California Off The Beaten Path

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California Off The Beaten Path

  • Day Trips

    San Francisco Off The Beaten Path

    One of the northern missions, this was originally part of Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Founded in 1817 as a sanitarium for Indians afflicted with European diseases, it was named for the patron saint of healing. This is still an active church and school. The phone number is that of the gift shop. Father Junipero Serra founded this and most of...

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  • Downtown

    Los Angeles Off The Beaten Path

    If you are into the quirky for your sightseeing, come in the Figueroa Corridor area of downtown, seek out the Felix the Cat sign (1958). The sign, which symbolized the automobile's influence in Los Angeles along with the Chevy car showroom was designated officially as a historical site despite the mayor's protest (Boo Major Villaraigosa, boo). It...

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  • Downtown San Diego

    San Diego Off The Beaten Path

    Named after John D. Spreckels a sugar magnate, construction was finished in August of 1912 to service patrons with 1,915 seats. Designed to be earthquake and fire proof and built with the state of the art heating system. It was considered to be nicest theater on the west coast and was constructed to be acoustically perfect for its day. Harrison...

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  • Mono Lake

    Yosemite National Park Off The Beaten Path

    It is a very long drive over to Mono Lake but if you are driving the Tioga Road it is a side trip well worth the effort and if camping at Tuolomne Meadows, the town of Lee Vining where the lake is located is your closest place to shower, pick up supplies, or find a restaurant. The lake is not man-made but man sculpted in a sense. With Los Angeles'...

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  • Other Points of Interest

    Death Valley National Park Off The Beaten Path

    The ghost town is located in the Bullfrog Hills, on the border of Death Valley National Park, and close to Beatty. A few ghosts (art from Belgian artists) along the road welcome the visitors. There is not much left, beside a a few ruins. Furthermore there is also an obligate traditional and renovated "Bottle House". The station building is still...

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  • Parks

    Monterey Off The Beaten Path

    The Frog Pond Wetland Preserve in Del Rey Oaks is maintained and operated by Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. This tiny 17 acre park is open for pedestrians only and has about one mile of hiking trails. The park is surrounded by houses or road on all four sides, and has a variety of habitats including a freshwater pond, small grassy...

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  • Disneyland

    Anaheim Off The Beaten Path

    Over the years new rides and attractions open at Disneyland and older ones close. This makes return visits almost as exciting as the first visit. Though some of our favorites are familiar, there is always something new to explore. One thing I learned after a few visits was to start the day at the back, far reaches of the Park and move forward...

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  • Day Trip

    Long Beach Off The Beaten Path

    Here is the artsy, ecletic part of Long Beach - East Village. Consider this the Greenwich Village, NY of Southern California. Come here if you are attracted to bright colorful architecture, art gallery browsing Bohemian and hippie-ish culture, organic cafes, and unique/avant-garde stuff. The attitude here is definitely open and progressive.

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  • Hollywood / Boulevard / Sign

    Hollywood Off The Beaten Path

    This stainless steel gazebo on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea has four life-size silver ladies supporting the structure that represent Mae West, Dorothy Dandridge, Anna Mae Wong and Dolores Del Rio. Catherine Hardwicke sculpted it in 1993. Located at Hollywood Blvd and La Brea Ave. Visitors Information Center 6801 Hollywood Blvd –...

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  • City Walks

    Santa Monica Off The Beaten Path

    Architect was Harbin F. Hunter, this Art Deco style commercial building is crafted of Roman brick, and incorporates outstanding stylized blue terra cotta female motifs along its roofline. Pylons and vertically oriented casement windows give it a tal vertical look. Its used today as apartment building. Located at 1455 Fourth Street.

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  • Beyond the Highway

    Big Sur Off The Beaten Path

    Paso Robles Wineries are just about a 95 mile 2 hour 15 minute drive from Big Sur via CA Highway 1 then Highway 46 east. Visiting the fable Hearst Castle in San Simeon at the Central Coast of California can be breathtaking and more so if you are fond of wines and vinyards, it is just less than an hour drive from the nearby Paso Robles Wine Region...

