UPDATE: Northbound traffic to Central Freeway, on-ramps shut down

UPDATE: Friday, March 25, 2022, at 8:50 p.m.

Wichita Falls TxDOT Public Information Officer Adele Lewis says around 7 p.m., a semi-truck appears to have wrecked on the overpass and then its heavy load came crashing down onto the overpass.

What looks like industrial machinery, bashed at least two holes in the pavement and deck and concrete crashed down on the overpass wall below and onto 6th Street.

Courtesy: Texas Department of Transportation (Wichita Falls) Facebook page

Authorities say northbound traffic along Central Freeway has been shut down along with traffic heading north on the flyover.

Any on-ramps heading toward Central Freeway have also been blocked and detours are now in place according to Wichita Falls TxDOT Public Information Officer Adele Lewis.

TxDOT was brought in to help clean up around 60 gallons of hydraulic fluid and structural inspectors and engineers are there now to assess and monitor the damage.

It’s unclear how long the area will be closed off or how long repairs will take.

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Multiple units are working on North Central Freeway after at least two holes were made in the bridge.

According to our crew on scene, a semi-truck lost its load and fell on the bridge causing it to make at least two holes over 5th Street and 6th Street.

At least three AMR units are on scene, along with firefighters, police and Wichita County Sheriff deputies for traffic control.

Avoid the area if possible.

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage as we gather more information.

Source link

North Central West Virginia Airport ready for spring, summer travel season; terminal project progressing | Harrison News

Source link

Spring cleaning: Tips, plus where to donate around central PA

Faith Centre thrift store manager Donna Spicer sorts through items donated May 18, 2020. The organization accepts donations of clothing, food and pet food for those in need.

Faith Centre thrift store manager Donna Spicer sorts through items donated May 18, 2020. The organization accepts donations of clothing, food and pet food for those in need.


Spring has finally arrived, which means its time to put the winter coats away and get out your scrub brushes for a seasonal cleaning.

Brittany Reese, owner of WLK Cleaning & Services in Bellefonte, suggests deep cleaning your home every three to six months to keep dust and grime from building up too much.

“I would do every three months, especially if you have pets or children,” said Reese.

Cleaning an entire home can seem overwhelming, especially if it hasn’t been done in a while, but Reese suggests starting room by room and making a list of the most important tasks.

“Everybody has dirt and dust and grime and you’re not alone,” said Reese. “Just have fun with it and just do your best, and if it is to the point that it’s out of control or you don’t have time, then definitely have someone come in, at least for one day and that will help you start maintaining your home again by yourself.”

One tip Reese has for a deep clean is to look at each room from different heights, sitting on the floor and standing on a chair or stool.

“We travel throughout life so quickly every day and we’re always in our own eye level,” said Reese. “So if you go above and below that’s usually how you can conquer a lot of the neglected areas for spring cleaning.”

Some areas that are most neglected that Reese has noticed is baseboards and door frames.

Hard water stains in toilets are another issue some clients struggle with. For that, Reese suggests mixing equal parts baking soda and low-splash bleach, then letting it sit for an hour.

Spring is also a good time to declutter and reorganize your home. Reese suggests packing up and storing winter clothing for the summer, as well as donating items you haven’t worn recently.

“It’s crazy that we throw perfectly good items out on the curb, instead we need to learn how to donate these things or even reuse and recycle them,” said Reese.

Places to donate around Centre County

  • Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania will accept donations of almost anything you have in your home, including clothes, books, electronics, tools, household items and more. They do not currently accept furniture donations or any large appliances. Donations can be taken directly to the store or dropped off at blue donation bins around the county. Bin locations are listen on the website.
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore of Greater Centre County, located in Bellefonte, will take gently used furniture, including sofas, chairs, dressers and more. Items can be donated Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ReStore also offers donation pickup, which can be scheduled by email or phone. Any upholstered or leather furniture must be free of tears and pet stains. Building materials like working appliances, lumber and bathroom fixtures can also be donated.
  • The Salvation Army has several drop boxes around Centre County to donate clothes for its thrift stores. A full list can be found online.
  • BestBuy will recycle up to three electronic items per household a day for free. A full list of products they will recycle can be found on the website.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store accepts a variety of donated items, including musical instruments, prom dresses, sporting goods, clothing and more. Store hours and a full list of accepted donations can be found on its website.
  • The American Association of University Women is accepting donations for its used book sale, held May 14-17. The last day to donate books is April 5. Hours and books acceptable for donation, as well as a volunteer signup for the annual sale, can be found on the website.
  • Interfaith Human Services will come pick up appliances and gently used furniture to help those in need. Appointments for pickup can be scheduled by phone.
  • FaithCentre collects clothing items, food donations and pet food for those in need. Those looking to donate can fill out an online form concerning what items will be donated.

