6www.pcs-tdy.comSAN FRANCISCO AREAA TTRAC TIONSDating back to 1873, when the first cable car was guided down Clay Street, San Francisco cable cars remaina historic landmark for San Francisco. Completely retrofitted with new tracks, turntables and cables, the carsoperate daily down three lines: Powell-Hyde, Powell-Mason and California. Delays of 45 to 60 minutes mayoccur during summer months.Featuring 24 blocks of activity, Chinatown’s famous restaurants, food markets, museums, temples and shopsare best visited on foot. The world famous Fisherman’s Wharf is home to The Anchorage, The Cannery, GhirardelliSquare and Pier 39. From mid-November through June visitors line up for the best of the crab catch.Golden Gate Bridge links San Francisco to Marin County. A walk across the 1.7-mile bridge between the hoursof 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. offers visitors a bird’s-eye view of ocean-going vessels and San Francisco in the distance.Golden Gate Park extends three miles and offers fun for the whole family. The park features the StrybingArboretum and Botanical Gardens, a ‘living library’ of 7,000 plant species; Japanese Tea Garden; Asian ArtMuseum; M.H. de Young Memorial Museum; California Academy of Sciences; National AIDS Memorial Grove;children’s playground and Dutch and Murphy windmills.In 1994, the lands of the Presidio of San Francisco were given to the National Park Service. Today, visitorscan view 17th century cannons, a forest that was planted in the 1880s, or the Presidio Museum.A ferry ride from San Francisco will land you on Alcatraz Island, which once existed as a maximum securityisland prison with no escape. Famous inmates included Al Capone, Robert “The Birdman” Stroud and “MachineGun” Kelly. The Agave Trail, which leads visitors around the south shore of Alcatraz Island is closed from mid-February to late September to protect nesting birds. Warm clothing, walking shoes and advance reservations (atleast one week’s notice in the summer and fall months) are recommended. For more information, call 415-705-5555 or go to www.blueandgoldfleet.com/az.htm for information on ferry rates and departure times.A short ride north of San Francisco will take you to the famed ‘Wine Country,’ which is composed of theSonoma and Napa Valleys. Visitors can tour wineries, eat gourmet food or enjoy a picnic. The area offersbeautiful scenery, including mountain and valley views, farms and the rugged Sonoma coast.If you like unlimited train rides, then a day trip to Fairfield’s Western Railway Museum is a must. And whileyou are in the area, visit the touted Travis Air Force Museum. For more information, call 707-424-5605.A trip south out of San Francisco will land you in the beautiful Monterey Peninsula.One of the area’s most popular attractions is the Monterey Bay Aquarium with its up-close look at thecreatures that live in the ocean. One of the Aquarium’s newest exhibits is Vanishing Wildlife, which showcasesthe ocean animals, including sea turtles, tunas and sharks, that are being threatened.Other cities in the Monterey Peninsula that are worth exploring include the quaint artists’ communities ofCarmel-by-the-Sea; nearby Carmel Valley with its selection of wineries and beautiful Garland Ranch RegionalPark; Pacific Grove with its memorable Monarch butterflies, Lover’s Point and Point Piños Lighthouse; Big Surwith its Point Sur Lighthouse, redwood groves and superb whale watching, and Pebble Beach with its 17-miledrive past ocean views, cypress trees, beautiful houses and world renown gold courses.And what’s a trip to Northern California without Yosemite National Park. Replete with 1,000-footwaterfalls and breathtaking granite spheres, Yosemite is best visited in the late spring when the snow melts andthe waterfalls are at their peak. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/yose or call 209-372-0200.
