Tag - california

Deep in the Redwoods: Jedediah Smith State Park, California

Traveling along the Oregon Coast and magnificent interior Douglas fir-Sitka spruce forests, we turned southward toward Crescent City, California on Route 199 in search of Jedediah Smith State Park not far from the Oregon border. At last we arrived at a park service headquarters ten miles north of Crescent City to discover that all the coastal redwood groves are protected by a series of state parks and national parks and are being coordinated as one entity by the federal government. Though these parks are almost surrounded by current lumbering operations.

dead redwood vulnerable to fire

Dead redwood vulnerable to fire

We asked a park ranger where we could find Jedediah Smith State Park, and he directed us eastward on route 199 by just two miles to the Howland Ridge Drive and then to a dirt road turnoff into the Stout Grove of Jedediah Smith State Park. Soon we drove passed occasional giant trees rising skyward well over 150 feet. Then one or two even higher giants rose twice as high! To think that these redwoods once covered almost the entire North American Continent over 20 million years ago is mind-blowing.

fallen giant redwood tree anno

fallen giant redwood tree anno

Anxiously, we drove into a parking space within the Stout Grove. The strong scent of a thickly vegetated undergrowth of sward and bracken ferns, mosses and many blossoms of wood rose and thimble-berries permeated the air as we walked along the loop trail into Stout Grove. Thanks to the tireless efforts of forest conservationists, this California state park was established in 1929 to protect these giant trees from the lumber industry forever.

These groves were named after the hunter, trapper and woodsman who was the first white man to explore interior northern California where he trapped such fur-bearing animals as black bears, mountain lions, beaver and river otters. Thankfully today this park and numerous others not only preserves the redwoods but all of its animals including a rich variety of birds.

laced with ferns

laced with ferns

We rapidly approached the giant trees interspersed with Sitaka spruce, red cedars and Douglas firs. My wife Maura stopped to stare in wonder ever skyward where the tallest of trees rose well over 300 feet (the height of a thirty-story office building). She remarked that both here and in the John Muir Woods just north of San Francisco, these trees seemed to be a family, a great extended family. She couldn’t help but feel the kinship. The Yurok Indians of northern California, who have lived here for over 4,000 years, believe the same thing—that the redwoods and the Yurok people together along with all of the birds, mammals, plants and other trees are part of a village, a grand village that is connected together spiritually as well as physically. Yurok people advice non-Indian visitors to sit down at the base of a giant redwood and think good thoughts!

Giant redwood tree with 60 ft. circumference

Giant redwood tree with 60 ft. circumference

While Stellar’s jays squawked and chestnut-backed chickadees chirped in the deep forest, we approached a grandfather giant (perhaps 2,000 years old going back to the time of Christ). I decided to measure the tree by the number of paces it took to go around the tree. Want to guess? Sixty feet is the answer! We kept on necks craned skyward, but surely our hearts went upward as well (sursum corda). We came up to a fallen tree whose thickly-barked, fire resistant trunk stretched out half the length of a football field. Its roots had been upended by flooding run-off waters of an earlier storm coming down-slope from clear-cut ridge tops outside the park. The size of this thing made us feel like Alice in wonderland, mere midgets in an amazingly huge forest.

John Muir once remarked, “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools,–only Uncle Sam can do that.”

And thanks to his efforts and many other conservationists of over a hundred years ago, we can enjoy them today and perhaps sing Woody Guthrie’s song, “This Land is Your Land, this land is my land, from the Redwood Forests….

Map, source-REDWOOD Wahington, D.C

Map, source-REDWOOD Wahington, D.C

The reader might want to lend a helping hand by joining Save-the-Redwoods League.

Hidden Gems of Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California has been a top tourist destination for years now.Nestled in a cozy oasis in the desert of California, Palm Springs has a unique cosmopolitan sensibility combined with an adventurous spirit. There’s are tons of things to do when it comes Palm Springs attractions and sightseeing – read on for just a few of the hidden gems of this California paradise.

Beautiful Palm Springs

Beautiful Palm Springs

San Andreas Fault Tour

Taking a trip across the rocky trails around the San Andreas Fault in a comfortable hummer on Elite Land Tour’s San Andreas Fault Tour. You’ll get to see the fully glory and fury of nature on this tour that shows of California’s San Andreas Fault. For people enjoy seeing the outdoors and nature, this is one of the top Palm Springs attractions and sightseeing destinations.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

fig4_Tramway01

Aerial Tramway

For a truly breath-taking view of the desert, you must pay a visit to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, another great site on the list of Palm Springs attractions and sightseeing locations. Starting with an eight and a half minute ride up, you’ll eventually find yourself over two miles above the desert floor. You’ll get a truly breath-taking view of the various wildlife on your way to the top – the trip travels through a number of different environments. It’s said that the journey covers climates that comparable to arid Sonoma, Mexico ranging all the way to areas that aren’t like Canadian tundra.

Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs' art museum

Palm Springs’ art museum

For a more educational entry in the Palm Springs attractions and sightseeing list, try the Palm Springs Art Museum. This mid-sized art museum takes pride in its status as one of the best in the country for promoting visual and performing arts. With a very diverse collection of exhibits, both in terms of culture and chronology, there’s something for everybody – regardless of nationality and generation. Take part in a guided tour of the museum and get a wonderful taste of culture.

Agua Caliente Canyons

Hiking in the canyons

Hiking in the canyons

Located on the tribal lands of the Cahuilla Indians, these canyons are a beautiful location for a day’s hike. Featuring rocky canyon walls, flowing streams and lush palm trees, you can get a taste of nature on these fun but easy hiking trails. For people really seeking an outdoor adventure on their vacation, these canyons are highly recommended as some of the most beautiful Palm Springs attractions and sightseeing destinations.

The Climate

Enjoying life in Palm Springs

Enjoying life in Palm Springs

California is famous for its climate and Palm Springs offers the best of it. With mild winters and over 350 days of sunshine every year on the average, Palm Springs is a great place to live.

Villagefest

Village fest

Villagefest

For people who enjoy spending their days wandering the streets and shopping in an open air market, try Villagefest. Every Thursday, in the center of Palm Springs, you can take part in this great event. With handmade crafts, live music, and delicious edible treats, Villagefest is a lot of fun. This is a great place to pick up a souvenir of your time in Palm Springs. It’s also a great place to meet new friends or just people watch. It’s no surprise it’s counted among the best Palm Springs attractions and sightseeing locales.

