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Around California

‘Straight out of a storybook’: A local’s hidden spots in Half Moon Bay

in Around California/Fun/Sports

Good morning, fellow Escapists. Six hours up the coast from Los Angeles churns the premier big wave surf break in the continental United States. Once a secret held by just a few locals, Mavericks is serious stuff: From October through March, waves can break at 10 feet, 15 feet and even higher.

Over the years, it has claimed the lives of surfing legends such as Mark Foo and Sion Milosky. “It will just add to the lore and legend of this spot,” a local surf shop owner said of Foo’s tragic death while speaking to The Times in 1994. Today, Mavericks is known around the world as a destination for experienced big wave surfers and those interested in watching the beauty and brutality of the ocean from afar.

But in nearby Half Moon Bay, it’s an entirely different story.

The coastal town in San Mateo County is home to beaches that are ideal for beginners — and plenty of surf instructors happy to teach newcomers the ropes, just a few miles from the fearsome waves of Mavericks.

Ella Catalano-Dockins, 20, is one of those instructors. A surfer since age 10, she owns and operates Blue Swell Surf School with her younger sister and mother. The school offers lessons for surfers of all skill levels, as well as surf camps and walking tours of the coastline, where guests can easily spot marine wildlife.

Continue Reading in Los Angeles Times

The 5-Planet Alignment Is Here — These Are the Best Places in California to See It

in Around California

The entire month of June brings an astronomical wonder to behold. For the first time in 18 years, five planets — Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Saturn and Mercury — will be aligned in the night sky and visible to the naked eye. Mark your calendars for June 24, when the view is expected to be exceptional: Stargazers who wake up wicked early (30 minutes before sunrise) should be able to see a beautiful, waning crescent moon between Venus and Mars. The best place to enjoy this cosmic happening is far from artificial light pollution, where inky skies make the planets incredibly vivid. 

We’ve found eight dark corners of California ideal for soaking up this otherworldly display. We don’t think there’s a better excuse for a summer road trip. That’s why we’ve also included places to stay — from rustic campgrounds to charming resorts. 

Continue Reading on MySA

What’s New To See and Do in California This Summer?

in Around California/Entertainment/Fun

It’s no secret that, with its diverse natural landscapes, iconic urban hubs and all imaginable types of attractions, California quite literally has something that appeals to everyone. Along with its idyllic year-round weather, this probably explains its standing as the most-visited state in the U.S.

With the summer travel season in full swing, The Golden State stands ready to re-welcome visitors with a wealth of new offerings, from new hotel openings and culinary concepts to exciting exhibitions, enriching historical tours and enchanting animal encounters spread throughout the state.

Continue Reading on Travel Pulse

These are the most photographed places in California, according to Yelp

in Around California

SAN DIEGO – According to a new list published by Yelp, 17 of the 50 most photographed landmarks in the United States and Canada are located in California.

From the Bay Area all the way down to San Diego, the list includes monuments, parks, bridges, notorious buildings and even a home with a spooky history! And while the “usual suspects” such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Golden Gate Park made the list, some of the other top sites may surprise you.

Continue Reading on FOX5

Artichoke ice cream, artichoke fashion, artichoke history: Inside California’s Castroville Artichoke Festival

in Around California/Events

It all started with Marilyn Monroe.

Well, it actually started in the late 1800s when Italian immigrants brought a strange Sicilian plant with spiky edible buds with them to California’s Central Coast. But as stories go, Marilyn Monroe isn’t a bad place to start.

In 1948, a still not-that-famous Monroe traveled to Monterey Bay to do a paid appearance at a jewelry store, according to Carmel Magazine, and ended up agreeing to be crowned California’s Artichoke Queen.

Continue Reading on SFGATE

A baker’s dozen: More of the most beautiful places in Northern California

in Around California

Summer is upon us, kids are out of school and talk turns to top trip destinations. Recent conversations with friends and suggestions from Record readers yield our list of most beautiful places in Northern California. Criteria included stunning scenery, one-of-a-kind destinations and within a “one tank” drive. To offer both ideas and start arguments, we offered seven recommendations last week; here are the balance of our top 13:

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10 best places to visit in California, from a longtime travel writer

in Around California

LOS ANGELES — What separates our favorite travel destinations from the rest? The way memories linger.

If you’re looking for a list — maybe you want to get a taste of California without involving the Hollywood sign — I’ve picked 10 places that resonate most deeply for me. This is the list that, after having covered California travel, nature and culture for more than 30 years, I find myself reciting most often.

I feel a certain depth in these places, and usually ease too, perhaps because nobody needs to sell them. You show up, take a deep breath, listen a little, have a look around, and you are reminded of what makes California unique.

Continue Reading on Oregon Live

Local photographer has a second photo considered for California Wildlife Photo of the Year

in Animals/Around California

We all know local photographer Randy Robbins takes pretty darn good photos. But now his photo of a mountain lion has been selected as a March/April finalist in the state competition. His photo of a Lassen Pack wolf was selected as a finalist in the January/February competition.

Continue Reading on Lassen News

8 Summer Getaways Along the California Central Coast

in Around California/Fun

TRAVEL & RECREATION — When you envision a California getaway, you may picture scenic shorelines, crashing waves and sun-kissed skies. You can find all of that and more if you make your way to California’s Central Coast.

Continue Reading on Sierra News Online

California Science Center breaks ground for new Endeavour space shuttle exhibit

in Around California

LOS ANGELES, California (KCAL, KCBS) — A groundbreaking ceremony for a brand new exhibit dedicated to Endeavour, the well-known space shuttle that operated over the greater part of 20 years, took place at the California Science Center Wednesday.

Since 2012, the Endeavour has called the California Science Center in Exposition Park home, after it was retired in 2011. However, after more than 10 years, officials have decided to open a massive 200,000-square-foot exhibit for the shuttle.

Continue Reading on ABC17

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