LOS ANGELES AREAA TTRAC TIONSLos Angeles is home to 300 museums.One of Los Angeles’ newest museum attractions is the Getty Center. Anarchitectural masterpiece, it sits above the city, accessible only by afuturistic tram ride. It is filled with heroic sculpture; world famouspaintings, including Van Gogh’s Irises, and French furniture.Several museums can also be found on ‘Museum Row,’ which islocated on Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile, between west LosAngeles and downtown.The Japanese American National Museum is the only non-profitnational institute whose purpose is to share and preserve the JapaneseAmerican heritage.Los Angeles Children’s Museum incorporates technology, sciences,humanities and arts in this participatory museum.Located on Bunker Hill, the Museum of Contemporary Art is hometo a permanent collection, international exhibitions, and other artisticORANGE COUN TYA TTRAC TIONSworks dating back to 1940.National History Museum, located in Exposition Park, houses morethan 16 million artifacts, including dinosaurs and gems, and travelingexhibitions.The Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers everything fromPicasso paintings to Chinese ceramic demons. The Petersen AutomotiveMuseum showcases vintage vehicles which have marked importantmilestones in California’s history.A short car ride south of metropolitan Los Angeles will land youat the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach’s newest attraction. Visitorscan observe sea otters and sea lions or journey through a tunnel-likeaquarium with sharks swimming overhead.For a true island experience, take a boat ride across the PacificOcean to Catalina Island. Explore Catalina’s beautiful shoreline via glassbottom boat, take a coastal cruise or tour the main city of Avalon. Boatsdepart daily from Newport Beach, Long Beach and San Pedro.When people think of Southern California,Disneyland immediately comes to mind for many.Consisting of Adventureland, CritterCountry, Fantasyland, Frontierland, MainStreet U.S.A., New Orleans Square, thenewly renovated Tomorrowland andMickey’s Toontown, the ‘Happiest Place onEarth’ is open 365 days a year and offersextended operating hours during holidayperiods and summer months.Disney’s newest attraction is CaliforniaAdventure, located right next door toDisneyland. A separate amusement parkwith its own entrance fee, CaliforniaAdventure offers six areas to explore:Condor Flats, Bountiful Valley Farm, PacificWharf, Bay Area, Grizzly Peak RecreationArea and Golden Vine Winery.Roller coaster gluttons will appreciateKnott’s Berry Farm, which is just minutesfrom Disneyland and offers 150 acres ofamusement attractions.Knott’s newest ride is Perilous Plunge,reportedly featuring the steepest drop inthe world. Also at Knott’s is Ghostrider,HammerHead, where you can spin headover heals; Jaguar, and Mystery Lodge. Call714-220-5200 for more information.Located adjacent to Knott’s is one ofthe area’s newest water parks, Soak CityU.S.A. Featuring 21 water rides on 15acres, the park is themed with a surf motif,replete with woodies and longboards datingback to the 1950s. Knott’s second SoakCity U.S.A. theme park is located in SanDiego county. More information can beobtained online at www.soakcityusa.comor by calling 714-220-5220.www.pcs-tdy.com 7
HOLLY WOODA TTRAC TIONSTo get a feel for the star-struck town, visit the HollywoodEntertainment Museum where you can sit in Captain Picard’s chairaboard the Starship Enterprise on the Star Trek set or have a seat atthe Cheers bar.For the true flavor of Hollywood, take a trip down the Walk ofFame and follow the brass stars.Mann’s Chinese Theater is famous for its courtyard full ofHollywood celebrities’ footprints dating from 1927 to the present.Nearby, Universal CityWalk is another great destination with itsspecialty shopping, entertainment clubs and unique restaurants.Pause for some lunch at Universal Studios Hollywood’s MarvelMania, a restaurant designed with a comic book-theme. Then take atram around the back lots of over 500 movie sets at Universal StudiosHollywood.For a sure glimpse of the stars, visit lifelike wax figures ofMadonna, Michael Jackson, or Tom Cruise at the Hollywood WaxMuseum.Hollywood also offers more than 50 miles of horseback ridingtrails in nearby Griffith Park.The San Diego Zoo features a 100-acre tropical garden zoowith 3,900 animals of 800 species and is noted for its many rareand exotic species exhibited. Some of the must-see exhibits at thezoo are the Gorilla Tropics, Polar Bear Plunge, Sun Bear Forest,Hippo Beach and Tiger River.SeaWorld San Diego is a 150-acre marine zoological parklocated on Mission Bay. It features daily shows and dozens ofmarine life exhibits including Shark Encounter, which leadsvisitors through a glass-enclosed tunnel of sharks and othermarine life swimming all around.Shipwreck Rapids, offers a new twist to SeaWorld as ittransports guests through a series of river rapids, around atropical island and down an underground cavern.Manatee Rescue features a 215,000-gallon freshwater environmentfor manatees with an underwater observation area for visitors.Old Town San Diego, the first European settlement inCalifornia, offers points of historic interest, restored homes, andearly-California restaurants and shops.SAN DIEGO AREAA TTRAC TIONSOld Town’s Bazaar del Mundo is a popular shopping and diningvillage with mariachis, margaritas, and unique, hand-crafted gifts.Nearby, a wide variety of handcrafted and imported items can be foundat specialty shops and galleries.North of San Diego in Carlsbad is the one of the southland’s newestattractions, Legoland California. Decorated with 30 million Lego bricks,the park features 40 ‘hands-on’ interactive attractions, shows, familyrides, restaurants and shopping.Located 30 miles north of downtown San Diego near Escondido isthe San Diego Wild Animal Park. The 2,200-acre preserve is home to3,000 animals that roam freely. Visitors can view the animals in theirnatural setting by joining the five-mile Wgasa Bushline monorail tour.A recent addition to the park is the Heart of Africa where visitors strollamong giraffes, monkeys, and cheetahs in a safari-like setting. The parkalso recently opened Condor Ridge which offers an in-depth and closeup look at these endangered birds.8www.pcs-tdy.com