Tag: California Travel

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Inside the New Oneworld International Business Lounge at LAX

September 23, 2014 at 9:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

Freshly opened back in June, the new International Business Lounge within the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport is the result of a combined effort from Oneworld alliance partners Qantas, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific. Located on level 5, it can accommodate up to 400 people and is open from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Earlier this month, we swung through to take a look around during an 8-hour layover from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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This Website Highlights the Small Towns Most Pass By on California's Highway 1

Where: Highway 1, California, United States
September 17, 2014 at 12:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

We all know that Highway 1 runs nearly the entire coast of California, from Mexico up through San Francisco to the Oregon border. Most people drive it in a day or two from San Diego or Los Angeles up to the Bay Area, with many itineraries including stops in Santa Barbara, Carmel, and Monterrey. Sprinkled between these well-known tourist towns is what this writer considers to be one of the best kept secrets in the country, the rural Central Coast of California.

San Luis Obispo has made headlines in recent years for its happy citizens, and San Simeon draws its fair share of attention thanks to Hearst Castle. Still, the Central Coast is largely bypassed and just a drive-through for out-of-state and international travelers in favor of the bright lights and beaches of Los Angeles and the beautiful bay of San Francisco. As a former resident of Santa Barbara, I had the pleasure of exploring this area in all its untouched glory, where the sea, mountains, and vines of wine country all come together along the coast.

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How Napa Valley is Faring Following Yesterday's Earthquake

August 25, 2014 at 2:55 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: Robert Mondavi in Napa, which was not damaged

At 3:20am PST on Sunday, a 6.1 earthquake shook the earth 6 miles from Napa, in the heart of California's heavily touristed wine country. Now dubbed the "South Napa Earthquake," the event did cause damage enough to interrupt businesses and tourism, but operations are quickly returning to normal, despite broken wine bottles and power outages.

CNN named a few wineries which felt the shake quite severely: Silver Oak Winery, Etude Wines, and Signorello Estate.

The Downtown Napa tourism board issued an update on the hotels unaffected by the quake:

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How to Travel from LAX to Santa Barbara on the 'Airbus'

August 5, 2014 at 1:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Savvy frequent fliers know that there are many tricks of the trade to saving money on air travel. One of the most basic is to fly into an airport that's close to your final destination, one that might offer better deals and cheaper flights. For example, when traveling to Philadelphia, it is often significantly cheaper to fly with Frontier into Wilmington, which is only about a 20-minute drive from Philadelphia International Airport. Or, flying into Trenton instead of New York. Sometimes, you can end up saving a good chunk of change if you're willing to bear a small amount of extra ground transportation.

Such was our approach last weekend when making a last-minute decision to go to Santa Barbara for the weekend. Prices to fly into SBA are always on the high end - especially last minute - and we were very much in the market for alternatives. The most logical choice was LAX, but unlike the Trenton and Wilmington scenarios, LAX is quite a haul from Santa Barbara, about 90 miles. That said, as we searched, prices to fly into LAX were almost $200 cheaper than SBA, so we were determined to make it work.

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Road Trip to These 5 Historic US Ghost Towns

June 18, 2014 at 1:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Remember that real ghost town in Wyoming we told you about earlier the week--the one Amelia Earhart loved? Well, we know the U.S. has plenty more abandoned and spooky towns to offer up for an ideal summer road-trip.

The abandoned towns that exist in American today were primarily mining towns, once living high-on-the-hog before the local industry turned. Others were decimated by natural disasters, sending remaining residents to greener pastures. Regardless of the reason for their dilapidation, these ghosts towns need to make it to your list of things to do over the next few months:

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Geronimo! The Most Scenic Skydiving Destinations in the United States

June 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

Since the physical rush of skydiving is bound to occur regardless of your location, the components of a good skydiving destination are found more in the surroundings than in the act of jumping itself. Aka, the scenery.

Why jump out of a perfectly good plane? One answer is the view. After the first ten seconds of freefall, everything begins to calm down as you reach terminal velocity. Suddenly, it doesn't feel like you're falling - it feels like you're floating in a wind tunnel. Aided by your guide who will point out major landmarks, the perspective and outlook over the landscape below is absolutely amazing. Once the parachute is open and you gently descend back to earth, the ground gets closer and the scenery begins to engulf you, a calm complement to the rush of the plunge.

