Monday, November 26, 2018

Important Information to Know about Newport Beach

For thousands of years, Native Americans first inhabited the area where Newport Beach soon became. In 1542, the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was the first foreigner to map its coastline. But it was not until 200 years before the European settled in Newport Beach. Newport used to be under the control of Don José Antonio Yorba I in 1769 under the Spanish and then Mexican rule. After the Civil War, American settlers transformed the land for shipping and ranching.

Today Newport Beach is a thriving community lined with luxury shopping, spa treatments, and of course beaches. They also held great annual events which keep hundreds of tourists excited to attend such as Newport Beach Restaurant Week, Newport Beach Film Festival, Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, Independence Day on the Bay, Hyatt Regency Summer Concert Series, and the Christmas Boat Parade. These are just to name a few of what Newport Beach has to offer and give you a glimpse of what it is like to live in the city. The best part is, it gets even better; the city focused mostly on what families would love or just exploring the whole area to find that perfect spot of solitude. But they still know how to spice thing up with outdoor activities such as cycling, surfing, hiking, and of course their all-time favorite – sailing. 

There are plenty of things to do in Newport Beach as they have the largest harbor on the west coast. You can choose laid-back wine tours, watch live entertainment or visit cultural places. As Newport Beach has breathtaking seaside cliffs, there are plenty of amazing things to do in its beaches. 

Newport Pier 

Initially named as McFadden Wharf after the local landowners James and Robert McFadden, Newport Pier was built in 1888. It was mainly used for shipping but after it was sold in 1902, the pier becomes the center of many recreational activities and residential lots. But in 1938, a hurricane destroyed the pier and was rebuilt the following year. This is a great place to visit especially if you have kids as they can go fishing and walk around the beach front. 

Corona Del Mar State Beach 

The Spanish name for the Crown of the Sea, Corona Del Mar is a state park in which local sometimes call as Big Corona Beach. This 30-acre protected land has the best sandy beach that families and swimmers will definitely love. You cannot run out of fun things to do in Corona Del Mar as you can do scuba diving, surfing, and beach volleyball. You can even just sit on its sandy beach and get that perfect tan you always wanted. You may even spot some very familiar places as many famous television shows were filmed on this beach. 

Balboa Peninsula 

Dating back from 1906, Balboa Peninsula is a great place lined with historical building and many marine recreational facilities. Named after the famous Spanish explorer, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, locals refer to is as simply “Balboa” or as “the Peninsula”. If you want a change of scene and wants to have a few drinks, the Balboa Pavilion has a lively nightlife worth visiting. 

Sherman Library and Gardens 

This 2.2 acres of land was transformed into a beautiful garden boasting of many luscious greeneries, fountains, walkways and lots of seasonal flower beds. They even have tropical plants like colorful orchids, heliconias, and ginger. Founded in 1955 by Arnold D. Haskell who thought of having a plant nursery property he then named it after his mentor M.H. Sherman. Visit their stunning Japanese Garden and Rose Garden and spend the day lost in its beauty. Finish your tour and unwind while reading the history of the Pacific Southwest in its library. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Some of the Best Places to Visit in Maui

Hailed as the “Land of the Raging Fire”, Maui is the second largest islands in Hawaii. Measuring about 728 miles, Maui considered as the 17th largest island in the country. Its first settlers were part of the Polynesian migration that settled through parts of Hawaii, Easter Island, and New Zealand. They arrived paddling their outrigger canoes out in the vast ocean seas until they reached the island.

Maui is known worldwide to have pristine beaches, exotic locations, and scenic volcanoes. Adventurers love how Maui can host great adventure activities like visiting beautiful dormant volcanoes, kayaking, and hiking. For the not so adrenaline junkies, Maui’s shorelines have the best pristine beaches; anyone can just sit back and relax to the sound of rushing beach waves – one of the clearest waters in the world. There are so many things to do in Maui and listing them will do any justice for this wonderful paradise-like place. And it will be a bit overwhelming for tourists who would visit Maui for the first time. Rather than to cram your entire time visiting all of them, it would be better to just let things flow. But here are some of the places to visit that you cannot miss. We guarantee that you will be back for more. 

When going to the island of Maui, you may read a lot about ‘what to do’ lists and ‘must dos’, sure they are fun but you cannot leave the island without going these four experiences. Start your trip with the Old Lahaina Luau, where you can experience a full authentic Maui vibe you are rooting for. Then head on to Kapalua Coastal Trail, where the best beaches are located. Next, try going for some snorkeling at Molokini Crater and cap it off with the most picture-perfect sunset and sunrise at Haleakala Crater. 

