Category Archives: California

Travel News from California. May 2015 issue

California: Dream big in the Golden State. Warm summer months make for the perfect getaway to the Channel Islands, one of the most remote yet dramatic national parks. The park’s five islands off the Southern and Central California coast can only be accessed by boat or small plane. Once there, explore by hiking trails or paddling the calm waters. Revered for its endemic plants and plentiful wildlife, this “Galapagos of North America” has no lodging, stores, or restaurants for a real disconnection from everyday life. For families, the ultimate road trip awaits, cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California. From Los Angeles, drive south through the Golden State’s sand-and-surf beach towns. Snag a surf lesson for the whole family or stop in at one of California’s iconic theme parks, such as SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California. More for parents, adventures in the Golden State continue into the fall with California Wine Month with special promotions at cellar doors and vineyards such as special tastings, festivals, wine immersion experiences, vineyard tours and live music concerts. For inspiration on a Californian adventure, the newly launched Dream365TV on provides an on-demand video programming portal filled with engaging, original content that fuels a visitor’s dreams of amazing escapes that only this destination can provide. Dream Big.

Carlsbad, Calif.: Known as “The Village by the Sea,” the city of Carlsbad combines the charm of a European town with the conveniences of a metropolitan city. Located between Los Angeles and San Diego, Carlsbad is the ultimate summer vacation destination for those looking to strengthen a skill, try something new or have some fun. No other place offers a chance to compete in a triathlon, visit America’s first LEGOLAND® Theme Park, follow in the footsteps of skateboarding legends Tony Hawk and Shaun White at Alga Norte Skate Park, meet working artists at The Art Foundry At New Village Arts and learn to golf like a pro at the Golf Academy of America. Other signature attractions in Carlsbad include: the headquarters of the Gemological Institute of America; the Chopra Center for total wellbeing and the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Where to go for fun.

Huntington Beach, Calif.: Enjoy the experience of a classic California beach town in Huntington Beach, Surf City USA. Visitors can explore the destination’s surf heritage of at the International Surfing Museum and the annual U.S. Open of Surfing, July 25 to August 2. Surf City USA is living up to its name on June 20 by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for both “World’s Largest Surfboard” and “Most People Riding a Surfboard at Once,” with 60+ surfers and local heroes piling onto a custom-made surfboard to ride one epic wave at the Huntington Beach Pier. Alongside the free spirit of Huntington Beach’s coastal lifestyle is a playful imagination highlighted through new cultural and tourism developments, including 4 hectares of new shops and dining at Pacific City. With 16 kilometres of broad sand beaches, abundant outdoor recreational opportunities and a vibrant downtown, Huntington Beach is a perfect family getaway – from parents to pooches! Surf City USA.

Long Beach, Calif.: Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, with 8 kilomtres of sandy beach front as well as kilometres of inland bays and waterways, Long Beach makes for an ideal SoCal getaway this summer. Catch the Catalina Express to picturesque Santa Catalina Island, embark on a whale watching cruise, or soak up the sun while watching the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball, August 18 to 23. One giant playground for kids and parents alike, Long Beach welcomes families to the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the fabulous worlds of Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland are within an hour’s drive. The city’s thriving, multi-faceted arts and culture scene comes to life with the debut of POW! WOW! Long Beach, June 21 to 28, a week-long celebration of culture, music, and art, changing the face of the city with large-scale mural installations. The celebration is accompanied by a new exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art, opening June 26. The Urban Waterfront Playground.

Greater Palm Springs, Calif.: Nestled in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, Greater Palm Springs is located two hours east of Los Angeles and comprised of nine unique cities. Summer in this desert oasis means hotel rates drop, providing the ultimate place to “chill out” with pool parties, tropical drinks and distinctive events. Kick off the summer with Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week May 29-June 7, for special pre-fixed menu offers at more than 100 local restaurants. In mid-June the world-acclaimed 22nd Annual Short Film Festival & Film Market features more than 300 short films from 50 countries. Partiers rock outdoor stages and pool parties twice this summer at Splash House, a three-day live music festival and pool party featuring some of the biggest names in SoCal music. Come fall, the active social and recreational season in Palm Springs commences with the Modernism Week “Fall Kick Off” celebration in October, complete with home tours, films and live music events. Pride Weekend in early November fills downtown Palm Springs with more than 35,000 people taking in live music, an assortment of food vendors from local eateries and an opportunity to engage with the destination’s LGBT community.

Need new ideas while traveling to U.S.A.? Spring 2015 News

Some ideas for travellers to U.S.A.

California: Dream big in the Golden State. California provides the backdrop for dreamers like chefs, shopkeepers and wellness experts to follow their passion to find success. The new launched January 2015, inspiring Canadians to dream big when planning their vacation in the Golden State. For those that enjoy the finer things in life, superlative indulgences await in California for the ultimate bespoke vacation – from private vineyard experiences in Napa and cycle tours around Santa Barbara to chef dinners in San Francisco and glamping in A-framed huts in the San Jacinto Woods.
San Diego’s Balboa Park, the largest cultural urban park in the world, celebrates 100 years since the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which lay the foundation to the park’s inception. To explore this legacy of pioneering inventions and ideas, visitors can purchase the Balboa Park Explorer pass and receive unlimited general admission to 17 of its attractions for one year. Dream Big

Carlsbad, Calif.: Founded as a mineral spring in 1882, Carlsbad offers an unmatched standard of personal pampering for both women and men. Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Diego, luxury resorts such as Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa and West Inn & Suites offer exquisite dining, service and world-class spas. Men looking for adventure can take advantage of Carlsbad’s sunny weather on its eleven kilometres of pristine beaches with a surf lesson, or tee up at four golf courses, including the recently renovated Omni La Costa Legends Course. Golf enthusiasts can also brush up their skills at the PGA Tour Academy and receive custom clubs as well as discounted gear straight from the source at Callaway, Cobra-Puma and TaylorMade. In May 2015, Carlsbad’s wellness month promotion returns with an expanded focus with special deals and packages at area resorts. Where to go for fun.

