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ABOUT EYE SPY LA
The local's Guide for events,
places to go, and things to do.
EDITOR: Andrea Kirk
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS:
Michele Hunter
Mark Share






Sunday Drives, Weekend Getaways
& Other Outings in Southern California
Here are some places we've been that might give you some ideas for
things to do when you have a day or two off or have visitors from out of town.

PENGUINS, SEAHORSES, JELLYFISH OH MY! AT MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM Monterey is a perfect place to park, get out and stretch while taking in the charm of this historic town known in large part to writer Steinbeck for its Cannery Row. The narrow streets and warehouses aren’t filled with sardines anymore (although you can still smell a whiff of brine) but are loaded up with gift shops, restaurants and hotels. On the west end of Cannery Row is the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. With an emphasis on conservation this state of the art facility offers guests an opportunity to get up close and personal with sea life ranging from exotic seahorses, penguins and sea otters to sharks.



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READ MORE GEE WHIZ! RIDING THE AERIAL TRAM IN PALM SPRINGS

One of the things I've always wanted to do is ride the tram from Palm Springs to the snow covered peaks above. The idea of sitting around a pool in the hot desert until baked well done (about 5 minutes) and then heading up a mountain in a matter of minutes and throwing a snowball to cool off was quite compelling...

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A SPLASHY SPECTACLE: LE REVE IN LAS VEGAS


If you are in Las Vegas and want a sure bet then this is the winning ticket and it’s a lot more entertaining than an evening of Keno...


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READ MORE QUAIL BOTANICAL GARDENS IN ENCINITAS

A dear friend was visiting us and we decided to take a road trip, but we didn't want to drive as far as San Diego and we wanted to see something different. So we headed to the Quail Botanical Gardens in Encintas which is about 20 miles north of San Diego.

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READ MORE RIDING THE RAILS TO SANTA BARBARA

Santa Barbara, the sunny scenic seaside town, has lots to see and do and has been a Sunday drive favorite since I was a kid. This time I decided to take the train. I've always wanted to take a ride on a train along the coast, but for some reason I've just never gotten around to it until recently. Amtrak has daily train service from the L.A. area to Santa Barbara on the Pacific Surfliner. This train makes quite a few stops and you can board the train at any of them and pay your fare to the conductor...

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READ MORE LOS ALAMOS

Heading up to the Central Coast on 101 there are any number of interesting side roads and little towns worth a look. I saw a sign to Los Alamos not too far past Buelton. It said something about antiques and wine tasting and I decided to check it out. The town is located in Santa Barbara wine country and is surrounded by vineyards and other agriculture. There you will find the Union Hotel (1880), a Victorian mansion, antique shops and a mid century retro motel with a little wine tasting bar out front. The town is close to Solvang, Los Olivos, the Chumash Casino and Santa Ynez, Lompoc and the La Purisima Mission...

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READ MORE LA PURISIMA MISSION STATE HISTORIC PARK

California's Central Coast is a great getaway destination from L.A., it's a short drive (about 3 or so hours) and there is plenty to do and see both there and on the way. I particularly like the very classic beach town of Pismo Beach, and try to go visit a couple of times a year. Each time I go, I discover something new. This time a sign to La Purisima Mission beckoned, so I took the turn-off to Lompoc north of Santa Barbara...

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READ MORE THE MISSION INN & MUSEUM - WEEKEND GETAWAY TO RIVERSIDE

The Mission Inn is an historic landmark hotel that takes up an entire city block in the heart of charming downtown Riverside, and is within walking distance of other historic sites, antique shops, specialty boutiques and cultural events...

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READ MORE ROUTE 66 - FONTANA

You wouldn't know it, probably can't even quite imagine (as you drive through this area today) that this road was once lined with beautiful citrus groves. That was the almost mirage like sight that greeted weary travelers dried out and dusty from the travails of crossing the Mohave desert...

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READ MORE ROUTE 66 - RIALTO & THE WIGWAM MOTEL

Continuing my Route 66 journey on Foothill Blvd. from San Berdo, I entered Rialto, home of the famous Wigwam Motel that has provided hospitality to weary travelers since 1949. This is the seventh, and the last to be built, in the nostalgic Wigwam chain. Two others still survive, number six in Holbrook Arizona and number 2 located in Cave City, Kentucky...

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READ MORE ROUTE 66 - SAN BERNARDINO

Ever since the Route 66 Arizona weekend getaway and the Sunday excursion to the original Route 66 terminus at Broadway & 7th downtown, I've been wanting to get out and trace the route through Southern California. Last Sunday there was a break in the weather and also my curiosity was peaked by a new calendar listing for a McDonalds History Tour April 22nd. The site of the original McDonalds is located along Route 66 in San Bernardino. So I drove directly out to San Berdo to pick up a little burger history and drive the famous trail to see what remnants of old 66 I could find.

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READ MORE WEEKEND GETAWAY - ROUTE 66 ROAD TRIP

When ya gotta drive, ya gotta drive, but open road is hard to find. Driving in L.A. is only fun on Sundays or holidays, and the drive on most roads leaving town is like playing dodgeball with a bunch of semis. However, there is a road that's an uncrowded time warp back to the 50's -- historic Route 66. Also known as "The Mother Road," and "Main Street, America", it was the main road for people traveling west from Chicago and the midwest from 1926 to 1970, when it was replaced by the Interstate highway system we have today. Fortunately for us, it has been given new life as an historic route that is managed by the National Park Service...

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READ MORE SUMMER AT THE BEACH

At the southern end of the Santa Monica Bay are the beach cities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. All are prime summertime destinations and have plenty of things to do: fish off a pier, swim in the ocean, tan in the sand, walk, ride, skate, bike, play volleyball, eat, drink and be merry. During the week it's much less crowded than on weekends.

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