Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

Saturday Evening and Sunday Afternoon at the Pacific Ocean in Cambria.

THIS BLOG IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

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Pacific Ocean View, Big Sur, California (not my pic)

We have combined the pics from previous blogs and added new pics into this one.
This Blog was just UPDATED April 9, 2017.

Hearst San Simeon California State Park owns and controls most of the waterfront property along the 20-mile segment of Highway 1 north of Cambria on the Central Coast as well as Hearst Castle and the surrounding land. There are thirteen different beautiful, uncrowded and remote “hidden gem” beaches in northern San Luis Obispo County and southern Monterey County between Cambria and Big Sur.

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

Moonstone Beach is a California State Park and part of Hearst San Simeon State Park. It runs along Moonstone Beach Drive and parallels Highway 1 in Cambria. The shoreline is made up of brown sandy beaches and coves separated by rocky headlands. On the beach, there are a number of natural ocean tide pools filled with marine life, and in the park there are easy hiking trails and an abundance of natural flora and fauna.

NOTE: Dogs are allowed on-leash on the trails and the boardwalk, but not on the beach!

SATURDAY EVENING

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Marine Layer Rolling In Over Cambria and the Pacific Ocean on Saturday Evening

Moonstone Beach was the end of a long road trip from Ashland, Oregon. We left in the morning without a destination and arrived in Cambria at sunset. The marine layer and heavy fog had rolled in as we were coming down Highway 46 from the mountains, so there were gray skies and it was chilly outside the car when we reached the ocean.

NOTE: Read the previous Blogs about our Spring 2016 Oregon Roadtrip, Historic Cambria, the Vault Gallery and the Bluebird Inn in Cambria (see the links below)

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Sunset at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

We parked the car at the Beach next to the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. The marine layer was over the ocean and there was only a thin line of orange on the horizon as the sun went down over the ocean, but it was really beautiful as we watched the sunset.

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Sunset at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

The one and a half mile long boardwalk runs the length of Moonstone Beach along the bluff top and walking it is a great way to experience the beauty of the Pacific Coastline.

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The Boardwalk at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

There is easy access to the sandy beach via stairs down from the bluffs and there are many wooden benches along the Boardwalk to just sit and enjoy the view.

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

As the sun set, we called and found a room was available at the Bluebird Inn. We had a very nice dinner at Robin’s restaurant and went for drinks afterwards at the Cambria Pub and Mozzi’s Saloon and then stayed the night at the motel.

Read the Previous Blog! (RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Saturday Night at The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi

NOTE: There is not much to do after 9pm in Cambria. There is no real nightlife, except for a few bars and restaurants that stay open late.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

After a good night’s rest and the morning breakfast buffet at the Bluebird Inn, we spent the early part of the day walking around downtown Cambria exploring historical sites and visiting shops and galleries (Read our previous Blogs).

Read the Previous Blogs! (RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

It was still overcast, so we decided not to drive north to Big Sur. Instead, some time after noon, we walked back to the car at the motel and then drove down to Moonstone Beach and the Pacific Ocean.

Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

SEAGULLS!

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

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Moonstone Beach – Parking Lot and Picnic Area

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SQUIRREL! “Hey, nice marmot!”
They Have No Fear! Please DO NOT feed the wildlife!

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SQUIRREL! No Fear! Please DO NOT feed the wildlife!

This little squirrel tried to “panhandle” us in the parking lot!
It came right up (not even 3 feet away) and posed for these pictures exhibiting little fear of people and obviously looking for some food from the tourists…
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, consisting of small or medium-size rodents. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs.

That word “squirrel” first specified in 1327, comes from the Anglo-Norman esquirel which is from the Old French escurel, the reflex of a Latin word sciurus. This Latin word was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος, skiouros, which means shadow-tailed, referring to the bushy appendage possessed by many of its members.

The California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi), is a common and easily observed ground squirrel of the western United States and the Baja California Peninsula. “Beechey’s Marmot” (named after Frederick William Beechey, an early 19th-century British explorer and naval officer) is common in Oregon and California and its range has relatively recently extended into Washington and northwestern Nevada.

California ground squirrels live in burrows which they excavate themselves. Some burrows are occupied communally but each individual squirrel has its own entrance. They readily become tame in areas used by humans and quickly learn to take food left or offered by people. They spend most of their time within 82 feet of their burrow and rarely go further than 160 feet from it. The squirrel’s fur contains a mixture of gray, light brown and dusky hairs; the underside is lighter, buff or grayish yellow. The fur around the eyes is whitish and around the ears is black. Head and body are about 12 inches long and the bushy tail an additional 6 inches.