Chattanooga, Tenn.: Discover the “Scenic City,” a riverfront escape that’s big on arts and adventure. Chattanooga’s burgeoning music scene continues to develop as a new entertainment district is set to open in 2015 as part of an $8 million renovation to the iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo campus. Local artists go back to basics with glassblowing, letterpresses, calligraphy and more for visitors to experience firsthand. The Tennessee Aquarium, ranked the 2014 fourth best aquarium in the world by TripAdvisor, is set to expand in 2015 with a new freshwater conservation institute. Whether an avid rock climber or new to the sport, either can perfect their technique at High Point Climbing, Chattanooga’s newly-opened downtown indoor/outdoor rock climbing and fitness center. Uncommon lodging exists in many forms, from the carriages of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, to the LEED Platinum Certified Crash Pad Hostel and the de-commissioned Delta Queen riverboat. Also, the development of a new five-story, 90-room upscale boutique hotel has been announced, planned for the arts district near the Walnut Street Bridge. All this, plus year-round outdoor adventures such as biking, caving, paddling, rock climbing, trail running and hang gliding await! Take me there!

Cincinnati, Ohio: The Queen City welcomes visitors with a magnitude of identities. The river town is home to professional sports teams, a ballet and symphony, a host of museums and cultural institutions, and a burgeoning culinary and libation scene. All eyes will be on Cincy this summer when the Cincinnati Reds host Major League Baseball’s 2015 All-Star Game and the 86th Midsummer Classic at Great American Ball Park. The city pays homage to its German roots with the annual Goetta Fest this August 6-9, 2015 – a celebration of the much-loved German breakfast sausage unique to Cincinnati in all culinary shapes and forms, from goetta balls and goetta nachos to the more traditional goetta sliders.

CityPASS: Save up to 50 per cent on attraction admissions in top North American destinations with CityPASS. Spring Break travel is a breeze with CityPASS, ticket booklet holders can bypass most main-entrance ticket lines – an extra-special perk with excited children in tow. CityPASS delivers deeply-discounted tickets to top attractions in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay and Toronto. All CityPASS products are available online and can also be purchased at any of the participating attractions, providing a foolproof city escape this spring and summer season. CityPASS: Save Money. Have Fun.

Finger Lakes Wine Country, NY: Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Country offers four seasons of visitor experiences. Throughout the spring and summer, visitors can enjoy world-class wines from a selection of more than 100 area wineries situated along picturesque lakes in upstate New York. Summer is also a great time to explore the great outdoors, from hiking the trails of Watkins Glen State Park to sailing at Seneca Lake. In the Finger Lakes, not even the sky is the limit, with hang-gliding, ballooning, and glider planes in the soaring capital of America. The internationally-renowned Corning Museum of Glass
See the Beauty. Feel the History. Taste the Wine.

Huntington Beach, Calif.: Enjoy the experience of a classic California beach town in Huntington Beach, Surf City USA. From the International Surfing Museum to the annual U.S. Open of Surfing, visitors can explore the destination’s surf heritage, or just immerse in Huntington Beach’s laid-back surfing attitude. Alongside the free spirit of Huntington Beach’s coastal lifestyle is a playful imagination highlighted through new cultural and tourism developments. Pacific City debuts in 2015 with 11 acres of shops and dining, including a public market called LOT 579 which will serve as an incubator for local artisans. The new Pasea Hotel and Spa is also slated to open doors in early 2016. Year-round stunning weather and ten miles of broad sand beaches make Huntington Beach an active, energetic town where life is lived outdoors. Owing to its outdoor recreational opportunities and a vibrant downtown, Huntington Beach is a perfect family getaway – from parents to pooches! Surf City USA.

Long Beach, Calif.: Located in the heart of Southern California, Long Beach blends the urban sophistication of a big city with the relaxed atmosphere of a beach resort. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, with 9 kilometres of sandy beach front, plus kilometres of inland bays and waterways, Long Beach basks in the warm glow from our year-round California sun. Visitors will also discover world-class attractions and cutting-edge museums, including the legendary Queen Mary ocean liner and WWII troopship; the Aquarium of the Pacific, boasting more than 11,000 animals; and the Long Beach Museum of Art, now featuring a pavilion with two new floor of gallery space. Long Beach Airport provides nonstop service to 13 destinations, and Los Angeles International Airport and Orange County’s John Wayne Airport are only 25 minutes from Long Beach, making a SoCal getaway just a short flight away!

