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, March 26, 2012

Antelope Valley California Poppy Fields

Grab your camera and head out for a day trip to Lancaster, as the poppies await. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR hopes to have a pretty good poppy crop this season. With miles of golden petals swaying above their lush green carpet, it is easy to see why the California Golden Poppy is the State of California's Official State Flower. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "The Earth Laughs in Flowers."

Don't forget that backpack and those hiking boots (OK, just walking shoes will do). Eight miles of trails wind through the gentle rolling hills of the Reserve. Take the time to walk through the poppy fields and get back to nature in this one-of-a-kind California experience.

The poppies begin to bloom mid-March and continue through April, depending upon the year's rainfall. This year the fields had only 3 inches of rain which has put a bit on a damper on their overall crop. But certain meadows have shown real hope, so park the car, grab your sneakers, and hit the trail.
The Earth Laughs in Flowers.

For a guaranteed good time, visit the California Poppy Festival held in Lancaster. This festival runs April 21 & 22, rain or shine, with live entertainment, activities, vendor booths with unique items and food, food, food! A place where families can get back to their roots and enjoy being a family! What more could you want?

The festival will be held at Lancaster City Park, conveniently located off the 14 freeway.
For more information contact the City of Lancaster.

Lancaster City Park
43011 10th Street W.
Lancaster CA 93534

Phone: 661-723-6000

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Eagle Inn of Santa Barbara

The Eagle Inn is properly situated between the shore of Stearns Wharf/Santa Barbara Pier and State Street shopping to accommodate the traveler who likes to take the town by foot. Less than 5 minutes from the pier and just 10 minutes from the decadent shopping, drinking and eating options of State Street, The Eagle Inn is a lovely late night walk back from a night on the town. With full shopping bags, pleased bellies and huge smiles, the sound of crickets along the romantic residential streets will lull you back to your awaiting slumber.

The Inn has every amenity that guests could desire, sprawling over 3 different buildings, with tucked away gardens among the fruit trees, covered, secluded parking, breakfast room service, balconies with a lovely morning view, and so much more. But the service of the staff is what makes The Eagle Inn my "Santa Barbara Destination!" Treated warmly from check-in to check-out, the staff assured me that any need I had would not go unfulfilled. They did not disappoint.

The perfect place for romance!

The accommodations are of high caliber, especially for a B&B. The sheets are amazing, and you'll be certain you've slept on the gossamer wings of an angel when you awake. Every detail it covered, from dishes in the cupboard, coffee and tea selections in the kitchen, and luxurious robes hanging in the closet. You will want for nothing.

Pricing was more than fair for the accommodations, amenities, and service. As a treat we stayed in the Santa Rosa Cottage, which was everything the website claimed; the perfect place for romance!

The Eagle Inn
232 Natoma Avenue,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Website: The Eagle Inn

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

30th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival Embraces Historical Roots, May 18 – 20, 2012

paso robles wine festivalThe Paso Robles Wine Festival celebrates its 30th Anniversary, May 18 – 20, 2012, embracing historical roots.

Wine enthusiasts are invited to experience how personality and rich history are reflected in every wine created both in the Downtown Park and throughout Paso Robles Wine Country. Tickets for this marquee wine event of California’s Central Coast are now on sale at

Wine Festival offers enthusiasts a bevy of exciting events throughout the weekend: Friday RESERVE Tasting (3:30 – 6 p.m.), Saturday Winemaker Seminar (11 a.m. - 12 p.m.) and the pinnacle of the weekend, the Saturday Grand Tasting (12 - 4 p.m.). In addition to these exciting Downtown events, more than 150 area wineries celebrate individual activities throughout the weekend.

“In celebration of Wine Festival’s 30th anniversary, we are thrilled to offer the Locals Only Pass for just $30,” said Jennifer Porter, executive director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. “This pass is our way of thanking locals for their 30 years of dedication and giving them another opportunity to demonstrate their pride as a resident of Paso Robles Wine Country.”

The 30th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival kicks off with the Friday RESERVE tasting from 3:30 Р6 p.m. in the Downtown City Park. Wines in four categories will be featured Рlibrary, reserve, futures and refreshing power white/Ros̩ samples Рcomplemented by culinary bites prepared by local chefs. RESERVE will again feature the popular Futures Auction which allows guests to bid on their favorite case of unreleased wine. Funds raised through the Futures Auction will benefit San Luis Obispo County organizations providing healthcare, education and greater community services.

Paso Robles Wine Country comes together for the Saturday Grand Tasting with a new time, from 12 – 4 p.m. More than 70 wineries will showcase the depth and breadth of wines found throughout the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA).

