Redding, CA: Shape Up In Shasta Cascade

The breathtaking Shasta Cascade region offers world-class rivers, lakes and trails making it the perfect location to shape up with a plethora of outdoor activities....

Long Beach CA: Hotel Maya

Paying homage to this mysterious culture stands the Hotel Maya along the harbor in Long Beach. Complete with the unique and spectacular architectural style of the stepped pyramids, Hotel Maya welcomes guests into their "village" of modern structures assembled to create this luxurious seaside resort.

Murphys, CA: Murphys Haunted Hotel

When you arrive in the authentic town of Murphys, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, the locals will ask about where you are staying. If your response is Murphys Historic Hotel, expect the response to be, Haunted! That hotel is haunted!

San Diego, CA: The Keating Hotel

Southern California. Italian design. Ferrari. Stainless steel. Maserati. Bang and Olufsen. Rain showerheads. Just one of these by itself is damn sexy. Put them all together, add a king-sized bed, and you have the uber sexy Keating Hotel.

Arrowhead, CA: Mountain Swimming Hole

Nothing beckons the old days of hiking up the mountains to a nearby waterfall and jumping into the water feet first. Local photographer Sam Katz brings us back to those old memories with a look back.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Folsom CA- Folsom Historic DIstrict

If you are looking for a nice ride off the beat and path, take a trip to Folsom, CA. Johnny Cash once wrote of this town in his album "At Folsom Prison" to regain popularity in his career, but there is much more than a correctional facility there now. The Folsom Historic District has more than 80 businesses, including restaurants, art galleries, live theater, museums, antique stores and specialty shops. With at least one event happening every month, Historic Folsom is the place to visit for events and festivals! The diverse event schedule includes Live Entertainment, Art Walks, Car Shows, Antique Fairs, Craft Fairs and wonderful community events throughout the year!

For example there is the Folsom History Museum. The Museum is operated by the Folsom Historical Society, located in historic downtown Folsom. It is the home to a wonderful collection of artifacts and treasures that chronicle the settlement and development of the Folsom area. You'll see fascinating and educational exhibits throughout the year along with special events highlighting the Gold Rush era and Folsom. The History Museum focuses on exhibits about Folsom's native people, the discovery of gold and the formation of mining camps, ethnic groups who contributed to the area, the formation of the town, railroad, prison, powerhouse, and later efforts at gold mining.

You might also like the stay a night at the Folsom Hotel and Saloon. This hotel, previously named the New Western Hotel, was built by Charles Zimmerman. The hotel’s Completion was marked by the installation of the back bar mirror. Samuel Levits, the maker of the mirror, accompanied it on it’s journey to California. Eager to start his new life in the silver mines of Virginia City, he persuaded Zimmerman to give him the hotel keys so that he could work through the night to install the mirror. While cutting the mirror, Levits was cut severely and he died before dawn. Although dead, he still resides in the hotel. Many nights, Levits can still be heard in the bar kicking the keys toward the locked front door in an effort to get out and get help. Levits is not alone in the Folsom Hotel either. Camille, an aloof woman who once served Zimmerman as a maid and cook in payment for her son’s education, is still present. She continues to help the present owners tidy up in the early morning hours, spending most of her time in the dining room and kitchen.


Come enjoy entertainment, history and fun in Folsom. For more information about the Folsom Historic District, Folsom History Museum or the Folsom Hotel and Saloon, visit their websites.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

