California State Parks, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the Natural Resources Agency today announced the opportunity for fourth graders to apply for a free California State Parks Adventure Pass. Effective today, they can apply for the pass that will give them the opportunity to explore 19 select state parks free for a full year.
“The California State Park Adventure Pass is an incredible new program that will help promote a healthier, more equitable California for all—a California where every child has the opportunity to explore, learn and benefit from our state’s natural wonders,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
Championed by the First Partner, whoseCalifornia for All Kids initiatives support children’s physical, mental and social-emotional well-being, the California State Park Adventure Pass Program expands the opportunity for fourth graders and their families to enjoy the benefits of connecting with nature, with each other and with their communities.
Applying for the free pass online is simple. All that is needed is a name, address, phone number and an email address. For individuals who do not have access to a smartphone, computer or printer, and/or do not have an email address to use when applying online, they can still apply for a pass by visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office—click here for a list of locations—or by calling (800) 444-7275. For detailed information on the program and the list of participating park units, please visitparks.ca.gov/AdventurePass.
Assembly Bill 148, signed by Governor Newsom in July, established the California State Park Adventure Pass Program, a three-year pilot program that waives day-use entrance fees to 19 state parks for fourth graders and their families for a full year. Earlier this year, the governor also signed Senate Bill 129, legislation that includes $5.6 million to fund the new Pass program.
When determining which park units would be selected to participate in the pilot program, State Parks reviewed several factors including a diverse list of park units that span the state geographically. By spreading the park units throughout the state, the department will be able to maximize participation by limiting the distance that would need to be traveled to the nearest participating park. State Parks was also mindful of including a diverse collection of park units in terms of park features. The final list includes beaches, museums, redwoods, off-highway vehicle recreation, hiking trails and important cultural history.
The State of California believes in the right of all Californians to have access to recreational opportunities and enjoy the cultural, historic and natural resources found across the state. Too many Californians cannot access the state’s parks, beaches and outdoor spaces, nor the state’s array of museums and cultural and historical sites. Given this, the California Natural Resources Agency and California State Parks are prioritizing efforts to expand all Californians’ access to park, open space, nature and cultural amenities. This priority requires reshaping funding and programs to expand opportunities to enjoy these places. Doing so advances Governor Gavin Newsom’s strong personal commitment to building a “California for All.”
360 Magazine recently visited The Windy City to sight-see, socialize, and of course, enjoy some classic Chicago deep dish pizza. Below, we’ve complied a guide of our must-see stops in Chi-Town. Whether you’re planning your next vacation or prepping for a day trip into the city, 360 is sure to point you in the right direction.
Hornblower Seadog Cruises
Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Seadog Speedboat Tours in Chicago provides exciting excursions where tourists can steady their sea legs. Their boat is propelled by two V-12 motors and pushes about 2000 HP. This boat tour venue is a bit cheaper than the other traditional tours in the area. Furthermore, Seadog Cruises are also much more interesting.
Our cruise guide was extremely comical and entertaining, which made for an enthralling trip. He possessed a charismatic and energetic zeal that was infectious to our entire tour group. Yet, the most attractive part of the route was the stunning view of the Chicago skyline.
Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe
196 E Pearson St, Chicago, IL 60611
Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe (established 2004) is one of the most well-known breakfast spots in The Windy City. Their high-quality level of service and ability to produce an impeccable pancake is unmatched.
We dove into many of their dishes and secondary orders– like their turkey bacon, sausages and muffins, as well as fruit cups. If you visit, Wildberry’s fresh-pressed orange juice is a must-try. This fine eatery is handled like a well-oiled machine. Although it took a while to sit down, once we ordered our food came out right away.
3349 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657
Sidetrack is a high-energy, alternative discothèque experience. This extremely diversified and non-intrusive venue welcomes all guests. Cheap booze and good music are provided so that customers can get their groove on. The venue hosted a polite doorman and a bartender with access to several rooms.
On Sunday, Sidetrack possessed a highly mixed ratio of men and women of all genders, beliefs and cultures. 360 Magazine strongly recommends this spot for a memorable night of dancing. On the whole, the crowd was friendly, funny and fabulous. Sidetrack is the perfect spot to break the ice.
The Signature Room at the 95th®
875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
The Signature Room is a premium, fine dining room with 360° views over Chicago’s breathtaking city center. If you’re dressed to impress (since The Signature Room does enforce a dress code), head straight to the restaurant’s living room for an intimate and decadent culinary experience. To pair with your dish, The Signature Room offers many delicious specialty cocktails. As compared to any other top-class steakhouse, The Signature room is moderately prices and provides superior foodie selections. 360 Magazine was waited on by staff who was attentive, professional and amicable.
While their cuisine is amazing, the restaurant’s expansive views take the cake. The elevator pushes you to the building’s 95th floor in minutes–so if you fear heights, think twice. Regardless, The Signature Room is a Windy City staple. A must-visit.
Windy City Nails & Spa
5316 N Milwaukee Ave ste g, Chicago, IL 60630
360 Magazine stayed at nearby Airbnb in this neighborhood and wanted to get a last-minute pedicure. Windy City Nails & Spa saved the day! This nail salon and spa follows all CDC guidelines, and even took our temperature while wearing masks. This no-frills facility offers nail, waxing, and eyebrow services.
When it came time to pay, Windy City’s doting service and pedicure cost us $28. The nail tech took her time to perform the manicure with gentle care and precision. This nail parlor is great option, if you don’t want to go into downtown Chicago and pay the downtown prices.
Gorilla Sushi Jefferson Park
4945 N Milwaukee Ave #2, Chicago, IL 60630
Gorilla Sushi is a hidden gem in Jefferson Park near Merta Station. If you’re looking for Asian cuisine to tantalize your tastebuds, look no further. With tasty selections like gyoza, sushi rolls, and sashimi, even the pickiest eaters are sure to find a dish they love.
For a sushi spot, Gorilla Sushi is very inexpensive. This restaurant provides excellent service paired with picturesque presentation. Fresh, fast, and affordable, this sushi joint is a lesser-known treasure of Chicago.
