Victoria Beach & The Pirate Tower

SAM_5480-001California’s Laguna Beach, usually brings to mind images of modern mansions and sunny, sandy shores, so finding a relatively hidden gem like this was exciting. It is quite hidden and hard to get to. First thing you have to accomplish is finding a parking space, and then you need to locate these isolated stairs that lead down to the secluded beach.

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The History of Crystal Cove State Park

SAM_4582-001Orange County may not be known for its hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor adventures, but the free-spirited outdoorsman/woman knows much better. I’ve been exploring Orange County for two years and have never found myself unsatisfied by all of its opportunities.

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Abalone Sea Cave & Portuguese Bend Palos Verdes

IMG_0396-002Smoke from fires set by Native Americans hunting game on the hillsides overlooking San Pedro Bay, inspired Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo to name this natural harbor Bahia de los Fumos or “Bay of Smokes.”

On October 8, 1542, when Cabrillo noted in his log that the bay “is an excellent harbor and the country is good with many plains and groves of trees,” this indented coastline was little more than swampy marshland. Though the expedition did not go on land during their brief visit, they did speak with a group of Gabrielinos in a canoe, who told them there were other white men in the interior (probably survivors of the ill-fated Coronado expedition). Over the next century, other European explorers infrequently skirted Palos Verdes shores, leading natives to tell tales of the ominous “great houses on the sea.”

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Why You Should Take In The Views From Point Vicente

SAM_6154-001Set on the curve of a steep cliff, where it has stood since 1926, the San Vicente Lighthouse is a historical beauty that continues to renew its usefulness with every passing night. The Vicente Lighthouse has long been one of the area’s jewels. To the landsman, the lighthouse is a scenic delight and continual attraction to tourists, photographers and painters. To the mariner, the lighthouse is an aid to navigation, which marks the northern end of the Catalina Channel on the Pacific coast.

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The Murder House & Final Resting Places

Who can forget the terrifying house of horrors from season one of American Horror Story? Surely, anything so outrageously scary can’t be real. Um … guess again.

SAM_5430-001From the first time I saw the “murder house” on television I had to see not only what it looked like in person, but also what it felt like to stand on the front stoop.

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The Not-So-Hidden Mansion Ruins of Malibu’s Solstice Canyon

Just off the Pacific Coast Highway, between Pepperdine University and Point Dume, Solstice Canyon, is an unusually scenic hike to the ruins of a once-grand private estate.

img_9994In 1952, “supermarket magnate” Fred Roberts and his wife Florence commissioned an architect to design a modern home for them at their family ranch at Solstice Canyon in Malibu. Fred had begun buying land in the area in the 1930s, eventually amassing almost 1000 acres.

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Did You Know About This Movie Town Hidden In Agoura Hills?

sam_5925-001In 1927 Paramount Pictures purchased 2,400 acres in the hills between Malibu and the Valley for use as a “movie ranch.” The property had rolling grasslands, oak & walnut groves, streams, and canyons – everything they needed to create the illusion of wilderness.

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