Category Archives: Travel

Travel to Manhattan Beach for Spring Break in Southern California

Are looking for a great vacation destination nearby? For a Spring Break you’ll always remember, visit Manhattan Beach’s upscale surfing community. The absolutely stunning beachfront town is just 30 minutes away from Los Angeles and is considered to be the place to live amongst the young, rich, and famous.

Manhattan Beach is notorious for its pristine sand that has been used at multiple Hawaiian resorts. The town’s motto is Sun, Sand, Sea and Manhattan Beach fits it to a T! Popular activities in Manhattan Beach are surfing and beach volleyball, although there are many other things to see and do.

Here are just a few recommendations when traveling to Manhattan Beach during your week of spring vacation!

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is a beautiful West Coast beach that’s popular for surfing, beach volleyball, dining, and people watching. Tourists flock to Manhattan Beach for the chance to catch a glimpse of Hollywood celebrities and to enjoy this resort-style beach scene.

Manhattan Beach Pier

The Manhattan Beach Pier is an attraction all on its own. The fun and energetic pier always has something going on. Stroll down the 928-foot pier after dinner and explore the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab & Aquarium at the end of the pier. A vacation to Manhattan Beach wouldn’t be complete without walking on this pier!

Live Oak Park

Spanning a total of nine acres in Manhattan Beach is Live Oak Park, a great place for outdoors activities with plenty of things for kids to do. The park also has a big train for children to ride. If you’re looking for a picnic spot, romantic destination, or family outing, Live Oak Park provides the perfect backdrop.

El Porto State Beach

Located between Manhattan Beach and Dockweiler Beach is the intimate setting of El Porto State Beach. El Porto State Beach is the beginning of “The Strand” that connects El Porto State Beach and Manhattan Beach. With a natural look and a whole bunch of surfers, El Porto State Beach is known for its relaxed atmosphere and great views of the beach and the extravagant houses. For a day to unwind at the beach, there’s no place that compares with El Porto.

Enjoy a coastal spring break vacation at Manhattan Beach. Just a few hours from San Diego, travelling to Manhattan Beach will be a breeze. Travel easy in spring to this beachy L.A. hot spot!

Experience the Great Outdoors at Palomar Mountain in San Diego

For an easy weekend getaway, it’s hard to resist the great outdoors of Palomar Mountain. At Palomar Mountain, you’ll enjoy camping under the stars, hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding, or you can simply relax and take in the beautiful panoramic views of vistas, valleys, and forests.

Located just outside of San Diego city limits, Palomar Mountain State Park is one of San Diego’s most beautiful natural attractions. As the third-highest peak in San Diego, High Point at Palomar Mountain has incredible views. This view alone is a good reason many San Diegans flock to Palomar Mountain.

If you love hiking through forests, Palomar Mountain’s coniferous forests spread across 1,862 acres with a Sierra Nevada-type atmosphere. You’ll see many large pines, fir, and cedar trees along the way to mountain peaks, Doane Park for fishing, and nice picnicking areas.

If hiking isn’t an interest of yours, Palomar Mountain still has fun activities like small trails to historical sites, nice rest areas, and the Palomar Observatory. At Palomar Observatory, you’ll see the Hale Telescope, known as the largest telescope from 1949 to 1992! Along with loads of information and interesting facts, Palomar Observatory’s gift shop has wonderful souvenirs and books about astronomy.

In Palomar Mountain’s Doane Valley, there’s a great campground equipped with a fully loaded convenience store, post office, Mother’s Kitchen restaurant, and lots of excellent hospitality. If you plan on camping at Palomar Mountain, Doane Valley is your best bet for comfort and convenience.

There is no time like Christmas time to see Palomar Mountain. Take the family and explore nature together, from fishing to horseback riding, trails to biking, there is more than enough to see and do at Palomar Mountain State Park!

Photo Credit: Joe Wolf

Trips & Travel: Top 4 Exotic Resort Vacations in Southern California

Treat yourself to an indulgent resort in Southern California! Travel to the stunning villas and resorts located between San Diego and Los Angeles for a special getaway that will melt away stress and tension. For a weekend that you surely won’t forget, take a trip to one of Southern California’s top exotic resorts. We know you won’t regret it!

Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach

The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach is a place like no other. If you’re looking to be catered to, this is certainly the resort for you! Whether you’re a golfer, foodie, or enjoy the spa, this resort has it all. You’ll find two oceanview golf courses, barbershop, spa, and the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, Tuscan Andrea. The Resort at Pelican Hill will provide you with excellent service and outrageous accommodations featuring travertine flooring, wood-beam ceilings, limestone fireplaces, and a huge swimming pool inspired by the Coliseum. In addition to delightful rooms, you’ll also have complimentary transportation in the form of Cadillac Escalades and Mercedes coaches if you choose to explore Newport Beach while you’re here. For a wonderful weekend vacation, The Resort at Pelican Hill is just a short trip away!