San Pedro, CA- The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival


From September 12th to the 14th, 2014, enjoy one of the world’s largest lobster festivals; The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival, winner of four Guinness World Records and the “2013 OUTSTANDING CORPORATE CITIZEN AWARD”.  It features fresh discount Maine lobster meals flown in fresh daily and cooked on the spot, and plenty of free entertainment. After feasting on the world famous lobster meals, guests enjoy dancing, street performers, a pirate camp, tall ships, shopping for arts and crafts, and musical performances by some of today’s best up-and-coming acts. Accompanied by a music festival all weekend, “Lobsterfest” is the place for you and your taste buds to be.
A one day pass for an adult is only $10 but don’t think you can’t bring the kids. Children under 12 are free.
If you want to splurge for the $41 First Class Tickets you will get weekend admission, one guaranteed Maine lobster meal, front line privileges for Meal line and Bar all weekend and one beverage. In the VIP Dining Area you will enjoy your delicious wild-caught Maine lobster, cole slaw, potatoes, rolls, buttery dipping sauce, and a wedge of watermelon.
Lobster lovers enjoy a scenic outdoor park along LA’s historic waterfront, and shops at Ports O’ Call Village at the intersection of 6th Street and Harbor Drive. We are easy to find at the end of the 110 Harbor Freeway in San Pedro, California, only 20 minutes south of downtown Los Angeles. There is plenty of free parking and buses will be shuttling guests from the free parking areas at no charge.
Come for the feast and stay for the fun. For more information about Lobsterfest, visit their website.


Friday, April 18, 2014

San Bernardino, CA-Hempcon


On Friday, April 18th and continuing on through the weekend, Hempcon is one of California’s biggest medical marijuana shows being held at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino. They cater to those who may be benefited from the medical use of marijuana*. This will be one of the premiere events of the year with a huge amount of exhibits including medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives, care givers, evaluation services, legal services, educational institutes, equipment, accessories, and much more.
Hempcon isn’t just for smokers though. It will be an educational event as well with a full weekend of seminars and presentations by industry leaders, advocates, and attorneys.  This convention is great for people wanting to learn more about the legal and medical side of marijuana. Doctors will be on hand to give evaluations and their opinions to weather medical marijuana is right for you or someone you know. Whether you are a patient or someone who wants to get educated more about medical marijuana, you have got to be there. Also you can come and enjoy some of the music entertainment provided by some well-known marijuana advocates. Tickets start at $20 at the door. For more information and a list of entertainers, visit the Hempcon website.


*All medical marijuana consumption is prohibited unless you provide proof of your medical recommendation from a doctor in accordance with PROPOSITION 215, the California Compassionate Use Act.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Los Angeles CA: MYTH Masquerade Ball


Have you ever wanted to attend a real decadent Faerie Tale Ball?

This is the MYTH Masque: an exquisite, transformational experience that fires the imagination and elevates the senses. High fashion meets high fantasy. In the spirit of MYTH, dismiss your mortal skin in favor of a truer form. The boundaries of reality are laughably defied as you become the impossible, through expression and costuming of the highest creative caliber. For one spectacular night, the chimerical energy you invoke is no fiction. This is make-believe, all grown up
. One might encounter a magnificent wolf, be beguiled by nymphs or ride an eight foot tall rocking unicorn.  MYTH Masque is a veritable feast for the senses that challenges its attendees to become 'A myth of their own making'.

The first two annual MYTH Masquerades debuted to enthusiastic crowds of award-winning costume designers, makeup-artists, avant-garde fashionistas and other wildly creative attendees. On May 24th, for its Third Annual Affair, MYTH spreads its wings at the spectacular Los Angeles Theatre, to present: ‘Thrice Upon a Dream’.  MYTH will transform the magnificent Film Palace into a playground for visionaries wishing to immerse themselves in a wonderland of inspiration.  Guests may escape into a night of dreams that offers an array of amazing visuals, music, dancing, live performances, drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and other tantalizing treats. 