The Palm Beaches, Fla.: Located two hours south of Orlando and one hour north of Miami, The Palm Beaches offers visitors the best way to experience Florida®. Find an eclectic collection of 38 distinct cities and towns from the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of Lake Okeechobee, from Boca Raton to Jupiter. Known as Florida’s Golf Capital, beyond its famous resort fairways discover acclaimed four dozen public courses. Play golf on the ocean at Palm Beaches’ Dick Johnson designed Par 3 or for a different kind of “birdie” at the Audubon International certified Osprey Point Golf Course. For shoppers, the destination’s affluent community keeps The Palm Beaches’ consignment stores filled with the latest designer and couture fashions for less. At Wellington’s International Polo Club Palm Beach the winter 2015 polo season crescendo’s with the US Open Polo Championships Sunday, April 19. Take this majestic game in over the weekly Sunday brunch or join the fun of International Gay Polo Week April 9 – 11. The Best Way to Experience Florida®

Greater Palm Springs, Calif.: Nestled in Southern California’s Coachella Valley, Greater Palm Springs is located two hours east of Los Angeles and comprised of nine unique cities – Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella.
Outdoor adventures await visitors during the winter and spring travel seasons. Trails around the Coachella Valley are waiting to be explored by foot, bike, ATV, horse or even hummer; which includes those in both Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks – a favourite for adventure junkies. The region continues to thrive with hotel openings and enhancements. Arrive, a 32-room boutique and restaurant, will open in Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District later in 2015. By the end of the year, Two Bunch Palms Spa Resort will add 26 rooms as a part of its ongoing multi-million renovation. The iconic Horizon Hotel, a prime example of midcentury modern architecture built by renowned architect William F. Cody 1952, is also currently undergoing enhancements. The new SilverRock Resort has been approved to be built in
La Quinta. This CA$520 million US project will include a 140-room, luxury hotel and spa with lobby and pool bars, fitness center and a restaurant, a 200-room “lifestyle” hotel with a spa, fitness center, lobby and pool bar. Go behind the scenes at the Coachella Valley’s windmill farms with new tours now available. A Brand New Day.

Santa Barbara, Calif.: Part of California’s Central Coast region, Santa Barbara spans 100 miles of pristine coastline, with dramatic mountain views, sparkling seas, lush gardens and white-washed buildings which have earned its distinction as “The American Riviera.” The destination has always been a haven for artists, artisans, wine makers and chefs. Many have located themselves into The Funk Zone. This inner city neighborhood has exploded with artisan shops, art galleries, award-winning microbreweries and even a craft distillery. Be Immersed in Santa Barbara’s art scene staying within the sophisticated design of the Hotel Indigo, or check out the affordable accommodations at new hostel The Wayfarer – a haven for art and wine enthusiasts and beach adventurers. Wine lovers will appreciate the region’s Urban Wine Trail, featuring the best of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Barbara’s year-round signature events also delight. This includes Old Spanish Days Fiesta, Summer Solstice Parade, Harbor & Seafood Festival, Vintners’ Festival and Earth Day Festival The American Riviera.

Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.: Sunny Isles Beach is nestled between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, located on a three-kilometre expanse of white sand and glittering ocean. With beautiful weather year-round, Florida’s Riviera is the ultimate winter escape. The destination is home to some of South Florida’s most luxurious accommodations including Acqualina Resort & Spa, Trump International Beach Resort and Turnberry Isle Miami. This compact destination also provides the ultimate luxury pre- or post-cruise stay with mega ships such as the Carnival Breeze, Disney Oceania Cruises and Regent 7 Seas home ported in Miami. Visitors will enjoy festivals such as the 8th Annual Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest, returning in November, outdoor adventure at Oleta River State Park and the finest shopping opportunities. Discover a getaway beyond your expectations.

Greater Williamsburg, VA: Greater Williamsburg is ready to shatter their history-only reputation with a slew of new openings and cultural experiences. The first exhibition devoted to Leonardo da Vinci’s fascination with the beautiful and the ugly comes to Williamsburg’s Muscarelle Museum of Art Feb. 21-April 5 – making Williamsburg one of only two North American cities to host the exclusive exhibit. Williamsburg Distillery prepares to open this spring and will craft vodka, rum and bourbon using 18th-century recipes and techniques. Alewerks Brewing Company unveils a recreated 17th-century beer that can be tasted during tours or sold exclusively to Chowning’s Tavern when the restaurant re-opens in March 2015. The new Virginia Capital Trail currently offers 12 kilometres of historic hiking traversing 400 years of North American history. The trail will soon be a part of the larger 85 kilometre trail. Yorktown Victory Center’s brand new 7400 metre-squared facility opens spring 2015, featuring vibrant gallery exhibits and enhanced outdoor interpretive programming.

The Latest from West Hollywood, Fall 2013 news

West Hollywood is always evolving, adding new restaurants, bars, tourist attractions and even 3D shopping. – This month’s round up of new businesses includes highly anticipated restaurants Pearl’s Liquor Bar and State Social House, along with nightclub Hooray Henry’s, suit shop Seize Sur Vingt, and 10-minute facial haven Skin Laundry. >>>

Only in West Hollywood
From the world-famous Sunset Strip to iconic architecture like the Pacific Design Center and Sunset Tower Hotel, West Hollywood truly is unique. Take a peek into the historic buildings and innovative ideas that make this city so one-of-a-kind.

