Travel to California Through Self Driving Car

California is one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States. While people from far distances often travel to California by either plane, train, or car, there will soon be a new way for people to get to California. According to a recent new article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4458768/Tesla-self-driving-cars-travel-California-NY.html), it will soon be possible to get to the state through the use of a self driving car.

 

According to Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla, it will soon be possible to use Tesla’s self driving car to get from New York to California. The new self driving service is in use in some markets and is still being beta tested, but there are a lot of reports that state that the service will be in full swing by the end of the year. The company already has released a detail way for people to get across the country while having plenty of battery by using a number of different stops along the way.

 

Ever since the first generation of electric cars was released a few years ago, Tesla has been one of the most popular cars on the road. It is also a very popular option for investors. The stock has gone up a lot in value over the past few months and it is now the second most valuable car producers, based on market capitalization. The company is considered to have a lot of different growth areas as well as they continue to look into trucks and commercial vehicles.

 

The American West Coast is Ripe for Gastronomical Tourism

Tourists in the United States who are looking for the best cuisine they can taste during their visits should strongly consider staying in the West Coast. According to the 2017 list of Best New Chefs published by Food & Wine Magazine, more than half of the selected chefs are from California, Oregon and Washington.

 

Up until the late 20th century, New York, Miami and New Orleans routinely topped the lists of best chefs; however, that no longer seems to be the case. The West Coast has been quietly dominating the American gastronomical scene, and this is a trend that many tourists are noticing.

 

Some of the best restaurants in the United States are either located in the West Coast or are otherwise managed by West Coast chefs. One such restaurant is Han Oak in Portland, operated by a chef who trained in New York before moving back home to open a Korean eatery that specializes in noodles, dumplings and barbecues.

 

The abundance of fresh produce in California, Oregon and Washington is another reason why local chefs are either returning or choosing to stay in the West Coast. Such is the case of Kismet, a trendy restaurant in Los Angeles that features a Mediterranean menu. It so happens that California’s agriculture offers many of the fresh ingredients needed in Turkish, Greek and Italian recipes, and this is something that chefs can certainly appreciate.

 

Another restaurant attracting many tourists is Californios, located in San Francisco. This restaurant is dedicated to the fusion of Californian and Mexican cuisines, and the result is tastier than Tex-Mex.

 

West Coast Travel to and from Hawaii to get Cheaper

One of the most popular flights for tourists is from the west coast of the United States to Hawaii. For people that live anywhere in the country, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco are very common places for a layover. Unfortunately, travel to and from the west coast to Hawaii is often very expensive. While flying to Hawaii is not cheap, there is an airline today that is boasting incredibly low prices (http://www.cntraveler.com/story/flight-deal-hawaii-from-350-round-trip).

 

Virgin Airlines, which is already known for its great service compared to other major airlines, is now providing very low fares for people that are trying to go from the west coast to one of several different Hawaiian destinations. Virgin America is now offering round trip flights from Los Angeles to Maui and Honolulu for as low as $350. Those that are looking to travel to and from San Francisco and Seattle will also get great deals.

 

These prices that are offered by the airlines are less than half of what some competing airlines are offering today. Those that are looking to take a trip and would like to save money should consider booking soon. The company will be only offering these rates for summer travel. Once the current promotion is over, flights are likely to go back up to where they were in the past. Those that are looking to travel could either book the flights directly through the airline or take advantage of package deals through Expedia and other online travel booking websites available today.

 

Photographer Begins Road Trip to Capture Abandoned Drive-Ins

Lindsey Rickert is a photographer passionate about drive-in movie theaters. While she has fond memories of her first viewing at age seven or eight, a chance encounter in Oregon rekindled her interest in those venues right as their operations have continued to diminish. Currently, only 324 drive-ins are operational; a ghost of a movie-going experience that used to number in excess of 4,000 locations.

 

After encountering Oregon’s abandoned 99W drive-in, Rickert decided to plan a road trip. Her goal: to photograph as many drive-ins in the country as possible. Rickert’s portfolio for this adventure covered 28 different theaters, some of which are still operational.

 

Rickert began planning her route by combining Google and Flickr to find websites dedicated to drive-ins. She then laid out a massive map and started pushing thumbtacks into every point of interest until a route began to manifest. After marking the abandoned sites, Rickert planned out the best path to travel between abandoned and active sites-only one site was discovered demolished.

 

When asked about her favorite locales, Rickert was awestruck by an abandoned theater in Nevada, right as a heavy storm began to rage. After the weather cleared, Rickert was able to capture a beautiful sunset rainbow against the theater’s projection wall.

