California Travel Ideas

California

From sunny southern California beaches to the lush green forest covered mountains up north this is an amazing state that has virtually every type of travel idea imaginable just waiting for you to explore.

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  • Casinos are an interesting place to visit. They are designed as a wonderland of fabulous experiences designed to get you to loosen up and spend as much money as you can in pursuit of riches. Increasingly though, the goal isn't just having you walk out with money... but instead feeling like you had an amazing experience. For a moment in time, you aren't a plumber or middle-management guy at a marketing agency. Tonight you are an international playboy dining on fabulous food, drinking spirits from the toppest of shelves, and maybe even dropping a chunk of change on that table you think is lucky. While most high-limit lounges are purposely segregated from the rest of the floor and guarded to keep the riff-raff out, The Vault Gaming and Provisions at San Manuel Casino brings that excitement and opens it up to anyone who might want to test their luck.

  • Compared to other parts of the country, Southern California doesn't really have a lot of great places to escape to on weekends. Truthfully there's amazing terrain all around us but really very few destinations that I can see wanting to escape to vs just doing day trips. While I've been to Palm Springs several times now, there's another answer that's even closer - Lake Arrowhead. It's quite literally a world apart and while it shares a similar elevation and crisp clean mountain air as Big Bear... it's a completely different experience.

  • Just a few years ago, the topic of "Marijuana Tourism" was something of a joke exchanged between college guys dreaming of visiting Amsterdam. Weed, cannabis, marijuana - whatever you want to call it, was something illicit for most Americans despite the fact that a significant percentage of our population either actively consumed it or had in the past. Even those who didn't, wondered what it might be like to do so again in a safe environment free from the risk of arrest. Today, recreational marijuana is legal to different degrees in nine different states and territories including: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington state, and Washington D.C. Because of this rapidly changing landscape and the promise of more states to follow in subsequent election years, the concept of people traveling to partake in some herbal refreshment has become a real trend for the travel industry. This is true for people planning vacations from neighboring states as well as local visitors looking to explore travel options that include cannabis culture the same tourism opportunities cater to people wanting to visit breweries, distilleries and vineyards.

  • There are a lot of trails in Southern California, but here's three of my favorites because they are scenic and have a variety of terrain but aren't too technically arduous. While the Colorado ZR2 is a phenomenal vehicle that can conquer pretty much anything that you throw at it, sometimes it's nice to know that and never test the limits. This is especially true for novice off-roaders since those limits are often YOURS, not the vehicle itself. These trails a great for exploring and having fun while getting away from civilization for a few hours.

  • Babe's BBQ and Brewhouse is located in Rancho Mirage, CA about the middle of the "Greater Palm Springs" area and that makes it a great spot to meet up after a day of golf, off-roading, or in our case driving at the BMW Performance Center. With a combination of Latin Fusion, a variety of BBQ styles, and craft beer it's got something for everyone.

  • Today we're talking with Australia roots rock artist, Hamish Anderson about one of his favorite cities - Los Angeles. 

  • The BMW Performance Center in Thermal, California (Palm Springs) is one of my favorite places to visit. It's an interesting experience that sits in a great middle ground between a "racing school" and an "exotic driving experience". While those two ends of the spectrum tend to dominate this space, on both of my visits to the Performance Center I've found that their staff and facilities scales well to what the client wants and needs to learn. What I like about this approach is that your takeaways will be far more valuable than simply a a big smile on your face. These are skills that will ultimately make you a better driver and a better man.

  • For most people, a visit to Palm Springs involves fine dining, shopping, touring mid-century modern architecture, and golf. For me, Palm Springs represents all of that, but also a home base for some awesome off-road adventure. Not everyone has a good truck or the skills needed to navigate beyond the reach of pavement and road signs. That's why I'm a big advocate of taking a Jeep tour from a trusted operator. Desert Adventures Red Jeep Tours is the biggest operator in the area and based on our tour with Lane and her Jeep, "Red Cloud" we can understand why.

  • Millennial and hipsters are changing the face of travel and nowhere is that more evident than Palm Springs due to the huge popularity of the Coachella Music Festival. For better or worse, as this two week festival grows bigger each year and brings more people out to the desert, Palm Springs it becoming a year-round destination for hipsters. Hotel Paseo, located in Palm Desert - about half way between the Cochella Polo Grounds in Indio and Palm Springs in the north end of the valley is in a perfect location to take advantage of this trend. We stayed there last month as part of a #MenWhoBlog trip and while it has all the elements that millennial would love - avocado toast, air stream trailers, and giant connect for games... it was laid back enough to not be obnoxiously hipster.

