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Sat Mar 3, 2012, 09:30 PM

Suggested Sights to See in California

I am starting this thread to learn of others suggestions for California sights that maybe a little less well known than the main tourist sights. As a lifetime (except for a few years) resident of the SF Bay Area, I think I've seen most of the sights in this area but then I visit something great that I haven't done since I was a kid or maybe never. some of the best places don't cost much and I would love to hear others ideas.

Today, I walked up to Coit Tower and went on a free tour of the murals. I had a great walk and then learned the history of these murals and gained insights into the politics of this time. The tour then took us up a staircase that is off limits unless you take the free tour which is offered Saturdays at 11 am and maybe one more time during the week. The tour is free but it costs $7 to take the elevator up to the top of the Tower. I don't think I would pay to go to the top again but the views were spectacular and we then walked down one of the staircases that are all over the city. Anyone in the Bay Area should go.

Other ideas??????

43 replies, 5036 views

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply Suggested Sights to See in California (Original post)
cally Mar 2012 OP
Bennyboy Mar 2012 #1
cally Mar 2012 #7
Sarah Ibarruri Mar 2012 #2
cally Mar 2012 #5
CurtEastPoint Mar 2012 #3
cally Mar 2012 #4
klook Mar 2012 #6
cally Mar 2012 #9
Brother Buzz Mar 2012 #17
klook Mar 2012 #18
pkdu Mar 2012 #8
cally Mar 2012 #10
DJ13 Mar 2012 #11
gateley Mar 2012 #12
MADem Mar 2012 #13
bayareaboy Mar 2012 #19
MADem Mar 2012 #21
JDPriestly Mar 2012 #14
Le Taz Hot Mar 2012 #24
JDPriestly Mar 2012 #26
OffWithTheirHeads Mar 2012 #15
NBachers Mar 2012 #16
bayareaboy Mar 2012 #20
dmoyer Mar 2012 #22
Le Taz Hot Mar 2012 #23
AsahinaKimi Mar 2012 #25
Starboard Tack Mar 2012 #27
XemaSab Mar 2012 #28
bayareaboy Mar 2012 #30
Ecumenist Mar 2012 #35
bayareaboy Mar 2012 #36
Ecumenist Mar 2012 #37
bayareaboy Apr 2012 #39
Ecumenist Apr 2012 #40
bayareaboy Apr 2012 #41
Ecumenist Apr 2012 #42
nwliberalkiwi Mar 2012 #29
annm4peace Mar 2012 #31
annm4peace Mar 2012 #32
Adsos Letter Mar 2012 #33
bayareaboy Mar 2012 #34
Kablooie Mar 2012 #38
Steerpike Apr 2012 #43

Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 09:32 PM

1. The churches in SF are great....

 

I love the Russian orthodox church on Geary. I just walk around and snap pics of all the great huge churches there.

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Response to Bennyboy (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:30 PM

7. Another activity I've never done. Sounds great.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 09:56 PM

2. Free tickets to Dr. Phil and other shows, and tours to movie studios in LA nt

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:30 PM

5. I've never attended a show.

It's a great idea, thanks.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:05 PM

3. Muir woods N of SF; Hearst Castle...

Nr Sta Barbara. Yosemite. Monterey

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:29 PM

4. The secret to Muir Woods is to go first thing in the morning

before the Tour Buses arrive. It's a magical place, then.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:30 PM

6. The Wave Organ!!

Best experienced at high tide.

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Response to klook (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:32 PM

9. Where is this? I've never heard of it.

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Response to cally (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 12:11 AM

17. Breakwater east of the Golden Gate yacht club

Like the internets, it's just a series of tubes. In this case, it's a series of tubes buried under the breakwater from bay side to harbor side where you can hear whooshing air and water that often sounds like a moaning pipe organ. It's terribly boring when the weather is nice and the water is flat.

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Response to cally (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 10:20 AM

18. Just east of the Presidio - great views of GG Bridge & Alcatraz

AND super cool sounds and a surreal and relaxing place to hang out. Go at high tide if you can, because the sounds are better then.