Golf and Tennis

Cimarron Golf Course

Cimarron Golf Course

Play golf where the pros play. The Palm Springs area has over 120 beautiful, exquisitely maintained golf courses, some of which are famous throughout the world. The area is known as the golf capital of the western United States and has a fine selection of world-class links to choose from. You can also play tennis at some of the best tennis courts and clubs around.

Palm Springs beautiful mountains

Palm Springs beautiful mountains

This article has barely started to cover the things you can experience in the Palm Springs area. To cover everything would take several books instead of an article. Whether you stay a night, a weekend, a week or a month you will never run out of things to do and experience.


Read More:

Images of The Beautiful Gates and Doors of Palm Springs

Part two – Vacation in Palm Springs? Absolutely!


Marvelous Mission Murals-Street Art in San Francisco’s Mission District

This eclectic neighborhood in San Francisco is one of our favorite areas for street murals anywhere we’ve been so far. To get here, catch a bus #49 from the city, which conveniently goes along Mission Street.

doublewall

doublewall

It’s a very interesting area with a different atmosphere to most other US city streets—in some parts you could imagine that you were in a Mexican city, with narrow leafy streets, small crowded shops opening right onto the sidewalk; lots of music, people and noise; ads in Spanish splashed over buildings and an explosion of bright color. Besides the delis and small shops, the main draw is the colorful murals, the chief source of the bright local color, along with blooming bougainvilleas and flowering trees. Another draw is the Mission Dolores.

Astec

Aztec

San Francisco has more than 500 murals and a large proportion of them are here in this area. Almost all streets have at least one mural, while many streets have huge concentrations, such as the area around Balmy Alley off 24th Street. Some murals are small, some enormous, all fascinating. Many tell a story or have a message—-social, political, historical— and some serve as an ad, such as the one for a lavandaria (laundry), or a Nursery School. Some of the murals are religious, and many have an old Aztec/Mayan theme, which we recognized from our trips to Mexico.

Most of them are signed and dated, so we can tell who painted them. Some artists are famous (Diego Rivera), most not, but they are all talented and many are locals.

Angel

Angel

We were fascinated and loved wandering the streets and turning a corner, wondering what we’d find next. Some of the murals are pretty graphic—a woman giving birth, or a bloody battle—but others are softer and very pretty with flowers and birds or butterflies. It’s very exciting, as they are all so vividly colored and grab one’s attention.

A whole building (Women’s Building) is covered with themes related to women, some poignant, one a very graphic depiction of a pregnant belly; another wall is covered with numerous political activists, many names unknown to us, but we did recognize Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X. Amazing that Mandela made it onto a wall here! There are also schools with murals done by the pupils, and other walls painted by children.

It’s easy enough to wander around on your own, perhaps following a guidebook such as Frommers (we did), but there are also organized tours.

You can get more information on all the murals and find out about tours of the murals at Precita Eyes Mural Art Center, 2981 24th Street (near Harrison). Their web site is excellent—- www.precitaeyes.org . Here you can also find out about exciting new mural arts projects.

On the edge of the mural district, at 3321 Sixteenth Street, is the Dolores Mission, built in a very distinctive style (colonial, white-washed, tall towers, very ornate doorways). The local high school, 2 blocks away on 18th/Dolores, is done in the same style and it would be easy to think at first that you’d found the Mission Church!

Juniper Window

Juniper Window

The actual name is Mision San Francisco de Asis (after St Francis of Assisi) and was founded in June 1776 under the direction of Father Junipero Serra. It soon became known as Mission Dolores because of a nearby creek called Arroyo do los Dolores, or Creek of Sorrows. It is the oldest original intact Mission in California (of the chain of 21 established by Father Serra) and the oldest building in San Francisco. These Missions are an important part of Californian history and show the strong link to Mexico at that time.

Visiting the Mission is a good way to spend a couple of hours and find out about some of the local history. Entrance is $5 per adult, $3 for seniors and kids. Open daily, 9-4, except Thanksgiving, Christmas New Year’s Day, Easter, and closes early on Good Friday.

You go first into the chapel of the Old Mission, which survived many earthquakes, including that in 1906. It’s lovely, in a way that’s so different to the cathedrals in Europe. Note the painted wooden ceiling, gravestones set in the floor, and side altars that seem to have marble columns that are actually painted wood, as is the gorgeous front altar.

Cathedral

Cathedral

The Basilica next door was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake and has pretty stained-glass windows of the saints associated with the various Missions in California and a wood carving of Mater Dolorosa. This is an important basilica because Pope John Paul 11 visited (see papal signs on sides of front altar), a fact of which they are very proud, as the walkway outside has many photos from his visit. One small room off the walkway has a tiny museum, telling the history of this Mission, including the story of Father Junipero Serra, the local Indians and their way of life then, and a section of the original adobe wall.

Just outside the museum note the statue of Junipero Serra, plus one in the cemetery, which is a peaceful place, pretty with flowers and blooming bushes, replanted with traditional plants from the 1790s. It has the burial places of many notable early/first San Franciscans.

A great place nearby for lunch is Dolores Park Café (corner 18th/Dolores, opposite the high school). You can sit outside if it’s sunny, and the food is great. The soup of the day may be chicken tortilla and they offer very nice salads.

Useful links

 http://missiondolores.org/index.html

Santa Barbara Secrets, California

Santa Barbara is known for its red tile roofs, relaxing beaches, fine dining, and a burgeoning wine industry. It’s the laid-back vibe and natural beauty that brings many visitors to our American Riviera.

State Street is our downtown hub in Santa Barbara that houses a lot of cool shops and quality restaurants. However, if you walk a few blocks off State Street, you’ll find some hidden gems that only the locals know about. We tend to stay away from the touristy spots that are inundated with cruise ship visitors; instead we’ve created our own little hideaways. I may be breaking the local’s unspoken code of silence, but here are my 6 Secrets to Santa Barbara.

El Presidio (123 E. Canon Perdido)

El Presidio de Santa Barbara, credit- legendsofamerica.com

El Presidio de Santa Barbara, credit- legendsofamerica.com

Most visitors can be found coming off of tour buses at Mission Santa Barbara. Granted it’s a popular place to see, but El Presidio de Santa Barbara is just as exciting, rarely crowded, within walking distance, and free.

