Around Long Beach California
Ask anyone who lives near the west coast what is the most scenic thing to do, the answer is always the same, the Pacific Coast Highway in California and US 101 along the coast in Northern California, Oregon and Washington. Driving this stretch of road takes time and needs to be divided into sections. While the southern section of San Diego was packed with people on the beaches with heavy surf, the Long Beach section is more deserted this time of year and most of the towering cliffs along the shoreline aren’t nearly as spectacular. However, the Los Angeles area has the popular cities of Santa Barbara, Malibu, and Santa Monica.
The beauty of Santa Barbara sits nestled against the waves of the ocean and backed by the Santa Ynez Mountains. Santa Barbara is not only a favorite getaway for Hollywood celebrities, some of whom own property here, but the city has an outstanding history. What better way to experience some Santa Barbara history than by visiting the Old Santa Barbara Mission and El Presidio? The mission sits on thirteen acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The grounds include a historic cemetery and mausoleum, the Mission Church, and a nine-room museum featuring historic artifacts and artwork. Lush gardens surround the buildings, including the historic Garden Garden with old-growth plants and trees from the Mission era. While the El Presidio buildings are the last of the four military posts, they were built by the Chumash Indians under the direction of Spanish soldiers. This Presidio was founded in 1782 during the American Revolutionary War which played a vital role in the foreign invasion. Today, two of the original remaining sections are El Cuartel, which is the second oldest building in California, and the Canedo Adobe.
Just west of Los Angeles, along the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, with 21 miles of gorgeous coastline, lies Malibu, known for its gorgeous beaches and celebrity homes. Zuma Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Los Angeles, is located here and with its four miles of beautiful, wide, sandy beaches, it is ideal for all family activities, from rock climbing, swimming, surfing, to simply sunbathing. .
Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains is a hidden crown jewel, Malibu Creek State Park, encompassing more than 8,000 acres of mountain peaks, rolling foothills, oak savannahs, and tall-grass plains. The stunning beauty of this land has been seen around the world in movies, the best remembered being the long-running TV series of Mash. Getting to the Mash filming location requires a 3-mile one-way walk where the first part is over a wide, well-leveled road over rolling hills through oak trees and tall grass; however, the last half mile gets a bit tricky, starting with having to cross Malibu Creek by walking over the trunk of a fallen oak tree. The rest of the way is a very narrow path over rocks and mud puddles through thick leafy forest. For some stunning views of the park, drive up Mulholland Highway for 3 miles to Malibu Lake, which is also home to Reagan Ranch.
For a short but impressive drive, take Malibu Canyon Road from the state park back to Malibu. The road runs through the Santa Monica Mountains and meanders through the narrow canyon with towering cliffs on one side and straight drop offs on the opposite side. As the road heads out of the canyon, the views of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean are breathtaking.
Just south of Malibu, along Pacific Coast Highway, is the popular city of Santa Monica. With 3.5 miles of beaches, Santa Monica attracts all kinds of visitors, where the northern section of the beach is separated from the city by an ocean cliff and the Pacific Coast Highway where a series of bridges and stairs provide access to the beaches. In contrast, the southern section is at the level of the city and the beach side is full of houses, hotels and parking lots. Located in the central part of the beach is the ever-popular Santa Monica Pier, where an amusement park, restaurants, and gift shops sit atop a wooden pier—not to mention, after 2,448 miles, historic Route 66 He completed his trip from Chicago here. .
Just south of Long Beach along Pacific Coast Highway is Laguna Beach, home of Crystal Cove State Park. The park has 3 miles of natural shoreline with open spaces along the cliffs where tall grass thrives. The 2.5 miles of paved trails along the cliff tops provide spectacular panoramic views of the ocean with several steep trails leading down to the beach. The southern end of the park is the historic district with 46 vintage coastal cottages built in the 1930s and 1940s, representing early examples of southern California coastal development.
Relive the story of the ever-famous Queen Mary from her birth in 1934 to her vital role as a troopship during World War II. After 1,001 voyages across the Atlantic, the Queen Mary arrived in Long Beach in 1967 for her retirement and final resting place. Even today, the Queen Mary lives on as a historic landmark and a full-service Long Beach hotel with entertainment, shopping, and dining venues. One can see the Queen Mary up close with guided tours from the stern to the bow and from the engine room to the bridge. Throughout the ship are the wood carvings enhanced by the use of more than 50 types of wood along with the elaborate sculptures, paintings, and murals that made this ship the most elaborate ship ever built at that time.
Any trip to Los Angeles should include some time in the Beverly Hills and Hollywood area. Places like the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd or the Sunset Strip on Sunset Blvd known for the colorful billboards and beautiful murals painted on the buildings. The three blocks of Rodeo Drive between Santa Monica Blvd and Wilshire Blvd contain more than 100 top designer boutiques and hotels where many celebrities shop. Not to mention the Wilshire Blvd. Hotel, the filming location for Pretty Woman. Just down the road is Greystone Mansion, where a long list of movies, music videos, and TV shows were filmed.