  • Father's Day is coming up and I think I speak for most men and we'd love a great big hunk of meat for dinner. There's a wide spectrum of options out there today from high-end steakhouses to grabbing a steak at the diner down the street but the middle space seems filled with marginal options. Sure, these chain restaurants are good but inevitably they miss the mark when it comes to quality, preparation, and atmosphere. That's why I was truly surprised after my visit to Black Angus Steakhouse here in San Diego earlier this week. Despite being part of a chain that's operated in the western United States for more than 50 years it felt like an independent location with good quality food and a fun atmosphere that while kitschy - felt genuine.

  • We are thankfully in a renaissance of  smaller trucks and the 2019 Ford Ranger is among the most highly anticipated. It is also one of the best equipped, with awesome numbers and robust capability. With a truck like this though, it's about more than just raw numbers... it's about what you can do and where it can take you. The FX4 trim level that we were provided is not the Raptor or even a competitor to the Toyota's TRD Pro or Chevy's ZR2 off-road trucks but it delivers a solid and comfortable experience both on and off road. This makes it an excellent road tripping vehicle. To test it out, we decided to explore historic Nate Harrison Road and climb to the top of Mount Palomar in San Diego, California.

  • Rodizio style Brazilian Steakhouse is my absolute favorite style of dining. It combines everything I love in a culinary experience - endless meat, a variety of flavors, and that sense of being special. Over the past few decades the Churrascaria concept has spread rapidly in the United States and Texas de Brazil is one of the biggest operators to offer this experience. Now they've added Carlsbad, San Diego to their list of more than 50 locations world wide. They invited us to stop by and try their interpretation on the concept and we loved it!

  • One of the greatest things about food in the United States is that the best elements of the cuisine from around the world can mash together here. That's what I found here at Shrimp Heads in San Diego when I visited a few weeks ago. On the surface it looks like a fairly typical Southern California "shrimp tray" seafood shop but when you scratch beneath the surface you discover that it's an awesome blend of Asian and Cajun united by a love of good cooking.

  • Valentine's Day is obviously an annual excuse to focus on love and romance, the reality is that any time of year is a great excuse for a romantic getaway. Here's our picks for some of the most romantic destinations to take your wife this year!

  • Los Angeles isn't like most cities. Typically in places like New York, Chicago, Denver etc. you have a central city but Los Angeles is a collection of cities spread out over a vast area. That allows for some really cool smaller destinations to explore and one of these that is often overlooked - but shouldn't be - is San Pedro. Despite the shadow that neighboring Long Beach casts, San Pedro has a surprising amount of fun ideas for a father and son weekend getaway. Let's explore some of the stuff you won't want to miss!

  • Theatre Box just opened up in downtown San Diego and frankly you'd have to be living under a rock to not know about it. Between celebrities posting ridiculous dessert pictures on Instagram and other buzz it honestly wasn't my sort of place I thought. After all, usually these places just have "instagram food" that looks pretty but doesn't really taste that great. However, when I was invited to check it out I accepted since I was curious. Honestly I wasn't expecting much. I figured that at very least though that it would be a good opportunity to finally see Aquaman and grab some dinner. My bias against celebrity endorsement almost caused me to miss out on one of the coolest new concepts in San Diego

  • Steam trains have a special place in my heart - as they do with millions of other guys and even some women too! These are giant hulking marvels of engineering represented the pinnacle of technology in their day but are still amazing to experience. In the age we live in where we covet silent, clean, smooth, and safe modes of transportation these great locomotives bring us back to a day when none of that was required - just getting the job done and opening up new opportunities to expand and profit.

  • San Diego is better known for palm trees and sun soaked beaches than ice and snow. Through the wonders of technology and a bit of imagination, the plaza out front of the San Diego Hilton Bayfront has been transformed into a winter wonderland this year. Holiday By The Bay is a winter festival for kids of all ages... and there are even some tasty holiday cocktails just for adults!

  • Any time of year is a great time to visit Disneyland but Fall and especially Halloween is an extra special time of year here. The park is all dressed up and there's some awesome new treats each year plus a few unique attractions that are only available for a few short months before it goes into full "Holiday" mode. Disneyland gave us a couple passes to check out the fun, so we stopped by the park and did a quick walk through of a few different areas that you won't want to miss. Let's check it out!

  • People have always been obsessed with the unexplained and the paranormal. The U.S. is home to hundreds of eerie and equally tragic haunted places. Planning a mancation sometime soon? Make yours unique and exciting by making it a haunting holiday! Check out these amazing haunted places!

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