It all began as a roadside berry stand and Chicken Dinner Restaurant in the 1920s that has now evolved into one of Southern California’s most popular theme park destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year - Knott's Berry Farm. Four themed areas are filled with rides, shows, and attractions here with truly something for everyone. There’s also the Knott’s Soak City Water Park theme park which is perfect for summers. And guess what?
Beach destinations are always a great option to enjoy some much-needed rejuvenation and relaxation so with the Memorial Day long weekend coming up soon (and July 4thlong weekend following not too far away), here are a few getaways to plan for if sandy shores and ocean blues are calling your name. Although I admit, you might want to spend much longer than the weekend at some/all of these spots!
Legoland California Travelogue
A quick video on my first trip to Legoland, this one in California. Excited to visit and see for myself why families love the resort.
All year round and especially during summer and long weekends, families in the U.S and around the world descend on Legoland in droves. The idea that this was an amusement park crowded with people kept me away for the longest time although a part of me was always curious to see what all the hype was about. All suspicions were laid to rest during a recent overnight stay at the Legoland Hotel during which I also got to visit the waterpark and the amusement park as well as the aquarium. Quite frankly, I’d have loved to spend the weekend there though I only did one night. After my visit, I can see why families with kids head straight for this park but it makes for a fun trip for folks without kids as well.
PALM DESERT TRAVELOGUE - Continued
Finally, everything from days 3 and 4 - so glad this is pretty close to home for a quick weekend getaway! Stay tuned for more destination videos, or read all about this experience here - Palm Desert Road Trip
Exploring coastal Cali - Carlsbad
Set off for a road trip today, driving along the coast from L.A to Carlsbad, a coastal city in California about 2 hours from Hollywood and less than an hour from San Diego. You’ve probably heard about it because of Legoland and The Flower Fields but I also found out The Chopra Center is headquartered here (yes, of Deepak Chopra fame) and some seriously beautiful coastline as well. I’ve previously been driving here for some editorial work but this is the first time I’ve actually explored the area.
Palm Desert Travelogue
This from just days 1 and 2 - you can see it was a blast! Stay tuned for more, or read all about the experience here - Palm Desert Road Trip
Farewell Palm Desert
For my last day in Palm Desert, I got up fairly early so I could sit out in my balcony and watch the sun rise as I sipped my coffee to the sound of the birds in the lake below creating their morning ruckus/symphony. I will miss waking up to these beautiful views every day. The air here is just so much cleaner, you can feel it within a day.
Palm Desert Art - Manmade and Natural
Breakfast today was at Wilma & Frieda's at The Gardens on El Paseo. Went in fairly early and thought the place was deserted but by the time we left, there wasn’t a spot empty! Looks like a breakfast and brunch fave around here. For a true blast from the past, just like the huge sign hanging on the wall reading Café Dining Cars, get their specialty pop tarts – so many flavors and so much fun. There’s a few varieties to choose from so I won’t spill the pops on what those are – I hope you will visit to discover.
Enjoyed visiting the Palm Springs Art Museum at Palm Desert with docent Patrick Blythe, and perused the newly installed “Glass for the New Millennium: Masterworks from the Kaplan-Ostergaard Collection” exhibition, which is on display through early March 2017. The exhibit features works by artists from more than 10 countries and traces the history of studio glass from the 1960s. I seriously could not believe some of the artwork I saw here – incredible that they are all made from glass. Images do not do justice to the critically curated collection.
Ordered in breakfast today which is always fun. I think in-room service is such a lost luxury and wish more folks would enable that then charge additional for it to be a room service.
Headed straight to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which is dedicated to preserving a portion of the Colorado Desert in its natural state. I got a behind-the-scenes shuttle tour of the zoo’s grounds. My time there included many highlights – feeding Pono the giraffe carrots while he posed for pictures (even managed a selfie, which, given our height differences, was quite the achievement), watching Clyde the camel engage in his favorite activity – painting!, and seeing some lovely butterflies at the Winged Wonders! Butterfly Exhibit. Also saw Mexican wolves (three, and they appeared to be completing their morning laps) as well as my first peccary. Finished off with the Cheetah Run, an event that highlights the “Year of the Cheetah” and The Living Desert's efforts to help preserve this endangered species.
Heading out to Palm Desert
A short 2-3 hour ride from L.A took me to Palm Desert. Very tempted to stop at the Cabazon Outlet Mall and the towering Morongo Casino but put my self-control skills to test and kept driving on. I was wowed by the rows of windmills that greeted me as I drove in. Word of caution – the area does get windy and you can find yourself fighting against gusts to keep control of your car.
My home for the next few days is JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa at Palm Desert and while I expected it to be just another Marriott property as I drove in to park, I soon found out this one had its own charm. The lobby is simply majestic, I have actually never been inside a cruise ship proper but this lobby reminded me of one from a movie. Right off the bat, the gondolas and water pool inside the building caught my attention!