Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: Ride from the Cactus to the Clouds

The Palm Springs desert can be a hot place to be in the summer, so being able to take a 15-minute tram ride up over 6,000 feet is a welcome escape. The Palm Springs Ariel Tram, located 10 minutes outside of town, is just that. This engineering marvel has been here for over 50 years, ushering people up into the San Jacinto Wilderness, where the weather can easily be 25 degrees cooler. The tram also provides access to some great hiking trails, two restaurants, and multiple viewpoints. Here is all the information so you can check it out.

Details

  • Cost: $25 a person, $36 for the dine and ride package after 4 PM
  • Parking is $5
  • Hours: Generally 10 AM – 8 PM but double check before you go.

Getting There

From the 10 Freeway out of Los Angeles, you will head towards Palm Springs and get on the 111 Freeway. From here you will turn left on Tram Way and then proceed up to the base of the mountain. They used to not charge for parking, but three years ago they changed it to a $5 fee. There are many lots, and the further away ones have a shuttle you can use if it’s busy (like on the weekend) and you need to park there.

After parking, you will head into the main building to get your tickets and to get in line to board the tram. Don’t forget to check out the old tram that is still sitting outside from before they remodeled it.

The tram itself takes 11 minutes to make its way to the top. Don’t worry about where you are standing; the floor makes two full rotations on the way up so as long as you are by a window, you will have a good spot.

The tram can get pretty packed on the weekends so be prepared to wait and to squish in but the ride is short, so it’s not a big deal.

When the tram goes over one of the three main towers, it will sway a little bit which can be creepy for some people, but I thought it was fun.

When you get to the top, you will be in a four story building with a small visitor center, multiple small theaters, and two restaurants.

We headed down to the visitors center first and saw all the taxidermy animals they had from the area as well as the short movie on how they built the tram.

Hikes

From there we went out on a few hikes. The easiest are the Desert View Trail and the Nature Trail. If you have a full day and have been training for it, you can climb to the top of San Jacinto as well. Read about all of them below.

Food

After hiking, we grabbed a meal at the cafeteria style restaurant called The Pines. We had done the “ride and dine” ticket, so it was included. If not the price was pretty crazy at like $21 a person, but with the ride and dine it was only $12 extra. I would say that the food was decent. Nothing I was super excited about but slightly better than average. It’s worth it just to be able to sit on the deck and eat looking over the view though.

After dinner, walk around the upper deck and go up to Grubbs View. This view point is accessed by walking up 20-30 stairs and it provides great vistas of both the desert below you and the mountains behind you.

It’s a great area to watch the sunset from as well; the sun goes down over Mt. San Jacinto.

After taking it all in, grab a tram back down the mountain. Usually, they come every 15 minutes but it starts being ever 30 minutes as it gets later.

Even though the tram is a little pricey for a whole family, it really is a great adventure to have in Southern California, especially if you want to get out of the desert heat.

Let me know what you think and what your favorite hikes are in the comments.

How to Have a San Francisco Day Trip From Southern California via Plane

Want to a take a day trip from Southern California to San Francisco via plane? This post will show you how to do it and what it costs. The reason why I did it this way was that hotels were costly when I wanted to go, and Southwest has cheap direct flights, so I paid for the flight and tried to see as many of the many tourist spots as I could in one day. This is a busy day but it’s not horrible, and you can always pick and choose what you want to do from the list. Here is all the information.

Getting There

Southern California has direct flights from Orange County and Los Angeles to San Francisco on Southwest, which is my preferred airline (not a paid endorsement). Orange County is the easier of the two to get out of, so that is where we flew from. There are multiple direct flights in the morning, but we went with the 8:05 AM which is not too early but still gives you a decent amount of time in the city. We just took public transportation / Lyft while in the city and then flew home on the last flight back to Orange County which was at 8:30 PM. Getting around the city is easy with public transportation and Lyft / Uber so that is what we used the whole time. Here is the detailed literary and there is cost info and a video at the end. Have fun!