This story was originally published March 22, 2022 1:17 PM.

Keely Doll is an education reporter and service journalist for the Centre Daily Times. She has previously worked for the Columbia Missourian and The Independent UK.

Source link

Central America struggles to bring back international visitors

The wooden platform surrounding the temple can hold up to 20 people, allowing them to catch a view of the sunset over the nearby lagoon. But on that day, there were no more than 10 tourists, a tour guide and the park keeper.

Countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Belize were popular with adventure travelers before the pandemic hit. Adrenaline-filled activities such as climbing the Mayan ruins, year-round surfing, diving and exploring the jungle attracted millions of visitors from all over the world. But even as travel resumed in 2021, Central America has struggled to bring back international tourists.

In the first nine months of 2021, combined data from the local tourist authorities for Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador show that international tourist arrivals across these four countries were about 35 percent of what they were in 2019.

The sector is still lagging, and while there were signs of recovery in October and November in some countries, the omicron variant is another obstacle on the way back to growth.

Danny Callaghan, chief executive of the Latin American Travel Association (LATA), a U.K.-based group that promotes travel in the region, said that between surges in 2021, travelers were booking and inquiring about Central America.

“But there are challenges … as well as lack of clarity around crossing borders,” he said. “Consumers are extremely wary of the possibility of conditions for return being imposed, with the onerous costs that often apply.”

Because of that hesitancy, hospitality businesses and tourism companies are having to reinvent themselves.

Isaac Herrera, 42, an independent tour guide based in El Salvador, has shifted to offering only small private tours. He works in Metapán, an area filled with waterfalls and hiking trails.

“It has been much better because this way people feel safer,” he says. “I don’t mix groups. Instead, I work with people who already know each other, like friends or families.”

But the private tour route does not always guarantee success in this time of crisis, said Jesús Yat, 61. He works as a tour guide in Petén in Northern Guatemala, commonly known as the “Heart of the Mayan World” for its archaeological ruins. Yat gives tours around landmarks such as Tikal — a UNESCO World Heritage site — and Yaxhá.

“There are weeks where I do not find any clients requesting my services,” he says. “For now, the majority of visitors are locals, and they have visited the sites two or three times already, so they do not require my services.”

In Flores, Guatemala, the four-star Isla de Flores hotel has relied on locals to help weather the pandemic and only recently began receiving international guests — a major shift from their usual business.

“Before the pandemic, we only received international tourists,” says hotel manager Carla Rodríguez, 32. “But after, we started working only with locals, and for that, we had to lower our rates. Until this summer, we had only Guatemalan tourists. Since then, it has been picking up. It is about 50-50 now.”

There have been very few people coming into Guatemala from abroad. In October, there were 50,154 foreign visitors, less than a third during the same month in 2019, according to the latest data from INGUAT, the national tourism institute. While this was a slight improvement on the previous month — arrivals in September were down 76 percent vs. 2019 — there’s still a long way to go. In October, 29 percent of foreign visitors came from the United States.

Ana María Díaz, 34-year-old nonprofit worker, and her father, Ron Goldberg, 75, from North Carolina, flew into Guatemala in October to volunteer at an archaeological dig in Tikal. They felt comfortable visiting Guatemala only after getting vaccinated.

“I studied archaeology and one of my good friends is the director of the Tikal project,” Díaz said. “It was one of those bucket-list items. I wanted to come last year but we couldn’t because of the pandemic. But we couldn’t wait too long because it always becomes harder and harder to take time off. This was the best time; it’s near the start of the digging season.”

