Some Interesting Facts about California
A land of movie stars, gold rushes, redwoods, and astonishing beauty. California has captured the imagination of the world ever since Americans first trekked westward to this Golden State. San Diego; famous for its year-round sparkling weather and relaxed living, San Diego is full of distractions cultural, athletic, and scenic, with spectacular desert and canyon areas to one side and the Pacific coastline ever beckoning to the West. A good introduction to this seductive city is Balboa Park, the landscaped setting for a number of attractions, including the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Man, the Old Globe Theater.
Take a tour through the San Diego Aerospace Museum, visit the Cabrillo National Monument and the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park where many of San Diego's original adobe building bring the city's rich Mexican heritage to life. Laguna Beach; this picturesque Southern California beach town has long enjoyed a reputation as a magnet for artist. The streets are dotted with art galleries and craft stores, along with the requisite surfing hangouts you expect to see in any Southern California beach town. Arts festivals are held throughout the year. The most impressive is the summertime Pageant of the Masters, where life literally imitates art, local models faces gaze through carefully designed backgrounds in recreations of famous paintings.
The Laguna Beach Museum of Art features American art, with an emphasis on work by California artists. San Juan Capistrano; Nestled in the hills between the Santa Ana Mountains and the coast this historic town eveloped around Mission San Juan Capistrno. Among the most elaborate and beautiful of the California missions until much of it collapsed in the 1812 earthquake, it is most famous for the swallow's that arrive promptly each St. Joseph's Day ( March 19 ). After they hatch and rear their young, they depart for their 6,000-mile journey south on the Feast of St. John of Capistrano ( October 23 ). If you miss the swallow sojourn, you can still enjoy the chapel and the town's courtyards, museums, and old adobe houses.
Temecula; virtually unknown to tourist until the mid-1980's. Temecula is a true California boomtown. This breezy spot in the high chaparral has become a modern city in just a matter of years. It is, in fact, the oldest continuously inhabited town in the country ( it was long an important Indian settlement), and a stroll through Old Town Temecula will give you a taste of the charm of its rugged past. The city is also proud of its dozenplus top-notch wineries-mong them the Thornton Winery and the family owned Cilurzo ineyard and Winery--most of which offer tastings and tours, often free of charge.
Rim of the World Drive; this winding 40-mile road high in the San Bernardino Mountains affords magnificent vistass of the San Bernardino Valley as it leads to Big Bear Lake, a popular spot for fishing and water sports in the summer and sking and ice-skating in the winter. Palm Springs; with its beautiful desert setting and steady sunshine, this fashionable resort is the vacation retreat or residence for numerous celebrities; you may glimpse a familiar face or two on the golf course or browsing in the shops. In town the Palm Springs Desert Museum has exhibits that range from Matisse to arts and treasures of the Old West. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway takes you on a thrilling 2 1/2 mile ascent into the forest of Mount San Jacinto State Park for a spectacular overview of the vast desert area. The 20-minute ride lifts you from desert heat into cool mountain air.And the three nearby Indian Canyons--Palm, Andreas, and Murphy--offer a restful oasis, with tree-shaded walking trails.
Joshua Tree National Monument: This huge expanse of nearly untouched land is where the high ( Mojave ) desert and the low ( Colorado ) desert meet in a forunate convergence of unusual geological formations and plants. Camping picnicking and hiking facilities abound here. The Oasis Visitor Center, in the town of Twentynine Palms, has factsheets and maps to help you interpret the landscape. Key's View has one of the best views, on clear days you can see all the way south to the Salton Sea.
Anza-Borrego Desert; with 600,000 acres of desert splendor, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park showcase the beauty of the and landscape--particularly in the spring, when flowers turn the ground into a brief but vibrant celebration of color. The willowy, ocotillo, vivid red in flowers and up to 20 feet tall, and the elephant tree, gray and wrinkly like the animal's trunk, are among the unusual plants you'll see. Within the park is Agua Caliente Hot Springs, where springs-fed natural pools, one indoors and one outdoors, provide a welcome respite from the dry landscape.
Greater Los Angeles, Westside: when people speak of Westside in LA, They may mean any of several neighborhoods in particular of all of the city west of La Brea and east of the Santa Monica City line. No matter ; what the estside lacks in geographical definition it makes up for in state of mind. Upscale, energetic, and easily navigable, the neighborhoods of Wesrwood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills are an excellent introduction to the inimitable Southern California lifestyle.