Unique highlights of the Third Annual MYTH Masquerade Ball include 'Sanctuary of the Sirens,' wherein guests are invited to mingle with the Mermaids of MYTH. Music, artistry, dancers, and performance forge an elegant dreamscape of enchanted revelry where legend and inspiration come to play. These showcases of spectacles are able to weave themselves into the fabric of the fantasy. Masque guests can expect Electronica, 80s, Medieval and other styles of music that focus on instrumentation and expression. Energetic, well-known dance music will also fill the grand halls of the Los Angeles Theatre. Earlier in the evening, guests will enjoy a set of elegant Waltzes, as any formal ball should have. The dark-hearted denizens will dance to deliciously tenebrous tunes in the Chambre du Vampire, our exclusive vampire club, where guests can explore the darker, more seductive side of the ball, deep within the shadowy recesses of the Masquerade.

VIP Passport holders are escorted to the 'purple carpet' by Unicorn-drawn carriage, and formally heralded upon arrival in true regal fashion.  The VIP Reception also includes early evening entertainment, complimentary drinks from our Sponsors, a special champagne service by live Mermaids, as well as gourmet cupcakes and other enticing bites.  Our most esteemed guests will enjoy exclusive access to secluded VIP Lounges on each level of the Theatre.

Attendees will also discover imaginative and interactive photo-op areas throughout the Masquerade, in which to showcase their brilliant costumes and indulge their inner child. Formal portraits in the gorgeous Baroque Los Angeles Theatre are available, and enter your own impressive costume creations into a $500 First Place "Costumers' Challenge," with 2015 MYTH Masque tickets as additional prizes. Costumes (or black tie/formal attire with a mask) are required for this upscale affair.

Tickets are on sale online. Visit the site for a list of entertainers and more information. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales are donated to BUSTED FOUNDATION, an organization that supports breast cancer victims who are unable to cover the costs of treatment.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum -Simi Valley, CA


In a storied career that spanned more than five decades, Ronald Reagan inspired Americans to act and achieve even more than they imagined. His legacy thrives at The Reagan Library where events and exhibits rediscover his values, actions and spirit of determination.
The Reagan Library rests on a majestic hill overlooking the breath-taking topography of Southern California in the Simi Valley.  The 100-acre campus, with picturesque views reaching out to the Pacific Ocean, lush gardens, and a serene setting, pays tribute to one of the nation’s most beloved leaders.
While at the Reagan Library, enjoy the fresh air as you stroll through the Library’s replicas of the White House’s Rose Garden and White House South Lawn.  Or come in the early evening and witness the spectacular sunsets from the Library’s hilltop, and see for yourself why President Reagan felt so at home on the Library’s grounds. 
The renovated Museum experience integrates hundreds of artifacts, over 50% never before seen, and dozens of interactive displays.  These 18 galleries pay tribute to America’s 40th president and his accomplishments by capturing his patriotic spirit, his respect for individual liberty, his belief in global democracy and his support of economic opportunity.
When you visit the Reagan Library, you have to visit the Air Force One Pavilion. There you will step aboard this same Air Force One that flew President Reagan over 660,000 miles – to 26 foreign countries and 46 U.S.states – and you will learn how he changed the face of global diplomacy. But the Air Force One Pavilion is about more than just his plane. View one of his presidential limousines and secret service suburbans as part of an exhibit on presidential motorcades. Experience the actual Irish pub from Ballyporeen, Ireland he visited on a diplomatic trip in 1984 which now sits within the Pavilion and serves as the Library’s snack shop. Explore a 120’ mural which represents all 22 aircraft that has ever flown a U.S. president. Walk around an actual Marine One helicopter that flew President Johnson
Another attraction at the Library is the Berlin Wall. On April 12, 1990, President Ronald Reagan stood next to a 6,338 pound, 9 ½ foot tall piece of the Berlin Wall that had just arrived for display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. With colorful graffiti featuring a large butterfly on its “West” side and the stark grey concrete showing on its “East” side, President Reagan remarked, “Let our children and grandchildren come here and see this wall and reflect on what it meant to history. Let them understand that only vigilance and strength will deter tyranny.”
Since receiving the Wall, President Reagan’s wish has come true – millions of visitors, including hundreds of thousands of school children, have visited the Wall at the Reagan Library and learned its lesson of freedom and democracy for all.
Following his passing on June 5, 2004, President Ronald Reag
an was laid to rest at the Reagan Library in a Memorial Site made of granite on June 11, 2004.
And starting on April 4th, 2014, just in time for the opening week of Major League Baseball, “Baseball! The Exhibition” opens at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Running through September 4, 2014, “Baseball” is a 12,000 square foot exhibition featuring over 700 artifacts, including some of the rarest, historic and iconic baseball memorabilia from the largest known private collector in the United States. The exhibit displays extraordinary artifacts from Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and scores of other historically important players and organizations. This exhibition will be fun for the entire family.
Come and see these and all our other great exhibits at 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065 or visit our website at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Tickets are available online.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Sonoma County, CA-Battle of the Brews


