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OC Side Trip: Balboa Island

Gingerbread House sits on a private dock on Balboa Island, this Orange County jewel is decked out for the holidays (Photo Ken Pfeiffer Photography)

Gingerbread House sits on a private dock on Balboa Island, this Orange County jewel is decked out for the holidays (Photo Ken Pfeiffer Photography)

If you find yourself heading to, or passing through, Orange County during your Southern California holiday travels, Consider a stop at Balboa Island.

Whether you have an hour or a day, this quaint seaside community offers comfortable weather, gorgeous views and festive decorations this time of year. This is a great pit stop if you are on a Southern California road trip and need to stretch you legs or grab a snack or bite to eat.

Rows & rows of one and two story beach houses stand shoulder-to-shoulder along narrow streets on the island, surrounded by a waterfront sidewalk along the Island’s perimeter. Park your car on any side street, and you can walk the circular path and easily return to your vehicle once you’ve had enough exercise.

Related photos & story : Balboa Island, CA USA

Along your holiday stroll, you’ll see homes and docks decorated with gingerbread men, Christmas Trees and other holiday decor.

gingerbread men, gingerbread house and a Christmas tree decorate a dock on Balboa Island, Newport Beach, CA

Waterfront homes & docks on Balboa Island in Newport Beach are decked out for the Christmas holidays (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer Photography)

Year round, keep an eye out for the Teddy Bear House, a home jam-packed with stuffed bears of all sizes. There’s also a tall Statue of Liberty perched on a dock, near an American Flag blowing in the breeze.  You’ll see boats and yachts of all sizes, paddle boarders and a ferry shuttling cars, cyclists and pedestrians to the carnival across the waterway on Balboa Peninsula.

Lady Liberty stands proudly on this Balboa Island private dock year-round. Just one of the sights to see as you stroll around the Island (Photo Ken Pfeiffer Photography)

Lady Liberty stands proudly on this Balboa Island private dock year-round. Just one of the sights to see as you stroll around the Island (Photo Ken Pfeiffer Photography)

Balboa Island gets decked out for the holidays, with Christmas wreaths and decorations lining the bridge onto the Island and its main street (Park Avenue). I love being here around the Fourth of July, too, when the red, white and blue ribbons and decorations are on display.

My dad loved being at the beach and Balboa Island was one of his favorite places.  One of the last walks we took together was on Balboa Island. He was using a walker and the smooth sidewalks and flat terrain made for an easy stroll.  Keep Balboa Island in mind if you are looking for a quick side stop on your Southern California vacation. Happy Holidays!


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2015 Holiday Boat Parade Guide

The Getty Yacht docks at Burton Chace Park, giving guests a front row spot to see the Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

The Getty Yacht docks at Burton Chace Park, giving guests a front row spot to see the Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

December is barely here, yet boaters in Santa Barbara and up and down the coast are already decking their bows with colorful Christmas lights! Attending a boat parade is a fun (and often free) way to celebrate the holidays in true California style.

Santa Barbara’s Parade of Lights takes place on Sunday, December 6th at 5:30 PM. Claim your spot somewhere between the City Pier and Stearn’s Wharf to see the colorful watercraft of all sizes glide along the water. Be sure to stay til the end for the fireworks show. And, get there early and head to the City Pier (near the Maritime Museum) to see revelers playing in tons of snow and enjoying other kid-friendly activities.

Just up the coast, Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo is holding its Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, December 5th at 6:30pm.

The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade is on Saturday, December 12th. I’ll be your host at Burton Chace Park, offering colorful commentary at the passing boats. It’s always fun and, if there’s a lull in the parade, we’ll recruit some kids to lead us in a round of Christmas Carols.

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'Santa's Helpers' assist boat parade announcers Lisa & Mickey Lazslo with holiday carol singalongs at Burton Chace Park, Marina del Rey.

‘Santa’s Helpers’ assist boat parade announcers Lisa & Mickey Lazslo with holiday carol singalongs at Burton Chace Park, Marina del Rey.

