login info join!
Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > California: what are your favorite... Search   Reply
12last
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


Haven't been to California in years.  My tastes have changed pretty dramatically since my last visit, and I'm interested in doing a LOT more sight-seeing, and a LOT more eating.

I'll be pretty much all over the state, so...any suggestions will be met as eagerly as all others!

I specifically want to know your favorite places to:

*hike
*do Bikram yoga
*scuba dive
*get a great veggie burger
*get a great burrito
*get fantastic ice cream
*eat a great raw meal
*people-watch
*get bread that's made on site
*get amazing dessert

Also interested in any beautiful scenic areas that you love.

Go!

(Note: I don't eat meat (no, not fish, or chicken.  none).  So, I don't need to know where your favorite steak joint is, UNLESS it has, say, the best mashed potatoes on Earth.
Mar 15 13 04:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
T-D-L
Posts: 10,109
Los Angeles, California, US


Hiking: everyone does Runyun Canyon, but Eaton Canyon or Juan Bautista de Anza Park have some good hiking areas....just be careful of rattlers.

Burritos: Anywhere in San Fernando or the outlying areas if you happen to be in the valley.  (El Faro Taco is one of my faves)

People Watching: Pretty much all of Hollywood and Venice Beach are the obvious ones, also Santa Monica Pier has some interesting people.
Mar 15 13 04:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Skydancer Photos
Posts: 21,903
Santa Cruz, California, US


We pretty much have that list covered.

ETA: Well, Monterey is better for scuba diving.

smile
Mar 15 13 04:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
A N D E R S O N
Posts: 2,553
Garden Grove, California, US


Cabo Grill on Newport Blvd, "THE BIG CABO". Best burrito you will ever have.

The Hopping Pig in San Diego has pretty awesome original ice cream flavors. The owner creates a different flavor like every week or so, it's always different.
Mar 15 13 04:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lohkee
Posts: 11,834
Maricopa, Arizona, US


Skydancer Photos wrote:
We pretty much have that list covered.

ETA: Well, Monterrey is better for scuba diving.

smile

Hah! Of course that is what someone from the cruz would say (and he couldn't even spell it - Monterey - correctly)!

OP  - BIG SUR!

/end thread


ETA: Oopsie: I guess I can't spell worth crap (and I used to live there). SIGH!

Mar 15 13 04:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,973
Columbus, Ohio, US


There is a mom & pop bakery in Big Sur you might like. Not to mention the sight seeing you can do in that area.

Assuming it's still there.....been a couple of years.
Mar 15 13 04:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jerry Nemeth
Posts: 26,748
Dearborn, Michigan, US


Small Fruit Pits wrote:
There is a mom & pop bakery in Big Sur you might like. Not to mention the sight seeing you can do in that area.

Assuming it's still there.....been a couple of years.

I love the drive down Highway 1.

Mar 15 13 04:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Skydancer Photos
Posts: 21,903
Santa Cruz, California, US


Lohkee wrote:
Hah! Of course that is what someone from the cruz would say (and he couldn't even spell it correctly)!

OP  - BIG SUR!

/end thread

Oops!

Big Sur is amazing. I have been helping a friend build his house down there. It's a bit remote for some, but the scenery, and yes the eateries, are awesome and unique.

Mar 15 13 04:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lohkee
Posts: 11,834
Maricopa, Arizona, US


Skydancer Photos wrote:

Oops!

Big Sur is awesome. I have been helping a friend build his house down there. It's a bit small and remote for some, but the scenery, and yes the eateries, are awesome and unique.

Palo Colorado Canyon?

Mar 15 13 04:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Skydancer Photos
Posts: 21,903
Santa Cruz, California, US


Lohkee wrote:
Palo Colorado Canyon?

Further south. Up on a ridge, looking down towards Esalen.

Mar 15 13 04:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
PhotographybyT
Posts: 7,596
Monterey, California, US


Monterey Bay area (includes Santa Cruz) has most of the items on your list.

Great areas for hiking - Point Lobos State reserve, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Nisene Marks State Park, Jack's Peak Regional Park, Big Sur, and the list goes on.

There's a lot of Scuba diving in the Monterey Bay but the water is freezing cold - brrrr!

