Sneak Peek at The Ranch in Laguna Beach

The Ranch at Laguna Beach Viewthis coming year, i will be partnering with The Ranch at Laguna Beach to share the latest news and all about what’s happening at OC’s newest hidden gem. just two weeks ago, the hubby and i got to check it out and enjoy a weekend stay so that i could share a sneak peek of what’s to come. everything that we experienced is already available to anyone who wants to book a stay at The Ranch. it’s still under construction, but it’s scheduled to open with all of it’s amenities by summer 2016. currently, there are a number of rooms available at a special preview rate. and there’s the restaurant, golf course, pool, and in-room spa services also available.

now to show you a sneak peek of The Ranch at Laguna Beach….The Ranch at Laguna BeachThe Ranch at Laguna Beach is tucked away in a beautiful canyon right off of Pacific Coast Highway across from Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach. before now, it was a golf club with some old-school condos built in the 60’s, a local golfing spot situated in one of the most serene and natural settings in Orange County. the 9-hole course was designed by Gary Roger Baird, and is carved into the naturally dramatic and lush walls of Aliso and Wood Canyons, creating an ultra-private playing experience with stunning views and elevation changes on every fairway.

starting with this great golf course, The Ranch at Laguna Beach has transformed the old condos into beautifully decorated, Laguna Beach inspired retreats that are nestled right next to the lush golf course.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach GolfingRooms at The Ranch in Laguna what excites me most about The Ranch, is that it’s unlike any other luxury hotel in Orange County. The Ranch at Laguna Beach gives you the luxury of a four star hotel, with experience of being surrounded by nature – secluded within a peaceful blend of canyon and sea. it’s an authentic sanctuary that invites guests to get caught up in the world of a Laguna local that’s off the beaten path in every sense. a stay at The Ranch is a microcosm of the best of Laguna in one organic, refined place. the staff offers an insider’s take on hidden surf spots, shops and specialty galleries. laid-back luxury speaks to the Laguna mindset, and non-stop programs, such as the barefoot Friday golf with three clubs, and monthly art gallery tours, all capturing the vibe of our unique locale.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach Hotel Check-inthe rooms are beautifully decorated with a Laguna Beach vibe. probably one of my most favorite resort looks ever. tranquil and beachy with a vintage flair, i love the pops of orange. we arrived to The Ranch later in the evening, so we enjoyed some room service and just chilled out in the room. a nice evening just the two of us….it was the best.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach Caricutrie PlatterThe Ranch at Laguna Beach King BedThe Ranch at Laguna Beach BathroomThe Ranch at Laguna Beach DetailsDecorated Room at the Ranchthe next morning, we woke up bright and early. we were treated to homemade energy bars made by the chef of The Ranch, and then got transportation to the “Top of the World”, a favorite local hiking spot. we made it just in time for the sunrise. a morning hike with views of the ocean and of Orange County’s hills was just the recharge i’ve been needing.

Homemade Energy Bars at the RanchSunrise in Aliso ViejoFuji Water HikingHiking in Aliso ViejoAnimal Print Aliso ViejoHiking in Newport BeachOcean View in Aliso Viejo

we worked up an appetite after all that hiking, so we headed back to clean up an enjoy breakfast at Harvest, the only restaurant currently open at The Ranch so far. it’s last seating is at 3pm, and it serves breakfast and lunch. lets just say that the food we had was amazing, so fresh…and the view quite nice as well.

The Harvest Menu at the RanchThe Ranch at Laguna Beach Golf CourseBrunch Places in Orange County Breakfast at the Ranch in LagunaBest Breakfast in Orange County

after breakfast, the hubby and i explored the rest of The Ranch. it was amazing for a nature lover like myself. someone who loves the idea of camping in the great outdoors…but also craves a little luxury on my vacations. there are trails to walk, and explore….plus there is so much more to come. the Sycamore Spa will be opening spring 2016 and by this summer, the Ranch House, the Canyon Camp activity center, featuring a multitude of activities, and the Ranger’s Station, providing nature and adventure-driven kid’s programming will also be open. it’s going to be an awesome place for families to stay. there are even family suites available.

on this day we rode through the golf course, checked out the outdoor event space area, saw where they were working on the chefs garden and the pool. you will notice a lot of the architecture and fences are made with reclaimed wood from the previous construction. a lot of attention is being taken to make sure that The Ranch is made with high standards regarding sustainability and with high environmentally friendly standards. this is very important to the resort.

