Southern California

Go green in Encinitas

Day tripping to a couple North County public gardens.

When most people think of Encinitas, the beach is probably the first thing to come to mind. Moonlight and Swami’s are two of the best in the county. But the seaside community is also home ...

Local travel: the Bayshore Bikeway

Get your bike out to see another side of the South Bay.

As a family of four with two preadolescent children, we’re often looking for fun, active ways to explore our own beautiful city without spending too much money. San Diego’s sunny, laid-back disposition creates an ideal ...

Flying like a bird in the Mojave

Glider flight at Southern California Flying Academy.

The Air Force prayer has a line that goes, "I slipped the surly bonds of earth and touched the face of God." That’s pretty heady stuff – but the next time you're feeling trapped by ...

Anza-Borrego camping: a review

Desert camping apprehension overcome.

Being a little nontraditional when it comes to Thanksgiving (I hate turkey and brown food, and avoid it like the plague), we were thrilled when our friends, who feel the same about Thanksgiving, invited us ...

Randsburg, CA: a living ghost town

Gold Rush–era relic just three hours north of San Diego.

If you're a fan of Westerns, at one time or another you've seen one filmed in Randsburg, where the spirit of the old West is alive and thriving just three hours' drive from San Diego. ...

From cactus to clouds in SoCal

One of California's hardest hikes... the hard way.

“You in town?” Little did I know my text would lead to hiking 22 miles within the next 24 hours. Seriously. A marathon minus four miles – but with 10,500 feet of climbing, hurting, bonding, ...

California's castle in the sand

The historic Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park.

When castles and California are mentioned in conversation, Hearst Castle, which dominates a stretch of Central Coast skyline, usually comes to mind. You might be surprised to learn that a less opulent but even more ...

Afton Canyon: Grand Canyon of the Mojave

Check out this desert highlight on the way to Vegas.

Often called the Grand Canyon of The Mojave, Afton Canyon is a little-known gem along the road to Vegas, excellent for a pit stop or a quiet camping trip (never mind the trains; they're part ...

Coachella Valley by jeep

A new way to see the desert beauty of the Palm Springs area.

Who would think that parts of the desert are full of water? Especially since the Coachella Valley gets only six to eight inches of rain every year. But when I took the Desert Adventures Red ...

East County trekking (and sliding)

Hike to Devil's Punch Bowl and Three Sisters Falls, both near Julian.

I love hiking, but I forget to do it again for months at a time. It usually plays out like this: 1) I trek along a path (or non-path) getting lost in the moment… sometimes ...

Cheap art in L.A.

Museum tour via Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner.

An old friend and his fiancee were flying into Los Angeles from Texas in July, on their way up to Santa Barbara. They were staying one night in L.A., and asked me to join them ...

Why Big Bear?

What to do in this four-seasons getaway, a 2.5-hour drive north.

I've got a few days off and not a lot of cash... what can I do? I know – I'll go to Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. I've taken my family there ...

The Mad Greek

Fear and gyros: illusory roadside attraction in the Mojave.

What am I doing out here in the middle of the desert? The lights of Las Vegas are a distant memory, faded away into the early morning, and now about a hundred miles into the ...

Unexpected L.A.

With time to kill, the City of Angels reveals a couple surprises.

It’s amazing how one person on a business trip in Los Angeles can have a really cool adventure for three bucks. I wish my husband and kids could have been here – it would've been ...

I survived Carlsbad Village Faire

Nation's largest street fest attracts 100,000+.

Today I was a very brave person. Despite my inner voice telling me to stay home, give my busy self a relaxing day for a change, I put the leash on my dog and we ...

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