There's nothing scientific about this list. This fun stuff that we find interesting about California beach names, flowers, trains, nude beaches and UFOs is based on casual observation. More facts...

  • Great California beach names include Pebble Beach and Pebbley Beach, Windansea Beach, Silver Stand, Hollywood Beach, Sunset Beach and Pirate's Cove. A few beach names are repeated throughout the state.
  • Flower fields are disappearing in Lompoc, but there are flowers in Carlsbad and we recently spotted flower fields in Carson, believe it or not.
  • It's hard to find hotels and tourist attractions in Gonzales and Chualar but for real California culture, drive through this farm belt and see where many of the vegetables are grown. Several nearby towns and cities include agriculture museums.
  • California Trains, Trams, Cable Cars and more. California has an amazing collection of antique and historic trains, many of them available for rides. See Roaring Camp in Felton for an example of the fun you can experience, Knotts Berry Farm, the Skunk Train from Fort Bragg to Willits and even the Napa Wine Train. Perhaps the finest collection of antique trains is located in Old Sacramento at California State Railroad Museum ( From a single Red Car in Seal Beach to many trains and rail cars at the Orange Empire Railroad Museum in Perris (, Golden Gate Railroad Museum in San Francisco (, Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad (, Travel Town Museum at Griffith Park near the L.A. Zoo in Los Angeles, Western America Railroad Museum in Barstow ( and Western Railway Museum in Suisun (, there is no shortage of antique trains to enjoy throughout the state.
  • Nude beaches are not advertised by those who enjoy naturist activities. Arriving quite by accident at one such beach, we quickly learned there's a code of ethics. The locals request no gawking and no cameras.  Here's a small sampling of the California nude beaches: Pirate's Cove, Avila Beach, Santa Cruz beaches, Blackie's in San Diego County and Gray Whale Cove State Beach, one of the few beaches in California officially recognized as a naturist or clothing optional beach.
  • UFOs in California? California is a "hotbed" of UFO activity according to several clubs and organizations such as the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). From the great L.A. flyover and blackout during WWII to the Rex Heflin black and white Polaroid photos of a hat-shaped craft photographed in Santa Ana in the 1960s, thousands of sightings in California have been examined by clubs that meet monthly in northern and southern California to study the UFO phenomenon. Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Ventura, Central Coast and San Francisco all hold meetings regularly and host field trips to look for objects. Among those performing significant research in ufology, Dr. Roger Leir, M.D., of Thousand Oaks, has worked with teams of surgeons to remove implants that have been examined by labs to determine their origin after.
  • Sand castle contests are extremely popular and draw not only thousands of castle enthusiasts but professionals who make a living sculpting sand. Imperial Beach and Carmel are several locations with annual sand castle contest events. There's not only an art to building sand sculptures but also preferred types of sand that work best. Gerry Kirk travels the world building sand castles. In fact, his team is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for a 64-foot (19-meter) structure built on Fiesta Island near San Diego. Kirk's pick for best castle-building beach is Seal Beach. Outside the United States, his pick is Cabo Pulmo, on the tip of Baja California.  You need something that will take compaction. You can pack it up and it'll hold its shape. That requires a good mix of grain size without getting too large a grain. Color also is important for contrast when you are carving windows in your sand castle. If it's a lighter colored sand, you get a nice contrast. Seal Beach is dark sand but when it dries out it's light enough to make really good contrast." See list of contests
  • On location filming in Orange County California includes: Ghost Whisperer at the plaza in Orange; Kick Off Your Shoes in Brea; Date My Mom in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach; Laguna Beach: The Real OC in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Irvine; Yours Mine and Ours in Buena Park. 
  • There are approximately 1000 miles of California Beaches that range from flat sandy expanses to sheer, rock cliffs. Locals love their beaches and try to keep them a secret in many cases. In Santa Cruz there's a beach called Privates where you have to purchase a key at a surf shop to gain entry. In San Luis Obispo there's a beach that's warmer than any for miles each direction due to special weather conditions. At Sea Ranch on Sonoma Coast the locals warn to not get too close and disturb the sea lions. In several locations along the California coast Snowy Plover birds actually cause entire beaches to close for months during their nesting season. Some beaches have rocks, some have sand.  The sand can vary from black to white in color.

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