Santa Barbara: The American Riviera

With oceanfront views, cinematic festivals and fine wine, Santa Barbara has been called the "American Riviera" -- with a twist. The coastal city also comes with a down-home style all its own.

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Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

Discover the highest waterfall in North America -- and the sixth largest in the world: Yosemite Falls. At 2,424 feet, the waterfall is a major attraction in the park, located in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. It’s best viewed in late spring when snowmelt flows most vigorously. 960 1280

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Half Dome

Half Dome

The granite dome in the background is Yosemite’s most popular rock formation: Half Dome. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 feet above the valley floor -- hikers can ascend it with the use of cables. 960 1280

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Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows

Discover this meadowy section of Yosemite along the Tuolumne River. Wild, wonderful plant and tree species to explore include Ross’s sedge, Lodgepole Pine and dwarf bilberry. The area also offers day-hike and camping opportunities (the park service campground is open July through late September). 960 1280

Steve Dunleavy, Wikimedia Commons  

El Capitan

El Capitan

Rock climbers will find few vertical rock formations as challenging as El Capitan (left, background). At one time “El Cap,” which stretches roughly 3,000 feet from base to top, was considered impossible to climb. Today, the most popular route to tackle is The Nose, which follows the rock’s huge projecting front. 960 1280

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Valley View

Valley View

Thank the 145-mile-long Merced River: It’s responsible for carving out the glacial valley known as Yosemite Valley. The valley is about 8 miles long and a mile deep, with an amazing vantage point offered at Valley View. This turnout is located near the park exit, traveling west on Northside Drive. 960 1280

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Lembert Dome

Lembert Dome

Got 3 hours to spare? Take a short hike (2.8 miles roundtrip) up the granite rock formation of Lembert Dome, which rises 800 feet above Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows. Then bask in the satisfaction of knowing you hiked up a real mountain. 960 1280

Ava Weintraub, flickr  

Tunnel View

Tunnel View

Journey along State Route 41 and you’re in for a treat: The viewpoint known as Tunnel View offers a breathtaking snapshot of Yosemite Valley and several of its attractions -- El Capitan, Half Dome and the waterfall Bridalveil Fall (pictured, right). 960 1280

Bala Sivakumar, flickr  

Cathedral Peak

Cathedral Peak

The Cathedral Range of mountains stretch through Yosemite -- and Cathedral Peak is their star attraction. At a height of 10,911 feet, the granite peak was first scaled in 1869 by naturalist John Muir -- perhaps the first person to undertake a class-4 climb anywhere in the Sierra Nevada range (of which Cathedral is a sub-range). 960 1280

Steve Dunleavy, flickr  

Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall

Looking to meet someone special? Head to Yosemite’s Bridalveil Fall. The 617-foot waterfall owes its name to a legend from the Ahwahneechee Native American tribe: They believed that inhaling the mist of the waterfall would improve one’s chances of getting married. 960 1280

Matt Haughey, flickr  

Glacier Point

Glacier Point

One of Yosemite’s best viewpoints is Glacier Point. Located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley, the overlook rises to an elevation of 7, 214 feet -- with great views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Vernal Fall (a 317-foot waterfall) and Nevada Fall (594 feet). 960 1280

Getty Images  

Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall

After an afternoon hike, cool off with the gentle mist sprays from a nearby waterfall. That’s what you’ll experience when you take a 2- to 5-hour hike near Vernal Fall. The hike starts at the Happy Isles trailhead and reaches the base of the waterfall. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Visitors look up at one of the largest living things on Earth: a giant sequoia. It’s also one of the oldest. Within Yosemite’s mariposa grove of 500 giant sequoias, visitors will find trees more than 3,000 years old. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Nevada Fall

Nevada Fall

Within a small glacial valley (Little Yosemite Valley), you’ll find Nevada Fall. The 594-foot waterfall owes its name to its location – it’s the nearest waterfall to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Meanwhile, the Native American name for it is Yo-wy-we, meaning “wormy” water, signifying the twists of the falling water. 960 1280

