CA Travel Guide

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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Destroyed During Test Flight

October 31, 2014 at 3:01 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: SpaceShipTwo (center) hangs from her carrier plane, WhiteKnightTwo, as they prepare for today's test flight at MHV

BREAKING NEWS

[Update: California Highway Patrol verifies that, of the two SpaceShipTwo pilots, one is confirmed dead and the other suffered serious injuries and was transported from the scene by helicopter. The names of the pilots have not been released.]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo was destroyed during a test flight today, shortly after setting out under its own rocket power over the California desert.

The spacecraft first left the runway under its carrier plane, WhiteKnightTwo, at 9:19am PST this morning. SpaceShipTwo was then released and fired up her rocket engine around 10:07am, which is when Virgin Galactic tweeted, "Ignition! #SpaceShipTwo is flying under rocket power again. Stay tuned for updates."

Tragically the next update, only 6 minutes later, announced that the craft had experienced an "in-flight anomaly."

SpaceShipTwo currently only seats two pilots, both of whom are equipped with parachutes for emergency ejection. Early reports indicate that two parachutes were observed after the mid-air explosion, although the status of the pilots hasn't yet been ascertained (see updates at top of story). Wreckage of the craft is visible on the ground.

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San Francisco is the Inspiration Behind Disney's 'Big Hero 6'

October 31, 2014 at 10:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

To celebrate the release of their new animated movie, Big Hero 6, Disney is giving away a trip to San Francisco.

During this Adventures by Disney getaway, one lucky winner and their family will explore the city that served as the inspiration for Big Hero 6's setting -San Fransokyo.

The four day/three night Disney Adventures San Francisco Long Weekend includes stops at the Walt Disney Family Museum and Lucasfilm, a guided tour of the Bay, a ferry to Angel Island State Park, and other activities.

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Travel Contest Roundup: Five Ways to Visit California for Free

October 31, 2014 at 8:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!

Here are five vacation contests to enter right now that will get you some California fun in the sun:

Pik-Nik Dolphin Tale 2 Sweepstakes

We’re not going to discuss the cinematic masterpiece that is Dolphin Tale 2, but we’re fans of the movie if it gets us to California for free. Enter by today—October 31—for a chance to win a trip to four to Los Angeles along with airfare, three nights accommodations, and VIP tour of Warner Bros. Studios.

Sunset Flavor Tour Napa Dream Trip Sweepstakes

California is all fun in the sun, but do not forget about all that agriculture as well—like the vineyards and the grapes. Win a trip for two to beautiful Napa, and you’ll be enjoying round-trip airfare, private car service, a personalized wine tour, and a four-night stay over at the Andaz Napa. There’s a few more surprises in store for the big winner, but just be sure to enter by the end of the month—that’s today.

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Last Chance for Fans to Visit the 'Sons of Anarchy' Set in LA

October 30, 2014 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week Sons of Anarchy is shooting their final episode, ever. As the end of SOA nears, fans aren't just losing their favorite show, they're also losing one of L.A.'s most popular pop culture tourist attractions.

Sons' main set - the Teller-Morrow Automotive Repair Shop - is located next to their studio at 7333 Radford Ave, North Hollywood and is visible from the road, making it a must-see filming location for SOA fans visiting the Los Angeles area. Many fans have been lucky enough to see the show filming there, too.

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Beyond Rocket Science: The 8 Incredible Details You Never Knew About Virgin Galactic

October 30, 2014 at 11:12 AM | by | Comments (0)

How about Paris for the weekend, or a two-week trip around Southeast Asia? Forget it—that's so 2014, so terrestrial. Should Virgin Galactic have their way, 2015 will be the year you book a vacation of suborbital space travel, or perhaps a supersonic 45-minute flight from California to London.

This month SpaceShipTwo completed her 54th test flight, improving the odds that next year will indeed be the one to finally kick off space tourism. In fact, Virgin Galactic has already begun the big move from Mojave, CA to Las Cruces, NM, the latter being home to Spaceport America and, hopefully soon, flights to space full of paying passengers (6, to be specific, plus 2 pilots).

Seeing as the US treats spaceship technology with something of the same intense secrecy as defense technology, much of what Virgin Galactic's been up to out in their hangar in the California desert is hush-hush top secret. The 10th Anniversary of their Ansari X Prize win however opened up a small window for us to peek behind those massive doors. Here's what we can tell (and show!) you:

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Where and When to Join in the SF Giants World Series Victory Celebration

October 30, 2014 at 8:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, as last night in Kansas City they defeated the Royals 3 to 2—and took home their third World Series title in the last five years.

Now it’s time to celebrate over in San Francisco, as the city is getting ready to welcome home the champions. With all these victories in the last few years they know how to throw a party, and it sounds like the celebration and parade is scheduled for this Friday, October 31. That just happens to be Halloween, which is perfect, as the Giants love both orange and black.

We’re sure more and more details will trickle out during the day, but here’s what you need to know to start planning things. The parade is going to star right at noon—local time—over at Market and Steuart streets, and then things will travel down Market Street. The shindig will end at Civic Center Plaza, and we can only expect lots of ticker tape, cheering, celebrating, and general merriment.