56 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654
The Underground Chicago (15) is one of the most legendary nightclubs in the Midwest. Frequented by A-listers like like Justin Bieber, Usher, LaBron James, David Beckham, Will.I.Am, and Miley Cyrus– The Underground provides unmatched, elevated entertainment experiences. Beats reverberated throughout the energetic club all night, thanks to the state of the art sound system. Paired with pyrotechnics and projections, this nightclub truly knows how to put on a show.
This venue has premium bottle service, welcoming staff, and a fashionable porter. On the day we visited, Lil Jon DJ’d alongside Emmy award-winning TV host, actor and personality, Billy Dec. If you’re ready to party after the pandemic, be sure to visit here.
Beat Kitchen on the Riverwalk
91-95 E Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601
Beat Kitchen is the perfect pit stop for a cold can on a hot day. 360 Magazine quickly stopped in at this restaurant, and was impressed by their quick and extremely hospitable service. All of the staff was very welcoming.
While Beat Kitchen is a little expensive, you are paying for quality cooking that is surely worth the price. The restaurant of the atmosphere is lively and hip. Beat Kitchen creates an enjoyable ambience with their eclectic array of Afro Latino music.
840 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
H&M on Michigan Ave offers a boutique service experience and a plethora of stylish pieces. All of H&M’s clothing at this location is clean and easy to find. The merchandise was well organized and offers fashionable, budget-friendly styles for all sizes and ages.
H&M has a consistent supply of merchandise that is well-outfitted for travel and tourism. For hip adults and teens, H&M has all the trendy styles one could desire. Whether you’re looking for business casual duds or a new swimsuit for vacation, H&M has your back.
565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661
Lou Mitchell‘s lives up to its prestigious reputation as one of the best diners in Chicago. In 2018, Lou Mitchell’s received a Michelin star. This restaurant and bakery constantly beckons in customers with their excellent service, food and ambience. Lou Mitchell’s does their own baking, so customers can enjoy freshly baked breads and marmalade selections.
360 Magazine loved sitting outside in the sunshine while we enjoyed your meal. However, the inside of Lou Mitchells offers a more retro, vintage diner feel. We recommend their fluffy, delectable flapjacks!
1340 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
The legendary Giordano’s is located in Chicago’s South Loop. All other pizza shops pale in comparison when stood next to this iconic pizza shop. Giordano’s stuffed (AKA deep-dish) pizza is truly unbeatable. Layered with fresh cheese, a buttery, flaky rind, mouthwatering tomato sauce and chicken sausage, every bite is meant to be savored.
Giordano’s offers local craft beer selections to pair with their pizza pies. No matter how hungry you come in, it will be extremely difficult to eat all the pizza. The portion sizes here are very generous. However, Giordano’s pizza makes for delicious leftovers that can easily be reheated in the oven. 360 Magazine will definitely be back to enjoy another tasty slice from this iconic pizza shop.
2138 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
Modern Chinese Cookbook (MCCB) creates magical dishes that will instantly take you to Beijing. MCCB’s Sichuan and Canton style cuisine is authentic and mouthwatering. This Asian eatery has all the ingredients for a wonderful gastronomic experience: friendly staff, Michelin-starred chefs and carefully designed appetizers. We recommend trying the restaurant’s signature dish, charcoal-grilled whole fish.
Praise for MCCB continues to flow year by year, thanks to their fine food and hospitable service. If we could embrace the owners for creating such a pleasant atmosphere, we would. 360 Magazine will surely come back to MCCB soon!
Lake Mead Mohave Adventures (LMMA) proudly announces the receipt of prestigious certifications for its properties at Lake Mead National Recreation Area: the Certificate of Conformance with International Standard ISO 14001:2015 from the National Registrar Team and the Clean Marina designation from the Clean Marine Program.
LMMA’s properties include Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures/Willow Beach Marina & Campground, Callville Bay Marina, Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina, Echo Bay RV Park, Lake Mead RV Park and Temple Bar Resort & Marina.
To be designated a Clean Marina, marina and yacht club owners and operators meet the challenge of maintaining environmentally sensitive facilities with the goal of preventing and reducing pollution in our nation’s waters. It is one of two such programs not governmentally administered in the United States and has earned the endorsement of numerous industry associations and environmental groups. The Clean Marinas Program’s growing list of members includes 128 facilities around the United States. LMMA’s facilities at Callville Bay Marina, Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina, Temple Bar Resort & Marina and Willow Beach Marina & Campground have maintained this certification for more than 20 continuous years.
“We are passionate about the quality of our staff as well as about caring for the lakes and rivers in which we operate,” explained Chad Taylor, director of sales and marketing, Lake Mead Mohave Adventures. “It’s a pleasure to be able to ensure all our customers have the best in the business attending to their marina needs, as well as the cleanest and most environmentally sound operations anywhere. It’s our part to play in perpetuating the vitality of this industry and the health of our planet.”
For more information on Lake Mead Mohave Adventures, click HERE.
About Guest Services
Since 1917, Guest Services, Inc. has earned the reputation as a premier hospitality management company and national and state park concessionaire that has taken great care and pride in delivering best-in-class food, lodging, retail and recreation services. The Fairfax, Virginia-based company and its subsidiaries employ more than 3,500 staff at more than 250 facilities, which welcome approximately 30 million guests annually across the United States. Guest Services, Inc. is proud to welcome visitors at Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park and Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Washington, several parks in the Washington, D.C. area, and state parks such as Bear Mountain in New York, in addition to Missouri’s newest state park in the Ozarks–the much anticipated Echo Bluff State Park. To learn more click HERE.
What’s New, Trending and Blooming this Spring in Tennessee
Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.
Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.
Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Musicand Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.
Columbia – The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.
Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.
Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.
Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’sbarrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge, and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens.
Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.
Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.
Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.
New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries
Memphis – Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.
Clarksville – The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.
Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.
Columbia – Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter.
Carthage – Cajun wings, honey BBQ wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.