In the neighboring country of Belize, the story is similar. The full reopening of seaports and land borders, initially scheduled for the end of 2021, has now been pushed back to February because of the omicron surge. Tourists flying into Belize can enter with a negative test result and have a certified accommodation.

Tour operator Tukán Travel Belize launched in 2019, just before the pandemic. The company invested thousands of dollars in equipment and was able to pay it off in a few months while business was good, says assistant manager Celine Neal, 27.

They have managed to survive and are hopeful for a better year in 2022. Even with the spread of omicron, they have experienced in recent weeks an increase in last-minute bookings and scheduled tours for this year.

“Tourism in Belize has not fully recovered, but with the borders officially open in 2022, more tourists will be allowed to visit, and it will make it much easier for travelers,” Neal says.

The tourism Central America had in 2021 from outside the region consisted of mostly North American visitors. As European border openings and requirements fluctuated in 2021, visitors saw Central America as an alternative. As international travel picks up this year, it is essential that tourists from other parts of the world comes back to Central America, Callaghan says.

“We have really pretty locations,” says Efraín Zacarías, the manager of Raíces del Lago, a restaurant in Flores, Guatemala. “I want to say to international tourists not to be scared, because we have all the protocols in place.”

Source link

The best things to do in Central America

The Central American isthmus consists of seven countries, two expansive coastlines and more than 100 volcanoes. Add it all up and you’ve got one of the exciting regions in the world to explore.

Options for adventure travelers and nature enthusiasts are ubiquitous, and you’ll also find plenty of relaxed island getaways, magnificent Maya ruins and bustling cities. Whatever your travel preferences, Central America can satisfy them.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a repeat customer, knowing where to start can be a challenge – but it’s also part of the fun. In this roundup of Central America’s best experiences, we’ll guide you on where to find monkeys, how to choose islands, which volcanoes to summit and who throws the best parties. ¡Vamos!

Island hop in Bocas Del Toro, Panama

With nine main islands and some 200 islets, this stunning archipelago looks like series of eye-catching postcards, and is unsurprisingly Panama’s most popular vacation spot. Its dockside hotels and restaurants, low-hanging palm trees and crystal-blue water have for many years attracted international travelers. Some have even refused to go home.

Activities of choice include pedaling a beach cruiser around, snorkeling among giant sea stars, surfing reef breaks, touring chocolate farms and feasting on delicious Caribbean fare. In the evenings, Latin rhythms and clinking glasses fill the air on backpacker-y Isla Colón.

Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter.

Meet wildlife on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula

The wildest of the wild in Costa Rica, this national park on the country’s most secluded peninsula simply explodes with biodiversity and eye-popping ecosystems. In the same afternoon, you can traverse a gnarled, dripping rain forest, cross a waist-deep river and take lunch on a wilderness beach – and you’re all but guaranteed to encounter dangling monkeys, shy tapirs and squawking macaws. 

It’s usually intrepid types who venture out here, as the terrain is rugged and remote. But the trails are in good shape, and a guide is required (which is great, because getting lost would suck).

Hiker with panorama view of Lake Atitlán and volcano San Pedro and Toliman early in the morning from peak of volcano Atitlán, Guatemala
Visitors to magnificent Lake Atitlán often extend their trips by weeks – or even years © Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock

Self-reflect at Guatemala’s Lago de Atitlán

Outsiders tend to fall in love with Central America’s deepest lake, extending their trips by weeks or even years – and for good reason. Ringed with lush hillsides, towering volcanoes and diverse communities, this crater lake and its aquamarine waters, a highlight of any Guatemala trip, offer an escape to a simpler way of living. 

On an Atitlán getaway, travelers can do it all: some learn Spanish, practice yoga and stay with a local family; others long-distance kayak, scale volcanoes and throw down with other backpackers in San Pedro La Laguna. Whatever you do here, take some time to relax and reflect by this glorious lake as the rustic fishing boats glide by. 