sonoma-battle-of-the-brews
Saturday, March 29th at the Grace Pavilion in the Sonoma County Fairgrounds marks the 18th year of the Battle of the Brews fundraiser held by the Active 20-30 club of Santa Rosa. This event has raised nearly $1,000,000 dollars, the proceeds of which have been distributed by our Youth Benevolent Fund to help change the lives of needy children.

The Battle of the Brews includes the People's Choice Main Event along with the return of two phenomenal additions to the lineup -- The Craft Cup, a judged specialty craft brew competition featuring a variety of premier micro-breweries from around the country, and The 'Wich Hunt, highlighting the most delicious sandwiches from local chefs. Plus, all proceeds go directly to helping children in need in Sonoma County.

This year the Battle of the Brews will continue the tradition of the Craft Cup, Sonoma County's largest and newest craft brew competition. Modeled after great beer and microbrew competitions from around the world the Craft Cup is bringing in over dozens of renowned breweries and brewmasters to compete head to head in a juried competition. Industry leading judges will set out to name the true winner of the Battle of the Brews, the Craft Cup Best of Show, along category favorites and winners.
The third annual 'Wich Hunt at Battle of the Brews is an iron-fisted sandwich brawl in which local chefs compete to construct the ultimate carbohydrate-protein-carbohydrate creation. This ain't no pansy cook-off.

From Dagwoods to sliders, artisan BLT's, heroes, hoagies, banh mi, and beyond, the only constraint is being able to fit into the eager maws of our judges and fans. Oh, and taste incredible, because there will be no awards just for showing up. We're looking for off-the-charts, taste-bud exploding, meat-tastic (or alternative proteins), brain-bending creations that really showcase local talent.
During the tasting event, we will also have the inaugural Craft Cup Raffle, live music by Pat Jordan, brewing demonstrations and much more. This exclusive event is open only to sponsors and 500 ticket holders.

Tickets to the 'Wich Hunt event are included in the Craft Cup tasting, and guests will be able to meet the competing chefs and taste their creations for themselves. Tickets for the Craft Cup are $95 and includes the Main Event.

Kicking off at 4pm, the Main Event will host over 50 drafts and food vendors fighting for your vote, while Cover Me Badd takes the main stage. Now in its 18th year, the People's Choice beer competition has become a local favorite celebrating beer, food, and music, all while raising money for at risk children in Sonoma County.

 Main Event tickets are available for $40 online (www.battleofthebrews.com). Check their websites for locations to also buy tickets.

Sonoma County Fairgrounds
Grace Pavillion
1350 Bennett Valley Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(www.battleofthebrews.com)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

San Diego, CA: Valentine's Day in South Park

Valentines-San-Diego
Valentine's Day in San Diego. The day of love is almost upon us, on a Friday, no less, which is awesome, so you better make plans now if you want to reserve a table for two. I’ve been checking around at some of my favorite haunts, and so far I’ve been able to confirm that the following South Park restaurants are honoring Feb. 14 with special menus or heart-felt plans. If you know of a place that’s not listed here and has V-Day plans, do tell.