Farragut – 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.
LaFollette – Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.
Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.
Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co.uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour.
Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu.
New Attractions and Exhibits
Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.
Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50 anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.
Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming.
Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.
Johnson City – Paradise Acresis a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.
New Hotels & Places to Stay
Memphis – Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.
Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.
Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.
Pigeon Forge – Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool, and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room, gym, and laundry facilities.
Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.
Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable.
Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co.features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering, and gifts and items for special occasions.
Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.
Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park. After the journey, experience the walk-through zoo, enjoy refreshments at the concessions, the playground area, and the petting zoo.
Clarksville – Downtown at Sundown Concerts at Downtown Commons includes free live music the first and third Friday nights May through October. The large urban outdoor park allows space to socially distance with your chairs or blanket.
Linden – Experience serenity on the water. Commodore River Adventures offers an uncrowded, individual or small-group, artisan kayaking experience.
Nashville – Celebrate spring, warmer weather and longer days with more than 150,000 blooming bulbs and fun seasonal activities during Cheekwood in Bloom.
Nashville – Board the General Jackson Showboat, one of Gaylord Opryland’s most popular attractions, for cruises featuring first-class live entertainment, delicious meals and gorgeous views of Nashville.
LaFollette – Chapman Hill Winery is a quaint winery with an elegant tasting room nestled in the hills of East Tennessee on the edge of Norris Lake. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the Vineyard Vibrations live music series.
Farragut – Enjoy a stroll through town, a heritage trail, cemetery and educational sites to learn history of the area, pioneer settlements and more through artifacts, photos and stories during the Farragut History Walk.
Harriman – Lakeshore Park offers recreation fun for the family and is home to the Gupton Wetlands area, where at least 114 species of birds can be found. Bring bikes, kayaks, fishing poles and enjoy scenery and trails.
Lancing – Lilly Hopyard Brewery is tucked away in the woods near the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Warm up around the campfire, watch the game, play corn hole, listen to live music and enjoy the Sauced Frog eatery.
Winchester – Stroll with family and friends during Food Truck Fridays at the downtown Farmers Market Pavilion on the Boulevard. Downtown merchants will stay open late on the first Friday of every month.
Johnson City – At the 40-acre Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park, riders can experience the thrill of off-road riding from the gnarly, rocky downhill of the Black Diamond to smooth dirt paths on the green trails.
Pigeon Forge – Explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms, dance under an Umbrella Sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors from chefs during Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.
Spring Festivals & Events
Gatlinburg (March 18-20) – Explore the new Gatlinburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration complete with traditional Irish music, food, fireworks, and more. The city will be decorated with Shamrock green and feature fireworks show at 10 p.m. Friday at the Space Needle.
Bell Buckle (March 20) – The historic town adapts Daffodil Days to include a tree seedling give away, spring bulbs vendors on the square, spring items in stores, and a book signing by beloved former Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaugn.
Chattanooga (March 20-21) – Come see the High Falls flow green during Shamrock City at Rock City featuring Irish food, specialty beer from Chattanooga Brewing Co., bagpipers, pop-up Irish dance performers, and virtual scavenger hunt.
Linden (March 26-27) – The Blooming Arts Festival mixes fine arts, local craftsmanship, performances and fantastic local eats. Masks and social distancing recommended. Sanitization stations will be up on Main Street.
Pigeon Forge (March 26-28) – Cowboy cooks circle the wagons for the one-of-a-kind outdoor Pigeon Forge Chuck Wagon Cookoff that features chuck wagons–the original food trucks. Attendees can sample the offerings at lunch.
Murfreesboro (March 29-April 2) – Looking for a fun and safe way to kick off spring? Stop by the Discovery Center for Mess Fest. Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities such as making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more.
Spring Hill (April 2) – Grammy Award Winner Casting Crowns performs a socially distancing family-friendly drive-in concert 7 p.m. at Rippavilla. Tickets benefit the Well Outreach Food Pantry.
Crossville (April 2-June 24) – Cumberland County Playhouse kicks off its 2021 spring season with productions like Clue on Stage, The Savannah Sipping Society, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now and Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
Savannah (April 3) – The 9th Annual Generals Breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. at Cherry Mansion with an outdoor breakfast, storytelling program and a Q&A by the homeowners. Tickets are $15. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.
Murfreesboro (April 23) – Travis Tritt with special guest Frank Foster takes the stage at 7 p.m. at Hop Springs Beer Park. There’s live music every weekend at the family & dog-friendly park with food and a huge selection of craft beers on tap.
Granville (May 1) – The Cornbread & Moonshine Festival features whiskey tastings, cornbread tasting, food, music, and craftsmen. Admission is $5. The new Whiskey Decanter Museum also opens with over 3,000 whiskey decanters.
Cookeville (May 1) – Cookeville Storyfest 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the big tent in Dogwood Park includes headliners Andy Offutt Irwin and Minton Sparks, and an amateur storytelling competition.
Tellico Plains (May 1) – The Tellico Trout Festival 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. downtown gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts and families for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services.
Gatlinburg (May 1-3) – Guests can begin a creative journey in crafts, woodworking, basket weaving, jewelry making and more during Hands on Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Register in advance before workshops sell out.
Pigeon Forge (May 5-8) – Textile art and techniques to stitch quilts are on display at Pigeon Forge’s A Mountain Quiltfest. Guests can register for instructional classes. The free quilt exhibit and vendor hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LeConte Center.
Sweetwater (May 7-8) – Head to Historic Downtown Sweetwater for the Blooms, Bluegrass and BBQ Festival with live music, barbecue competition, vendors, picker’s corner, kids’ zone and fun activities.
Smithville (May 8) – Center Hill Lake Fest 4-10 p.m. at The Burlap Room Beer Garden and Dispensary features plenty of space to socially-distance while enjoying food from local food trucks, craft beer and local vendors. Please wear a mask in vendor and restroom lines. Tickets for the kid and pet-friendly event start at $20.
