By Michele E. Buttelman
Memorial Day Weekend is almost here, but there’s still time to plan a fun, family weekend getaway. Memorial Day has long been considered the start of the summer BBQ, picnic, outdoor activity season. It’s also a great time to take a short jaunt from your Santa Clarita Valley neighborhood and take a break from the usual routine. You’ll have all summer to chill in the backyard pool or BBQ for friends and family. Take this opportunity to escape with the family for a quick minivacation. Day trips, overnight camping trips or a simple picnic in the park can be just as fun as entire weekend away from home. Just make it a fun family weekend activity.
If you want to go snorkeling without flying all the way to the Caribbean or another tropical locale, Catalina Island is a great choice as one of the few spots in the United States where you can do just that. By taking the hour trip via passenger boat service from Long Beach, you can enjoy clear waters filled with an array of marine life. In fact, Lover’s Cove is known for having one of the heaviest concentrations of fish found off the west coast and has even ranked among the top 10 best places in the world for snorkeling. Sea stars, eels, anemones, octopi and Garibaldi fish are just a few of the creatures you’re likely to see. Dolphins and sea lions are also a common sight. The island’s many other activity options include glass-bottom boat tours, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, zip lining or searching for the famed Catalina Island bison.
For more information on Catalina Island visit www.visitcatalinaisland.com/things-to-do.
In Palm Springs swimsuit season is in full swing and Memorial Day marks the end of “comfortable” temps out in the desert. You’ll find nonstop sunshine so pack plenty of sunscreen.
The best part of Palm Springs is that mom and dad can relax while letting the kids splash about in the hotel pool.
When it’s time to eat there is practically an endless number of acclaimed eateries like Copley’s on Palm Canyon.
This desert oasis with a glamourous past is also an ideal base for exploring the spectacular desert landscape at Joshua Tree National Park, with miles and miles of amazing hiking trails and mountain bike treks as well as being one of the best spots in California for rock climbing.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tram car, travels over two-and-one-half miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. During your approximately 10-minute journey, tram cars rotate slowly, offering picturesque and spectacular vistas of the valley floor below. Once you reach the Mountain Station, elevation 8,516 feet, enjoy two restaurants, observation decks, natural history museum, two documentary theaters, gift shop and over 50 miles of hiking trails.
You’ll want to stick around town on the holiday, as each Memorial Day the Palm Springs Air Museum hosts the Annual Memorial Day Air Fair and Flower Drop, commemorating the important role of those who fought in World War II with a flower drop from its B-25 aircraft. Thousands of white and red carnations represent those who gave the greatest sacrifice for their country.
For more information visit https://visitpalmsprings.com.
From San Diego to Santa Barbara, you can’t go wrong with an ocean view getaway. Kids love the beach. They love the sand, the surf and the tidepools. Once of the great benefits of living in the Santa Clarita Valley is the opportunity to take a short drive to Ventura, only 40 minutes away or a slightly longer jaunt of an hour or more to reach a beach. You can spend a weekend or just an afternoon.
Harbor Cove Beach, or Mother’s Beach, is a favorite among families with young children because the harbor’s breakwaters provide safety from big swells. The beach also has beautiful views of the entire Ventura coastline and hills, small lapping waves, and windblown sand dunes. It’s the perfect spot for waterfront activities like kayaking and flying kites. Ventura Harbor Village is conveniently right across the street, so you’re smack dab in the middle of everything. You can make a day of it with restaurants, ice cream shops, an arcade, and the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center literally just across the street from Harbor Cove Beach. Pretty much everything your family needs is here; including lots of free parking, lifeguards, showers, and restrooms.
For more information on Ventura Beaches visit https://visitventuraca.com/beaches-and-surfing
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park is a coastal treasure on the Palos Verdes Peninsula contains an ecological preserve and is known for its outstanding tide pools. Trails meander on the bluff out to excellent views from two prominent points. Below these points are three separate coves with beaches and tide pools. Out at the end and right at the base of the points there are amazing rock tunnels where waves rush in and crash through. It is worth checking tide charts to visit these beaches at low tide for the tide pools and the tunnels.
For the best beaches with tidepools visit www.californiabeaches.com/map/best-tide-pools-in-southern-california.