All "Water" Stories in Southern CA

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    Seven Bridges Paddleboard Tour

    SoCal has plenty of surprises in its abundance of mountain trails, but there are some other pathways to explore, like those on the Pacific Ocean! For a bounty of aquatic adventure, get out on the self-guided SUP “Seven Bridges Paddleboard Tour” so-named by Weekend Sherpa’s summer…

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    Grin and Big Bear It!

    Summer in Big Bear means only one thing: Get out on the lake! The best way, of course, is to rent a canoe, so you can paddle, sightsee, and rekindle summer camp memories all at the same time. If you pick up your canoe at Captain John’s Marina in Grout Bay, you’re near Stanfield…

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    Splash Landing

    The Splashing Eagle Waterpark at Lake Hemet proves waterparks aren’t just for kids. This action-packed floating waterpark, just offshore in the 470-acre lake nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, presents plenty of adult-size challenges. Challenge 1: You have to swim through the…

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    High Tide in the Old Town

    High tide or low tide, Mom will always be by your side. This Mother’s Day, show her love as wide as the ocean with a walk alongside it. Feel the sand between your toes, search for birds at two lagoons, and explore a charming waterfront village on a 3.5-mile trek in Carlsbad. Park…

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    Nuclear Option

    A private stretch of the glorious Central Coast with poppy-studded hills and wild coastal bluffs is ours for the hiking, and you’ll never guess who the willing-to-share landlord is: none other than PG&E’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Point Buchon Trail makes a grand tour of…

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    Whale Watching from Shore

    It’s gray-whale season again! The best way to see our majestic Baja-bound friends is, of course, by boat, but sharp eyes can spot them from shore too. Get in a good hike while admiring this great annual migration. One of the best shorebound spots is the 6-mile (round-trip) Bluff…

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    Baywalk!

    A sunset stroll, a beachside bike ride, a frolic with Fido, or a picnic in the park—whatever mission you choose to accept is waiting for you at Mission Bay. The bay per se is the lagoon aspect of the largest man-made aquatic park in the country, which you can explore on a 6.…

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    From Redwoods to Sea Stacks

    In the heart of Anderson Valley, Hendy Woods State Park is rarely crowded, especially in winter, and has a star attraction: ancient redwoods. There’s an easy 2-mile (round-trip) hike among the redwoods via the Discovery and Upper Loop trails. Meander among 300-foot coastal…

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    Shore Hike for Shave Ice

    Since the days of the long-gone Pike amusement park, the Long Beach waterfront has buzzed with beauty, boats, and buoyant fun, all of which you can enjoy on a 3.5-mile trek, followed by a surprise treat. Park at The Pike Outlets (validation at stores) or in a metered spot and…

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    Idyllic Lake Fulmor

    High up in the hills near Idyllwild, quaint and charming Lake Fulmor—not too big, not too small—is just right for relaxing in the cool, quiet shade. It’s not a place to go to be super active. There’s no boating. No swimming. Nothing to distract you from enjoying peace and quiet…

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    Clearly a Winner!

    Okay, let’s get something clear … like, crystal clear: The best way to see Lake Tahoe’s beautiful translucent waters is on a crystal-clear kayak! And by that we mean Wild Society’s Crystal Kayaks. Founded by Tahoe native and adventurous entrepreneur Kaylee Howell, Wild Society…

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    ¡El Matador, Olé!

    Take a walk on the Malibu coast’s wild side! El Matador State Beach is a rugged stretch of sand where 150-foot cliffs have been beaten and worn away by the turquoise waves to create a series of small sea caves. Caves and protruding boulders are all along El Matador Beach, but the…

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    A Pirate’s Cave for Me

    The sea caves of Dana Point may not hold any gold or gems (that we know of), but Pirate’s Cave is a treasure in and of itself. This 1.2-mile (round-trip) out-and-back trail along a rocky coastline is only accessible during low tide and threads between towering cliffs and crashing…

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    Abalone Sandwich

    The difference between tide pools and an aquarium? Adventure! You have to work a bit for the tide pools at Abalone Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes, but they’re well worth the effort. The payoff: a great hike with coastal views to awesome tide pools between bluffs and sea. You might…

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    Laguna Low Down

    Looking for the best tide pools in Orange County? Grab your water shoes and a tide chart, and head to Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach! The mix of shallow and deep pools provides a perfect home for all sorts of sea creatures such as mussels, barnacles, sea stars, urchins, clams, and…

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    Pools of Gold

    Montaña de Oro: The name means mountain of gold, but the real treasures here lie underwater. Luckily you don’t have to venture into the ocean to see all the cool creatures. Plenty of them are hanging out in readily accessible tide pools. Start your visit at the Spooner Ranch…

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    Dune It on the Beach!

    Here’s where camping on the beach means … camping on the beach! Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is famous for its broad, flat beach, rolling sand dunes that seem to stretch out forever, reliably cool Central Coast temps, and its undesignated campsites that invite a…

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    Down Doheny Way

    For the best beach camping in SoCal, come down Doheny way, where everybody’s gone surfin’, surfin’ USA! Doheny State Beach, that is, situated on 62 acres of coastline in Dana Point, and California’s first official state beach. Though immortalized in the Beach Boys’ 1963 hit, the…

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    El Capitán, My Capitán

    The best part about camping at El Capitán State Beach? It just might be sunset. The campground, perched on a forested bluff above the beach, gives you the best seats in the house for watching the sun settle down into the Santa Barbara Channel. Relax in a camp chair and enjoy an…

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    Hidden Lake in the Dunes

    It sounds preposterous: a lake in the dunes? That’s exactly why Oso Flaco Lake, in the Oceano Dunes south of Pismo Beach, is so cool. The 75-acre freshwater lake is surrounded by miles of dunes to the north and south, and a narrow barrier of dunes between the lake and the roaring…

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