When the Dining Companion and I were visiting Southern California we took a tour with OC Wildlife and Beach Tours. They offer both group and private tours and we ended up with what amounted to a private tour that included me, the Dining Companion, my sister in law and our tour guide Cheri. Our 4 hour tour (we did the Orange County tour) took us to Dana Point and Laguna Beach (the California Riviera I was told) and also included the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.
Cheri picked us up at the hotel and we were off to the Mission. (More about that in a later post) Having seen some of the many Spanish missions in Texas I was very interested in getting to see one of the most iconic missions in California. The Mission that the swallows still return to each March 19th.
After we toured the Mission at San Juan Capistrano we headed over to Dana Point. There is a trail/walkway that follows a bluff that sits high over the beach. It's such a beautiful area and the views are amazing.
This part of the bluff trail was known as the Hide Trail. As I understand it cow hides were thrown off the ridge and gathered below to be loaded onto waiting ships. There's a statue showing a sailor tossing a hide and a plaque that explains why.
Houses line the ridge and the trail passes along beside them. At one point a business man, S.H. Woodruff, got the idea to build a resort along the bluff. Sadly his timing was off and all that remains of his dream are three arches that still stand on the spot today.
After our walk along the Bluff Top Trail we headed to Crescent Bay Point Park in Laguna Beach. Crescent Bay Point Park lies along the bluffs of Cliff Drive in North Laguna. From this vantage point you can view cormorants and California sea lions on the rocks. Cheri brought along binoculars so that we could get an up close look.
|Although just about impossible to see in these photos there are sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks|
Also located in the park area a couple of life sized statues of the California Sea Lions and Cormorant.
If you plan to be in Southern California and are looking for a fun group or family activity I would recommend that you check out OC Wildlife and Beach Tours. Our tour guide Cheri was knowledgeable about the area, came prepared to answer all of my dumb tourist questions and even provided us with cold drinks and snacks. It was interesting and I learned about the history of the areas we visited.
To risk sounding like a broken record (funny, "sounding like a broken record", that really isn't going to mean anything to a good many people in the not too distant future)...anyway, there is more to come. We visited the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, ate at some good local places and just had a flat out good time.