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What's New in California for Fall

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Central Coast

Expanded Santa Maria-Style Barbecue Booklet Available
The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau now offers an expanded version of its popular Santa Maria-style barbecue booklet. The booklet is complimentary upon request by visiting the Chamber of Commerce at 614 South Broadway in Santa Maria or calling 1-800-331-3779. It can also be downloaded in PDF form at In addition to showcasing the rich history of Santa Maria-style barbecue, the 14-page booklet features an updated list of restaurants, caterers and purveyors who specialize in this regional culinary tradition. The booklet also complements the official Santa Maria-Style Barbecue Blog at, which the chamber launched in early 2009. Contact: Santa Maria Valley Visitor & Convention Bureau, 1-800-331-3779,,

Santa Barbara Tasty Cupcake & Wine Tour
Santa Barbara Adventure Company paired two favorite treats to create a new, mouth-watering adventure: the Tasty Cupcake & Wine Tour. Guests tour the Santa Ynez Valley tasting wine, learning the difference between a pinot blanc and a pinot gris, as on a typical wine tour. But the icing on the cake is a stop at Enjoy Cupcakes in Solvang, where guests sample six miniature wine-infused cupcakes with incredible flavors, such as Pomegranate Mango Chardonnay and Chocolate Blackberry Syrah. The Cupcake tour is available Thursday through Sunday and includes wine tasting at three locations, cupcake tasting, shuttle service, deli lunch and a knowledgeable guide. Contact: Santa Barbara Adventure Co., (805) 884-9283,,

Inaugural Paso Robles Harvest Marathon – October 24
The day’s events include a 26.2-mile marathon, two-person marathon relay and a 5k run. The first 100 entries will receive a special prize. The course will begin and end at Sylvester Winery on Buena Vista Drive in Paso Robles and offers views of the vineyards and countryside at harvest time. Contact: Julie Opheim, Paso Robles Harvest Marathon, (877) 264-6979,,

San Luis Obispo Announces First GranFondo
The inaugural SLO GranFondo, October 23, will be challenging since it offers some of the world’s most beautiful terrain along the rugged coast of northern San Luis Obispo County. The cycling ride offers three fully supported routes throughout San Luis Obispo County to suit the occasional rider or the seasoned competitor. Riders will ride along the professionals and amateurs at the SLO GranFondo. Contact: Visitor Center, SLO Chamber, (805) 781-2777,,

Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room Opens
Ventura County continues to emerge as a wine tasting region with the new Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room, which opened during the summer in a historic firehouse. The Ojai Vineyard, which has produced handmade wines since 1983, offers more than 20 different variety of wines at the new tasting room for the visiting public to sample. The Ojai Vineyard works closely with a dozen different vineyards on the Central Coast of California and produces wines from syrah, Grenache, mourvedre, pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. Contact: Ryan White, Ojai Visitors Bureau, 1-888-OJAI NOW,,

Central Valley

Historic Gibson House in Woodland Now Open
This historic 1850s Classical Revival era mansion sits on two landscaped acres and is the perfect place to host weddings, reunions and other gatherings. The Victorian Gibson House & Museum Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and features perennial flower gardens, green lawns, a 250-year-old oak tree and a historical museum in the main mansion. Contact: Dan Rice, Yolo County Historical Museum & Gibson House, (530) 666-1045,,

New Wine & Cheese Tasting Room in Winters
Turkovich Family Wines recently celebrated the grand opening of their new Winery and Tasting Room in historic downtown Winters, located at 304 Railroad Ave. The tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday for sampling of current releases. Also housed in the same tasting room as the Turkovich Family Winery is the Winters Cheese Co., which focuses on making quality artisan cheeses following time-honored practices as well as combining traditional cheeses with flavors and products from the land. Contact: Yolo County Visitors Bureau, (530) 297-1900,,

New California State Capitol Museum Exhibit
“A Most Glorious Heritage: The History of California State Parks” runs September 30 through September 2, 2011. Since the 1860s, many Californians understood the call to protect the natural heritage they beheld. Their foresight and vision preserved California’s redwood forests, beaches and historic sites before they disappeared forever to development and private interests. This exhibit explores the history of California’s State Parks and the people who devoted their lives to creating and preserving the land and sites we enjoy today. Contact: Visitors Information, California State Capitol Museum, (916) 324-0333,,


