Behind the Scenes With Marianela

Marianela is willing to try anything once. See her play beach volleyball and start the perfect bonfire as she explores the California coast.

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Taking in the gorgeous views, Marianela says Rodeo Beach "surpassed my expectation." 960 1280

  

Rodeo Beach is known for its dark, pebbly seashore where you'll find beautiful orangey-pink, translucent grains of sand called Cornelian. 960 1280

  

Marianela finds fresh sage growing on the colorful hillside. 960 1280

  

One of her favorite things about Rodeo Beach is that it’s dog friendly. Not-too-many beaches in California are, surprisingly. 960 1280

  

"It feels like you're on the edge of the world," Marianela says. 960 1280

  

While exploring with Golden Gate educator Peter Demyanovich, Marianela discovers "what looked like a strange circular object out of Lost." 960 1280

  

Rodeo Beach is the perfect escape from nearby San Francisco -- just 30 minutes from the city and 2 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. 960 1280

  

Great for hiking, the coastal trail can lead up to a 1,000-foot elevation. 960 1280

  

Marianela’s tip: The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to wear layers. 960 1280

  

Marianela is tempted to explore forbidden terrain -- don’t worry our faithful crew stopped her. 960 1280

  

Marianela goofs off for the cameras during a long day of shooting. 960 1280

  

Photos

marianela and paul

marianela and paul

Marianela explores the park with Paul Reps of Point Lobos State Reserve. 960 1280

  

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

This Monterey Cypress growing from a cliff offers a dramatic view. 960 1280

  

marianela poses

marianela poses

Marianela poses in front of the enchanting 350-year-old Monterey Cypress. 960 1280

  

spectacular coast

spectacular coast

Marianela and Paul observe the coast’s spectacular beauty. 960 1280

  

picture perfect

picture perfect

She can’t get over the picture-perfect view. 960 1280

  

nature's masterpiece

nature's masterpiece

Marianela calls the reserves “nature’s masterpiece.” 960 1280

  

crown jewel

crown jewel

Visitors are reminded to protect the “crown jewel” of the state park system. 960 1280

  

artists inspriation

artists inspriation

It’s easy to see why artists come here for inspiration. 960 1280

  

nature's guests

nature's guests

Marianela has never seen anything like it. “We are nature’s guests,” she says. 960 1280

  

california coast

california coast

Marianela snaps a photo of the stunning California coast. 960 1280

  

california ground squirrel

california ground squirrel

They make a new friend -- the California Ground Squirrel. 960 1280

  

close and personal with nature

close and personal with nature

Marianela gets up close and personal with nature, getting a better look at the wildlife. 960 1280

  

birds gliding

birds gliding

Two birds glide overhead. The Reserve protects over 250 species of animals. 960 1280

  

nettles

nettles

They check out these unique-looking nettles. 960 1280

  

sea lion point

sea lion point

Sea lions sunbathe on the rocks at Sea Lion Point. 960 1280

  

asilomar bike trail

asilomar bike trail

Marianela is ready to unwind riding the bike trails of Asilomar Beach on the Monterey Penninsula. 960 1280

  

state park conservation

state park conservation

Asilomar is not only a fun cycling spot, but also a state park working to conserve its beach habitats and wildlife. 960 1280

  

dune restoration

dune restoration

Birds fly over the park’s dunes, which have been restored to a pristine state. 960 1280

  

beach edge

beach edge

The bike trail drops you off right at the edge of the beach. 960 1280

  

white quartz sand dunes

white quartz sand dunes

Loop through the 26 acres of rare white quartz sand dunes along the path. 960 1280

  

plant rehabilitation

plant rehabilitation

To preserve the park’s beauty, sections are closed off to the public for plant rehabilitation. 960 1280

  

white sand

white sand

Marianela gets her hands dirty the best way possible -- playing in the sand. 960 1280

  

mile long beach

mile long beach

Marianela observes the gorgeous mile-long stretch of beach. 960 1280

  

boardwalk

boardwalk

The boardwalk leads visitors right to the quiet coast. 960 1280

  

beach activities

beach activities

Visitors can take a romantic stroll, play football with the family, or surf on the perfect rolling waves. 960 1280

  

preservation

preservation

Asilomar Beach has made environment preservation a top priority since it was established in 1951. 960 1280

  

little refuge

little refuge

A “little refuge by the sea,” Asilomar Beach lives up to its name. 960 1280

  

beach trees

beach trees

The sand and beach sagewort have created unique soil conditions, allowing these trees to thrive near the coastline. 960 1280

  

beach volleyball

beach volleyball

Marianela receives some beach volleyball tips from coach Mark Hull. 960 1280

  

california attitude

california attitude

Marianela embraces the laid-back California attitude of Santa Cruz. 960 1280

  

sand castles

sand castles

Girls are having fun in the sun making sand castles. 960 1280

  

volleyball practice

volleyball practice

Marianela practices her beach volleyball skills. 960 1280

  

santa cruz boardwalk

santa cruz boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Boardwalk is the “Coney Island of California” complete with roller coasters. 960 1280

  

volleyball mecca

volleyball mecca

Santa Cruz is a beach volleyball mecca with over 15 courts. 960 1280

  

marianela learns

marianela learns

Marianela’s ready to learn how to ‘set’ the volleyball. 960 1280

  

volleyball net

volleyball net

These courts are frequented by both amateurs and experts alike. 960 1280

  

volleyball game

volleyball game

After some practice, Marianela is ready to jump into a game with the locals. 960 1280

  

seaside fun

seaside fun

Santa Cruz is the perfect setting for seaside fun. 960 1280

  

santa cruz coast

santa cruz coast

One look at the picturesque Santa Cruz coast and you’ll see why Marianela fell in love with this beach. 960 1280

  

sailboats

sailboats

Visitors take a pleasure cruise in their sailboats. 960 1280