Tag Archives: California

WinterFest At California’s Great America Opens November 24

The Bay Area’s newest and most immersive holiday tradition, WinterFest, opens at California’s Great America on Friday, November 24 and will entertain guests on select dates through December 30. During WinterFest, Great America will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland where guests can experience unique new features, as well as fan favorites such as skating in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, admiring magnificent displays of lights and décor, viewing spectacular live holiday shows, experiencing 25 rides and attractions, seeing Santa’s workshop and Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and enjoying scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations.

This unmatched event will feature more than 7 million LED lights, creating such a vibrant experience that it will be visible from the International Space Station, more than 270 miles away. The winter scene will be dominated by one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights accompanied by giant toy soldiers greeting guests. The six-week WinterFest celebration will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with daily operations December 19-23 and 26-30 from 5pm-10pm (November 26 and December 17 from 6:30pm-10:30pm)

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Traffic Switching Patterns in Effect on I-5 in Los Angeles

The California Department of Transportation reports the following traffic advisory:

Southbound I-5 Buena Vista Street On-Ramp Closure: The Southbound Buena Vista Street on-ramp will be closed on Friday, October 20 at 9:00 p.m. through Monday, October 23 at 6:00 a.m. A detour will be posted.

Front Street Long-Term Closure: Front Street between the Metrolink station (south of the Magnolia Boulevard Bridge) and Burbank Boulevard will be a northbound-only one-way street. For access to the Metrolink station from northbound I-5 use the Olive Avenue exit to 1st Street and cross under the freeway on Verdugo Avenue, and southbound I-5, use the Verdugo Avenue off-ramp exit.

Seismic retrofitting: Beginning in November 2017, crews will start seismic retrofit work on the I-5 bridge columns at Buena Vista Street and Winona Avenue. This work is necessary to ensure that the bridge’s existing columns are more resistant to seismic activity. Expect delays on Buena Vista Street, Winona Avenue, and the I-5 northbound and southbound off-ramps. Additional information will be provided

Be alert as you drive and pay attention to the road.


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I-5 and I-10 Connectors in L.A. to Close for ‘Swarm’ Operation

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) plans to close the Westbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) connector to Southbound I-5, and the Southbound I-5 connector to Eastbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) from 4 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, near downtown Los Angeles.

The eight-hour closure will enable Caltrans to conduct a “swarm” maintenance operation involving a wide variety of maintenance tasks. Multiple Caltrans crews assisted by dozens of community service workers will carry out the diverse maintenance duties simultaneously.

For safety, Caltrans will close the following connectors and ramps during the swarm operation:

Connectors:

  • Southbound I-5 connector to Eastbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway)
  • Westbound I-10 (San Bernardino Freeway) connector to Southbound I-5

Ramps:

  • Westbound I-10 State Street off ramp
  • Mission Road on ramp to Southbound I-5
  • Mission Road on ramp to Eastbound I-10
  • Cesar E. Chavez Avenue on ramp to Southbound I-5

Mainline freeway lanes will remain open during the swarm operation.

Caltrans anticipates 100 or more workers will repair pot holes, sweep the roadway, remove litter and graffiti, replace signs, trim trees, clear weeds, repair guardrail and irrigation, re-stripe the
roadway, re-lamp overhead lights, install new ramp meters, inspect and clean drains and culverts, and complete other maintenance needs.

Caltrans reminds drivers to “Be Work Zone Alert” and “Slow for the Cone Zone.”


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California’s Great America To Host Fireworks July 1-4

California’s Great America will celebrate the July 4th holiday weekend with fireworks set to patriotic music each night from July 1-4. Additionally, current and past military men and women will be honored with free park admission (with valid ID) July 1-4 and can bring up to 6 guests for just $22.99 each.

“Great America is historically one of the Bay Area’s best locations for July 4th fireworks, and we’re excited to deliver them each night for the extended weekend,” said California’s Great America Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg. “We’re proud to again provide free admission for all U.S. military members who have served our county and hope they can enjoy a visit to the park during the July 4th weekend.”


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On July 4th, Coca-Cola will create an in-park destination near Food Festival with tasting samples of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero, a giant interactive inflatable, a photo booth and a prize wheel.

Great America’s summer season is underway with 10am-10pm operating hours, the new Patriot coaster experience, and family rides, Boomerang Bay water park and an exciting show lineup, including Vertical Impact, a high-flying acrobatics stunt show.


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The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has just named the Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017 – naming the best parks in the U.S., and sharing the year’s newest attractions and highlights for every age group.

“Amusement parks are one of the most quintessential summertime activities for families,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. “But for those traveling with family members of various ages – including kids-at-heart – finding a park that caters to thrill-seekers and the younger set isn’t always so easy. This list includes parks that successfully cater to both, and those that also have exciting new features for the 2017 season.”

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California I-5 Construction Advisory

The California Department of Transportation reports the following I-5 construction work, from SR-134 to Magnolia Boulevard in the Los Angeles area. Work will occur during daytime hours unless otherwise noted.

