The Coast News Group
People in kayaks watching gray whale
Get up close and personal with the gray whales that are migrating south along our coast toward the warmer waters of Baja California. Everyday California in La Jolla offers guided kayak tours. Courtesy photo
Columns Hit the Road

A whale of a time, close to home

The East and Midwest are buried under snow and ice, and that means it’s time for the annual gray-whale parade off our coast. It’s happening through the end of March, and if you’re looking to get up close and personal, try greeting the leviathans in a kayak.

The two-hour, guided tour off the La Jolla coast is thrilling, educational and definitely comes with bragging rights. The adventure is yours at Everyday California.

Besides communing with the whales, what else brings visitors to our wonderful corner of the country?

According to Destination Analysts, it’s San Diego County’s scenic beauty, local road trips, warm weather, outdoor activities, historic sights, regional restaurants and street food. We’ve got it all, but prospective visitors need to be reminded. That’s why the San Diego Tourism Authority is spending $8 million to advertise our virtues in a “Happy and You Know It” campaign. You’ll see the ads during the Super Bowl’s pregame coverage, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, NCAA March Madness and the NBA regular season. Ads also will run on television, digital platforms, radio and billboards in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Sacramento markets.

So, the visitors are coming, so before they descend, play tourist yourself and check out some of my favorite, off-the-beaten-tourist-track destinations:

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If learning how to safely ride a scooter, e-bike or even a regular bicycle is on your list, the San Diego County Bike Coalition is sponsoring a Love to Ride free event 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 26 at The Island at Carlsbad, 5806 Van Allen Way, Carlsbad.

Activities include helmet fittings, bike and scooter rodeo, e-bike and scooter test rides, live entertainment, prizes, bike repair service, eats and a guided family bike ride at 11 a.m. The coalition is a nonprofit that promotes bicycling and advocates for all who ride.

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Conejo Valley — the cities of Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks — invites you to see “the other side of Southern California” during its annual Conejo Valley Restaurant Week Feb. 18 to Feb. 27.

“This is the perfect time for residents and visitors to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of Conejo Valley,” says President/CEO of Visit Conejo Valley, Danielle Borja. Book a two-day stay in a participating hotel and get a $100 Conejo Cash gift card upon check-in.

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