Explore Mayan ruins in Honduras’s Copán

Tucked into an idyllic river valley, these archeological ruins were home to a Maya civilization whose artisans could carve stone like few others. The sculptures here are particularly impressive – don’t miss the hieroglyphic stairway – and a day spent peering around these temples and the surrounding sites will make you feel like a time-traveler.

Plunge into Belizean waters

Undersea adventures are off the hook around the atolls of Belize, where snorkelers and divers glide over spectacular coral formations and encounter majestic marine life including reef sharks. At the world-famous Blue Hole, divers submerge more than 100 feet into a massive marine sinkhole. 

Reputable tour operators with great customer service and solid environmental credentials abound. And bold travelers seeking a highly personal and adventurous experience should consider a stay on castaway-esque island Long Caye, which is just minutes from the country’s most coveted underwater attractions. 

Market sellers on a lively Sunday market in front of the cathedral facade in the main square of Antigua, Guatemala
Lively markets take place among the cobblestones of Antigua, Central America’s colonial gem © Lucy Brown / loca4motion/Shutterstock

Explore Guatemala’s colonial gem, Antigua

Central America’s top colonial showpiece is an enchanting amalgam of cobblestone, crumbling ruins and elegant churches. To comply with its World Heritage listing, the former Guatemala capital hides all evidence of modernity behind traditional pastel facades, and its plazas and markets pulsate with local life. 

If you ever tire of wandering these charming streetscapes (which you won’t), you’re also well-placed to venture into the surrounding countryside, where traditional Maya communities, verdant coffee plantations and smoking volcanoes await. 

Road-trip through El Salvador’s Ruta de las Flores

Flanked by wildflowers, this scenic 20-mile road through multi-hued colonial villages and undulating coffee plantations is a journey into the heart of El Salvador. It is best undertaken on weekends, when the cobbled streets of five main settlements come alive with local food festivals. The Feria Gastronómica in Juayúa is particularly delicious. 

Regardless of when you go, there will be ample opportunity to shop for artisanal crafts and sample the coffee. Not too far off the route, Los Chorros de Calera offers hiking and swimming near a series of waterfalls spilling from fractured cliffs.   

Feast on the Corn Islands’ Caribbean fare

Foodies who land in Central America simply cannot miss the lip-smacking Caribbean cuisine, and there’s no better place to sample it than on Nicaragua’s dreamy Corn Islands. We’re talking scrumptious lobster, whole fried snapper, heaping plates of coconut-y rice and beans, and (best of all) the rondón. Essentially the jambalaya of the Caribbean, this local favorite features sea bass or snapper, shellfish, tubers, plantains, heart of palm, plantains, peppers and a host of spices.

Local restaurants on Great Corn – the larger and busier of the two islands – serve this stew year-round. Be sure to give 24 hours notice for your order, though, as the ingredients must simmer all day in a spicy coconut broth. The islands also throw a festival dedicated to crab soup every August.

Move-and-shake in Panama City

We recommend staying in the historic district, Casco Viejo, whose restored colonial buildings now house boutique hotels, swank restaurants and rooftop bars. You’ve also got the crumbling ruins of Panama Viejo, the rollicking nightlife of Calle Uruguay and an abundance of casinos all over the city to keep you entertained. 

A short drive west, you can visit the world famous Panama Canal and its impressive lock system. Rainforest and beach destinations are also within striking distance.

Live it up in El Salvador’s Playa El Tunco

El Salvador’s most famous beach is a hard-partying black-sand paradise with killer beach breaks and a distinctive pig-shaped rock formation just offshore. (“Tunco” means pig.) Weekends are an absolute scene with both locals and tourists, and hangovers are best nursed with thin-crust pizza at Tunco Veloz

Other nearby beaches are much more chill, particularly the windswept wilderness of Barrio Santiago, where turtles hatch along the shore.

A man slides down the sooty side of a volcano at high speed in León, Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the only place in the world you can “volcano board” down a sooty mountain slope © PixieMe / Shutterstock

Volcano-board in León, Nicaragua

There is just one place in the world to “send it” down the sooty terrain of a volcano: Nicaragua’s Cerro Negro, just outside of León. The little-known sport essentially involves dressing up in an orange jumpsuit, a helmet and safety goggles and carrying sled-like equipment up over lava-baked rocks. Then, you hurl yourself down the sulfur-spewing cinder cone’s ashy flank. The idea is to go fast, but not so fast that you wreck. What’s not to love?

