The Natural Wonders Of California

With its star-studded cities and sun-kissed beaches, it’s easy to forget that California is also blessed with many jaw-dropping natural wonders around the state. Oddly shaped rock formations, remnants of old volcanos, stark desert land, and stunning mountain vistas attract many visitors to the state. Following are a few must-see natural wonders you’ll want to see when visiting California.

La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits is home to one of the world’s most famous most famous fossil collections. Fascinating fossils of plants and animals have been uncovered here and are on exhibit along with mammoths, dire wolves, saber-toothed cats, and more. Even the pits themselves are interesting with their bubbling tar. Take an Excavation Tour to learn the history of the tar pits and watch scientists working on fossils they have recently uncovered.

Natural Bridges

See the world famous yearly migration of monarch butterflies at this beach near Santa Cruz with its unique natural bridge. The best time to see these phenomenal monarch butterflies is usually from mid-October to late January. It’s also a great place to see rare shore birds, migrating whales, and otters and seals playing offshore. Tidepools along the beach give a glimpse of ocean life. The park’s coastal scrubs and grasslands offer a colorful display of wildflowers each spring. For a longer visit, there are several great hotels near Natural Bridges State Beach.

Mount Wilson

Get a stunning view of the San Gabriel Mountains above the Angeles National Forest at 5,713 feet when visiting Mount Wilson. They even have an observatory that was once the best-known one in the world during the early 20th century. They have a collection of the most detailed photos ever taken of the surface of Mars. Hike the Mount Wilson Trail that loops around a breathtaking waterfall. The 12.5-mile loop is best for experienced hikers.

Joshua Tree National Park

See the charmingly twisted Joshua trees at the 1,235 square-mile Joshua Tree National Park. The area lies between two separate ecosystems, the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. The rugged rock formations and stark desert are quite dramatic. Camp out and go for long hikes to contemplate the park’s natural beauty.

Mojave National Preserve

The 1.6 million-acre Mojave National Preserve is park nestled in the beautiful Mojave Desert. Marvel at the unusual Hole-in-the-Wall cliffs, cinder cones, and lava flows. Listen closely and you’ll hear the “singing” of the humongous dune mounds of Kelso Dunes. Located in Southern California, it’s truly a place of immense beauty.

Old Faithful

Travel out to the Napa Valley to see the lovely wine country and pay a visit to Old Faithful near the town of Calistoga. It isn’t as powerful as the one at Yellowstone, but it erupts faithfully every 10 to 45 minutes depending on the season and amount of rainfall the area has had. This part of the valley was once a volcano that erupted about 4.3 million years ago. The remains simmer to create today’s hot springs. The geyser is powered by nature but was actually created when a 19th-century settler who was digging for a well.

You’ll find more natural wonders scattered about in all parts of California. Leave the glamour and glitz of the city to experience them.

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The Many Wonders Grapevine Texas Has To Offer Vacationers

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Are you a tourist or a local looking for fun activities in Grapevine, Texas? If yes, then Grapevine will give you the best vacation you have ever had. There are many amazing things to see and do that are very close to the major Grapevine hotels. Here are the wonders Grapevine has to offer vacationers:

1. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad

While travelling by train can be a holdover for you, it is one of the best things to do in Texas. Experience the historic Grapevine Vintage Railroad, which will take you years back to when trains were the central transport means. The Vintage Railroad will take you to Fort Worth Stockyards from Grapevine. You will get to hear the wheels of the train move on the steel tracks and enjoy the view of the cabin sways. The railroad provides standard rides between February and December. Special rides that you can take part in include the North Pole Express and a Jazz Wine Train trip.

2. Grapevine’s Wineries

Just like its name suggests, Grapevine is the ideal destination for the best wines in Texas. For a glass of white or red wine, visit any of the nine local vineyards. The GrapeFest is the biggest wine festival in the Southwest, and it takes place in Grapevine. The town is also home to Urban Wine Trail Texas. You can visit wineries along the Main Street, including Bingham Family and Messina Hof Vineyards. Just one block from Main Street, you will find the Homestead Winery where you can taste wine at the century-old Victorian home. If you want a real Texas vineyard, you can tour the Delaney Vineyards & Winery. The stunning winery is located within an attractive building that looks like an 18th-century French castle.