Rugby (May 8) – Raise a cup to Queen Victoria during the Queen’s Tea at Historic Rugby. The festive tea will include sandwiches, scones and dessert. Tickets are $22.
Wartburg (May 15) – The Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival is filled with music, food, exhibits, creative arts, crafts, a car show and 24 designated scenic trails 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. around courthouse square.
Harriman (May 22-23, May 29-31) – Join a weekend of fun with costume contests, pirate Olympics, treasure hunts, get a picture with a mermaid or scallywag or shop the merchant village for unique treasures at the 5th Annual Tennessee Pirate Fest.
Bell Buckle (May 29) – Load up the car and go on an adventure in Historic Bell Buckle geocaching for prizes 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the Bell Buckle Car Cache and Pig Bash. Registration information can be found here.
Donelson (May-October) – Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, shop from local vendors, listen to live music and stroll through the historic grounds of Two Rivers Mansion Fridays 4-7 p.m. during the outdoor Hip Donelson Farmers Market.
San Clemente Palace Kempinski, the Venetian luxury resort uniquely located on its own private island eight minutes away from St. Mark’s Square, will open for its fourth season on March 20, 2019.
Just minutes from the bustle of Venice and set among a centuries-old park, antique courtyards and monastery buildings, the 190-room resort has its own pitch & putt golf course, a tennis court, spa, heated outdoor pool and outdoor jogging trails, as well as a kids’ club for younger guests. Last year, the resort unveiled Al Bacaro, an outdoor lounge serving cichetti (Venetian tapas) and cocktails, overlooking the Venetian lagoon and skyline.
Throughout the 2019 season, San Clemente Palace will offer a number of unique offerings for Easter, Spring Break, the Venice Biennale and beyond. During Easter weekend, the resort will offer a special “Kids Stay for Free” package, along with celebratory chocolate egg-decorating workshops and Easter Brunch for the whole family. To commemorate the 58th Venice Biennale, from May 11 through November 4, 2019, San Clemente Palace will also offer a special dedicated package, including exclusive tickets to the Biennale.
San Clemente Palace is also poised to become a true foodie destination this year, as the resort will welcome four top Michelin-starred guest chefs to cook alongside Executive Chef Giorgio Schifferegger for a special event called “Cena a Quattro Mani” (“Four-Hands Dinner”). San Clemente Palace will also be home to a number of other special F&B events, including a Wine & Beer pairing menu with local craft beer and wine, and a pizza-tasting event welcoming Pizza World Champion Gianni Calaon.
In honor of the resort’s opening, San Clemente Palace is offering a discount of up to 40% on all suites for stays between March 20 and April 30, 2019.
For more information about the San Clemente Palace Kempinski, please visit
This seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures on the coast in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along the Central California Coastline on California’s scenic Highway 1, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers an unspoiled slice of California. Sitting pretty between the beach and the harbor is the most recognizable landmark – Morro Rock. This amazing landmark welcomes travelers as they approach the city from miles away and is unforgettable.
An ideal playground offering beaches, natural estuaries, kayaking, surfing, biking and hiking, fishing, golf and whale and bird watching, Morro Bay is an affordable destination for families, couples or groups. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions and breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town.
Sustainable Fishing in Morro Bay
The city of Morro Bay started out as a small commercial fishing village in the 1950s, and grew to be a tourism destination built on living an active healthy lifestyle. Today, Morro Bay is home to a thriving fishing community, successfully leading the way in sustainable small fleet fishing practices nationwide. Major publications like the New York Times and National Geographic noticed and wrote about the quaint town’s sustainable fishing practices in 2014. Leading the way in Morro Bay’s sustainable fishing practices is oyster farming. It actually began in the early 1900s and has been a part of the town’s rich culture ever since. The cold, clean waters of Morro Bay produce two specific kinds. Pacific Gold Oysters are farmed by the Morro Bay Oyster Company, and are a beautiful, hardy species that develop a robust flavor with a hint of melon. This impressive 130-acre oyster marine farm can be seen by paddleboard, kayak or from a guided tour with Lost Isle Adventure Tours.Grassy Bar Oysters are becoming a popular oyster grown and harvested in Morro Bay, exclusively raised by the Grassy Bar Oyster Company. These oysters are medium sized and have plump and juicy meats with rich, briny watermelon flavor.
Whether your adventurous spirit is extreme or serene, you will discover amazing outdoor activities in Morro Bay. For the adventurer looking for something exciting, sign up for a deep sea sport fishing expedition to catch the big one from one of the many charter boat companies that line the bay. Catch salmon, rockfish, lingcod, albacore or whatever is biting on daily fishing trips from Virg’s Landing Sport Fishing. They provide live bait in season and you can rent tackle if you need it. From kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing, to sailing and surfing, there are many rental companies to keep the active adventurer happy and healthy in Morro Bay.
Looking for a more low key adventure? There are plenty of hiking and biking trails to be found in and around Morro Bay. From the Black Mountain trail in Morro Bay State Park to hiking the Morro Bay sand spit in Montana de Oro, or the Cloisters Wetlands trails in North Morro Bay the natural beauty of this coastal community is breathtaking. Check out the Sub Sea tours for bay cruises and whale watching, or book an evening sunset or Saturday brunch cruise on the bay with one of the many other tour operators along the Embarcadero. You can even rent an electric boat and cruise the bay yourself! Or, head to the Back Bay for a round of golf at the Morro Bay State Park Golf Course. With amazing bayside views, this 18-hole course is a must do for the avid golfer. For the bird lovers, be sure to bring your binoculars. The Morro Bay National Estuary offers over 250 species of birds to discover.
Bustling Waterfront, Charming Old Town and North Morro Bay Districts
Morro Bay’s waterfront is a hub of activity that attracts tourists from around the world, local residents and anglers alike. Whether you are strolling the Embarcadero shopping and lunching, or heading out to experience one of the many water sport adventures, Morro Bay is an enchanting destination. Stroll along the Embarcadero and enjoy homemade salt water taffy, or the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls. Discover fresh fish markets offering fish and chips or steamed crab. Restaurants, wine bars, hotels, and shops abound. From the Embarcadero, take a walk out to Morro Rock, past the marinas, along the harbor walkway as you watch the boats come and go through the harbor mouth. Watch the surfers at the Rock, or have a picnic on the beach. Rent a kayak, motor boat or paddleboard and get on the water to explore the bay and appreciate the waterfront from the ocean.