The Pool at the Ranch in Laguna BeachThe Ranch at Laguna Beach riverThe Ranch at Laguna Beach Reclaimed WoodThe Garden at the Ranch in Laguna BeachThe Ranch at Laguna Water Tower

there is also special suite that is under construction called “The Tree House”. i got a glimpse of the inside, and it is going to be a very special place for guests to stay. 

The Ranch at Laguna Beach Tree House
this is soon to be the home of the main lobby, a restaurant and event space that will host weddings and special events. a large deck will be overlooking the gorgeous golf course and canyon. yes, currently there is a lot construction happening in and around The Ranch, but it still is very enjoyable. The Clubhouse at the Ranch at LagunaThe Golf Course at the Ranch
if you need a snack or a coffee break while you are at The Ranch, stop by Ben’s Pantry. it’s rustic, organic feel is reminiscent of a treasured country bakery and cafe. it is the place for a local outdoor café experience – featuring natural wood display cases and a local legendary vintage espresso machine. it is stocked with California flavors and seasonal ingredients. Ben’s Pantry is changing the way Laguna does local. it’s your new coffee stop in the canyon, and it’s as perfect for enjoying outdoor eats as it is for sipping your favorite California coastal wines. even if you aren’t staying at The Ranch, you can still stop by and enjoy the delicious food of Ben’s Pantry or the Harvest restaurant.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach Coffee Shop

finally, the best treat of our stay was an in-room couples massage. it was amazingly awesome and the best massage i’ve ever had. it left me feeling so relaxed, i spent the rest of the day in bed. please do not disturb….i’m having the best day ever! Couple's Massages at the Ranch in Laguna The Ranch at Laguna RoomsRelaxing Sign at the Ranch before we headed home, we stopped by the beach to enjoy the salty air and ocean breeze. it’s within walking distant from The Ranch, and starting soon, a shuttle service will also be available to take guest to and from the beach.Aliso Beach ParkAliso Creek Beach as you can see, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is going to be a magnificent getaway for couples, families, and those who love the beautify of the Laguna Beach beaches and wilderness canyons. it has a great vibe and offers something that is unique from any other hotels in the area. i just can’t wait to take the entire family this summer to check out all that there will be to offer families. i also hope to make it a favorite staycation getaway for years to come!The Ranch at Laguna Beach Vintage Car

Hard Hat Tour of Great Wolf Lodge Southern California

reat Wolf Lodge Southern Californiatoday was an exciting day! i have been anxiously awaiting the time when a Great Wolf Lodge would be built here in Orange County, and it looks like my dreams are going to come true in February of 2016. today i got to take a hard hat tour of the construction site and see for myself what has been happening at the new Great Wolf Lodge Southern California. let me tell you, this is going to be very exciting! Great Wolf Lodge Orange Countyif you haven’t heard of Great Wolf Lodge before, i highly suggest getting to know all about it. there are many of these lodges located around the United States, but until now, the closest two are in Washington and Texas. i have been wanting to take the family to one since i discovered them about 4 years ago. i have been trying to convince my husband to take the trek to Texas so my wish could come true, but we haven’t been able to make the time. but now, the Great Wolf Lodge has come to me!

construction is in full swing at the new Great Wolf Lodge. it is located on Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove just north of the 22 freeway and South of Disneyland. i guarantee that this is going to be a very popular attraction in Southern California, and you are going to want to take the family. this place is AWESOME!!!!! let me take you along on a hard hat tour….Great Wolf Lodge TourGreat Wolf Lodge is a 12 acre indoor water park resort with 603 rooms. it feels like you are walking into an upscale wilderness lodge. besides hosting one of the largest indoor waterparks in North America, it also has entertainment, restaurants and shops to complete a family-friendly resort feel. the main character at the lodge is Riley the Wolf, and kids can get to know and play with him and his woodland pals during your stay.
Great Wolf Lodge Outside Constructionas you walk in the main entrance you will enter the main lobby area. it will be big and open with a grand staircase in the center. of course it will be decorated with all the lodge decor you can imagine…and those white chairs will be gone.

Great Wolf Lodge Lobby
to the left, there will be a grand fireplace that rises to the ceiling. this is where guests will gather each evening in their pajamas to listen to campfire stories, songs and even a show. this is what Great Wolf Lodge is all about.Great Wolf Lodge Fireplace

i was able to walk down the hallways to where the rooms are going to be and check out a few that have been completed. can i just say these hotel rooms have a different kind of feel than most hotel rooms you will find in California. most hotel rooms in Southern California have a beachy, California feel, but these feel like you are in a wilderness lodge. they have rustic charm, fit large families and have special features in select rooms for the children to enjoy.