The Presidio is a former military installation built by the Spanish in 1782. Located between Anacapa and Santa Barbara Streets, just one block east of State Street, it’s a burst of local history in the downtown hub.

BONUS: There’s a great deli and lounge directly across the street from the Presidio called 3 Pickles and the Pickle Room (126 E. Canon Perdido). That building has its own history originally housing Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, a 60-year business that is dear to locals’ hearts. The new owners kept the original exterior of the building and incorporated the past into their modern updates. They serve delicious sandwiches and unique cocktails, but try an order of their unique fried rice!

The Mesa, La Mesa, or plainly Mesa

The Mesa, Cr-homesandlandsantabarbara

The Mesa, Cr-homesandlandsantabarbara

Depending on who you’re talking to and what part of town they are from, the “correct name” of the area will be heavily debated. Mesa is a section of town filtering down from Carrillo Hill right to the ocean with fantastic views of the water and Channel Islands. Mesa is a true local spot and residents can be somewhat territorial, so when you’re passing through, give a head nod and say, “hey brah” with your best surfer accent in order to blend in.

The Douglas Preserve, also called the Wilcox Property (located at the dead end of Linda Drive), is a stretch of land that sits on the cliffs overlooking Hendry’s Beach, also called Arroyo Burro Beach. Have you noticed a name thing going here? The Preserve is a rare piece of undeveloped land that locals fought feverishly to protect and keep as an open park. Enjoy a stroll through the trails with residents and their four-legged friends. Bring a picnic and sit close to the cliff while watching the sunset over the ocean for a dose of romance. Before leaving, travel down Cliff Drive and check out the Boathouse (2981 Cliff Drive) for a meal or just to breathe in the sea air. The restaurant is tucked away on the sand of Hendry’s Beach, the only official dog beach in Santa Barbara.

Funk Zone (Yanonali at Anacapa Street area)

SBsecrets_muniwine-edited-for-ALTThis area of Santa Barbara has certainly boomed in the last few years. Originally it was an industrial section of town filled with artist studios and sparse wine-tasting rooms. The area still has a lot of the artistic flavor and you’ll notice most of the buildings covered with murals and graphics from local artists, especially on Mason Street. Now, after the recent building development, the area is mostly filled with tasting rooms. But we can’t complain, the wine is delicious! For a good glass of locally made vino, I recommend Municipal Winemakers (22 Anacapa Street).

Muni Wine is a small local winery that produces top-notch flavors most notably known for their Australian style blends. For a snack, head over to Seven Bar and Kitchen (224 Helena Avenue) for “seven deadly sin” themed options of sandwiches. Or, if you’re lucky enough to spot the Burger Bus food truck, usually parked in the Funk Zone, try a burger or falafel sandwich. Other notable places within blocks of one another are: Figueroa Mountain Brewery, The Arts Fund, Lucky Penny, and the Art Foundry.

Santa Barbara Hotels

hotels in santa barbara, cr-budgethotels.com

Hotels in Santa Barbara, credit -budgethotels.com

The low-key bed and breakfasts and hidden historic hotels provide an authentic Santa Barbara experience. The Upham Hotel is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California. Built in 1871, this historic Victorian is located at 1404 De La Vina Street, one block from State Street and the famous Arlington Theater.

Located inside the Upham Hotel is Louie’s California Bistro, a fine dining restaurant that’s also dog friendly. The Simpson House Inn is another hidden historic gem in the downtown area of Santa Barbara.  Nestled in an acre of English gardens, this Victorian estate was built in 1874 and boasts luxury and beauty within prime walking distance.

Secret Garden (Micheltorena & Garden Streets)

Gardens in Santa Barbara

Gardens in Santa Barbara

Across from the Simpson House Inn is a lovely garden spread across an entire city block. A variety of plants and a pond filled with ducks and turtles are housed here. The Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, or Alice Keck Park-Park as locals like to joke, is another hero story. The space was slated to become a large apartment complex, but an anonymous donor purchased the property and donated it to the city with the condition of being turned into a garden. It was later revealed that Alice Keck Park was the donor and wished to remain anonymous until after her death – when the garden was subsequently named in her honor. Many people visit the Park-Park to relax, eat lunch, and feed the ducks. Visit during the spring to see adorable ducklings swimming around the pond.

Local Santa Barbara Hangouts

The Brewhouse, Santa Barbara, California.

The Brewhouse, Santa Barbara, California.

I’ve mentioned several places to stop for a bite to eat, but perhaps the most local of them all is The Brewhouse (229 W. Montecito Street). It’s a very casual restaurant where you’ll often find friendly patrons in shorts and flip-flops enjoying outstanding food. This is where locals go for food, beer, music, and to watch sporting events. If you go, try a taster of the jalapeno beer brewed on location; it will definitely clear your sinuses.

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention a fantastic Mexican restaurant. There is a whole section of town on Milpas Street filled with great taquerias, but my favorite is Lito’s Mexican Restaurant (514 E. Haley). It’s a family owned “hole in the wall” that serves the most amazing pozole every day – the only restaurant in Santa Barbara that does.

Santa Barbara is a beautiful small historic town chock full of interesting nooks and crannies. Take a stroll off the main streets and you’ll find many local treasures to provide an authentic and fulfilling experience. Happy exploring!

contributed by Lauren Bray, Managing Editor of edhat.com, Santa Barbara’s #1 website for all things local. for more great information and articles, please visit Authentic Luxury Travel

My Trip to Muir Woods California

By Phyllis Elswick,

If you have never visited Muir Woods, near San Francisco, California I highly recommend it. It is absolutely beautiful. When my daughter and her family moved to California in 2005 it gave me the excuse for traveling there. They moved to San Carlos for a few years where my two beautiful granddaughters were born. Last year they decided to move to the city, San Francisco, California. There is so much to see here with one of my favorite places to visit being Muir Woods. I grew up in the Appalachians Mountains in Eastern, Kentucky, so, I suppose that is why I love the mountain areas. I was able to purchase a seniors pass for any United States National Park. My son-in-law paid $10.00 for my pass which let us all enter the park at no extra cost. Wow, I was amazed, I can visit any National Park and take all my party at no cost. I love it.

phpHUUxtLAMAs we began our hike through the woods we saw a mother and two baby deer standing by the creek. Isabel and Indigo loved it. Indigo, who is two years old, got excited and wanted to watch the reindeer. As we walked she kept looking for reindeer. Don’t you just love the enthusiasm of little children? Walking along the path and seeing the huge redwood trees is amazing. I keep thinking how awesome God is in His creation of the world and all the beautiful things he created for our enjoyment.