Colorful fireworks will light up the Marina del Rey harbor at 5:55 PM, and the parade starts at 6 PM. The theme this year is “Adventures on the Sea,” and “Brady Bunch” mom, Florence Henderson, will serve as grand marshal.  You should find free parking in the L.A. County lots (Burton Chace Park is located at the end of Mindanao in Marina del Rey).

Redondo Beach and the community of Naples are also holding their parades on December 12th. Redondo Beach’s parade isn’t as elaborate as Marina del Rey’s, but it will still be plenty of fun. If you are in the South Bay, Click here to check out some of the prime viewing spots. The Naples Holiday Boat Parade in Long Beach starts at 7pm, but nearby streets close at 5pm, so plan to arrive early.

Also Read: Santa Barbara’s “Merry” Season

Dana Point‘s parade expands to two weekends this year, Fri/Sat Dec 11, 12, 18 & 19th. And, the Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights and fireworks show takes place December 18-19th. Ventura Harbor Village is ground zero for all the Santa Fun.

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The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is the grand daddy of Southern California boat parades, running for five nights, December 16-20th. Calling itself ‘the nation’s longest running lighted boat parade,’ some boaters spend $50,000 decorating their yachts and watercraft, vying for bragging rights and some wonderful prizes.  This parade has been going on for more than 100 years and the harbor is expected to be wall-to-wall boats again this year. I don’t know how the captains manage to keep from bumping into each other!

If you plan ahead, you might still be able to get a reservation at a waterside restaurant with a view. But, it can be just as much fun to watch the parade outdoors, it’s free and what a fun family Christmas activity!

Traffic411 Insider’s Tip: Dress warmly – it might feel cooler than the temperature outside sitting waterside to view the parade.

Enjoy this photo gallery of the 2013 Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, photos by Ken Pfeiffer Photography

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade 2013

It's a holiday tradition that I've had the honor of hosting for more than a decade, the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. For the first time, my co-host Mickey Czegledy and I broadcast from Fisherman's Village. Thanks to Ken Pfeiffer for sharing these beautiful photos.

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Colorful boats sparkle in the harbor next to Fisherman's Village, all decked out for the 51st Annual Holiday Boat Parade. (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Lisa Osborne & Mickey Czegledy announcing the boats in the 51st Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. This is the first year we were at Fisherman's Village. Normally we announce the parade from Burton Chace Park. (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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The Killer Shrimp (restaurant) boat (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Santa Monica Wind Jammers Yacht Club is usually a big winner at the parade. (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Our friend Donna Leeds joins me and Mickey at the VIP party at Del Rey Yacht Club. It was fun to see this year's grand marshals, L.A. Lakers president Jeannie Buss and NBA Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson.
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That's a Wrap!! Thanks for the property managers at Fisherman's Village for hosting us while we announced the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. (l-r Debbie Talbot with LA County Beaches & Harbors, Lisa Osborne, Mickey Czegledy, former MDR Holiday Boat Parade president Diane Barretti (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

 

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Visit Santa Barbara: Refugio State Beach reopens

Refugio State Beach, damaged by an oil spill, is known for its beautiful clear waters and diverse sea life. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Refugio State Beach, damaged by an oil spill, is known for its beautiful clear waters and diverse sea life. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

The last remaining State Beach closed since a pipeline ruptured in May, sending 100,000+ gallons of oil gushing onto the shore and into the ocean, is now open.  While campers and beach goers are allowed to return, news of the spill has caused a lot of would-be visitors to Santa Barbara to change their travel plans.

Refugio State Beach is located along the Gaviota Coast, a pristine stretch of coastline known for its clean waters and diverse sea life. The spill site is several miles west (north) of the city of Santa Barbara. Still, as soon as news of the spill splashed across newspaper & website headlines, the city’s billion-dollar a year tourism industry took a hit.

