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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.

[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_terranea-fountain_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]2250Terranea Fountain
A splashing fountain in the driveway of the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes welcomes guests to this world class luxuryresort. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_terranea-coast-pipe_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]120Terranea Coastline
A rusted pipe along the Rancho Palos Verdes coast at the Terranea Resort. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_terranea_beach-cliffs_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]60Terranea Beach
Explore the sandy beach, or kayak, at Terranea Resort in Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_terranea_oceanview_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]130Terranea Ocean View
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)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_terranea_beach-cliffs-lisa_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]60Terranea Cliffs
There are plenty of great photo ops at Terranea Resort Los Angeles. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_trump-clubhouse_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]60Trump National Golf Club
Down the street from Terranea, the public park adjacent to Trump National Golf Club offers a large lawn and ocean views. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_trump-golf-course_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]80Trump National Golf Club Fountain
The fountain on the course at Trump National Golf Club. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_trump-picnic_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]90Beachside Dining
The public park next to Trump National Golf Club offers picnic tables with an ocean view. (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_trump-fountain_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]90Trump National Golf Club Fountain
The fountain outside the entrance to Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles (Photo Traffic411/Pfeiffer)
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/terranea-resort-trump-national-golf-club-los-angeles/thumbs/thumbs_trump-fireplace_traffic411_pfeiffer.jpg]90Trump Fireplace
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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Labor Day: 5 free (or low-cost) So Cal Staycations

Palisades Park Santa Monica is a popular spot for a walk, workout or picnic.

Staying in town over the Labor Day Weekend? There are plenty of fun places to explore across Southern California, without spending much money. And, with gas prices at their lowest levels in months, why not hit the road? Here are five free (or nearly free) So Cal day-cations.

Palisades Park: Santa Monica

Palisades Park stretches several blocks across a bluff overlooking the Santa Monica shoreline and Pacific Coast Highway.  Stroll along the tree-lined pathway from San Vicente to the Santa Monica Pier or Third Street Promenade as you take in the gorgeous views. Pack a picnic, or choose from a variety of restaurants to enjoy a meal. The famous Santa Monica Pier is an easy walk from Palisades Park, and admission is free to the pier amusement park.  Tourists from around the world visit Santa Monica and the Malibu coast, so it’s definitely worth the drive across town.

Related: Parking in Santa Monica

Malibu, CA

California's Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) between Oxnard and Santa Monica offer is one of the most beautiful drives in the USA. The New York Times calls this drive through Malibu one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the USA! Here are some photos I took along the way. Story to follow soon, in case you want to try this 30 mile coastline drive yourself. I highly recommend it!

[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointdumenaturalpreserve.jpg]59500Point Dume Natural Preserve, Malibu
Point Dume offers a hiking trail down a hill to a beautiful secluded beach.
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_pointdumemalibu.jpg]7420
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_pointmugunavalairstation.jpg]7610
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointmugulookoutpoint.jpg]7490Point Mugu Lookout Point
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibucampingthornehillbroomebeach.jpg]6310Beachside Camping Malibu
How's this for a camping spot?!? Thornhill Broome Beach State Park is an ideal place to cool off in the summer. Bring your camper, motorhome or fifth wheel and you're all set!
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibucountrymart.jpg]5570Malibu Country Mart
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[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_santamonicabaygettyvilla.jpg]5530Getty Villa, Santa Monica Bay
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupointdumenaturalpreserve_0.jpg]4800
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupchdriveroadsign_traffic411.jpg]4930California's Finest Drive: Route 1 Santa Monica, Malibu, Oxnard
This stretch of California coastline is among the most beautiful in the state. Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) is also a great alternative to the 101 freeway when traveling between Ventura County and Los Angeles.
[img src=http://traffic411.com/wp-content/flagallery/malibu-ca/thumbs/thumbs_malibupchwindyroad.jpg]4080

Malibu Coast

Pacific Coast Highway will likely be very busy over the holiday weekend, but if you’re patient and feel like a scenic road trip, the PCH drive through Malibu (Santa Monica to Oxnard) offers some of the most stunning views of the California Coast. North of Point Dume, to Ventura County, the coast is undeveloped. You might even recognize the view since it’s a popular location for new car commercials.

