Laguna Beach is an interesting area and town. It is somewhat of a tourist mecca; yet, it maintains a certain charm.
The area is a good place for golf, for fishing, for fine dining, and for shopping.
At Dana Point Harbor you can do whale watching, shop, or eat. In the town itself, there are many fine places to dine, lots of shops, and landmark hotels.
This is an art community with many Art festivals, studios, and art students.
Some places of interest:
Pottery Shack has been around for 65 years.
1212 S. Coast Hwy
Sportfishing and Whale Watching at Dana Wharf
34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point, CA
Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center
It rescues and rehabilitates sick and injured marine mammals, then releases them back to their natural environment.
Open daily 10 am-4pm
Professional Theater with performances year round in Laguna Beach.
Len Wood's Indian Territory, Inc.
305-D North Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA
Nation's largest gallery of antique Indian art.
Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano
Historic Spanish adobe Mission, landscaped gardens, and courtyards.
Laguna Art Museum
307 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, CA
American art museum with focus on art of California
Crystal Cove State Park
8471 Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA
Miles of bluffs, beaches and tidepools, canyons and wilderness campgrounds
Newport Harbor Nautical Museum
151 East Pacific Coast Hwy
Three museum galleries, nautical gift shop, and waterfront dining.
Fondest memory: This area has beautiful sunsets, lovely beaches, lots of art, whale watching, excellent dining, and friendly people.
I highly recommend it.
While in Palm Springs, Allan and I celebrated Valentine's Day by seeing BILL COSBY at one of the area casino's in their huge auditorium.
Before we went to that show, we ate in downtown Palm Springs and enjoyed a romantic dinner for two, via candlelight.
The food was excellent, live music was soothing, and each woman received a red rose for Valentine's Day.
Fondest memory: The Bill Cosby Show was so well done. It's amazing how Bill commands respect and attention. I don't think that he plans what he is going to say until he is up on the stage. He makes everyone laugh without being cruel to others, without being "potty mouthed", and without being racist.
It is so refreshing to listen to someone who is genuinely funny in such a wholesome manner.
After the show, we stayed about an hour at the Casino. I won about $20.00 playing, of all things, the nickle slots!
The photograph was taken with an old Poloroid before we left. We had some of our favorite wine and saluted the value of love.
Moving inland from downtown San Diego you'll come to the City of La Mesa. In this area you'll find that the weather is ten to twenty degrees hotter during the summer and a bit cooler at night during the winter. This is not really a tourist town, but one that offers a few interesting things to see and do.
One important fact of La Mesa is that the community usually has some sort of fair or festival going on all year long. So making a side trip out here while visiting San Diego might be an interesting option.
The small village section of La Mesa is a good example of "small town" America. In this part of town, you'll find such community events as Oktoberfest, Christmas in the Village, Children's Book Festival, a weekly Car Show, Antique Street Faire, Flag Day Parade and the weekly Farmer's Market. There are a few modest museums, such as La Mesa Depot Museum, lots of Antique/Collectable shops to choose from and a big modern shopping mall, "Grossmont Center," which is a popular place, for all San Diegans to shop and dine.
For more information about this city, check out my La Mesa page
Fondest memory: Shopping at Grossmont Center is on of the main reasons San Diegans venture into La Mesa if they don't live near. I suggest dining at Casa de Pico is worth a trip over. Both the village and Grossmont Center have a SD Trolley station near enough to make an easy journey from San Diego.
Imperial Beach is the Southwestern most point of the continental United States of America. That may be the one distinction this oftentimes overlooked town has, but it is worth telling you about if you are traveling on a budget and would like to get the most from your dollar.
The price of a hotel / motel on the beach is lower here than almost any where else along the coast in San Diego County, yet it is near enough to all the SD sites that it is still a convenient choice.
This beach town also has the Tijuana Esturary for those interested in nature perserves or ecological issues.
More IB information: Imperial Beach
Chula Vista is the next city north of Imperial Beach. It is the second largest city in the County of San Diego.
An official Olympic Training Center is positioned at the eastern side of CV for sports minded people who might be interested. The Cricket Wireless Ampitheater is located at the south east end. It is a major venue for big named concerts of all types and next to the Ampitheater is Knot's Soak City, a gigantic waterslide park.
