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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Indio, CA - Indio International Tamale Festival

Next weekend take a trip to the 23rd annual Indio International Tamale Festival on December 6-7, 2014. Right off of Highway 111, in Old Town Indio, this festival is a favorite for many. Food Network-TV has ranked it in the top 10 "All-American Food Festivals" in the nation. No matter your taste in entertainment, this festival is sure to please. And best of all it is free to the public!

Wind through the streets of Miles, Towne, Smurr and Requa to see the entire splendor. The festival begins with the Parade at 10 am on Saturday, featuring boxing champ Randy Caballero as Grand Marshall, riding with Indio Mayor Lupe Ramos and also see Santa on an antique fire truck at the end. Also view some of the show cars that will be featured during the 2nd annual Car Show that accompanies the festival. Take a trip down Requa st to view and judge for yourself in seven different categories. Sunday afternoon, trophies will be awarded to the winners.

If you have a bottomless stomach, sign up for the annual tamale eating contest. The reigning champ since 2009, Charles G. Bill, Jr, is looking for challengers. You can sign up for that at any one of the stages that will have entertainment. Live music, dancing, singing, juggling, and other diverse performances will be held on one of the five stages available. Stay and watch the Best Tamale Contest where last year’s champion, Texifornia Tamale Co., will again be vying for the title. A carnival will be open until 10pm each night too, providing rides and games to play. Original art work, including painting, photography, sculpture, and textiles from at least 25 artists will be on display and for sale.  Guests can enjoy wine tasting in the wine lounge, and beer from Coachella Valley Brewery will also be available in an adjoining beer garden.

For more information, visit the Indio International Tamale Festival website. Pictures courtesy of

Monday, November 24, 2014

Santa Monica, CA- Santa Monica Pier

With the winter months coming in, the beach cities see a decrease in foot traffic. But places like Santa Monica have so much more to offer than just its warm sandy beaches during the summer. Home of the real “Popeye”, Olaf C. Olsen, the Santa Monica Pier is rich in history. Constructed is 1909, it was an instant success as the first ever concrete pier; it has since collapsed and been rebuilt. In 1975, when council members threatened to demolish, Santa Monica voters declared the pier safe and voted in a proposition that saved the pier forever. A reconstruction commenced in the late 1980s and completed in the early 1990s.

Now here stands this great monument in the ocean, topped with a variety of retail, dining, and entertainment attractions, as well as a police substation and the world-class amusement park, Pacific Park. Enjoy a dozen rides, midway games, ocean front specialty food outlets and seaside shopping. Underneath the pier is the Santa Monica Aquarium. They have more than 100 species of marine animals and plants that can all be found in the Santa Monica Bay. With tons of hands on exhibits and so much to see, the aquarium is a great place to go for an afternoon.

If you want to pick up ale, a small walk around the corner is The Common Ale House. Every table has a Connect Four and Jenga to encourage socializing and free popcorn for customers. It is the perfect place to enjoy the nightlife of the pier after dark.

For more information, visit all of their websites. Picture courtesy of Pacific Park. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Scotia, CA

Stop in Scotia and fall in love with the 19th century charm, the authentic architecture, the unsoiled beauty and sense of history, like a step back in time. Take a trip through the Scotia Logging Museum, open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The museum has artifacts, videos and interactive technology, offering a personal tour of forestry management and the Town of Scotia over the years.

The Avenue of the Giants, located on State Route 254, is considered to be a scenic alternate to Highway 101 and winds its way through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This road was originally built as a stagecoach and wagon road in the 1880s. During this time the first Inn was put up in the town of Scotia. This stagecoach hub was constructed when the highway was the main road and burned down in the early 1900s. It was rebuilt in 1923. Now called the Scotia Inn, the building has 22 lovely rooms decorated with antique and modern furniture. On the main floor, enjoy a drink at the Irish Pub.

If you are looking to go out for the night, the nearby town of Fortuna has its own brewery, Eel River Brewing Company. Living by their motto, “Be Natural. Drink Naked.” they became the first certified organic brewery in the United States, and has won over 300 awards and medals. Their legendary beer is worth a taste.

For more information on Scotia, visit their website. Photos courtesy of Scotia Inn. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Morro Bay, CA

Take a ride up the Pacific Coast Highway and visit one of the nicest beach towns in central California. The seaside village of Morro Bay is a getaway for travelers seeking a gorgeous natural setting. Located along scenic Highway 1 midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Morro Bay is a beautiful ride and not far off the beaten
path. Once you experience the beauty and charm , not to mention the fun you’ll have just plain relaxing, you will have a hard time going home. Visit the beautiful Morro Bay Rock on the beach to take in the real splendor of this town.

Before you move on, be sure to stop into Fish Bonez, a new seafood restaurant in the middle of downtown Morro Bay. Fish Bonez specializes in fusion cuisine that pairs Italian, Asian and Mexican influences and merges them together with California's freshest seafood, steak, lamb, chicken as well as some of California’s best wines.

But if you are really looking for a good wine, check out the hottest new wine bar on the Central Coast, STAX Wine Bar and Bistro. Choose from over 100 local and international wines. Enjoy daily tastings, and wine by the glass, as well as panini sandwiches, gourmet meats and cheese plates. Be sure to stop in for the live entertainment that they have weekly.

For more information about Morro Bay, Fish Bonez or STAXWine Bar and Bistro, visit their websites.Picture courtesy of The City of Morro Bay.