Category Archives: Travel Maps

Discovering California Surf Spots with My California Maps


Image credit: Flickr

“California is an amazing state. There is a reason that it’s ranked third in our nation for total area with an impressive 163,696 square miles, while being ranked first for total population at a staggering 2012 estimate of 38,041,430. There are many potential factors for this but one without question is the amazing assortment of climates that can be found in California. All you have to do is look at any assortment of California maps to see that there are sunny beaches, mountains, national forests, deserts and let’s not forget that the Pacific Ocean is right there beckoning water enthusiasts of all kinds. A couple of California maps I can’t live without are a California travel map and my assortment of California surf maps.

California Mapsfor Getting Around

The California travel map is an essential item in my gear list before I go exploring California. It includes helpful statistics, a climate chart, conversion charts, interesting sites to visit, hotels, museums and public transportation. As far as California maps are concerned this one covers all of the essentials. The climate chart with temperatures is pretty cool and includes sunshine hours, precipitation, humidity and a temperature conversion chart. I always find it useful to know what kind of environment I’m going to be in so that I can plan accordingly. Can’t forget to mention that these California maps are also environmentally friendly and they’re laminated so if you spill coffee on it in the morning, no worries.

California Maps for Surfing

One of my favorite pastimes is surfing. While I’m no Laird Hamilton I can’t help but find something soothing and invigorating all at the same time about surfing. There’s no better place to surf than California – ok, well, that is debatable, but no one can deny it’s definitely up there. I have four California maps for surfing that I hang on to and use to plan my weekend trips.

California Map for Surfing SB & Ventura

The first is my Santa Barbara & Ventura surf map. This is my favorite simply because I live in Santa Barbara County and I use it all the time. It includes surfing spots beyond Jalama, just beyond Point Conception, and the entire Gold Coast of Goleta and Santa Barbara. That’s not all; it also has famous spots located in Ventura County such as Rincon, areas around Port Hueneme and includes locations all the way to the L.A. County line. If you don’t know the areas I mentioned I highly recommend getting this California map and checking them out!

California Map for Surfing L.A. County

The second in my surfing California maps collection is surfing Los Angles County. This map includes everything from the Ventura County Line, around Point Dume, past Malibu’s miracle waves, all around Santa Monica Bay to RAT Beach and the surrounding areas of the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the Cabrillo Breakwater. The map includes detailed directions to all of the above-mentioned locations so that you can get to your chosen spot as quickly as possibly. It also includes an L.A. County seasonal overview which covers changing conditions so that you can pick the best locations year-round. This California map covers some of my favorite places such as Point Zero, Malibu, Sunset, Venice Beach, Sewer Pipe, Chevron Reef and much more!

California Map for Surfing the O.C.

Third on the list of California maps for surfing is the Orange County surf map. This surf map has two sides to it. Both sides are full of awesome details! Side one covers basic driving directions to all the great spots Orange County has to offer. It includes surfing for all of the O.C., spanning from Seal Beach to San Clemente. The first page also includes surf spots for San Onofre even though it’s technically located in San Diego County. The map not only gives directions and locations but it also provides detailed descriptions of the locations which include useful information such as cardinal directions, swell sizes and much more. Lastly the first side features a seasonal overview of Orange County giving valuable insight into the best times of the year to surf.

The second side of the map is equally informative displaying details specifically on Huntington Beach and Newport Beach’s top surf spots. Similar to the front side of the map it contains not only directions and locations but also detailed descriptions of the different locations. The second side also includes seasonal water temperatures for San Clemente, Dana Point and Newport Beach. There is an average 10-degree change in water temperature between August and January so it’s good information to know. This is an essential California mapfor anyone who wishes to surf some of California’s best waves but doesn’t know the area very well.

California Map for Surfing San Diego County

Last but certainly not least is my California map for surfing San Diego County. While this is my least-used map due to the fact that it’s located the farthest away, it still holds a special place for me because San Diego County is where I first learned to surf. Similar to the surf map of Orange County this map has two sides which both display directions, locations and descriptions. Side one includes all of the surf spots from Del Mar all the way down to the Mexican Border. It also displays a large inset with great details on everything from Black’s Beach to Pacific Beach. The descriptions include valuable information best times of the year, best swell direction, the nature of the break, tide height, wind direction and much more.

