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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. mtshasta_0040(pp_w750_h502) From


Directed over Arcata Bay, the best place to view these fireworks is from the Eureka boardwalk area. 9207020339_7259fbbb71_z Flickr by Christian Arballo


View the fireworks show from Caldwell Park. 728112367_bb870cc3bd_o Flickr by Joey Gannon


A great show at the CalExpo Miller Lite Grandstand (Fairgrounds). Admission is free though parking is $10. 4763383724_936e0b2b76_b 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). 1322517879_0b27a51414_o Flickr by simplistic.designs


Spend some time at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and see some amazing fireworks. 3696800400_436e974121_o 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)
9220051188_46a0a80a64_b Flickr by David Yu

Santa Cruz

Apparently, Santa Cruz puts on quite the explosive Firework show with illegal fireworks! 3847959712_ee16af35af_o 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. IMG_5943 Flickr by Angela Sevin

Pismo Beach

View from Oceano Dunes and come prepared to camp for the best spot available. 5975050879_1557ae950f_b Flickr by Chris Hearn  


Join the Freedom Fest and see fireworks from the Buchanan High School in Clovis ($5 fee). fireworks-1 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. 4791618084_932972c952_b 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! 4791616106_1ced253039_b Flickr by iwishmynamewasmarsha

Marina del Rey

Set off from a barge in the bay, these fireworks over the water are a beautiful sight. 1322516281_ed1f47c0a1_o Flickr by simplistic.designs Pasadena Americafest at the Rose Bowl - fireworks begin at 9pm. 3695988481_618f8de3cd_o 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). 13967262418_bb68e81fc0_z 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
3688737047_72c0fc8a20_b Flickr by Nathan Rupert

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

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

25 Amazing California Road Trip Destinations

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). align="aligncenter" width="1024"]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 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,


header photo by:

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:, 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

Best California races that will leave you breathless, dirty, and possibly fearing for your life

We've compiled a list of the best California races to put your endurance and strength to the test. Some are just plain fun and others will push you to (and maybe past) the breaking point. Which races are you up for?

Tough Mudder

Likely one of the better known mud runs, the Tough Mudder has everything you'll need to get dirty while challenging your endurance and team spirit. There are several California race locations including Patterson (Northern California) April 12-13, Tahoe August 16-17, and Temecula October 25-26. Be warned - the Tough Mudder isn't for the faint of heart! California Races Pinterest - from

Down and Dirty Obstacle Race

The Southern California location for this race is Castaic, Ca (Northern Los Angeles) and is held on April 13, 2014.  This races offers you the choice of a 3 mile or 6 mile course with over 20 obstacles including rope climbing, a rock wall, balance beans, marine hurdles, mud pits, and so much more! Participate in this race and you are guaranteed to walk away dirty.

Kiss Me Dirty Mud Run

This one's for the ladies (or, apparently, guys dressed up like ladies?). The Kiss Me Dirty Mud Run on April 26, 2014 in San Jose combines mud, foam, and color. It's like participating in three races at once! Lucky ladies that sign up for this gem of a race will have one thing in common: attitude. If this is you, make this your next California race!

The Color Run

Break out that nice white T-shirt and take a before and after selfie, because this run will not only give you a great workout, but a whole new colorful look. The Color Run, with a variety of locations in California, is a fun and easy 5k. The Orange County run is coming up May 10, 2014 so make sure and register soon! Grab three other friends and knock $5 off your entry fee! California Races Pinterest - from Nancy Tu

Mud n' Blood Zombie Run

Not for the faint of heart, this Mud and Zombie Run combines the elements of fear and grime to get your heart beating and your legs pumping. If you've been training for the impending Zombie Apocalypse and want to prove something (whether that's to you or to the people dressed up like zombies who will be chasing you) sign up now! The next race is June 7, 2014 but mark your calendars for The Zombie Run (a similar race) next year in March. California Races Photo from The Zombie Run via

Gladiator Rockin' Run

Take a trip to Irvine on June 14, 2014 for this 5k with 17 obstacles, a whole lot of mud, and even a free beer at the end (for those over 21 of course!). This is a great event to form a team and create a costume for!

The Slime Run

SLIME! There is nothing better than running through green goo. Ok, maybe there are some things that are better, but this is definitely near the top of the list. The next event is in Sacramento on June 21, 2014 or wait until October 25, 2014 for the Southern California race held in Lake Elsinore.

5k Foam Fest

This race is packed with foamy fun for everyone! You'll be muddy and clean all at the same time with the various obstacles in place during this 5k. With two locations in California, you have no excuse to get out of this! July 19, 2014 in Temecula and August 9, 2014 in Oakland. Register now to save your spot! California Races Found on 5K Foam Fest

The Great American Hero Obstacle Run (5k/10k)

The race supports heroes locally and abroad and is meant to challenge any fitness level! It's located near the San Joaquin River on August 23, 2014 and is a great event for the whole family with a focus on celebrating those who serve in the military and as civil servants.

Spartan Race

Crawl through mud, under wires, and jump over fire (among other obstacles) in the this hard-core race held in various locations world wide. The California race is held in Temecula on September 14, 2014. Dominate this run and you may just win an entry into the Super Spartan! California Races Flickr - cogdogblog

MuckFest 5k Mud Run

If these earlier races weren't enough for you (or it's taken you until the fall to gain the courage to join) sign up for the MuckFest 5k held in Los Angeles September 27, 2014. This race is a fundraiser for the MS foundation and  100% of funds raised will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society! You shouldn't need any better motivation than that ;)

Have we convinced you to sign up for a race that will leave you muddy and exhausted? If so, let us know which one in the comments below!

Source: Mud Jumper Cover Photo: From Rich-Joseph Facun Photography

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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