Since it's a tourist area, there are countless of great restaurants although I can't speak of any veggie burgers due to that I'm a meatasaurus! Awesome burritos can be had at Turtle Bay (Mexican coastal cuisine).

Don't laugh but I like the ice cream at Rite Aid (used to be Thrifty's). Otherwise, there are plenty of ice cream parlors such as Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone (or is it Stone Cold? I can never remember - lol), and some other independent ice cream places.

Lot's of people watching going on in Monterey or Santa Cruz as both are tourist destinations.

Lots of bakeries as well and some of them participate in a local farmer's market each week. Fresh breads, pastries, deserts...yum!

Since I don't eat anything raw, I can't help you with that and I can't help you with yoga, although I'm sure there are places here that provide those classes.

You can probably go anywhere in CA and find things on your list but you won't find the variety of attractions and scenery of the Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz areas compared to anywhere else you visit.
Mar 15 13 04:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lohkee
Posts: 11,834
Maricopa, Arizona, US


Skydancer Photos wrote:

Further south. Up on a ridge, looking down towards Esalen.

Whimpers! I so miss that area. Sigh! Used to go skinny dipping at Pfeiffer in my younger days lol.

Mar 15 13 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,464
San Diego, California, US


San Diego has some really good scuba diving - lots of wrecks, kelp forests, canyons, beach diving. Only drawback is that visibility isn't usually great. Best diving in California is out in the Channel Islands IMO. Catalina is the cheapest because you can get there easily and inexpensively and don't have to go on a dive boat. Some of the other islands have more pristine dive areas and lots of sea life including sea lion colonies.

There's great hiking up and down California. My favorite area for hiking is Yosemite but most of that is snow covered this time of year. Big Sur is beautiful and has some great hikes and SoCal does as well especially in the mountains. Really depends on your idea of a great hike.

LA is definitely the best spot for people watching IMO. Hollywood is full of tourists which is always interesting but the best place in the world for people watching is Disneyland. Rodeo Drive is a good place for spotting the rich and famous.
Mar 15 13 05:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
-Ira
Posts: 2,176
New York, New York, US


Peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast.  Run, don't walk:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-222-san-diego

http://s3-media3.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/nSLLY9FTJIArm5Ra-sASyA/l.jpg
Mar 15 13 06:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,973
Columbus, Ohio, US


Mar 15 13 06:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cherrystone
Posts: 35,973
Columbus, Ohio, US


Skydancer Photos wrote:

Oops!

Big Sur is amazing. I have been helping a friend build his house down there. It's a bit remote for some, but the scenery, and yes the eateries, are awesome and unique.

Does he need a respectful & tidy roommate?

Mar 15 13 06:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GK photo
Posts: 27,428
Laguna Beach, California, US


scenery is all relative. obviously most folks will agree that places like yosemite and kings canyon are wonderfully sublime places (and they are), but i love all the back roads of california. hell, i even think driving either of the spines of the san joaquin are beautiful.

and it's also obvious that hwy 1 from monterey to pismo beach is one of the greatest stretches of roads in the world, but there are great side roads that i love to drive all over the state.

of particular note are the following:

58
395 (no brainer)
152
46 (the stretch between the 101 and the 5, where you can see james dean's crash memorial)
178
138
62
111
86s
78
190
198
2
33/166
154
246
the yosemite roads (41,120,140)

too many to mention. california is a driver's dream...outside of the freeway system, that is.

overall, i'd still have to say that the 101 is the best road in the state. the central coast is my nirvana.
Mar 15 13 06:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
AllisonLael
Posts: 704
Los Angeles, California, US


Hike: Big Sur or Sequoia National Park.

Veggie Burger: Evolution (San Diego), O! Burger (LA), or Veggie Grill (multiple locations)

Ice Cream: Scoops in LA (Silverlake)

People Watch: Venice

Scenic Areas: All up and down the coast, its amazing!
Mar 15 13 07:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


-Ira wrote:
Peanut butter and banana stuffed french toast.  Run, don't walk:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-222-san-diego

http://s3-media3.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/nSLLY9FTJIArm5Ra-sASyA/l.jpg

DONE!

Mar 15 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


Small Fruit Pits wrote:
http://www.bigsurbakery.com/menus/

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  bunny

Mar 15 13 07:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


AllisonLael wrote:
Hike: Big Sur or Sequoia National Park.