SFO (San Francisco Airport) – 9:30 AM

After arriving in San Francisco we made our way to the AirTram which takes you from the terminals to the Bart station right near the airport. From here it is a 40 minute Bart ride to the city and it costs $8.75 each way.

We got off at Embarcadero so that we could catch the Muni to our first stop, Rincon Park but you can get off at Powell if you want to skip the park and go right to the cable cars.

Rincon Park – 10:30 AM

From the Bart drop off you will proceed up to the Muni and buy a new ticket $2.75 each way to go one stop to the park. It is a half mile walk each way if you don’t want to pay for the ticket. The N or T train will take you to the stop but do double check that when you go.

This park is fun to see as it has a huge bow and arrow in the grass and great views of the Bay Bridge. We stayed here for about 20 minutes. From Rincon Park, get back on the Muni and go to the Powell Street exit.

Cable Cars – 11:15 AM

At the Powell St exit, you will leave the subway and be close to where the cable cars pick up. Grab a ticket and wait in line for the cars. Pro tip, you can go up a street, and they do pick ups there as well which lets you skip the line. Usually, they can only pick up a couple of people though, so if you go with a big group you need to wait in line. Also, you want to ride the Powell / Hyde line as that is the one that does to Lombard.

If you can, grab a spot on the edge so you can ride by hanging on to the outside, which is the most fun. Ride this for about 15 minutes, until you get to where they stop for Lombard St.

Lombard St – 11:45 AM

This is the crooked street that is a famous San Francisco stop. I recommend getting off here and walking down the street, since it drops off at the top.

When you get to the bottom, I recommend grabbing a Lyft as it is easier than public transportation. Pro tip, if you ask nicely, sometimes they will even drive you back up and go down Lombard St for a tip.

Pier 39 – 12:15 PM

Take the Lyft to Pier 39 which is the super touristy area of SF. I don’t usually spend much time here, but there are a lot of chain restaurants if you are into that. I recommend going to the back left of the pier though and checking out the seals that are always sunning themselves on the platform. Also, the carousel at the end is fun too.

Boudin – 12:45 PM

After seeing the seals, walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf and grab a clam chowder bread bowl from Boudin. This place is touristy as well, but it’s great food. You can sit up top for a full-service dining experience or just order from the counter on the bottom floor and grab a table.

Fisherman’s Wharf – 1:30 PM

After lunch, I like to walk around Fisherman’s Wharf a little, seeing the famous sign and then going out to Hyde St Pier. If you have time, you can go to the national park here as well, which is awesome.

Ghirardelli Square – 2 PM

Next, walk up to Ghirardelli Square which is one of the most popular attractions along the wharf. They will give you a free chocolate when you go in, and you can get an ice cream sundae if you want. The desserts are expensive though. I like skipping the main shop and heading to the smaller one a little further down as is less busy and only like 100 feet away. Also, it has a view of the water from where you sit.

I would recommend grabbing a Lyft from here as it is easier than public transit and take it to Lucasfilm if you are a Star Wars fan. If not skip this and take it to the Palace of Fine Arts.

Lucasfilm – 2:45 PM

Lucasfilm is the famous company behind Star Wars and it has offices right in the Presidio. They have a fountain with a statue of Yoda that’s popular for fans to visit. You can also go into the lobby where they have a stormtrooper and Darth Vader, along with a bunch of other fun little pieces of memorabilia. It’s not a long stop, but as a Star Wars fan I loved it.

You can walk to the Palace of Fine Arts from here and it takes about 10 minutes.

Palace of Fine Arts – 3:15 PM

Palace of Fine Arts is a historic and beautiful set of buildings from the early 1900’s. It’s one of my favorite spots in the city and you can read more about it here. Just walk all around the park and take it all in.

After exploring you can either grab another Lyft or take the 28 bus up to the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center.

Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center – 4 PM

Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center has a gift shop for the Golden Gate Bridge, amazing views of the bridge itself and it’s where you can walk out onto it if you want to. If you are going to walk across it you will need a couple hours but even spending 30 minutes up here is worth it as the views are amazing.

From here you can get a Lyft or take the 28 bus back into the city. We were pressed for time so we got a Lyft again all the way to Chinatown.

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory – 5:15 PM

The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown makes the fortune cookies right in front of you and you can write your own message and have them put it in a cookie. Also, they have giant fortune cookies for 6 bucks which are fun to buy as well.

Chinatown

From here just explore Chinatown. You can walk down Grant Street which is the main street and which has all the fun buildings and the hanging lanterns. There is shopping to be had here and food if you want it.

Also, be sure to see the old church right in the middle.

Dragon’s Gate – 5:45 PM

As you get to the end you will see Dragon’s Gate which is the big arch that welcomes you into Chinatown.

For us, we were getting close to when we needed to leave for the airport so we walked back from Dragon’s Gate through Union Square.

Union Square – 6 PM

Union Square is a shoppers paradise so if you are a shopper then you might want to skip some of the other places on this list and spend more time here. If your not a shopper, just go to the square and check out the famous hearts around the exterior.  You can also grab some food here if you have time to kill.

When you are done, get on the Bart at Powell Street and take it towards the airport.

Getting Back

Depending on what Bart you get on they may make you get off and wait for another airport one during the last stop. The conductor let us know this though and when we got off we just waited till the sign said the Bart coming was for the airport. We left at 6 PM from Powell Street and it took us an hour to get to the airport because we had to change Bart’s since we got on one that didn’t go all the way to the airport. I would plan on at least 45 minutes to get there from downtown.

Once you are back at the airport, you will take the AirTram to your gate, completing your time in SF.

Cost

Of course everyone wants to know how much it all costs and here is the breakdown. We had credit card points for the flight but Southwest often has sales where it is around $59 each way for the flight. Not super cheap but not as expensive as even one night in a hotel in SF.

  • $18 round trip for Bart
  • $2.75 each way for Muni (two tickets to get to Rincon Park)
  • $7 for cable cars
  • $20 for Boudin
  • $13 for ice cream at Ghiradelli Square
  • $6 for fortune cookies
  • $34 for Uber / Lyft (4 Rides)
  • Total = About $105 for food and transport for one person (can share the Lyft costs though). Add to that about $130 for the flight if you get a sale and that makes the total cost about $230 for a person. For comparison, most decent hotels were $200 – 300 a night in the summer when I looked.

Video

Here is a video I made for the trip as well.

 

Hopefully you enjoyed this trip and let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Central Coast Trail Rides in Paso Robles / Creston

Located on the Horsetail Ranch about 30 minutes south of Paso Robles, Central Coast Trail Rides is a great place to have some time with nature while exploring a massive 150-acre ranch. The company takes you on a one hour ride up hills, under trees, and around a lake while letting you enjoy it all from on top of a horse. It was a great way to spend a morning / afternoon on the Central Coast and here is all the information.

Details

  • ~$75 for an hour ride (*May 2017)

Getting There

Since there are a decent amount of back roads needed to get to the ranch, they will let you know where to go when you book a ride. When you get to Horsetail Ranch, you will see a large water tank and sign; then you can proceed into the ranch to the old barn where the ride starts.

The owners, Brian and Crystal, are fantastic people and we got to spend some time with them over the weekend we stayed at Horsetail Ranch (read more about that here). They are welcoming and really like what they are doing, which shines through in their work with the animals.

They also have some farm animals like a pig, goat, chickens and a mini horse that you can interact with before or after your ride, adding to the fun ranch experience.

The Ride

Of course, the main reason to come is to go on one of the trail rides. The ride takes you around the amazing property, and you get a lot of great views as you leisurely explore.

The area is mostly in the sun, but there are some times when you will be going under trees or on the backside of the mountains with a little shade.