Map: http://g.co/maps/4f2mt

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:30 PM

8. Palm Desert Area ( near palm springs)

Joshua Tree National Park
Palm Springs Arial Tramway
Indio Date Festival

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Response to pkdu (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:33 PM

10. I definitely want to go to the date festival.

I didn't know about it.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:43 PM

11. World Famous California Redwoods

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 11:05 PM

12. California Peggy. A State treasure. nt

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 11:16 PM

13. Go to Carmel and have a picnic on the beach.

Go to Monterey to the pier and eat calimari! Go to Pacific Grove, very pretty as well...

Much to do in that general area and it is an easy ride from SF...

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Response to MADem (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 01:06 PM

19. And if you have time... ...


The Mission at Carmel. Very peaceful.

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Response to bayareaboy (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 01:27 PM

21. Yes! I forgot I'd even been there--it's great! nt

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 11:28 PM

14. I am most familiar with the Northeast part of Los Angeles,

and would suggest a visit to the Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens as well as the Arboretum.

Then there are the museums. The Southwest Museum in Highland Park (easily accessible by Gold Line metrorail) was the first museum in Los Angeles. Unfortunately the Autry Museum has taken over the property and closed that Los Angeles landmark.

You may still be able to see the Casa Adobes and the historic Olvera Street area downtown. It's right across from Union station (which is something to see in and of itself). A walk around the city is fun if you like to walk. There are guided tours from time to time. Be sure that when you come to LA, you bring some books by LA mystery writers like Raymond Chandler, Michael Collins, Dashiel Hammet, etc. It's fun to Google the addresses, streets and areas they refer to and then visit them. (You can do that on-line too without having to travel all the way to Los Angeles.)

Then there are the Getty Museum on the West side, the Los Angeles County Museum on Wilshire Blvd. between Fairfax and La Brea -- midtown, and finally the Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue downtown. There is also a Japanese American Museum and in addition, a natural history museum south of downtown.

It's fun to visit Chinatown -- again easy to get to on the Gold Line just one stop north of Union Station. Heritage Square is also a Gold Line stop. It is a small village of houses of historical interest that have been preserved and cared for as a legacy for future generations.

Debbs Park just off the 110 Freeway is an Audubon bird sanctuary. The Los Angeles Public Library downtown is a great building to visit. It is huge and has interesting exhibits as well as a seemingly endless supply of books and other materials.

Pasadena is full of things to see. Old Town is interesting. So is the Gamble House. And the campus of Cal Tech is good for a nice walk. The Huntington is located in Pasadena not far from Cal Tech. And of course, a run around the Rose Bowl is a good way to exercise in L.A.

If you are interested in the arts, the Brand Library in Glendale might be worth a visit. It is strictly a library for art, music, architecture and such.

Don't forget Griffith Park and the observatory there. In addition to a zoo in that area, there are horse trails and a small train museum.

I could go on and on. You need years and years of time to really see Los Angeles.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #14)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 09:47 AM

24. Don't forget

the Norton-Simon museum in Pasadena. I've only been there once but we stayed until they kicked us out. Next time I'm in Southern California I'm going to back there. To stand in front a an actual Rembrandt, Goya, Van Gough, Picasso and so many others simply takes your breath away.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #24)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 04:53 PM

26. Woops! You are so right. The Norton-Simon is a great museum.

Lots of Degas (at least when I went there), but it doesn't stop there.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 11:34 PM

15. As someone who pretty much grew up in California

If you havn't seen the San Francisco bay area from the top of Mount Tam, You haven't lived. Of all the things I've done, including quitting my job each summer to go backpacking in the Sierras from Yosemite to Kings canyon to Lassen National Park,to being best friends with the kid whose father printed all of the Fillmore posters growing up in the Haight and watching Janis Joplin at Speedway medows, to living for several years in Bolinas and hanging at the nude beach, to commuting over Mt. Tam in a Porsche 911 to work in S.F. for several years to living in Mill Valley, the most impressive thing, the thing that I will never forget, is walking around the top of Mt. Tam and seeing the entire bay area from there.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 12:10 AM

16. Geez, where do I start

As a San Francisco resident, I enjoy all the locations, even the ones disdained by locals as "touristy and beneath my dignity." One highlight of recent weeks was a fogbound night-time tour of Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, capped off by smooching by the sea lion floats.

1. Fort Cronkhite- Stop at all the stunning Marin Headlands view locations, then follow the road to Fort Cronkhite. See the old Nike Missile Base, visit coastal-cliff pillboxes, imagine what abandoned military facilities lie beneath the hills and cliffs.