Montage in Laguna Beach

This resort will take your breath away in an instant. Montage of Laguna Beach is notorious for its picturesque pool and oceanfront views. The resort is situated on the top of a bluff facing the Pacific Ocean. Each suite will have its very own patio, dark wood furnishings, lovely color schemes, and authentic artworks. What could be better than sipping on a cocktail while enjoying this stunning pool? The answer is… nothing!

Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel

Right in between San Diego and Los Angeles, the gorgeous Ritz Carlton of Laguna Niguel will feel more like a getaway to the Mediterranean! The hotel has four stories, with fountains and French doors that open up to private terraces. The swanky Ritz Carlton ambiance has an inspirational tropical feel located on a seaside bluff, it’s an unbelievable experience for a weekend vacation that will feel like your worlds apart from your everyday life. Two incredible, first-class restaurants are also located on the premises.

Rancho Valencia in Rancho Sante Fe

Just 25 miles north of downtown San Diego, you’ll find this beautiful villa amidst the polo fields and horse ranches of San Dieguito Valley in Rancho Sante Fe. Rancho Valencia has stunning Zorro-hacienda designs, which cost about $30 million for renovations! The underlying theme is an elegant Spanish villa with many posh amenities including patios shaded by palm trees and covered with bougainvillea, huge bathrooms, a luxurious spa, a pro-level tennis complex, a gourmet restaurant, and a tequila bar! Pamper yourself and indulge in the marvelous villa just outside San Diego, Rancho Valencia!

Photo Credit: Prayitno

Take a Daytrip from San Diego to Disneyland, The Happiest Place on Earth!

Disneyland is certainly a magical place. As California’s first theme park, Disneyland opened in 1956 and has continually added new attractions and interactive games and activities to reinforce its fun-filled ambiance and enchanting essence.

If you’re planning a trip for two or a family vacation, Disneyland is a wonderful choice. Just 2 hours away from San Diego, you’ll be at Disneyland in a relatively short time! Pack up the family and check out these wonderful attractions that are waiting for you at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Fantasyland’s Alice in Wonderland

Fall down the rabbit hole with Alice and explore Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland’s Fantasyland. This dark ride glides you through Alice’s journey in the Disney film. At the end of the ride, you’ll have to take a spin in one of the famous Mad Hatter teacups. This is one of the most famous rides in all of Disneyland!

Meet Mickey at his House

Take a tour of Mickey’s home and see how this extraordinary mouse lives! Following the house tour is a meet and greet with Mickey Mouse himself where you can get your picture taken with Mickey. This attraction is great for kids, teenagers, and adults; no one is too old for Mickey Mouse!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Get ready for a wild ride! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is an indoor/outdoor roller coaster that depicts a speeding mine train! You’ll be whipping through the dimly lit caverns and rounding the jagged mountains of this spooky ride… while screaming at the top of your lungs! For an exciting adventure, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is an excellent choice.

Autopia

Start your engines and put the petal to the metal at Disneyland’s Autopia! Cruise along in race cars on a miniature motorway. For a thrilling ride along the track, put your kid in the driver seat and hang on tight! Autopia is the perfect ride for a younger thrill-seeker.

Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes

The Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes ride is an extremely rare gem of the Disneyland Park in Anaheim. As the only Disneyland ride to be powered by park visitors, the free-floating canoe allows you to paddle around Pirate’s Liar with up to 20 people! For a lot of adventure and a little work, you can have an unbelievable canoeing experience at Disneyland!

Space Mountain

3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF! Space Mountain is a fast-paced, space-themed indoor roller coaster at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. As the second roller coaster to be built at Disneyland, Space Mountain offers each and every guest an out-of-this-world experience… before landing gracefully at the start of the ride. This is definitely a must-see with teenagers or a more grown-up crowd.

Fireworks at Disneyland Park

Your Disneyland experience wouldn’t be complete without an evening sky filled with fireworks. High above Sleeping Beauty Castle, watch for these fireworks as the times change seasonally and along with the holidays. For a captivating end to your daytrip to Disneyland, you’ll love the Fireworks Display at Disneyland Park.

Here is a sneak peek at Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes mentioned above!

Photo Credit: Aaron Fulkerson

San Diego’s Best Kept Secrets, Bewildering Bridges, Bewitching Beaches, Scenic Spots and Much More

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” The beautiful Kahlil Gibran quote highlights the fragility of secrets. The mere fact that I’m writing about the best kept secrets of San Diego blows their cover. I guess that’s what happens to most secrets, over a period of a few years, they become “open secrets”. So, let me lift the veils from some unbeaten tracks and undiscovered locations which you can explore while staying at your temporary housing in San Diego.

