Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay AquariumThe Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of California's most popular tourist destinations and one of the largest worldwide. 

Located in Monterey, California, at the end of Cannery Row, the aquarium is home to over 35,000 marine animals from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. 

The aquarium is divided into eleven different exhibits, each of which highlights a different aspect of the marine life in Monterey Bay. Some of the most popular exhibits include:

Medieval Times

Medieval Times

Recently, my family and I received an invitation from the king to attend a feast and tournament at the Medieval Times castle and were given the royal treatment.

During this momentous event, we enjoyed a four-course meal and were entertained by many acts of bravery, swordsmanship, jousting, and combat. 

Going to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament felt like we stepped back in time to an age of castles, kings, knights and stallions, battles of honor and chivalry, and great duels to the death. If you enjoy movies like The Sword in the Stone or shows like Merlin, then you will feel at home in this medieval 11th-century castle. 

Irvine Spectrum

Irvine SpectrumThe Irvine Spectrum is an entertainment and shopping complex in Irvine, considered one of the best places to live in the US.

The center has grown over the years from its humble beginnings in 1995 until the latest expansion in 2020.

It now features stores like Nordstrom, Sephora, Apple, and Target, a Ferris wheel, and a Regal Cinemas 21-screen movie theater.

It also has an eclectic selection of restaurants and snack outlets. 

The little ones can enjoy a Merry-go-round, the ferris wheel, and a new children's playground. They also love running through ground fountains and steam areas.

San Jose

San Jose skyline at night - by Ben Loomis - WikipediaSan Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley and the third largest city in Northern California. 

The city is home to many of the world's biggest tech firms and is considered one of the wealthiest major cities in the world, with the third-highest GDP per capita and the fifth-most expensive housing market. 

It is home to one of the world's largest overseas Vietnamese populations, a Hispanic community that makes up over 40% of the city's residents, and historic Japanese and Portuguese neighborhoods.

San Jose sits at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay in Santa Clara County and is considered a gateway to the city by the bay.

You can find a lot to do in San Jose, but it could be your base camp for more fun in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Monterey.

Here are some of my favorite attractions in the area:

Escondido Falls, Malibu

Escondido Falls trail is a moderate hike with trees, a creek, and a nice reward at the end. When the falls are flowing, they are beautiful. 

The waterfall has an easy-to-reach lower tier that is 50 feet tall and a harder-to-reach upper tier that’s 150 feet tall and stunning.

Expect to hike for 3.8 miles to the base of the falls with about a 400-foot elevation gain. Most of the trail is shaded and runs along a creek. Expect to cross the creek several times – some crossings are precarious – but this is part of the fun.

The trailhead starts at the intersection of PCH and Winding Way, where you will park in a very small parking lot. 

The parking fee in 2022 is $12. The electronic pay machine is not working, so pay at an iron post next to the machine using checks or cash in an envelope – and post the receipt on your dashboard. 

The District at Tustin Legacy

The District Tustin - by Nandaro - WikipediaThe District is a large open-air mall with many shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. 

How large, you ask? The mall covers comprise a million square feet and cross several streets.

It is an excellent place for OC residents to get their shopping done or enjoy a night out – or do both on the same day.

Cycling from San Clemente to Oceanside

San Clemente to Oceano Bike TrailThe San Clemente to Oceanside bike trail is a 22-mile path that runs along the coast of Southern California. Parts of this trail are paved, and others are packed dirt.

It is a popular spot for cyclists, runners, and walkers of all levels. The trail starts in San Clemente, passes through San Onofre State Beach, and ends in Oceanside.

The trail starts at San Clemente State Beach, where you can park your car and start your ride. The first few miles of the trail are relatively flat, as it winds through the park. You can extend your ride by starting from sports to the North like the San Clemente Pier or the Metrolink Station.

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo downtownSan Luis Obispo is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California. It is the county seat and the most populous city in the county. 

It is located on the Central Coast of California, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The city is situated in a valley between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. 

San Luis Obispo enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, but summers can get hot and dry.