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        4 Reasons Why You Should Visit the California Redwoods

        4 Reasons Why You Should Visit the California Redwoods-CA LIMITED

        If you're a fan of being outdoors or love nature and you haven't taken the time to visit the California Redwoods, then this needs to be your next vacation destination. You will not only find some of the tallest trees on Earth, but a beautiful mix of prairie land,  rocky coastlines, and an abundance of wildlife. There are beautiful rivers and swimming areas as well as fantastic hiking and biking trails lined with lush greens all resting in the shade of the magnificent California Redwoods.

        If these descriptions haven't already convinced you to plan your next vacation to Northern California, then maybe these 4 reasons why you should visit the California Redwoods will.

        4 Reasons You Should Visit the California Redwoods

        California Redwoods Humbolt State Park Flickr-renedrivers

        1) The beauty of it all

        As Sylvia Plath said in The Bell Jar
        “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.”
        You will have this same experience the minute you step from your car and enter into the beauty of the California Redwoods. The smell of the forest is unlike anything you've experienced before - fresh, clean, cool. The best case to make for visiting the California Redwoods is the fact that you will be able to enjoy the beauty of nature without the distractions of every day life.

        2) Perfect for camping and hiking

        Campfire

        Flickr-Steven Fong Whether you like to rough it or prefer an RV, you can find something to suit you in the various state campgrounds located in the heart of the California Redwoods. The Redwood National State Park is located in Humboldt County in Northern California, close to the coast line. It stretches from Trinidad all the way to (and past) the California/Oregon boarder.   California Redwoods National Park World For Travel

        There are four main camp grounds to choose from:

        Jedediah Smith: This is a beautiful campground located near the banks of the Smith River in the midst of old-growth redwoods. Campground actives include swimming, hiking trails, fishing, and seasonal programs hosted by the campground staff. This campground is open all year and does fill up very quickly for the summer. If you're thinking of vacationing there you should plan to call with plenty of advanced notice. Mill Creek: Located 7 miles south of Crescent City, Mill Creek offers a range of programs led by camp rangers and miles of trails to hike! There is a mix of redwoods as well as maple and alder trees that add diversity to the natural surroundings. This camp is only open from May to September so plan accordingly! Elk Prairie: Another great, year-round option especially for those of  you who are bike enthusiasts. There are over 70 miles of biking and hiking trails surrounding this camp ground. Gold Bluffs Beach: Part of the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Gold Bluffs Beach is just that - a campground near the beach with the benefits of towering redwoods, gorgeous coastline, and a variety of hiking and biking trails. There are no reservations here so it's first-come, first-serve.

        3) You could drive through a tree

        California Redwoods Drive Through Chandelier Tree Flickr-David Dugan Yes, you read that right. Only in the beautiful California Redwoods could you actually drive through a tree! Dating back to the 1930s a hole was cut through this tree (picture above) to allow cars to drive through. Today, guests can visit the park where the tree is located and drive through for $5. A small price to pay for bragging rights and a snapshot or two to prove you, in fact, drove through a tree!

        4) Less expensive than staying in a hotel

        Let's face it. Everyone is on a tight budget these days, which means vacations are becoming harder to plan and execute. When you visit the California Redwoods you won't need to break the bank. Average cost for camping is $35 per vehicle ($8 for an additional vehicle) or $5 per hiker or biker per night. What a steal! The listed campgrounds (above) all offer RV and tent sites in addition to the hiker/biker campsites so you can pick your level of 'roughing it'. California Redwoods National Park HDWrappers-Ricky These reasons are just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to all that the California Redwoods have to offer. A trip to these beautiful forests crowded with towering trees and lush underbrush will remind you of the sheer beauty of nature. Paired with crystal clear rivers and an abundance of wildlife, you'll never want to leave. California Redwoods National Park World For Travel

         

         Source: National Park Servic Cover photo from Deviant Art by nmsmith

        Grab a seat! 4th of July Firework Viewing Hot Spots

        Put on some red, white, and blue and head out to see the fireworks! We've compiled a list of some of the best spots to view fireworks in California. We know cities all over California will be showing off their best and brightest fireworks. Hopefully we've included a city near you!

