Down in sunny Carlsbad California, for eight weeks out of the year, fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus are in bloom and, let me tell you, they are GORGEOUS. It's like a big happy scene from a musical Disney Princess movie. There are rows and rows of color-coordinated giant blooms, overlooking the ocean. Seriously. Pack up the car and drive down there before they're gone!
Tucked away on Pacific Coast Highway in little Laguna Beach is the gem of all Laguna's beach hikes. Thousand Steps Beach is a beautiful, picture perfect, and bring your Nikes because it's a workout. It sits at a little you-blink-you-miss-it stop on the side of the highway. It's perfect Adventure Day List mini-hike.
Photography: Mason Cleveland
Lake Arrowhead is a beautiful town set in the mountains around the San Bernardino Forest in Southern California. It's the perfect vacation spot, any time of the year. It's seriously like looking at a postcard. If the mountains and trees on freshwater lakes are your vacation seen, then here's my Weekend Getaway Guide for Lake Arrowhead, to help you plan your next trip. These are my family and I's favorites, along with the best rated eats and stays around Lake Arrowhead, for any budget.
Lake Arrowhead is a gorgeous, freshwater lake with clear, blue waters. My family and I love, love, love to take boat rides around the Lake and over to the village when we visit. The Lake Arrowhead Queen gives boat tours all year round, and is rentable for private charter tours. If touring isn't your thing, you can rent a boat, kayak, canoe, or paddle boards from Captain John's Fawn Harbor Marina.
Events and Festivals
If you're heading to Arrowhead for a trip, be sure to check the calendar before you go to make sure you don't miss any of the events. There's always something going on. In the summer, at the Lake Arrowhead Village, there's a concert series, farmers' markets, Gold Rush Days, Memorial Day weekend events, and a water ski school for kids. In the fall, my family always tries to make it for Oktoberfest. We always have a blast. There's live music, food and beverages, booths and vendors, and a pumpkin patch. Around Christmas, you can check the calendar for the many holiday events like their craft fairs and Santa meet and greets. The Blue Jay Village, which is not far away from the Lake Arrowhead Village, has an annual Quilt Walk, Spirit of the Bluejay Wine Event, the Lake Arrowhead Brewfest, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world's smallest Christmas parade.
The event's at the Village are so fun, but if you're looking for entertainment that's more budget friendly, just walk the Lake Arrowhead Village. It's the cutest town. It sits right on the edge of the lake, and there's so much to do. You can walk the shops, visit the art galleries, feed the ducks [almost every store will sell you bird food], and sit by the lake. If you have kids, you can take them over to the merry-go-round, bumper cars, and arcade.
My fam's favorite: Heart’s Desire Christian book store [Suite C-140].
Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa
The Lake Arrowhead Resort and spa offers very high quality services and activities like their bar and lounge, downhill skiing, the fitness center, the business center, room service, the pool, their restaurant, and of course, the spa.
250 North 9th Street, Colton, CA
Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, San Bernardino,CA
The Country Inn has very high guest ratings, a heated pool, wifi, complimentary breakfast, and suites, but it books quickly, so make reservations well in advance to your trip.
1650 Industrial Park Avenue, Redlands, CA
The Dogwood campground is a small but beautiful campground, very close to Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Forest area. The campground has electrical hook-ups, fire rings, water, indoor facilities and showers, trailer pads, and an amphitheater.
Dogwood Campground, Rimforest, CA 92378
The Lakefront Taproom, Bar, and Kitchen
The Lakefront is a tasteful restaurant with a classy meny that can please any foodie. Check their websites for their special events and promotions.
28200 State Hwy 189 Suite E-200, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
Papagayos Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
Papagayos has classic mexican favorites, the best fried ice cream, and a fun outdoor bar area, overlooking the lake.
28200 Highway 189 Building P-100 Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
Tea & Coffee Exchange
The Tea and Coffee Exchange is a great place to grab a latte, buy some loose tea or coffee beans, and get a light-bite.
28200 Highway 189 Suite S-250 Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
This was my favorite snorkeling trip. Ever. In the world. 🐬 It definitely tops my list for adventuring. If you're into sharks and beautiful, clear waters, put this on your vacation list. During the summer months, they have their pups in the San diego area, and the La Jolla beaches are home to thousands of these Leopard Sharks. They grow from 4-6 feet as adults. They live in the shallow waters, so right when you hop in, you can see hundreds swarming around your feet. If you're a snorkeler, the best place to go is to the La Jolla Shores beach. It's a marine protected area, so the wildlife thrives there. I park a few blocks away from the beach on the streets, where parking is free, and suit up and walk down. If you're new to snorkeling but you want to swim with the Leopards in La Jolla, the absolute best place ever to go on a snorkeling tour or rent your equipment is La Jolla Kayak. They are the serious best. The guided tours are awesome for newbies, but the also rent out equipment and wetsuits if you want to go it alone. The waters are a bit chilly in San Diego, so if you don't have your own wetsuit, I for sure recommend renting one out. If you're not into the snorkel set-up, they also have kayak tours that come highly recommended and well rated.
It seems like swimming with sharks would be the most terrifying snorkel trip of all time, but it's so relaxing. The Leopard Sharks are not aggressive or violent in the least. They're very calm, and their diets consists of mostly crustaceans, so they're not dangerous to humans. I would do this one hundred times over again and not be tired of it. It's a must, must, must to put on your travel adventure list 🌊.
La Jolla Shores, San Diego
Its September! Which means everyone launching new collections and the trends will start rolling in. Vogue published their 25 lb. September edition, Fashion Week just happened, and now in Orange County, it's Style Week, so here's a little kick off.