One of the highlights is the lake on the property, which was full after the rain we had in 2017. It was reflective and beautiful as we made our way around it.

The backside of the property has some cool old trees as well, which I appreciated for photography.

Once we got back, Brian helped us off our horse and let us go see the other animals mentioned above.

I am not much of a horse rider, but I enjoyed my time on the ride and felt completely safe the entire time.

If you are visiting Paso Robles, especially with family, be sure to check out Central Coast Trail Rides. They also bring horses to other locations for you as well if that is something you are interested. Also, read about staying on Horsetail Ranch here and about Paso Robles as a whole here.

LA Waterfront Harbor Tour: Shipping Containers, Vincent Thomas Bridge & Angels Gate Lighthouse

The Port of Los Angeles is over a century old, and one of the most important shipping ports in Southern California. Most people just know it as the spot in Long Beach that they never go to, but that is a mistake as the area is fun to experience and explore. The best way to do that is via a harbor tour that lets you get up close and personal with the large shipping boats that move through the area. Here is all the information on the short 45-minute tour you can take from the LA Waterfront Port O’ Call area.

Details

  • Leaves from the Port O’ Call
  • Cost: $10 – $15

Getting There

The tour leaves from the Port O’ Call, which is the main area for food on the San Pedro side of the Port of Los Angeles. There is a lot of parking there but it can get busy on the weekends. After parking head to dock 1 / 2 which is where it leaves from. I have no idea what the tour companies name was as I just decided to join the tour when I heard the announcement over the loudspeaker.

The Tour

After walking over to the dock and grabbing your tickets, be sure to check out the San Pedro Fish Market as well. It is a great place for food in the area that I highly recommend. When the tour is ready to leave they will call it out over the loudspeaker, and you will get in a line to get on the boat.

I headed up to the front of the deck as this is the best place to view everything that you will see on the tour.

Of course, you can just sit in the interior or one of the benches on the deck if you would prefer. The tour is about 45 minutes spent on the water, and it takes you to some fun spots. Here are a few of my favorites:

Vincent Thomas Bridge

I love bridges and going under this famous one was a highlight for me.

The Container Ships

Seeing these ships from afar is interesting, but it is much more unique to see them up close and get a better understanding of how big they are.

When we were going through the area, they were even unloading crates which was cool to see.

The Old, Historic Docking Area

This spot was the original shipping area for the Terminal Island side of the port. Since then, it has stopped being used and has taken on a new life as a popular filming spot for movies like The Fast and the Furious.

Sea Lions

On the tour, the boat went out near the jetty and we were able to see a bunch of sea lions sitting out on a buoy.

Angels Gate Lighthouse

This lighthouse is only accessible via boat, so it was fun to be able to see it on this tour, albeit from pretty far away.

The Welcome Building

This is the first building most ships see when they pull into the port, and it says hello in 14 different languages on it.

USS Iowa

The famous ship/museum is a popular attraction in San Pedro, and it is fun to see it from the water as well.

The Cranes

Of course, the big shipping containers need to be pulled up by large cranes, and you will see these beasts all over the harbor as well.

As you can see, this tour does take you to see a lot of stuff in a short period of time. It is an excellent way to get a better understanding of the Port of Los Angeles, and I recommend you give it a try if you are in the area. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Kayaking Oakland Estuary from Jack London Square with California Canoe & Kayak

Jack London Square is the central tourist area in downtown Oakland. Located right on the water, it has loads of restaurants and bars scattered around a four block radius. One of the most fun things you can do while exploring the square is to head over to California Canoe & Kayak to get out on the Oakland Estuary and see the area from the water. Here is all the information so you can do it yourself.

Details

  • Rental Info Here
  • Hours: Daily from 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Location: Jack London Square, 409 Water St, Oakland, CA 94607

Getting There

After finding parking at one of the parking structures around the square, make your way across the walkway from Plank, and you will see the kayak shop near the water.