Take a walk up to Old Town, the quaint downtown shopping district a short walk up the hill from the Embarcadero filled with lodging properties, antique shops, one of-a-kind boutiques, jewelry stores, art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants. The Saturday afternoon farmers’ market on Main Street is alive with produce, local vendors and fun surprises. Stop in for a matinée at the classic historic Bay Theater. Hop on the Trolley and head up to North Morro Bay to check out the fabulous beaches that stretch for miles along Estero Bay. A great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner, North Morro Bay offers several destination restaurants, a Thursday afternoon farmers’ market, surf and coffee shops and great parks. Check out the distinctive surf shops, shell shops, home décor shops, wine tasting bars, live music venues and more in this amazing working fishing village.
Morro Bay National Estuary and Museum of Natural History
The Morro Bay Estuary Natural Preserve and its 800-acre wetland are home more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds, both migratory and resident and dozens of endangered species. This extensive marsh is located at the mouth of Los Osos Creek that opens out into Morro Bay, and is designated both a state and national estuary. Wildflowers bloom in the spring and green grass and brush cover the hills, offering a seed supply that attracts birds all year-round. Morro Bay hosts the Winter Bird Festival every January attracting bird watchers and photographers from all over the world.
The great blue herons and the great and snowy egrets roost all year at the Heron and Cormorant Rookery located near the entrance of the museum. You can locate the rookery from the bay by the cluster of barren eucalyptus trees. Or you can view the rookery from the parking lot of the Inn at Morro Bay. You can walk to the site and observe these magnificent birds, watch courtship rituals, nesting habits, and, in spring, adults caring for their young.
The Museum of Natural History – the only one in the California State Park system – opened in 1962. It serves between 45,000 and 50,000 people annually, including 5,000 school children in programs that support California’s required science and social studies standards. The museum offers new state of the art displays focused on the ecology of the Morro Bay Estuary. Several of the exhibits feature touch screens that provide visitors the opportunity to find out what the forces of nature are doing at that moment in time. Visitors can build a sand dune, operate the hydrologic cycle and dig into the food pit to create their own food chains. Entry fees are $3 for adults and free to children 16 and under. The Museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Agri- and Aqua- Tourism
Agriculture and Aquaculture is alive and well in Morro Bay. From grapes, avocados and tangerines, to oysters and abalone, local chefs are in heaven preparing seasonally fresh caught fish and local produce. Meanwhile, visitors benefit from the amazing food and can also tour some of the farms. Visitors can get a behind the scenes look at a working avocado farm, the Morro Creek Ranch, boasting more than 27,000 trees that produce delicious Haas avocados of the highest quality. This family-owned agricultural operation started in 1978 and offers an avocado stand open to the public just outside of town. Morro Bay hosts two farmers’ markets in town. One in north Morro Bay at Spencer’s Market on Thursday afternoons, and the other on Main Street in Old Town Morro Bay, up from the Embarcadero, on Saturday afternoons. You’re likely to find a chef or two browsing the seasonal fare. Many local wineries offer behind the scenes tours of vineyards and crush facilities, so be sure to call ahead when planning a wine tasting tour.
Morro Bay is also home to two of the area’s renowned oyster farms, the Morro Bay Oyster Company and the Grassy Bar Oyster Co, respectively farming delicious the Pacific Gold and Grassy Bar oysters. Situated on the pristine bay, the Morro Bay Oyster company is a 130 acre marine farm that can be seen by paddle board, kayak or from a guided tour with Lost Isle Adventure Tours. Morro Bay oysters are sustainable seafood, delicious and full of nutrition. They can be found at many local restaurants and food and wine events. Just north of Morro Bay in Cayucos is the abalone farm that produces local sustainably farmed abalone for restaurants and chefs to prepare, and for visitors and locals to enjoy. Restaurants, Fresh Seafood, Wine Bars and Craft Beers
With thriving aquaculture and agriculture industries, fresh seafood and locally grown produce are in abundance in Morro Bay. Surrounding farms and vineyards yield a bounty of outstanding organic produce, fresh seafood and award-wining wines served with flair at Morro Bay’s renowned restaurants, wine bars and craft breweries.
Windows on the Water is a well know local favorite for its seasonal farm to table menus, Oyster Tuesdays, fabulous views, and an incredible wine list. Sunsets don’t get much better than from this romantic dining room on the bay. They also have a fabulous wine and extensive sake list. Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe on Market Street above the Embarcadero has been a Morro Bay favorite since 1942, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with breathtaking views overlooking the Embarcadero and the bay. They offer fresh seafood, a great brunch and make a mean bloody Mary.
Family friendly dining is abundant on the bay as well. At Tognazinni’s Dockside, Too visitors can actually watch the catch of the day being unloaded as they sit under patio umbrellas listening to live music while eating fish tacos, smoked salmon or fresh tuna from this restaurant and fresh seafood market. Oh, and they are super pet-friendly as well. The family-friendly Hofbrau der Albatross restaurant offers patio seating right on the bay with a perfect view of Morro Rock. Diners can watch the sea life frolicking in the bay as they dig into their freshly carved roast beef the restaurant has been known for serving for over 35 years. And don’t miss Giovanni’s Fish Market right on the bay, offering their famous giant calamari sandwich, fish taco Tuesdays and fried fish on a stick – a favorite for kids. This family owned fresh fish market has been a main stay on the waterfront for over 25 years.