  • Buena Vista/Winona Undercrossing: Crews are building concrete walls between abutments (the end of the bridge).
  • Northbound San Fernando Boulevard between Empire Avenue and Northbound I-5 on-ramp: Crews are installing temporary barrier and clearing slopes.
  • Victory Place Separation: Crews are backfilling abutment walls, removing shoring, and constructing the bridge’s soffit and stem walls.
  • Northbound I-5 between Buena Vista Street and Cohasset Street: Crews are constructing retaining walls and removing trees and other vegetation along San Fernando Boulevard.
  • Southbound I-5 at Buena Vista Street: Crews are constructing approach slabs and concrete barrier.
  • Southbound I-5 between Buena Vista Street and Burbank Boulevard: Crews are placing lean concrete base and pavement.

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Why Wait for the Weekend to Visit a Quaint Fishing Village?

The quaint seaside town of Morro Bay, California invites travelers to enjoy the many benefits of visiting mid-week this May and June! Avoid the crowds, enjoy the food and wine in over 80 restaurants and take your time shopping at all the unique boutiques. Life in this small beach town is reminiscent of how California beach towns used to be: charming, relaxed, fun, quirky, yet filled with surfing, sailing, fishing, golfing, and kayaking. There’s so much to see and do in this bustling seaside village including ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, whale watching, biking, bird watching, or kite flying. Morro Bay offers activities for all ages to enjoy in an unspoiled slice of California located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County.


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“We’re encouraging guests to visit Morro Bay mid-week in May and June and pack in boatloads of adventure,” explains Jennifer Little, Tourism Manager for Discover Morro Bay. “Not only will visitors appreciate the low room rates but they will also avoid the crowds and beat the traffic at the same time. It’s a real Win/Win/Win!”

There’s Something For Everyone in Morro Bay

A visit to Morro Bay means tons of family fun. Watch the kids light up at the idea of kayaking with sea otters, bicycling out to iconic Morro Rock, exploring the Morro Bay Natural History Museum or Skateboard Museum, surfing, paddle boarding, whale watching, kite flying and tide pooling. Girl power is alive and well in Morro Bay, the ideal location for a best friend’s getaway along California’s Central Coast. The variety of lodging options in Morro Bay offers BFFs the opportunity to stay in beach front vacation rentals, luxurious inns, leading brand hotels, reliable budget or specialty accommodations right on the harbor. Whether your taste for adventure runs extreme or serene, guys will find lots of healthy activities in Morro Bay. There are lots of events in town for guy pals to watch together or, plan your mancation around the many running, biking and triathlete competitions where guys can give it everything they’ve got. Surrounding farms and vineyards yield a bounty of outstanding organic produce, fresh seafood and award-wining local wines served with flair at Morro Bay’s renowned restaurants, wine bars and craft breweries.

For more information visit www.morrobay.org


On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

Celebrate This Summer Along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route

Celebrate a healthy and vibrant lifestyle at music, food, wine, and outdoor events this summer along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route. Featuring 10 artisan towns within 101 miles of famous Highway 1 in Coastal San Luis Obispo County, the Highway 1 Discovery Route offers everything you need to have a memorable summer vacation especially if you like community events, spectacular sunsets or just plain relaxing. We are happy to report the Big Sur mudslide did not affect this breathtaking stretch of Highway 1 and we are open for business all along Highway 1 from Ragged Point and San Simeon to Oceano and Nipomo.

While you’re thinking about events along the Central Coast, don’t forget about the annual Coastal Discovery & Stewardship Celebration that takes place during the winter months and the on-going Stewardship Activities offered all year long where you can make a difference while on vacation. Whatever it is you’re looking for, we think you’ll find plenty of it along the Highway 1 Discovery Route, especially this summer. Here’s a sample:

Arroyo Grande Valley:

Ragged Point

Edna Valley:

Avila Beach:

Los Osos/Baywood Park:

Cambria:

Cayucos:

Nipomo:

Oceano:

Arroyo Grande Valley:

 


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Road Trip: The Best of California’s Highway 1

Find nearly 2,000 acres of vineyards in Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande wine regions located on the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route, along with old historic California townsites, outdoor adventure, and well, great wine! Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys offer the perfect growing climate for delicate grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – warm sunny days that turn into cool coastal nights. Weather that is also perfect for wine tasting adventures and outdoor play!

Edna Valley where cool ocean breezes and rich soil create ideal conditions for growing world-class grapes is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located just a dozen miles from Arroyo Grande Valley in San Luis Obispo County. Surrounded by Tuscan-style countryside, guests can sample award-winning wines in more than 27 tasting rooms and attend annual wine tasting events like the Chardonnay Symposium and Harvest on the Coast.


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Take a tour of the historic Old Edna Townsite as part of the Highway 1 Discovery Route Stewardship Travel Program. Founded in the 1840s, Old Edna was once a bustling center for farming and ranching families and today is host to a wine tasting room and gourmet deli nestled within 100 year-old historic buildings. Get inspired for your visit by watching this video.