For the full experience, stay at the Bigfoot Hostel, a vibrant backpacker joint formerly owned by the inventor of volcano boarding. Go with one of their group tours and have a Toña beer once you’ve survived.

Learn to scuba dive in Utila, Honduras

If you’re looking for big experiences on a small budget, consider taking the plunge off Utila, one of the world’s least expensive places to get scuba-certified. The balmy, turquoise waters off this palm-flecked Caribbean isle simply teem with colorful coral and curious fish. Enormous whale sharks have been known to chill on the northern tip of the island all year round, and the tasty seafood and lively bar scene are nothing to scoff at, either.

A scuba diver seen in silhouette from below next to the hull of a boat by the underwater coral reefs in Utila, Honduras
Utila is one of the most economical places in the wold to get PADI-certified in scuba © Getty Images / WaterFrame RM

Surf Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast

Ever since Endless Summer II hit the big screen in 1994, surfers have been flocking to Central America’s Pacific Coast for its temperate sea and uber-consistent swells. The film featured Costa Rica’s Tamarindo, and certainly that beach is a surfer’s paradise. But just a few hours north in Nicaragua, things get a bit more adventurous and a lot more affordable. 

The former fishing village of San Juan del Sur is now Nicaragua’s jumping-off point for all things surf, but its waves are unremarkable when compared with the point breaks and beach breaks found in the secluded bays to the north and south. The hollow tubes rolling into Playa Maderas are world class, and the backpacker beach vibes are strong. 

A young adventurous man zip-lining through the cloud forest of Monteverde
Zip-line canopy tours were invented in Costa Rica – and as touristy as they’ve become, nothing thrills in quite the same way © Wollertz / Shutterstock

Zip-line through the Monteverde forest canopy

We know, we know: there’s nothing more touristy than strapping on a helmet and shimmying into a harness to zip around a Central American forest like some oversized hummingbird on a bender. But the rush is undeniable, and if you’ve never done it, you really need to. 

There is no shortage of zip-lines, particularly in Costa Rica, where the tourist attraction was invented. We are partial to forest flying in the adventure parks of Monteverde, where businesses have stepped things up with Tarzan swings, rappels through tree centers and treetop walkways. When you’re done, head to the Tree House Restaurant for a delicious passion-fruit smoothie.

Do nothing on Caye Caulker in Belize

Sometimes travel can feel a bit hectic. Rest assured that this will never happen on this blissed-out tropical dream island. Think sugar-white sand, warm azure waters and beach bars serving up fruity cocktails and pumping reggae tunes all day long. Nights are on the quiet side, which tends to draw a chilled out, international backpacker crowd and plenty of families, too.

For visitors who insist on doing stuff, there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling around with turtles and small sharks, spying on manatees or kayaking to lesser-explored parts of the island. 

Source link

7 Beautiful Stops On A California Central Coast Road Trip

Right in the heart of California’s Pacific Coast Highway is a section of road that includes all of the thrills of the iconic route but involves less than one-third the driving distance. The Central Coast — known for its jaw-droppingly gorgeous sea cliffs, premier wine country, and mellow vibe — might just be the perfect spot for an abbreviated Highway 1 road trip.

Considered one of the top road trips in the United States, the Pacific Coast Highway is undoubtedly on bucket lists of travelers around the world. But at more than 600 miles long, the road that follows the coastline from Orange County to Mendocino County requires a major time commitment.

One of the beauties of road trips, though, is that you can pick and choose. For a shorter trip, I love the stretch along the California Central Coast, which offers many of the spectacular views and cool culture of the longer route, but in less than 200 miles.

And, considering that the route passes through some of California’s prime wildflower territory, springtime is arguably the best time to make the trip. Not only do the hills and cliffs erupt in a rainbow of colors in the spring, but March, April, May, and June bring average high temperatures in the 70-degree-Fahrenheit range — surely the perfect climate for rolling down your car windows and breathing in the salty sea air.