WeHo Halloween Carnaval
It’s that time of year again. Each year, on October 31st, nearly 500,000 people take to the streets of Santa Monica Boulevard for the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval – the largest Halloween street party in the world. Attendees can expect to see the craziest, most eccentric costume creations ever, along with fantastic live entertainment and food vendors. Admission is free and the event runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Love Your Bean
Three massive, nine-foot long and five-foot tall, shiny jelly bean creations can now be seen in West Hollywood Park. The “Love Your Bean” installation is the work of Canadian sculptor Cosimo Cavallaro and will be on display in the park on San Vicente Blvd. directly across from the Pacific Design Center until June 2014.
our latest blog / / / / / / /

Doing Business in WeHo – The Power Lunch Guide >>>

West Hollywood – City of Top Chefs >>>
West Hollywood for a Family Vacation? >>>
featured events

Troubadour Presents Jason Isbell >>

Kirk Franklin Presents Gospel Brunch at House of Blues >>

Depeche Mode Tribute: Strangelove at The Roxy >>

Aisha Tyler book signing at Book Soup >>

The Viper Room Presents: The Golden Ghosts >>

1LOVE – Playing for Change Day at Whisky a Go Go >>

House of Blues Presents HANSON >>

The Sunset Strip Market: every Thursday >>

12th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair >>
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CityPass News. Spring 2013


San Francisco CityPASS

Starting April 17, travelers using San Francisco CityPASS  ticket bookleys will have more to celebrate than just huge savings (43 percent off combined admission to the included attractions) and unlimited cable car rides. The 2013 San Francisco CityPASS program boasts two major changes: 1) the addition of the Monterey Bay Aquarium which will share an option ticket with San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay; and 2) the reopening of the Exploratorium in its new home on the city’s Embarcadero waterfront. The 2013 pass also covers admission to the California Academy of Sciences, a Blue and Gold Fleet bay cruise, and the de Young and Legion of Honor Museums, as well as a Muni and Cable Car 7-day Passport. 

Southern California CityPASS

Last summer, Southern California’s top theme parks all unveiled major additions/expansions. And now’s a great time to use a Southern California CityPASS admissions card to check out what’s new while saving 26 percent off combined admission. You won’t want to miss:

Disneyland Resort (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park) Cars Land is an entirely new land that is part of the $1.4 billion Disney recently spent on the transformation and expansion of Disney California Adventure Park.

SeaWorld San DiegoManta is a new launch coaster that dips riders past a manta ray pool and gives them the sensation of actually being a manta ray.

Universal Studios HollywoodTransformers: The Ride — 3-D, an ambitious mega-attraction that features seamless integration of CGI and robotics, as well as one of the most elaborate roaming flight simulator ride systems ever designed.

Hollywood CityPASS

You don’t need a producer, an agent, or even a movie mogul’s budget to visit Hollywood like a VIP. That’s because one quick, easy Hollywood CityPASS ticket booklet purchase gets you into the city’s top-rated Walk of Fame attractions — including a new Tinseltown tour option — at a blockbuster savings of 48 percent. Hollywood CityPASS holders can now opt for 24 hours of unlimited access to the Starline CitySightseeing Hop-on, Hop-off Multilingual City Tour, whose colorful double-decker buses transport visitors from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive to the beaches of sunny Santa Monica/Venice and downtown LA. Hollywood. The 2013 pass also includes tickets to Red Line Tours’ “Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes” Tour, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, a choice between the Starline Movie Stars’ Homes Tour or the CitySightseeing Hop-on, Hop-off Tour, and a choice between the Dolby Theatre Guided Tour and The Hollywood Museum.

Houston CityPASS

Kemah Boardwalk has been added to the 2013 Houston CityPASS program. In addition to saving 46 percent off combined admission to such top attractions as Space Center Houston (NASA) and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, CityPASS travelers can now choose an All-Day Ride Pass at the Kemah Boardwalk, a sprawling entertainment complex on Galveston Bay packed with rides, midway games, restaurants and live entertainment.

The CityPASS Program is Also Available in:

New York City







And, why not eliminate stress by bundling a CityPASS with a hotel package?

Try the Carlsbad, California Hilton Spring Break Package (offered through May 1), with a Southern California CityPASS[DW3] . For $249/night guests can enjoy the amenities at the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa and for $179/night at the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach. Enjoy overnight accommodations and breakfast for up to two adults and two children, complimentary use of beach accessories (umbrella, two beach chairs, and four beach towels), 15% off dining and local beach activity discounts, and more!

For another great getaway, head to Toronto and explore the city with a Toronto CityPASS. Stay at one of Toronto’s hotels for a Buy 2, Get the 3rd Night Free special. Try the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto for a Family Fun Package where the family can revel in attractions during the day and relax at night with in-room movies, a special kid’s check-in and more! (valid until August 31, 2013). For couples or a girlfriend getaway, An Escape to the Spa is what the doctor ordered! Say goodbye to winter blues while sounded by the tranquility of the Ritz-Carlton Spa. To energize your stay before you see the sights with CityPASS, experience a Bed and Breakfast Package at the Four Seasons Toronto.  Experience Toronto’s top attractions while relaxing and enjoying the city’s vibrancy and beauty throughout the spring season. Uncover these packages and more as you embark on your spring travels with CityPASS.

“Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” at California and Florida SeaWorld Parks

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Launches

“Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation”

at California and Florida Parks


— New Live Show Debuts at Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld San Diego in 2013 —


Orlando, Fla. (February 12, 2013)SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment today announced it will premiere “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation,” an original live musical show featuring the characters from DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: DWA) beloved Madagascar franchise, at two of the company’s parks this summer.


Celebrating the box office success of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which has grossed more than $740 million at the worldwide box office, Alex the Lion and friends will party while on vacation with guests at Busch Gardens® and SeaWorld® throughout 2013.


The 20-minute musical show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. The show will feature rock/pop music performed by a live band and include both classic and original songs. The characters also will conduct meet and greets with park guests. Additionally, special co-branded merchandise exclusive to the parks, will be available.


These two locations will be the only theme parks in the U.S. where fans can see the characters of Madagascar live. The new show Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation” premieres in the following locations:

·        Busch Gardens Tampa May 18, 2013.

·        SeaWorld San Diego June 15, 2013.


The company also has the opportunity to expand the show to other parks in the SeaWorld family in the future.


“Audiences around the world have embraced the characters of Madagascar, and SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks are the ideal places for families to enjoy this immersive live entertainment experience,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Head of Worldwide Licensing & Consumer Products, Kerry Phelan.  “The entire creative team behind this uniquely original version of “Madagascar Live!” has done an impressive job of translating the beloved world from screen to stage, bringing it to life for young park guests and family audiences alike.”


“Our parks both entertain and inspire guests to care about animals,” said Scott Helmstedter, Chief Creative Officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Likewise, the Madagascar movies also inspire animal lovers, but in a different way with their inimitable charm and humor. We welcome these characters to our family with open arms and look forward to working with DreamWorks Animation on this incredibly funny and engaging new show.”


Madagascar is one of the most successful CG animated movie franchises of all time, grossing more than $1.8 billion at the worldwide box office. In 2012 “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” grossed over $740 million at the global box office, becoming the highest grossing film of the series.



About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment inspires millions, through the power of entertainment, to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world. The company has been creating innovative entertainment experiences that blend imagination with nature for more than 50 years and is best known for its 11 U.S. theme parks, attractions that hosted more than 24 million guests in 2012 and include the beloved SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® and Sesame Place® brands.  The parks offer guests a variety of up-close experiences, from animal encounters that invite exploration and appreciation of the natural world, to thrilling rides and spectacular shows.  In 2011, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment began expanding its popular brands into media and entertainment platforms to connect people to nature and animals through movies, television, and digital media; plus began developing new lines of licensed consumer products. 


SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care.  The company collectively cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.  SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs more than 21,000 people nationwide.

Popeye to ring in New Year with Santa Monica eat well Week


Santa Monica Restaurants to Offer Healthy Resolution-Friendly Pre-Fixe Menus


SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Dec.19, 2012 – Popeye, Olive Oyl and Swee’ pea will return to the sailorman’s Santa Monica hometown to kick off the city’s inaugural Eat Well Week . To celebrate California Restaurant Month, more than a dozen of Santa Monica’s top restaurants will offer discounted pre-fixe menus and new healthy menu options from Jan. 6 through Jan. 13, 2013. To launch the occasion, Popeye will join three participating Eat Well Week restaurants-Locando del Lago, The Lobster and Ocean & Vine at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel-to create “Popeye Pop-ups”, featuring healthy spinach inspired dishes and recipes on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Downtown Santa Monica Farmers Market.


“Santa Monica chefs are known for creating fresh farm to table dishes that showcase California produce at its finest,” said Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) CEO/President, Misti Kerns. “It seems fitting to have the world’s most beloved leafy green enthusiast help us jumpstart a healthier New Year. January also happens to be Popeye’s birthday month, so we’re thrilled to recognize his 83rd year by celebrating his Santa Monica roots!”


The King Features character is a Santa Monica creation both figuratively and literally in that Popeye was created by E.C. Segar in a Santa Monica studio on Jan. 17, 1929 and according to the story line, was born off the coast of Santa Monica during a typhoon. Popeye’s popularity and his taste for spinach quickly turned him into an immediate health food advocate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, soon after Popeye appeared in the syndicated comic strip “Thimble Theatre”, spinach became the third favorite children’s food-after turkey and ice cream. For more information about Popeye the Sailor Man, please visit


Popeye was not the only “heavy lifter” with big forearms to hit Santa Monica shores. Home to the Original Muscle Beach, Santa Monica has been attracting fitness gurus for decades. Today, Santa Monica is still widely known for its active lifestyle and is at the forefront of many health trends. Whether you are inspired by food, fitness or fashion, here are a few healthy tips from the Santa Monica wellness community.


Start with Healthy Ingredients: Tap into your culinary skills and leave microwave dinners behind for good! A clean healthy diet begins with fresh simple ingredients. Start 2013 off right by visiting the acclaimed Santa Monica Farmers Market. Choose from four weekly markets, each with their own unique personality and experience, to discover the seasonal ingredients that will inspire your new lifestyle. Visit for location details and recipes.


Make a resolution…to Buy Local: With each purchase made close to home or work you make an investment in the local economy, save time, and reduce your carbon footprint. Support Santa Monica businesses by buying locally! Learn more at

Discover Santa Monica from a Bike’s-Eye-View: Explore the city while burning a few calories with a self-guided biketinerary! Rent a bike from the Santa Monica Bike Center and select one of seven “Best Rides” according to difficulty and distance.