Kayaking the Oakland Estuary

After signing the waivers, we walked to the docks and got set up in our kayaks. I will say the kayaks here are much nicer than they normally are, and I was impressed with how easily they skimmed over the water.

You also sat down in them which made controlling the speed and paddling much simpler. We went out with our friend Ben who’s a guide there, so he showed us a lot of the different places of interest along the way.

First, we headed left to the Oakland Estuary. California Canoe & Kayak is the only company that gives you easy access to this beautiful part of Oakland.

The water was glassy while we were there, so there were not any real wakes to contend with which was nice. Along the way, we saw a seal or two and a lot of birds.

After getting to Coast Guard Island and the Pport of Oakland building we headed back the way we came.

The paddle back was beautiful as the sun was just starting to go down and it was a fantastic time to be on the water. Since we were with a guide, we went a little past Jack London Square as well to where the giant cranes were.

Being this close to the cranes was an amazing experience, but it is only recommended for advanced kayakers or with guides, as it is a wake zone and there are large boats near by.

After staying close to the shore, we paddled around a little bit so we could see these beasts up close. From here we finished our time on the water by heading back to the square and docking our boats.

All in all, this was one of the best experiences I had in Oakland, and I highly recommend you give it a try when you are visiting. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments.

Ziplining in the Redwoods with Sonoma Canopy Tours

When you are in Santa Rosa, and you hear about a zip lining course that takes you through a redwood forest you can help but do it, right? My wife and I took the 40-minute drive from our hotel in Santa Rosa on an early fall morning and got there just in time for our 2.5-hour adventure on the classic course. It was a ton of fun and a top notch organization, here is all the information so you can do it yourself.

Details

  • Book Here (in advance)
  • Takes about 2.5 hours
  • 250-pound weight limit
  • Location: 6250 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA 95465

Getting There

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The tour area is located off Bohemian Highway in the town of Occidental. When you book a tour, they will send you directions as they recommend you do not use Google Maps.

The Tour

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After checking in for our tour in the parking lot, we waited for the truck used to shuttle our group up to the tour area. When we got off the shuttle they have a store, bathrooms and a lot of plaques with information about the course and the forest. The rest of our group (7 people) arrived shortly after and our guides Nick and Shaina got us into our harnesses and gloves.

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There is a short practice zip here that everyone has to go on. This 15-foot zip gets you used to the way you will be breaking and what it is like if you don’t make it fully to the end of the zip line while up on the course. I appreciated this as it was a good way to get accustomed to the feel of the zip before being high in the air.

The Course

After loading up in another truck, we made it to the top of the area where we were to start our course.

The first few zips are relatively short and they get you accustomed to the process you will be taking. This course has seven zips, most getting progressively longer as you proceed.

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The second and third zips take you into small platforms that are high off the ground, and that sway a little making them pretty scary if you don’t like heights.

The fourth is longest of the course, and you can’t even see the end from where you start; it is awesome. You go fast on this zip and it’s a total rush.

The zips continue along like this until you get to the photo zip. This small zip line takes your photo so you can pose like Amie did in the below photo.

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From here you will head up the hanging spiral staircase which is a unique addition to the course.

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Once you get to the top, you will start one of two sky bridges. Both of these bridges are a lot of fun, and they both give you a little rush as then bend and move when you walk across them.

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They are not too scary though and you can hold on the entire time.

Upon reaching the end of the bridges, you will be at the last zip line which takes you to the scariest part of the course, the rappel.

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The rappel is from a platform about 60 feet in the air; it is an automated rappel though so you just have to get over the edge, and it lowers you down. I found it to be nerve racking as I approached it, then totally fine as I was being lowered down. Once you make it to the flat ground again, you will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and ride out the high you feel from the zip line course.

All in all, this is a fantastic way to spend an adventurous half day in the Santa Rosa area, and I highly recommend you give it a try. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Disclosure: This experience was provided free of charge, but all opinions are my own.