Throughout the forest there are plaques that tells the history of certain areas. Here is the history I read on one of those plaques in the middle of the forest, – In 1945 delegates from all over the world met in San Francisco to establish the United Nations. On May 19, they traveled to Muir Woods to honor the memory of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose death one month earlier had thrown the world into mourning. President Roosevelt believed in the value of National Parks as sources of inspiration and human renewal. He also believed that good forestry practices and sustainable development of natural resources were keystones to lasting peace around the world. Organizers of the event hoped that the profound beauty and serenity of Muir Woods would inspire the delegates to pursue the president’s program for world peace as they met to establish the United Nations. – I cherish these bits of information. As I am hiking through the forest it brings the history alive.

Harold Ickes, US Secretary of the Interior, 1945, said, “…here in such a ‘temple of peace’ the delegates would gain a perspective and sense of time that could be obtained nowhere in America better than such a forest. Muir Woods is a cathedral, the pillars of which have stood through much of recorded human history….”

Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary-General of the United States Visiting Muir Woods in 1955 said, “Persons who love nature find a common basis for understanding people of other countries, since the love of nature is universal among men of all nations.”

There is a section of Muir Woods called Cathedral Grove, which has a plaque that says “Cathedral Grove was set aside as a quiet refuge to protect its natural soundscape in an increasingly noisy world. The soundscape is vital to animals for hunting and foraging, courtship and mating, nurturing young and avoiding predators. By walking quietly, we experience the natural sounds of a living ancient forest. We hope you enjoy the beauty of Muir Woods through both sight and sound.”

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks.” – John Muir.

In Muir Woods there are several paths you can take. There are high paths and long paths for those avid hikers. There are low paths and short paths for those with little children or those who are limited. Going on a hike in the forest with a two year old and five year old we chose the low shorter path. The girls loved it, they walked and ran, stopped and stared. It was wonderful seeing the amazed looks in their little eyes when they saw something that fascinated them. They especially loved the huge trees with the opening in the middle. Indigo wanted to play in the playhouse, as she saw it. Of course we had to go in the gift shop where they each chose a wolf stuffed animal.

As we hiked along the path their wolf had to ride along the top rail. Although with little children you don’t get the full experience of a hike through the forest, you get the full benefit of seeing the forest through a little child’s eyes. Just seeing them enjoy their walk in nature is worth everything. They make it all worth while.

Santa Barbara: From the Mission to the Funk Zone

Visit Santa Barbara on this Travel Brigade podcast episode to enjoy beaches, boats and bikes in a town full of great dining and fun hotel options near the ocean. Click on the button below to go from the historic Mission overlooking the ocean to the Urban Wine Trail in the “Funk Zone,” to glamping in the beautiful hills of El Capitan Canyon to shopping on State Street, Santa Barbara is the perfect town to hang out and soak up the beautiful sunny weather. We’ll also tell you how you can enjoy all sorts of discounts on hotels, dining and activities by pledging to go “Car Free” in a town that’s easy to get around. Enjoy the trip! Follow us on Twitter @TravelBrigade.

cabin_pano

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SB Sat 4-16-2011_0173

State_Street_CoffeeBean

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Solvang: California’s Little Denmark

Join Travel Brigade for out radio podcast episode in Solvang, a California town that feels like it’s in the middle of Europe’s Denmark. Click on the button below and we’ll go in search of the famous Danish pastries at the several authentic bakeries in town, and make time to tour the wine tasting rooms in town representing nearby Santa Ynez Valley wineries – the area featured in the movie Sideways. Solvang keeps things local and has banned national chains, so we explore the unique dining and accommodations to be found. Enjoy the trip! Follow us on Twitter @TravelBrigade.

Solvang HomeConnection

Solvang HomeConnection

Solvang Aebleskiver

Solvang Aebleskiver

Solvang, California

Solvang, California

Solvang Grape Cluster

Solvang Grape Cluster

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Santa barbara, California

Santa Barbara is located in Southern California, about 90 miles of Los Angeles along the Pacific coast. Santa Barbara county is often referred as the ” French Rivera” because if its climate and geography.

Pelican II

Pelican @ the pier

If you walk to the very end of the pier and you will might see seals hanging out on buoys not far from shore. They make some great noises! Blue herons and pelicans hang out at the end of the pier, completely tame and unafraid of all the people. Kids love it so go enjoy seeing these great birds.

Santa barbara

Santa barbara

The shoreline park as its a wonderful spot to view dolphin and seals. Its surrounded by mountain ranges, palm trees and ocean views. Its fantastic for exercising in general or walking the dog etc Kids have a play park also to entertain whilst Mum and Dad keep a close watch. The parking is also free and come and enjoy.

Santa barbara seen from the pier

Santa barbara seen from the pier

Santa barbara seen from a boat

Santa barbara seen from a boat

Santa barbara

Santa barbara

Beach area-Santa barbara

Beach area-Santa barbara

Building on the pier

Warner Sea Center on the pier

Pelican

Pelican

Pelicans are protected species. Enjoy their company. There are few websites you can go report if you see people attacking these birds such as pelicanlife.org

Pier

Stearns Wharf

The views are spectacular from the pier- all the palm trees lining the beach with the Santa Ynez mountain range as the backdrop. Its just breathtaking! There are some touristy shops, restaurants, an Ice cream shop and a fortune teller. Check them out while you are there.

Anaheim Beyond the Disney Gates

Disneyland is a favorite for a family vacation, but there is so much more to do in the Southern California town of Anaheim outside of the Disney Resort. Join Travel Brigade as we venture beyond the Disney gates to find out about revitalized areas in Anaheim like the Packing District and Center Street, where unique restaurants and shops can offer a different experience from the theme park. We’ll also talk about hotels in the area that make for a great base for exploring Disneyland and the town. Enjoy the trip! Follow us on Twitter @TravelBrigade

Anaheim Beyond the Disney Gates

Anaheim Beyond the Disney Gates

 

Packing House

Packing House

 

Center St street view

Center St street view

 

 

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Disneyland, Toontown, and Tom Sawyer Island, Not Just For Kids

Disneyland, Cr-blogs.disney.com

Disneyland, Cr-blogs.disney.com

Taking my six year old grandson to Disneyland in Anaheim, California was a very rewarding experience. So much to see, Buzz Lightyear and much more to enjoy. Who would ever have thought we would be standing at the entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim, California? Cole was speechless as he took in the scenery. Standing in Main Street, U.S.A. What an amazing, enchanting place as we stroll down Main Street past all the candy stores and gift shops. This is so yesteryear. I love it. Fantasyland Wow, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “it’s a small world,” King Arthur Carousel, Mad Tea Party (where we take a ride in the tea cup), Matterhorn Bobsleds, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Peter Pan’s Flight and many more exciting adventures and rides for all ages. It really is a wonderful fantasyland. When you are at Disneyland it seems to bring all these cartoon characters to life and make you feel like a little kid again, no matter how old you are.

