A Mid Week Vacation Day at Laguna Beach in Orange County

Summer is soon coming to a close, the school year is restarting, and people are returning from their vacations. So today Travelin’ Local is visiting the beautiful beach and upscale village town of Laguna Beach in Orange County.

High Surf is Waiting

Laguna Beach has the distinction of being the second oldest town in Southern Orange County.  In 1900, Laguna Beach had approximately 5 families struggling to make a living via farming.

Because its lack of water and land was ill-suited for farming, the founding Laguna Beach families decided to rent its property to surrounding inland communities to escape the summer heat. Thus began Laguna Beach’s dedication to tourism, which remains the mainstay of its current economy. By the 1920s, Laguna Beach was discovered by a group of landscape artists who laid the foundation for its art community, which still thrives to this day. Over the years, other groups have celebrated and discovered the magnificent beauty and artistic culture of Laguna Beach including hippies, yuppies, rock stars, movie industry professionals, business executives, beach lover’s and everyday people.

View Laguna Beach Walk in a larger map

In Travelin’ Local’s inimitable tradition, I took a walking tour of the Main Beach area for today’s Walk My World Virtual Tour. Known the world over for its splendorous beauty and artistic community, I highly recommend a visit to Laguna Beach’s beaches, parks, galleries, unique boutiques, and great restaurants. Feel free to click each of the yellow markers to enjoy the local flare. For my next Walk My World Tour of Laguna Beach, I’ll be walking its other outstanding areas and neighborhoods.

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Culver City Downtown Walking Tour

Culver City

Over the years, Culver City has gone through a metamorphosis. Gone are its days as a sleepy working class enclave. It’s now a modern, thriving intersection of the arts and motion pictures industries; a design, gallery, and artist retreat; and a sweeping paradox and panoply of businesses, schools, and a rich, cultural and historical infrastructure that includes a range and depth of endeavors that is befit for another story.

For some, if I mention Smashbox Studios, many people will say “What in the world are you talking about;” but others will nod accordingly and acknowledge out loud that “Culver City is hip and happening.

With its modern and restored architecture, world class restaurants and redeveloped buildings for mixed use, physical beauty and parks, Culver City is now lookin’ like one of the cool and in places to be in Los Angeles.

Walking Tour

Although my walk yesterday was short, it was sweet—there were many interesting sights, from Sony Pictures Plaza, to Culver City’s City Hall. I took many pictures for this tour below. But I didn’t just stick to the main thoroughfares though; when you get off the beaten path, Culver City offers one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the Metro area.

With a history spanning three centuries, Culver City’s rich past is leading it to a vibrant future. If you can’t get to the heart of Culver City right this moment, or if you’d like a preview of what you can find there, take a walk with me now.

I promise you won’t be disappointed by the art filled and quaint family friendly streets of Culver City:

View Culver City Downtown Walking Tour in a larger map

Metro Monday’s Tour Maps

Long Beach Train

Last week, I had an enlightening email exchange with one of my readers who is soon traveling to California to visit his children.

He doesn’t live here, so he isn’t very familiar with the LA Metro system, but nonetheless loves the idea of using Metro wherever he goes. He had so many questions!

How walkable are the Metro stops? Are there restaurants nearby? Places to see?

Even though he was visiting family, he was going to have one free day and wanted to spend it “riding the rails” and had no idea where to even begin to find out what interesting attractions any Metro stop had for his chosen destinations.

He researched his route at Metro.net, but was unable to find what he was looking for. In other words, he wanted an interactive map that corresponded and correlated with the Metro Subway map showing things to do and places to go.

Then it occurred to me. I hadn’t seen a map like the one he described either, so I decided to create one, based on the places I’ve written for Metro Monday thus far.

View LA Metro Subway Attractions Map in a larger map

Although the map is still in the early stages, the thumb tacks represent places I’ve been, and the circle markers represent future LA Metro places I’ll be going to.

Metro is a great way to tour the city, but if you don’t know what to do once you get there, then you’re basically lost. To that end, each time I tour a location, I’ll update the map, showing the various potential Metro routes, including the different Metro subways.

It’s no surprise that Los Angeles is known to be a driver’s nightmare and a parking hassle, so why not avoid both of those by using the Metro? Let’s face facts, “the times they are a changing,” gas is no longer a cheap or sustainable commodity, and both houses of Congress are aiming to change our energy way of lives.

I can tell you from experience, using the Metro works, and it’s the best way to ride clean, save green, efficiently, and affordably while Travelin’ Local.

What more could one ask for? Here’s to mass transit and having fun in the city while using it.

To your good health!

Walking in LA

City Hall Framed

Contrary to the hit song by the Missing Persons, that “Nobody Walks in LA” I beg to differ—a lot of people not only walk in LA but they love to walk in LA.

View Walking in LA in a larger map

Follow the Map’s Lines and Markers for Walking in LA

For today’s Travelin’ Local’s Walking in LA street tour, check out the walking map above. When you click each one of the little markers on the map you’ll see  a photograph of an interesting building, site, urban image or landscape.

So as you enjoy today’s Travelin’ Local’s Virtual Walking in LA tour, check out the sights, scenes, and places that we here call a small part–of a much larger Downtown Los Angeles.

And for a fun “Blast from the Past” here’s Missing Person’s video:

After an unusual rain shower this morning, today turned into a gorgeous day, sunny but with some cloud cover, a light breeze flowing with straight shot visibility of the Hollywood Hills and beyond.

When Travelin’ Local, and Walking in LA, by mapping my stops, visits, and local places, it’s a combination of being on vacation and having fun doing my vocation.

It just gets better and better.