Start at the Core: Developing a strong core is one of the best ways to improve posture, develop abs of steel and prevent chronic back pain. Take care of your body with Core Fusion classes at exhale Santa Monica . Choose from a variety of boot camp and yoga classes and get started on your path to transformation. Then! Revive and restore your sore muscles with our new Sports Massage!

Fitness Fashion: Need some extra fitness motivation? Let a new workout wardrobe inspire you! Lorna Jane at Santa Monica Place lets you make a sporty statement in bright hues and vibrant prints made from intelligent performance fabrics that are perfect to go from the juice bar to the gym in ultimate style. Receive 10% off your purchase during Eat Well Week with proof of receipt from a participating restaurant.


Get Outside: Turning fitness into fun is a key component for long-term weight loss. Whether you prefer surfing, volleyball or beach yoga; O’Neill’s flagship store in Santa Monica has everything you need for a fun and active day at the beach from towels, wax, surfboards, board shorts, bikinis and wetsuits to O’Neill 365, a new fitness line rooted in the same technology and innovation that first invented the wetsuit in 1952.


Healthy Hair Care: Now that you have a new and improved look, why not add healthy hair to the list! The Broot, a new salon Montana Avenue, offers five deep-conditioning hair masks made with simple raw ingredients like avocado, honey and oils. Your tresses deserve an all-natural, healthy diet just like your body does!


Treat Yourself: After all that hard work, we recommend you relax and unwind. Holidays stress you out? Visit Alchemie , Santa Monica’s new organic spa retreat offering nature inspired spa services including massage, facials, manicure, pedicure, body wraps + scrubs, hand + foot rituals, waxing and spa packages. Start the weekend right with Friday Happy Hours featuring mini treatments, wine, appetizers and retail sale specials.


Santa Monica provides a healthy dining experience year round where fresh Farmers Market produce plays a central role. Dine local and learn more about Eat Well Week and Santa Monica’s wellness scene, by visiting


About King Features Syndicate

King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which combines Hearst Corporation’s cable network partnerships, TV programming activities, newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King Features is the world’s premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games, distributing in print and online some 150 features to nearly 5,000 newspapers and other outlets around the globe. It is one of the largest and most experienced organizations in merchandise licensing and entertainment. It represents some of the most recognizable global brands, including Betty Boop, Popeye the Sailor Man and Olive Oyl. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @King_Features. Like us on Facebook at


About Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau

Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Santa Monica as a travel destination. For travel and accommodation information or a free copy of the Official Visitors Guide, the public can write to the Santa Monica Visitor Center, 1920 Main Street Suite B, Santa Monica, CA 90405; call (800) 544-5319 or (310) 393-7593; visit; or email Follow SMCVB on Twitter @GoSantaMonica or become a FaceBook fan at



PUPPY LOVE: Doris Day’s Cypress Inn Celebrates V. Month




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– Tricks for an Upgrade, Custom Perfume, Yappy Hour & New Canine Menu Round Out the Stay –

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, CALIF. – 2013 – It’s tricks for an upgrade this February/2013Pooch at Hollywood ingénue and animal advocate Doris Day’s legendary Cypress Inn. Carmel’s iconic 1929 landmark will roll out the red carpet with a month-long salute to pampered pooches including value-priced accommodations and a host of perks even Sadie — the Inn’s Director of Pet Relations — would lap up. Available February 1 – 28, 2013, the Puppy Love package starts at $199.00/night, double.


Ahead of the curve, Cypress Inn was one of California’s first hotel properties to welcome pets in the mid-1980s and has since seen everything from parrots to pot bellied pigs check in for an adventure by the sea. Standard operating procedure includes concierges carrying grain-free all-natural dog treats and all of the Inn’s 44 crisp, contemporary guestrooms appointed with dog bowls, plush dog beds and in-room fireplaces. Top treats for February include Tricks for an upgrade upon arrival (based on availability) and complimentary Cypress Inn logoed collar tag for Fido to tout his travels.


Love is in the air with a visit to Ajne Organic Perfumes for a choice of hand blended Furfumes crafted from natural, plant extracts. For pups in need of a time-out, Tro daBone focuses on calming overactive pets and includes a natural flea and tick repellant. Kennel No. 5, a favorite among smaller breeds, is crafted for nurturing, while Breed perks things up with a frisky aphrodisiac scent. Puppy Love guests receive a ½ oz. Furfume of choice; a 60-minute custom blending session is also available for $99.00.


Things start to shake up in the afternoon, as Terry’s Lounge rolls out Yappy Hour daily from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A vintage slice of Hollywood by the sea, Cypress Inn salutes all things retro with a classic cocktail menu and complimentary Muttini for four-legged drinkers. A new Culinary Canine Menu debuts February 1st including such delicacies as Steak Tartar, Chow Hound Chicken and Fish & Chips. One complimentary entrée rounds out the Puppy Love package.


Deluxe Accommodations/Daily Breakfast for Two

Tricks for a Guestroom Upgrade/Available Upon Arrival, Based on Availability

One 1/2 oz. Furfume of choice from Anje Organic Perfumes

Complimentary logoed Cypress Inn Collar Tag

Complimentary Muttini and One Culinary Canine Entree

Starting at $199.00/double. Two night minimum, based on availability.

– Does not include taxes; blackout periods apply.



