Channel Islands National Park: The Galápagos of North America

This is the perfect time of year to really get out there and explore all that California’s Central Coast has to offer. A perfect example? Channel Islands National Park.

Comprised of five islands known as “the Galápagos of North America,” Channel Islands National Park is a world apart. Despite the isolation that makes it one of the country’s least-visited national parks and that allows 2,000 plant and animal species to thrive (the cat-sized Island fox is one of 145 Channel Islands species found nowhere else in the world), some areas can be reached in an hour or less from Oxnard and Ventura with Island Packers. You can also travel to Santa Rosa Island on flights with Channel Islands Aviation.

For excellent introductions to the islands, stop at visitor centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara. The renovated Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center at Ventura Harbor features new interactive displays and a tidal pool exhibit with lobsters and sand sharks. Continue reading

Flying High in BBQ Country, Santa Maria Valley

The fine weather in the Santa Maria Valley is one reason why the region is known as California’s BBQ Capital. After all, you need pretty good weather to barbecue all year round like the locals do, right?

The valley’s moderate coastal climate is also conducive to producing world-class wines, growing some of California’s finest strawberries and…flying kites! And on April 22, in the heart of National Kite Month, the valley’s open skies and cool breezes will abound with color as the Discovery Museum hosts its annual Family Kite Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rotary Centennial Park. Continue reading

17th Annual Central Coast Orchid Show and Sale

Did you know the number of orchid species equals more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species? This fascinating fact and more information about orchids can be found here. But if you want to lay your eyes on the true beauty and unique characteristics of orchids rather than read about them, you’ll definitely want to check out the 17th Annual Central Coast Orchid Show & Sale in Arroyo Grande between March 31 and April 1.

Enjoy the numerous variations of orchids through demonstrations and plant tours then grab a bite to eat and sign up for door prizes and raffles. You can even purchase your favorite blooms and share their splendor with friends. For more event information click here.

Ventura Music Week, February 15-19, 2012

If you’re in the mood for some great tunes, head over to Ventura and choose from a wide variety of venues participating in Ventura’s local music scene. There are many genres of music to choose from and most venues are offering food and beverage specials.

To get your music fix, check out more information here, and don’t be afraid to hum along with your favorite local musicians.