Bailey House Museum 

To really know Maui from its roots try visiting the Bailey House Museum, it has the best bookstore in town. The museum houses some of the rare Hawaiian artifacts and sees that the life was for its original settlers and Missionary families. But mostly try to immerse yourself with its local and cultural history amongst the people of the island. 

Haleakala National Park 

Haleakala Crater is a place where mythology draws a very thin line to reality. It’s a legendary place where the demigod Maui snared the sun. If you have little kids, chances are they saw the film Moana, and this place will make their imagination race. It’s rightly so since the sunset and sunrise are breathtakingly beautiful and will definitely capture your hearts. You can even watch a magical show about the history of the place during sunrise and sunset. Take your time exploring the landscape where you can take your family to a day of hiking of backcountry trails. To really have the full experience of Haleakala Crater, stay even for just a night, you might even glimpse the endangered Hawaiian state bird called nene. 

Pipiwai Trail 

If your adrenaline is asking for more adventure, you might want to try Pipiwai Trail. Explore the wilderness side of Maui, a good take away from its pristine beaches and hike through its magical rainforest. Listen to the sound of nature at its purest, with birds singing a millennial tune song and the sound unseen oasis. Tall bamboo blocks the harmful rays of the suns so you could have a very comfortable walk through the heart of the forest. The path leads to the most beautiful waterfalls in Maui, the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. Marvel at its graceful cascade slicing through the mist and feeding the forest of its much-needed water.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

What to Know about Monterey

Located in California, Monterey sits on the state’s Central Coast where it stands at about 26 feet or 8 meters above level. The city houses some of the firsts of California like its first public building, first library, first theater, first printing press and so does its first-ever newspaper. This place is so beautiful that it attracted many artists and writers alike, inspired by its charming scenery and natural wonders. 

But what makes Monterey amazing is its abundant fisheries and great wide outdoors. It has the best beaches coastal terrain in the state that every family should explore. If you are thinking of coming here, here is a list of the things you shouldn’t miss in Monterey. 

Monterey State Historic Park 

Start your journey in getting to know more about Monterey’s history and the best place to read it all is no other than Monterey State Historic Park. It has a very unique but beautiful 19th-century brick and adobe buildings. You and your family can even make your own mini trip with its 2-mile self-guided walking tour known as the ‘Path of History’. There are several buildings that are worth visiting because of their historical value to the city. Exploring some of the charming gardens within the path adds another great adventure to this little trip. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium 

If your family wants to see something spectacular, then head straight to Monterey Bay Aquarium where your little ones will be amazed by the many sea creatures they have. Everyone will surely enjoy looking at sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles, and hundreds of different fish inside their massive aquariums. Come early to really enjoy the aquariums 45 interactive exhibits featuring birds, fish, reptiles, and many more. They even have feeding area for your little ones to immerse themselves to the marine life. Because of the aquarium’s popularity finding parking might be a challenge but you can park in nearby garages. 

Monterey Museum of Art 

While you are in the city, be sure to see the Monterey Museum of Art. Re-kindle that old spark you have for the love of art and visit this place to see some of the best California contemporary art. They have exhibits showing modern landscape painting as well as photographs. Don’t underestimate this museum as you might capture that perfect post-worthy picture. 

17-Mile Drive 

But if you really love the outdoors but don’t have enough time to traverse all of Monterey Hills, then this 17-Mile Drive will definitely do the trick. The route itself has the most breathtaking views of its beaches while spotting some of the multi-million-dollar homes along its coastline. This drive has its strategic marked points where you can stop of a while and let it all sink in –the scenic views of the ocean, the cool breeze, and the calm feeling of being with nature. Many advised stopping at the Pebble Beach Resorts to see the Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Casa Palmero, and the Inn at Spanish Bay. 

Monterey Jazz Festival 

Most tourists schedule their travel in Monterey when they held their annual Monterey Jazz Festival. The city truly comes alive during these times as it is one of the longest-running jazz festivals in the world which started since 1958. Meet some of the country’s greatest jazz performers, fun usually starts in spring. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Salish Sea: The Wonders of the Past

The Salish Sea has one of the most diverse marine ecosystem and rich cultural history. Named after the first people who inhabited the area called the Coast Salish; the Salish Sea has one of the largest inland seas. Measuring about 7,470 km with 419 islands, the total sea surface has outstanding 16,925 square kilometers. At its deepest, Salish Sea can go as far as 650 meters and that has a biodiversity of 253 species of fish, 172 species of birds, and 37 species of mammals. 