Tomorrowland Blasting off Space Mountain at the Space Port you are submersed in twists and turns as you travel through the mountain with soundtrack and special effects. It is an adventure, out of this world, that you will never forget. Just as you think it cannot get any better, there’s the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. What an adventure as you join Buzz Lightyear and battle to save the universe. Seeing Buzz Lightyear in a lifesize form is amazing, and being able to use the weapons as you ride through the dark portals, keeping your eyes peeled to the darkness for the next enemy to jump out at you is a little scary yet, exhilarating.

Tomorrowland also has the Autopia, Astro Orbitor, Disneyland railroad and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience along with Innoventions, where you can view exhibits by Honda, Pioneer and St. Joseph Hospital. Mickey’s Toontown Of course it would not be Disneyland without Mickey and Minnie Mouse and all their friends. You can visit the Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse and Donald’s Boat. Then there’s Goofy’s Bounce House and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. My favorite is Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House; they are adorable. We got to meet Mickey and shake his hand, but, to a six year old, it’s a little bit frightening. Frontierland Frontierland is a very exciting and adventurous part of Disneyland with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island. The Mark Twain Riverboat and the Sailing Ship Columbia are both fascinating. You can take a ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia to Tom Sawyer’s Island as you circle the island and then land at the boat dock. Just walking on the island and remembering the story of Tom Sawyer is a great experience. It brings to life the story of Tom and all the trouble he encountered on his trip down the Mississippi River. Cole found Tom Sawyer Island to be his favorite adventure in Disneyland.

Adventureland From Frontierland we passed through Critter Country and New Orleans Square where Lora, Cole and Krystle toured the Haunted House while I patiently waited, seated outside relaxing for a few minutes just enjoying the scenery. Adventureland is an awesome adventure with the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise. The Indiana Jones Adventure was spectacular, and I really loved Tarzan’s Treehouse. It was awesome. The tigers, elephants and snakes look so real as you take the Jungle Cruise through the forest, sometimes you forget where you are: in Tarzan’s forest or Indiana Jones’ adventurous trip.

Dining at Disneyland You cannot visit Disneyland without dining in one of the amazing restaurants, whether you want American cuisine or something out of this world. As in all amusement parks, the food is overpriced, but that is to be expected and well worth the cost. You have many choices, such as the Bengal Barbeque or the Big Thunder Barbeque where you can dine on barbeque beef, ribs, cole slaw or skewers of chicken, whether you are a meat eater or a vegetarian. At the Big Thunder Barbeque you can sit back and enjoy wild west entertainment while dining. You can enjoy Louisiana cooking while watching the Pirates of the Caribbean boats float by as you dine at the Blue Bayou. In Mickey’s Toontown you can enjoy a snack at Clarabelle’s. If you are in the mood for pizza Daisy’s Diner is the place to eat while sitting outdoors in the middle of Toontown City Hall.

You must treat yourself to a delicious cone of ice cream at the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor or the Main Street Cone Shop. If you want a juicy hot dog, you need to visit Pluto’s Dog House in Toontown or grab a juicy burger at Tomorrowland Terrace or a pineapple treat at the Tiki Juice Bar, There are many more places to eat while enjoying Disneyland Park, something that will satisfy even the most finicky eater in your family. Shopping Don’t forget to purchase those memorable items to take home with you. Visit the Emporium before leaving the park. You also need to check out the Disney Gallery for the art and collectibles or you can visit the Downtown Disney District for more extensive shopping and entertainment. Disneyland is a place for the young, old and in between. There is food, shopping and entertainment for all ages. .

San Francisco Pictures, fall 2013

Here are some of the pictures we took during our visit to San Francisco bay area. San Francisco encompasses a land area of about 46.9 sq miles on the northern end of the peninsula.  Great weather even for the fall. We had a blast visiting the Golden gate bride, Ghirardelli Square, the Alcatraz Island, the hilly roads, cable cars, bike tours and more.

Enjoy the pictures.

Golden Gate Bridge seen from the boat

Golden Gate Bridge seen from the boat

 

Golden Gate, San francisco

Golden Gate, San francisco

 

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

 

Chiradelli Square

Ghiradelli Square

 

Hilly roads in San Francisco

Hilly roads in San Francisco

 

China town

China town

 

Sea Lions in San Francisco

Sea Lions in San Francisco

 

San Francisco seen from the other side

San Francisco seen from the other side

 

San Francisco by bicycle

San Francisco by bicycle

 

Painted ladies

Painted ladies

 

Happy Face

Happy Face

 

California’s Golden Region: Day Trips from Oakland

The Bay Area is not only one of the most beautiful parts of California, it’s one of the most beautiful parts of America. The area to the east of San Francisco Bay is commonly known as East Bay, and Oakland is the largest city in the region, with 400,000 residents and a host of amazing parks, lakes, and historical architecture. But one of the most exciting things about living in Oakland is its close proximity to a wide variety of amazing day trip locations. The number of things you can see or do with just a short journey on the BART trains or an hour or two in the car is pretty fantastic. Here are some options for your next weekend road trip.

Big Sur

Big Sur

Big Sur

The gorgeous coastal town of Big Sur lies 140 miles south of Oakland. A popular location for vacation homes, weddings, and honeymoons, you’ll find beaches and mountain climbing, plus plenty of other recreational activities and spectacular coastal scenery. State parks like Limekiln and Pfeiffer offer access to cliffs and hiking trails. The town also features the Esalen Institute, a famous holistic spa and center where you can get a massage or take a class on natural healing.