Tajiguas Beach, looking toward Refugio State Beach, pre-spill.  Located along the Gaviota Coast, near Santa Barbara, it's known as the "Galapagos of the North." (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Tajiguas Beach, looking toward Refugio State Beach, pre-spill. Located along the Gaviota Coast, near Santa Barbara, it’s known as the “Galapagos of the North.” (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

It’s not just the sea sport industries such as kayak and stand up paddle board operators who have noticed a drop off in customers. One winemaker with a tasting room downtown said business remained down by 50% two months after the spill.

Also read:  Gaviota Coast, Santa Barbara

Every year, Santa Barbara attracts visitors from around the world. Tourism is the city’s biggest industry. So, let’s let everyone know that Santa Barbara is as beautiful as ever – there’s no need to cancel or change plans to visit.

Tajiguas Beach was among the beaches along the Gaviota Coast impacted by a 100,000+ gallon oil spill in May 2015 (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Tajiguas Beach was among the beaches along the Gaviota Coast impacted by a 100,000+ gallon oil spill in May 2015 (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

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Jalama Beach: Off the Beaten Path

Jalama Beach in Lompoc is one of Southern California's hidden gems. Miles of uncrowded pristine coastline. (photo by Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Jalama Beach in Lompoc is one of Southern California’s hidden gems. Miles of uncrowded pristine coastline. (photo by Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Nestled in a cove at the southern end of Vandenberg Air Force Base, just above Point Conception, is a gem of a beach and camping site, Jalama Beach!

My boyfriend and I visited Jalama (pronounced ‘huh-LAH-muh’) in an effort to beat a recent early Fall heatwave scorching Southern California. While it was close to 100 degrees in Santa Barbara (seriously!) Jalama Beach was a relatively cooler 81 degrees and, with the breeze and the surf, the weather was perfect.

Feeling ambitious? You can walk to Point Conception from Jalama Beach at low tide (photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

Feeling ambitious? You can walk to Point Conception from Jalama Beach at low tide (photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

We walked along the shore toward Point Conception for about an hour. The sand is fine and beachcombers can find plenty of treasures, shells and sea rocks tumbled smooth and pristine. Surfers were catching some nice sized waves while a few sun worshippers and families with small children lounged on the beach.

If you’re ambitious, at low tide you can walk all the way to Point Conception. The beach is not crowded at all, so it would be a peaceful stroll.

Getting to Jalama Beach takes some effort (for details click here).  It’s located off Highway 1 near Lompoc, and a 14 mile drive along a single lane winding road. When we turned off of Highway 1 there was a sign that said the parking lot was full.  Since it was early afternoon, we took our chances and got a space ($10 admission to the campground). But beware, there is no parking allowed outside of the park, and fines are steep for violators.

Jalama Beach, Lompoc: Off the Beaten Path

Nestled in a cove between Point Conception and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Jalama Beach is a hidden gem of California's Central Coast (photos by Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

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Jalama Beach Campground (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Point Conception (photo by Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Point Conception (photo by Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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The winding road makes Jalama Beach a great destination for bikers.  It’s the favorite motorcycle run of one of my former colleagues.

Jalama Beach offers overnight camping and there are cabins to rent (probaby with a long waiting list).  The only place nearby to eat is at the store on the campground, which seemed to be serving up plenty of Jalama Burgers when we were there.

I’m not big on camping, but Jalama Beach is one place where I wouldn’t mind roughing it, at least for one night 🙂

Traffic411 Insider’s Tip:  Day trippers – arrive early morning or afternoon  in order to get a parking spot.  The only legal parking is inside the park.

Distance from LAX:  159 miles (63 miles from Santa Barbara)

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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)

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 colorful flowers while offering gorgeous views of the Los Angeles coastline with Catalina Island in the distance.

Designed to blend in with nature, the architecture of Wayfarers Chapel makes the most of this pristine setting.

The glass church is a popular wedding location, and it seems to be welcoming to everyone, although the ‘official’ religion that worships here is the Swedenborgian Church. According to it’s website, the Chapel also serves as a memorial to Emanuel Swedenborg, 18th century scientist, philosopher and theologian.

Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, Wayfarers Chapel (5755 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) is located across the road near the lavish Terranea Resort and Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles (see related Traffic411 post “So Cal Resortist“). Stop in for a quick visit to experience the serenity and peace of this very special place.

Wayfarers Chapel: Cliffside Retreat Rancho Palos Verdes

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The architecture of Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes showcases the church's gorgeous cliff side setting. You'll feel like you're in Big Sur when you walk the grounds of this Christian church, located near Terranea Resort and Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)
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The architecture of Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes showcases the church's gorgeous cliff side setting. You'll feel like you're in Big Sur when you walk the grounds of this Christian church, located near Terranea Resort and Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)
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The architecture of Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes showcases the church's gorgeous cliff side setting. You'll feel like you're in Big Sur when you walk the grounds of this Christian church, located near Terranea Resort and Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)
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The beach at Rancho Palos Verdes near Wayfarers Chapel. (Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)

Distance from LAX: 26 miles (35 minutes)

Traffic411 Insiders Tip:  While you’re here, explore the walking trails near Trump National Golf Club, experience the ‘California Casual’ vibe of the world-class Terranea Resort. The Port of Los Angeles and San Pedro lighthouses are also nearby.

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Tours: Wild Ways to See Santa Barbara

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.’

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.

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.

Santa Barbara Land Shark

You’ll see Santa Barbara by land and sea without leaving your seat when you hop on the Santa Barbara Land Shark.

Your friendly tour guide will keep you entertained with fascinating facts about Santa Barbara as you glide through city streets from the beach, to the historic courthouse, the zoo and other points of interest.

Then, you’ll zoom right into the water, as your amphibious tour bus becomes a boat.  I’m not a big fan of bus tours, but the seats are comfy on this tour and Holly,the tour guide, held my attention throughout the 90 minute tour. The Land Shark is a fun tour for both Santa Barbara locals and visitors.

hot rod limo

(Photo Santa Barbara Hot Rod Limo)

Santa Barbara Hot Rod Limo

If you are looking for a more intimate adventure and enjoy feeling the wind whipping through your hair, take ride on Santa Barbara’s Hot Rod Limo.

Jennifer and Phil who visited Santa Barbara enjoyed their wild ride aboard the bright yellow hot rod.

“We had a tour of SB on a “Hot Rod” this 8 seater open top east long yellow bar with red painted flames up the side with a big open engine..the woman driving was playing very loud music..was absolutely nuts!”

The driver’s personality adds to the attraction. “The driver, India, really made the trip what it was.  What a character…. she just keeps laughing. God, I thought, how fabulous is that and can I have what she’s on please.”

Now narrated, Hot Rod tour was not when Jennifer & Phil took the tour last year. But Jennifer said their tour guide offered interesting facts and tidbits as she zoomed around town. “We couldn’t even hear a word of the commentary she was giving, the couple in front of us passed the commentary back to us and we’d tell the couple behind us and so on.  It was (like a game of operator)…Mad! It all added to the fun…and..you got to know the other passengers quickly.”

(Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)

(Photo Traffic411/Ken Pfeiffer)

Santa Barbara Trolley Tour

If you’ re looking for something more mainstream, try the Santa Barbara Trolley Tour. You can see the city on board a classic trolley car.

All of these tours depart from the Stearns Wharf area. Check their websites for tour times.

Santa Barbara Tours

Spending spring break or summer vacation in Santa Barbara? There are some adventurous city tours you wouldn’t expect to find in this upscale seaside town dubbed the ‘American Riviera.’

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Tour guide Holly points out sights around Santa Barbara on the Land Shark tour. (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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The colorful Chromatic Arch is one of the sights you'll see when you take a Santa Barbara tour (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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Santa Barbara's Stearns Wharf and East Beach (popular with volley ball enthusiasts) are very close to the 101 Freeway (Photo Traffic411)
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You might see a kite surfer or a cruise ship moored off the coast when you tour Santa Barbara (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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Guests on board the Land Shark enjoy a bus and boat tour in one! (Photo Traffic411)
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Sunbathing seals are one sight you might see on the Santa Barbara Land Shark tour (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Santa Barbara Trolley Tour (Photo Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411).
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Zoom through the streets of Santa Barbara and see the hisoric Mission on a Hot Rod Limo tour (photo: Santa Barbara Hot Rod Limo)

Traffic411 Insider Tip: Bring along a light sweater.  Although it’s likely to be sunny, the air can feel cool, even in the summer.

