President's Day Weekend Adventures in Southern California 2012


Backyard Adventures

For Presidents' Day weekend we put together a sampler of adventures found right out your back door. Seize the holiday, Southern California!

Will Rogers Inspiration Point

Will Call: Early risers are rewarded with one of the best seats in the house for watching a winter sunrise. From Inspiration Point in Will Rogers State Park, daybreak over the hazy LA cityscape looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, with an apocalyptic panorama at the midway point of a 2-mile loop.

Ranch Gone Wildflowers: Visit the 64-acre Peter Strauss Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains and hike its namesake 1-mile loop for hillside solitude among dense oaks and early blooming milkmaid wildflowers.

Brews Cruise: What's all the brue ha ha about? Work up a thirst rolling through Ted Craig Regional Park, and refuel at The Bruery (open Friday through Sunday). The family operation has racked up awards for unfiltered, unpasteurized, and balanced beers produced in small batches. Food trucks complement the 14 rotating drafts!

J-Spot: Rouse a romantic mood with a bike ride followed by an oyster feast. San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura has a 4-mile (round-trip) ramble on a beachfront bike path; right next to the trail you'll find The Jolly Oyster and a BBQ area. Get ready-to-grill Kumamoto or Pacific oysters and a Jolly Pack containing seasonings, shucking tools, and a tablecloth.

As a Matador Fact: El Matador State Beach is one of three pocket strands in Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach. Rock outcroppings with keyhole cutouts intersect the beach, creating covelets for undisturbed sunbathing. Weekends may bring crowds, but there's always El Matador's two equally tempting sister beaches, El Pescador and La Piedra.

Franklin, My Dear: It's just 15 minutes from Beverly Hills and the Valley, but 605-acre Franklin Canyon Park feels miles away from urbanity. Many of the hiking trails lead to photo-worthy views of the LA basin.

Lights, Camera, Central Coast!

What makes a film festival fantastic? Location, location, location. The Central Coast's San Luis Obispo blends a Northern California vibe with Southern California weather. It's also home to The 18th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF), March 7–11. A favorite with celebrities, the festival showcases 100 films—classics, cutting-edge features, and everything in between. Among this year's highlights is Sports Nite in SLO at the historic Fremont Theatre: this trilogy of extreme sports films kicks off with FINNSURF, a documentary about surfers in Finland braving sub-zero temperatures (followed by a Q&A session with the Finnish director and surfer). Then it's on to the thrills and spills of bicycling and snowboarding. The after-party happens at the SLO Brewing Company where you’ll meet filmmakers, athletes, and other extreme sports buffs while indulging in drink specials. Nostalgic types will love SLOIFF's inaugural "Hollywood to Hearst Castle" event. Recalling the peak of Tinseltown in the '20s and '30s, actor Harrison Ford and renowned photographer Timothy White will fly into Hearst Ranch's private airfield before the event. Enjoy a cocktail reception before catching a first-ever screening of the classic film Citizen Kane at Hearst Castle Theater. Don't be left in the dark. Get your tickets now!

BONUS: Get a vacation on the house. Enter to win a 2-night stay in San Luis Obispo! Trips are given away every month. And, action!