3. Biggest Indoor Waterpark in the State of Texas

The Great Wolf Lodge offers the biggest indoor waterpark in Texas. You can have an exciting time riding at the Coyote Cannon or descend the Alberta Falls’ swift banking turns. You can also have a relaxing time at its hot Springs’ soothing waters. Your family can have a great time playing at the water tree called Fort Mackenzie while your kids get special rides. The waterpark is not restricted to seasons; it is available all year round due to its pleasant 84 degrees of temperature. However, only Great Wolf Lodge’s guests can play there.

4. Lake Grapevine

If you love being outdoors, Lake Grapevine is suitable for you. The lake is located to the north of Grapevine’s Historic Downtown, and it’s only a few minutes ride from the town. The lake is scenic and surrounded by rolling hills covered in beautiful lush trees. You can go out to the lake on a kayak or a boat and attempt catching the white bass that is available in plenty. You can join a hired sailing trip or a romantic cruise at night under the stars.

The shoreline of the lake offers the opportunity for hiking the trails for nine miles of wilderness. Close to the lake, you will find the Meadowmere Park and Oak Grove Park that have 26 miles of great paths ideal for cycling and hiking. You can also have a picnic at the lakeside and enjoy the panoramic views.

Conclusion

Grapevine’s fine wineries, stunning lake, exciting waterpark, and Vintage Railroad as well as luxurious hotels are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many wonders that vacationers can enjoy. If you are looking to have a good time in Grapevine, these are some of the sites to visit.

Visit Lubbock Texas For A Memorable Vacation

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Lubbock might not be the very first place you think of when it comes to a traveling destination for you and your loved ones, but that is actually a plus. You are less likely to be encumbered with long lines to attractions while still getting top-rate experiences. Let’s go through a few of the sites that make Lubbock a gem in the Lone Star state.

Buddy Holly Center

Did you realize that we have Lubbock, Texas to thank for being one of the birthplaces of rock n roll? It’s true! Charles Hardin Holley, professionally known as Buddy Holly, was born in Lubbock and it is where he started his career in the early 1950s. He went on to have several hits (which he wrote and recorded himself, quite unusual for the time) that are influential in the music industry to this day, before dying in a plane crash at the age of 22 in 1959. That day is forever known as ‘The Day The Music Died’.

Lubbock has a wonderful attraction built in memory of Mr. Holly which is absolutely a must for your visit. The Buddy Holly Center opened to the public featuring a museum, a fine arts gallery, a preservation of one of Buddy Holly’s band members’ house, and a performance venue. Museum items on display include everything from childhood letters to Buddy’s iconic eyeglasses. If anyone along for your vacation is a music-lover, this is the place to go. Plus, there are several hotels in Lubbock near the center, so this could be your jumping off point for other attractions.

Silent Wings Museum

If you have someone in your party that is more into military might than in the roots of rock music, there is definitely something in Lubbock that suits the bill. Lubbock was once a training area for pilots during the days of World War II. This history is remembered and honored by the Silent Wings Museum, a museum dedicated to educating the public of the glider pilot program that took place in Lubbock. The crown jewel of the museum is an actual glider plane from the era, that was rescued and restored after being found used for advertising on top of a tire store in Fresno, CA!

Caprock Winery

The idea of a winery might seem like a novelty in West Texas, but the fact is that Caprock Winery has been producing award-winning wines just outside of Lubbock since 1988. You can take a tour of the facility along with doing wine tastings five days a week (excluding Sunday and Monday). There is even a lounge area where you can enjoy a glass of their wine next to a roaring fireplace or on their patio (depending on the time of year).

Joyland

Okay, so the kids have been good during these trips to all the adult attractions and now they deserve to cut loose. What better destination could there be than an amusement park?! Joyland Amusement Park boasts over 30 rides, from roller coasters to rides for the littlest of your little ones. It is also very competitively-priced for an amusement park, with group rates and discounts easily obtainable online. It is an oasis for the young as well as for the young at heart.

The Best Experiences You Can Have in Miami

Miami is easily one of the greatest cities in America, and it has so much to offer anyone who’s visiting for the first time. There are tons of fantastic experiences that you can have there, and we’re going to look at some of the very best of them to help you decide how you want to spend your time in Miami and which experiences you want to have while there. Read on now to learn more about all this.