Distance from LAX: 96 miles

 


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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)

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 a world away.

Terranea is a luxury oceanfront resort built on the property that was once Marineland (you’ll remember this if you grew up in Los Angeles!).  You don’t need to book a room to enjoy the property.  Visit for the day to explore the grounds, or enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch or happy hour at Nelson’s, an upscale sports bar with plenty of outdoor seating. You’ll feel like you’re in Hawaii, or on vacation.  For a more formal dining experience, check out the Sunday brunch at Terranea, it looks exquisite!

Terranea is a beautiful property with walking paths, a small private beach, and great photo ops. Parking is plentiful ($10-ish to valet or self park) and you can hop a ride on a golf cart to get to Nelson’s, or enjoy the walk.

Terranea Resort - Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles

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 it seems like they are a world away.

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A splashing fountain in the driveway of the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes welcomes guests to this world class luxuryresort. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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A rusted pipe along the Rancho Palos Verdes coast at the Terranea Resort. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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Explore the sandy beach, or kayak, at Terranea Resort in Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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Terranea Resort sits on the former site of Marineland, offering walking paths and gorgeous views of Rancho Palos Verdes, just north of the bustling Port of Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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There are plenty of great photo ops at Terranea Resort Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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Down the street from Terranea, the public park adjacent to Trump National Golf Club offers a large lawn and ocean views. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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The fountain on the course at Trump National Golf Club. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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The public park next to Trump National Golf Club offers picnic tables with an ocean view. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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The fountain outside the entrance to Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
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An elegant fireplace warms up the lobby of Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)

Just down the street from Terranea is Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles. You don’t need to be a golfer to enjoy yourself here. In order to build this luxury golf resort, Mr. Trump had to provide beach access and a public park, so you’ll find walking paths and trails that lead on a bluff along the coast. There’s (free) parking in the beach access lot, which is an easy walk to the Trump property. Grab a burger or snack at the golf canteen at Trump or bring your own food and enjoy dining on a picnic table with a million dollar view!

The more adventurous hiker will enjoy exploring the hiking trails on both sides of the street along this resort area of Rancho Palos Verdes. There is a lot to see, and plenty of reasons to return.  Terranea and Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles are easy half day trips for cruise ship passengers passing through the Port of Los Angeles.

Traffic411 Insider Tip: You can easily visit both of these places in a day. Dine al fresco at Nelson’s at Terranea, or bring your own lunch to enjoy on a cliffside picnic table at the public park next to Trump National Golf Club.

Distance from LAX: 18 miles


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Cruise ship passengers at the Port of Los Angeles can easily explore Terranea Resort or Trump National Golf Club are an easy 25 minute drive from the Port of Los Angeles.


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Santa Barbara Storm Damage

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

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 Santa Barbara restaurants were seriously damaged.  Meals were interrupted when a giant wave crashed through a window at Moby Dick restaurant on Santa Barbara’s Stearn’s Wharf (watch the video below!).

 

 

The storm-fueled waves broke through tall sand berms, pushing waves several hundred feet onto beaches. Big clumps of seaweed were scattered across the volleyball courts on East Beach (Santa Barbara).

A few miles up the coast in Goleta, the manager of the Beachside Bar-Cafe was sucked out to sea when a rogue wave crashed onto the patio of the pierside restaurant. Fortunately the man got stuck under the pier and was able to get back to shore safely.  (Click here to see video of the wild weather and storm damage that shut down Goleta Beach and damaged the Beachside Bar-Cafe).

In Carpinteria, seawater and debris flowed all the way up to railroad tracks along Santa Claus Lane, sending crews out on Sunday to clear and inspect the tracks for safety.