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  • Day Trip

    South Lake Tahoe Off The Beaten Path

    For those of you leaving California on the way to fabulous Lake Tahoe, I would suggest taking the highway 50 route as apposed to the 80. The 80 is more of the major 4 lane freeway to get you up and over the hills quickly to your destination, but you will pass a few good spots to stop and site see, mainly rest stops. If you take the 50 route, it is...

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  • Walking / Hiking / Biking

    San Jose Off The Beaten Path

    The new San Jose City Hall was constructed in 2005 to consolidate most city services into a single, impressive location. The ultramodern city hall consists of a water garden and a bamboo garden setting the stage for a huge tower of offices (including the mayor's office on the top floor), a bright glass-domed rotunda, and a separate wing of council...

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  • Fulsom

    Sacramento Off The Beaten Path

    This is a small community, with a two block preserved historic district that features buildings from the late 1800's. These retail stores are still active and locals shop there. In the middle is a Folsom museum which is open Wed-Sun 10-5PM and admission is $5; maybe takes 1/2 to tour the displays. Around the old district is new mall and shopping...

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  • Views

    Coronado Off The Beaten Path

    Orange Avenue ends at a nice little park with a view across the Bay of the SD skyline. However, a little known fact, even to San Diegans, is that there are small plots of land between the homes on the bayside of First Street in Coronado, just west of this larger park, where mini-parks with similar great views of the Bay and these are open to the...

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  • VT Brunch 2003

    Manhattan Beach Off The Beaten Path

    The story of the baton... check it out at Baton West & Baton East. Birthdate: Feb. 1. It went around the world in 2 different directions. Baton West won!

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  • Twin Inns

    Carlsbad Off The Beaten Path

    Love Twin Inns 2978 Carlsbad Blvd. This Victorian structure was built by Alonzo Culver in 1887 for Gerhard Schutte, known as the “Father of Carlsbad.” Schutte and partners Samuel Church Smith and D.D. Wadsworth, founded the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company and had as their vision "a town of small farms and gracious homes." They bought up...

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  • Hiking / Trails

    Mammoth Lakes Off The Beaten Path

    From the South of town off of Old Mammoth Road, take the road past the equestrian center and turn left for approximately 1/2 a mile. Follow the signs to the Sherwin Lakes TrailHead. The trail to the Sherwin Lakes (roughly 2.8 miles) starts off over a pastoral bridge over the little Sherwin Creek and meanders gently upward through pine trees. After...

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  • Views

    Laguna Beach Off The Beaten Path

    Much of the attention of Laguna Beach is centered in the northern coast, featuring the main beach, and the renowed venues like the playhouse and city museum. However, less spoiled beaches and the ultra luxurious resort, Montage are highlights of the southern Pacific Ocean bordering half of LB worth checking. If you wish to avoid the crowds, pitch...

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  • Parks

    Beverly Hills Off The Beaten Path

    Roxbury Park is located on the corner of Olympic and Roxbury and offers fun for everyone. For the little ones, dinasaur sculptures, Ranger Mike, and several pieces of play equipment. For the adults, beautiful scenery, tennis/vollyball/baseball/basketball courts in a pristine environment.

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  • Beaches / Caves / Cliffs / Coves

    La Jolla Off The Beaten Path

    Located along the La Jolla Cove walkway is a plaque and it reads: This plaque in Commemoration of: Conrad F. Limbaugh and Harold F. Riley for their efforts toward the creation of The San Diego - La Jolla Underwater Park Presented by The San Diego Council of Diving Clubs Inc. 1972 South Boundary. What is interesting, there is a underwater park....

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  • Street Views

    Oceanside Off The Beaten Path

    Do you recognize this house from the movie, "Top Gun?" You might be too young. It was filmed in 1986 and was quite popular in those days. The people of Oceanside loved this movie and decided to perserve the house. It's one of the oldest bungalow type houses in Southern California. It was built about 1887 more than 125 years ago and has gone through...