Its territory stretches along the coastlines of Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington, Seattle, Strait of Georgia in British Columbia, and Vancouver. Because the Salish Sea borders the US and Canada, it has a spectacular beauty to boasts while providing economic growth for the two countries. Its waterways provide a convenient way to connect communities, century-old trades resulted in the very urbanized communities along the Salish Sea. 

Early Settlers of Salish Sea 

More than two hundred thousand Native people inhabited the banks of the Salish Sea even before the Americans and Canadians came. They had created a very intricate and close-knit relationship of other tribes that spanned in its waterways. Because of its geographical location, salmon and other animals became their main source of food as well as the different variety of plants that are endemic in the region. 

As the fur traders began coming in from other parts of the country, the communities surrounding the Salish Sea started to change. Its people suffered great loss because some kind of epidemic plagued the area. In the journal of the British mariner George Vancouver, he described his expedition during his 1792 voyage as haunting. He and his men found several abandoned tribes covered with what clearly looked like human skeletal remains. Thousands of Native people died from the disease but there are several hundred more that survived and thrived in its waterways. 

More and more people began arriving along the waterways of the Salish Sea as it promised opportunities for everyone. As the sea yields an abundant harvest of fish, its lands are great for cultivating. Not long after, thousands of fur traders settled in the area around the early 1800s, the Natives experience limited access to their fishing spots. It was then followed by commercial salmon fishing during the late 1890s. Large-scale companies began mass-producing salmon in cans which are both impressive for the economy and destructive for the environment. 

Because of the severe damage and pollution in the Salish Sea, the US and Canada signed a salmon conservation treaty in 1930. Experts claimed that the destruction and overfishing were so severe that it resulted for the salmon to be listed under endangered species in the 20th century. 

Today, more than 7 million people live in the coastlines of the Salish Sea, enjoying the amazing view and spectacular natural resources of this body of water. It’s even home to some of the world’s most powerful business including Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

What You Need to Know about Puget Island

According to history, the British explorer, Lieutenant Broughton was the first ever white man to laid eyes on the Puget Island, after Lieutenant Peter Puget. More than a decade after the discovery, Lewis and Clark named it as Sturgeon Island and Sea Otter Island. But the first settlers on the island are the Norwegians Johanes and Frances Ostervold who came to Puget Island to farm and fish, which it was famous for being “Little Norway”. 

When the first road opened in 1925, it connected two important ports and ferries, Westport and Cathlamet. Measuring about 3 miles wide and 7 miles long, it houses about 800 residents as per 2000 US census report. The island is teeming with natural resources, with reserves, and great fishing spots. But there are more to it than that; here are some of the best places to visit in Puget Island. 

Wahkiakum County Ferry 

Your trip would not be completed until you set foot to its famous passenger ferry. Considered as the last operating toll passenger ferry on the Lower Columbia River, it has one of the most beautiful routes drive loop. Operating for every day of the week, it leaves Puget Island going to Westport and vice versa. As waters in the island are pretty much calm, your kids will surely love a change of scenery for a change. 

Jasper’s Store 

Established in 1919, Jasper’s Store is like an icon in Puget Island, it was built as an apartment in the back with a boarding house on its second floor. Many considered it as a heritage site, where you can still glimpse how the residents built their houses to accommodate their lifestyle back in the days. It’s a perfect place to stretch those legs after a quick trip with the ferry as its located next to the ferry landing. 

Sons of Norway Helgeland Lodge 

Located at 444 State Route 4, this lodge is another great place to visit in Puget Island. As Norwegians were the first settlers in the island, they built the place as their center to meet and mingle with each other, with a lot of throws with their cultural dance. When the early settlers finally had their own lives, they formed the Sons of Norway Helgeland Lodge where they built the Norse Hall in 1937. Up till now, they celebrate festivities here especially their Scandinavian events. The lodge also serves as a popular venue for weddings, reunions, and other family gatherings. 

Two Islands Farm Market 

But before leaving the island don’t forget to drop by at their Two Islands Farm Market. It’s a great way to know more about the locals and their produce. Founded in 2006, this farmer’s market provided locals a way to expand and cater their best local produce. Who knows you might find one of a kind souvenir back home.