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Golden Gate Bridge Tolls Would Hurt SF Tourism

October 29, 2014 at 9:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve been to San Francisco there’s little doubt that the Golden Gate Bridge was on your travel to-do list, and rightfully so—it’s pretty darn snazzy. Taking things to the next level involves actually getting out of the car and walking or biking across the bridge, but it sounds like there are plans to monetize that experience.

Nothing is official as of yet, but city officials are kicking around the idea of charging tolls to both pedestrians and cyclists making their way across the bridge. We don’t want to get political—nor would we know what we’re talking about—but it was a close vote. So now what they’re going to do is study things to see what kind of impact the tolls would have, and also likely how much cash they could raise. We’d imagine that bridge is pretty expensive to maintain.

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San Francisco Welcomes the Plush Seats, Posh Meals of JetBlue Mint

October 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

If there's one question we've heard over and over since the launch of JetBlue's Mint premium class earlier this year, it's "when will it fly to San Francisco?"

The answer arrived this last Sunday, literally, in the form of a JetBlue A321. This milestone marks the beginning of regular Mint service between JFK and SFO, which comes in addition to the original route of JFK-LAX begun in June.

**21 original photos of the JetBlue Mint seats and service**

Mint seats start at $599 each way, and include custom extras specifically for JetBlue Mint passengers. These include a full, hot meal from NYC's Saxon + Parole, a special customer service line, an amenity kit by Birchbox, a comfy pillow and duvet, and a fully flat bed for optimum nappage.

To book Mint between JFK and LAX or JFK and SFO, simply search your preferred dates on JetBlue.com and look for the green column of Mint fares.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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How to Get Last-Minute Tickets to Screamfest LA

October 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week Hollywood is going to get a little scarier.

Screamfest, the world's biggest horror film festival, kicks off tonight at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and will feature up and coming horror directors while also honoring the best in the biz.

The festival has earned a reputation for finding the next best next thing in horror. Back in 2007 they showcased the then little known independent movie Paranormal Activity which went on the earn more than $60 million at the box office in its first month.

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Make Time for Halloween Time at Disneyland (But Don't Waste Time in Buying a Ticket)

October 7, 2014 at 4:07 PM | by | Comment (1)

Disneyland got a BIG head start on the Halloween festivities when they kicked off their annual Halloween Time on September 12, but despite the clever Halloween-themed decorations and costume-clad characters that now fill the park, the real spooky action can be found at Mickey's Halloween Party.

Held on select nights, the party includes Halloween Screams fireworks spectacular, more than 70 trick-or-treat stations, dance parties, creepy craft activities and the chance for you and the fan to roam around Disneyland in your matching Jack Skellington costumes. (Disneyland is one of the few theme parks that do you allow you to dress up, although there are some restrictions.)

As you can imagine, this event is HUGELY popular with Disney fans. So much so that there is only one night left with tickets still available--October 29. Tickets cost $70 a person and include admission to the Disneyland Park up to three hours before the event's start time (6pm) along with complimentary parking.

Can't make it to the party? Then you can enjoy the daytime Halloween festivities at Disneyland which include haunted attractions on rides like the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain; the Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch where kids can play games, do crafts and get made over into pirates, and a special Dia de los Muertos skeleton display tucked inside Frontierland.

Disneyland Park tickets start at $96 for kids 10 and up while Park Hopper tickets, which give you access to Disney's California Adventure, start at $150.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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How Virgin America Aided the Post-Hurricane Evacuation from Cabo San Lucas

September 23, 2014 at 4:38 PM | by | Comments (0)

In the days following last week's category 3 Hurricane Odile and the destruction of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, both military and commercial jets mustered and pooled resources to rescue a thousands of stranded and weary travelers. Among the airlines to provide free relief flights were United, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and Virgin America.

The September 18 relief flight by Virgin America transported pallets stacked with water and food to Cabo and brought back a planeful of trapped tourists. Flying nonstop from Los Cabos to San Francisco, they fared far better than those who ended up with transport only as far as Tijuana. Virgin America has been one of the greatest champions of Cabo travel in the few years since they began flying to SJD, in the winter of 2010.

The plane to fly the mission was N855VA, named "screw it, let's do it" after one of Richard Branson's books. The lucky passengers who made it onboard surely echoed the sentiment, after queuing down airport roads for hours in the sun, waiting for a flight any flight to get them out of there.

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How to Get Tickets to the Playboy Mansion Halloween Party

September 16, 2014 at 3:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hugh Hefner is getting ready to welcome the world's sexiest ghosts and ghouls to the annual Playboy Halloween Party.

The Official Playboy Halloween Party at the Playboy Mansion, taking place on Oct. 25, is known for its haunted houses, spooky performers, musical guests, good eats and, of course, open bars.

As usual, the event is put on by Karma and though the most affordable (as in four-figure) tickets are sold out, there's still a few "VIP" packages in the low five-figures, if you're keen to see with the inside of the infamous mansion looks like. Spoiler alert: VICE found it depressing.

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