A different kind of rock show

A different kind of rock show

Rocks, gems, and fossils take over the VC Fairgrounds during Seaside Gems at Ventura

Show May 24 to 26

By Misty Hall
Photos courtesy VGMS

It’s 1944. The U.S. is still very much in the midst of World War II, and a group of Ventura teenagers are looking for something to do. Gas rations restrict them to pedestrian activities, so they walk to the beaches and nearby hills to look for rocks.

They find some pretty cool stuff — turns out, Ventura’s a fascinating place, geologically speaking (check out the photo of brecciated jasper). So they keep it up, growing in numbers and eventually going on field trips, after the war ends.

Thus began the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society. Eight decades after their first meeting in the rumpus room of a friend’s house, the group now has its own clubhouse, as well as monthly meetings and field trips, frequent educational events, annual shows, and members ranging in age from 4 to 90-plus.

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‘OrCutt’ Above the Rest

‘OrCutt’ Above the Rest

A Guide to Old Town Orcutt

Story and Photos By Nicole Leonetti

As a first-time visitor to Old Town Orcutt, I had no idea just how much was truly packed into the five blocks of Clark Avenue. Tasting rooms, breweries, shops, and restaurants — it’s got a little of everything that makes this region so outstanding! The Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association has worked hard to make the community feel intentional to visitors and locals alike.

Founded in 1904, this small Santa Maria Valley town is a super convenient destination right off Hwy 101. And, ideally, it’s situated in the heart of my personal favorite wine region! Perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway, Old Town Orcutt is a must-see stop along the Central Coast.

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Living La Vida Lompoc

Living La Vida Lompoc

by Nicole Leonetti

I have been lucky enough to visit Lompoc a number of times in my never-ending search for wonderful wines. Recently, however, I was eager to take a deep dive into all things Lompoc, and am excited to report that, while the wine is indeed phenomenal, there is much more to Lompoc!

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Flower power: Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

Flower power: Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

Current show president Lauris Rose first remembers coming to this show as a little girl, when she snapped countless photos of the displays. The Santa Barbara native returned year after year, developing such a passion that she and her husband James eventually purchased the renowned Cal-Orchid Inc. Joining Lauris is Olivia Sorgman, who is taking over the reigns as the new show manager this year. Together, they’re bringing fresh ideas to engage the next generation of orchid lovers.

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Highway to Hops Central Coast Beer Festivals

Highway to Hops Central Coast Beer Festivals

By Mike Miller

California’s Central Coast is home to some of the best beer festivals on the planet. Widely known for its wineries, the Central Coast also offers a diverse range of beer, ciders, and spirits, and there are plenty of festivals and celebrations for them all. These celebrations offer a fun-packed day whether you are a true beer lover or a novice taster.

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Winter Wings

Winter Wings

By Michele Roest

Winter birdwatching on the Central Coast offers opportunities to see old favorites and spot new ones

When the days grow short and the weather turns cool, bird watchers look for migrating songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors to appear along California’s central and southern regions. Some remain for the winter, while others stay for just a few days before continuing further south to even milder climes. They need safe places to rest and feed while they gain strength for the next stretch of their migration. Some migrations are hundreds of miles in distance, while others may reach thousands of miles.

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