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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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Ventura to Valencia: Drive CA SR126

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend a few hours in Southern California, consider taking a drive along State route 126. This 40 mile stretch of smooth, scenic highway connects Ventura and Northern Los Angeles counties.

Six Flags Magic Mountain is on the Valencia side, and Ventura Harbor and beaches are very close to the western stretch of this four lane undivided stretch of scenic highway.

SR126 freeway sign on Interstate 5 in Valencia

SR126 is a scenic California drive from Ventura to Valencia

Here are five fun things to do and see along California’s SR126, a highway that might make you feel as if you’re stepping back in time to the 1930s:

  • Santa Paula Airport – Relive the Golden Age of Aviation at this tiny airport, which features an aviation museum.  Every First Sunday of the month there’s an open house style event, which allows flight enthusiasts of all ages to explore the airport’s hangars, and get an up-close look at vintage airplanes and cars.  Museum admission is free on First Sundays.
    • The ‘Haunted’ Glen Tavern Inn – Explore the rustic charm, and possibly have a ghostly encounter!  Many guests claim to experience paranormal activity while visiting this historic inn, located in downtown Santa Paula.
    • Fillmore & Western Railway Co.:  Ride the rails on a dinner train, help solve a murder mystery, or hop aboard Thomas the Tank Engine.  The Fillmore & Western Railway offers a variety of excursions for train enthusiasts of all ages.   These trains have been featured in TV shows and movies, as the Los Angeles Times blog post.

    • Downtown Fillmore – You might recognize this downtown district, this vintage street scene has been the backdrop of many TV shows and films.  Fillmore’s downtown area is home to unique shops and restaurants.
  • Roadside Fruit Stands:  This area bills itself as ‘the citrus capitol of the world,’ so be sure to taste some locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and other goodies.  There are several produce stands along route 126.  Most of them can be found on the stretch of road between Fillmore and Valencia.

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Happy driving!!!

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