California Travel – From Santa Barbara to Monterey by Car

Northern Santa Barbara County, and the California coast beyond, offer tourist attractions worth spending a few days enjoying. There are a number of natural wonders and great tourist stops to be seen driving north from Santa Barbara. This trip is suitable for both couples and families.

Take the San Marcos Pass road as you leave the city of Santa Barbara. This is a breathtaking mountain drive that heads up the side of La Cumbra Peak on Highway 154. Along the way to the highest part of the highway, there are many scenic turnouts for a panoramic view of Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands National Park and the many miles of coastline.

Once over the pass, you’ll drive by Cachuma Lake. This is a state recreation resource for camping and fishing.

Santa Ynez, for which this valley and region are named, is an old California mission town. Here you will find a number of fine art galleries and the county’s fine wineries. Notable celebrity homes here include President Reagan’s ranch and the Neverland retreat of entertainer Michael Jackson.

The quaint community of Solvang is just a few miles west of Santa Ynez on Hwy. 246, just west of Hwy. 101. It is a remarkable replication of an old Danish village, complete with a giant windmill. The town boasts some of the best Danish bakeries and buffet smorgasbords in the country. Spend a few hours here for lunch, and to visit the Scandinavian craft and souvenir shops. You’ll forget, for just a while, that you’re in the heart of Southern California horse and wine country.

The beautiful state beach parks just a few miles north of the city are yet another group of attractions. Leaving town, travel north along the coast on Highway 101. The road today retraces the historic El Camino Real, or King’s Highway. Check out El Capitan, Refugio or Gaviota state beach parks. They offer fishing, camping, and picnic sites on remarkable beaches.

Santa Maria is the next town up the highway. Santa Maria Tri-Tip barbecue is a local tradition. It’s not like anything you’ll find in Texas or other barbecue meccas. This is rubbed and marinated barbecued sirloin roast. It’s sliced thin, and is usually served rare. Typically it is eaten with corn tortillas or on a sandwich bun, and along with Santa Maria’s slow-baked Poquito beans. It’s well worth the stop to try.

Less than half an hour north of Santa Maria is the picturesque seaside town of Pismo Beach. Most of the motels and restaurants are on the ocean side of the highway, set on the cliffs overlooking a view of miles of coastline. Pismo Beach claims to be the world’s clam capital, owing to the unusually large, tasty and abundant Pismo clam. Several versions of clam recipes are available in a number of the local restaurants.

The nearby Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. It is a 1,500 acre sand dune state park for ATV and 4-wheel vehicles. There are camping and RV facilities available. This is one of the few places in California where driving on the beach is permitted. Bringing folding beach chairs is a good idea.

Continuing north from Pismo Beach, you can drive up the tiny coast road to the town of Morro Bay. It’s a town with a distinctive New England coastal flavor. This is where the Pacific Coast Highway becomes part of the National Scenic Byways Program. Enjoy the road stretch from Morro Bay on the south, along the Big Sur coastline, up to Monterey at the north. Without exaggeration, this is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking roads anywhere in the world.

Exploring the central California coast is a great and affordable journey. There’s no need to forgo travel plans because of today’s high cost of living.

In Tennessee Travel to a National Park That’s So Large, It Sits Across Two Time Zones

On the border that Tennessee shares with the state of Kentucky is a remarkable area of wilderness people interested in Tennessee travel often tend to miss. It is the Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area. One of the most striking places to visit here is natural wonder of the Twin Arches – two remarkably huge natural arches or bridges worn by the effects of time and the elements out of the rocks of the area. These arches are a pair of the largest natural formations you ever see anywhere in the world.

To have one such arch in one place would be a wondrous occurrence by itself. The amazing thing about Big South Fork is the way nature here has shaped two in the same place. The Twin Arches don’t stand that close to each other, even if they areboth in the same place. The North Arch, you’ll find near where the trail to the Charit Creek Lodge and the one to Slave Falls meet. You get here first, and then make your way to the South Arch at some distance away. The South Arch can be a little difficult to find. Once you are at the North Arch, you just need to find the signs that lead you to the Charit Creek Lodge to come upon the South Arch.