 

When asked about why some people are nostalgic for something that many have never experienced, Rickert likened drive-ins as a metaphor for the transition from analog to digital. Even if they are kept operational, drive-ins are mostly seen as relics of a previous era.

 

Traveling To The West Coast May Be A Wet And Politically Charged Adventure

A late-season Pacific storm has Northern California in its crosshairs. Rain and damaging winds in Northern California seem to be the norm in April even though March was relatively dry. After four years of no rain, California is wet again, and the spectacular wildflower displays in central and southern California are proof that the drought is over. But California always has some sort of challenge to face, or goal to accomplish, whether it is the weather, environmental safety, water conservation or keeping Trump and his policies out of the state. California is a notoriously blue state. The Trump victory was an agonizing defeat for Californians. But they are not giving up the fight to one-up Trump on everything social and political. The California legislature just passed the largest gas tax increase ever. The gas tax increase is projected to raise more than $52 billion over the next ten years.

 

 

Instead of just talking about the crumbling infrastructure, California is doing something about the deteriorating bridges, roads and public transit systems. Falling oil prices, increase fuel efficiency and the popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles in the state has impacted tax revenue. The estimated shortfall in bridge and road repair money is $135 billion, and the 12-cent per gallon gas tax increase will plug the money drain a little. The state is also putting new taxes on diesel fuel, increasing registration fees, and adding a $100 annual fee on electric cars. California is the 18th state to increase gas taxes over the last four years. The Trump administration is talking about funding infrastructure initiatives, but Governor Jerry Brown is actually doing something about the issue. California will still need federal funds to address all the infrastructure challenges in the state, but the gas increase is a very important first step.

 

 

People traveling to California, and to other West Coast states, should pay attention to the weather patterns that seem to be wetter rather than dry this spring. Visitors should also be aware that the price of gas will make the trip to the West Coast more expensive. But in spite of the weather and politics, there is nothing like a trip to California in spring and early summer.

Scenic Train Rides on the West Coast

Desperation motivated my first train ride. My car had broken down in Stockton, California and I had just a few hours to get to work in San Jose. 75 miles never seemed so far. Ruling out the bus (too slow) and a taxi (too expensive) I found my way to the A.C.E. train station. A commuter train, the Altamont Corridor Express runs daily from Stockton to San Jose and back. Boarding with the low expectation of a boring ride, I was instead treated to a gorgeous scenic journey through pasture lands and lush canyons. And I could relax with my coffee and actually enjoy the scenery. The short trip opened my eyes to train travel. The following are two of my favorite west coast train rides.

 

Amtrak’s Coast Starlight

 

The Coast Starlight makes an epic 35-hour trip from Los Angeles to Seattle, winding its way through some of the most picturesque parts of California, Oregon and Washington states. The train boasts an observation car with floor to ceiling windows and comfortable, outward facing, chairs to take in the grandeur. The route parallels the California coast before heading inland through rolling hills and vineyards. Although a portion of the journey occurs overnight, you can still witness many amazing lakes and waterways including Lake Shasta, the Columbia River, the Willamette River, Puget Sound and more. Amtrak also permits you to get on and off the train as often as you like, allowing for an extended tour if desired.

 

 Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

 

The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad offers a charming 90-minute trip on board a steam-powered locomotive. This small, tourist train offers a fully open car, a covered car and a fully enclosed and restored passenger car. You can even ride in the engine car for a small additional fee. The train ride is family friendly and allows dogs in the open car. The views of Tillamook Bay are unsurpassed and the surrounding marshlands also offer unforgettable views. The most popular train ride goes between the towns of Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi, with a brief 30-minute layover.

Planning a Trip to the West Coast

Whether you’re going to Disney World or just want to have fun on the beaches of California, carefully planning your trip will have a huge impact on your experience. From choosing the hotel to renting the car, there are a lot of things you’ll need to do before your trip can get underway.

 

The Californian coast is the least crowded during the autumn months. If you’re looking to travel to the state without the huge crowds that are often present, it’s important to go during the off-season. Planning out the trip months in advance also helps you to save a lot of money as flights and hotels will offer their best rates about four to six months before your trip happens.

 

First, you’ll need to figure out which airline you’ll be taking to get to California. The cheaper flights will have a lot of transfers, which can get annoying but will wind up saving you a lot of money on your trip. You can also choose to drive cross country, but expect this to take about a week if you’ll be coming from the east coast.