The Chula Vista Nature Center is an interesting place to take children, I especially like it's petting pool where it is possible to pet a variety of fish, even a shark.
The most charming area of CV is the J Street Marina which sits along the southern end of the San Diego Bay.
More CV information: Chula Vista
Once an island between the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, Coronodo was connected to the mainland by a road--the Silver Strand--built by the US Navy from Imperial Beach and was later also connected by the Coronado Bridge to the downtown area of San Diego. It is also, now again possible to get to Coronado from the harbor of downtown San Diego by ferry.
Coronado is a beach resort type of town, beautiful, expensive and not too crowded. The Hotel del Coronado is the most famous tourist attraction and except for the beach, it is the oldest. Orange Avenue is the main downtown street with lots of shops, restaurants and hotels. The Ferrylanding Market Place is the newest edition and though it does have a touristy feel to it, there are at least three really great restaurants to dine in besides some pretty unique shops .
More information on my Coronado page.
AKA "Nasty City" this town is not one of the loveliest in California, but it too has something to offer. Mainly less expensive hotel / motel room prices. There is a new Clarion Hotel at the north end of town just off the I-5 freeway that would be convenient for any visitor to the San Diego area and the prices are better. There are also a few standard motels just down the backside street from the Clarion with even lower prices for a night's stay and the San Diego Trolley has a station about a block or two from these hotels/motels making it convenient for tourists who do not want to rent a car while here.
The NC Mile of Cars is an historical California road that developed into a path for car dealerships. Almost any type of car can be found here from a $8,000,00 entry level car to a $50,000.00 (or more by now) Corvette.
Plaza Bonita is the big Shopping Mall and prices are generally a percentage or more lower than at the other malls north of downtown SD.
More information on my National City page.
See the Stanford University Campus in Palo Alto.
Fondest memory: Beautiful architecture, scuplture, landscaping, views...Palo Alto is home to countless delicious restaurants and student hangouts. The hills above Palo Alto, e.g., Woodside, also feature a number of gret restaurants and watering holes. Note: It's also warmer and dryer than San Francisco.
When you visit California, especially southern California its nice to get away from the L.A. scene and cruise towards Pasadena and Altadena area. Visit Old Town Pasadena which is very classy and upscale. A great place to visit is also La Canada where you will find the Rose Bowl and JPL(Jet Propulsion Labratories) There are some very nice picnicing areas up in that area.
Fondest memory: My favorite memory of California would have to be new years eve in Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. Before the Rose Parade. Sneaking a peek at all the floats on Del Mar near the Ambassador Auditorium. It was exciting smelling the aroma of the flowers and wondering how in the world they worked. Also seeing all the 'strange' people all along the streets. Definitely a memorable moment for a 14 year old girl!
spend at least a day on catalina island. it was definitely one of my favourite days in l.a. when i went to monaco a year later it reminded me alot of catalina... they are both tiny, and both seem to be completely contained, like they don't need anything from the outside world.
Fondest memory: i went with my friend mike and we had a wonderful day. took a couple of those funny little tourist tours, catalina style. one was a bus tour of the historical stuff. the driver was hilarious simply pq he took his job so seriously. it was great fun. we also did a glass bottom boat tour, and i loved seeing all the fishies swimming around. the tours were rather expensive, but by l.a. standards not overpriced.
we also went swimming and the sea was beautiful... very clear, although i seem to remember that the bottom was rocky. no matter, i wore my tevas.
i remembered the other day that they drive golf carts there. i never knew golf carts were made as mini vans, or convertibles. fascinating... while on the bus tour, we saw john tesh (american sub-celebrity) driving in a golf cart... with his son... and a pizza.
Favorite thing: Santa Monica is located on the outskirts of LA. While it is most known for its famous pier and somewhat eccentric population, Santa Monica is also a great mix of ocean and mountain scenery and activities. Located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and along the highway named for this body of water, Santa Monica has great beaches. The Santa Monica mountains are only a couple of miles inland and the large collection of parks are perfect for short hiking trips and for simply getting away from the city.