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Squirrel! No Fear! Please don’t feed the wildlife!

 

TRAVEL ALERT!
Highway 1 IS CLOSED! Pacific Coast Highway from Cambria to Big Sur!

 

TravelAlert-614x201

HIGHWAY 1 NEAR BIG SUR IS CLOSED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE!

There are currently temporary closures on Highway 1 after winter storms damaged the coastal road again. The highway north of Big Sur has reopened but a full closure due to landslides (Paul’s Slide) near the town of Lucia will continue for at least four to six more weeks. The highway continues to deteriorate at Mud Creek near the town of Gorda as slide activity continues. It is currently closed there and it is also closed at Ragged Point, 24 miles north of Cambria. They remain closed to travelers according to Caltrans as of April 4, 2017. Caltrans completed demolition on the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge just south of Big Sur Station on March 20 after the bridge failed in mid-February and is planning to build a replacement bridge. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, the only road that cuts through the Santa Lucia Mountains from Highway 101 and allows access to Big Sur, reopened in late March.

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Big Creek Bridge and Cove – Big Sur, California (not my pic)

Moonstone Beach at Hearst San Simeon State Park
6216 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA
Free parking along Moonstone Beach Drive and in the park parking lot.
NOTE: Bring a sweater or jacket! It can get cold, even in Summer.

Read the Previous Blogs!
(RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Master Blog! Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-35M
Seagulls! Moonstone Beach in Cambria http://wp.me/s3dhVM-seagulls
The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi
Historic Downtown Cambria, California http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3yI
The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California http://wp.me/p3dhVM-4lQ
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

Hearst Castle website: http://www.hearstcastle.org

All Photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Pacific Ocean at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

 

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California


Historic Downtown Cambria, California

Historic Downtown Cambria, California

Sunday afternoon on our walk around Cambria we discovered a lot of history!

So, we took a lot of pictures. Here’s a Blog with pictures of some of the historic buildings we saw: the Santa Rosa Church Chapel and Cemetery, the Cambria Historical Museum inside the Guthrie-Bianchini House, the Cambria Chinese Temple & Greenspace Creekside Reserve are functioning tourist attractions, while the Bluebird Inn Motel, the Bonomi House, the Taylor House, the Squibb House and many others have been restored and repurposed as commercial buildings housing retail businesses.

Santa Rosa Catholic Church Chapel and Cemetery 1870

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church Chapel in Cambria, California 1870

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church Chapel in Cambria, California 1870

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church Cemetery in Cambria, California 1870

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church Cemetery in Cambria, California 1870

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Santa Rosa Catholic Church Cemetery in Cambria

Cambria Historical Museum inside the Guthrie-Bianchini House 1870

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Cambria Historical Museum in the Guthrie-Bianchini House 1870

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Guthrie-Bianchini House Kitchen Well 1870

Cambria Chinese Temple & Greenspace Creekside Reserve

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Chinese Temple in Downtown Cambria, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Well, well, well… (filled in so no one falls in)

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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Cambria Chinese Temple & Greenspace Creekside Reserve

The Bluebird Inn Motel 1870 (see our previous Blog about the Bluebird Inn Motel)

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The Bluebird Inn Motel Office and Lobby 1870

 

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The Bluebird Inn Motel Office and Lobby 1870

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The Bluebird Inn Motel Lobby with Stone Fireplace 1870

Some Other Historic Buildings in Downtown Cambria

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-35M

Saturday Night at The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP3QQfRTfD-2eABWVd-JwQ

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Cambria, California – Clock 1867

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Is it expensive to island hop in Hawaii? In a word: YES.

Q: Is it expensive to island hop? My fiance and I are coming to the big island for a work trip for 3 days and are looking to extend our trip a couple days. Is it expensive to fly from the big island to Maui? ~ Katie C., Huntington Beach, CA

A: Yes Katie, it is expensive to island hop in Hawaii.

Consider not only the cost in money (airfare, bag fees, transfers, tips, etc.), but in time. Inter-Island travel time is short, but you’ll lose a day at the airport, getting a rental car and checking in to a new hotel.

There’s so much to do on the The Big Island Hawaii:

Watch the sunrise/sunset from the top of Mauna Kea. You can go skiing if there’s snow (and then head for the beach afterwards).

Spend a whole day at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park! Visit the Kīlauea Volcano. Try a tasting at the Volcano Winery, buy a bottle of wine and drive through the lava fields to where the molten lava spills into the ocean. Have dinner at Hawaii Volcano House Hotel and/or stay overnight with a view of the crater.