        California Firework Viewing Hot Spots

        Mt. Shasta

        See some of the best fireworks in Northern California from the Mt. Shasta Resort (a $2 fee) or sit on the beach at the Lake Siskiyou Campground.

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        From mtshastafireworks.com

        Eureka

        Directed over Arcata Bay, the best place to view these fireworks is from the Eureka boardwalk area.

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        Flickr by Christian Arballo

        Redding

        View the fireworks show from Caldwell Park.

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        Flickr by Joey Gannon

        Sacramento

        A great show at the CalExpo Miller Lite Grandstand (Fairgrounds). Admission is free though parking is $10.

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        Flickr by four years

        South Lake Tahoe

        These fireworks can be viewed (for free) from a spot on the beach overlooking the lake (suggested that you can park and walk to the beach).

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        Flickr by simplistic.designs

        Vallejo

        Spend some time at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and see some amazing fireworks.

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        Flickr by Socalmacker

        San Francisco

        There are many firework shows in San Francisco, but some of the best places mentioned for firework viewing are:

        • Pier 39 in (watch from Embarcadero or Fort Mason)
        • Indian Rock
        • Marine Headlands
        • For Miley
        • Sausalito's show (just north of the Golden Gate Bridge on Richardson Bay)
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        Flickr by David Yu

        Santa Cruz

        Apparently, Santa Cruz puts on quite the explosive Firework show with illegal fireworks!

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        Flickr by simon sun

        Santa Barbara

        Set off from West Beach, these fireworks last almost 20 minutes and are said to be an amazing show.

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        Flickr by Angela Sevin

        Pismo Beach

        View from Oceano Dunes and come prepared to camp for the best spot available.

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        Flickr by Chris Hearn  

        Clovis

        Join the Freedom Fest and see fireworks from the Buchanan High School in Clovis ($5 fee).

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        From E.A. Creative Photography

        Los Angeles

        Hollywood Bowl Fireworks Spectacular with Steve Marin and The Steep Canyon Rangers. A night you won't soon forget. Grand Park at the LA Civic Center offers the biggest rooftop firework show in LA.

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        Flickr by iwishmynamewasmarsha

        Santa Monica

        Come to the Santa Monica College Corsair Field on the Westside and enjoy exhibits and entertainment with amazing fireworks to end your night with a BANG!

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        Flickr by iwishmynamewasmarsha

        Marina del Rey

        Set off from a barge in the bay, these fireworks over the water are a beautiful sight.

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        Flickr by simplistic.designs Pasadena Americafest at the Rose Bowl - fireworks begin at 9pm.

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        Flickr by Socalmacker

        Redondo Beach

        Seen from Redondo Beach Pier, the fireworks are complete with themed music. 4790978557_8559380aa6_b

        Flickr by iwishmynamewasmarsha

        Long Beach

        Hop aboard the Queen Mary for an All-American 4th of July display you won't forget ($39.99 admission).

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        Flickr by Chris Parker

        San Diego

        The beautiful city of San Diego boasts many locations to view fireworks:
        • Marina District
        • North Embarcadero
        • Shelter Island
        • Harbor Island
        • Seaport Village/South Embarcadero
        • Coronado Ferry Landing
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        Flickr by Nathan Rupert

        Where's your hot spot for firework viewing in California?

          Cover photo from Flickr by Jeff Turner Source: Travel Tips, About.com, USA Today, AMP Radio

        25 Amazing California Road Trip Destinations

        Summer is finally here! You've packed up the car and are ready to head out on a great adventure, but you may find yourself wondering exactly where to go. North, South, the beach, the mountains...? The questions are endless. Don't worry though - California has everything (and more) that you'd want for the best summer vacation! Below you'll find 25 amazing California road trip destinations as well as some fun places to stop along the way to add to your list.