Visit the Venetian Pool

The Venetian Pool in Miami is known around the world for being perhaps the most beautiful swimming pool in the world. That might sound like a strong claim, but it’s one that really does hold up. The pool is registered in the National Register of Historic Places, which tells you just how highly regarded this place is. Be sure to experience it for yourself while you’re in Miami

Embrace Nature at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park might not be the catchiest name in the world, but it certainly is one of the best parks around. It’s a beautiful park by the sea that feels very secluded compared to other parts of Miami, making it a great place to head to when you want to relax and take things easy. You should head there and make the most of it while you’re in this part of the world.

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Take a Speedboat Around the Sea Off the Coast

Hiring a speedboat from a Miami boat rental company and taking to the water is something that you’ve really got to try while you’re in the city. It’s such a fun experience and there is no better location in the world for this kind of activity than the sea off the coast of Miami. As long as you’re safe and are responsible, you’ll have a great time and you won’t regret the experience.

Visit the Miami Design District

If you like art galleries, interior design and great modern architecture, you definitely need to head to the Miami Design District. This is where you’ll find all of this stuff and much more. It really is one of the most fun and vibrant places you’ll find anywhere in Miami. This is where the Institute of Contemporary Art is located as well.

See Some of the Very Best Art at the Perez Art Museum Miami

Another place for great art is the Perez Art Museum Miami. It collects international art from all over the world and brings it together in carefully curated collections for visitors like you to enjoy. It’s certainly one of the best cultural attractions in Miami, so don’t miss out on it.

Miami is full of wonderful experiences waiting to be had. So if you’re going to be visiting this wonderful city anytime soon, you’re certainly going to be in for a treat. Make sure you keep the ideas mentioned here in mind when you’re planning how to spend your trip and what to do while you’re there.

Have the Perfect Year in California With These Seasonal Destinations

People insist that California doesn’t experience all four seasons, but that’s silly. The weather is different, but each season is beautifully represented in typical West Coast style. Visit California in spring, summer, fall, and winter to see for yourself.

Watch the Wildflowers Blossom in Spring

Head inland in the springtime, away from the coast. Later in spring, wildflowers pop up along California’s sandy coastline, but as the season gets going, the greenery struggling to bloom again craves warmer temperatures. It’s cooler near the water, even in sunny California. During March and April, springtime explodes. There’s less fog, the hotel rates are lower, and the crowds are thin.

Yosemite is one of the best places to watch the flowers return to the landscape. Head to the north of San Diego and let the Carlsbad Flower Fields steal away your breath. In Huntington Garden, camellias reign supreme. Check out Mendocino, as well. The rhododendrons in the Coast Botanical Garden will make you feel brand new.

Welcome Sea Life in Summer

Along the coast of California, marine life joins the tourists in flocking to the shores in the summertime, although many of them come from the opposite direction. Along the beaches of La Jolla, the leopard sharks are the most welcomed guests. In spite of the name, these sharks are harmless. The big, brightly colored critters are personally responsible for drawing divers, kayakers, and snorkelers to La Jolla every summer. Their visit almost always begins in June, but they tend to hang around in July and August, as well. Consider taking a swim with them this year. Dive down and say hi.

Experience the Perfect Fall in SoCal

Southern California puts on a spectacular show every autumn. Visitors never expect it because the stereotype is that California has no seasons, but residents of LA know better. The air doesn’t have the same crisp nip you experience on the East Coast, and you can still swim as you bob for apples and plan your Halloween costume, but multiple fall-friendly activities are on offer.

Just as you can in nearly any New England town, you can go apple picking around Oak Glen. You can spend an hour or two in a pumpkin patch picking out the perfect jack-o-lantern. Lose your way in a corn maze, or desperately find your way out of a haunted house. A drive through Los Angeles will even reveal breathtaking fall foliage. Keep your eyes pointed toward the mountains, or peep at the gardens throughout the city.

Spend Winter in Big Bear Lake

Believe it or not, California is home to some exceptional skiing. It’s such a hot destination that you need to make reservations well ahead of time. Check out HotelPlanner to find Big Bear Lake hotels in November, December, or January. In addition to skiing, snowboarding, and sipping cocoa at the lodge, you can play in the powder, make snowmen, and experience winter in an entirely new climate.

Have you ever thought of taking a seasonal vacation? Where would you go?

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