The second side of the map includes everything you need to know about San Diego’s north County surfing. It goes into detail on surf breaks of specific areas such as Trestles and Torrey Pines. The San Diego surf map also includes a seasonal overview of San Diego County.

Surfing is an amazing activity that anyone can enjoy. Personally, I can’t think of a better place to do it than California. It’s a large state filled with amazing people and great activities. Sometimes it’s hard to find all of its hidden gems, which is why I use California maps to navigate my way around. So if you haven’t been to California or if you live in California and haven’t experienced all of the awesomeness that exists here, grab a map and start experiencing what all the fuss is about!”

Life’s Atlases


Throughout our lives we create a roadmap of life, creating a directions list that will guide our journeys. I remember when I was a child spinning the globe with my hand, wondering at all the places there were to visit and how I would ever get to see them all in the time I had given. As I grew a little older, my brother and I would bring out our large plastic maps and circle in marker where we most desired to venture.


Image Credit: Flickr

When we moved halfway across the country — boldly going where we had never gone before — maps were a promise that our long road trip would eventually reach our new home. We circled landmarks, and later found ourselves at those promised locations. I remember exploring Wall Drug with wonder, and staring at Mount Rushmore in awe. The miracle that maps can hold such things in their borders!

Maps became a practical tool as I grew older. I had a college job delivering pizza; my hand would roam the massive map of the city, searching for the fastest route — the biggest tip!

Later when I began my career, maps guided me where I had to go… and quickly! Sometimes they were mountainous areas with no cell service; my map was my only promise of finding my way there and back home.

Now whenever I move to a new city, I like to find a map — it makes what feels so large on the outside, somehow smaller contained on the map. In tourist towns, I find my hands drawn to the destination maps… looking for the places that should be explored.

Maps are a comforting thing– a promise of a destination that is reachable.  The distances no longer appear as long when you can drag your finger from one spot to the next. As we all embark on this journey of life that flings our destinies far and wide, I find an atlas, a roadmap will help guide our way back home.”

Physical Map of South America

“Planning the next big adventure can be quite the task. I keep a wall map of the world displayed in my room. The places I’ve been to are marked with a white pin and the places I want to go are indicated with a red pin. I noticed that I had one continent filled with red pins and no white. This continent was South America. To remedy this, I decided to plan a trip to Peru.


Image credit: Flickr

I only had one month to travel the country and I wanted to see and do as much as humanly possible. So I grabbed my Peru travel map and started planning my route. Lima, the capital of Peru, had the only international airport, so I new that would be my starting point. After that I made a top five must-visit list.

  1.  Cuzco: A city located in southeastern Peru that used to be the capital of the Incan Empire prior to the Spanish conquest. The city was rich with different architecture and sites such as the Ruins of Saksaywaman, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and Plaza de Armas, all of which I planned to see.
  2. Ollantayambo: An Incan archeological site located in southern Peru, which is still inhabited.  Some of the must-see sites are the Terraces of Pumatallis, The Bath of the Princess (a beautiful fountain with running water), and Pinkuylluna (Incan storehouses built into the mountainside).
  3. Machu Picchu: One of the New Seven Wonders of the World and the most visited site in Peru. Built around 1450, Machu Picchu is believed to have been built for the Incan Emperor Pachacuti. I knew this breathtaking archeological site was a must-visit.
  4. Quillabamba: A small town located in the southern portion of Peru known as the higher jungle. I was excited to make the transition from the mountains to the jungle.
  5. Urubamba River: A tributary to the Amazon River that wasn’t mapped until 1934 by Edward Strong III.

Due to my proper planning and mapping of the trip, I managed to visit all of my desired destinations. On my return home I removed the red pin from Peru and replaced it with a white pin. I had finally experienced some of the wonders South America had to offer. My journey to Peru was a magical trip that I will never forget.”

Mapping Memories

“When I think of maps I think of dreams of planning and plotting and excitement about an adventure.  During cold and snowy winters in Montana, when my children were young, we’d used an atlas to plan getting to places we wanted to see.

One year, we plotted ourselves a course through national parks and other points of interest.  Personally I’d always wanted to see Mount Rushmore and I thought the kids would be intrigued by it also.  So Mount Rushmore would be our first stop along a way eastward from central Montana.  However, I don’t want you to think that we would ignore beautiful West Yellowstone.  We went there pretty regularly as my son’s baseball team used to play the West Yellowstone team.


