Bridgeport and Twin Lakes, California

Guest Blogger and photographer Paul Clare takes us to Bridgeport , California this week.

Bridgeport and Twin Lakes
If you live in So Cal. there is a treasure chest of places to explore and stick around for your vacation. The town of Bridgeport and Twin Lakes is exactly one of those little gems which is located about 5 hours driving time on the old 395 HWY and is an easy access out of LA or San Diego.

Take a step back in time and slow down the clock as you pull into the town of Bridgeport which is also the access town to Twin Lakes.


Continue reading “Bridgeport and Twin Lakes, California”


San Clemente Ocean Festival

San Clemente Pier

The San Clemente pier is host to the 38th annual Ocean Festival on Saturday and Sunday July 19th & 20th, 2014.   There will be tons of events such as fishing clinics  for kids, pancake breakfast, woody car exhibit, lifeguard games, sand sculptures, surfing clinics, SUP races, 5k run, art show,  and so much more.   There will be round trip shuttle service from San Clemente High School.  We have been to this festival and it is a great day for kids as well as adults.  A  perfect Staycation.

Carlsbad Lagoon, Carlsbad California

Snug-Snug Harbor
Carlsbad Lagoon

Aqua Hedionda Lagoon is one of 3 lagoons in Carlsbad.   Known just as the lagoon by locals,  this lagoon spans on either side of the I-5.   The inland side of the lagoon is home to the small marina aptly named Snug Harbor.    Snug Harbor is located between Tamarack and Cannon road off  Interstate 5.

The inland part of the lagoon is where you can boat, water ski, wake board, use your personal watercraft, sail, windsurf or fish.   In order to operate any vessel on the lagoon, visitorsand residents must meet certain requirements and purchase either an annual or daily permit. Read about lagoon rules.

Snug Speed boat with beach in the  background

The Snug Harbor Marina features a boat ramp, dock, snack bar, and a beach.   The privately owned California Water Sports rents water sports equipment and vehicles at the harbor. As far as I can tell the back part of the lagoon has a cut off area where the speed boats have to stay away from allowing a calmer area for stand up paddle boards and kayaks.

Snug kayakers Snug dog beach view

Snug- view over house

Continue reading “Carlsbad Lagoon, Carlsbad California”

Top Ten Beaches in California

According to the Travel Channel, the top beaches in Southern California.

In BOLD are the places we have featured so far in prior blogs. We plan on visiting the rest soon!

10. Hermosa Beach

9. Laguna Beach

Laguna Rocks on main beach

8. Dog Beach, Ocean Beach(we did the pier which is right next to dog beach)

7. Santa Monica

SM-Lit up pier 2 FB

6. Will Rogers State Beach

5. Catalina Descanso Beach

Catalina Snorkel beach

4. Venice Beach

VB The sidewalk 4

3. La Jolla Shores

2. Newport Beach

1. Coronado City Beach

Coronado Point Loma

Roberts Cottages in Oceanside and Del Mar Beach Resort on Camp Pendleton

1. a vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

This weeks staycation keeps us at home in our very own Oceanside, California.   Two different beach cottages were rented for the week by separate people and we were lucky to get an invite to both.    Even though they were just a few miles from my home, being at the coast made it feel like I was a thousand miles away.

Oceanisde Cottages
Roberts Cottages
On Sunday our friend started their week long renting of one of the Roberts cottages in Oceanside.
Quite the opposite of the Del Mar Beach standard Villas which we will talk about later, these cottages have plenty of ambience. The one my friend rented had a true beach feel with decorations, beachy colors, and comfort.   Most are single rooms while some feature a lofts that fit a good size bed. All have small porches in front so you can sit and enjoy the panoramic view of the harbor entrance and the pier.

Cottages view of pierSunset street Jpeg

The best view of all, the beach just ahead waiting for you.

Umbrella on beach

I have walked or driven past these cottages a million times so it was nice just to sit back on the patio and people watch and soak up rays. A lot of envious people stopped and asked us about renting them.   I have to admit, I was once one of those jealous people. Here Staycationer JoJo enjoys people watching and the view.

Cottages jojo

Each cottage is privately owned and some are available to be rented while some are only used by the owner.   There is a row of cottages in the back that are not on the beach but I wouldn’t complain if I stayed there either, they still have an ocean view and are only a short walk to the sand.

Cottages in back

The pier is walking distance from your front door and you can enjoy the shops and restaurants at the harbor which is also a short distance away.
Cottages-View of street
There are also plenty of things to do nearby or in San Diego which is about 30 miles away.

However, if you just want to kick back and enjoy the relaxation of the California coastline,the smell of the ocean, and watch every sunset, this is your place.

Sunset tower 18 Done JpegSunset Lone tower 1

Del Mar Beach Resort on Camp Pendleton Part 2
If you are in the military, past military or have a relative in the military you can stay at the RV park or rent the villas at the ever expanding Del Mar Beach Resort on Camp Pendleton.
Granted not everyone can stay there, but if you are fortunate to know someone who can rent them, we highly suggest you quickly become their best friend so you can secure an invite. Bribes and gifts may work too.
Here is a link to the Del Mar Beach Resort.

When I hear villa, I think luxury resort. This isn’t quite so with the  standard villas. They are pretty much a room with tile floors, a couch and a chair. No pictures on the wall, no beach type decorations, no beautiful colored walls. They do have that all important flat screen TV.

I do know the deluxe and luxury villas are nicer and probably better decorated. I think all and all these are for beach use and are designed for wear and tear. However, a great feature is that every villa has their own private patio.   Décor or no décor it is still a great place to stay and a step up from the tent camping we did a few months ago.

Unlike the beach front cottages which have a patio right on the beach, our villa was facing the small harbor. This was perfect for some of our crew who had to only walk about 30 feet to put their fishing poles in the water. The fish were jumping all over the place and a few nice size bass were caught.

Whether you are on the beach or facing the harbor there is a lot to do. We rented a boat at the marina across the bay on one day and enjoyed the beach on another.   There is a  swimming bay for kids that also acts as a great place to launch your kayaks or stand up paddle boards. In the photo below, it shows some of the villas that face the calm swimming bay.

Del Mar Beach cottages

The beach is pristine and the harbor very clean.

Del Mar Beach 1Del Mar Beach 2

It is a very impressive place and highly recommended if you get a chance to go there. Even sitting out on the patio and enjoying the view was a nice getaway and made me feel like I was truly away from home.

Del Mar HarborDel Mar lone sailboat

Not too far from the Oceanside pier, Del Mar Beach Resorts are a great getaway.

Del Mar pier in distance

Stroll the jetty and enjoy the many places to fish along the harbor, jetty or rent a boat like we did.

Del Mar two fisherman

A lucky couple got a beautiful venue for their wedding.

Del Mar wedding

If you are lucky enough to get the chance, we highly recommend Del Mar Beach Resort on Camp Pendleton.