2. I went up Twin Peaks at night a couple of weeks ago. It never fails to stun.

3. Last weekend, I made a trip across the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island to view a crystal-clear scene or The City at night. Extra points for watching a misty orange fingernail moon sink over the Golden Gate Bridge and disappear behind the Marin Headlands.

4. My son participated in a hip-hop competition at a club on Sixth and Mission last night. Walking down Sixth Street around 11:30 PM was a Fellini feast of a Bosch-tinged night time carnival.

5. I've been taking some friends down John Daly Boulevard in Daly City to Thornton Beach State Park. There are winding cliffside trails and a horse ranch where people ride down the cliffside and along the beach. Minutes out of town, in the middle of coastside splendor.

6. Nearby, also check out Fort Funston and the hang gliders, and Lake Merced.

7. Ocean Beach, Beach Chalet, Louis' Restaurant, Cliff House, Sutro Baths, SF Zoo- all within minutes of each other.

8. Later tonight, I'm going up Bernal Heights Hill . . .

9. Go to the San Francisco Public Library. Go up to the ninth floor. There's a collection of San Francisco Film Noir movies, collected by the Danger and Despair Knitting Circle. They'll bring you the DVD and allow you to view it in one of their viewing rooms, but you can't check the DVD out. Afterwords, sit out in the little roof top outdoor space.

10. Visit Mimi and her crew at Manor House Restaurant at 210 Jones St. (between Eddy St & Turk St) in the mddle of the Tenderloin. Authentic slices of life and pie, good food at very reasonable prices. Be part of the Human Comedy in all it's drama.

I Love This Town!


I'm just getting started . . .

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 01:27 PM

20. I much like others here love the City ...


I used to go to the Conservatory at GGP on a winters day and spend hours there.

I haven't been for a while, but the trees are still there at Big Basin SP near Boulder Creek along hwy 9 south of San Francisco.

Lastly, if you want to spend 3 days or two weeks Hwy 49 and the gold rush area, you won't go wrong for low bucks entertainment.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 01:56 PM

22. the de young in golden gate park

go to the observation floor of the de young, talk about views of san fran!

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Response to cally (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 09:43 AM

23. I've posted this before

but for those who never saw it:

The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture in Hanford, CA (Central San Joaquin Valley)

http://www.ccjac.org/index.html

It's out in farm country but you can get their easily from Hwy 99. It's so worth the diversion and the admission price is a whopping $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children. Lots of roadside produce stands selling LOCAL produce as well.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 03:52 PM

25. NihonMachi/ Asian Art Museum San Francisco

In the United States there are only three Japantowns. The largest is in San Francisco, followed by Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Coming up third is San Jose. I suggest our San Francisco Nihonmachi ;



Great shops. (The only Jrock~Visuel Kei Music store in the United states) Great Restaurants, and Lots to see and do.


My second Recommendation is THE ASIAN ART MUSEUM in down town San Francisco across from City Hall.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Mon Mar 5, 2012, 07:34 PM

27. Tio's Tacos in Riverside if you like Junkyard Art on a whole new level.

One of the most unusual places I've ever visited or eaten at. Riverside may be off the beaten track for most of us, but this place is worth the detour. And the food is great too.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 09:36 AM

28. Let's see....

Redwood National and State Parks, Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Sundial Bridge , the California State Capitol, Burney Falls, and the Courthouse in Santa Barbara all come to mind.

Oddly enough, my friend who visited from Australia thought Granzella's was the best thing she'd ever seen.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #28)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 11:34 AM

30. The nice thing about Granzella's is that ... ...


After the fire they had a couple of years ago. They had to bring in new stock to the store.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #28)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 05:56 PM

35. Granzella's Restaurant?

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #35)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 12:53 PM

36. the place is great!

I was being somewhat silly.

Fine meals and a great deli. There aren't many other reasons for going to Williams though.

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Response to bayareaboy (Reply #36)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 01:12 PM

37. Is it? I pass it on the way to visit my property in Tehama county or when I'm on my way to Arcata.

Always wanted to stop but never have. What kind of cuisine?

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #37)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 05:56 PM

39. It really works for garlic recipies ... ...

they make excellent pizzas with olive, feta and artichoke hearts. In fact that is what I have and have talked my children to savor the pizzas. It is close to Italian family style cooking with more choices.

The deli is great if you want a San Francisco Type Italian sandwitch.