Veggie Burger: Evolution (San Diego), O! Burger (LA), or Veggie Grill (multiple locations)

Ice Cream: Scoops in LA (Silverlake)

People Watch: Venice

Scenic Areas: All up and down the coast, its amazing!

Amazing!  Thank you!

Mar 15 13 07:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


Gosh- I really think I might just move to CA, now!
Mar 15 13 07:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jay Strange
Posts: 127
Tampa, Florida, US


Except for the scuba diving part...I think you'de be perfectly happy in San Francisco/Berkely/Sausilito forever and ever and ever...
Mar 15 13 07:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


Jay Strange wrote:
Except for the scuba diving part...I think you'de be perfectly happy in San Francisco/Berkely/Sausilito forever and ever and ever...

I've never been scuba diving, and I totally can't swim!  I could make do!  smile

Mar 15 13 07:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
DaniNikole
Posts: 129
Sacramento, California, US


As far as the veggie burger, sugar plum vegan cafe.. Actually anything vegan/vegetarian friendly is great there. Or pieces by the slice pizza for some vegan pizza or just regular cheesy pizza goodness wink both in downtown sacramento

Oh and amazing dessert... Ricks desert diner right across the street from sugar plum vegan. Or even some of sugar plum vegans cookies. They are completely vegan and made into little sandwiches with frosting in the middle. Their chocolate peanut butter ones are dipped in chocolate smile so good

Now I'm hungry
Mar 15 13 07:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
winking_wonder
Posts: 5,481
New York, New York, US


I live in NY now but I'm from Monterey and went to undergrad in Santa Cruz and it does have a little bit of everything.

More good Mexican eateries (in Monterey): El Palomar Restaurant, El Torito.
And in Santa Cruz: Planet Fresh Gourmet Burritos, Taqueria Vallarta.

As for ice cream (in Monterey), Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop and Rocky Coast Ice Cream Co. For Santa Cruz: Marianne's Ice Cream is out of this world AMAZING!

In Santa Cruz, the best cookies ever at Pacific Cookie Company. In Monterey, I like Paris Bakery. And it's farmer's market every Tuesday in downtown Monterey- You can pretty much sample everything there.

One more thing, the best veggie burger is at Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz.

And you cannot beat the beaches and 17-mile drive/Big Sur for the most spectacular views.
Mar 15 13 07:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


Dani Nikole Feist wrote:
As far as the veggie burger, sugar plum vegan cafe.. Actually anything vegan/vegetarian friendly is great there. Or pieces by the slice pizza for some vegan pizza or just regular cheesy pizza goodness wink both in downtown sacramento

Oh and amazing dessert... Ricks desert diner right across the street from sugar plum vegan. Or even some of sugar plum vegans cookies. They are completely vegan and made into little sandwiches with frosting in the middle. Their chocolate peanut butter ones are dipped in chocolate smile so good

Now I'm hungry

Oh my gossssshhh, you're the BEST!!!!

Vegan dessert is my favorite- ever, ever, ever!!!!

Right now, I'm eating chunky peanut butter hemp-based vegan ice cream, from the place down the street.  It has whole peanuts in it, and is out of this world!

Mar 15 13 08:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


winking_wonder wrote:

This is so true! I live in NY now but I'm from Monterey and went to undergrad in Santa Cruz and it does have a little bit of everything.

More good Mexican eateries (in Monterey): El Palomar Restaurant, El Torito.
And in Santa Cruz: Planet Fresh Gourmet Burritos, Taqueria Vallarta.

As for ice cream (in Monterey), Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop and Rocky Coast Ice Cream Co. For Santa Cruz: Marianne's Ice Cream is out of this world AMAZING!

In Santa Cruz, the best cookies ever at Pacific Cookie Company. In Monterey, I like Paris Bakery. And it's farmer's market every Tuesday in downtown Monterey- You can pretty much sample everything there.

And you cannot beat the beaches and 17-mile drive/Big Sur for amazing views.

Farmer's Markets!  Yes!!  I will most definitely be hitting up as many of those as possible.

Funny...until this thread, I don't think I'd heard of Big Sur but once or twice in my life.  I MUST go!

Mar 15 13 08:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
winking_wonder
Posts: 5,481
New York, New York, US


Shandra Stark wrote:

Farmer's Markets!  Yes!!  I will most definitely be hitting up as many of those as possible.

