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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 ...

New Reservations Website for California State Parks

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/03/2017, 12:00 AM

A new website for making reservations for campsites and activities at California's state parks debuts this week. From now on, you'll need to go to ReserveCalifornia to book tent space in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, a beach cottage at Crystal Cove in Orange County, a tour of Hearst Castle (pictured above) in San Simeon, or facilities at more than 100 additional sites across the state, with aroun...

Wait Times at Disneyland Keep Going Up

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/17/2017, 4:00 AM

Despite rising ticket prices and efforts to fine-tune ride reservation systems, wait times at Disneyland keep going up.  An extensive analysis of lines at the Anaheim, California theme park conducted by the Los Angeles Times found that the average wait for the most popular rides in the first six months of the year was 24.4 minutes—a 28% increase over the same period in 2015.  The longe...

Parts of California's Highway 1 Remain Closed Following Landslides

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/05/2017, 4:00 AM

Significant portions of California's Highway 1 between Monterey and San Simeon—a stretch that recently made our list of the country's most scenic drives for the way it showcases Big Sur's rugged coastal beauty—remain closed following landslides brought on by late-winter rains.  State transportation officials don't expect the full route to be reopened for another four to six weeks.  Clo...

Toll Proposed for San Francisco's Crooked Lombard Street

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/22/2017, 5:00 AM

A San Francisco city supervisor has proposed a toll for cars traveling on the city's famously crooked Lombard Street in order to ease the 600-foot thoroughfare's overwhelming congestion. About two million tourists visit the hilly zigzag each year, and the traffic can be maddening for residents, especially during the summer, when as many as 17,000 drivers and pedestrians come to Lombard Str...

In Final Days in Office, Obama Designates Five New National Monuments

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/17/2017, 5:00 AM

On Thursday, during Barack Obama's last full week in office, the president did for the (probably) last time something he's done more than anybody else who's occupied the White House: He designated some new national monuments. Five of them, to be exact.   Exercising his power under the 1906 Antiquities Act to preserve sites of historic, cultural, and ecological importance, Obama added t...

Have Joint, Will Travel....And Travel...And Travel

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 11/10/2016, 11:00 PM

Though the election was a buzz kill for many, there was a silver lining for some: a growing haze of pot smoke. California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine all legalized recreational marijuana, which led industry magazine Travel Weekly to wonder if this is now the golden age of "cannabis tourism"? As the magazine noted, both Colorado and Washington State, which legalized bud several yea...

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