The wonderful thing about visiting the South Arch is that the tourists usually leave this spot alone, concentrating on the easier-to-find North Arch. The Arch is formed in such a way that you can walk right through the column on the left. The weather has eroded a tunnel right through the massive pillar of the arch, and if you are slim and in shape, you can probably squeeze right through it and come out at the other end. If you are coming to Tennessee, travel to the Twin Arches should give you a great bit of time alone with nature. There are great picnic spots here next to the Arches too. With huge boulders strewn about that give you a good bit of shade,
picnicking here can be a real treat.

If you want to experience the beauty of Tennessee, travel to the Big South Fork. It’s close to the towns of Oneida and Jamestown, and traveling here isn’t much trouble. Is this National Park worth your time? To begin with, it is so huge, it sits across two time zones – the Central time zone and the Eastern time zone. So in short, it should be worth you time. And then, entry is free. The beauty to be witnessed here is awe-inspiring. And to anyone who lives anywhere near Tennessee, travel to the Big South Fork is an absolute must-do.

Magnificent Travel Destinations on the South American Continent

If you are interested in adding new intriguing and exciting destinations to your travel itinerary, don’t miss the opportunity to spend your holiday in South America. By choosing to travel to this magnificent continent, you will have the chance to discover remarkable cultures and civilizations with a great history behind them, driven by the temperamental but also very welcoming Latin spirit. Some of the most prominent and important countries in South America, representing true symbols for the South American continent, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Panama have a very well-developed potential for tourism, attracting overwhelmingly large numbers of tourists each year.

These magnificent countries have known great progress and development in the last few decades, despite their struggled historical past, dominated by political conflicts and interests. Nowadays, these splendid countries on the South American continent are among the most requested holiday destinations, enchanting visitors with a wide variety of tourist sites and resorts, both old and modern remarkable architectonic structures, large and imposing metropolitan areas, all revealing the ingenious, innovative and hard-working character of their inhabitants.

The remarkable economic achievements of these major countries in South America are direct proportional with their high potential for tourism. Thanks to their great history, culture, music, as well as the amazing beauty of their urban and rural establishments, and not to mention their accomplishments regarding the much-treasured Latin passion – football, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama have become extremely popular worldwide. Their continuously increasing popularity has determined a pronounced development of their tourism, drawing millions of tourists towards their borders.

If you decide to travel to Brazil, you will be amazed by the staggering beauty of this great South American country. Among the most requested Brazil travel destinations are its capital, Brasilia, and major cities such as Sao Paulo, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. Famous for its majestic carnivals, magnificent natural resorts, tropical climate and the exuberance of its inhabitants, Brazil is a highly requested holiday destination. Renowned as an important center for tourism of the South American continent, Brazil attracts overwhelmingly large numbers of visitors each year. Brazil has a well-developed and extended network of airports, air travel facilitating the visiting tourists’ access to major cities and various other locations between or beyond the borders of the country. Thanks to modern infrastructure and the variety of airports present here, flights to Brazil are the quick and comfortable way of traveling to this intriguing region of South America.

Similar to Brazil, Argentina is also a major center for tourism in South America. The most popular Argentina travel destinations are its capital – Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata – the main tourist resort situated on the Atlantic Coast, La Plata, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, Cordoba, Mendoza and San Juan. Combining the Latin mentality with European cultural influences, Argentina is a welcoming country for anyone who wishes to discover new interesting locations. Thanks to the well developed network of airports present here, the best way to travel around the country is by air. Apart from being very comfortable, Argentina flights have the benefit of being inexpensive as well. Travel to Argentina and you are guaranteed to have the time of your life!

Although they are much smaller in size than Brazil and Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama are also important tourist centers of the South American continent. Vacations in Colombia, Venezuela and Panama are exciting and intriguing experiences for both regular travelers and occasional visitors. The most requested Colombia travel destinations are Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali, Villa de Leiva, San Augustin and San Andres. Among the most desired Venezuela travel destinations are Caracas, Puerto la Cruz, Isla Margarita, Isla El Grand Roque, Isla La Tortuga, Merida and Puerto Ayacucho. Popular Panama travel destinations are Panama City, Bocas del Toro, Boquete, Isla Contadora, Guadalupe, Isla Bastimentos, Isla Taboga and Almirante.

Whether you decide to visit these countries for the beauty of their tropical landscapes, shores and beaches, for their ancient cultural resorts and the variety of historical tourist sites or simply to interact with the exuberating, welcoming locals, spending your vacations on the Latin American continent is definitely a remarkable and unforgettable experience!