Located on the bay with magnificent views of the harbor, the Morro Bay Wine Seller has been providing exceptional service and a comprehensive selection of local and regional wines to wine enthusiasts from near and far, for taste or purchase, for over a decade. They offer specialty cheeses, olive oils and craft beers to pick up and take with you. If you are looking for a wine bar that offers great food, stop by Stax Wine Bar & Bistro for a bite on the bay. Come relax by a fire on a plush leather couch and choose from over 150 local and imported wines with many offered by the taste, glass and bottle. Enjoy lunch or dinner from the Tapas Menu featuring gourmet cheeses and charcuterie, Panini sandwiches, prawn cocktails, oysters on the half shell, and more. Looking for craft brews? Look no further. The Libertine Pub offers patrons a cozy atmosphere, live music and an expansive beer selection, a great place to celebrate American Craft Beer Week each May. They focus their brews on barrel aged “wild ales” and offer up to 48 craft beers on tap at all times, so even the seasoned beer geek can satisfy their palate. When you’re REALLY hungry, you might be interested in trying their fish and chips burrito, deep fried in their Lagunitas IPA beer batter. It’s a legend on the waterfront.
Morro Bay: A Wine Lovers Paradise
Aside from great restaurants serving a great variety of award winning local wines and a fun sampling of wine bars dotted along the Embarcadero, Morro Bay is uniquely situated between two world class wine regions located in San Luis Obispo County.
Nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountains, just 30 minutes northeast of Morro Bay is Wine Enthusiasts 2013 Wine Region of the Year, Paso Robles. In the mid 1990’s Paso Robles was home to 35 wineries and 13,000 acres of grapes. Today there are more than 250 wineries, many of whom are small boutique producers dotting the countryside amongst Paso Robles’ 32,000 planted vineyard acres. Although the region is largely known for its stellar Rhone varietals and big Cabernets, there are more than 40 wine grape varietals produced – from Spanish to Italian to Bordeaux and Rhône, including the area’s heritage variety Zinfandel. Wine lovers can visit a large variety of tasting rooms, many of which offer picnic areas and specialty winemaker dinners.
Just 30 minutes to the southeast of Morro Bay is SLO Wine Country, which includes two small adjoining American Viticultural Areas, the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley. This wine region boasts an average distance of just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in prevailing marine conditions that are among the most pronounced of any wine region in California, forging a unifying wine quality that is native to SLO Wine Country. Cool-climate varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel here and the ocean proximity exerts a moderating effect minimizing temperature swings so that growing conditions are rarely hot or cold. The result is an extraordinarily steady growing season that fosters balanced ripening and consistent quality from vintage to vintage.
For a family-friendly California adventure head to Morro Bay where moms, dads, grandparents and little ones will enjoy a fun and comfortable getaway with a wide range of activities and places to stay. There are over 30 hotels and motels to choose from, some featuring free breakfast and convenient amenities such as mini-fridges and microwaves. From May through October, a seasonal trolley runs from the Embarcadero, to Morro Rock, up to Old Town, to the State Parks by the Back Bay Marina, and out to North Morro Bay so there is easy access to anywhere you want to go, no matter where you stay. In fact, the picture-perfect community of Morro Bay is a breeze for hotel guests to navigate thanks to the new FREE trolley service. The Morro Bay Tourism Bureau (MBTB) has partnered with the city to sponsor the trolley for the busy tourism season starting Memorial Day Weekend and going through the first week of October. Within this partnership, all guests staying at Morro Bay hotels and motels will be able to ride for FREE.
Spend a day exploring the bustling waterfront filled with classic places to stop like the Shell Shop, on the Embarcadero since 1955, or Crill’s Salt Water Taffy stand, in Morro Bay since 1970. Kids of all ages love the Sub Sea Tours where they can ride around the bay in a semi-submersible boat to get a feeling of what it’s like to be underwater without donning a wetsuit. Rent kayaks or a canoe and watch the kids light up when encountering wildlife like sea otters, pelicans or seals. Rent kites and a surrey from Farmer’s Kite Shop and bicycle out to Morro Rock along the harbor walk to fly your kites on the beach. Jump on the trolley and head up to Morro Strand State Beach and spend the day beach combing, building castles and swimming in the ocean. Oh, and don’t miss the Morro Bay Skateboard Museum featuring skateboards and memorabilia from the 1930s to present day. Every member of the family will enjoy Morro Bay no matter your age! The whole family can relax and take in all the natural beauty of this unique fishing village.
Art and Culture in Morro Bay
Art and culture take center stage in the seaside village of Morro Bay. The Art Center in Morro Bay is one of the largest California Central Coast venues for exhibiting original fine art by local artists, boasting two large galleries. The Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History is regally perched on a hill overlooking the Morro Bay Estuary. In addition to amazing panoramic views of the coastline, the view from the museum includes the world-famous Morro Rock. Featuring state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, this is the only museum of its kind in the California State Park system. The Morro Bay Skateboard Museum is the place where visitors can see the complete history of skateboarding – from the early 1930’s to present day. More than 200 skateboards are on display from all eras with rotating exhibits from extensive private collections. And there are the many shops and boutiques that carry the works of local artists. Now visitors can add the Morro Bay Mural Mile Walk to their itineraries. The Morro Bay Mural Mile tour is the perfect way to tour the downtown and waterfront areas, enjoying the 23 murals that depict the area’s natural beauty, its history and the amazing array of sea life beyond the shores.