Brabant Bar & Café

Brabant Bar & Café is going to offer a four-course Valentine’s dinner beginning at 6pm Friday and throughout the weekend while supplies last. It’s $60 a person (that doesn’t count tax and gratuity). They will not be accepting reservations, because they want everyone to take their time and enjoy their time, according to owner Adam Parker. Brabant is on 30th just north of Juniper. Here are the details:

1st course: Croquette with roasted tomato, spinach and farmer’s cheese
2nd course: Salad with pickled greens, roasted beets, and creme fraische with brown ale and sherry vinaigrette
3rd course (main): You choice of the following:

Waterzooi, which is a traditional Belgian chicken stew
Smoked ruby trout fillet with bearnaise sauce
Grilled rabbit quarters in cherry Kriek sauce (Kriek is style of Belgian beer)
4th course (dessert): Belgian dark chocolate cherry cake OR duo of truffles and profiteroles (cream puffs)

They will also have a Valentine’s cocktail as well as beer specials and Belgian beer pairings available.

Buona Forchetta

Owner Matteo Cattaneo said Buona Forchetta will have its regular menu plus some specials for the ladies, as well as a Valentine’s Day dessert. The big news, however, is the restaurant will take reservations. You can call them at 619-381-4844. Buona Forchetta is on the corner of Beech and 30th. Also, Buona Forchetta celebrates its first anniversary this month, so congratulations!

Alchemy

Alchemy has a four-course meal planned. It’s $65 a person. You can make reservations by going to Open Table, visiting Alchemy online, or calling the restaurant at 619-255-0616. Alchemy is on the corner of Beech and 30th. Here’s the deal:

1st Course:

Sweet potato bisque with carrot caviar, candied potato skin, yogurt, charred red Fresno chili oil

2nd Course

One of the following:

Soba noodle salad (small)
Polpette, aka Italian meatballs (beef, mortadella, rapini, Parmesan)
Mixed grain salad
Fideos (angel hair pasta, tomato, piquillo pepper, little neck clams, chorizo seco, saffron)
3rd Course

One of the following:

Vegan steak and bone marrow (smoked portabello, roasted garlic mashed potato, roasted zucchini, vegetable demi)
Dover sole with lemon grass broth, baby yellow beets, baby bok choy, shrimp dumplings
Moroccan duck (seared breast, stewed chickpeas, olives, tomato, preserved kumquat, duck merguez sausage, currant and almond cous cous, tangerine lace, mint olive oil)
4th Course

One of the following:

Pithviers (vanilla pastry cream, hand- made puff pastry, blueberries, whipped cream)
Nutella panna cotta
Pomegranate sorbet

Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro

Eclipse has a four-course “Sweetheart Dinner” for $45 a person on Feb. 14 and 15. Seatings are 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Call 619-578-2984 for reservations. Eclipse is on the corner of Ivy and Fern. It’s also celebrating its first anniversary at its South Park location. Yay!

The meal includes the following:

A caramelized shallot and crème-filled, cocoa-butter buckwheat crepe with Burgandy mushroom
French onion soup with white-chocolate blood-orange olive oil croute and bruleed gruyere
Cocoa beef bourguignon or an heirloom root vegetable ratatouille, both served with orange peel vanilla bean hasselback potato and fried sage
Chile-burnt caramel apple tarte tartin with vanilla bean ice cream bombe.
There’s also an optional starter.

Go to the Eclipse web site to for more information.

The Rose Wine Pub

Sip on wine and play with glue sticks and glitter at their third annual Valentines’ Day Craft Party. How fun is that? You can probably make your honey a card right there at the bar. You’ll find The Rose at 2219 30th St.

If you know of other places in South Park with cool V-Day plans, please share!