Great Wolf Lodge Hard HatTourhere is an example of family suite. it has multiple rooms and two bathrooms. it has standard decor and can sleeps up to 8 people.Great Wolf Lodge Grizzly Bear SuiteGreat Wolf Lodge Flowerthis is a double queen suite. i would consider it your standard room. nice and comfy, decorated with rustic charm.Great Wolf Lodge Family Suiteif you are looking to add a little magic to your stay, there are also deluxe rooms available that cater to the children with special bedroom cabins and bunks. the Wolf Den Suite has a special wolf den that the children can sleep in that also has special lighting and music effects for a themed stay.Great Wolf Lodge Kids RoomGreat Wolf Lodge Kids RoomsGreat Wolf Lodge Orange County Hotelthere are also kid cabin suites that have cabins within the room for the kids to sleep in. they also have themed walls. Great Wolf Lodge Room Decoration Great Wolf Lodge Room Decorall the rooms come with fun surprises and all are really nice. you may even come back to a special towel wolf sitting on your bed.Great Wolf Lodge Towel Wolfthen there’s the waterpark!!!!! this is the main attraction and the coolest part of the Great Wolf Lodge!!!! it will be EXCLUSIVE TO RESORT GUESTS, so you don’t have to worry about over crowding. the main attraction will be Fort Mackenzie, and multi-level treehouse with water features and a giant bucket that fills up with water and dumps over the crowd every few minutes.
Great Wolf Lodge Waterparkthere will be slides for all ages, a lazy river and the Mountain Edge Raceway where you can ride on mats down a slippery slide.Great Wolf Lodge Howlin' TornadoGreat Wolf Lodge Family Funhere is where the wave pool will be located. it is gigantic! and don’t worry about their not being enough lifeguards. Great Wolf Lodge will be hiring almost 300 guards. there will be around 50 on duty at all times during waterpark hours.Great Wolf Lodge Wave Pool Construction
this is the view from the outside of the lodge. this just gets me excited! its going to be such a fun place to visit and stay at.
Great Wolf Lodge Orange County Resortinside the waterpark area, there will also be swimming pools that lead outside, and the Wolf Rider Wipeout, and indoor surf simulator.Great Wolf Lodge Flowrider Slidethis is just small peek of whats coming to the Great Wolf Water Park. it is going to be spectacular. and don’t worry about water being wasted. all the water in this water park is recycled with in house filtration systems. Great Wolf lodge has gone to great lengths to make sure that the resort is being fit with the latest water saving fixtures and technology.Read More…

Popsicle Blog Road Trip: The Homestead Crater in Heber Valley

Homestead Resort Crater - Swim Inside a Crateri loved all the places that we visited on our road trip, however, Heber Valley captured my heart. Heber Valley is made up of a few small towns, Heber City, Midway and Daniel. All together, they are referred to as Heber Valley, and are located just south east of Salt Lake City, Utah, nestled in a valley among beautiful mountains. the towns have small town charm and the scenic landscapes are gorgeous. this is one place that i would love to further explore, as we only had one day of adventure there.

Homestead Resort

in the city of Midway, Utah, you will find The Homestead Resort, where the Homestead Crater can be located on the property. this Crater is a geothermal spring, hidden within a 55-foot tall, beehive-shaped limestone rock. it took over 10,000 years for this Crater to be formed by melting snow on the Wasatch Mountains. the melted snow seeped deep within the earth, two miles below the surface where the earth’s interior heated the water. as the water was then percolated upward, it picked up minerals that were then deposited on the surface. eventually it formed this volcano-shaped limestone deposit called The Homestead Crater.

the Crater is open to the public, and for a small fee, you can swim inside of it. people of all ages, even babes can enjoy this experience. imagine, swimming inside a mountain under the ground. so cool. and since it is a natural warm spring, the water is hot and also has the smell of sulfur, but it isn’t too bad.

here is the entrance that leads you into the Crater.

Heber Valley - Homestead Crater EntranceHomestead Crater Entrancewhen you get inside, there are changing rooms and an area where you can get life jackets or rent scuba equipment. you can choose to either soak, swim, or snorkel in the warm 90º-96ºf  natural mineral water. certified divers can explore the warm waters of The Crater for a maximum of 35-minutes and a depth of 35-feet. the Crater’s water is about 60 feet deep.