A variety of gourmet food trucks will feature everything from authentic Mexican cuisine, to local farm-to-table fare from throughout the central coast. Back by popular demand will be the Cheese, Bread & Water Stations as well as a collection of artisans showcasing their wares throughout the park.

The Winemaker Seminar takes place from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. and is now open to all ticketholders for a nominal price. This interactive seminar provides attendees unusual insights to the diversity of wines found in Paso Robles Wine Country.

The 30th Annual Wine Festival is designed for enthusiasts to get out into Wine Country and experience the many tasting room and wineries Paso has to offer. Throughout the weekend, more than 150 area wineries will host special activities including winemaker dinners, food pairings, cooking classes, and winery and vineyard tours. More than 50 Paso Robles wineries offer “FESTIVAL FAN” specials to ticketholders of the Wine Festival Grand Tasting.

Visit for details.

Tickets -- All Wine Festival tasting tickets include unlimited tasting and a commemorative wine glass:

CAN HARDLY WAIT PASS: $10 discounts on RESERVE, PREMIUM and FESTIVAL ticket levels are available through March 31, 2012. Discount does not apply to LOCALS ONLY, DESIGNATED DRIVER/CHILD or SEMINAR tickets.

RESERVE: $125 - Friday RESERVE: 3:30 - 6 p.m.; Saturday Grand Tasting: 12 - 4 p.m. Advance purchase only.

PREMIUM: $75 - Saturday Grand Tasting: 12 - 4 p.m.

FESTIVAL: $55 - Saturday Grand Tasting: 1 - 4 p.m.

LOCALS ONLY: $30 - Saturday Grand Tasting: 1 - 4 p.m. – Available to San Luis Obispo County residents, advance purchase only, deadline April 30, 2012.

SEMINAR: $10 - RESERVE ticketholders; $20 - PREMIUM and FESTIVAL ticketholders: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Limited seats.

Fort Bragg, California Boasts Some Of The World's Best Beaches

Are Fort Bragg beaches the best in the world? We think they could be!

Over a 12-mile stretch of Northern California's Mendocino Coast, the beaches near Fort Bragg offer more things to do, more rugged coastline, more hidden coves and sea caves, more interesting rocks, more birds, more clear water and more solitude than anyplace else we know of.

You can picnic, run, beach comb, explore tide pools, watch whales, go birding, ride horses, or photograph big waves … and even bigger sunsets. Three of our beaches are world renown for colorful frosted sea glass, tumbled into myriad fanciful shapes by majestic waves.

jug handle beach
Jug Handle Beach, two miles south of Fort Bragg, CA

Although these beaches are enjoyed by surfers, abalone divers, sea kayakers, families, couples, adventure seekers, equestrians and pet lovers, you'll rarely see a crowd.

Fort Bragg also is proud to be the official "Gateway" to the California Coastal National Monument along the Mendocino Coast. Located off the 1,100 miles of California coastline, the California Coastal National Monument comprises more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles between Mexico and Oregon. All those beautiful rocks are home to sea lions, harbor seals, pelicans, gulls and abundant marine life.

In addition to the Coastal National Monument, here are seven great Fort Bragg beaches to explore:

Ten Mile Beach
Virgin Creek Beach
Glass Beach
Pudding Creek Beach
Hare Creek Beach
Jug Handle Beach
Caspar Beach

Safety Reminder:

As with beaches everywhere, beware of possible hazards, including slippery rocks, crumbling cliffs, and sneaker waves (large waves that seemingly surge out of nowhere). Our clean clear waters are cold (52-54 degrees Fahrenheit) so wetsuits are essential for swimming, surfing, or diving. Keeping children (and dogs) out of the water during big surf days is just good commonsense.

Santa Ynez Valley Museum Week Is March 3-10, 2012

Santa Ynez Valley Museum Week runs from Saturday, March 3 through Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Kicking off the week will be the fifth annual "FREE Museum Day" to be held on Saturday, March 3 featuring the following seven museums with FREE admission for all ages: Buellton Historical Society History Room, Los Alamos Valley Historical Display & Depot, Wildling Art Museum, Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Carriage House, Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, and the Old Mission Santa Ines Museum.

Executive Director Kady Fleckenstein remarked, "We are excited to extend Museum Day to a full week of fun for the whole family. Come explore the history and art of several different cultures all in one valley."

Santa Ynez Valley Museum Week highlights museum-related events, special deals for visitors and a printable map of Santa Ynez Valley museums courtesy of the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association.

Stay at the beautiful Santa Ynez Inn, and enjoy fine dining at Firestone Walker Brewery and Restaurant.

For more information about Santa Ynez Valley Museum Week and Free Museum Day including museum locations, hours and contact information, please visit /museumweek.

PUBLIC INFO: 805-686-0053 or 1-800-742-2843;