artist and mapmaker named Dave Stevenson.   His work, which will be on exhibit in the Lower Lobby of the Museum from September 15- to January 3, has been seen at the entrance to the Museum’s first gallery by thousands of visitors since the Museum opened.  Stevenson’s colorful map charts the journey of Disney family ancestors from Isigny-sur-Mer, France ( d’Isigny was Anglicized to Disney,) through England, Ireland and Canada to the United States.

Stevenson uses geography, cartography, graphic design, and artistic inspiration to create his maps. These works of art include history and landmarks, people, plants, and animals to communicate an accurate yet romantic, playful, or dramatic view of the places and events that he charts.  Included in the exhibition are maps of Maui, Antarctica, Egypt, and India, as well as the famous map, Treasures of the World, included as an insert in National Geographic Also featured are maps of Antarctica, Egypt, the Galapagos Islands, the Lewis and Clark expedition used in marketing Lindblad Expeditions and maps of the Mediterranean, and India, as well as a dramatic piece that charts the spread of the Black Death. A map of the Presidio of San Francisco drawn especially for this exhibition will also be on display.
The Walt Disney Family Museum will screen the film Treasure Island as its film-of-the-month during October, and public programs and gallery experiences during the month will focus on aspects of both the film and map making.

The fascinating and inspiring story of Walt Disney, whose artistry, imagination and vision helped define 20th-century America, has been brought to life at The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio of San Francisco.  The Museum illuminates Walt Disney’s tremendous successes, disappointments, and unyielding optimism as he worked tirelessly to enhance the art of animation. Explore Walt’s remarkable life through ten interactive galleries that feature early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a 14-foot model of Disneyland and much more. The Walt Disney Family Museum, L.L.C. is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Family Foundation, a non-profit foundation. Open Wednesday – Monday 10:00am to 6:00pm on the on the Main Post of the Presidio.

The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94129

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Alabama Hills Lone Pine California

Heart Arch Alabama Hills California

Mobius Arch Alabama Hills California

 The Alabama Hills are located about two miles off highway 395 near the town of Lone Pine, California. Over the years these prehistoric rock formations have been the back drop for hundreds of movies. One of the most visited places in the Alabama Hills is Mobius arch. The arch is reached by taking Movie Flat road, an unpaved but fairly smooth dirt track. Drive 2.5 miles west on Whitney Portal Road. Turn right on Movie Flat road and go approximately 2 miles to where the road forks. Take the right fork and turn into the parking area. The trail is marked with rocks and its a very easy hike to the arch. From the parking lot you can also view Heart Arch which has a opening in the arch that is heart shaped. Movie Flat road goes on for mile through the Alabama hills with spectacular views at every turn. Next time you travel through the Owens Valley take time and visit the Alabama Hills, you will not be disappointed.