Homestead Resort Cratermy husband and older son were most excited to jump right away into the water. it is dark within the crater (the do have dim lights on), which was a little creepy to my younger boys. my youngest son, Vann, decided he didn’t want to swim.Heber Valley - Utah Family Travelit took Kyle a little bit of time to get up the courage to jump in the water, but he finally made it in and had a blast. you have to be careful when entering the water because there could be scuba divers in the water below. you can not see down into the beautiful crystal clear blue water, is very dark below.
Swimming in the Homestead Craterthe little one and i watched the boys having fun and explored the inside of the Crater. it’s hard to describe how interesting it was to be underground, swimming in one of natures phenomenas, but it was soooo cool.Swimming in the Homestead Crater Utah

guests can also take a short hike up to the top of the Homestead Crater. there are stairs that lead you to the top. the hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air into the Crater while the interior stays heated by mineral water at a constant range of 90 – 96 degrees Fahrenheit. Homestead Crater Hikeat the top, you have a view of Heber Valley that is so beautiful. the mountains surrounding the towns, the blue sky and puffy white clouds are what made me fall in love with Heber Valley.

Best Places to Visit in Utah - Family Travel a small bridge takes you over the top of the Craters top hole. you can look down a see the swimmers below.Homestead Crater in Heber Valley Utahand here is what it looks like from the inside looking up.Heber Valley - Homestead Crater

the Crater’s naturally warm water is pumped out of the crater and down the side of the beehive shaped rock. if it wasn’t pumped out as the natural springs filled the crater up, the water would fill the crater to the top and spill out of the hole shown in the picture above. pumping the water out makes it possible to swim inside, and allows people to have an experience unlike any other.
Homestead Crater at Homestead Resortswimming and exploring The Homestead Crater was a great experience for our family, not only was it fun and interesting, it was also educational. we had a wonderful time and will definitely swim in the Crater again on our next visit to Heber Valley.
Homestead Resort Crater Swimming

check out some more of our Popsicle Adventures during our summer 2014 road trip through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Yellowstone:

Where We Traveled
How We Traveled
Tahiti Village – Las Vegas
Denny’s and Fremont Street – Las Vegas
Cedar City KOA
Fort Zion – Utah
Zion National Park – Utah
Kanab – Utah
Historic Parry Lodge – Kanab, Utah
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Kanab, Utah
The Real Up House – Herriman, Utah

Saving Money on Family Travel with CityPASS

Torontolast year, i had the opportunity to visit New York for a blogging conference, and had a couple of days to myself to explore New York City with one of my besties Pattie. there were a few of museums and landmarks that we both wanted to see, and decided to buy a CityPASS because that was the best price we could get to see all of the attractions on our list. then, a couple of months ago, i attended the TMS Family Travel Conference and was able to learn a little bit more about the City Pass. i was really impressed at the benefits this pass has for travelers, so i wanted to share it’s benefits with my readers.

City-Pass-New-York

what is a City Pass?
CityPASS is a booklet of admission tickets to the best and most popular attractions in a single city. you will save up to 50% compared to combined regular box office prices. CityPASS booklets are valid for nine consecutive days beginning the day of first use (14 days in Southern California). you can visit any of the attractions in the booklet, in any order you like.

benefits of a City Pass
skip the ticket lines–once you have your CityPASS booklet, head straight for the entrance. and the City Pass is easy to purchase. you get all your attraction tickets in advance in one easy purchase which you can buy before your trip or even when you arrive. when you purchase it, you can choose a delivery option during checkout: email voucher or ship ticket booklets.

which cities offer a City Pass
currenty, you can get a City Pass for 11 cities that are popular tourist destinations in the United States and Canada. these cities are: ATLANTA, BOSTON, CHICAGO, HOUSTON, NEW YORK, PHILADELPHIA, SAN FRANCISCO, SEATTLE, SOUTHERN, CALIFORNIA, TAMPA BAY and TORONTO. City Pass is looking to offer the City Pass to more cities soon, so check back often.

now, let me explain the City Pass a little further so that you can see exactly what you get when you purchase one. after you purchase the City Pass for the city you are visiting, you receive a little booklet with tickets in it. each city has different tickets for their own popular attractions. when you arrive at that attractions, just head to the entrance and let them scan your ticket. then you are in. simple as that. not only is it easy, it also save you money, because the price you pay for the City Pass is much less than if you were to purchase the tickets at the door.

