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Santa Monica Daycations

A great thing about living in Southern California is you don’t have to travel far to at least FEEL like you are on vacation, even if it’s only for a few hours.

Palisades Park Santa Monica

Palisades Park is a beautiful place to talk or relax, taking in gorgeous views of the Santa Monica Bay.

Santa Monica is a favorite quick getaway for me.   Walking in Palisades Park with it’s beautiful green grass, palm trees and well-manicured rose garden is a gorgeous sight to take in plus it’s atop a bluff that overlooks the beautiful Santa Monica coastline.  And, with temperatures rarely getting out of the 70s, Santa Monica comfortable place to relax and cool off year-round.

From Palisades Park, you can see the Santa Monica Pier with its solar powered Ferris wheel.  This is the spot where a Los Angeles police detective recently broke the Guinness World Record for the longest Ferris Wheel ride (he went round and round for 25.5 hours!  At least he had a close up ocean view from the pier).

Related: Carnival By the Sea Pacific Park, Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, Guinness World Record Location

From Palisades Park, you can see the Santa Monica Pier, where a man recently broke the record for longest Ferris wheel ride.

The Third Street Promenade is only two short blocks away.  There are several blocks of unique of boutiques and restaurants for browsing, shopping and dining, including a Barnes & Noble book store.  Cupcake lovers will want to visit Yummy Cupcakes, one of my guilty pleasures :), across the street from the Promenade on Wilshire at Third Street.

Also See: Parking in Santa Monica

If you’re looking for a more car-accessible shopping district, Montana Avenue is only a short drive away (Montana Avenue crosses Ocean at Palisades Park).  So, hop in your car or catch the Big Blue Bus up Montana to 14th Street.  Coffee & tea lovers have their choice of  Starbucks, Peets or  Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf all within two blocks.  Pick up some groceries or takeout deli dishes at Whole Foods Market.  Blue Plate offers fresh & healthy comfort food in a casual atmosphere. For something a little more upscale, try R+D Kitchen.  For a little pampering at a bargain price, drop by Montana Nails for a pedicure.

Pacific Coast Highway is just down the California Incline from Santa Monica’s Palisades Park.

Related:  Malibu Drive: PCH Oxnard – Santa Monica

So, hit the road to celebrate summer.  And check in often, Traffic411 is updated regularly with all kinds of vacation and staycation ideas to inspire you to hit the road to explore the beauty of Southern California.  Be sure to bookmark these real time traffic maps, and check in from your smartphone.  Traffic411′s real time traffic maps will route you around traffic tie ups in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and Ventura County 24/7.

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Cliffside Respite: Wayfarers Chapel

The architecture of Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes showcases the church's gorgeous cliffside setting (Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)

You might feel as if you are in Big Sur along the Northern California coast when you visit Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes. The glass church perched atop a seaside cliff is surrounded by tall pine trees and other trees, lush plants and … [Continue reading]

Get High on New Las Vegas Ride

TheHigh Roller in Las Vegas is the world's tallest observation wheel, located on The LINQ, a new entertainment & dining arcade. (Photo Peggy Miles/Traffic411)

Now anyone can be a high roller in Las Vegas. Just hop aboard Sin City's newest tourist attraction, the High Roller.  The High Roller is the world's tallest observation wheel (550 feet tall). It  opened this Spring (2014) near the Flamingo Hilton, … [Continue reading]

Tours: Wild Ways to See Santa Barbara

Guests on the Santa Barbara Land Shark tour get to see the city by land and by sea without leaving the amphibious bus. Here's a shot of Stearn's Wharf.

Spending spring break or summer vacation in Santa Barbara? There are some adventurous city tours you wouldn't expect to find in this upscale stretch of Pacific coastline nicknamed the 'American Riviera.' Santa Barbara Land Shark You'll see … [Continue reading]

So Cal Resortist: Live like a Billionaire

Hit the beach at Terranea Resort in Los Angeles.  You don't need to be a guest to explore the grounds at this seaside luxury resort. There are also plenty of trails in the area for hikers to explore (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)

The Terranea Resort and Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes sit atop gorgeous stretch of cliffside coastline. These world-class properties are not far from the bustling Port of Los Angeles but, when you're there, you'll feel like you're … [Continue reading]

Santa Barbara Storm Damage

Big waves sent sailboats crashing onto East Beach in Santa Barbara, Sunday March 2, 2014. (Photo Traffic411)

Southern California got a burst of wintery weather over the weekend.  The biggest storm in years brought heavy rain and thunderstorms, delivering a blow that ripped boats from their moorings, sending them crashing into piers or onto beaches. Two … [Continue reading]

Hollywood Jam

Getting around Hollywood this weekend will be a challenge with preparations underway for the 86th Academy Awards (Photo: Funk Brothers Hollywood Star Ceremony Lisa Osborne/Traffic411)

With preparations underway for Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony, getting around Hollywood is going to be a pain. Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange has been closed all week, as the Dolby Theater (former Kodak Theater) gets ready for … [Continue reading]

L.A.’s Spiritual Oasis

The Self Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades is a relaxing place to visit, walk, or sit in quiet meditation. (Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)

A short walk from the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, you'll find the peaceful grounds of the Self Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades. An oasis in the city, this is a beautiful place to come to relax and unwind. Take a leisurely walk … [Continue reading]

Seal Cub Viewing

Carp Seals 1_Traffic411_Pfeiffer

Whale watching is a popular activity this time of year, but you never know if or when you'll spot the migrating animals along the California coast.  If you want a sure bet for viewing sea mammals, there are beaches along the Central California coast … [Continue reading]

Mission Inn Riverside: Land of 4 Million Lights

The annual "Festival of Lights" at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside is a holiday tradition for many people. The inn is decked with more than 4 million colorful lights!

Looking for a fun & festive place to bring the family over the holidays? Visit the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in downtown Riverside. This time of year the historic inn, which resembles a Medieval castle, is decked out with an array of holiday … [Continue reading]