Although you could drive the Central Coast in three to four hours, this is definitely stop-and-take-in-the-views country. In order to savor the spectacular sights, the world-class wine, and the delicious dining, it’s best to plan for at least three or four days.

Here are seven beautiful stops on the 165-mile-long California Central Coast road trip from Pismo Beach to Pacific Grove.

Pismo Beach sign in California
Photo Credit: Cindy Barks

1. Pismo Beach

Known for its distinctive stretch of white sandy coastline, the pretty town of Pismo Beach is the perfect spot to begin a road trip north along the Central Coast (or to end it on a north-to-south trip). You will find a lively downtown that features a host of seafood restaurants, a picturesque 1,200-foot-long pier, and an abundance of seaside hotels.

After parking in one of the plentiful spaces in downtown Pismo Beach, I found the area to be wonderfully walkable. Start at the pier, where you can get a selfie in front of the large town sign, and then wander along the narrow streets until one of the excellent restaurants calls your name. You can’t go wrong with clam chowder at the colorful Splash Café or a “big bucket” seafood boil at the Cracked Crab.

If you decide to spend a night in Pismo Beach, the Seacrest Oceanfront Hotel offers rooms with an ocean view and family-friend atmosphere. Or, for a scenic camping option, check out the Pismo Beach State Park Campground. Just down the street from the campground, you will find the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove, in season from November to February.

Pro Tip: For a unique lodging experience, consider driving inland for about 15 minutes from Pismo Beach to the Madonna Inn, a Highway 101 landmark resort known for its themed rooms, pink dining room, and lavish design features.

View of Morro Rock in Morro Bay, California
Photo Credit: Cindy Barks

2. Morro Bay

Just a half-hour or so north of Pismo Beach, drivers will come to the coastal gem of Morro Bay, distinguished by the 576-foot-tall volcanic plug Morro Rock that stands out prominently in the bay.

Sometimes referred to as the “Gibraltar of the Pacific,” Morro Rock is reason enough to stop in the Pacific Coast Highway community. Add in the fun beach-and-surf scene, and Morro Bay makes for a great spot for exploring and a scenic breakfast or lunch.

There are many restaurants and cafés in town that serve up delicious seafood with a stellar sea view. Some of the best include Dorn’s Breakers Café for brunch and Tognazzini’s Dockside for lunch or dinner. Plan to spend at least a half-day strolling the Morro Bay Embarcadero and taking in views of “the rock” from one of the restaurant patios.

Pro Tip: About 10 miles south of Morro Bay, Montana de Oro State Park makes for an unbeatable seaside excursion. Plan to stop for a spectacular hike on the park’s Bluff Trail, an easy 3.4-mile out-and-back trail that follows the coastline and offers access to tidepools, secluded beaches, and overlooks for whale watching.

Cayucos beach and pier in California
Photo Credit: Cindy Barks

3. Cayucos

For a peek into the thriving Pacific Coast shipping days of the 1870s, the tiny beach town of Cayucos makes a fascinating stop on a Central Coast road trip.

The town’s most distinctive feature is the Cayucos Pier that stretches more than 950 feet into the Pacific. The pier stands out for its history that dates back to 1872 when town founder Captain James Cass built it to serve as a wharf to ship farm goods from the Cayucos area to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Plan to spend two to three hours wandering the pier, taking a walk in the surf on the Cayucos State Beach, and having lunch or dinner at a quaint spot like Schooners or Duckie’s Chowder House.

Estero Bluffs State Park in California
Estero Bluffs State Park (Photo Credit: Cindy Barks)

Pro Tip: Located about six miles north of Cayucos is a region of steep cliffs and sea stacks known as Estero Bluffs State Park. Parking is available alongside the highway, and the stunning seaside is an easy half-mile walk away. It is definitely worth a stop of an hour or two to stretch your legs and watch the tide roll in.

Paso Robles City Park in California
Paso Robles City Park (Photo Credit: Cindy Barks)

4. Paso Robles

After experiencing a day or two of sea air along Highway 1, the inland town of Paso Robles is the perfect detour destination for an opportunity to sample one of California’s other famous features — its renowned wines. Heading northeast on Highway 46, drivers will soon be in the rolling hills and green-and-brown patchwork that make up the vineyards of Paso Robles wine country.

