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California Improving Coastal Access with New Beach Wheelchairs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/11/2019, 5:15 PM

Eighteen coastal sites in California—from Clam Beach, where Highway 101 meets the Pacific in northern Arcata, to lively Ocean Beach in San Diego—are getting new wheelchairs and other mobility equipment designed to roll on sand. The state-run California Coastal Conservancy has approved a program to award grants to 11 different nonprofits so that they can purchase a total of 29 beach wheelchairs ...

Travel Podcasts: Cruising, California, Cuba, and Kentucky

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/28/2019, 10:30 AM

Each week, Frommer's brings you two fresh podcasts stuffed with travel tips, news, and inspiration. Recordings are made from our weekly call-in show on WABC-770AM in New York and our nationally syndicated radio program.  Hosts Pauline Frommer and Jason Cochran cover a lot of ground this week—but they start out on the water, chatting with cruising expert and Frommer's guidebook author Fran Gold...

Superbloom! In California, Flowergeddon Approaches

By Claybourne Elder

Posted on 02/14/2019, 5:00 AM

Superbloom may sound like the name of a '90s rock band to you, but in Borrego Springs, California, it means millions of rare wildflowers carpeting thousands of acres of desert. And Superbloom is coming soon. In California's ecosystem, seeds might hide dormant for years until conditions are perfect, and this year, there are signs they have been awakened by recent wildfires and intense rains. Co...

California's Scenic Highway 1 Soon to Reopen in Full

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/06/2018, 12:45 AM

For the first time in more than a year, all of California's spectacular Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles will soon reopen to drivers.  Parts of the 650-mile route, famous around the world for its coastal views (particularly in Big Sur), have been closed to travelers for months due to damage caused by heavy rains and a huge landslide in 2017. Caltrans, the state's transportation depart...

How Not to Do Yosemite in Winter

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/20/2018, 9:00 AM

I sometimes think my real job as a travel writer is to be an idiot. It's my job to make mistakes and then report on them so that my readers can have fun, safe, and error-free vacations. This week, I really succeeded: I almost died twice. I just left Yosemite National Park in California. I had thought this column would be about the wonders of Yosemite in winter. And while it is wondrous, the famo...

Want a Cannabis Vacation? Now There's a Whole Town for That

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 01/03/2018, 12:00 AM

One day after California, America's most populous state, made recreational cannabis consumption legal, the Los Angeles Times reported on an entire town where getting stoned is the whole point of the joint.  It's called Nipton—as in Nipton in the bud. The village was purchased last September by American Green, a publicly traded, Arizona-based cannabis company. Nipton is a speck of a century-old mi...

Paid Reservations Now Required to Visit California's Muir Woods

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/30/2017, 12:00 AM

From Dubrovnik to Machu Picchu, popular tourist destinations around the world are devising new sign-up strategies to combat overcrowding caused by hordes of temporary visitors. The latest spot to add to the list, as Frommer's reported would happen back in 2015: Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, California, north of San Francisco.  Starting on January 16, 2018, each visitor who arrives...

Spectacular Holiday Show Added to Universal's Hogwarts Castle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/22/2017, 5:45 PM

Harry Potter is getting into the holiday spirit at Universal theme parks in Orlando and Southern California for the first time this year.  In Central Florida, seasonal features at Potter-related attractions were unveiled on November 18 at both of Universal's Florida parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. In the latter, a yuletide spell has been cast on Hogwarts Castle, where, after da...

Starting Oct. 13, Drive California's Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur Again

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/09/2017, 2:45 AM

With the completion of the new Pfeiffer Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California, a key portion of the state's spectacularly scenic Highway 1 is set to reopen on October 13.  The original bridge had to be demolished in March after damage caused by heavy rains. That cut Big Sur in two and made it impossible for drivers to complete the rugged central coast route that starts in Carmel—one of the country'...

California Desert Caves Soon to Reopen to the Public

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/30/2017, 1:45 AM

The only limestone caves in the California state parks system will soon reopen to the public, the Los Angeles Times reports.  Located in the remote Mojave Desert in the southeastern part of the state, the Mitchell Caverns had been a tourist attraction since the 1930s until the site was closed in 2010 due to budget cuts.  Vandals later damaged a visitor center and other facilities related to the ...

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