Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Rife

In California, there are so many fun things to see and do. The state is “Rife” with activities. Ever try to find an “R” word that means more?

With only 26 days to share all that California has to offer, so many wonderful places are overlooked. Here are my top 10 places not to be missed. 

Aquarium of the Pacific – The 4th largest Aquarium in the United States. Located in downtown Long Beach, this is one of our most favorite places to go. We can spend hours there just watching the sharks and petting the sting rays but the exhibits change so there is always something new to see. Don’t go this weekend. The Long Beach Grand Prix is running and parking will be awful.

Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign – Yes, I know that they are two separate things but to get them into a list of 10, I combined them. The Hollywood Sign is actually on the property of the Griffith Observatory so it counts as one. Plan to spend a lot of time here. This is a wonderful place for kids who will be entertained by all the displays to touch.  

Huntington Library and Gardens – As a child, this was a magical place. There are gardens galore to explore, the main library building that has a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, and Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy is in art museum. Located in San Marino, it is relatively close to Pasadena

Los Angles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden – The twelve movies with Tarzan the Ape Man were filed here from 1932 to 1948, staring Johnny Weissmuller. Fantasy Island, the TV series was also filmed here and when my kids were small, the airplane was still next to the pond. The Arboretum is in Arcadia, CA, just east of Pasadena on Interstate 210.  

Cable Car Museum – San Francisco has many interesting places to go and things to see. However, train and trolley fans (me) love places like the Cable Car Museum. This is the place to see how the trolley’s are turned and set on their paths. They also shared photos and history of the trolley system. Well worth a stop.

Golden Gate Park – This is an enormous park with literally something for everyone. Even if you don’t have time to view all the attractions, having lunch in the park or exploring the neighborhoods surrounding the park is a great way to spend a day.  
Me, Patty, Marlin, Stuart, and Gary in 1958 at the Golden Gate Park.

Lombard Street – I wish I had a recording of the day we took the truck and camper down this street. I screamed all the way, because I thought the truck was going to roll. What was interesting is that I was the driver. However, this street is not as scary as the one next to it. When I got to the top of the hill, I was afraid to drive down because I could not see the street beyond the front of the truck. Needless to say, I backed up and did not try it. 

The Presidio – This is so much more than the name says. Yes, it was a military base for more than 200 years. The history along is amazing. A portion of it sits under the Golden Gate Bridge and if you don’t plan on driving it, the views from there are remarkable.  It is now a National Park and has hiking trails as well.

Balboa Park – Like the Golden Gate Park, this San Diego Park is also a gigantic area full of many different venues. The San Diego Zoo is there and I highly recommend a visit. It’s my favorite zoo because they have Meerkats. The Polar Bears are good too. There are museums that cover many areas from astronomical to horticultural. It’s a superb place to picnic or listen to the organ music from the band shell.

California State Railroad Museum – I love trains and expected to see some in this museum but I was totally blown away by this place. I am not kidding when I say that it is incredible from the first display you walk into to the swaying of the trains on the tracks in another exhibit. They have dishes from days gone by that show what each railroad used in their dining cars and I remember some of them. The California State Railroad Museum is in Old Sacramento. Take the time to see the town. Well worth a visit.    


  1. You are doing a phenomenal job highlighting California!

    My mind is "rife" with wonderful memories of growing up in California. I still miss it every day!

  2. I'm moving to California in a little over a week, so I look forward to checking out some of the places on your list! Cheers from the A to Z Challenge.

  3. Thanks Ann, this isn't is really helpful! We are going to explore CA over the next 3 days and are deciding where to go still. We have our own list already but might add more to it. Very useful to know about the Grand Prix too!

  4. I'm reading your A to Z backwards and loving it; some very interesting posts here and great pics. Looking forward now to exploring more of your blog over the next few days.

  5. I apologise - I only went to one of your top 10 when I was in California :( I suppose you now have to guess which one...
    Happy A to Z-ing!

    Jemima at Jemima's blog

  6. I've been to quite a few of these and you're right! They are wonderful places to see and explore! Oh I'm so glad you took the time to write a list like this. California is an amazing place; there's so much to see and do there!


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