california, photography, travel

We’ve been to California a few times now.  It’s huge, and I hope to see more of it.  Here are some parts we’ve been to so far that I’d say are worth checking out:

-Venice Beach.  There’s a boardwalk, skatepark, beach, shops, restaurants, music, art, street performers, and tons of interesting people.  I could hang out here all day.

© yost to coast photography

venice beach skatepark

© yost to coast photography

jim morrison mural in venice beach

-The Hollywood Bowl. I would most definitely recommend getting tickets to a concert here. Such a unique experience seeing a show surrounded by the hollywood hills. We saw Lana Del Rey and the acoustics were phenomenal.

-Hollywood Walk of Fame.  This is a must-see for anyone visiting L.A.  It’s a bit run down and dirty, but where else can you walk from Michael Jackson’s star to Big Bird’s?  It runs about 1.3 miles, and contains more than 2,500 stars along Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street.  The walk of fame, and the Hollywood sign are exactly what I picture when I think of Hollywood, which leads me to the next attraction…

-Canyon Blvd Trail in Hollywood.  6.5 mile hiking trail that takes you about as close as you can get to the Hollywood sign.  Takes at least 3 hours to climb up and down the mountain, so take lot’s of water and be sure to use sunscreen!

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Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood.  I always thought wax museums seemed kinda cheesy, to be honest, but I ended up having a great time in here.  Really fun photo-ops, and it’s sorta creepy just how real some of the celebrities look.

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madame tussaud’s wax museum

J. Paul Getty Museum.  Located in Los Angeles, the Getty, is a must do!  It’s a phenomenal art museum with a nice outdoor park, and great views of the city.  And besides paying for parking, it’s free!

-San Diego.  The Zoo here is the obvious tourist trap, but I have to say, it wasn’t my favorite.  I guess with a $50 admission price, I had higher expectations.  Don’t get me wrong – we had a great time, and I love going to any zoo.  I just wouldn’t recommend making a special trip here just for the zoo.  La Jolla Cove is a pretty dope spot to check out.  Lot’s of lazy seals sunbathing.  We stayed in Old Town and were surrounded by great mexican food.

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old town san diego

Cabazon Dinosaurs.  So fun if you’re into roadside attractions like we are!  These dinos are located in Cabazon, California.  “Dinny” the 150 ton brontosaurus has been hanging out there since the 60’s, and “Mr. Rex” has joined him since the 80’s.  They were created to bring attention to the, now closed, Wheel Inn Restaurant.  Over the years, the dinos have been been featured in numerous films – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and The Wizard, to name a few.  There is a gift shop located inside “Dinny”, where you can buy tickets to enter the small museum and dino park, which ends with the opportunity to climb all the way up into Mr. Rex’s mouth.

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cabazon dinosaurs

-Palm Springs.  On our list of places we could retire to.  Palm trees, mountains, sunshine, colorful vibes, and it seems like everywhere is dog-friendly!  There are two restaurants here that I highly recommend.  One being Birba, where I had the best pizza of my life, topped with blueberries and scallions.  The other being Cheeky’s, which I believe is owned by the same person, and has an ever-changing menu of delicious brunch foods.  Both have outdoor seating!  For a good margarita (or amazing tacos!), try out El Jefe, a tequila bar located in The Saguaro.  Another neat place to check out is Moorten Botanical Garden.  $4 per person gets you entry to the most serene nature trail, complete with hummingbirds, lizards, and countless species of cacti.

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the saguaro

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moorten botanical garden

Salvation Mountain in Niland, California.  Not much out there like it.  You basically drive into the middle of nowhere to find this mountain of art created by one man with a lot of cement, rubbish, sand, adobe clay, and about 100,000 gallons of paint.

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inside salvation moutain

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salvation mountain

-Joshua Tree National Park.  Doesn’t even seem real.  It feels you’re in a fantasy world of magical trees, over-sized rock formations, and miles on miles of hot desert sun.

© yost to coast photography

joshua tree national park

© yost to coast photography

joshua tree national park

I think that about covers what we’ve seen in California. On my to-do list are San Francisco, Alcatraz, Lake Tahoe, Redwood National Park, Death Valley, Big Sur, The Madonna Inn, Glass Beach (Fort Bragg), and Yosemite.


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