The Haunted & Historic Whaley House

img_2343When most folks think of San Diego, they picture gorgeous beaches, beautiful weather and cultural and artistic attractions. But for those who have an affinity for the paranormal, San Diego beckons investigation, with its rich and dark past, haunted spots, spiritual encounters and inexplicable events.

The Whaley House may not look like anything special, but it’s been called the “most haunted house in America,” once by Time Magazine, the other by the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures. So what makes this unassuming, two-story brick house in historic Old Town San Diego such a locus of supernatural activity? This small house has as many ghost stories as it does historical accounts and that does add up to a lot. The moment I heard about the Travel Channel dubbed “most haunted place in America, I knew I had to check it out.

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The Los Angeles Zoo: Then and Now

The Griffith Park Zoo was originally opened in 1912, amusingly built on the former location of Griffith J. Griffith’s old ostrich farm. It was opened with 15 animals, and due to lack of funding; it opened without any cages, simply stockades to keep the animals in, which were inadequate for several of the species, kept on site.

Stories claim that the history of the zoo was rocky, and it was always struggling. For example, in 1916, the zoo was apparently leaking sewage into the L.A. River, and later during World War I, a meat shortage made it hard to properly care for the animals, forcing the zoo to substitute horse meat for beef, leading to the deaths of many of the meat eating animals, particularly the big cats. Luckily the zoo was free which kept visitors coming.

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Naples Island, Long Beach

This Italian-inspired Long Beach community was developed in the early 1900’s as the “Dreamland of Southern California” and consists of three islands filled with narrow streets and walkways, canals, beautiful houses and boats, a plaza with a water fountain, excellent shopping and restaurants on nearby 2nd Street. This seaside neighborhood boasts picturesque bridges reminiscent of Italy’s Mediterranean shore: Naples.

Today it’s known as 2nd Street in Naples & Belmont Shore, and it has become a thriving shopping and dining district that connects downtown Long Beach with its very own coastal – beach regions to the south.

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Wandering the Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Huntington Beach, California, that features beautiful wild flowers and many different species of birds! You can also find several species of marine life, reptiles, and mammals while exploring the reserve. Bolsa Chica is also home to Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes, both of which are venomous. Click here for more information and the Do’s and Don’ts when walking in rattlesnake territory.

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Three Years Later

Three years ago, I decided to sell everything and leave the small river town I called home. I wanted to see the country instead of being stuck in just one part of it. I wanted to feel the energies of new places and different people, and I wanted to experience the glories of history. My adventures are a constant struggle between fear and courage, but we humans are explorers and pioneers, and we find our inner strength when the end state is the absolute unknown.

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Eight Adventurous & Rebellious Women

Throughout history, bold women have been casting off the shackles of conventional life. Women who fought courageously and tirelessly to assert themselves as individuals and experts in their field, something most men have had the luxury of taking for granted.

In the female sect of explorers, there are heiresses, socialites, and rebels. But the one thing they share beyond their sex is an intrepid spirit that thirsts for adventure.

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Where’s the gold? Here are 5 California lost treasures

Lost treasure has been the focus of countless books, myths, and movies for as long as we’ve been telling stories. History is full of tales about stashes of treasure left behind by pirates, scoundrels, and thieves, and lucky for us, some of that fortune is still up for grabs. Here are five undiscovered treasures, along with a few other stories of lost treasure in California.

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Aquarium of the Pacific: Long Beach

The aquarium in Long Beach, California, is one of the largest aquariums in the United States, with more than 12,000 ocean animals and nearly 50 exhibits requiring more than a million gallons of Pacific seawater. With its sweeping, curving, wave-like architecture, the Aquarium of the Pacific is designed to emulate the ocean. It is the only aquarium in the world to focus solely on the Pacific Ocean.

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The scenic coastal wetlands in Newport Beach

Nestled in the center of busy streets, multi-million dollar homes and shopping malls is a small body of water that is teaming with life: the Newport Back Bay. The reserve encompasses the inland delta that connects the Upper Newport Bay and Newport Harbor.

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