Yosemite National Park - Glacier Point Road and Mariposa Grove
Glacier Point Road
Glacier Point Road usually opens in late May (later in years of heavy snow fall) and closes in November. It is a 32-mile drive from the visitor center to Glacier Point itself (the end of the road). Plan for many stops and hikes though, as you will have some of the most spectacular views from up here. You could also hike up here, on the four-mile trail. Believe me, you don't want to try this. The elevation is not to be underestimated. If you don't have wings, you should be here by car anyways and if the road is not open so be it, but don't take my word for it.
Mariposa Grove is Yosemite's largest grove of giant sequoias. In winter it is not easy to reach, as the 2-mile road into the grove is closed. You have to hike on the snow.
Mariposa Grove is divided into upper and lower Grove. The largest tree (Grizzly Giant) is about 1800 years old and has seen the rise and fall of empires.
If you ever wanted to feel like an insect standing next to a tree, this is the place to go....read more »
Alcatraz - Pier 39 and Hyde Street Pier
Before jumping on the boat to Alcatraz Island, head over to the non-commercial water side of Pier 39 and you will see the harem of seals that have taken over the docks. Though a few bay touring boats continue to use this high rent "marina" to take off from, the majority of tenants are the very entertaining and charming seals.
The Alcatraz trip can double as your "get on a boat on the bay" trip filling two not to be missed regional activities. When you get to Alcatraz, be certain to rent headsets in your native language and take the self paced tour. This island in the middle of the bay is absolutely rich with interesting history, politics and intrigue, not to mention the setting for several popular movies. Birdman of Alcatraz, Escape from Alcatraz and more recently The Rock.
Backtrack your walk past the Fish Market and little fishing boats bobbing as they await their next departure. Pass the popular blues bar where you are likely to hear live music at 9 in the morning. The right side of the street has a great art gallery with something new and always original every time we enter. Watch for the talented street performers, Buskers, some mime, some shock, all entertain!...read more »
Getty Museum - Brentwood California
When the Getty Museum first opened in 1997, the museum's parking and transportation system were quickly overwhelmed to the point that anyone thinking about visiting the museum had to make parking reservations months in advance. Those unwilling to wait hoofed it for miles and then waited up to four hours just to take a tram ride to the museum's spectacular hillside setting west of downtown Los Angeles.
What a difference a decade makes. Today no reservations are required and it's possible to drive right to your parking spot, grab a tram and be on top of the mountain just a few minutes after your arrival....read more »
San Francisco California Attractions
The Fisherman's Wharf is a neighborhood encompassing San Francisco's northern waterfront area. It is a mix of new and old worlds. Many of San Francisco's famous and luxurious hotels, including Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Marriott and Hilton Hotels are all located on here, offering their guests a stunning view of the bay area. Aside from its scenic beauty, the Fisherman's Wharf is the site of many attractions in San Francisco. A day tour of this neighborhood will take you to many spots tourists and locals alike flock to.
The Wax Museum is one of these many landmarks. For adults and children alike, hours spent exploring hundreds of intricately sculpted wax figures are fascinatingly life-like. In a stunning array of floor after floor of life-like displays, children find history; arts and literature come to life as they go from the Presidential Library and get to know past presidents. Adults who may never have appreciated artwork in their lives are awed by the magnificent display of famous artworks and their master artists in the Palace of the Living Arts...read more »
Sweetheat Sites of Seattle
The futuristic-looking Space Needle has been Seattle's icon since the 1962 World's Fair. From its six hundred foot (204 meters) observatory your hearts will soar when checking out the stunning panorama that includes everything from the city's bustling downtown hub to the pinnacle of Mt Rainer. Even when the clouds roll in, the ethereal effect will initiate some magical vibes. You can also share the vista while wining and dining by candlelight. This landmark's SkyCity restaurant dishes up culinary classics that match the 360 degree rotating view.
Or Go underground!
Stroll the cobblestone streets of Pioneer Square, where an iron pergola and Tlingit totem pole are reminders of Seattle's past. Romanesque buildings are now home to art galleries, quaint cafés and antique shops. Don't forget to check out what also lies beneath the streets. Bill Speidel's Underground Tour is a cheesy but entertaining guided tour of the hidden subterranean passages that were once the main roadways of Seattle -a definite hand-holding opportunity!..read more »
White Sands National Monument - video
Lake Mead Recreation Area - video
Estes Park and Grand Lake Colorado - video