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  • Cleveland National Forest

    Julian Off The Beaten Path

    If Your route to Julian is from the southwest, you'll go through the southern section of the Cleveland National Forest. Here there are camping sites, fishing, hunting and lots of flora and fauna to enjoy. There are winter activities to do as well when the snows up here have fallen, it becomes a winter time mecca for San Diegans who rarely ever...

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  • Chula Vista Nature Center

    Chula Vista Off The Beaten Path

    This is how the building looks at the nature center. There is an educational museum inside. Hiking tours for bird watching are held on Wednesdays and weekends at 2:00 pm. Behind the center is an aviary where you can walk inside an enclosure with a variety of local birds.

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  • Flora / Fauna

    Imperial Beach Off The Beaten Path

    The Tijuana Estuary National Wildlife Preserve with a walkway at the south end of Seacoast Drive is an interesting visit. It is also a good point to watch Navy and Marine Corps helicopters practice touch 'n go landings at the nearby Ream Field about 1 mile East and to see Playa de Tijuana or the city of Tijuana in Mexico, about 4 miles to the...

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  • Knott's Berry Farm

    Buena Park Off The Beaten Path

    Across the street from Knott's Berry Farm is the Independence Hall where you can travel back in time and see the whole reenactment of the signing of the Decoration of Independence. The building is an exact replica of the real independence Hall which is located in Pennsylvania.

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  • Revolver Video Bar

    West Hollywood Off The Beaten Path

    The famous West Hollywood video bar of the '80s and '90s is back in WeHo! Once one of the main stays of WeHo nightlife, Revolver became run down and was eventually closed and re-opened as East/West. Although the new owners had done a complete renovation, the bar never really took off and it became a sort of joke to the locals. About a year ago,...

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  • Unique / One-Of-A-Kind Sites

    California Off The Beaten Path

    I am not well traveled yet, but one of the places I could stay forever was Malibu. I guess it wasn't that off the beaten path but from the RV park I wandered up into the hills at night and just watched the world go by. Watching the sun set and the non stop air traffic arriving and departing at LAX, it was beautiful. Till in the morning I seen a...

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  • Sausalito

    San Francisco Off The Beaten Path

    Sausalito is a great little village located by the bay just across the Golden Gate Bridge which transends you a world away. The village has some really good places to eat, small art galleries, parks and wonderful views of San Franciso which makes this a good day trip from San Francisco. Just spend a few hours or a full day enjoying a nice...

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  • Hiking

    Los Angeles Off The Beaten Path

    Bungee America runs the only bungee jumping installation in California. They run a good program that is fun and safe. Jumps are done off the "Bridge to No Where". They have been in business for over 20 years. The "jump masters" they employ are very friendly, detail oriented, and know what they are doing. Plan to be outside on the trail or jumping...

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  • North County

    San Diego Off The Beaten Path

    While visiting San Diego a day trip to the Escondido/Rancho Bernardo area might be fun. The main attractions are The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Fromally known as the Wild Animal Park,) Bernardo Winery and Orfila Winery. Orfila is my favorite winery. I come with a friend, taste a few wines and buy a bottle of their fine wine to go with the picnic...

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  • Hikes / Trails

    Yosemite National Park Off The Beaten Path

    The "Great Sierra Mine" sounds like a huge operation, doesn't it? Well, it's not much of a mine and certainly not great, but the trail up to it, which skirts the jewel-like Gaylor Lakes, is one of the best short hikes in Yosemite. Four miles round trip which can be done in 2-3 hours, you get a good heart-accelerating ascent then a pleasant meander...

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  • Walking / Hiking

    Death Valley National Park Off The Beaten Path

    This is another trail not marked on any park service map. However is fairly easy to spot. There is a wood barrier stating Wilderness Restoration blocking a road. The trail actual starts on the road. Follow for one mile to a fence. There will be a hill of black rocks on the left at this point. Here you will turn slightly left into the Greenwater...

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  • Coastal Views / Beaches

    Monterey Off The Beaten Path

    if you are visiting the Hearst Castle Historical State Park after a walk through of Monterey and Carmel with lost of spare time or having 2 to 3 day extra time, I would suggest a timely stop along Big Sur and the historic Highway 1 that straddles the Santa Lucia Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean for spectacular panoramic vistas for a picture...