 Kilauea meets the sea. Volcanoes National Park - Big Island Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Kilauea meets the sea. Volcanoes National Park – Big Island Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Drive around the island and visit the green sand beaches at South Point in Kalae, the southern most point in the United States. There are lots of places to stop, eat and shop along the way.

Hike Akaka Falls State Park home of two majestic waterfalls and lush tropical gardens. Visit Rainbow Falls and see historic Hilo.

Rainbow Falls - Hilo, Hawaii (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rainbow Falls – Hilo, Hawaii (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Snorkel Keauhou Bay and and other spots along the Kona coast, you might get to swim with endangered sea turtles.

Visit the Waipio Valley and “cowboy country”. Have a steak dinner. Go horseback riding. There are lots of places to visit, eat, shop, etc.

Snorkel Honaunau Bay and visit Pu’uhonua O Honaunau Park.

Take a snorkel cruise to the Captain Cook Monument or go whale/dolphin/manta ray watching. Go to a Luau w/dinner & entertainment.

A beautiful Waikoloa sunset on the Big Island of Hawaii (copyright 2010 Joshua Weisel)

A beautiful Waikoloa sunset on the Big Island of Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Visit some of the other amazing Resort Hotels! Hilton Waikoloa Village, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, etc. See Petroglyphs, tropical gardens, art, etc. for free.

These are just a few suggestions, there is so much to do and see on the Big Island Hawaii (you wouldn’t be able to do it all in three days if you weren’t working) that isn’t on this list. And of course, take time to just relax and DO NOTHING. Lay on the beach or by the pool and sip umbrella drinks, that’s an essential part of the Hawaiian experience.

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NOTE: You can also spend a week on Maui and not see everything, so consider visiting another island on a return trip.

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Three Great Adventures in Los Angeles near UCLA!

Three great adventures in Los Angeles near UCLA!

“Can you recommend a 5-hour round trip from LA to see the most sites? My husband and I will be visiting our son and his wife at UCLA in October from Alabama. While they are busy during the day, we would like to venture either north or south, preferably on the PCH to see some of California. In addition, we would love to find an interesting boutique or historic hotel to stay in near the UCLA campus.” ~ Nancy M. from Birmingham, Alabama

UCLA is in Westwood. Stay at the W Hotel Los Angeles in Westwood!

Five hours (round trip) is not a lot of time and Los Angeles is a very big place. Here are three great adventures near UCLA:

1. Santa Monica and Venice Beach

Santa Monica Pier Sign at Ocean Blvd

Santa Monica Pier Sign at Ocean Blvd

I recommend you head to Santa Monica (you can take a drive down Wilshire to San Vicente through Brentwood and do some shopping on Montana Avenue). Walk the Third Street Promenade, Palisades Park, and the Santa Monica Pier. Do some shopping at Santa Monica Place and have lunch at one of the many restaurants down by Santa Monica State Beach or head south on Pacific Coast Hwy to Venice Beach. Have lunch at one of the many restaurants there and visit the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Main Street and Abbot Kinney Blvd. If you have time drive into Marina Del Rey and have a drink at the The Ritz-Carlton.

A Nice Day in Marina del Rey (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A Nice Day in Marina del Rey (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Take the 10 freeway or the Marina freeway back to the 405 freeway north, exit Wilshire Blvd east and you’ll be back in Westwood.

*One more quick note: You can also visit the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades-Malibu as a great side trip from Santa Monica. The Getty Villa houses a fantastic collection of ancient Greco-Roman art and sculpture! It’s FREE but you need to make reservations. http://www.getty.edu/visit/villa/ ___________________________________________________________________

2. Century City and Beverly Hills

Century Towers - Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Century Towers – Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Park at the Westfield Century City Mall in Century City, CA. There’s lots of shopping (including Bloomingdale’s), restaurants and the AMC Century City 15 movie theater. Take a walk into Century City (follow the people in suits going back to work) and visit the CAA building (aka “The Deathstar”), the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza (also a great place to stay), and the Century Towers and Plaza.