Palm Springs Air Museum Hosts Ending of World War II Celebration
A four-month long series of special lectures, films and flight exhibitions will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II at the Palm Springs Air Museum November 6 through February 26, 2011. World War II veterans are honored at each Saturday program and are most of the featured speakers. The series of Saturday programs on the 65th anniversary is included with regular admission to this aviation museum that houses more than 28 flyable vintage aircraft, within 75,000 square feet of exhibit and hangar space. Contact: Ann Greer, Palm Springs Air Museum, (760) 778-6262, ann@palmspringsairmuseum,

Gold Country

Yosemite National Park Celebrates 120th Birthday
Yosemite National Park celebrates its 120th birthday this fall with a unique companion in California’s history: California’s State Route 120, Tuolumne County’s scenic gateway to the northern entrance, and the fastest route into Yosemite National Park. This promotion will focus on Yosemite’s history as a tourist destination in popular culture as captured by professional and amateur photographers. A 52-page book of photographs, Vintage Yosemite: Then, Now & Forever California’s Heritage Wilderness, by Christine Tuohy with a foreword by Yosemite photographer Jeff Nixon will be featured along with a photograph exhibit. There will be a companion website,; a magazine supplement; and interactive social media site will encourage people to post their family Yosemite photographs and experiences. Beginning in September 2010, Discover Yosemite Packages with overnight accommodations, lunch, transportation park admission and guided tours into the park will be offered at prices ranging from $60 to $120 per person double occupancy with lodging choices in Sonora and Groveland, CA. Tours and packages will also be available in the spring and fall 2011. Contact: Karin Brown, Heritage Travel, (209) 533-4322.,

High Sierra

Artisan’s Marketplace Opens in Truckee
An Artisan’s Marketplace gallery has opened in Brickeltown in downtown Truckee. More than a dozen local artists and artisans from the Tahoe-Truckee region are displaying their works in this locale, which opened in March. Visitors can stop in to admire or purchase local art, including hand-painted wood furnishings, ceramic sculpture and pottery, paint-on silk, jewelry, photography and more. Contact: Holly Beatie, High Sierra Botanicals, (530) 550-0885,,

New Truckee Ranger Station Opens
The Truckee Ranger Station has recently opened its doors just across the freeway from its former location. This visitor-friendly hub offers outdoor enthusiasts information about trails, campgrounds and points of interest in the Tahoe National Forest, such as recommended hiking and biking trailheads and scenic driving tour maps. They also carry a selection of books, which help travelers interpret the forest and learn more about the area’s flowers and critters. The Truckee Ranger Station, which currently is seeking Silver LEED certification, provides visitors with an excellent jumping-off point to help them find their adventure in the forest. Contact: Lynn Saunders, Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, (530) 587-2757,,

Truckee Railroad Museum Now Open
After much anticipation, the Truckee Railroad Museum opened its doors May 8 on National Train Day. Situated right next to the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks and the downtown train depot, the museum is housed in a caboose and features displays of models, historic photographs and artifacts representing the area’s rich railroad heritage. Contact: Lynn Saunders, Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, (530) 587-2757,,

Inland Empire

What’s New in Rancho Cucamonga
From professional, family-friendly theater productions to live concerts and comedy shows, the Lewis Family Playhouse offers something for everyone. The playhouse kicks off its fifth season with the hits of 80s rock group Loverboy. Great concerts continue throughout the season, including the lovely Latin sounds of the Mariachi Divas; country swing with Asleep at the Wheel; memorable Irish melodies by Michael Londra in Celtic Yuletide; the smooth, silky voices of M-Pact; and holiday favorites by the world-renowned Glenn Miller Orchestra. Plus, two of the industry’s top jazz/pop vocalists, Diane Schuur and Bobby Caldwell, will come to town for Sing ‘N Swing! Family audiences are in for a treat as the MainStreet Theatre Company once again brings three fantastic, family-friendly shows, beginning with that lovable school-bound mouse in “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse,” followed by the charming and eccentric cupboard characters of “The Gingerbread Man,” and a sharp and spunky, red-headed darling in “Anne of Green Gables.” Each show offers a memorable story for the whole family that’s full of fun, fantasy and friendship. Contact: Rancho Cucamonga Redevelopment Agency, 1-877-572-6246,,