Kayaking the Mouth of the Russian River in Jenner with Getaway Adventures

While staying in Santa Rosa or driving up Pacific Coast Highway, a nice paddle on the mouth of the Russian River is something everyone should try. This area is right along the ocean but blocked from the waves, so it allows you to have a peaceful few hours kayaking around the calm water with lots of great views and wildlife. We went with Getaway Adventures and our guide Dustin was fantastic, so be sure to request him if you make your way up there. Here is all the information.

Details

Getting There

Depending on the tour you book, that will decide where you meet them. We gathered in Jenner, but it could be somewhere else so check with them when you book the tour.

The Tour

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After meeting with our guide at the launchpad in Jenner, we unloaded the kayaks and set out on the water.

The kayak tour started by taking us up the river for about a mile.  Along the way, we saw tons of different birds, sea otters and even a few fish. It was such a beautiful area, and the water was nice and calm which made it very peaceful to paddle through.

We eventually reached a concrete bridge, and this is where we turned around and headed back down the river.

Going back from the bridge was with the current, so it was an easier paddle than the way up.

When we got back to where we started, we went around the small island and paddled all the way up to the backside of Goat Rock Beach.

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This is where we stashed the kayaks, and we headed over the sand to watch the waves crash on the large beach.

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On these trips, they generally serve a meal here as well, but since we had to cut out early, we didn’t experience that this time.

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Just relaxing on the beach was amazing though as it was secluded and there were only a couple other people on the entire stretch of sand. After hanging out for about 45 minutes, we got back in the kayaks and headed to the where we started, completing our time on the water. Here is a video of the adventure.

All in all, it was about 2 hours and 45 minutes of kayaking and exploring, and it was a fantastic experience in the Santa Rosa area. Be sure to check it out if you are looking for a unique way to get active in the county and let me know what you think below.

Disclosure: This experience was provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Snorkeling with the Leopard Sharks in La Jolla

During the last few months of summer, leopard sharks descend on the cove of La Jolla for the warm water which helps them to speed up the birthing process. This is an amazing natural phenomenon and one that you can experience for yourself with a snorkel, if you feel like you can handle it. I finally got a chance to do it this year, and it was such a cool experience that I highly recommend. Here is all the info.

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Details

  • Free other than parking or renting gear
  • September is the best time, but late August and early October is possible too

Best Times

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September is the best month most years as this is when the highest amount of sharks are in La Jolla. It depends a lot on weather and how calm the water is though. The ideal day is calm waters and sun but calm is the most important and if it is calm you can usually see some sharks even if it isn’t warm.

Gear Rentals

Going in September means that the water can be pretty cold. You don’t need a wetsuit, but some people will find it a lot easier to relax and wait for the sharks if they have one. You can rent a wetsuit from many of the companies along Avenida De La Playa in La Jolla, but I like Everyday California personally. You can also rent snorkel gear there, but honestly, you can buy a pair like I did on Amazon for about the same price and have it forever.

How to See the Sharks

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Ok, so now that you have your gear and are going on a good day, how do you see the sharks?

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The sharks are in waist to chest deep water, right out in the cove. It is best to be away from lots of people though as they are very afraid of humans and will run away with noise.

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I found that it was best when I just went out to about 4 feet of water and floated around. I didn’t see anything for about 10 minutes but after that, I saw 3-4 in a series of 10 minutes. People out there point them out too so there will probably be others helping you see them.

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When the sharks are near, just try to hover around the top of the water and not make much noise, and you should see them swimming around. Of course, don’t touch them or get too close to them, they are still wild animals and do have teeth.

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I went on a cloudy day and saw about 6 in 30 minutes, which is pretty low for the time of year; but I can honestly say it was one of the coolest things I have done in a while. To observe these creatures, some which get up to 5 feet long, in their natural habitat so close to shore is something you won’t soon forget.

Let me know what you think in the comments and if you have any tips I left off.