This dress is an easy way to start switching from summer to fall in your closet. You don't have to go from bathing suits and off-the-shoulder sun dresses to breaking out your long boots and beanies, just transition with things like warmer tones, quarter sleeves, and midi dresses.
Get this one at Forever 21, for $10.90, here:
I have to say, Los Angeles is really all it's cracked up to be. I spent a few days last week at the Christian Community Development Conference in LA, and Jesus kicked my face in. In a really good way, but He still kicked my face in, but that's a story for another day. Being spiritually punched in the face really makes you hungry, and I ate at some really legit restaurants in LA. Here are my favorite places for you to add to your LA food line up on your next visit.
401 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Whatever you order, order it with the horchata.
611 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
They have a huge menu and a really cute loft to sit in upstairs.
Just the whole town. I went to a Korean barbecue restaurant, which is a life experience I highly recommend, but I only managed to get a picture of dessert. But really, go eat Korean barbecue.
[Homer Laughlin Building]
This is seriously the coolest place to visit in LA. It's right across the street from the Angel's Flight Railway, which is a super classic Los Angeles landmark, and you won't leave without finding something you like. The Grand Central Market has been its own landmark since 1917, but it's been re-vamped and hipster-ized over the years. There's 38 different vendors, market stands, and restaurants inside. DTLA Cheese is so far my favorite. And what goes well with spiritual conviction during a Christian conference? Melted Cheese. The Grand Central Market is packed and busy, but super worth it.
Los Angeles, CA
They're the coolest kids on the Christian clothing block! He>i has just one logo that they use for everything, but they really rock it. The famous "HE>i" is printed on hats, bags, shirts, and the ultimate way to be sure you're a Christian, with some vinyl car stickers. Add this to your lists people! It's a must go-to. They have store locations in Hale'iwa and Honolulu Hawaii, and one on PCH in Newport Beach. But if you can't jet set all the way to the islands, their online store carries everything.
Once upon a time, a crazy-pants little blonde girl took a day trip to Santa Barbara. Then her car broke down. And she was trapped in good ol' Santa B, and it turned into the longest, most expensive road trip ever. Murphey's law, am I right? It ended up turning out pretty well, despite the break down. Santa Barbara is America's Riviera and oh man, it is beautiful. The architecture and style is incredible. The beaches are a must. Okay, everything is kind of a must.
Here are some little hidden and not so hidden gems you should visit on your next Santa Barbara Trip:
Stearns Wharf is a true Santa Barbara gem. Everything is good in my book, except there's a no heel rule. So to my fellow heel wearers, bring your flats and wedges. There's restaurants, shops, and beautiful lookout points.
Pick a beach, any beach. They're all 5 stars in the Carl Beach Book. Butterfly Beach and the Beach by the Wharf are my favorite picks.
This is where it's at. It's incredibly beautiful, and has everything. The rooms are amazing and very clean. Everything has a sophisticated Cali style. It's pet friendly, but very well up-kept. Bike-rentals, breakfast, fireplace, courtyard, and pool use are provided to guests. A. Maze. Ing.
State Street and Downtown
Downtown is the happenin' place in Santa Barbara. Farmers Markets, stores galore, and shopping districts all-around. Take a bike and cruise around.
The lovely Santa Monica is just about as SoCal as you can get in SoCal. It's right outside of LA on the coast and is home to Pacific Park [Sharknado Forever ♡], Muscle Beach, 3rd Street Promenade, the end of Route 66, and the famous Santa Monica Pier. There is literally everything to do here. It's a perfect day-cation spot. Here's a list of my favorite favorites in Santa Monica for your next day-trip adventure.
A Santa Monica Daycation:
1. The Ferris Wheel
This is definitely a place you have to hit up when you come to Santa Monica. It's $8 in Pacific Park, and it gives you the full Santa Monica view.
2. The Beach
Walk down to the pier and head to the beach, the right side is the best.
3. Walk the Third Street Promenade
They have every store. Ever. It's blocks and blocks and streets and streets of stores.
4. Eat at a Venice Beach Food Truck
Top the day off with some trendy and hipster food trucks that line the streets of Venice Beach. It's a super picturesque area that has fun shops and boutiques to stroll through while you wait for your food truck tacos.
5. Bike Muscle Beach
Rent a bike, take your board, or walk around down the sandy sidewalk around muscle beach to the pier. At night, it's the best place to get a full-view picture of Pacific Park all lit up.
Sone boho-outfit-inspo because you just have to mix it up sometimes. Here's the formula: crazy beach hair, lace and or something flowy, and denim.
Adventure Day List: ✓
Okay, it's way easier than you'd think. If you want to feel like a really cool California girl, I highly reccomend it. The easiest place to improve your paddle boarding skills in southern Cali is the Back Bay in Newport Beach. Pirate Coast Paddle Boarding has great rentals and all the accessories a super fly paddle boarder could want. Put it on your adventure day list and head to the bay.
I really can't help it anymore, I have off the shoulder fever. It's a gift and a curse. This flowy number is from Forever 22, along with the sandals, paired with a lighter wash denim. In love, cue the googly eyes for off the shoulder.
Out of all the food at Disney, giant corn dogs, Dole whip and all, these are thee best. By far my favorite ever eats from Disney. These fancy little doughnuts are from the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Anaheim. Amazing.
Favorite Eats List ✓
Best place to spot a sea lion? Inspiration point, Corona del Mar, off of the CDM Main Beach. Best place to feel like you're on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean? Also Inspiration Point.
Adventure Day List ✓