A cascading fountain greets visitors at the entrance of Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, CA

A cascading fountain greets visitors at the entrance of Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, CA

Gardens of the World

Soak up botanical beauty at this best-kept Conejo Valley secret, located across the street from the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center.  Admission is free to Gardens of the World, a stroll through the grounds will take you on a tour of lush landscapes from around the world.

Balboa Island, Orange County

Balboa Peninsula and the Fun Zone arcade are a quick ferry ride away from Balboa Island.

A stroll on Balboa Island will have you feeling like you’re in New England. The quaint streets and bayfront homes are surrounded by water, which will help to keep you cool.  Parking is tight on the island, especially on a holiday weekend. You might want to park in Newport Beach, and walk  across the small bridge that leads to Balboa Island.

Hollywood Bowl

It’s a Los Angeles landmark, but a lot of locals have never been to The Hollywood Bowl.  Movie music takes center stage this weekend, with a concert by John Williams ( Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Arc) and a tribute to the Henry Mancini and director Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) fans will enjoy the tribute to Henry Mancini and director Peter Sellers.

I recently attended a Hollywood  Bowl show at the last minute and was surprised to get a ticket for well under $20. You don’t need the best seats in the house to enjoy the experience. This weekend, tickets start at just $15, and you can avoid online ticketing fees when you buy tickets on site at the box office, just call ahead to make sure it’s not close to a sell out.

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Pedal Power: Cyclists converge on Wilshire Boulevard

LA's Wilshire Boulevard is often crowded with cars, but not during CicLAvia: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard, Sunday June 23, 2013. (Photo Traffic411)

It’s a dream come true for cyclists who ride on busy city streets: No cars allowed.

Thousands of people had the chance to bike, skate or walk along one of L.A.’s most famous streets. A 6.3 mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard was off limits to motor vehicles during today’s  “CicLAvia — Iconic Wilshire Boulevard.”

Having this often-busy stretch of Wilshire Boulevard all to themselves had riders in a good mood! (Photo Traffic411)

Tens of thousands of pedal pushers and walkers ruled the road, streaming up and down Wilshire Boulevard between Downtown Los Angeles (Grand) and the Miracle Mile (Fairfax).

CicLAvia takes over portions of Los Angeles every few months.  It’s a fun way for friends and families to enjoy the city streets with less traffic and pollution. Want to try it, too? Mark your calendar. The next CicLAvia is scheduled for Oct. 6.

All wheels welcome, as long as there's no motor attached, at CicLAvia's Iconic Wilshire Boulevard event. (Photo Traffic411)

Participants in CicLAvia: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard pedal past Museum Square on Wilshire Boulevard. (Photo Traffic411)

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

The McGrath Irish farming family is grand marshal of the 2013 Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The McGrath Irish farming family is grand marshal of the 2013 Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade.

You can enjoy plenty of fresh air, sunshine and pretty green  hillsides when you hit the road across So Cal this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. There are plenty of things to see and do as you celebrate all things Irish.

The Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade rolls down Main Street Saturday morning at 10 AM. Afterwards, you won’t have to go far to enjoy an Irish Coffee or corned beef & cabbage feast, Dargan’s Irish pub is right on Main Street. (from L.A. take the 101 North to California Street).

South Bay Los Angeles is also hosting a parade: Saturday at 11AM the Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade  goes from City Hall and down Pier Avenue.  There will be three stages with entertainment to enjoy all things Irish by the Sea. Hennessey’s Tavern on The Strand is at the epicenter of the festivities.

Feel the Luck of the Irish all weekend in Santa Monica with live music at  O’Brien’s Irish pub on Main Street.  A few miles away, Brennan’s in Marina del Rey you can toast to their famous turtle races.
Sunday night, the L.A. Philharmonic is hosting the traditional Irish group The Chieftans at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
San Francisco may be the birthplace of Irish Coffee. But, the best Irish Coffee in Southern California may just be at Tom Bergin’s Tavern on Fairfax in mid city L.A.

In Orange County, check out Durty Nelly’s, Haven Gastropub, or Muldoon’s in Fashion Island. All popular spots to wear your Green.

If you’ll be celebrating with some green beer or Irish Whiskey, be sure to bring your designated driver!

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