It's a good way to I/5 driving more easier.

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Response to bayareaboy (Reply #39)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 06:17 PM

40. Oh, to die! I think that I'll have to stop in next time I got to check my acreage.

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Response to Ecumenist (Reply #40)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 06:07 PM

41. On that part of I/5 it beats ... ... ...

truck stops, who it seems can't even do an omlet anymore, without wanting to put gravy on it.

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Response to bayareaboy (Reply #41)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 08:03 PM

42. Tell me about it. I try to stay away from Truck stops.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Wed Mar 14, 2012, 03:09 AM

29. Eastern Sierra

Try the Eastern Sierra anytime of the year, but Autumn is special!!!

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Response to cally (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:59 PM

31. free tours in San Francisco

my uncle is a free tour guide. He said there are over 200 of them so it is very likely you can get a tour. They take classes and learn of different places in S.F.

He loves giving people tours as he loves walking and loves S.F.

Great resources.

http://www.sfcityguides.org/

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Response to cally (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 11:09 PM

32. some of my favorite places


* sitting on the bench or walking along the trail at "Lovers' Point at Pacific Grove (next to Monterey.. you can watch seals, otters, and at times whales. There is less expensive hotel right there also. Very simple and clean. When you just need a bed, and a great view and can get your own coffee.

* Montonya De Oro.. I love camping there but you can go for just the day

* Cambria.. it seems like a fairyland place to me

* Princess Campground at Sequoia National Park.. you can camp among the Giant Sequoia or climb up on a stump and have a picnic. And just down the road is Hume Lake that is even more beautiful when you go before the crowds are there.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 11:53 PM

33. The Mammoth Mountain area...and Fish Slough Road.

Devil's Postpile
The Minarettes
Mammoth Mountain
Mono Lake

The drive along Fish Slough Road (several miles of graded dirt road) has many petroglyphs. Red Rock Canyon is also quite cool (and very, very narrow).

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #33)

Tue Mar 27, 2012, 10:24 PM

34. And if you are over that way... ...


You might want to see Bodie.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 10:51 PM

38. The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo

If you like kitsch.
And while you're at it the Hearst Castle has it's share of the same.

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Response to cally (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 07:47 PM

43. I wrote this awhile back, but it seems germaine to this thread

Southern California Memories


I live in Alaska, but originally I am a California native. I was born in Los Angeles and raised there.
As it happens a co-worker mentioned that his family was moving to California, and asked me if I had any recommendations on things to do and sights to see when he got there. I have not been to L.A. in well over 25 years, but upon dwelling on my old childhood and young adult memories..Here is a list I made:

1.Go to Los Angeles China Town across from Union Station (sort of)and order Sea Cucumber in a clay pot and some Crispy Duck!

2. Go to Huntington Beach on Saturday Morning and go Body Surfing

http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/residents/beach_info/

3. Spend a Day at the San Diego Zoo

http://www.sandiegozoo.org /

4. Eat lunch at In & Out Burger on Francesquito in Baldwin Park

http://www.in-n-out.com/history.asp

5. Spend a Day at Disneyland

http://disneyland.disney.go.com/

6. Go drinking at any Seedy Bar in Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd

7. Go to the San Gaberial Mission

http://sangabrielmission.org /

9. Take a cruise up Azusa Canyons and take a hike in the Angeles Crest National Forest

http://www.ci.azusa.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=383

9. Go to Santa Anita Racetrack

http://www.santaanita.com /

10. Go to the Arboritum near Santa Anita

http://www.arboretum.org /

11. Spend a day at Knott's Berry Farm

http://www.knotts.com/

12. Go to the Whiskey A-Go-Go on Friday Night in Hollywood

http://www.whiskyagogo.com/site/

13. Check out the House of Blues

http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/losangeles/business.php

14. Go to Redondo Beach and check out the Pier

http://www.redondopier.com /

15. Go and spend the day at the Museums at the La Brea Tar Pits

http://www.tarpits.org /

16. Walk up and down Olvera Street

http://www.olvera-street.com /

17. Take a tour of the Winchester House in San Jose

http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/

18. Eat at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank on Riverside Drive

http://www.bobs.net /

19. Check out just how Squalid Beverly Hills Really is!

http://www.beverlyhills.org/

20. Go See a Movie at the Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

http://www.chinesetheatres.com/

And remember to have fun...and don't get shot!

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