Tag Archives: California

Welcome to The Rock

 

Sean Connery penned the legendary line, “Welcome to The Rock” in the 1996 action film The Rock.  Filmed on Alcatraz Island off the coast San Francisco, CA, the former maximum high-security prison introduced the island to a new generation of people which would eventually become operated by the United States National Park Service.

Alcatraz’s rich history and dark past housed some of America’s most notorious criminals including Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Bumpy Johnson and Robert Stroud the”Birdman of Alcatraz.” Since its closure in 1963, the island has been restored and maintained in recent years as Alcatraz hosts millions of visitors each year.

Those who have the opportunity to visit Alcatraz are provided an experience to tour the 3-story cell block building and the island with an audio narration by former prisoners, guards and rangers.

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The Bright Lights of Los Angeles

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High above the bustling streets of downtown Los Angeles, Sky Space offers its guests an opportunity to experience the city 69-stories from above.  Panoramic views of nearby Hollywood and legendary Dodgers Stadium, this is the must-see attraction that is gaining popularity among locals and tourists on vacation.  Located on the 54th, 69th and 70th floor of the US Bank tower, visitors enter the building from the 2nd story and proceed through a security check point prior to boarding the high speed elevator.

Once you reach the 54th floor, guests exit into an interactive lobby showcased by a continuous video and a photo opportunity with a stationed photographer.  Once you have taken the elevator up to the 70th floor, guests who purchased the combo Sky Space LA and slide ticket have the option to proceed to the enclosed slide over the city and onto the 69th floor observation deck.

Much similar to the observation decks in Las Vegas, New York City and Seattle, Sky Space LA provides panoramic views of the city, Dodger Stadium, Hollywood and the LA basin.  For those who may experience vertigo, there are multiple couches located along the observation for ample views.  I’ve had the opportunity to experience this location during the day and late at night.  Each experience was very unique and provided a different perspective of Los Angeles.

The Beauty of Anacapa Island

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April 4, 2017

When I first learned of Anacapa Island earlier this year, the only thing I knew about it was that it was part of the Channel Islands National Park.  It’s accessible only by boat by reserving your trip through Islandpackers.com.  The 1-hour boat trip departs at 9:30 am from their Oxnard, CA harbor location and arrives at East Anacapa Island.  On a clear day you may experience a whale sighting.  To reach the top of the island, you must climb up over 130 steps up a winding set of stairs from the dock.

I first explored the Visitor Center and saw the original light that was used when the lighthouse was fully functional.  The Visitor Center provides plenty of history about the islands and brochures for those wanting to take information to their friends and family.

Anacapa Island may be remote off the California Coast, however you are truly not alone.  Hundreds of birds live on the island.  So in reality, you are their guest for the day, or night if you decide to camp.  Don’t be surprised if one, two or many more squawk at you a few times.

Use caution along Inspiration Point.  There’s no railing along the cliff and part of the island runs along a fault line that can drop off.  The island volunteer pointed this out to me as I was in an are that was considered not safe.  The views of the other two islands that make up Anacapa Island’s are incredible.  The Lighthouse at the opposite side of the island is a short hike from Inspiration Point.  You are allowed to get within 50 yars of the lighthouse due to the consistent fog horn.  Make sure you bring your camera and comfortable hiking shoes because this island is worth the money!  Lastly, you may have an encounter with a pod of dolphins on your return trip!