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Top Tours

 
Pismo Beach Dune Buggy Experience
"Rent your dune buggy in Oceano just 5 minutes down the road from Pismo Beach at your selected time. Get fitted with your gear and receive a safety orientation. You will then hop on an open-air tram which will drive you a mile down the beach to the staging area. Hop in the driver's seat or passenger's seat of your fully automatic 4-wheeler dune buggy and zoom off through the Oceano Dunes.The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is among the most unique California State Parks as the only place where you can drive your own vehicle on a public beach. Spend two hours exploring first approximately 2 miles (3 km) of scenic beachfront before zipping and zooming through 1500 acres (607 hectares) or rolling sand dunes in your dune buggy — a fun exciting way to spend a day along the beautiful California coast!Upon completion of your dune buggy adventure
From $124.00
 
Wine Country Biking Tour in Santa Barbara
"Your group will be picked up by air-conditioned vans at a prearranged meeting spot at 10:00 AM. We will then shuttle by van to the Santa Ynez Valley. After getting riders fitted we ride along the scenic back-roads to our first winery. Once there the winery staff takes us for a tasting and your guide will prepare an enjoyable “deli spread” picnic lunch with lots of options. Cold beverages and water will be provided throughout the tour. Then we pedal on to the second winery. Your guides wil and several wineries extend discounts on wine purchases to our guests. This trip receives rave reviews from guests. We have done similar tours for wine and travel writers corporate groups bachelorette and birthday parties as well as families and tourists. This is the wine tour that was featured on the television show Giuliana and Bill."
From $159.00
 
Paso Robles Wine Adventure
"You can expect to meet other wine enthusiasts and get to know them over the course of the day. You'll spend the day with a small group and visit between 4-6 wineries. Your group will discuss various options with your guide and craft an itinerary of winer those that are family-owned historic and off-the-beaten path but there are no strict rules. Your guides try to avoid taking you to places you have already visited (unless you want to go back!). They will point out landmarks and wineries along the way tell stories and talk about the local history and of course wine making
From $69.00

Death Valley / The Desert Tips (10)

Day 13/14: Sunset and Sunrise at Death Valley

Favorite thing We knew that the best hours to visit Death Valley were the afternoons and early morning, not only because of the extreme heat of August, also for the light (for photos), we went to the Dunes for the sunrise, that was very close of the hotel.

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Carmela71
Aug 05, 2005

Day 13: Las Vegas and drive to Death Valley

Favorite thing We were leaving today and still had not been able to go up to the stratosphere, so before checking out, we got at the car and drove to the other side of town to go up, quite an experience for a Vertigo women as me ;-).

But from now is where I really began to enjoy California, the Natural parks, we promised ourselves that the next time we were coming to USA, we would spend less time in cities and more time enjoying the parks.

We saw a wonderful sunset from the Artist palette at Death Valley

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Carmela71
Aug 05, 2005

Stovepipe Wells Village

Favorite thing Happily drive along through Grapevine Canyon, go pass the mouth of Titus Canyon, and start paying attention when you see lots of sand dunes. Nearby, turn right and go forth (don't multiply) to look over the grounds at Stovepipe Wells Village. It's an OASIS!

Check in for the night, they have a POOL. Just about the only water you'll see for days.

I'm joking but seriously, this is the best place I know if you're going to lose your car keys in the sand dunes at sunset. We lost those car keys that night, really, and the Stovepipe Wells Motel people were the best. They nurtured us and let us phone our friends around the world to tell our story! The next morning, they sent one of their men out with us to look for the keys, in the sand dunes.

The place looked so different at sunrise...
but I spotted the keys and off we went. Goodbye Stovepipe, hello Zabriskie Point, hey there Artists Palette (oh you are so beautiful!), wow! look at that Panamint Range! and hello Sequoia Forest, hello mosquitoes...

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alza
Oct 01, 2003

An archicultural tip

Favorite thing Time to make a contribution to culture, archi-culture, er, architecture. Even in Death Valley Desert, you can see some Doric or Corinthian columns, and imagine you are sitting under some shady roof, on some cold stones, listening to Socrates and drinking it all in, the meaning of life, of heat, of sweat, where is my deodorant, etc.

I *had* to get up from those stones, even in the shade, they burned! But I would not leave Scotty's Castle before showing off my biker's T-shirt from UTAH! no sir!

Tip: great Ice Cream is sold somewhere on the grounds! Now drive further into the desert.

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alza
Oct 01, 2003
 
 
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Scotty's Gate, Death Valley

Favorite thing I wanted to stop in Reno and check out the marriage rules, but my travel mates were not interested. They would have liked to stop in Reno for the gambling, but I was not interested.