An iconic landmark since 1929 and part of the elite collection of Carmel Boutique Inns, Cypress Inn embodies Hollywood-by-the-Sea elegance with casual seaside charm. Co-owned by legendary Hollywood actress and animal rights enthusiast Doris Day, the 44-guestroom property is set in a Mediterranean footprint with vaulted ceilings, airy courtyards, in-room fireplaces and a crisp, contemporary décor. Ideally located just blocks from Carmel Beach and walking distance to 100+ art galleries, Cypress Inn offers afternoon tea, a pet-friendly Yappy Hour and sustainable dining menu at Terry’s Restaurant & Lounge, Carmel’s first and only Seafood Watch program participant. Carmel-by-the-Sea is one square mile of incorporated city set along Carmel Bay on the Monterey Peninsula. It is located 120 mi./192 km., south of San Francisco and 350 mi./560 km., north of Los Angeles. The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY) is served by non-stop flights from Denver (DIA), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO).


Winter Romance in Santa Monica

Dine, Delight and Date in Santa Monica this Winter with a Chance to Win a Valentine’s Romance Hotel Package

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Santa Monica is home to beachfront hotels, world-class restaurants and this January, Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO ! The beachfront tent from Cirque du Soleil returns to the Santa Monica Pier starting January 20th. Ideal for a date night or an in-town getaway, Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) is rolling out the red carpet for OVO ticketholders with creative hotel packages and dining and retail specials throughout the months of January and February. 

Over 45 Santa Monica restaurants from Downtown Santa Monica to Montana and Ocean Park neighborhoods will participate in dineLA Restaurant Week 2012  from January 22-27 and January 29-February 3, 2012.  The specials are available with a pre-fixe menu: Deluxe Dining is $16 for lunch and $26 for dinner; Premier Dining is $22 for lunch and $34 for dinner; and Fine Dining is $28 for lunch and $44 for dinner (beverages, tax and gratuity are not included; participating meal periods vary by restaurant).  

To celebrate date night, SMCVB  will be giving one lucky couple a Valentine’s Romance hotel package at Loews Santa Monica Beach hotel, which includes a one night stay and romantic dinner for two at Ocean & Vine.  Couples can enter to win during dineLA Restaurant Week 2012 by doing the following:

  • Take a photo of your experience enjoying dinner at one of the Santa Monica’s participating dineLA restaurants or attending Cirque du Soleil’s OVO at the Santa Monica Pier.
  • Post a Twitter update including @GoSantaMonica and the hashtag #SantaMonicaDate.

The winning couple will be notified by February 6, 2012. For more information on the contest, visit


OVO ticketholders can enjoy special deals, weekend getaways and other creative offers during their visit to Santa Monica for Cirque du Soleil. Amenities include signature cocktails, tasting menus, complimentary valet parking, and even trapeze lessons.  Cirque inspired hotel packages and discounts can be viewed at

Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to return to the Santa Monica Pier with its critically-acclaimed and family-friendly big top touring show OVO opening January 20, 2012 for a limited engagement under the trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (big top). Since its world-premiere in Montreal in 2009, OVO has charmed over 2 million spectators in North America. Santa Monica will be the only Southern California stop for a Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) production in 2012. For more information

Holidays at The Hotel Shangrila in Santa Monica, CA

Spend Your Holidays in the Sun…

At The Hotel Shangrila in Santa Monica, CA

(Santa Monica, California – Nov. 30, 2011) Hotel Shangrila, Santa Monica’s Art-Deco icon, invites you to spend

this year’s holidays in the sun! Recently named 1 of 10 Top Beach Cities by National Geographic, Hotel

Shangrila sits on a high bluff, just steps from the beach & historic pier, ideal for discerning travelers searching

for a never-ending summer and a personalized luxury hotel experience, fostering savoir-vivre.

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean since 1939, Hotel Shangrila is as central to all of Santa Monica’s attractions as

it is tucked away. With a sun-splashed stroll to the elegant boutiques of Montana Avenue, the all-encompassing

Third Street Promenade, and Santa Monica’s recent outdoor galleria revamp, Santa Monica Place, holiday shopping

is relaxed & leisurely.

Take advantage of Shangrila’s carefully curated experience packages to revitalize holiday traditions. Ditch the

winter-get-up and enjoy a range of activities from bicycle rides down the coast to ice-skating at the beach.

Savor the home-away-from-home feeling with a meet & greet at the airport, and milk & cookies upon


Choose both The Dining Room, an alcove for California Nouveau Cuisine, and an upgrade to a luxury suite

with a full gourmet kitchen to indulge in the essence of the season and farm-fresh philosophy found in

handpicked produce from the local Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.

Visit the Packages section of Shangrila’s website or call Mana Inoue, at 310.394.2791, to find a personalized

experience that fits your needs, and spend your holiday in the sun.

What’s New in San Francisco Oct-Dec 2011 for the LGBT Visitor

What’s New in San Francisco October – December 2011 for the LGBT Visitor  

As a true Gay Mecca, San Francisco can sometimes overwhelm visitors with its vast number of activities which appeal to the LGBT Community.  Often referred as the “First Lady of San Francisco,” Donna Sachet’s more than 20 years of experience and affiliations with a broad spectrum of the LGBT Community will guide you through the year’s highlights.  From entertainment to fundraisers, from small events to major galas, and from the Castro to the entire City, Donna is tapped into everything that is happening in San Francisco and she will share the “what, when, and where” with you in her quarterly updates.