There are also many unique art galleries and specialty boutiques in the quaint seaside town including:
• John Ramos Art Gallery a few blocks off the Embarcadero at 407 Morro Bay Blvd showcases the original paintings and limited edition prints of John Ramos, capturing images of the California beach lifestyle along CA Highway 1. (805) 772-4700; www.johnramos.com
• Forever Stoked Gallery at 1164 Quintana Road is a grass roots art collective that spreads positive energy through artwork. Nature is the source of their inspiration and currently features the paintings of Charlie Clingman, Chris Pedersen, Peter Pierce, Jordan Haughey, and Dave O’Brien and quality goods locally made in Morro Bay. (805) 772-9095;www.foreverstoked.com
• Fiona Blue Gallery at 900 Embarcadero offers an eclectic mix of sculpture, lighting, clocks, glass, pottery and paintings. Fun gallery; (805) 772-0541; www.fionableu.com
• Gray’s Inn & Art Gallery at 561 Embarcadero features original watercolors of the Central Coast area by Todd Gray; (805) 772-3911; www.graysinnandgallery.com
• The Garden Gallery at 680 Embarcadero offers a blend of indoor and outdoor living products that capture the essence of the California lifestyle. Here you’ll find lush plantings of succulents along with pottery, fountains and home accessories; (805) 772-4044; www.thegardengalleryinc.com
• The Shell Shop at 590 Embarcadero is family-owned and operated since 1955 and exhibits the largest selection of marine sea shells on the Central Coast. Shop for decorative corals, unique crafted sea shell jewelry and sea clams; (805) 772-8014; www.theshellshop.net
• Suite 1 Gallery at 601 Embarcadero #1 is a full service gallery where you can view, purchase and create your own art; (805) 772-4972
• Poppy at 901 Embarcadero offers shoppers a warm, friendly shopping experience where you’ll find artisan soaps and lotions along with women’s clothing and accessories; (805) 771-9750
Morro Bay offers a wide variety of cultural events and exciting things to do on California’s Central Coast. From on-going events like cruises, whale-watching tours, brunch and dinner cruises, and fishing charters departing daily from the Embarcadero to the annual Surfboard Art Festival, Bird Festival, Kite Festival and Art in the Park Fests, there’s something for everyone in Morro Bay. Stay in the know on what to do in Morro Bay by checking this calendar regularly.
BFF Getaways – Two Legged and Four!
Morro Bay, CA is the ideal location for a best friend’s getaway along California’s Central Coast. From girlfriend getaways to bro-cations and pet-friendly adventures, this quaint seaside village is the picture-perfect destination offering everything from golfing, fishing, and hiking, to restaurants, shopping, wine tasting and plain relaxing. The variety of lodging options in Morro Bay offers BFFs the opportunity to stay in beach front vacation rentals, luxurious inns, leading brand hotels, reliable budget and specialty accommodations that fit any budget.
Girlfriend’s getaways are perfect for Morro Bay with its fabulous water front, extensive list of restaurants, boutique shopping, wine bars and relaxing spas – not to mention amazing beaches. Start the morning off taking a nice speed walk down the Embarcadero and out the harbor walk to Morro Rock, a great way to get in exercise before the day really begins. Reward you and your BFFs with a girl’s brunch at Dorn’s, sitting on the patio overlooking the Embarcadero and the bay planning out what adventure to tackle next. From horseback riding on the beach to kayaking on the bay, to renting surreys and riding around the Embarcadero, there is no shortage of things to do. And, then there is wine and food. Located 30 minutes from Paso Robles and Edna Valley Wine Countries, wine tasting tours are a great way to spend some girl time with your BFFs. Paso Robles and SLO Wine Country are home to many wine touring companies that will come to Morro Bay and pick you up in front of your hotel, B&B or vacation rental. Or, stop by the many wine bars located in Morro Bay for some waterfront wine tasting.
Morro Bay also offers everything for the bro-cation from exciting deep sea fishing and whale watching adventures to a challenging round of golf at the Morro Bay Golf Course, offering incredible bayside views. When the tide is right, Kayaking through the channels in the Back Bay Estuary is a wildlife adventure not to be missed. When it’s time for a hearty meal and craft brew, head over to The Libertine Pub, offering an expansive beer selection and a great menu of man grub. They focus their brews on barrel aged “wild ales” and offer up to 48 craft beers on tap at all times, so even the seasoned beer geek can satisfy their palate. Their fish and chips burrito, deep fried in their Lagunitas IPA beer batter is a legend on the waterfront, sure to satisfy the hearty adventurer. Or, stop by Giovanni’s Fresh Fish Market and enjoy their blue crab sandwich or fish taco Tuesdays while you sit out on the patio.
And, you don’t need to leave your four-legged best friend at home when you travel to Morro Bay! From hotels and restaurant patios, to beaches, parks and wineries there are plenty of businesses welcoming pups with open arms. The Inn at Morro Bay located on the water next to the Morro Bay Golf Course offers a warm welcome to Fido’s and their owners. From the Best Western El Rancho, and the Bayfront Inn, to the Beach Bungalow and vacation rentals, there are dozens of pet friendly accommodations to serve every budget. Pet-friendly restaurants on the water front offer great bayside views and yummy treats for owners and their pups. From Giovanni’s and Dorn’s to Frankie and Lola’s and the Bayside Café, there are a dozen restaurants with patios that offer pet friendly choices. One of the few off leash dog beaches along the Central Coast of California is just north of Morro Bay on the way to Cayucos. This two mile stretch of sandy shoreline is a great place for a playful afternoon or a full beach day with your BFFs.
Romance is Everywhere in Morro Bay
With majestic Morro Rock casting its own shadow on the bay at sunset each night, Morro Bay offers couples a blissful, off-the-beaten-path romantic getaway. Morro Bay exudes romantic vibes and a dreamy waterfront and marina, dotted with boutique lodging options with views right on the bay. Dozens of cozy hotels, Inns, and B&B’s are within walking distance to the shore offering great amenities that serve any budget.
Think horseback riding on the beach, or renting a surrey to ride along the Embarcadero with your honey. Take a romantic stroll along the harbor walk out to Morro Rock to watch the sunset or have a picnic on the beach. Romance is whatever you make it. Kayak the bay out to the sand spit with a bottle of wine and spend the afternoon frolicking on the beach or have a romantic lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants and wine bars that line the Embarcadero and bay.
A variety of wedding venues like The Inn at Morro Bay, The View at Morro Bay Golf Couse and the Garden Wedding Chapel at Coalesce Bookstore Old Town Morro Bay are known to offer amazing destination weddings. And, of course, Morro Bay offers miles of beautiful sandy beaches offering unique scenic backgrounds for your unique wedding day. Whether planning an engagement, wedding, honeymoon or just needed time away, Morro Bay has something romantic for everyone.