Los Angeles

Catalina Island’s New Activities and Updates
Santa Catalina Island is undergoing an $11 million revitalization, adding an array of activities and amenities to the historic destination. Major changes include a complete renovation of the beachside 71-room, two-story Pavilion Hotel, now offering private lanais for many rooms; two luxury suites with breathtaking views; a wine and cheese bar; indoor and ocean-view lounges; and an internet café. Descanso Beach Club will offer private cabanas and chair rentals, plus serving as the new activity and Discovery Tour headquarters. The waterfront Avalon Grille will offer new American cuisine and world-class microbrews, wines and cocktails in an al fresco atmosphere. A new Zip Line Eco Tour will begin almost 600 feet above Avalon, reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, and run nearly 4,000 feet down to the seashore. Innovative diving helmets and guides will allow guests to tour the sea floor’s kelp forests and abundant marine life while on the new Sea Trek Undersea Adventure. With the new GPS Ranger Walking Tour, visitors can experience Avalon’s landmarks and historical points of interest at their own pace, using a high-tech guide. Contact: Brad Wilson, Santa Catalina Island Company, (310) 510-2000,,

Aquarium of the Pacific Announces New Expansion
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s newest permanent expansion, the $5.5-million Molina Animal Care Center, will enable visitors to see daily animal care shows with education staff, watch the aquarium’s veterinarian conduct medical exams and learn more about the world of aquatic medicine. The new 14,000-square-foot Molina Center will accommodate mammals, birds and fish, and provide enhanced healthcare as well as opportunities for aquarium visitors to see veterinary medicine in action. The Aquarium of the Pacific will be one of the few aquariums that provide an opportunity for guests to observe while its doctor is examining an animal patient. Contact: Aquarium of the Pacific, (562) 590-3100,

Pacific Park Presents Two New Family-Share Rides
It’s two new rides for kids – and their families – at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. The 2-acre amusement park added Inkie’s Pirate Ship and Inkie’s Wave Jumper, which opened in July, to its roster of family-share rides. Inkie’s Pirate Ship is a swashbuckling-themed picaroon ride that lifts guests to-and-fro in a clockwise and counter clockwise motion for an all-out, sea-like adventure on this grand pirate ship. Inkie’s Wave Jumper is a pier-top surf ride that rotates in a clockwise motion while riders “jump” up and down and bounce around, just like riding a wave. Contact: Jeff Klocke, Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, (310) 260-8744 x235,,

“Mummies of the World” Exhibition Opens
“Mummies of the World,” a new exhibition of the largest collection of mummies and artifacts ever assembled, is open at the California Science Center through November 28. Visiting only seven museums worldwide and premiering in Los Angeles, this is a one-of-a-kind collection of mummies and artifacts from around the globe, some dating as far back as 6,500 years. Interactive exhibits allow guests to explore who the mummies were while alive, where and how they lived, and what they can tell us about the past. Learn about recent technology that has revealed new secrets about ancient life and changed the way scientists study mummies. Contact: Carol Martinez, LA INC., (213) 236-2357,,

North Coast

Historic Mendocino Property is Restored & Reopened
Located in Hopland, the gateway to Mendocino County, Campovida has an incredibly interesting history. Originally opened by the winemaking Fetzer family in 1983, the 51-acre property was well known for being the first organic food and wine center in the U.S., and once hosted such culinary greats as Emeril Lagasse, Julia Child and John Ash. It has been closed to the public for the last five years, but reopened during the summer under new ownership and management. The property features a 13-acre biodiversity-rich, organic garden featuring more than 2,000 varieties of fresh fruit, herbs, vegetables, ornamental and edible flowers; the Dining Pavilion, which seats up to 120 guests with two kitchens – one demonstration and one commercial; an area for public exhibitions on gardening and wine and food products; a barn under renovation, a board room and reception area; and 10 acres of organic Sangiovese and Viognier. Visitors to Campovida can enjoy local wines and epicurean items presented through a collaborative, interactive onsite program with Mendocino Farms called “A Place to Taste,” including a wine tasting room featuring a range of local, organic and biodynamic wines from the Magnanimus Wine Group; pairings with herbs and products from the property and region and guided tours of the gardens. Beginning fall of 2010, Campovida will offer culinary events, classes and programs. Contact: Erin Hunt, Erin Hunt Communications, (917) 544-3222,

New Skate Park in Eureka
Located in the Cooper Gulch recreation area, the 12,000-square-foot skate park contains something for new and experienced skaters alike, including bowls and street features. The largest bowl includes a 10-foot overt pocket with two more 8-foot pockets and 6-foot hips. All of the larger bowls have pool coping. The park is located near downtown Eureka in Cooper Gulch, which also includes a scenic disc golf course. Contact: Richard Stenger, Humboldt County Convention & Visitors Bureau, (707) 444-6634,,

