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Strawberry and Other Festivals in CA — The Largest Strawberry Festival (Almost!)

LA’s Top Budget Hotel Hotspots

by admin on November 21, 2013

LA Skyline at night

The greater Los Angeles region is jam-packed with brand name hotel chains, high-end boutique hotels and private villas. But what about the rest of us? Those lowly folks who want to enjoy the glitz and glam of Hollywood without breaking the bank?

What many people might not know is that LA is full of reasonably priced, stylish and quirky accommodation options for all kinds of budgets and tastes. If you’re looking to stay in and around San Gabriel and the LA area, consider one of the following options for the best in cheap hotels…

The Cadillac

This ‘hard to miss’ pink and turquoise art deco hotel was built in 1914 and lies on the border separating Venice and Santa Monica. The Cadillac Hotel features rooms with views of Santa Monica bay that extend all the way up the coast to Malibu. This historical spot was once the summer home of Charlie Chaplin and now provides immediate access to the interesting scenes to be found along the Venice boardwalk. With reasonably priced and recently renovated rooms the Cadillac is transitioning from a backpacker’s staple to a more sophisticated hotel. For the best view of the Pacific head to the roof and watch the sunset.

The Hollywood Pensione

This charming three-room guest house in Franklin Village, East Hollywood is both family-run and impressively chic. Tucked away in a 1915 Craftsman home, the Hollywood Pensione features sleek and stylish rooms with private baths. The house features a common lounge with a balcony as well as access to a fully-equipped kitchen. Franklin Village is a favourite spot for many local artists and writers and is home to several charming shops, restaurants and grocery stores. The area, much like the Pensione is chic without being pretentious; the perfect blend of LA life.

Image by Zeetz Jones

Image by Zeetz Jones

Farmer’s Daughter

What was (until very recently) a bare bones roadside motel has now become one of the quirkiest and beautiful boutique hotels in LA. The Farmer’s Daughter was originally a notorious destination for young Hollywood newcomers desperate to be ‘discovered’ by the CBS studio executives who worked directly opposite the hotel. The modern incarnation of the hotel stays true to this provenance and ties its seedy past to its chic present with things like gingham curtains, denim bedspreads, rocking chairs in rooms, wifi and 24 hour valet parking. The Farmer’s Daughter is at times bizarre but undeniably beautiful and sure to be one of the most memorable hotel stays you’ll ever have.

Garden Cottage B&B

Located at the foot of the Hollywood Hills on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, the Garden Cottage B&B is a charming and scenic spot to spend your LA holiday. The B&B’s proprietors are well known for serving up delicious organic breakfasts that are supplied largely from the garden and they are more than willing to provide helpful tips about how to get around and what to see. The B&B offers four rooms, each offering up their own unique character and charm. While the vibe of the B&B is largely wholesome and organic the location is Beverly Hills adjacent so visitors can experience absolutely everything that LA has to offer its guests.

Geri Jackson contributes to a number of holiday and travel blogs whilst travelling around North America and prides herself on finding top-drawer cheap hotels whenever she’s in the market for a low-cost accommodation.

Beach in LA



Los Angeles, a city with year round warmth, is known for attracting residents and travelers with its eclectic personalities, luxury shopping, class act entertainment and, of course, beautiful beaches. Everyone knows LA can be a trip that is stressful on the wallet, but it doesn’t have to be with Tripadvisor advice, Priceline coupon codes, and by spending most of your time at the best beaches in town. LA’s long coastline is divided amongst several beaches, each specializing in their own flavor and appeal. For those passing through, there are 5 must-stop beach spots that are well worth the visit:

Leo Carrillo State Beach

The perfect adventure spot along the coast of Los Angeles, Leo Carrillo State Beach rests in the heart of Malibu. Stretching a little over a mile, Leo Carrillo offers mysterious sea caves and sparkling tide pools for outdoorsy types to explore. In addition, visitors can maximize their excitement with guided nature tours, picnics and camping in the state park. As a preserved area, Leo Carrillo is a little piece of heaven.

Hermosa Beach

Relax at an outdoor café or shop one of many hipster stores as you experience the unique vibe that only Hermosa Beach can offer. Stroll or bike along the paved walkway as you embrace the sun, sand and surf with other passerbys. When you’ve had enough tanning and playing along the expansive seashore, check out Pier and Pier Plaza for a bite to eat or a frozen cocktail of sorts.