Napa Valley

One of the most famous regions for wine production in the world lies a mere 38 miles north of Oakland, with over 300 wineries and an endless stretch of vineyards to explore. But wine tasting isn’t the only thing you can do in Napa. There are a variety of gourmet restaurants, Napa river cruises, and even hot air balloon flights. Take cooking or wine-making classes at the Culinary Institute of America or the Napa Valley Wine Academy or take advantage of the town’s shops, spas, and golf courses.

Santa Cruz

The sleepy Bay Area city of Santa Cruz is just 67 miles south of Oakland, and it offers plenty to attract tourists of all ages. While it offers its own scenic coastlines and beautiful hiking trails and beaches, it also has urban amenities that are worth exploring. The Museum of Natural History, Museum of Art and History, and Surfing Museum attract millions of visitors, and there are dude ranches and live theatre. One not-to-be-missed attraction is the Mystery Spot, an optical illusion tilted location where the laws of physics and gravity don’t apply.

Carmel by the Sea

    Carmel Mission (Carmel-by-the-Sea, California)

Carmel Mission (Carmel-by-the-Sea, California)

Carmel is a prime destination for Bohemian San Francisco residents looking to get away, and it’s only 115 miles south of Oakland. It offers a historic mission and some amazing live theatre options. The Pacific Repertory Theater, the only live theater group in Monterey County, operates out of four venues all in the Carmel region. Of course, the main attractions are still the beaches, parks, and gardens, even if there are more eclectic alternatives. Try Smallsea, a museum of miniatures that recreates an Edwardian town from the early 20th century.

If you’re looking for a big city instead of a small town, you can always head to San Francisco or San Jose. Berkeley and Monterey are also within easy reach, because Oakland is right in the heart of the East Bay region. Though Oakland is a great place to live and work and you’ll probably never be bored there, it’s important to remember that you’re within easy reach of every spot in an incredible area of the country. As a resident, you should plan to take advantage of it all.

The Best Hotels and Resorts in Santa Barbara, California

The Four Seasons Biltmore, Credit: plazatravel.com

The Four Seasons Biltmore, Credit:
plazatravel.com

The friendly beach town of Santa Barbara is a popular destination for people around the world. Here are some of the best hotels to stay at while there.

Santa Barbara is also known as the American Riviera, as its mild temperatures and geography are similar to the French and Italian Rivieras along the Mediterranean. With its great weather and beautiful surroundings, it is easy to see why it has become such a popular destination for travelers around the world. It is also no wonder that there are so many luxurious and beautiful places to stay in Santa Barbara. Here are a few that top the list.

The Bacara Resort and Spa

Located right on the water, this spa and resort is a newer addition to Santa Barbara having opened in 2000. The Spanish styled resort sits on 78 acres of land, and has become a favorite destination for many celebrities due to its secluded location. Some of the amenities luxury resort include: a 42,000 square foot full-service spa with 36 treatment rooms, three signature restaurants, two-mile sandy beach just to name a few. The cost of luxury at the Bacara starts at $500.

The Four Seasons Biltmore

Another fine luxury resort, the Biltmore has a prime location nestled on the coast between Montecito and Santa Barbara. Across the street from the resort is Montecito’s Butterfly Beach, which is the perfect setting for a little rest and relaxation. This Mediterranean-styled gem was built in 1927 and continues to be a popular spot for those searching for upscale elegance.

The San Ysidro Ranch

Though the name may be mis-leading this retreat is very luxurious and has been a popular spot for decades. Hidden in the hills of Montecito, this retreat of private cottages has been a favorite among celebrities for years. President John F. Kenndey and his wife Jackie spent their honeymoon at this secluded location. It has been a favorite of the hollywood elite such as Cary Grant, Jean Harlow, and Groucho marx.

The Canary Hotel

A luxury boutique hotel located in downtown Santa Barbara, is favored for its proximity to State Street and other downtown attractions. Maintaining the common look of Santa Barbara the hotel is fashioned after Spanish style architecture, it is centrally located so that guest can enjoy all that the city has to offer, from shopping to beach lounging. Cruise up to the rooftop terrace for a dip in the pool and enjoy the views of the ocean and the riviera that surround the downtown location.

Whether one is searching for a romantic getaway or just luxurious weekend away, these hotels have more to offer than one could possibly imagine.

10 Things to do in Redding, California

Sundial Bridge

Sundial Bridge

When someone says “California,” you probably think of the beach, celebrities and expensive shops. What you may not realize is that California is much more than Hollywood. Take Redding, for example. Located in Northern California, Redding is off the beaten path and provides many opportunities for the adventurous traveler.

1. Sundial Bridge

Designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, this impressive white Sundial structure has an impressive glass-deck pedestrian overpass that connects Turtle Bay Exploration Park to the north bank of the Sacramento River. The structure was completed in 2004 and is comprised of three things: the sundial, the bridge and a lightning rod on top of the sundial. The 700-foot bridge, in its entirety, is supported by mere cables and one pillar at each end. Not only is this bridge is a functional sundial, it’s the largest in the world.   After crossing the bridge, tourists can partake in many activities on the Sacramento River. Fly fishing, kayaking and swimming are all popular here. After crossing the bridge, you can relax with a nice cup of coffee at the coffee shop by the museum.

2. Turtle Bay Exploration Park


Located near the sundial bridge is turtle bay exploration park. This park is a must-see for anyone who appreciates natural beauty. In addition to showcasing flora, fauna, and ecology of Northern California, the park features plants, animals, Native American life, a butterfly park, aquariums and much more.  There are several ponds that can be found on the grounds; they are home to several unique species of turtles, hence the park’s name. Enjoy the museum and the botanical gardens for just $14, or simply mosey around the gardens for just $4.

3. Sacramento River Trail

The Sacramento River offers stunning views of the nearby Trinity Mountains and a close-up look at one of the most beautiful pedestrian bridges in the USA: Sundial Bridge. As you journey along this 16-mile network, you may cross the Ribbon and Diestelhosts Bridges. The Sacramento River Trail then branches out to give way to other trails; adventure-seeking travelers can can enjoy hours of hiking.  Because the trail is almost entirely covered by trees, visitors can spend the summer days in the great outdoors.

4. Shasta Dam

Shasta Dam,Cr- Smarttravelinfo.com

Shasta Dam,Cr- Smarttravelinfo.com

The Shasta Dam offers a beautiful view and free one-hour guided tour for tourists interested in learning both the inside operations and history of the dam. A scenic viewpoint nearby offers an unbeatable view of the “Three Shastas” — Shasta Dam, Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta. Cross the bridges in their entireties in order to fully enjoy these architectural beauties.  If you are interested in spending more than the day, there several campgrounds nearby. Free tours of the grounds are available but ensure you stop at the front desk to see what you can bring with you. Because the tour brings visitors into secure areas, you may not be able to bring along some tradition tourist items.

