Lake Havasu City: London Bridge and Lighthouses

Lake Havasu City: London Bridge and Lighthouses

Lake Havasu City is noted for the London Bridge, which was our main reason for visiting the western Arizona city. The city is also popular for water sports and spring breakers. What we didn’t know until we got there is that the Lake Havasu shoreline is lined with two dozen lighthouses, all working replicas of lighthouses from the East Coast, West Coast and Great Lakes. Read more

Viewing Elephant Seals near San Simeon

Viewing Elephant Seals near San Simeon

We had heard that elephant seals spend only two months onshore. The rest of the time they’re far into the ocean. That is true. Maybe it was an assumption on our part, but we thought they all came onshore at the same time, and that we were lucky to hit the right season when we saw hundreds of elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas rookery near San Simeon, California. The truth is, you can view elephant seals at the rookery almost always, more at some times of the year than others.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Landscape Across America

Landscape Across America

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain

–Katharine Lee Bates

During our twenty-day road trip from Chicago to Monterey, California, down to Santa Monica and back across Route 66, my favorite patriotic song, America the Beautiful, came to mind. The topography constantly changed. From mountains, some still with snow, to lush valleys, to the hot, dry desert and ocean views, the landscape painted a beautiful backdrop for our trip. We’re sharing some of the scenic areas that we drove through in this video.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Moqueca: Eastern Brazilian Coastal Cuisine

Moqueca: Eastern Brazilian Coastal Cuisine

One of the highlights of traveling is trying new foods. In Oxnard, California, we tried a whole new cuisine at Moqueca, as neither of us had eaten Brazilian food before. Specifically, Moqueca serves capixaba cuisine, the food of Brazil’s state of Espirito Santo on the coast of Brazil’s southeast region.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, Oxnard Calif.

Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, Oxnard Calif.

After a long afternoon tied up in Southern California freeway traffic, we arrived at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach in Oxnard, with little time to spare before we had to rush out for dinner. There would be no time right now to enjoy the beach at the only all-suite beachfront resort in Southern California. However, I was thrilled to find two bathrooms in our suite. We could both freshen up at the same time without tripping over each other.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Channel Islands National Park Adventure

Channel Islands National Park Adventure

Off the coast of Southern California sit five islands that make up the Channel Islands National Park. The only way to get there is by private boat or by the park’s concessionaire boat service, Island Packers. We took a day trip to Santa Cruz Island, a little more than an hour away by boat. What we found once we reached the island was a whole different world from the busy California coast.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Dining Waterside in Oxnard, California

Dining Waterside in Oxnard, California

It was a little chilly on the evening we dined at the Waterside Restaurant. However, we had been in California for several days and had yet to dine alfresco, so we requested patio seating. We wanted to experience the full ambiance of dining seaside before we started traveling inland, and the Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar was the place to do it. The view of the fishing boats docked in the Channel Islands Harbor, the sound of lapping waves and the aroma of salty sea air was the perfect setting. Our host seated us adjacent to the fire pit and set an overhead heater next to our table to ensure we’d stay warm enough while we dined. That thoughtful gesture was the beginning of a lovely dining experience.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option. Read more

Ag Venture Tours: See America’s Salad Bowl

Ag Venture Tours: See America’s Salad Bowl

After you’ve toured the California coast along Monterey Bay, visited the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium, shopped along Cannery Row and dined on Fisherman’s Wharf, take a drive inland a few miles to the Salinas Valley. Salinas Valley stretches a hundred miles north to south, sandwiched between the Santa Lucia and Gabilan mountain ranges. Fields of lettuce lay before you—neat rows of romaine, red leaf, green leaf and iceberg. Bright red, luscious strawberries dot other fields, or you may see celery, spinach or asparagus. You’re also bound to come across farm workers hand picking the produce and packing it right in the field. You’ve entered America’s “salad bowl,” where farmers grow over 40 vegetables and fruits, including over 80 percent of America’s lettuce. The best way to see the valley and to learn about how America’s produce is grown is on an agricultural tour with Ag Venture Tours.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.

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A Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

A Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

If there’s one attraction you visit in Monterey, California, make it the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s the number one Monterey thing to do according to Trip Advisor, and it makes every list of top U.S. aquariums. Located on Cannery Row, a series of former sardine and anchovy canning factories now housing touristy and trendy shops and restaurants, the aquarium is, ironically, in a former canning operation, as well.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.

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Mammoth Lakes in the Off Season

Mammoth Lakes in the Off Season

Mammoth Lakes, located in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, is a mecca of recreational activity. Best known as a winter ski resort, warmer weather attracts mountain bikers, campers, equestrians, backpackers and many other summer sport enthusiasts. We happened to visit in May when only a few skiers were taking advantage of what snow was left in the mountains. Summer attractions hadn’t opened for the season yet, and several of the area restaurants were closed. However, despite visiting in the off season, we found plenty to fill our time.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.

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