West Coast Oil Resistance Could Boost Tourism

The past several weeks have been great news for those interested in traveling to the West Coast, but were hesitant about exposing themselves to the polluted climate there. Several key states along the West Coast have decided to make a stand against the oil industry, ensuring that their environment can finally be protected from prolonged exposure to all of the chemicals commonly associated with the oil industry.

 

In terms of specific states, Washington and California seem to primarily be leading the charge against the major oil industry players. This shift in politics also represents a shift in public opinion. While people have been content to let large industries have their way with the land, there’s been a rising trend in environmental awareness, especially on the West Coast.

 

Although this may seem like a poor economic move at first, it’s likely that this will have a tremendous impact on the already booming tourist industry along the West Coast. By stopping the oil industry from continuing to expand or negatively impact the environment unabated, the West Coast has opened itself up to new possibilities for tourists. While it will likely take some time before the effects of these new regulations and proposals are observed, it’s good to know that people will have a beautiful tourist opportunity well into the future.

 

Of course, in addition to having a positive effect on future tourism, these proposals also act as a sort of “ground zero” for future proposals in other states. It’s likely that rejecting the plans of companies like Shell will ripple out into other states where other city councils are debating similar plans.

 

Travel Ban Impacting Travel to San Francisco

Under the current presidential administration, the world and United States have seen a lot of big changes. One way that the new administration is having an impact on the country is through reduced travel. Much of this has been attributed to the recent immigration policies that have been announced and various attempts at a travel ban. While many areas of the country will be affected by reduced travel, the city of San Francisco could be affected more than others (http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/08/under-trump-bay-area-tourism-could-see-a-decline-travel-leaders-say/).

 

Ever since the travel ban at times have been publicly announced, travelers from countries outside of the United States have showed a significant decline in travel to the country. This has been attributed to an overall feeling of uncertainty about being inside the United States. It has been shown that there has been a 17% decline in the amount of Internet searches related to booking trips to the United States.

 

One country that has shown the most significant decline of all his China. Since Chyna makes up the bulk of all travelers to the San Francisco area, this nationwide travel decline could impact this city most of all. In fact, overall Internet searches for flights from an international city to San Francisco international Airport are down over 45% since the last travel ban was announced. While the controversial travel bans have been put on hold by federal judges, it is clearly already having a major impact in the country. This could lead to a big cut into the $250 billion travel history in the United States.

 

New Train Coming to West Coast

The cities of Seattle and Portland are two of the most popular travel destinations along the West Coast in the United States. The cities are both well known for their beautiful landscape, moderate weather throughout the year, and plenty of recreational activities. Those that are looking to travel to these cities may often decide to combine both cities into one larger trip. For those that are looking to travel between Seattle and Portland, there may be a new efficient travel method available in the near future (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/apr/27/imagine-zipping-from-seattle-to-portland-by-high-s/).

 

The latest talks between the state of Washington and Oregon have focused on developing a new high-speed efficient train to transport people between the two cities. The trains in mind will be similar to many of the newer trains found throughout Asia and could travel up to close to 250 mph. These trains could’ve then allow someone to get from Portland to Seattle in less than one hour.

 

While the concept could come to fruition in the future, it is still far away. The two cities and states conceptually coming up with a budget to study the train system more. The budget for planning and research is about $300,000 alone. This budget will support the research into a different train actions, the timeline for construction and implementation, and what the total cost will be. While the train system will start with service between the two cities, it will likely be expanded in the future. Other cities that could be connected include Vancouver and San Francisco.

 

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.