Kayking La Jolla’s Sea Caves with Everyday California

California is full of awesome places to explore, but one of the funniest water adventures you can have in Southern California is kayaking in the La Jolla Cove. I have done this four times now, both with a group and on my own and each time I saw something new. This particular experience was with Everyday California, and it was the first time I went into the sea cave, so it has a special place in my heart. Read on for all the information.

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Details

Getting There

Everyday California is located on the main street of La Jolla which is on Avenida De La Playa.  They are near the end, and you can park in the residential area that surrounds it.

Kayaking

Upon arriving at Everyday California, we got checked in for our tour and browsed the nice collection of shirts from their original clothing brand before picking up our gear for the kayaking trip. After getting fitted with wetsuits (it was overcast, so it was cold), we headed down to the water, got a kayak introduction and set out with our group.

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Most of the paddling is in the beginning and the end as you make your way from the beach to the caves and back. Peter and Trevor were our guides, and they made sure everyone had a good time with lots of fun jokes and overall good attitude.

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When we got to the seven caves, we sat in the water and learned the names and histories of the caves themselves.

I had been on tours before, but this was the first time I heard this much information about the caves themselves, which was great. When the groups of kayakers cleared from The Clam (the only cave you can kayak in), we headed over to give it a go.

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Upon making our way to The Clam, Peter checked if it was ok to go in then we went in two at a time.

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Going in the cave was one of the highlights of the trip as the sea cave here was a lot better than I anticipated. It is a little stressful to paddle in but after your inside, you realize it’s a lot bigger than you would think.

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From here our group went and saw a few seals before making our way back to the shore. On the way back they teach you how to use your kayak to surf the wave in, and it was a lot of fun as we went over a leopard shark as we headed in.

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After dropping off the kayak, I head back out to snorkel and saw at least four more sharks, some as big as 4 feet. It was crazy to see them up close like this, but they were much more afraid of you then you are of them; so when you see them, they just swim away. You can read more about snorkeling with the sharks here.

Kayaking with Everyday California was a really fun experience, and it was great to have it packaged with my hotel stay in downtown San Diego at the Palomar, read about the hotel here and book the package for yourself here. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Disclaimer: This experience was provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Kayaking Around Coronado & the Coronado Bridge

If you are taking some time to explore Coronado Island, then one of the best ways to do that is to get out on the water and see it from an entirely new angle. On a recent trip I made it my goal to take a kayak and go under the Coronado Bridge, so if that is something you are interested in as well then read on for all the information.

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Details

  • Cost: ~$25 – $40 for an hour
  • Can be a little choppy on the water so morning is the best option

Getting There

When I went, I parked at Tidelands Park and then walked along the boardwalk to Ray’s Rentals which is on the pier right outside of the Marriott. There is also another spot near Ferry Landing where you can rent them, but it is further to paddle to get to the pier and I only had an hour.

Kayaking

After filling out the form and paying my fee, I walked down to the pier and set off in my kayak. I went in the afternoon, which is not the best time to go as there is more traffic on the water and it is choppier. If you haven’t been kayaking before this may be a little scary with the small waves, but the kayaks do a good job of keeping you above water, so just relax and don’t bring anything that doesn’t like the water.

I kayaked at a slow pace along the shoreline past the Marriott and making my way to Tidelands Park.

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After about 10-15 minutes of paddling, I had made it to the Coronado Bridge which was my ultimate destination.

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I took my time paddling around the bridge to see it from multiple angles and even though it can be a busy area there was only one other person down there with me. I enjoyed being able to see this crazy man-made structure from such a new vantage point, and I just sat in my kayak staring at it for a little while.

kayak coronado-3

When I had 30 minutes left on my rental, I made my way back along the shore to the pier. It was surprisingly easier on the way back, and I was greeted by the workers who helped me get the kayak back on the pier and on my way.

I imagine it would be fun to have a few hours to be out on the water, but even if you just have one hour like I did, grabbing a kayak is a great way to see a new side of Coronado. Let me know if you have been in the comments and what you thought.