Featuring more than 200 wineries, a lively downtown, and a handful of olive groves, Paso Robles warrants a one-or-two-day stop along a Central Coast road trip.

For endless vineyard views, check out DAOU Vineyards and Winery or Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden. And for a fabulous lunch or dinner in downtown Paso Robles, stop by the popular Fish Gaucho or Basil Thai. For accommodations just steps from the downtown square, check out the luxury boutique experience at Hotel Cheval, or for a classic in the heart of town, head to the Paso Robles Inn.

Pro Tip: Visitors to Paso Robles should not miss the stunning Light at Sensorio, an outdoor light show by artist Bruce Munro that includes the Field of Light and the new Light Towers. A chance to wander through the glowing lights set amidst the region’s rolling hills dotted with gnarled oak trees makes Paso Robles a worthy destination in and of itself.

Hearst Castle Pool near San Simeon, California
Hearst Castle Pool (Evan Meyer / Shutterstock.com)

5. Hearst Castle State Park

A road trip through the Central Coast would hardly be complete without a stop at the region’s jewel — Hearst Castle, an opulent estate that sits high on a hill above the coast near San Simeon. The castle was designed by architect Julia Morgan for newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and was built between 1919 and 1947.

Officially known as La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill), the castle is famous for its grand swimming pools, lavish gardens, and countless works of art, as well as its movie-star past and sweeping views.

Today, the Hearst Castle is a California State Park that typically is open for tours by the public. Note: Be sure to check on availability before heading to Hearst Castle. In early 2022, the park remained closed to the public because of emergency repairs that were underway on the road into the castle. Updates are available here.

Pro Tip: Just north of San Simeon, drivers will come to the Elephant Seal Vista Point at the Piedras Blancas Rookery. The area has plenty of parking, and it is a wonderful place to watch the seals lolling on the beach. April is known to be one of the prime viewing months for the elephant seals, along with January and October.

Big Sur, California coast
Photo Credit: Cindy Barks

6. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur

With its magnificently rugged cliffs and crashing waves, the Big Sur area hardly needs an introduction. The Visit California website calls the region “one of the world’s most unforgettable stretches of coastline,” and describes it as a “roughly 90-mile-long stretch of redwood-and-fog-trimmed waterfront between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle.”

For the perfect place to experience it, head to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, an area that stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges that feature redwood, oak trees, and chaparral. The main feature is the 80-foot McWay Falls waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the Pacific Ocean.

Pro Tip: Other worthwhile state parks in the area include the nearby Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Garrapata State Park, known for its two miles of beautiful beachfront, a variety of sea life that frequents the coastal waters, and the wildflowers that bloom in the spring.

Lovers Point in Pacific Grove, California
Photo Credit: Cindy Barks

7. Pacific Grove

Located at the tip of the Monterey Bay peninsula, the historic town of Pacific Grove is the ideal spot to relax at the end or beginning of a Central Coast road trip. Along with its lovely setting on the rocky shores of Monterey Bay, the town is also known for its quaint 19th-century cottages and charming streets.

A few of the not-to-be-missed features include the beach scene at Lovers Point, the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, and the historic downtown where spots such as Passionfish and Vivolo’s Chowder House offer stellar seafood cuisine.

Pacific Grove also offers convenient access to Monterey-area favorites like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row.

Pro Tip: For more ideas on things to do in Pacific Grove, see How To Spend A Fantastic Weekend In Beautiful Pacific Grove, CA.

Source link

Accidents snarl traffic across Central Georgia

Here is what we know.

PEACH COUNTY, Ga. — Accidents across Central Georgia have traffic backed up on Sunday. 

According to a tweet by GDOT, in Peach County an accident on I-75 north before mile marker 153 has all lanes blocked. 

They say someone was ejected from the vehicle in the accident. 

According to another tweet by GDOT, an accident on State Highway 11 and Pio Nono avenue has all lanes blocked and power lines down. 

There are no injuries reported in that incident. 