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel - Century City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel – Century City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There’s more shopping and even better restaurants there (Craft is Tom Colicchio’s steak place). Be sure to visit the shops underground at the Twin Towers! Century City also has the The Annenberg Space for Photography (FREE!) and a few other art galleries. There are fantastic buildings and lots of hidden things to see if you just walk around during the day. Here’s a link to a list of museums and other info for the area (Westwood-Century City): http://centurycity.patch.com/directory/art-galleries

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Rodeo Drive from the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

You can also drive to Beverly Hills and visit Rodeo Drive, there’s mega-shopping and wide variety of some of LA’s finest restaurants: Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Spago Beverly Hills, Il Pastaio, Il Cielo, Fogo de Chao, Matsuhisa, Lawry’s the Prime Rib, The Farm of Beverly Hills, and many others! in addition to the The W Hotel Los Angeles – Westwood, the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills is a great boutique hotel and they have a wonderful restaurant, where you can dine indoors or outdoors in a poolside cabana at Oliverio at Avalon Beverly Hills restaurant.

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bathtub/Walk-in Shower & view at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and The InterContinental Los Angeles Century City Hotel, the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, the Montage Beverly Hills, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel, Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, London West Hollywood Hotel, Mondrian Hotel- Hollywood and Chateau Marmont are a few of the finest luxury hotels in the city.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Each hotel has at least one amazing restaurant and/or bar: 24/7 Diner and the Cactus Lounge/Pool at the Standard, Scarpetta and the Scarpetta Bar (and the hidden whiskey lounge Ten Pound by The Macallan), On Sunset @ Luxe Hotel (amazing Sunday Brunch!), LIVELLO, Culina, Modern Italian @CulinaLA, Tres by José Andrés, Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés, On Rodeo Bistro Lounge, The Rooftop Grill, the Parq Bar, and Cut (Wolfgang Puck’s steak house) to name just a few.

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

On Sunset Restaurant Patio at the LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

You must try Stan’s Donuts and Diddy Riese ice cream in Westwood Village And for a quick and tasty Chinese lunch or takeout try Jin Jiang at Santa Monica and Sepulveda. ___________________________________________________________________

3. The Getty Center

405 Freeway and the Getty Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

405 Freeway and the Getty Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

One more great 5 hour trip from UCLA is a trip to the The Getty Center and it’s FREE! http://www.getty.edu/visit/center/plan/

Getty Center Central Garden (view from museum)

Getty Center Central Garden (view from museum)

From the Getty Center website: “The collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center includes pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; 19th- and 20th-century American, European, and Asian photographs; contemporary and modern sculpture; and Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center….Contemporary and modern sculpture is featured throughout the grounds, including 28 modern and contemporary outdoor sculptures installed at the Getty Center, donated by Fran and Ray Stark.” In addition to the absolutely incredible Permanent Collection, they also have changing exhibitions. Here is the exhibition schedule: http://www.getty.edu/visit/exhibitions/

You won’t be able to see everything in five hours!*

So, take your time and explore two of the four art pavilions, walk the gardens and enjoy the amazing view from above.

Panoramic View of West L.A. from the Getty Center

Panoramic View of West L.A. from the Getty Center

There is food available (but it’s not inexpensive), so you might want to bring a picnic lunch from one of the hotel restaurant I mentioned in my previous post, or from Whole Foods Market in Westwood, or if it’s Thursday the Westwood Village Farmer’s Market. There’s also the lovely Bel-Air Bar & Grill on Sepulveda or On Sunset @ Luxe Hotel for fine dining, either before or after. The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is a beautiful property, and I recommend an upstairs room by the pool with a balcony if available.

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“Josh, these suggestions are fantastic—-can’t wait to show them to our kids before they move—-they will love them! I especially appreciate your recommending the Avalon Hotel. We love boutique hotels and this one is very reasonable! We may have to extend the trip and leave the kids behind! Thanks so much!” ~ Nancy M. from Birmingham, Alabama

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Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

07-APR-13: Hana Maui Sunrise

Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Hana Maui Sunrise - Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana Maui Sunrise – Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana is located at the eastern end of the island of Maui and is one of the most isolated communities in the state of Hawaii. Hana Town is reached mainly via the Hana Highway (HI-360 completed in 1926), a long and winding (620 curves and 59 bridges) 52 mile highway along Maui’s northern shore.

St. Sophia’s Church marks your arrival into Hana.  The Travaasa Hana (the historic Hotel Hana-Maui) is a luxury resort rooted in Hawaiian tradition. Shop at the famous Hasegawa General Store. Swim and sunbathe at Hana Beach Park or Hamoa Beach.  Snorkel at Waianapanapa State Park, a beautiful black sand beach.  Visit Hale Piilani, the state’s largest heiau (Hawaiian temple) in the Kanahu Botanical Gardens.  Continue 10 miles south to Haleakala National Park in Kipahulu. See the Pools of Oheo, where waterfalls spill into tiered pools leading to the sea and hike the Pipiwai Trail to the 400-foot Waimoku Falls.

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