This release is currently posted on Gay Travel section of San Francisco Travel’s website





Celebrity Pool Toss:  One of San Francisco’s wackiest fundraisers occurs on Oct. 11, 2011 at the Phoenix Hotel when an eager crowd gathers pool-side to bid on the chance to toss well known local individuals into the water.  This year’s ”victims” include CEOs, entrepreneurs, a celebrity photographer, Team Twitter and a San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim.  Many local restaurants provide delectable cuisine, wineries pour their products and cocktails flow.  Proceeds benefit the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation.  


Masquerotica:  Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., Masquerotica brings sexy back to Halloween at the Concourse Exhibition Center with nine exotic playgrounds, VIP areas, red carpet photo shots and celebrities galore, including DJ Jamie Sanchez, Chi Chi LaRue, Sister Roma, Suzan Revah, and up and coming local band Ejector.  Costumes are mandatory and the kinkier, the better.  Partial proceeds benefit the It Gets Better Project.


Halloween 2011:   Don’t expect the hundreds of onlookers of the past invading the Castro on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29, 2011.  Halloween in San Francisco has returned to its roots with local parties in all the neighborhoods.  Find out what is going on in your area, put together a fun costume and let out the child inside you.  Otherwise, for a bit more formality, GLAAD hosts an upscale Halloween event at Robert Fountain’s Studio on Saturday, Oct. 29, with copious food, generous drinks and creative costumes, all supporting the important work of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.   




Dancing with the Drag Stars III:  After two wildly successful seasons, Dancing with the Drag Stars, a campy take-off of the popular television show, is back by popular demand. On Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011 at Ruby Skye, watch in awe as internationally recognized professional dancers are paired with prominent and courageous local drag performers to compete for the coveted mirrored ball trophy.  Celebrity judges, glamorous costumes, guest entertainers and an enthusiastic audience make this a must-see event to benefit the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.


Dining by Design: The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS announces their 11th Annual Dining by Design at 101 Henry Adams St. Talented local businesses and individuals create unique dining environments, from luxurious to simplistic; sleek modern to rich antique and sublime to hilarious.  On Wednesday night, Nov. 16, table-hop at a preview cocktail party from 6 to 10 p.m. On Thursday, Nov. 17, dine in the setting of your choice from 6:30 to 11 p.m.  Either way you may get new decorating ideas while helping a great cause.


Castro Holiday Tree:  On Monday, Nov. 28, at 6 p.m., join the Castro neighborhood as they light their holiday tree in the middle of this historic district, accompanied by music from the Lesbian/Gay Chorus, the Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band and assorted special celebrity guests.  The crowd grows every year for this seasonal event.  Immediately afterwards, start your holiday shopping in the great variety of shops nearby, offering classic gifts and unique selections.


19th Annual Songs of the Season:  The intimate Rrazz Room at Hotel Nikko again hosts this charming musical variety show, Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 28 – 30, 2011.  Created by local drag artist Donna Sachet, Songs of the Season has become the kick-off to the holiday season for many in the LGBT community.  Lu Conrad presents Opening Night, featuring a Taste-catered reception.  A hosted Barefoot Cellars sparkling wine reception follows all three shows.  Previous guest performers have included Abigail Zsiga, Sharon McNight, Connie Champagne, Paula West, Kim Kuzma, and Val Diamond.  Don’t expect the typical Christmas carols, but rather a spirited celebration of the warmth and gaiety of the season, benefiting AIDS Emergency Fund.




The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes:  If you love the iconic television series The Golden Girls, you will love this hilarious live re-enactment starring four of San Francisco’s most popular drag queens, Heklina, Cookie Dough, Matthew Martin, and Pollo del Mar.  For six years, this troupe has played to sold out houses bringing the classic characters to life, complete with theme music and period commercials, as the audience mouths the words and laughs out loud.  Now, they move into larger quarters at the Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th St., every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Dec. 1-23 at 8 p.m..


Dance Along Nutcracker, Clara’s Magical Mystery Tour:  The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, conducted by Jadine Louie, returns to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Dec. 10 and 11 for a unique twist on holiday traditions, inviting the audience to leave their seats and join in self-expressive abandon, as the band plays rousing music from The Nutcracker and other seasonal favorites.  Festive costumes are encouraged and even available on site.  Saturday night’s show is geared to a more adult audience with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  Sunday’s matinee and evening performances are for the whole family, welcoming children of all ages.


Kung Pao Kosher Comedy:  Yes, Jewish comedy at Christmas in a Chinese restaurant.  Local comedian Lisa Geduldig assembles a hilarious cast of nationally known and local comics for this unique blend of laughter, food, and ethnicity, Dec. 23-25, at New Asia restaurant in Chinatown.  With press coverage from the “New York Times” to the “Chicago Tribune,” this event has to be witnessed to be believed.  Partial proceeds benefit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue.


Home for the Holidays:  There is nothing like the historic San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at the iconic Castro Theatre on Christmas Eve and this will be the first under the baton of celebrated new Artistic Director Tim Seelig.  Pick from three scheduled concert times, 5, 7, and 9 p.m. and relish in favorite seasonal carols, boisterous sing-alongs, hilarious comic routines, and heart-warming family moments.  Celebrity guests often appear.