 

5. Shasta Lake and Caverns

Before you leave the Shasta Dam, make sure you stop by the Shasta Lake to experience its stunning views, snow-capped mountains and the green trees surrounding the area. It’s like paradise, especially for boaters.  After a boat ride, visitors can enjoy the nearby Shasta Cavern. Also known as the West’s newest landmark, these caverns are 250 million years in the making. The amazing formations of stalagmite and stalactite are breathtaking while the coolness of the cavern provide a nice break from the California heat. This Shasta Lake and Caverns are a must-see. Visit the website for the ticket prices.

6. Fly fishing in the Sacramento River

The Sacramento River is home to some of the best fishing in the world. Right in Redding, the river narrows creating the perfect environment for fly fishing. The river is fairly shallow, catering to beginner fly fishers. Salmon is also abundant during the summer season. If you just want to want to enjoy the scenery, take your time crossing the bridge and watch the fly fishers work their magic.

7. Whiskytown and Surroundings

Whiskytown lake ,Cr- Smarttravelinfo.com

Whiskytown lake ,Cr- Smarttravelinfo.com

Whiskytown is a few miles west of Redding and offers seriously stunning views. When you arrive, you’ll see the scenic Whiskytown Lake and the surrounding mountains. But the excitement doesn’t end with the skyline. There are many activities you can enjoy for the $5 per car it costs to enter the park. Explore the lake on a boat ride and or take a long walk on one of the area’s many trails. Visitors can also spend the day sunbathing, bike riding and swimming here. On the way out, stop into the old city and explore its ruins; check out how people lived and why the city was destroyed.  Campgrounds are also available in Whiskytown. More camping information is available at the Ranger’s Station.

8. Hiking & Camping

Brandy Creek Trail, Boulder Creek Loop, Bailey Cove Loop, Davis Gulch Trail and Kanaka Peak are all located in Redding. They offer many hiking trails that will appeal to novice and experienced hikers looking to enjoy a day in the woods.

9. McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Also nearby are the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. For only $4, you can enjoy some of the wildlife native to California. Be vigilant, though, or you may be bitten by a rattlesnake. The butterfly garden is filled with butterflies in the summertime, allowing passers-by to enjoy their beauty throughout the season.

10. Downtown Redding

What Downtown Redding lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and beauty. You can travel throughout the city on foot and spend the day sightseeing or travel up to Hilltop Drive. This area is jam packed with excellent hotels and restaurants that have local cuisine. If you enjoy late nights, there are plenty of bars just waiting to be checked out.  Redding’s laid-back atmosphere makes it easy to feel like you’re miles away from a big city. Just remember, Redding is still a city and you should be careful at all times.

Copyright -Marc thetraveler© uncharted101.com

Haunted Bed and Breakfast in Julian, California

Its funny. When I think of Julian, California all that comes to mind is, well, apples. Because of that, I never considered giving the very small city a visit. It was when my close friend and colleague, the lovely Ms. Anthropy, did a little research that I found out that a bed and breakfast was supposedly haunted there. The Gold Rush hotel had several claims that an apparition resided there. The apparition there was supposedly the ghost of former owner and freed slave, Albert Robinson. All sightings were said to occur to room 10 which, ironically, was Robinson’s former room.

Julian Hotel

Julian Hotel

Hearing this, a small but persistent inkling grew inside me to see for myself if the events were indeed true. Enduring the 45 minute trip there, I was taken aback by the old-west feel the small town had. The same feel one gets when visiting Old Town. The hotel itself was easy to see, as it seemed to be the only hotel on the main street.

Entering the Gold Rush Hotel, we were greeted by the solitary staff member working. As she was friendly enough, her demeanor slightly changed when I asked her if room 10 was still available. Pausing for a second, she gave a simple ‘mmm hmmm’ and handed us our key. Going up the stairs to where the rooms were, both of us were more than surprised to find that the rooms, all of them, were so old fashioned that they didn’t even have televisions. Although not a big deal, that was the first time I had seen that, even when I was in old world Prague.

Walking through the door of room 10, the first thing I noticed was the small size of it. But, it was rather quaint and cozy. A large bed, an antique dresser, a bathroom, and a couple of paintings on the wall was all it consisted of. The pictures, antiquated and possibly from the late 1800’s, were all of the same woman. A woman who gave a beautiful yet melancholy appearance.

 Haunted B&B

Haunted B&B

As we started to unpack, Ms. Anthropy found something in the antique dresser that intrigued us both. It was an aged journal. Inside the journal was several accounts of past guests and all were concerning a certain female ghost ‘Lola’. An entry in the journal stated that it was first discovered in room 13, which was across the hall. How it got into our room was beyond me. But one thing was certain, according to past guests, Lola was the spirit entity present. As I again looked at the haunting pictures, I presumed that the sad woman in all of them was none other than Lola herself.

Because the only information concerning the haunting of the hotel I could find was solely focused on former owner Albert Robinson, we decided to ask the lone employee if she knew or experienced anything out of the ordinary. Though she was most helpful, all she would state is that she smelled pipe smoke from no known source, heard muffled voices and footsteps when the hotel was completely empty, and she told us how female guests had reported being groped at night. When I asked her if she knew anything about Lola, she said no. But, she was quick to point out that down the street and up a hill was the town cemetery. And if such a person haunted the hotel, chances were that they would be buried there. After all, it was where Robinson’s final resting place was.

Julian hotel, Julian CaliforniaHearing her say that, my eyes lit up. It’s no secret that I absolutely love cemeteries and spend as much time as I can in them. Being that it was late in the day and we only had an hour or two at best of sunlight, we hurried down the street to the cemetery. Walking up the steep hill, I must admit that when I first saw it, I was slightly impressed. There were several tombstones with many large and old oak trees around them with an old west yet profound gothic impression to them. I mean, what’s not to like?

Slowly, we walked by each tombstone looking at the names, dates of death, and so on. And while we found many, the name of Lola wasn’t among them. However, we did find a small nameless grave in the far corner of the graveyard. Was this the final resting place of Lola? One can only speculate.