        California Road Trip Destinations

        Northern California

        Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City

        This lighthouse and museum is a great stop if you happen to be in (or traveling through) Northern California. 2 Flickr by David A. Hofmann Flickr by David A. Hoffmann

        California Redwood Parks

        We've raved about the beautiful California Redwoods before, but they are worth adding to another list! Some of our favorites include: Jedediah Smith State Park and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (find out more here). 1 Flickr by keppet Flickr by keppet

        Old Town Eureka

        Traveling down the coast from Crescent City, you'll come to Eureka. Old Town Eureka is definitely worth a visit, especially the beautiful an historic Carson Mansion! 3 Flickr by Kay Gaensler Flickr by Kay Gaensler

        Hiking in Mt. Shasta

        Over a little ways from the coast is Mt. Shasta. Usually a destination for winter snowboarders and skiiers, Mt. Shasta has a lot to offer to summer hikers. Check out this website for tons of mapped trails! 4 Flickr by Kei Noguchi Flickr by Kei Noguchi

        Historic Placerville

        A less likely place to visit, Placerville is a great stop if you're on your way to Tahoe or feel like taking a day trip from the Sacramento area. With its historic buildings, free stage coach rides (the third Saturday of each month), and fine dining, Placerville has a lot going on! Check out the cities website for more events. 5 Flickr by Wayne Hsieh Flickr by Wayne Hsieh

        Napa Valley Wine Country

        Make Napa Valley one of your California road trip destinations this summer! Find actives, wine tours, and spas to build a road trip that is guaranteed to relax you. 6 Flickr by Big D2112 Flickr by Big D2112

        Hearst Castle

        Be enchanted and overwhelmed by the stunning Hearst Castle. 7 Flickr by by Zengame Flickr by Zengame

        Pacific Crest Trail

        Spanning over 1500 miles through California (and moving on into Oregon and Washington) the Pacific Crest Trail (known as the PCT to serious hikers) is a fantastic summer adventure! Find out more information about the PCT near you on the USDA Forrest Service website. 8 Flickr by Steve Dunleavy Flickr by Steve Dunleavy

        Central California

        Old Town Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum

        Make your way through the historic streets of Old Town Sacramento and stop off at the California State Railroad Museum. You'll find lots of things to see and do whether you're from Sacramento or just visiting for the summer! 9 Flickr by Jack Snell Flickr by Jack Snell

        San Fransisco Fisherman's Wharf

        The bark of a seal and the salty breeze of Fisherman's Wharf is sure to satisfy your road trip curiosity this summer! Try the fresh seafood as well - trust us, it's some of the best you'll have! 10 Flickr by aaron arseneau Flickr by aaron arseneau

        Golden Gate Bridge

        While you're visiting San Fransisco, make a stop (or drive over) the Golden Gate Bridge. Walking it takes about 20 minutes one way, and we'd recommend having your ride pick you up at the opposite side to avoid troublesome parking. Golden Gate Bridge Flickr by Kevin Cole

        Mt. Diablo State Park

        Hike up the incredible Mt. Diablo! Make sure to bring lots of water with you - things are dry due to this years drought. 15 Flickr by Keith Cuddeback Flickr by Keith Cuddeback

        South Lake Tahoe

        Located next to the Nevada state line, South Lake Tahoe is definitely a road trip destination you won't want to pass up. 12 Flickr by Patrick Nouhailler Flickr by Patrick Nouhailler

        Bodie State Historic Park

        Visit an historic ghost town at Bodie State Historic Park.Make sure you check out their visiting guide before you go! 13 Flickr by Jim Bahn Flickr by Jim Bahn

        Yosemite National Park

        If you enjoy being outdoors Yosemite is the destination for you! Check out their hiking guide in advance and plan a great adventure. 14 Flickr by Hide Flickr by Hide

        Big Sur

        Camp, enjoy the beach, and find some great restaurants at Big Sur over the summer. from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com Flickr by Trey Ratcliff