“If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” The beautiful Kahlil Gibran quote highlights the fragility of secrets. The mere fact that I’m writing about the best kept secrets of San Diego blows their cover. I guess that’s what happens to most secrets, over a period of a few years, they become “open secrets”. So, let me lift the veils from some unbeaten tracks and undiscovered locations which you can explore while staying at your temporary housing in San Diego.

Off the Beaten Track in San Diego

If you have Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Pacific Beach, Coronado Island, Legoland and other famous San Diego attractions on your itinerary, you’re all good. Just remember that the beautiful San Diego weather and the abundance of beaches, restaurants, shopping malls, museums, art galleries, theaters, bars, and night houses make this bustling city one of the top tourist destinations in America. If you are going to live in a temporary housing in San Diego for a month or longer, you may want to visit a few places that are off the tourist radar.

According to the 2014 Tourism Industry General Facts, San Diego hosts more than 33 million visitors each year. Even with the vast array of attractions that San Diego has, you’ll find most of the famous places swarming with people during the high season, which, in San Diego, lasts the whole year around. Soon, you’ll be tired of waiting in the queues and being grinded by the crowds, and would like to go to a place that is as exclusive and hidden as your temporary housing in San Diego. Here are some of the best kept secrets of San Diego, worth-visiting places that very few people know about.

The Antique Footbridges

San Diego old town is built on undulating terrain with canyons cutting off one neighborhood from the other. Almost 100 years ago, several footbridges were built across these canyons. These enchanting bridges can be still be visited and crossed in the historical localities of Hillcrest and Banker’s Hill. Even native San Diego residents don’t know about these antique bridges, except those living in Banker’s Hill and Hillcrest areas. The Spruce Street hanging footbridge, the Vermont Street footbridge, the Upas Street footbridge, and the Quince Street footbridge can be visited on any weekend. You’ll enjoy a unique experience and may even stroll along the adventurous hiking and biking trail that stems from the Upas Street bridge and winds into some of the most picturesque and idyllic areas of Balboa Park.

Victorian Village Heritage Park

Although millions of people visit Old Town State Historic Park, very few of them know that just beyond the food and margaritas of San Diego Avenue lies the gem of a village preserved in its centuries old pristine condition. The 7.8 acre Heritage Park is located on a hillside just off Juan Street. Seven majestic structures of Victorian architecture have been immaculately restored to their original splendor to create an enchanting illusion of traveling back in time through several centuries. The sprawling, manicured emerald lawns and cobbled streets are never crowded and are soothing for the senses. By the time you get back to your temporary housing in San Diego, you’ll be feeling as if you are reborn.

Harper’s Topiary Garden Mission Hills

If you have kids with you, it would be a great idea to stroll through this magnificent topiary garden located at 3549 Union Street, South Mission Hills. The garden contains more or less 50 sculptures fashioned from shrubbery, elephants ridden by monkeys,  a surfer riding the waves, a Buddha, a whale, and much more. The exquisite garden is the handiwork of Edna and Alex Harper, who personally tend to their private slope garden that has become a secret San Diego attraction few people ever think of visiting.

The Bear Sculpture

Interested in shooting a selfie with a 24-feet high teddy-bear in the background? Leave your temporary housing in San Diego and go to UCHD, where this giant boulder-bear has been framed by the trees lining the path to the University courtyard. Made of rocks, the sculpture weighs 180 tons, and reminds you of your favorite stuffed toy from childhood. The only differences are that this Bear is not all that soft and cuddly, and makes you look like a toy instead.

Torrey Pines State Beach

North of the idyllic La Jolla district lie eight miles of trails winding around the bluffs and sporting breathtaking views of a deserted beach. This is Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, one of the wildest stretches of land within the precincts of San Diego city. You may come across wildlife such as foxes or cottontails, and will enjoy the unadulterated natural beauty.

Sunset Cliffs

As the name depicts, this reclusive spot boasts the best views of the sun going down into the ocean and waves splashing against the rocky coastline. Located at Point Loma, just a few minutes’ drive from your temporary housing in San Diego, the spot is hardly ever visited by tourists because there are no restaurants, public bathrooms or lifeguards available here. The sea is rough and dangerous for swimming and surfing, but the cliff are perfect for ingesting spellbinding views and enjoying a picnic in the beautiful wilderness.

The Living Room

On your way back from Sunset Cliffs, you can hang out at this snug coffee house on Rosecrans Street. The Living Room looks like a private house and is styled using homelike furnishings. The rich coffee and delectable sandwiches, salads and desserts that they serve are among the best in San Diego. Best of all, the place is never crowded and is just perfect for reminiscing over a luscious cup of coffee.

So, now that you know about some of the best kept secrets of San Diego, I hope that you’ll visit some of them while you are staying at your temporary housing in San Diego.

Have you stumbled upon some secret places in San Diego yourself? You can whisper your secret experiences to us in your comments.