Let the Festivals BEGIN!

Let the Festivals BEGIN!

Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties love their festivals — especially in the spring. The hills are still green and the weather’s warm, but the sea breezes keep things from getting too sweltering. After a wet and chilly winter, this spring’s festivals are sure to be even livelier. So whether you’re looking for something to do with your college buddies (beer and wine festivals), your grandparents (Art in the Park), or your kids (Kite Festivals), there’s tons of festivals to suit your tastes. Way more, in fact, than we can begin to list here! So get off the 101 and get to exploring these tastes of the region.

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Quick Stops and Curiosities: Pismo Beach & San Luis Obispo

Quick Stops and Curiosities: Pismo Beach & San Luis Obispo

By Bill Warner

Monarch Butterfly Grove
Pismo Beach
Located in Pismo State Beach about a half mile off the 101 on State Route 1, this patch of vegetation loads up with migrating monarch butterflies during the winter months. The numbers fluctuate throughout the season and from year to year, but folks generally rate strolls through the grove in the highly impressive range of stuff to be seen. More up-to-date info can be found at monarchbutterfly.org, or by calling (805) 773-7170.

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Quick Stops and Curiosities: Carpinteria

Quick Stops and Curiosities: Carpinteria

Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve

By Bill Warner

5905 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria
A scenic, 52-acre open space atop sea cliffs overlooking the Pacific, this stop is right off the 101. Whether northbound or southbound, just take the exit for Bailard Avenue and turn south. The parking lot is right where Bailard t-bones with Carpinteria Avenue. Easy trails will take you along the bluffs, with views of a seal sanctuary and a group of tar pits. For more info, visit carpinteriabluffs.org, or call (805) 684-5405.

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Quick Stops and Curiosities: Ventura, Camarillo & Thousand Oaks

Quick Stops and Curiosities: Ventura, Camarillo & Thousand Oaks

Plaza Park
Downtown Ventura
This is another pleasant, spacious city park, situated on East Thompson Boulevard between South Chestnut and South Fir streets in downtown Ventura. And guess what — it also has its very own Moreton Bay fig tree, just handing out the shade for free over in the northwest corner. Thompson Avenue is old U.S. 101, too, so you’re on good ground here.

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Quick Stops and Curiosities: Ventura

Quick Stops and Curiosities: Ventura

By Bill Warner

Emma Wood State Beach
North of Ventura
A popular destination for camping, fishing, walking, and/or chilling out, the main entrance is just off the freeway north of Ventura, accessible from the State Beaches exit. Within the campground itself, there are 
a few dozen campsites — but be forewarned, there are no tents allowed. This campground is for self-contained vehicles only, and there is no water, electricity, phones, fire rings, or dump stations. But though it sounds primitive, it is a hugely popular RV and trailer campground due to its proximity to the beach (so close, in fact, that it is sometimes closed during especially high tides).

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