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  • California Adventure

    Anaheim Off The Beaten Path

    On the California Boardwalk section of Disney's California adventure there is a huge 16 Story tall ferris wheel called "The Sun Wheel". There are two sets of cars, one stationary, the others swing and slide around. (if you have kids, or a mildly week stomach, stick with the stationary) But the real secret to this one is to wait until after dark ...

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  • Beaches / Parks

    Long Beach Off The Beaten Path

    The good thing about big cities is that they have an official big natural park setting for the public. Park features usually include sporting facilities, bird watching and a man-lake with duckies. El Dorado in L.B. is no exception with the duckies and all...but it is special with many other amenities. Park Features (Eastpark, 7550 E. Spring...

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  • Celebrities / Studio Tours

    Hollywood Off The Beaten Path

    There are several studio tours in the Hollywood area. One that is really not well known but probably the closet there is to a true tour is the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. This is a 2.5 hour tour through the backlot of Warner Brothers. Unlike other tours there is a ratio of about 12 people to 1 tour guide, with the main mode of transportation...

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  • Santa Monica Pier / Promenade

    Santa Monica Off The Beaten Path

    Located along the Promenade is a beautiful topiary statues incorporated into a fountain. The plaque reads: Third Street Promenade Bayside District Santa Monica, Ca A public/private partnership dedicated to the community of Santa Monica September 16, 1989 Dennis Zane Mayor Located at: Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. 1351 Third Street Promenade, Suite...

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  • Hiking

    Big Sur Off The Beaten Path

    A steep climb to the top of the peak will bring you to 5,120 feet above the Pacific Ocean, which will be just 2.5 miles in front of you. Such an amazing view from the peak, and it's so quiet up there that you can hear butterflies as they go by...The climb is beautiful in fall and spring, but would probably be scorching hot in summer, and sopping...

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  • Lake / Bays

    South Lake Tahoe Off The Beaten Path

    There are plenty of places to explore around Lake Tahoe, but they are the beaten path rather than off of it. What ever your interests are you will find it here. However, it is not difficult to find places that seem remote, away from it all that can leave you with a feeling of being alone. Unlike most tourist destinations, this one offers solitude...

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  • In Town

    San Jose Off The Beaten Path

    San Jose Municipal Stadium is the home of the Single-A San Jose Giants baseball team. It was built in 1942 of reinforced concrete at a cost of just 80,000 dollars. The grass surface is a beautifully maintained Baby Bermuda Grass that is soft as pillows under the feet, while the infield clay in packed hard, creating a beautiful playing surface....

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  • Day Trip

    Sacramento Off The Beaten Path

    About a 45 minute drive from Sacramento is the famous Jelly Belly Factory. The tour is free!!!! You get taken around the factory with a birds eye view of how the Jelly Belly goes from nothing to the fabulous gourment jelly bean I love to eat!!!!! And at the end you get a free small bag of Jelly Bellys (so you get to walk away with some of the great...

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  • USNB North Island

    Coronado Off The Beaten Path

    There are just a few ways that non-military persons can see this sight. One of them is to take a Harbor Cruise and as your tour passes an aircraft carrier you may see this or more. You won't be able to see aircraft taking off or landing on the carrier at Coronado, they only do that out at sea. There are other glimpses of the Military presence in...

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  • Visit VT Staff

    Manhattan Beach Off The Beaten Path

    While in Manhattan Beach why not visit the VT Staff? Of course, call first, to make sure they are available, once in a while the whole crew leaves the office to put on a huge reception for all VT Members who happen to be in the area. The office is near, the VT Staff are the nicest people and they love to meet VT Members. 2899 Agoura Road...

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  • Lagoons

    Carlsbad Off The Beaten Path

    The Pea Soup Andersen Wind Mill is located near the Aqua Hedionda Lagoon at the south end of Carlsbad. It is one of the two major lagoons in this city. The other, Buena Vista, is at the north end. Agua Hedionda Lagoon is unique as it is a healthy tidal bed with a large wetlands supporting several endangered species and also premits recreational...

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California Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of California off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for California sightseeing.
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