 

You need to rent a hotel for the entire time you’ll be staying to have a safe, comfortable place to rest. Hotels offer frequent stay rewards, so make use of these discounts if you travel a lot. The hotel may also offer cheaper rates if you’ll be getting there during the week as opposed to the weekend.

 

When you take a plane to California, you will need to rent a car to get around. Even if you’re planning on staying in Disney World, you may still need a car to get to different areas outside of the park. Car rentals can be pretty expensive, especially if you put additional insurance on the vehicle, but they are a necessary evil when traveling. Most car rental companies can be found inside the airport where you’ll be arriving.

 

Before you actually get to California, create an itinerary of what you and your family will be doing. This ensures that each day you’re there, you’re having lots of enjoyable fun and a trip you won’t soon forget.

 

California Emission Laws

In a recent article by Buzzfeed News, a clash between The State of California and the new White House Administration has been reported concerning the laws auto makers must abide by. The confusion is between an Obama White House Policy which allowed California the ability to grant itself waivers from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Policy mandating car manufacturers produce vehicles with at least 54.5 miles to the gallon fuel efficiency.
These waivers were not intended to decrease the strictness of emissions in the state, but rather allowed California to make harsher regulations due to the higher prevalence of greenhouse gases produced by traffic in this area of the United States. California also has the ability to make its own laws regarding the use of electric vehicles under the previous policy.
With a new president, has came a shift in the way emissions are viewed by lawmakers in Washington D.C. President Donald Trump has moved forward with a plan to decrease the mandated fuel efficiency of new vehicles and remove the California waiver granting process. Opponents of the new administration claim that this will destroy almost a million jobs related to the car production industry.
Unfortunately for California, the struggle for cleaner air has started to become a back-and-forth battle beginning with the Bush administration in 2007 proposing more relaxed emission laws similar to the current White House Administration’s plan. In 2012, Barack Obama allowed California the ability to make its own emission laws, now in danger of being stripped once again by a conservative White House.
Regardless of the changing power structure in Washington, gas prices have decreased drastically since the Bush-era policies and California will have to once again adapt to the changing landscape of transportation practices within its own borders.

Saving Money Traveling to the West Coast

Traveling to a new area for your next vacation is a liberating way to experience something unknown and exciting. Millions of people vacation on the west coast each year because of all the amenities and tourist spots available to them. California alone has Disney World, Yosemite National Park and Hollywood. Unfortunately, planning your trip to California can be expensive and confusing. First, you need to have a specific time frame in which you’ll be visiting the state. When you know you’ll be there for, say, a week, you can better plan out your trip.

The next thing to plan is whether you’ll be taking a plane to fly there or you’ll be driving your car. Driving a car can save you money, but it takes about a week to get to California from the east coast. Planes are faster for traveling but much more expensive. In fact, you should expect to pay a few thousand dollars for your whole family to take a flight to California. The way to save on flights is by booking your plane months in advance of your trip. Compare the different airlines to determine the best price for your needs.

Another way to save money on your trip to the west coast is by finding an affordable hotel. Hotels can charge upwards of $200 a night in California if you aren’t careful with which one you’re choosing. Most hotels offer loyalty programs for people who are staying for longer than a night or two. Hotel comparison sites are specifically designed to help people save on hotel rates. While it might seem advantageous to stay in a hotel directly in Disney, you’ll find this to be the most expensive option available to you and it can do a number to the strict budget you’re working with.

Planning Your Trip to Disneyworld in California

Taking a trip to Disney in California is a fantastic opportunity to check out the venues and rides specific to this particular theme park. Unfortunately, making the trip can be confusing and expensive if you’ve never been there before. As a general rule, you’re better off planning for the trip months in advance before actually going on vacation. You’ll get better airfare and hotel rates if you book everything at least three or four months in advance to the trip. Use hotel and flight comparison sites to find the best deals available to you.

Because Disney is such a large theme park with adjoining amenities throughout the area, you’ll need to have a set plan for which park you’ll be visiting on which day. If you’re traveling to California for a week, you should have more than enough time to catch all the sights. However, if you’re only going for a long weekend, you need to establish a goal for which parks you’d like to see and which ones you’d rather forgo. This allows you to experience the full fun of a specific park without feeling confused or overly rushed.

If you’ll be in the area for months, you might want to consider getting a season pass to Disney and Universal. These season passes give you full access to the park every day of the season without requiring you to spend money each day to take advantage of rides. Even though season passes can be quite an expense for you and your family, the price you pay will actually save you money if you make good use of it. There are lots of apps and sites that offer additional discounts to people looking to visit Western Disney and would like to save money on their entire trip while they’re there.