Santa Catalina Island is one of those places most Californians know about, but many have never been. Just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, it’s so close, yet so far. Not being able to jump in the car and go may simply stop many from going. Yet, not being able to jump in the car and go is one of many reasons that makes the place most simply call Catalina worth a visit.
There’s something about being on an island. There’s also something about being on an island when the town you’re in only has about 250 folks who call it home. No crowds, no waits. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city lining Two Harbors, Santa Catalina Island is for you.
The trek along the coast to Southern California takes some time, but there’s never much concern about growing bored. Popular destinations like Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Barbara offer places to stretch your legs and enjoy the view. Tucked in between the better known stops are quintessential coastal towns also worth checking out along the way. Some of them, like Ventura, might even have you adjusting the itinerary.
It doesn't matter whether it's summer or winter, a walk on the beach in Santa Cruz will make your cheeks rosy. Summer may be when bigger crowds appear, but seasoned veterans will tell you winter at the beach can't be beat.
Hollywood gets its inspiration from all walks of life, history included. Gold Country is loaded with history, so it makes sense the two would cross paths. Many movies and television shows have called Gold Country home, but along with making some fun movie buff trivia, Tinseltown helps bring history to life for Tuolumne County visitors every day.
Sunny skies and mild temperatures make day trips to the beach a year round possibility in the Bay Area. And there’s no better time to take advantage of a little surf and sand than over the holidays. Whether you’ve got some extra time off, or are looking to escape the holiday craze, here’s some great beaches to put on your Christmas visit list.
Año Nuevo State Park
We’re in the final holiday crush. Sure, it’s important to get that shopping done, but a little rest and relaxation can make finding the perfect gift oh so much easier. If you need a break from the holiday hustle and bustle, a nice warm soak in Sonoma maybe all you need to make the season a little more soothing.
It may have been gold and frogs that first brought Calaveras County fame and fortune, but these days tourism has become the big draw. In a sense, what’s old has become new again. Visitors can step back in time in historic gold mining towns like Angels Camp, explore a nearby prehistoric cavern, or hike among thousand year old giants.
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