The Arroyo Grande Valley is the perfect climate to take long bike rides and enjoy wine tasting among rolling hills. Just a short distance away is the Village of Arroyo Grande full of shopping, great places to eat, and CA’s only swinging bridge.


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The Lopez Lake Recreation Area is minutes from the tasting rooms of this region and offers a watery playground with 22 miles of shoreline ideal for boating, fishing, sailing, hiking and mountain biking. This episode of On the Road with Jo highlights the region and will inspire you to visit the magnificent Arroyo Grande Valley.

Click HERE for information on all the must-see spots and must-do activities in Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley and be sure to check the Arroyo Grande Valley Visitor Guide and Edna Valley Visitor Guide.


On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

It’s the Summer of Love – Redux! June 10 – 18 San Mateo County Fair

50 years ago, the “Summer of Love” hit the Bay Area. A half century later, San Mateo is still feeling groovy with one of the largest and most family-friendly events on the West Coast, The San Mateo County Fair (www.sanmateocountyfair.com). Over nine days of diverse entertainment, June 10 – 18, “Tradition Meets Innovation” in the uniquely California experience that matches the enthusiastic diversity of the region. Now through June 1, Pre-Sale Discounted All-Season-Passes are available online: $22 adult; $ 18 junior and senior. The purchase a season pass includes all nine days of the Fair and all concerts, exhibits and attractions.

“We were hip before there were hippies,” quipped Dana Stoehr, CEO of the San Mateo County Events Center and Fair, “Every year is the summer of love at the San Mateo County Fair and there’s something to love for everyone. Whether you’re looking for traditional food, fun and entertainment, or the hottest musical acts around, we’ve got a little something for everyone, and every generation.”

As always, the San Mateo County Fair delivers a rocking week of musical quality and diversity: War (June 10); Summer of Love – Live! (June 11); The Family Stone & the Oakland Symphony (June 12); Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular (June 13); Tower of Power (June 14 & 15); The Ohio Players (June 16); Smash Mouth (June 17); and, of course, the traditional closing-out-of-the Fair Latin Music focused Día De La Feria (June 18).

However, it’s not only celebrity musicians who will come out to shine at the San Mateo County Fair.


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“Have you ever dreamed of performing live on stage? This 2017 Fair could be your big break and a great way to get involved in your community,” notes Kaitlyn Bailey-Findley, whose efforts last year socializing the Fair led to a marked increase in attention from young fairgoers. “Join our community stage and become a local celebrity. All singers, musicians, dancers, or performing arts enthusiasts are encouraged to register online to participate. And once you’re onstage, use that hashtag to build your personal fan base: #SMCF2017.”

In addition to the previously mentioned Free Concerts, there will be plenty — traditional and innovative — about which to tweet, including but not limited to the following:

  • New this year is the Rainforest Exhibit in Sequoia Hall recreating a tropical paradise to walk through and at which to marvel. The Rainforest Adventure exhibit will feature mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates totaling more than 35 species including a spider monkey, sloth, binturong, forest hawk, pythons, huge tarantulas, and exotic frogs. Exhibit will also have two shows daily.
  • Returning favorites include Butterfly Adventures, where kids can feed butterflies, Captain Jack Spareribs, a fun filled pirate adventure, and of course, Dennis Forel at the Voice of the Fair.
    Fair Food – Alligator on a Stick, Fried Kool Aid, and The Healthy Food Fare – Our Healthy Food Fare initiative is back with healthy choices being provided by many Fair vendors. But don’t worry: your Fair favorites will still be available from barbeque to funnel cake.
  • Science, Technology, DIY Science Exhibits are back – Young people get hands on experience with innovative new concepts and devices such as 3-D printers. See how much fun a Do-It-Yourself environment can be for kids! In addition, livestock shows, painting, fine art, literary arts, cooking and healthy eating are just part of the fun.
  • Free Grounds Acts – Fairgoers will see traditional pony rides, costumed “Hippy and Summer of Love” characters strolling throughout the grounds, and much more. After a popular debut last year, hypnotist Kellie Karl-Hypnotist returns joined by Celebrity Chef David George Gordon, the Great American Petting Zoo and AgVenture, San Francisco street performers and The Great American Pig Race.
  • Carnival Rides including The Freak Out is Back! The Fair introduced this new carnival ride in 2014. It flies passengers 40 feet into the air. The Freak Out joins Fair favorites like the Ferris Wheel, Zillerator and roller coasters

Book Now! Find Your Perfect Room in San Mateo!


The San Mateo County Fair — “Where Tradition Meets Innovation” — is The Peninsula’s premier, community event for family fun and entertainment: June 10 – 18, 2017. Visit sanmateocountyfair.com often for regular updates, contest rules, schedules, promotions, and information.


On the road? Why not take us with you. Our websites are mobile-friendly! Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!