We drove on to Death Valley and stopped for another leg stretch at Scotty's Castle. There's a story about this Scotty, he was quite an excentric etc. Well we just walked around his grounds and sweated and marvelled that he bothered to build this temple to his ego out there. The gates to the main house were something to behold, as you can see.

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alza
Oct 01, 2003

Death Valley

Favorite thing Marvel at the bizarre landscape of DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK! This is where one of my VT friends remarked about me 'walking on the moon' :D. No, Death Valley is certainly more than that; although I'm not sure if I know what's 'walking on the moon' like ;-). One needs to be there to experience & take in the panoramic views in order to know what it's all about. In that sense, he's absolutely correct :).

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Sharrie
Feb 06, 2003

Death Valley

Favorite thing Death Valley is the lowest point in the USA hidden behind some mountains. The rainclouds coming from the ocean are stopped by these mountains. Making the valley very dry. Other pics in the travelogue.
More info on Death Valley:
National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/deva/
or
www.deathvalley.com

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tompt
Oct 25, 2002

sweat at the Death Valley. It...

Favorite thing sweat at the Death Valley. It is a deep valley (86 meters under the sea level) between 2 mountains which hold the air under a hard sun. The temperature in Summer goes over 40°c. Have a think to those who extracted potash and salt from this dry piece of earth.

Fondest memory When you go there think : 1) to bring water especially if you have children with you - 2) to take gas before going because it is rare and more expensive than everywhere (it evaporates quicker...) - 3) to look at the motor temperature. It may be not bear the air conditionning - 4) to respect the speed limits even if the road is (or seems) empty. The policeman is not far from you.

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GUYON
Sep 07, 2002

Top 5 California Writers

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Yaqui

"CALIFORNIA ~ It's not about the glam, but nature!"
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Basaic

"California - What More Do I Need To Say?"
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deecat

"Always on My Mind....California"
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LoriPori

"Our awesome trip to California summer of 2004"
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bugalugs

"California"
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If you have time, you have to...

Favorite thing If you have time, you have to drive along the Pacific Highway. The scenery is spectacular all the way along. As we drove along we saw pods of Whales, Dolphins & Ottersin the ocean along with a multitude of Seals and Sea lions. We stayed in a few of the coastal towns on the way back to LA. The nicer ones were Carmel and Fort Bragg.

Fondest memory One of the nicest places we stayed on the trip was a small town as we left Death Valley. The town was called Lone Pine. It was a one street town with a couple of restaurants and one bar. One of the locals commented that seeing seven people on the street at 8pm made it feel like rush hour. Lone Pine is famous because a lot of the western movies were filmed in the area. At the hotel we stayed in (dont remember its name but there was only one) they had a map of all the movies filmed in the area. The picture shows the snow capped Sierra Nevada's from the car park of our Hotel

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TheBigMan
Aug 26, 2002

A must to see place u gotta...

Favorite thing A must to see place u gotta visit is no doubt the 'Death Valley'. Here is an example of how nature can be amazing here ... here is a pic of 'Zabriskie Point'!!!

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Tetreus
Sep 12, 2002

Things to Do Near California

Things to Do

Lombard Street

i'M ONE OF THOSE ANNOYING TOURISTS THAT LIKE TO DO ALL THE PREDICABLE TOURIST STUFF ... AND MORE. THIS CURVY STREET IS FAMOUS AND ONE OF THE THINGS i'D INCLUDE IN MY PLANS WHEN VISITING THE CITY. AS...
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Things to Do

Hollywood Walk of Fame

My name is not there. I had no time to follow all the walk, but I think that I'm the only movie star missing there. I knew 85, wrote down more 4322 names, and I'm studying why are they famous. I...
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Things to Do

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a historical neighborhood in downtown San Diego. This area encompasses sisteen blooks and is packed full of historic buildings, museums, restaurants, shopping, galleries and...
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Things to Do

Sand Dunes

Mesquite Dunes is a great place to watch the sunset. As with any sunset, much of the colors occur after the sunset sets below the horizon. Mesquite Dunes is no different. I found the best colors...
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Things to Do

Glacier Point

Okay, they say a photo is worth a thousand words, so I have, by way of the photos here ALREADY written 5,000 words ^O^. But if you have the time, take the road up to Glacier Point, it is one of those...
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Things to Do

17 Mile Drive

17 mile drive is a gated drive around the ocean in the Pebble beach area. it costs about 10 dollars per car and although beautiful doesn't really contain anything ( other than the golf courses) that...
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