Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bolsa Chica State Beach and Ecological Preserve

Just north of the hustle and bustle of Huntington Beach is a beach with a different vibe.  It still has those famous expanses of sand and mild Orange County weather, but the waves a smaller, the crowds are much thinner, and mood is more chill. Bolsa Chica State Beach may not have the street performers or pier that its sister beach just up the road has, but sometimes that is exactly what families are looking for. 

Eric's pictures Huntington Beach

Bolsa Chica State Beach has RV parking which makes it a great place for families to pull in and enjoy the beach for a few days.  There are also fire rings which make for a classic beach experience.  Just  imagine cooking s’mores in the crackling fire with the sounds of the surf crashing in the background. Ahh…. paradise.

One thing that makes the Bolsa Chica area extra special is the Ecological Preserve.  It is one of the largest remaining salt marshes in Southern California and calls over 200 different species of birds home throughout the year.  Basically, its a birders paradise.  Driving down PCH, you may not even realize that this special spot is even there.  But if you pull into the lot and start exploring, you will be amazed at what you can find.


We met up with our friends from Go Explore Nature and Fun Orange County Parks for a day of nature exploration.  As soon as we stepped out of the parking lot and onto the boardwalk, we peered into the marsh water and were shocked by what we found- sting rays! I have been to the ocean, bays, and marshes dozens of times but I had never actually seen a sting ray in the wild before.  It was quite a thrill for us all.

August 20108


We followed the boardwalk and spotted fish, large crabs, and countless birds along the way.  The kids had a blast running on the pathways and making new discoveries along the way.  Us moms were making attempts at becoming professional bird identifiers and I have to admit, the whole experience made me want to run out and buy a birding guide.  As fellow birder pointed a very rare red heron out to us and even though we didn’t know red herons were rare before he told us, we couldn’t help but feel excited about seeing something so special.


August 2010

If you would like explore Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve for yourself, then check out Fun Orange County Parks write up to get the details of where to go and what to expect.

Participating in a very special Save Our State Parks edition of Trekaroo’s Spotlight Thursday. Click on the link and see who else is playing along.

Proudly participating in Delicious Baby’s Save Our State Parks themed Photo Friday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Save Our State Parks

I try not to get political on my blog.  I have an opinion on just about everything in this world, but I have always felt like this was a blog to encourage families to get out and explore the world around them and not a forum to discuss health care or tax increases. However, there are exceptions to every rule and this exception is one very close to my heart- our State Parks.


California’s State Parks are in serious jeopardy.  Our state government has done an atrocious job of managing our budget and now it is forced to cut funding.  As a result, many of our state parks are already on reduced hours, have higher entry fees, and a reduction in staff.  Many parks are threatened with closures while others are experiencing increases in crime due to lack of security.  Luckily- there is an answer to our State Park’s financial worries- Prop 21.


Under Prop 21- an $18 fee will be attached to our vehicle licensing renewal and Californians will be able to enjoy unlimited free access to their State Parks.  This will not only save our State Parks; it will also encourage people to make good use of their $18 fee and explore some of the most gorgeous parts of our state. In our current economy, $18 for a year of unlimited visits to state run parks, beaches, and historical sites is an incredible bargain.

January 2008

I have written about my family’s experiences at several of our State Parks throughout the years with the hopes of encouraging other families to get out and enjoy them for themselves.  We have explored and shared Bothe Napa Valley State ParkSan Onofre State Beach, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Mt Diablo State Park, the California State Tule Elk Reserve, Torrey Pines State Beach and Reserve, Huntington State Beach, Pt Mugu State Park, and Crystal Cove State Park and still have so many more State Park experiences left to share.  I don’t want to get you excited about a park, only to find it has been closed due to lack of funding.  And I certainly don’t want to miss out on visiting a park because there is no money in the budget to keep it open.  So please, vote YES on 21 and keep our State Parks funded. Your children will thank you.

May 2008

Participating in a very special Save Our State Parks edition of Trekaroo’s Spotlight Thursday. Click on the link and see who else is playing along.