Skunk Train “Mobile Memento” Project
Late last year, the Skunk Train and the Arts Council of Mendocino County released a Call to Artists for a very special project, and from among the many entries, two very talented Northern California artists were chosen. Their task was to transform the exterior and the interior of one designated Skunk Train rail car into a mobile work of art. The remarkable result was unveiled last April. The new rail car is used for special events, as well as for regular trips at a premium ticket price. Riders of this exclusive rail car enjoy the best that Mendocino has to offer: spectacular views, Mendocino County wine and beer tastings, and intriguing and inspiring artwork. Contact: Robert J. Pinoli, 1-866-457-5865,,

New Tasting Room & Art Gallery: John Hanes Gallery and Londer Vineyards
There’s a brand new art gallery right in the heart of Boonville, and housed within it is a brand new tasting room. The John Hanes Gallery showcases unique and beautiful local art. Londer Vineyards, a small family winery that focuses on producing award-winning Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Gewurztraminers, has teamed up with the gallery to pour their wines within. Contact: John Hanes, John Hanes Gallery, (707) 489-0981,

Orange County

Walk on Water in Huntington Beach
The newest craze in water sports hits Huntington Beach – stand-up paddle boarding. This sport, which involves paddling a large surfboard with an extended paddle to propel forward movement, actually first began in the 1940s when famed Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku wanted to try something other than traditional surfing or outrigger canoe racing. An activity for all ages (the younger kids can actually sit on the board while an adult paddles), paddle boarding is much easier than it looks. Most beginners learn how to paddle board in the beautiful Huntington Beach Harbour, an enclosed harbor with little to no waves. More experienced paddle boarders will practice their sport out in the ocean with either shorter, more lightweight boards to catch waves as they would with a regular surfboard, or with the classic large paddle boards for paddling out past the waves to enjoy the amazing aquatic surroundings. Rocky McKinnon, a local paddle boarder and board shaper taught by some of the most elite watermen in the world, champions the sport in Huntington Beach and teaches lessons at reasonable costs for small groups or families. Contact: Rocky McKinnon, McKinnon Shapes & Designs, (714) 377-6101,,

Surf City SCVNGR Debuts in Huntington Beach
The Huntington Beach Marketing and Visitors Bureau developed this fun new way to discover Surf City USA by using your smart phone. Surf City SCVNGR is all about going places, completing challenges and earning points to unlock special badges and features, in addition to monthly prizes offered by Huntington Beach merchants. For instance, to earn points for the “Board Short Challenge” on your smart phone’s SVNGR application, go into one of the local surf shops, try on a pair of their newest board shorts, strike your best surfer pose and snap a picture. Then upload your picture to that challenge’s page and score some points – it’s that simple! Challenges can also be played by those without smart phones, using SMS text and picture messages. New challenges and prizes are being added monthly, so guests will have the opportunity to play the games differently each time. Contact: Madison Fisher, Huntington Beach Marketing and Visitors Bureau, (714) 969-3492,,

New Dockside Tour Aboard John Wayne’s Former Yacht
One of the most famous and historical yachts in Newport Beach, the Wild Goose, was once owned by the Oscar-winning western star John Wayne and is now featured in a new, exclusive narrated dockside tour. The Wild Goose first sailed in 1943, as the United States Navy Minesweeper YMS 328 during World War II. Of the 481 minesweepers manufactured, only four – including the Wild Goose – remain today. When John Wayne bought the minesweeper a decade later, he set about creating a private retreat for family and friends. The Wild Goose Tour includes a one-hour dockside visit spotlighting the boat’s storied past. Cost for the excursion is $25 per person. Reservations are needed to book these tours, and a 10-person group minimum is required. Contact: Daniel Guerrero, Visit Newport Beach Inc., (949) 554-9766,,

San Diego

Kid City Reopening at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Kid City, the children’s museum within the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, will complete Phase 2 of renovations designed to update the exhibition and add all new hands-on learning interactive, reopening October 23. Kid City is designed especially for preschool children, and features several themed areas that encourage hands-on learning for children ages 5 and under. Upgrades include a permanent Ball Wall with multiple chutes, tubing, tracks, pinwheels and other moving objects that will excite and delight young visitors. An updated Grocery Store with an interactive nutrition component teaches children about the importance of healthy food choices. Visitors will also enjoy the Little Learner’s Lab, which features an innovative water and sand educational play area. Discovery Boxes and a touch-station featuring a magnifying camera for up-close exploration add to the fun found in Kid City. Contact: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, (619) 238-1233,,