There was no time available for when the roads would be cleared.13WMAZ will have more as it becomes available. 

Source link

Take a tour of Central Florida’s 1st Brightline train – WFTV

ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 traffic anchor Alexa Lorenzo got an tour of Central Florida’s first Brightline train.

Bright Blue 2 is now at the vehicle maintenance facility south of Orlando International Airport.

The train is state-of-the-art and Vice President and Mechanical Engineer Tom Rutkowski couldn’t be prouder.

PHOTOS: Tour Central Florida’s 1st Brightline train

“This is luxury travel at its finest,” Rutkowski said.

There are outlets in every corner, free Wi-Fi, genuine leather seats that slide forward to recline, and everyone has a piece of window. Food and drinks are included too.

READ: ‘It’s phenomenal’: 1st Brightline train arrives at Orlando

“Where hospitality meets transportation,” Rutkowski said.

READ: Brightline begins running trains on new rail system, paving way to connect Central, South Florida

A round trip to South Florida will likely cost you about $200 once the train is up and running.

“We’re 72% complete as of today,” said Michael Cegelis, executive vice president. “We’re making good progress.”

There are three new trains that will arrive later this year.

READ: First look at high-speed Brightline trains that will connect OIA, South Florida

Construction is set to be complete this year, with a goal of carrying passengers in 2023.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Source link

No travel advised in west central Minnesota – Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — The Minnesota Department of Transportation has enacted a no travel advisory on state and federal highways in Douglas, Becker, Clay, Grant, Mahnomen, Otter Tail and Wilkin counties due to dangerous driving conditions. This includes Interstate 94 from Moorhead to Osakis, and Highway 10 from Moorhead to Wadena.

Blowing snow is causing whiteout conditions. Snowplows will continue to operate, but motorists are advised not to travel until conditions improve.

For tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov/workzone/winter.html.

For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.

Source link

CMU Athletics Weekly Preview – Central Michigan University Athletics

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – A welcome sign: The start of spring sports.
The Central Michigan women’s golf team opened the Mid-American Conference Match Play Challenge in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., on Monday with a victory over Bowling Green. The Chippewas are set to take on Akron on Tuesday in a semifinal match.
It is the first event of the spring portion of the Chippewas’ schedule, and it is the first of CMU’s five varsity spring sports teams to get under way in 2022.
CMU will have another spring sport open this week as the lacrosse team goes to Notre Dame for a nonleague game on Friday (7 p.m.).
The weekly schedule comprises nine events covering six sports.
• The CMU wrestling team will look to clinch the outright Mid-American Conference West Division title on Sunday (2 p.m.) when it entertains Buffalo in a dual.
The Chippewas are 11-2, 6-0 MAC; Buffalo is 11-5, 6-1. If the Bulls defeat CMU, they will share the crown with the Chippewas.
CMU, which has won 10 consecutive duals, is ranked 20th in the InterMat national dual-meet rankings and is third in the National Wrestling Coaches Association mid-major poll.
• The CMU men’s basketball team faces another busy week with three games on its docket. The Chippewas, 5-14, 4-4, are scheduled to play at Ball State on Tuesday; at home vs. first-place Ohio on Thursday; and at rival Western Michigan on Saturday. All three games are set to tip off at 7 p.m.
The Chippewas saw their three-game win streak end on Saturday with a 74-54 home loss to Buffalo. Ball State is 11-11, 6-5; Ohio is 19-3, 10-1, and ranked ninth in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25; and Western is 4-19, 0-12.
• The Chippewa women’s basketball team is set to entertain Kent State on Wednesday (7 p.m.) and then will travel to Miami (Ohio) on Saturday (1 p.m.). CMU is 4-17, 2-10; Kent State is 12-7, 4-6; and Miami is 7-12, 3-7.

• The CMU track & field team is scheduled to partake in the Grand Valley State Big Meet in Allendale on Friday and Saturday.
• The Chippewa gymnastics team is set to welcome Western Michigan and Michigan State for a tri-meet on Friday (7 p.m.).
The Chippewas posted a season-best 195.550 score last weekend in a quad meet at Kentucky.


Source link