Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a coastal town sandwiched between the steep hills of Santa Ynez mountains and the pacific ocean.

The Spanish Colonial architecture, white buildings with courtyards, homes terraced on the hills overlooking the ocean, and the inviting sandy beaches – all gave Santa Barbara its nickname "The American Riviera".

Santa Barabra has a long shoreline with many beaches, a harbor and a Wharf. You can walk through most of it with an easy walk starting from Shoreline Park on the West end, through SB Harbor, passing through East Beach and ending at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

San Diego Botanic Gardens

San Diego Botanic GardensThe Botanic Gardens north of the city of San Diego is a great place for the whole family to spend a few hours walking among plants from around the world – and learning about the different environments and the species that inhabit them. 

The gardens cover 37-acres and have more than 5000 species of plants in 31 distinct areas.

Walker Canyon - Poppy Flowers

Walker Canyon Poppy Flower Super Bloom - FlowersEvery year in springtime, people driving along highways are greeted with hills and canyons painted in orange, green and violet.

We recently visited the super bloom at Walker Canyon, which lies in between the Cities of Corona and Lake Elsinore.
If you stick to the main trail, you will notice that the first quarter mile is a little steep but it will even out later. The crowds will also thin out the further you go. If you want a longer hike, take a fork to the right, which loops back into Walker Canyon Rd for a total of 5 miles.

California

Yosemite National Park - The Mist Trail - Vernal FallsCalifornia is the most populous state in the USA with close to 40 million residents, but outside of major urban areas, you can find large areas of pristine nature and lots of adventure to be had.

My home state is also a magnet attracting new residents and millions of visitors every year. The mild climate year-round, long sandy beaches, and snow-covered mountains make it an ideal place to live and work (mostly).

The one thing that repels some people away from California is the traffic. It is unbearable in the major metropolitan areas. So, if you plan to live here, stay away from city centers and work close to home.

Carlsbad and the Flower Fields

Carlsbad Flower FieldsHome to Legoland, the flower fields, a waterpark, an Aquarium and beautiful beaches, this sleepy little beach town is becoming a major tourist attraction in Southern California.

Carlsbad sits between Oceanside and San Diego with a long stretch of beaches, several creeks and lagoons, making it a perfect spot for a weekend getaway or a rest stop on a long journey.  

Most families with children flock to Carlsbad to spend a day or two at Legoland. The theme park is filled with rides and experiences based on the popular Lego toy brand. And if a park full of thrills is not enough, you can go next door to the new Water Park and Sealife Aquarium.  

Eaton Canyon Waterfall

nullEaton Canyon is a nice shady canyon with a well-marked trail that leads to a 40-foot waterfall.Eaton Canyon WaterfallThe fall is active year round, but you will enjoy a better view in the spring months. You can find this hidden gem in the San Gabriel Mountains close to Pasadena and Arcadia, California.

Oceano Dunes SVRA

nullSVRA stands for State Vehicular Recreation Area, which really means lots of fun and adventure for you and I.

Oceano Dunes is around 3 hours drive north of Los Angeles CA - right next to Pismo Beach. The beautiful scenery along the way will make those 3 hours pass quickly.