        Southern California

        Route 66

        They say you can "Get your kicks on Route 66" so why not take a little road trip on this unmapped (at least by current standards) road? 17 Flickr by Gianluca Bertoncelli Flickr by Gianluca Bertoncelli

        Vasquez Rocks

        With rocky peaks and many trails, this heavily photographed LA park is a great day trip destination! 18 Flickr by XavaZ Flickr by XavaZ

        Pacific Coast Highway

        The Pacific Coast Highway is more of a route than a destination, but you won't be sorry you chose to drive up the coast on the PCH with its stunning ocean views. 19 Flickr by Rachel Kramer Flickr by Rachel Kramer

        Santa Monica Pier

        Ride a roller coaster, lounge on the beach, take a quick walk over to 3rd street. Santa Monica has it all! 20 Flickr by Ross Pollack Flickr by Ross Pollack

        Venice Beach Board Walk

        Overflowing with street entertainment, unique shops, and endless people-watching, Venice Beach is a fun and entertaining California road trip destination. 21 Flickr by Calvin Fleming Flickr by Calvin Fleming

        Mission San Juan Capistrano

        Make it your mission this summer to visit Mission San Juan Capistrano (or any of the other California missions!). 2014-06-18_0002 Flickr by Sharon Mollerus

        Palm Springs & Joshua Tree National Park

        Whether you're golfing, spending time at Joshua Tree National Park, or taking advantage of your hotels pool, Palm Springs won't dissapoint. 23 Flickr by Merton Wilton Flickr by Merton Wilton

        USS Midway in San Diego

        Climb aboard this floating museum and enjoy all-day fun! Give yourself about 3 hours to complete the self-guided tour and don't forget your camera. 24 Flickr by Cameron Grant Flickr by Cameron Grant

        San Diego Zoo

        Come spend the day with the animals of the San Diego Zoo! 2014-06-18_0001 Flickr by (left) Russ May (right) Linda California is a huge state and we know we've probably skipped some of your favorite places. Where are you going this summer? Any place we should know about? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!   Cover photo Flickr by Kay Gaensler Source: The Grandest Road Trip, Tripit, Moon Travel Guides,

        Hang Ten, Dude! A Look At California Surfing History

        California Surfing History

        When you think of California hobbies, the first one that probably comes to mind is surfing! Have you ever wondered what the history of California surfing is? Like how people thought to get up on boards and "ride" waves to shore was a good idea? We looked into it and wanted to give a quick snapshot of this amazing sport and long-standing California hobby. California Surf History Flickr - Rian Castillo

        Back In The Day

        Looking back - and we mean way back - to 1885, we find the beginnings of a sport Californians love. We can't take the credit for the creation of surfing though, that goes to three Hawaiian princes who were visiting Santa Cruz and took the first Californian surf adventure on boards made of California redwood. After that, many Hawaiians visited the California coast in search of the perfect wave. In the 1930s, people who enjoyed surfing started to form surf clubs. It was during this time that Tom Blake, one of the first surfers in Malibu, created the Hollow Surfboard allowing additional agility in its lighter design. California Surfing History Flickr - Ryan Vaarsi

        Hang Ten, Dude

        After a break caused by WWII, surfing came back in full force with the introduction of foam and fiberglass boards. In 1959, the movie Gidget was released. It focused on young Californian's and "cool" surf dudes in their own cultural element - the beach. Though not seen as a particularly accurate representation by the surfing community itself, it did give rise to the popularity of surfing. That same year Huntington Beach held the first West Coast Surfing Championship. California Surfing History Flickr - Rachel Patterson

        Competition or Hobie

        It wasn't until 1980 that the competition side of surfing really took off when California entered into the World Pro Tour. To this day, all along the California coast, surfing competitions take place in addition to hobbyists who come out to enjoy the waves. Surfing at the Big, Bad, & Ugly Surf Contest, in Morro Bay, CA 1 Flickr - Mike Baird