let me share with you what each city offers…

Atlanta City PassAtlanta
price
Adult ages 13+: $68.65 + tax  •  Child ages 3–12: $54.74 + tax
attractions
Georgia Aquarium
World of Coca-Cola
Inside CNN Studio Tour
Zoo Atlanta OR Atlanta History Museum
Fernbank of Natural History OR High Museum of Art
savings
$60.60 per adult  •  $52.74 per child

Boston City PassBoston
price
Adult ages 12+: $54  •  Child ages 3–11: $39
attractions
New England Aquarium
Museum of Science
Skywalk Observatory
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Harvard Museum of Natural History OR Old State House
savings
$46.95 per adult  •  $27.95 per child

 

Chicago City PassChicago
price
Adult ages 12+: $94  •  Child ages 3–11: $79
attractions
Shedd Aquarium with VIP entry
Sky Deck Chicago with Fast Pass
The Field Museum with All-access Pass
The Museum of Science and Industry OR 360 Chicago
Adler Planetarium OR Art Institute of Chicago
savings
$100.95 per adult  •  $86.90 per child

 

Houston City PassHouston
price
Adult ages 12+: $49  •  Child ages 3–11: $39
attractions
Space Center Houston
Downtown Aquarium
Houston Museum of Natural History
Houston Zoo OR Kemah Boardwalk
The Children’s Museum of Houston OR Museum of Fin Arts, Houston
savings
$45.65 per adult  •  $32.07 per child

 

New York City PassNew York
price
Adult ages 18+: $109  •  Child ages 6–17: $82
attractions
Empire State Building Experience
American Museum of Natural History
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
MoMA
Top of the Rock Observatory OR Guggenheim Museum
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island OR Circle Line Cruises
savings
$74 per adult  •  $58 per child

 

Philadelphia City PassPhiladelphia
price
Adult ages 13+: $62  •  Child ages 2–12: $39
attractions
The Franklin Institute
Philadelphia Trolley Work and Big Bus Company
Adventure Aquarium
Philadelphia Zoo OR National Constitution Center
Eastern State Penitentiary OR Please Touch Museum
savings
$50.72 per adult  •  $40.23 per child

 

San Francisco City PassSan Francisco
price
Adult ages 12+: $86  •  Child ages 5–11: $64
attractions
Muni & Cable Car 7-Day Passport
California Academy of Sciences
Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise
Aquarium of the Bay OR Monterey Bay Aquarium
Exploratorium  OR De Young Museum
savings
$81.90 per adult  •  $59.90 per child

 

Seattle City PassSeattle
price
Adult ages 13+: $64  •  Child ages 4–12: $44
attractions
Space Needle – 2 Visits
Seattle Aquarium
Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
Emp Museum OR Woodland Park Zoo
Pacific Science Center OR The Museum of Flight
savings
$59.75 per adult  •  $37.35 per child

Southern California City Pass

Southern California
price
Adult ages 10+: $334  •  Child ages 3–9: $291
with San Diego Zoo/Safari Park add-on: Adult ages 10+: $370 •  Child ages 3–9: $319
with Legoland add-on: Adult ages 10+: $393 •  Child ages 3–9: $346
with San Diego Zoo/Safari Park/Legoland add-on: Adult ages 10+: $429 •  Child ages 3–9: $374
attractions
Disneyland Resort & Disney California Adventure – 3 Days
Universal Studios Hollywood
Seaworld San Diego
optional add-ons:
San Diego Zoo & San Diego Safari Park
Legoland California
savings
$109 – 150 per adult  •  $127 – 175 per child

 

Tampa Bay City PassTampa Bay
price
Adult ages 10+: $99  •  Child ages 3–9: $84
attractions
Busch Gardens Tampa
The Florida Aquarium
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Chihuly Collection OR Museum of Science & Industry
savings
$96.45 per adult  •  $87.10 per child

Toronto City Pass

Toronto
price
Adult ages 13+: $50.56 + tax  •  Child ages 4–12: $32.56 + tax
attractions
CN Tower
Royal Ontario Experience
Casa Loma
Toronto Zoo
Ontario Science Center
savings
$37.59 per adult  •  $26.45 per child

 

when you are traveling to any of these cities and want to visit their most popular attractions, be sure to check out CityPASS and see if it will save you money. it save not only money, but time waiting in line. and when you are on vacation, the more time you are spent enjoying yourself the better! for more information on CityPASS visit their website.