Article courtesy of Bonnie Nicholls, the South Park Scribe, your expert on all things in South Park San Diego! Bonnie Nicholls is a freelance writer and blogger based in South Park, San Diego. She specializes in business success stories and web content. You can find her on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Palm Springs, CA: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

For an amazing meal at the top of the Mount San Jacinto State Park take a trip on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Enjoy spectacular views from the Mountain Station, catch a glimpse of animals of the State Park at the Natural History Museum rest your feet as you watch two documentaries on the Tramway and the State Park.

Spectacular views combined with delectable food provide the perfect dining experience. There are two dining options at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Peaks, a fine dining experience with a breathtaking view of the Coachella Valley and Pines Café, a cafeteria-style restaurant. Both restaurants are open for lunch and dinner.

The chefs have created a menu featuring a variety of fresh vegetables and greens from the Coachella Valley, dry aged meats and poultry along with fresh breads from local bakeries. Additional selections will include market fresh seafood and pastas. Children's menu available.
Reservations are always recommended so call (760) 325-4537 ahead of time.

For less formal dining visit the Pines Café. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway offers a special Ride ‘N’ Dinner combination ticket for the Pines Café. The Ride ‘n’ Dinner combination ticket is available for purchase from 4pm and dinner available from 4:30pm daily. To enjoy just a beverage, the Lookout Lounge is available as well.

Any time of year is a great time to ride the Tramway and visit the peaks. Activities include:

Winter Activities:
Winter Adventure Center
Cross-Country Skiing
Family Snow Fun
Snowshoeing
Snow Camping

Summer Activities:
Hiking
Wilderness Permits
Camping
Guided Nature Walks

The temperature differential between the valley floor and the top of the Tram is usually about 30 degrees and the Tram Weather Station is a great way to help you decide whether or not you need that sweater. For more information visit Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to plan your visit.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
General information recording please call (760) 325-1391
Monday-Friday first Tram up 10am
Last Tram up 8pm Last Tram down 9:45pm
Saturday, Sunday and holidays first Tram up 8am

Monday, January 27, 2014

Solvang, CA: Taste of Solvang

The ideal place to refresh and relax, this Danish village offers a variety of things to do, see and eat. Satisfy every shopping desire in art galleries, clothing and shoe boutiques, gift and antique stores. Delight in delicious meals, from Danish specialties to gourmet wine-country cuisine, as well as international and classic American favorites, perfect for any palate.

Take the kids to pick apples, walnuts and berries direct from the branch, or learn about the area’s rich multi-cultural heritage at prominent museums and the 1804 Old Mission Santa Inés, a national historic landmark. When your feet are weary and your palate satisfied, check into one of the 30 inns, lodges or luxury resorts, whichever one meets your specific needs.

Taste of Solvang ~ March 12 - 16, 2014

Take a culinary journey through Solvang where the wine meets the food. In its 22nd year, The Taste of Solvang has become a top destination event for wine and food lovers alike. Featuring something for everyone from Rustic Italian, to New American, Japanese, Award-Winning Breweries, World Class Wineries, and Farm-to-Table Chefs; the Taste of Solvang offers a menu of events that is sure to please! Visit their website for more information and advanced tickets.



Photo Credit ~ Trip Advisor

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Irvine, CA: Irvine Restaurant Week

From international flair to American classic, Irvine Restaurant Week offers a variety of dining options for families, date nights, business occasions and more. Food lovers have an opportunity to experience the City's diverse dining January 10-16, 2014. The seven-day celebration features prix fixe lunch and/or dinner menus (beverages, tax and gratuity not included) at more than 30 participating restaurants.

Irvine Restaurant Week is being held in conjunction with California Restaurant Month. More than 30 destinations across the state, from the desert and coast to wine country and High Sierra, are participating in the month-long celebration of the state's culinary offerings. Now is your best chance to discover new restaurants and appreciate all of your favorites at a discounted price. From international flair to American classic, Irvine offers a variety of dining options for families, date nights, business occasions and more.

For more information visit Irvine Restaurant Week's website.