Surfrider Beach

Let’s face it. California is known for its abundance of surfers seeking out the ultimate wave set. Both surf lovers and spectators flock to Malibu Surfrider Beach for the smell of coconut sunscreen, toned bodies, salty air and a refreshing dip in the Pacific. Experienced and novelty surfers are drawn to the rolling waves for a taste of ocean bliss. In addition to extreme sports excitement, LA’s hottest bods spend their days soaking up the scorching, California sun at Surfrider Beach. Who doesn’t like a little eye candy at the beach?

Venice Beach

The people-watching capital of LA rests along the sunny shores of Venice Beach. The world famous boardwalk draws the most interesting and colorful characters in town. It will leave visitors with a taste of the diverse population that coexists within LA. Live music, skaters and acrobats are only a sampling of the entertainment possibilities that have made Venice beach a platform for their talents. Palm readers and other eccentrics continue to breathe fun and life into this historical beach town.

El Matador Beach

Lovers agree that El Matador is the most romantic beach in LA. Forceful waves crash against the rocky shores of this secluded beach, creating the perfect ambiance for a passionate getaway. The soothing sound of the tides paired with crystal blue waters are a dream for couples seeking out a spectacular date spot, especially during the sunrise and sunset hours. No matter when you go, the view is remarkable and is guaranteed to impress your second half.

The best part about traveling to Los Angeles is that so much of the Cali scene can be experienced without ever leaving the sun, sand and surf.

Ms. S. has been to California many of times and loves the beaches that California has to offer. She has yet to try out surfing or paddle boating, but that’s on her bucket list!

5 Haunted Landmarks of Los Angeles

by admin on October 4, 2013


There is always a lot going on behind the scenes in Los Angeles, and hauntings and ghost stories number among the more fascinating.

A number of haunted spots exist around the Los Angeles area, including an old hospital and a “suicide” bridge. But did you know that even some of the most famous landmarks of Los Angeles also have their ghost stories?

Although the following five places are some of the most popular tourist spots in Los Angeles, they are haunted just the same.

1. The Comedy Store

The Comedy Store
Even if you’ve never attended an evening of hilarity at this popular comedy club, you’ve most probably heard of it. Since it opened in 1972 it has played host to aspiring stand-up comedians and famous comedy actors. Some of the alums include Whoopie Goldburg, Tim Allen, Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld.

However, The Comedy Store building was originally Ciro’s restaurant, a notorious hangout for the mob following WWII through the 1950s. Today you can still see peepholes that allowed mob kingpin Mickey Cohen to watch who came in.

A hole in the wall by the stairway was made to fit a gun that would be used to shoot men that Cohen did not want in his establishment.

The basement is where Cohen had men “eliminated.”

A number of sightings of several of Cohen’s hit men have been attested to, as well as the ghost of a woman who is said to have performed illegal abortions for Cohen. The misty form of one of the women who died having an abortion has also been seen. Loud voices, screams and even snarling have been heard coming from the basement.

2. Pantages Theatre

Pantages Theatre
Located at the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine, this palatial theater opened in 1930, and remains to this day one of the highest-grossing theaters in Los Angeles.

At one time billionaire businessman and famous recluse Howard Hughes owned the Pantages.
The ghost of Howard Hughes has been seen in the rooms that were his former office.

It was also spotted a number of times by workers who were involved in the theater’s restoration, done in the year 2000. Hughes was notorious as a workaholic and stickler for detail, and during this time his ghost was often seen walking the scaffolding and peering over the shoulders of the workers as if inspecting the work.

Broadway musicals are performed today in the Pantages Theatre, and often during cast recording sessions the voice of a female singer who died from the mezzanine in 1932 can be heard.


3. Griffith Park

Griffith Park
Covering over 4,000 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. The haunting of this park begins with the death of Don Antonio Feliz, a wealthy landowner here in the late 19th century. His niece, Dona Petrenilla, was due to inherit the land, but when she was cheated out of it she is said to have put a curse on the land and all subsequent owners. Dona Petrenilla has been seen at times in a flowing white dress riding a white ghost horse, haunting the many back trails of Griffith Park.

Her curse appears to be working as well – ill omens, bad luck and even untimely deaths have plagued many of the owners of this land over the years. Griffith J. Griffith, the last owner, went to prison for shooting and maiming his wife.


4. Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign
This iconic sign of the Los Angeles area originally said “Hollywoodland” and was constructed in 1923 as a sign advertising a new housing development in the Hollywood hills.

Unfortunately, the 45-foot tall letters and the sign’s remote location have attracted people intent on committing suicide. It is one of these suicide victims that today haunts the sign.

An aspiring actress but troubled young lady, Peg Entwistle, committed suicide off the top of the sign in 1932, using a ladder left by a workman to climb to the top of the “H” letter.

Today people admit to having seen a pretty young woman, dressed in 1930s fashion, wandering around the base of the sign, or even sitting atop the “H.” Some even attest to seeing the young woman jump from her perch on the “H.”


5. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Roosevelt Hotel
One of the most prominent buildings in Los Angeles is this iconic hotel. Since it opened in 1927 it has been a magnet for the world’s rich and famous.

It is also considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in the entire world.

Here is just a few of the hauntings and ghosts that have been well documented over the years:

Marilyn Monroe’s reflection is often seen in a mirror hanging in the hotel’s lobby. The mirror used to hang in the suite where Marilyn lived for a time.

The Blossom Ballroom (where the first Academy Awards ceremony was held) has a distinct cold spot. A man dapperly dressed in 1930s clothes is frequently spotted roaming about the guests, but vanishes if someone attempts to talk with him

The ghostly visage of a little girl has been seen skipping around the fountain in the center of the lobby.

Carol Lombard, a glamorous movie star and the wife of famous movie star Clark Gable, died in a tragic plane crash in 1942. Her ghost has been seen haunting the suite of rooms where the two of them often stayed.



Alice Perkins is a travel blogger for, the largest online market place for timeshare rentals, where vacationers can find luxury accommodations for less than the cost of a typical hotel room.

Los Angeles Adventure Trip on Bicycle

by admin on May 15, 2013


When I think of adventures and trips what comes to my mind is beautiful sites, relaxing and enjoying the view. The trips I take involve a few of my friends and we use a car to go to all the places we want. I know you are thinking that is what we all do, right? Listen to this; some people in Los Angeles take adventurous trips throughout the city using bicycles. There are facilitators of the trips who also provide bicycles and water for participants who need them. One signs up and joins other cyclists who might be new to you and that makes it even more fun as you make new friends.

Los Angeles Adventure Trip on Bicycle

While some of us would find this a great challenge due to the cycling involved, this is a perfect way to tour Los Angeles as you get to stop in areas where cars cannot anytime you wish. A guide with vast knowledge of the city is allocated to you and he or she guides you through a fifty one kilometre journey. The trip takes you through the wealthy estates of Bel Air and Beverly hills where you get to see the homes of celebrities up close and even cross ways with them if you are lucky. West Hollywood is another place that most of us would wish to visit and you get to do so in this adventure. One gets to see TV studios, tourist links, the grove and the universal city walk. You can also decide to buy a few items at the designer shops like Cartier and Gucci amongst others

The trip wouldn’t be complete without you riding to the grey stone mansion where you get to walk around on the grounds and gardens for about an hour. You also get to ride on the historic route 66 also known as the main street of America or mother road. It cuts across many counties and covers 3940 kilometres. One then passes through UCLA, Westwood and the veteran memorial centre which was erected as an honour to the women and men who served the country.
The bike trip then sets you off to the famous Santa Monica pier and beach as well as promenade. Most cyclists stop at Venice beach where they see the canals, skate parks and muscle beach as well as have lunch.

No adventure in Los Angeles is complete without a stopping at the Marina del rey where you can visit classy restaurants (if they allow bikes), the fisherman’s village, Burton w chace park and the waterbus at the marina. Pacific design centre which is a design hub and Robertson Boulevard are among the last stops of the trip. If you happen to need a passport urgently, the Los Angeles passport site is the place to go. Many people have said the office doesn’t resemble a government office due to their efficiency and you can get a passport in a day! Bicycle adventure trips are so popular in the county that people spice them up by including overnight camps and now I understand why there are so many cycling clubs in Los Angeles.

Experience Los Angeles Culture at These Top Annual Festivals

One of the best things about living in Los Angeles is having countless cultural opportunities right on your doorstep. From exotic cuisines at gourmet restaurants to art gallery openings, you can always find something incredible to do or see in the city. Some of the best cultural events in L.A. are the annual festivals that revolve around music, film, art and international culture. Here are just a few of the top Los Angeles festivals that residents and visitors can experience.

LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival

As the film and television hub of the world, it should not come as a surprise to learn that Los Angeles hosts hundreds of film screenings and festivals each year. One of the most fun is the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival, which takes place annually in April. The best thing about this film festival is that it is easily accessible, and showings are held around the city in a number of different venues and theaters. To view new comedians and have a laugh, this event is a winner.

Jazz Reggae Festival

Held every year on the UCLA campus and organized entirely by student volunteers, the Jazz Reggae Festival is a huge event that draws in more than 25,000 visitors from around the world. The highlight of the festival is definitely the music, and big names like Erykah Badu and The Roots have played in years past. The festival takes place on Memorial Day Weekend, and there is no end to the great art on display, music to listen to or amazing local cuisine to try.

Annual Summer Concert Festival

One of the biggest events of the year is the Annual Summer Concert Festival, which takes place at Levitt Pavillion in Memorial Park from June to August. Every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday Night in the summer, the park comes alive with free concerts. Whether you love jazz or mariachi bands, there will be something that appeals to you. Even kids can join in on the fun with the Wednesday evening family concerts that are geared toward younger visitors.

LA Wine Fest

For wine lovers, there is nowhere better to be in June than at the annual LA Wine Fest. This two-day event takes place in the heart of Hollywood, but most of the vendors come from places like Napa Valley, Sonoma and even France. There is music, art and plenty of entertainment, but the focus is on tasting the exceptional wines and discovering new favorites.

Abbott Kinney Festival

A truly unique event in Los Angeles is the Abbott Kinney Festival, which is held in Venice Beach each September. The whole street is cordoned off to make it pedestrian-friendly, and the sidewalks are lined with outdoor bar seating, musical performers, jugglers and local artists selling their work.

There are many reasons to live in Los Angeles, but one of the most compelling is the fact that you can have access to the cultural events held throughout the year. From music to wine to film, Los Angeles is home to some truly incredible local festivals.

Travel to the Heart of Los Angeles: Best places to visit

February 11, 2013

  Pack your bags, for the city of angels awaits your arrival. If you are planning a holiday, then you might want to go to the heart of this place. Here’s a list of some places you wouldn’t want to miss out on.   Madame Tussauds, Hollywood: Here’s your chance to get a glance of your favourite star. No, it’s not really them. But a life size wax statue is the next best thing. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, it is the Ninth Museum of the Tussauds franchise. It is best known for its wax sculpture of Shrek, which is the […]

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How to Properly Freeze Strawberries

February 5, 2013

Strawberries are fruits that are very delicate and it is almost a wonder how come a fruit as delicate as a strawberry grows during the warm summer months. Yes, strawberries are a plenty when it is summer time.   Unfortunately, the scorching heat of the summer sun can destroy the beauty and taste of this delicate strawberry. This is the reason why we have to find ways to be able to preserve its looks and taste as these two characteristics of strawberries are both important depending on the kind of recipes that we plan to prepare.   If you plan […]

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Exciting things to do in Los Angeles

February 4, 2013

    It is decided – you are going to spend your holiday in Los Angeles and you have already booked airplane tickets and accommodation at a serviced Los Angeles apartment that was highly recommended by a friend of yours. Now you have to make a plan for the things that you want to see and do, while being in that great city. There are so many exciting things that you can do in Los Angeles and most probably you will not have the time for all of them. To name just a few these would be the theme park […]

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5 packing tips for your California holiday

February 1, 2013

    If you’re holidaying in California any time soon then the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in the stunning Golden State is the diversity of the various areas. From the gorgeous sands of Venice Beach to the wild-mushroom hunters in Santa Cruz and the San Diego skyscrapers there’s a huge variety in atmosphere and sights. This makes the destination perfect for every kind of visitor, whether that’s a group of work friends or a family with young children.   Depending on where you want to go in California, you’ll have to pack accordingly. However, here are five […]

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Top 5 Places you Must Visit in Los Angeles

January 31, 2013

There is so much to do in Los Angeles an entire week would not be enough to see it all. Most people who vacation in Los Angeles are unable to take in all the sights in one vacation. This article will cover the top 5 places you must visit in Las Angeles.   First, a visit to L.A. is not complete unless you go to Hollywood. Get your picture taken with the famous white letters of Hollywood behind you, on the famous hill. Next, you can go straight to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You will have to look down […]

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