Family Travel: Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel

Point-Lobos-Reserve-Northern-California-Family-Traveli just recently wrote about our stay at the Hofsas House in Carmel, CA, and how much we enjoyed it. the stay was wonderful, partly because the landscape of Carmel is so breathtaking. the rocky ocean views are a little different the the ocean views you see here in Southern California. and it was such a treat to experience another set of ocean views in Carmel and Monterey.

of the three days we were in Carmel, we spent the good part of one of the days at the Point Lobos Reserve. it opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes 1/2 hour after sunset each day, and we arrived at the reserve mid morning. a single day-use parking pass runs $10.00.Point Lobos State Park Beachwhen you arrive, you can visit the information center and have one of the rangers steer you towards the trails you are most interested in walking and exploring. there are a lot of different areas that offer scenic views and interesting landscapes for you to enjoy. you could spend an entire day…maybe even two enjoying all that Point Lobos Reserve has to offer. they also offer guided tours and nature walks.Point Lobos State Park Informationthe first area that we explored was the Sand Hill Trail and Sea Lion Point. the trails are nicely manicured and it is a very easy hike (more like a walk) for this area. there are even handicap accessible areas along these trails.
Outdoor foundation spfwe were able to hike around, climb some of the rocky areas and look out at the different scenic landmarks. at Sea Lion Point you can look out and see hundreds of sea lions sun bathing on the little islands off the point. i suggest bringing binoculars with you so you can look out and see different wildlife such as the sea lions, birds and even whales.Point Lobos State Park MontereyPoint Lobos State ParkPoint Lobos State Park HikeCarmel-By-The-Sea-Point-Lobos-sea-lion-pointpoint loboswhile we visiting, one of the rangers had set up a few tables with informational books, different kinds of animal pelts, bones and footprint castings of the local wildlife. the boys enjoyed learning about the animals that lived around Point Lobos Reserve. the rangers are very helpful with any questions you have about the reserve. he recommended we head over to Bird Island, hike the trails around the that area and visit Pelican Point, China Beach and Gibson Beach.
Carmel Point Lobos Animalsit was lunchtime so before we headed over to Bird Island, we hiked over to one of the picnic areas and to have a picnic lunch. no we didn’t eat mushrooms, but we discovered these and many other cool nature finds alone our walk to the picnic area.

Point Lobos State Park Northern California Family Travelfor lunch, we had picked up some deli sandwiches, fruit salad, pasta salad, quiche and treats from the 5th Street Deli in Carmel. there were lots of yummy and unique food items to choose from, including pre packed picnic boxes, so i highly recommend stopping by the 5th Street Deli and getting some lunch or snacks to enjoy while you are exploring Point Lobos Reserve. (expect to pay $8-15 per lunch with a drink at 5th Street Deli)

Carmel 5th Deli Picnic Lunch Carmel 5th Deli Rainbow Popcorn
the Bird Island area didn’t disappoint, the landscape was just like a painting. the water was emerald green and the contrasting white rocky cliffs were so beautiful.

Carmel-By-The-Sea-Point-Lobos-Bird-Island
we enjoyed looking down to China Beach and seeing a family of seals bathing in the sun. China Beach was closed, but the view was still awesome.
Point Lobos State Park Sealswe then hiked down to Gibson Beach to check out the white sand and crystal green water.
Point Lobos State Park Gibson Beachit was a bit of a hike down the steep staircase, but the beach was quiet and calm, and a fun place for the boys to run and play on. since the water seemed a bit rough, so we did not enter the oceans around Point Lobos Reserve.

Point-Lobos-Gibson-Beach-Bird-Islandwe absolutely loved our time at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. it is outstanding for sightseeing, photography, painting, nature study, picnicking, SCUBA diving, and jogging. not only is it’s natural beauty breathtaking, nearly every aspect of its resources is of scientific interest. you get a chance to witness rare plant communities, endangered archeological sites, unique geological formations, and incredibly rich flora and fauna of both land and sea.

point lobos carmel

if you plan on visiting Point Lobos Reserve, head over to the Point Lobos Foundation website to plan your visit, check out trail maps and get any information you may need. i highly recommend this area for anyone who love the outdoors and the beauty of nature and the ocean. it is great place for families and all skill levels. just remember to respect the power of the ocean, help avoid a disaster by keeping at a safe distance. and please remain on the designated trails within the wire guides, and stay away from the rocky cliffs as rock climbing is absolutely prohibited.

check out some of the fun we had on our family travels to Carmel-by-the-Sea
Dennis The Menace Playground – Monterey, California
Hofsas House Boutique Hotel in Carmel, California

also, check out another view of Point Lobos Reserve over at Nature Play Trips!!!! Michele is sharing some great photos and tips on her blog.