Funny...until this thread, I don't think I'd heard of Big Sur but once or twice in my life.  I MUST go!

Yes, definitely- you will have an amazing trip.

Added one more thing to my original post:
One more thing, the best veggie burger is at Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz.

Mar 15 13 08:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


winking_wonder wrote:

Yes, definitely- you will have an amazing trip.

Added one more thing to my original post:
One more thing, the best veggie burger is at Saturn Cafe in Santa Cruz.

Interesting!  The best veggie burger here is at Veggie Galaxy, and the best vegan pizza is at The Flying Saucer Cafe.

SPACE!

Mar 15 13 08:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
DaniNikole
Posts: 129
Sacramento, California, US


Shandra Stark wrote:
Oh my gossssshhh, you're the BEST!!!!

Vegan dessert is my favorite- ever, ever, ever!!!!

Right now, I'm eating chunky peanut butter hemp-based vegan ice cream, from the place down the street.  It has whole peanuts in it, and is out of this world!

I don't know how big they are everywhere else but around Sacramento we have a sprouts grocery stores/farmers market  that has vegan cheese cakes in their Deli's and sell a lot of vegan/vegetarian friendly food

nugget grocery stores have some specialty foods too but are more expensive
But there are more of them around northern california
Also downtown Sacramento at caeser Chavez park has a vegan friendly farmers market certain days of the week. I forget which but I'm sure you can google it

Mar 15 13 08:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


Shandra Stark wrote:
*hike

*scuba dive

Also interested in any beautiful scenic areas that you love.

Tie for hiking:
Trinity Alps wilderness, up in far northern California.
A 100-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail from I-5 at Castle Crags State Park to Fort Jones.
- Both are best done with a week to spend.

Diving:
Fort Bragg & Mendocino
(Granted, I've never dived the Channel Islands.)

Beautiful areas:
Yosemite. One of the most spectacular places in the world.
Redwood National Park.
Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County. It's a stretch of old Highway 101 that winds through some old-growth Redwoods. The road really does some twists and turns, as the road was built around the big trees.
Napa wine country.

Mar 15 13 08:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Photo PLUS
Posts: 5,503
Lorton, Virginia, US


My life is good but it is not as good as it could be because I don't live in California. I'm old enough (53) so I don't do the grass is greener on the other side of the fence shit. My jobs took me to California on regular basis for years and I love it. Last time I was there I drove from San Francisco to Stockton at a time of the year when golden grasses covered the hills and the canyons of the countryside. It was one of the most beautiful sites I've seen in my life.
Mar 15 13 08:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Shandra Stark
Posts: 13,588
Los Angeles, California, US


Dani Nikole Feist wrote:

I don't know how big they are everywhere else but around Sacramento we have a sprouts grocery stores/farmers market  that has vegan cheese cakes in their Deli's and sell a lot of vegan/vegetarian friendly food

nugget grocery stores have some specialty foods too but are more expensive
But there are more of them around northern california
Also downtown Sacramento at caeser Chavez park has a vegan friendly farmers market certain days of the week. I forget which but I'm sure you can google it

LOVE IT!

I'm not vegan, but have been vegetarian for 16 years this June.  I think in a warmer climate that has far more fresh food options, I'd be able to just totally be vegan without thinking.

Currently, I eat about 90% vegan diet.  Not too stressed about it, but I would be excited to live that way.  The colder it gets, the lazier I get, and the more I just want fatty, fatty foods.

Thanks for the tips!!  I'm all over these!!!

Now the question is, who has a big, beautiful guest house and wants to let me rent it on the cheap indefinitely, in exchange for modeling?

wink

Mar 15 13 08:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Laura UnBound
Posts: 26,984
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


If for some reason you wind up in Sacramento and need Italian, go to strings on auburn blvd. they have a really fantastic three cheese ravioli and bread...



And now I really want some
Mar 15 13 10:37 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,429
Salinas, California, US


winking_wonder wrote:
This is so true! I live in NY now but I'm from Monterey and went to undergrad in Santa Cruz and it does have a little bit of everything.

More good Mexican eateries (in Monterey): El Palomar Restaurant, El Torito.
And in Santa Cruz: Planet Fresh Gourmet Burritos, Taqueria Vallarta.