Westwood; once a small college town, is now a busy hub of restaurants, shops, theaters---and home of the sprawling campus of UCLA, one of the nation's leading research versities and perhaps the most beautiful, where grand omanesque buildings give way to sleek modern facilities,all in a parklike setting. At the North end of the campus the Franklin Murphy Sculpture Garden features works by Henry Moore and Gaston Lachaise, and in the southeast corner the Mildred Mathias Bontanic Garden is a horticulturalist's delight, with a range of unusual plants.
Hollywood ;although most studios have relocated to other parts of Los Angeles, Hollywood is still synonymous with the entertainment industry, and ground zero for film nostalgia. It's not hard to find: just look up for the Hollywood Sign, high in the Hollywood Hills above Sunset Boulevard, or look down as you stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where the names of 2,000 entertainment industry Luminaries have been embedded in the sidewalks on brass plaques. And even though few film stars frequent Hollywood anymore, you can glimpse the next best thing at the Hollywood Wax Museum. Visit the Universal Studios ollywood, Forest Lawn Memorial Park both a cemetry and an outdoor museum. Near is Griffith Park and two other attractions are Los Angeles Zoo and Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. Pasadena; known to the world as the home of the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl, also including The untington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens. Also in Pasadena is the Norton Simon Museum with Cubist and Impressionist paintings and Rodin Sculptures. Close by, Old Pasadena, a recently restored sector of historic buildings that now house restaurants and music clubs makes for leasant strolling.
Downtown: as vast as it is, Los Angeles seems barely to need a downtown , but it is here, where rail met river, the " City of Angels " was born. Now a gleaming center of international banking and commerce.Downtown also has its own historic and cultural sites. The locus of the original 1781 settlement has been lost, but its spirit is preserved at El Pueblo de Los Angeles, a 44-acre urban park that includes pre-1900 structures, a busy Mexican market on Olvera Street, and Avila Adobe ( 18181), reputedly the oldest standing structure in Los Angeles. Here can also visit Los Angeles City Hall Union Station, and the magnificent five-story glass courtyard of the Bradbury Building, which know houses law offices. At the northern end of downtown, is what's called Little Tokyo is a bustling area of Japanese businesses, restaurants, and culture. And the new Museum of Contemporary Art display--under pyramidal skylights---a fine collection of Modern and Postmodern work since 1940.
Lets not forget Disneyland; the theme park whose innovative attractions amazed the world when it opened in 1955 still offers pleasures for young and old the high-tech, neck-snapping thrills of Space Mountain, the hologram-filled Haunted Mansion, and the crowd-pleasing Pirates of the Caribbean. Newer attractions include the Indiana Jones Adventure and Mickey's Toon Town. The world of illusion captures the imagination at Fantasmic! a spellbinding extravaganza of special effects.
Long Beach; settled early in this century as a summer beach resort for movie stars, still beckons visitors to wander its waterways, streets, and marinas. Began exploring the area in the Naples section of Long Beach, a quiet residential neighborhood of Victorian and Mission-Revival homes distinguished by the unlikely presence of tidal canals. For an adventure, try a whale-watching cruise.
Santa Catalina Island; is a splendid hideway, about on hour by ferry from Long Beach, San Pedro, or Newport Beach. There are no freeways here, and only one town, the beach and harbor hamlet of Avalon. The round 1929 Casino Building, with open galleries and a red tile roof, sits at the entrance of the harbor. Its ballroom is still used for dancing, and the downstairs movie theater has been restored to its 1930's glory.
The Beach Cities; in the national imaginations, Southern California is its beaches, and the best way to explore them is to sample them one by one. Start by rounding the Palos Verdes Peninsula, stopping to look for whales at one of the many turnoffs on the bluffs, and proceed north on Highland Avenue through the South bay towns of Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan Beach, each with a lively scene around its pier. Continue north through Marina del Rey, then turn west on Venice Blvd. into the heart of Venice Beach, the exotic seaside community adopted in recent years by an eclectic mix of artists, street performers, and ecentrics of various stripes.
North of Venice is Santa Monica, a charming city by the sea with lovely hotels and homes and upscale shopping and dining. Farther north, Pacific Palisades is home to Will Rogers State Historic Park, where the humorist's home is open for tours. Just past Sunset Blvd.,at the southern edge of Malibu the J. Paul Getty Museum contains the philanthropist's mammoth collection of classical aniquities, dedorative art, and major paintings from every period, all housed in an astounding copy of a first-century Roman villa.
Travel the coast of San Joaquin Valley and Visit San Fancisco and California's Wine Country.Saramento and Sierra Nevada is wonderful to tour, last but not least the Mendocino and the Redwoods.