        Surfs Up

        To some, surfing is more than a sport though, it's a lifestyle that takes dedication. A typical morning on the beach could look similar to the photo below. California Surf history Flickr - Richard Johnstone Surfers aren't turned off by foggy mornings or cooler temperatures. Their love for the sport goes beyond simple comforts. Instead, you will find many dedicated surfers out at the break of dawn riding the waves in wetsuits designed to cut some of the chill, but not all. California Surfing History Flickr - Wonderlane No matter what, surfing takes dedication - even when things don't go the way you planned. Surfer flipping on a top turn Flickr - Mike Baird But still, even cute little dogs like this like to surf ;) Flickr - Nathan Rupert The surfing community is a diverse one, but definitely a laid back one as well, which fits perfectly with the relaxed mindset of California. When you're out there on the waves, there's nothing else to worry about but the next wave...and maybe what's for lunch.

        Do you surf? Why do you love it? Let us know in the comments below.

          Sources: Surfingcal.com, Cover Photo: Flickr - Jonas Witt

        5 Great Ways To Celebrate Easter in Southern California

        Easter is only a few short days away. You may find yourself entertaining guests but not having an idea of something fun to do. We all know that FUN isn't far when you're living in Southern California so take a look at these 5 ways to celebrate Easter with your family and friends.

        Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

        Enjoy Easter Egg games on the beach. Take a look at this list of fun egg games we've compiled. Easter Celebration Flickr-tina negus
        • Classic Easter Egg Hunt - maybe not for the beach (unless you want to bury them like hidden treasure) but a good way to keep things fair in larger families is to designate an egg color to each child!
        • Spinning Egg Fight - This is a hilarious game for the whole family. Take a knee-high nylon and drop an egg into the bottom then pull the nylon down over each competitors head. Have them face off and "fight" by trying to twist nylons. Whoever pulls the other persons nylon off first wins (or whoever's egg doesn't break).
        • Egg Toss - Partners pair off and face each other taking a step back after each completed throw. The pair that is furthers apart wins!
        • Egg on a Spoon Race - Place eggs on spoons and run a relay without dropping the egg!
        Easter Celebration From PInterest

        The Amazing [Easter] Race

        Go to the park and create "The Amazing Race" for your family. With a little careful planning you can involve everyone from children to grandparents in different legs of this race. Checkout Pinterest from some great ideas!

        Brunch, anyone?

        Do a "Brunch from around the world". It's easy to get sucked into the usual meals during any holiday and Easter is no exception. Try something new this year with an around the world brunch. Assign each relative a country and a specific dish and see what they come up with. Ask them to explain part of the history of their dish if they can find it. Easter Celebration Flickr- last-s*it

        Staycation...Kind Of

        Take a Mini-Vacation or Day Trip to somewhere you haven't been (or been to in a while). Sunday afternoon is a great time to do a little exploring. Try taking a hike or visiting a museum (make sure and check the hours of operation) or even go out to dinner in another town near by. Sometimes a little time away can be as refreshing as a whole week of vacation.

        Camping in Comfort

        Sometimes, leaving the comforts of home to experience the great outdoors is just too much of a hassle - especially when you are past your Spring Break days off of school.  To liven up a short weekend with a little bit of outdoor fun, we recommend a back yard camping party. Roast marshmallows, put up a tent (or sleep out under the starts), and enjoy all the comforts of home.
        The beauty in this activity is that you experience all the fun of camping without the fuss of packing!
        Easter Celebration Flickr-Karl-Petter Åkesson These activities are fun and can give you ideas that may spark your creativity, but really it's not so much about the activities as it is about the people you share them with. Take some time this Easter to enjoy being with your family and friends. A great way to spark some conversation is to go around the table at dinner and ask for one favorite memory from each family member. This can be sentimental as well as hilarious depending on what type of memories are shared. Either way, we wish you a happy Easter filled with lots of fun and beautiful California sunshine!  Cover photo by Bahman Farzad

        State Bliss

        We believe in 6 days of hard work and then a day of rest. We hope you enjoy your rest with family and friends. See you in 24 hours!

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