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So Cal Parade of Lights

Celebrate the holidays California style at one of the many boat parades, from Newport Beach to Santa Barbara (Photo Traffic411).

Celebrate the holidays California style at one of the many boat parades, from Newport Beach to Santa Barbara (Photo Traffic411).

Celebrate the holidays California-style at one of the many colorful boat parades lighting up local harbors up and down the coast.  For more than 100 years, boaters have been decking their hulls (and bows and sterns) with colorful lights and fanciful decorations to dazzle viewers.  Spectators can enjoy the parade from the shore, a boat or inside one of the many bars or restaurants along the parade route.

So, bundle up and head for the coast as boaters compete for prizes and bragging rights. Whether you enjoy the parade from a harbor restaurant, on the shore or on a boat, bundle up and take in this Southern California holiday tradition.

  • Sunday, December 9th Santa Barbara Christmas Boat Parade: City Pier transforms into Santa’s Village winter wonderland. The Jolly Old Guy will feel right at home, he’s bringing 10 tons of snow for both the naughty and nice kids to enjoy. The parade begins at 5:30pm, followed by a fireworks display. This year’s theme is “Starry, Starry Night,” and with cold temperatures in So Cal, you should be able to see plenty of stars in the sky as well.
  • December 14th Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade: A fireworks display at 5:55pm kicks off this parade of lights. I am the ‘play by play’ announcer at this parade, announcing this year from Fisherman’s Village. This year’s theme is “Holiday Magic.”  L.A. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and NBA coach Phil Jackson are this year’s grand marshals.

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade 2013

It's a holiday tradition that I've had the honor of hosting for more than a decade, the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. For the first time, my co-host Mickey Czegledy and I broadcast from Fisherman's Village. Thanks to Ken Pfeiffer for sharing these beautiful photos.

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Colorful boats sparkle in the harbor next to Fisherman's Village, all decked out for the 51st Annual Holiday Boat Parade. (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Lisa Osborne & Mickey Czegledy announcing the boats in the 51st Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. This is the first year we were at Fisherman's Village. Normally we announce the parade from Burton Chace Park. (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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The Killer Shrimp (restaurant) boat (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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(Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Santa Monica Wind Jammers Yacht Club is usually a big winner at the parade. (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)
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Our friend Donna Leeds joins me and Mickey at the VIP party at Del Rey Yacht Club. It was fun to see this year's grand marshals, L.A. Lakers president Jeannie Buss and NBA Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson.
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That's a Wrap!! Thanks for the property managers at Fisherman's Village for hosting us while we announced the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. (l-r Debbie Talbot with LA County Beaches & Harbors, Lisa Osborne, Mickey Czegledy, former MDR Holiday Boat Parade president Diane Barretti (Photo: Ken Pfeiffer/Traffic411)

  • December 14th Channel Islands Harbor (Ventura County): Snow and an appearance by Mr & Mrs Santa Claus are part of a day of fun that starts at noon. The “Jingle Bell Rock” themed parade lights up the harbor at 7pm.
  • December 20-21st: Ventura Harbor’s parade lights up the harbor for two nights and features a fireworks display. This year’s theme is “Seaside Tinsel Town.”
  • December 18-22  Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree: In it’s 105th year, this parade is the granddaddy of them all, claiming it attracts more than 1 million viewers. Some boaters in this parade spend $70,000 or more (seriously!) decking their hulls for this five night extravaganza. I’ve been on the water during this parade, and the harbor is wall to wall boats of all sizes, you might even see a daring Santa or two on a stand up paddleboard! Check out these photos of winners from last year’s event!

 Traffic411 Insider Tip:  Dress warmly, in layers.  Even if temperatures don’t seem too cold, sitting along the water can feel cold and damp. If you are sensitive to cold, find a place indoors to view the parade (dinner reservations are a good idea to ensure the best spot).

I host the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. Beach Volleyball superstar Kerri Walsh     Jennings (right) was grand marshal of the 2012 parade.

I host the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. Beach Volleyball superstar Kerri Walsh Jennings (right) was grand marshal of the 2012 parade.

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