Morro Bay is conveniently located on the Central Coast – close to everything and far from ordinary. Beaches and hiking trails run for miles north and wind their way up Highway 1 from Cayucos to Cambria. Morro Bay is also close enough for a day trip up to Big Sur for hiking and a nice lunch. Just north about 40 minutes is the area’s most well-known attraction Hearst Castle State Park, located just south of the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, the largest on the Pacific coast and, and the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse near San Simeon, which is open to the public for tours on Saturdays. Hearst Castle offers not-to-be-missed daily tours for only $25, and the Elephant Seal Rookery offers docent lead walks and is open every day for free. The most active times of the year are during breeding season, from December through February when almost 4,000 pups are born in just a few weeks.
Located south of Morro Bay, in Los Osos, is Montana de Oro State Park, offering hiking access to the famous sand spit that creates the western boarder of the Morro Bay harbor. This park features over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills, including the 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails. The best-known beach is Spooner’s Cove, which offers a beautiful beach with endless tide pools. The park’s name means “Mountain of Gold” and comes from the golden wildflowers that bloom in spring.
About Morro Bay
This seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. Recently named as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, outdoor activities are a way of life. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone.
Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit http://www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on its Twitter or Pinterest pages.
Located on the banks of the spring fed Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas, Schlitterbahn’s flagship waterpark has 51 attractions on over 70 acres. Family-owned and operated, Schlitterbahn provides a staggering variety and miles of river rides, waterslides, and adventures from mild to wild.
Waterpark Location: 400 North Liberty Avenue, New Braunfels, Texas 78130
The Resort at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels is open year-round. Guests can enjoy the family excitement and convenience of a resort and waterpark during the summer and the beauty of a Hill Country Getaway year-round. With hotel rooms, one and two bedroom suites, Riverbend Cabins, Treehaus Luxury Suites, and vacation homes, The Resort at Schlitterbahn has a wide range of accommodations for any type of vacation. Four Adventures – One Waterpark
The Original Schlitterbahn: Home to the signature Schlitterbahn Castle, this section of the park uses springfed water from the Comal River. Nestled beneath a beautiful canopy of trees, this section of the park has eight tube chutes, seven kids’ play areas, a wave pool, and swim up bars with heated pools. On the wild side: the Down Hill Racer and the Soda Straws. On the mild side: the Raging River and the Congo River Expedition. Surfenburg: Named for the world’s first surfing wave invented 26 years ago, the Boogie Bahn, Surfenburg is also home to the first uphill water coaster, The Dragon’s Revenge – invented 22 years ago. Also in Surfenburg: the Kristal River which circles Squirt’n Sliden, a giant kids’ play area.
Blastenhoff turns 21!: The most award-winning attraction in Schlitterbahn history, the Master Blaster, turns 21 in 2017. Using patented water injection technology, the Master Blaster starts at the top of a six story tower in Blastenhoff. (Two other rides also take off from the same tower.) Surrounding the “Blast Tower” is the Torrent Wave River – also invented 21 years ago – which combines an endless river with a wave pool for unlimited fun.
Tubenbach: Tubenbach features The Falls, the world’s longest tubing adventure. The Tubenbach area features several no-wait attractions and beaches allowing park guests to enjoy the rides without standing in line. Also, several of the Tubenbach attractions are interconnected through an innovative Transportainment® river, which allows guests to float their way throughout the Tubenbach area.
Overall, Schlitterbahn New Braunfels has four times the rides and attractions of any waterpark within 200 miles, and twice the number of attractions of any waterpark within 500 miles. Our naturally landscaped park with hundred-year-old oak, cedar, and cypress trees creates a completely different experience from the typical “hard-scaped” waterparks. We call those old school parks “cement, stairs, and slides” versus Schlitterbahn’s rivers, trees, and rides.
Schlitterbahn’s commitment to the environment is long standing. From the way the original park was designed to flow among trees, to the commitment to water conservation (98% of the water is recycled through filtration), to maintaining recycling containers throughout the parks, Schlitterbahn believes in sustainability. The development team, which builds our new parks and attractions at Schlitterbahn, constantly looks for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Schlitterbahn has expanded the number of available cabanas to include everything from BBQ palapas to super-sized cabanas suitable for ten people to share. Luxury cabanas with mini-fridges and TVs were successfully launched summer of 2015.
Schedule: Schlitterbahn New Braunfels Waterpark is open for Spring Break March 11-19, 2017 (only our Blastenhoff area), then open weekends beginning April 14, 2017 and daily beginning May 12, 2017 to August 27, 2017. The park returns to weekend operation September 2-17, 2017. Park hours vary throughout the season as does attraction availability. Online Schedule
Lodging Year Round: Schlitterbahn has a wide variety of resort accommodations open year-round. Admission to the waterpark for resort guests is included as a Splash, Sleep, Repeat Package while the waterpark is in operation.
Free Parking and Picnics: At Schlitterbahn parking is free for everyone. Schlitterbahn guests can bring a picnic from home (no glass or alcohol please). There is no charge for tubes, life vests or boogie boards.
The unique character of the park has led amusement park fans to vote Schlitterbahn New Braunfels the “World’s Best Waterpark” nineteen years in a row. The park’s six-story Master Blaster® Uphill Water Coaster has been voted the “World’s Best Waterpark Ride” repeatedly. The park also won the “World’s Best New Waterpark Ride” Award for four years for; the Dragon’s Revenge Water Coaster (2008), the Congo River Expedition, a heavily themed jungle ride (2009), and most recently The Falls, the world’s longest tubing adventure (2011).
Schlitterbahn, which means “slippery road” in German, was opened in 1979 by the Henry family with four water slides starting from a German-style tower. The tower was patterned after the Bergfried Guard Tower at Solms Castle in Braunfels, Germany – home of the original settlers of New Braunfels. The Henry family added the tower and the slides on a hill next to their resort, known back then as the Landa Resort. The family has continued to innovate, creating new ways to have fun with water that are imitated throughout the industry. More History