As for ice cream (in Monterey), Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop and Rocky Coast Ice Cream Co. For Santa Cruz: Marianne's Ice Cream is out of this world AMAZING!

In Santa Cruz, the best cookies ever at Pacific Cookie Company. In Monterey, I like Paris Bakery. And it's farmer's market every Tuesday in downtown Monterey- You can pretty much sample everything there.

And you cannot beat the beaches and 17-mile drive/Big Sur for amazing views.
Shandra Stark wrote:
Farmer's Markets!  Yes!!  I will most definitely be hitting up as many of those as possible.

Funny...until this thread, I don't think I'd heard of Big Sur but once or twice in my life.  I MUST go!

She pretty well nailed it!  There are many great places to eat in Monterey, Santa Cruz and Big Sur.  The hiking in Big Sur is just amazing!  Scenery like you will not see any where else!   In fact, I shot my first nude model in a waterfall there.   Farmers markets are good in both Monterey and Santa Cruz ... as we've got the Salinas Valley near by with some of the richest growing soil any where! 

I live between Salinas and Monterey an easy walk to my neighbor who has 40 acres that he is in the process of turning into a zoo.   He has an animal reserve with lot of exotic creatures.   I can hear the lion roar at duck and dawn.  I'd be happy to invite you to camp out here.  Anyone in the area will recognize this name ...  Toro Park is my back yard.  wink


A couple more things .. Monterey is a great place to learn how to scuba dive because of the many beginner level spots, and the experienced teachers.   Santa Cruz is the same for learning to surf.

Mar 16 13 01:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,300
Upland, California, US


A trip thru this 200 image portfolio will showcase some of the most fabulous places to shoot in all of Southern California... wink
Mar 16 13 02:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Snyder Studios
Posts: 176
Los Angeles, California, US


You don't say exactly when you are traveling... temperatures can vary a lot in a short distance. Summer in San Francisco means don't forget your warm jacket.

Yosemite would be worthwhile after the snow melts and the waterfalls are at their peak flows.  World Class hiking and climbing.

Big Sur / Monterey is pretty amazing, If time permits Highway 1 is great to the south of Monterey.  Also north of San Francisco / Golden Gate.

Diving in California requires fortitude... Water temp is in the 50's around Monterey. full wet suit, hood, booties, gloves, etc. required. Visibility in Monterey is not great.  Although the otters and seals are interesting.  I'll take the ABC islands.

Santa Cruz would almost certainly have most everything on your list.  Be aware that you will be required to have at least some tie dyed wardrobe.  They do have entry checkpoints.  April 20th is a big day there...

People watching - Venice Beach on a weekend, get their early.  Huntington Beach was fun the last time I was there, more of a surf culture.

Based on your portfolio I think you could find willing hosts throughout the state.  IMHO
Mar 16 13 03:45 am  Link  Quote 
Model
DivaEroticus
Posts: 14,285
Fayetteville, Arkansas, US


Watching people:  Venice Beach and Marina del Rey

Eating:  Marina del Rey and Fisherman's Wharf

Pure food and fun and watching and eating:  Chinatown in SF.
Mar 16 13 05:42 am  Link  Quote 
Model
AllisonLael
Posts: 704
Los Angeles, California, US


If you're that into vegan food also go to Flore (LA, silverlake), they also have AMAZING deserts! And scoops that I mentioned has vegan ice cream, and if you like Indian food go to Parus (LA), Hugos in WeHo is awesome for brunch, almost everything on the menu can be made vegan! and for vegan pizza and beer in LA I love Mohawk Bend!

Not sure if your even coming to LA on your adventure haha but you now know all the best vegan places. Let me know if you want a list for San Diego too haha oh! and in San Francisco, go to Millenium! Super expensive but the chocolate cake I had....oh. my. god.

ETA: and its not bikram but I love the yoga classes at runyon canyon!
Mar 16 13 09:15 am  Link  Quote 
12last   Search   Reply



main | browse | casting/travel | forums | shout box | help | advertising | contests | share | join the mayhem

more modelmayhem on: | | | edu

©2006-2014 ModelMayhem.com. All Rights Reserved.
MODEL MAYHEM is a registered trademark.
Toggle Worksafe Mode: Off | On
Terms | Privacy | Careers