3 California Road Trip Destination Ideas

Spring break is almost here! With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of road trip ideas for those of you that don’t have plans.

  1. Yosemite

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If you haven’t visited Yosemite National Park, put this place on your bucket list right now. Yosemite is home to some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, including Half Dome (a giant rock formation), El Capitan (another gigantic rock formation) and a ton of natural waterfalls, rivers and meadows that take your breath away. The serene beauty of this place is unparalleled on Earth. One of the best times to visit Yosemite is in the late spring or early summer, because that is when the fresh snowmelt runs into rivers and creates enormous waterfalls that pour down the mountains. If you are looking for an active destination, Yosemite is the place for you. There are numerous trails that anyone can hike, bike, run or swim. In Yosemite you can just enjoy being immersed in nature.

2. Malibu

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Looking for somewhere sunny and 75? Malibu is just the place for you. Malibu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches along the coast of Southern California. This place is truly a gem. Although the water gets pretty cold around the winter months, it starts to warm up around early April/ May, and by summer it’s ready to be enjoyed by all the beach goers. If you want to explore Malibu a bit more when you visit, you can also check out the hikes in the area (which have AMAZING ocean views), many trendy shops and yummy restaurants.

 

3) Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara is yet another beautiful coastal destination for a road trip. When visiting Santa Barbara, there are two approaches you can take: you can hit all the touristy spots including the pier and shops along State Street, or you can explore and venture north a little into Goleta, which has some beautiful lesser known sites. Some of my favorite spots are Hope Ranch Beach, the Goleta Butterfly Preserve and Lotusland.

 

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The Shins at The Observatory

For those of you who are not familiar with The Shins, they are an American indie rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was lucky enough to see them perform on Tuesday, March 8th, right here in San Diego. The concert took place at a cute little venue called The Observatory, which is a restored theater in North Park. This concert attracted an eclectic, artsy crowd.

John Mercer, the talented main vocalist of The Shins, was a phenomenal performer. He thoroughly entertained the crowd with his outstanding voice, sweet dance moves and sly comments. Mercer was the man who formed the band, but they were pretty under the radar until 2004, when their song “New Slang” was featured in the movie “Garden State.” Fun fact… In the movie “Garden State” one of the main characters, Sam (Natalie Portman),  tells another main character, Andrew (Zach Braff), that the song “will change your life.” That exposure, coupled with the fantastic musicality of “New Slang,” definitely changed the game for The Shins, and they instantly became indie rock icons.

This concert was such a cool experience, especially as a Shins fan, as so many other fans  were immersed in the music and having the time of their lives. They played a handful of their new songs at the concert, including “Name For You,” which is featured on the groups upcoming album, and a bunch of oldies such as “Phantom Limb” and “Caring is Creepy.” Their highly anticipated new album, “Heartworms” will be released on March 10th! So, if you are into the indie rock genre and haven’t listened to The Shins, be sure to check them out, online or in person.

Featured Image by Rachel Joseph.

Cool Spots to Study On Campus

Midterms are here! So, I compiled a list of the best study spots on campus that you can use when you need a change of scenery (I know you will, eventually).

Koi Pond– One of the most beautiful spots on campus. You can plop down on the grass or at one of the small tables available and enjoy the outdoors.

Storm Hall– A perfect morning or afternoon study spot. There are a ton of tables and big chairs that make it easy to comfortably work outside.

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Art Building– There are quite a few outdoor tables set up in the shade right near the art store! Make sure to bring a jacket if you want to study here in the late afternoon, because it can get quite breezy.

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Starbucks– If you are more of an indoor person and want to enjoy wonderful aromas and a comforting ambiance, Starbucks is the place to go. There are couches, bar seats and individual tables both big and small – all perfect spots to spread out your work and get back to the grind!

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Life Science North Building– There are few small tables here near the SDSU Greenhouse. They are located in a remote garden, so if you want to be surrounded by plants and fresh, earthy air definitely study here!

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Mediterranean Garden– My personal favorite! The garden is located by the Physical Science building and has a ton of beautiful succulents, fountains and other lush plants. There are cute tile tables and benches where you can sit back, relax and enjoy the nature!

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Study hard, Aztecs!

3 of The Best Coffee Destinations in San Diego

Holsem Coffee 

2911 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
619-546.8542

What is not to love about Holsem Coffee? Located in North Park, one of the most hip and artsy neighborhoods in San Diego, this coffee shop exceeds all customer expectations. It has an incredible menu that includes a variety of exotic coffees and a delicious assortment of snack plates. The cold brew drinks are insane – some examples are Colada (a creamy coconut), Banana Bread (banana bread+milk+honey), Nutella (dark chocolate+hazelnut), Lemon Meringue (lemon zest+thyme+sugar+cream) and Gingersnap (fresh muddled ginger+nutmeg+maple syrup+cream). They also serve all sorts of teas, sodas and some amazing lattes! Who knew you could order a baklava or lavender latte!? This coffee shop also stands out due to its unique style. From the modern, sleek interiors to the catchy folk/ indie playlists to the creative menu, your experience here will be unlike any other.

 

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Moniker Coffee Co.

2860 Sims Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

What I enjoyed most about this lovely coffee shop was its open, airy interiors and comfortable environment. If you’re looking for a place to study, cultivate ideas or just relax with some friends, this is the place for you. There is seating both inside (there are a few couches, bar seats, and tables) as well as outside on the patio. The aesthetics of this place is amazing- there are succulents hanging, surf boards lined up along the walls, and old fashioned beach cruisers on display as you walk in. Moniker also has a wonderful assortment of pastries and specialty coffees and teas to choose from! I got the caramelized pear tea which had a sweet honey and baked pear taste. Amazing!

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Swell Coffee Co. 

2670 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014

3833 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

There are so many perks to this beautiful coffee destination – its homey interiors, good eats, artisan coffee selection and overall great company values. I love the brick walls, wood panel flooring and many plants. Swell is the perfect study, hangout or causal lunch spot. It has plenty of indoor seating, with big tables that provide a lot of work space (great for college students or study dates), as well as outdoor and bar seating. The food options include an assortment of different sandwiches, salads, bowls and bagels. Swell also has smoothies, espresso drinks, lattes and much more! Check it out the next time you are in Del Mar or by Mission Beach and need your coffee or tea fix.

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