Getty Images  

15 Photos

This pooch is all for peace at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Sugar being lifted in harness out of the tub, with Patty, at Morris Weight Loss Camp. 960 1280

  

Tina Chiu holds a small dog dressed up in a pink and black outfit at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

This pooch is all for peace at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Richard sitting with Louie on the beach, next to the surfboard, after surfing at the Loews Coranado Resort. 960 1280

  

Tiffany and Whitney, the animal handlers, with a dog, and the cheetah in the lobby of the Affinia Hotel. 960 1280

  

Matching outfits for this pair at the Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Owners and dogs, roasting marshmallows over a bonfire on the beach in Carmel, CA. 960 1280

  

These pooches are pretty in pink at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

Louie hangs 20 (paws, that is) at the Loews Coranado Resort. 960 1280

  

It's all gone to the dogs at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

A bulldog skateboards down the street at Woofstock Festival. 960 1280

  

A man and his best friends enjoy the view overlooking the ocean in Carmel, CA. 960 1280

  

An animal handler feeds one of the penguins in a room at the Affinia Hotel. 960 1280

  

A woman paints the nails of a dog pink at The Club, in Beverly Hills, CA. 960 1280

  

Coronado Bridge and Glorietta Bay

Coronado Bridge and Glorietta Bay

A peninsula situated across the San Diego Bay from the city of San Diego, Coronado only has two ways in or out – one of which is the Coronado Bay Bridge, which offers drivers unparalleled views of the water. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

Dog Beach

Dog Beach

Located next to the Naval Air Station at the most northern end of the beach, Dog Beach is not only a great place to romp with your furry buddy, but is also the perfect spot to collect shells and sea glass. 960 1280

SanDiego.org   

Hotel Del Coronado

Hotel Del Coronado

A luxury, beachfront hotel, the Hotel Del Coronado -- "The Del" -- is full of history. Not only is it one of the largest all-wooden structures in California, but it's also one of the few surviving architectural examples of a wooden Victorian beach resort and is a designated National Historic Landmark. 960 1280

Oyster.com  

Centennial Park

Centennial Park

Centennial Park offers grandiose views of the San Diego skyline across the Bay. While there, take a ride on the ferry or check out the beautiful rose garden. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

Coronado Golfing

Coronado Golfing

A resort town would not be complete without a golf course – and luckily, Coronado has its fair share. And with San Diego’s near-perfect weather, every day is a great day for golf.
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Joanne DiBona, sandiego.org  

North Island Naval Air Station

North Island Naval Air Station

Built in 1917, Coronado's Naval Air Station North Island is known as the "Birthplace of Naval Aviation." 960 1280

Official Navy Page, flickr  

Coronado Ferry Landing

Coronado Ferry Landing

With its art galleries, eclectic boutiques and variety of restaurants, Coronado Ferry Landing is a necessary addition to your Coronado itinerary. Pick up a souvenir before dining on the freshest seafood around. 960 1280

SanDiego.org   

Gondolas on Coronado Bay

Gondolas on Coronado Bay

The Gondola Company at Loews Coronado Bay Resort provides the most romantic gondola rides this side of Venice – serenading gondolier and all. 960 1280

SanDiego.org  

Central Beach

Central Beach

The main beach of Coronado, Central Beach is situated directly in front of the Hotel Del Coronado. If the convenience of the hotel and picturesque views weren't enough to entice you, waiters also serve drinks along the boardwalk. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

North Beach

North Beach

Southern California is known for its surfing, and in Coronado, the surfers head to North Beach. No worries if you're not a pro – there are plenty of local companies that provide surf lessons. 960 1280

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Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue, Coronado's main street and shopping district, is packed with quaint, local businesses ranging from upscale boutiques to mom-and-pop outposts. 960 1280

Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals  

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