As the sun started to set, we decided to head back to the hotel. Leaving through the cemeteries rear entrance, I noticed a pale white horse in a gated stall. Because such an animal is regarded as an omen in many old European mythologies, I couldn’t resist walking up to it and giving it a quick pet.

Back at the hotel, we were both pleasantly surprised that the staff had changed and coffee and cookies were now being served in the day room. As we both enjoyed a cup, I approached the new staff with the familiar question of Lola. Her reply was pretty much the same as her predecessor. She only knew of the past reportings of strange activity related to the former owner Albert Robinson.

That night the room was quiet, mainly because there wasn’t a television set. But, also because, even if we didn’t mention it to one another, neither one of us knew what to expect. Years ago, on my first trip to Edinburgh, an older gentleman mentioned to me that the other side never reveals itself to those who are blatantly looking for it. And while it’s true that neither of us were molested by any spiritual forces that night, I fell asleep with the sad eyes of the women in the painting seemingly staring directly at me.

Julian HotelAwaking to a shower and a complimentary coffee and spinach and cheese frittata downstairs in the day room, my mind danced around the subject. It’s not always what you see, but what you feel that can be most important when dealing with the paranormal. And what I felt I couldn’t really put my finger on.

As both of us left Julian that morning, I realized that I had forgotten to sample Juian’s trademark fruit dishes. Namely, apple pie and cider. I then smiled knowing that would, among other things, give to me an excuse to come visit once again. Perhaps this time I can have an encounter with old man Albert Robinson. Or better, I can actually find out who Lola really was.

Top Ten Highways to Choose For A Road Trip with Friends

The summers call for great time out on the open road. Driving on the highway brings immense joy for people who love driving. There are many highways in the U.S that lead to well-known destinations. Some of these highways have historical significance, whereas some depict conventional architecture. In this article, we will tell you about the top ten highways to choose for a road trip with friends.

1. Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California, Credit- Pinterest.com

The Iconic Route 1 is spread throughout California; however, the best route for road trips is through the way of Big Sur. It constitutes 90 or even more miles and stretches from the Central Coast from San Simeon to Carmel. The beauty of this place is indescribable as you will see the redwood groves and rocky beaches alongside while you drive on the highways.

2. Blue Ridge Parkway, NC and VA

Blue Ridge  parkway, redit gosoutheast.about.com

Blue Ridge parkway, credit- gosoutheast.about.com

This highway stretches at least 469 miles with the southern Appalachian Mountains and connects two well known national parks namely North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains and Virginia’s Shehandoah. The place is covered by picnic spots and wonderful hiking trails that are filled with tulip, dogwood and red maple trees. Many people especially make trips to the highway to spend great times with their friends and loved ones.

3. Sun Road, Montana

Sun road, Montana, Credit-Wikipedia

Sun road, Montana, Credit-Wikipedia

The awesome beauty of Sun Road Montana cannot be overlooked. The glaciers in idyllic northern Montana give a breathtaking view. The road goes up to 50 miles from east to west in the Glacier National Park. The parks remains open throughout the year, but some parts of it are kept closed from the mid of September to the mid of June.

4. Hana Highway, Hawaii

Hana Highway, Hawaii Credit Bing images

Hana Highway, Hawaii- Credit Bing images

Hawaii is well known for its sleepy surf and wild beauty from the olden days. Driving through the route gives the similar feel of the rural east part of the beautiful island. The road is well known for its natural beauty. It is also known as the Road to Hana. It begins in the town of Paia which is about a forty minute drive from the Maui’s well constructed southwest area. This place is definitely worth going if you have the passion to delve into the wild beauty of the old Hawaii.

5. Million Dollar Highway, Colorado

The Million Dollar Highway-Credit-Openroadtrip.com

The Million Dollar Highway – Credit-Openroadtrip.com

This highway is located near the Telluride. It draws the attention of thousands of travel enthusiasts every year form different areas. It connects the very old, yet beautiful mining towns of Quay and Silverton in the San Juan Mountains located in southwestern Colorado. The highway passes through the Uncompahgre Gorge towards the peak of the magnificent Red Mountain Pass that is also a great place to visit.

6. Red Rock Scenic Byway, Arizona

Red Rock Scenic Byway, Arizona, Credit Pinterest

Red Rock Scenic Byway, Arizona, Credit Pinterest

The city of Sedona is well known for its commercial sprawl. The enthralling rock formations of the scenic city still stand tall on the Red Rock Scenic Byway. It is a great place to drive even though it is just a small 7.5 mile road. Many people still are not aware of the fact that the place is also known as Route 179. It begins from Sedona and straightaway runs towards the south and ends at Interstate 17.

7. Sea Islands, Georgia

Sea Island Highway, Credit Shermantravels

Sea Island Highway, Credit Shermantravels.com

This also a great place for people who experience natural beauty and want to spend quality time out with their friends. The scenic islands that run along the Georgian coastal barrier islands offer a view at the momentous blue-blood enclaves that have fascinated naturalists and travelers for a long time.

8. Seward Highway, Alaska

Seward Highway, AK, Credit -country-magazine.com

Seward Highway, AK, Credit -country-magazine.com

The best way to enjoy the massive beauty of Alaska is to go through the Seward Highway that stretches around 127 miles. The highway also connects Anchorage to the small portside area of Seward at the wonderful Resurrection Bay.

9. Sonoma and Napa Valley, California

Scenic byways in the winre country, Credit-.lifecycleadventures.com

Scenic byways in the wine country, Credit-.lifecycleadventures.com

For drivers, road trips from the neighboring valleys of the beautiful Napa and Sonoma give a thrilling experience. However, there are also different historic areas and serene nature besides just the luxurious spots.

10. U.S Route 1, Maine

Maine Scenic byway

Maine Scenic byway

Route 1 becomes a parking lot in the month of August when a large number of people are vacationing. Road trips to the area in early summer offer an open view of the hardy coastal beauty of the state. You should start your tour of this area beginning from Maine in the south and go through Ogunquit before you reach Kennebunkport.

Conclusion

These are the top 10 highways in the U.S that are great spots for drivers to spend time with friends and family. These places are frequented at different times of the year. Not only have these places attracted local people, but millions of tourists from around the world as well.

Author Bio: Angie is a travel writer and writes for various travel magazines. In her spare time, she loves writing and reading non-fiction. She believes that only Eclipse Leisure offer an easy way to book a stag weekend abroad with their all inclusive packages.