What’s New in San Diego
Lyric Opera San Diego presents crowd-pleasing musical masterpieces from around the globe. Upcoming performances include “Gigi,” September 24 to October 3, a delightful musical classic that is returning to the San Diego stage for the first time in 20 years, and “The Barber of Seville,” November 12-21, recognized as one of the most popular comic operas of all time. The Cygnet Theatre in Old Town will present “The Norman Conquests,” through November 2, a trilogy of connected plays performed in repertoire. These hilarious stories take a look at the lives of six family members over one weekend in a home in the English countryside. The three plays, “Table Manners,” “Round and Round” and “Garden and Living Together,” revolve around Norman, a charming librarian, and the women in his life. Each play depicts the same weekend but from separate parts of the house, and in turn, reveals unique secrets, surprising answers and lots of laughs. Contact: Stephenie Medina, San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, (619) 557-2838,,

San Francisco

Cultural Initiative Celebrates Ties to Shanghai
Programs celebrating the San Francisco Bay Area’s long-standing ties to Shanghai will be held in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose throughout 2010. More than 30 cultural institutions and civic groups are participating in a cultural initiative that corresponds with the World Expo in Shanghai through October 31. Exhibitions, performances, film series, lectures, a symposium and more have been announced. The cornerstone of the celebration in San Francisco is “Shanghai,” a major exhibition at the Asian Art Museum, through September 5. Spanning a time period of 160 years, the exhibition includes 130 artworks, such as trade oil paintings, Shanghai deco furniture and rugs, revolutionary poster art, fashion, movie clips and contemporary art installations. Since 1979, Shanghai, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, has been a Sister City of San Francisco. Contact: Visitor Information Center, SFCVB, (415) 391-2000,,

The de Young Hosts Exhibitions
Two consecutive special exhibitions, “Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay and Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne” and “Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay” are on view at the de Young Museum through January 2011. Each exhibition includes approximately 100 paintings from the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection, and highlights the work of nearly 40 artists, including Cézanne, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Rousseau, Seurat, Sisley, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Vuillard. The Musée d’Orsay is loaning the exhibitions while it undergoes a partial closure for refurbishment and reinstallation in anticipation of the Musée’s 25th anniversary in 2011. The de Young is the only museum in the world to host both exhibitions. Contact: Visitor Information Center, SFCVB, (415) 391-2000,,

What’s New in San Francisco
The San Francisco opera season opens with “Aida” September 10, and performances of “Le Nozze di Figaro” and “Madame Butterfly” during the San Francisco Opera’s fall season. Sixty-six performances of 10 opera productions, seven of them new to San Francisco audiences, are planned. Additionally, AT&T Park has become the first major league ballpark to receive LEED Silver certification for existing buildings, operations and maintenance. AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants since April 2000, received the certification for sustainability and efficiencies in the areas of human and environmental health, including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in operations. Contact: Visitor Information Center, SFCVB, (415) 391-2000,,

What’s New in Santa Cruz County
Capitola’s Gayle’s Bakery and Rosticceria’s opens a new 600-square-foot covered patio that features an inviting fireplace. An expanded seating area can host up to 52 guests, complete with restful rattan chairs and colorful wooden tables. Beautiful artwork by mosaic sculpture artist Terrie Kvenild adorns the casual, fun and welcoming new patio. Visitors can relax by the roaring outdoor fireplace and savor a freshly baked pastry, specialty sandwich or blue-plate dinner made from scratch. The inaugural Santa Cruz Concours D’Elegance will take place at Chaminade Resort & Spa on September 3-5. Set in the mountains overlooking the Monterey Bay and surrounded by ideal cruising roads, the event’s world-class cars will be displayed on the mission-style, luxury resort’s 300-acre property. The Concours D’Elegance will feature a number of activities, including live and silent auctions and a fashion show. Concours entrants will have the opportunity to participate in an Ultimate Driving Tour that will take selected rare and historic cars on a scenic driving tour of the area. Contact: Christina Glynn, Santa Cruz County Conference & Visitors Council, (831) 429-7281,,

Shasta Cascade

Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp Offers New Water Feature, GPS Adventures
Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp at Turtle Bay Exploration Park sports a brand new water feature thanks to months of hard work from Turtle Bay’s exhibits team and generous donor support. The water feature brings the story of the Sacramento River and California’s “liquid gold” to life for Turtle Bay visitors. The cool, wet, hands-on experience attracts the young and young-at-heart in droves. Visitors can also join the many excited GPS and geocaching enthusiasts with the opening of the new GPS Adventure exhibition.

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