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Travel Movie Tuesday: 'Sideways'

June 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series, Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.

A movie about two middle-aged men traveling through California's wine country might not sound like much fun if you're not a huge oenophile, but we'd say the 2004 hit film, "Sideways", is more than just a mid-life crisis story. It stars Paul Giamatti as Miles Raymons, an unsuccessful writer and wine afficianato, and Thomas Haden Church as Jack Cole, Miles' actor-friend planning to get married the next week. The two plan an elaborate trip into Santa Ynez Valley to relax and sip some perfect Pinot noir, not Merlot.

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Lesser Known Islands of the USA: Catalina Island, CA

May 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

According to the calendar we’re just days away from the start of the summer season, and that means it’s time to turn our attention towards some great warm weather destinations. So get out on the water, wave goodbye to the mainland, and set you watch to island time.

What’s Catalina Island?

You’ve been to Southern California and visited its tourist attractions, must-sees, and hidden gems; however, we would have to guess that you have not made you way out to Santa Catalina Island. Known just as Catalina Island or Catalina to its friends, the spot does its thing as part of Los Angeles County roughly 22 miles off the coast from Los Angeles itself. It belongs to a larger chain of islands, and they’re all part of one big happy family—the Channel Islands. Some estimates put visitors at close to a million per year, so it’s probably one of the more well known of our lesser known islands.

How To Get There

Paddling a kayak isn’t going to be an option here, and the car is going to need to stay back on the mainland. Ferry service is available from a couple spots along the California coast, but it seems like the major route heads back and forth between Avalon—on the island—and San Pedro. Catalina Express is responsible here, and they also have options from Long Beach and Dana Point. Rates start at around $80 per adult including some mandatory wharf charges, but plan to add a few more bucks if bringing your bike or surfboard.

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San Fran's Crooked Lombard Street to Close Certain Weekends This Summer

Where: Lombard Street [map], San Francisco, California, United States
May 21, 2014 at 1:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Bad news for those with plans to visit San Francisco this summer: The city announced yesterday that it will close Lombard Street, perhaps the most famous crooked road in the world, on certain weekends this summer.

According to reports, the local board received many complaints from residents about tourism on the street, citing traffic congestion and overcrowding that disrupts daily life. Tourists line up to drive and walk down the street, which gains its popularity from its steep grade, tight turns, expensive real estate, and beautiful views.

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Breaking: San Diego Wildfires Force Evacuation of Legoland California

May 14, 2014 at 3:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

Around mid-day today, Legoland California evacuated guests and shut down rides due to operational disruptions caused by the three wildfires raging in the vicinity of San Diego.

The official word:

LEGOLAND California was affected by several power outages today caused by fires nearby. All the rides have been evacuated to ensure the comfort and safety of Park guests. The LEGOLAND California Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium are now closed but the LEGOLAND Hotel is still open.

Updates are being posted on their Facebook page, and guests planning visits to the part should monitor this and the wildfire situation in southern California over the next few days.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Enjoy a San Francisco Treat

April 30, 2014 at 11:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Starship sang about it, Armistead Maupin wrote about it, Alfred Hitchcock often filmed it, and Rice-a-Roni fills our belly with it. We're talking about the golden child of the west coast, San Francisco, a city that offers up more than hilly thoroughfares, foggy afternoons, and an island prison.

Although it sits at number 14 on the list of largest cities in the U.S., 'Frisco' sits just behind New York City for population density, but don't let that deter you from exploring the 'City by the Bay.' With its unique architecture, healthy lifestyle, and the proximity to world-class vineyards, anybody flying into or out of SFO won't be disappointed.

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Santa Barbara Creates Its Own Pandora Radio Station: Should Other Destinations Do the Same?

April 22, 2014 at 9:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

Earlier this month, we were in a Santa Barbara state of mind ourselves, showing off a few photos of the "American Riviera" as we made our way down the central coast of California to Los Angeles. We discovered one of the town's best kept secrets, and compared its urban wine trail with the nearby Santa Ynez Valley wine country.

If you need any more motivation than that, or are simply looking for a new avenue to daydream at work, Santa Barbara announced this week that it has launched its own Pandora radio station. To create it, Visit Santa Barbara used social media to find out which artists and songs people thought best represented its vibe, culture, and energy. Think Jack Johnson, Bob Marley, and the Beach Boys as the main seeders for the station.

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