Image credit: Flickr

After the visit to Mount Rushmore we then planned to go to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  I’d been there when I was a child and was excited to revisit it.  Again, Montana has its Lewis and Clark Caverns, but it’s so fun to go to another state and experience the culture there.

From Mount Rushmore we planned to go to Branson, Missouri where Laura Ingalls Wilder had written her Little House on the Prairie books.  I’d read those books to my children and then my daughter read the series on her own.  It would be great to look at her homestead and the museum dedicated to her.

Since both my husband and son were war history buffs, we decided our next big stop would be Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  None of us had ever been that far east before!  It would be with mixed pride and sorrow that we would tour the great battlefield and remember Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.


Image Credit: Flickr 

With President Lincoln in mind, the next logical step was to go to Washington, DC and see his memorial, along with all the other wonderful exhibits that exemplify our great country.


Image Credit: Flickr

Planning trips as we did led to my children also loving maps. My son always had maps as a child, and as a matter of fact still has a wall map of the world in his bedroom.

When talking about maps, though, I don’t want to forget globes. After all, the world is round!  We always had a globe in our home.  And now my granddaughter has one too!  We use it to show her where her Daddy has traveled. Maps are a wonderful thing for the family.  These are just some of my memories. What are yours?”

Remembering Summer Travels blog

As the days slowly start to get shorter and those summer flip-flops are reluctantly replaced with boots, it’s important to remember the adventures from last summer. Where did you vacation this year? Don’t you think those fantastic summer trips deserve a special spot in your memory? How about highlighting those trips in your fall redecorating?

[Read: Map Craft: State of loyalty] blog

In Interior design: If your walls could talk we featured instructions on how to create beautiful DIY map wall paper in your own home. Using a wall map and map pins, you can mark off your favorite summer travel locations. These new fall interior decorations will forever remind you of the beach picnics and popsicles of summertime.  Just remember, you still need to put on a jacket when you head outside to rake up those leaves. blog

[Read: Map Crafts: Add a Touch of Class to Your Walls]

Are you hungry for some more ways to how to use maps to remember your summer travels? Check out these great ideas

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Top 5 Pet-Friendly Hotels in Las Vegas

Source: Jorbasa / Free Photos

Las Vegas: America’s pleasure oasis, the ultimate escape. Are you planning a mini vacation to this desert gem for a business conference, your best friend’s wedding, or maybe just a luxurious “you-time” weekend, but don’t want to leave your pet behind? Celebrities take their dogs with them wherever they travel, so why shouldn’t you? Finding welcoming accommodations for your four-legged family member need no longer be a daunting task. Below is a list of the top five pet-friendly hotels in Las Vegas.  So go ahead – indulge in some vices and feel free to take your furry friend along for the journey! Continue reading

Using US Maps to Plan Your Travels

Referencing maps to plan your future travel destinations can be incredibly helpful and collaborative. Whether you are planning a road trip, scouting out locations or trying to grasp the relative locations of cities and towns, large prints of US maps can be the perfect solution to make a variety travel plans across the United States.

Road Trip mapsPlanning a road trip can be tedious, especially if you are unfamiliar with the state(s) you plan on traveling between. A simple solution to this difficult planning process is to reference large-scale, accurate US maps and formulate concrete ideas for your trip. Continue reading

how to buy travel maps on third world countries

Traveling overseas is supposed to be an exciting adventure. It is a chance to immerse oneself in a totally foreign environment, where people speak a different language, wear different clothes, and eat exotic foods. It’s a chance to get to know another corner of this vast and diverse world and begin to better understand one’s place in it.

Adventures need some sort of blueprint. This usually takes the form of a travel map or guidebook. These items are specially designed to be used by travelers or tourists rather than residents. In addition to providing the usually information about a geographic area such as rivers, lakes, highways, and cities, they may include sites of interest to a traveler, like museums, historic buildings, zoos, and cultural attractions.

Finding good quality travel maps can be a chore. In the digital age, most people expect to be able to pop an address into a computer or GPS device and get directions to wherever they want to go. The problem is that these types of maps don’t provide a larger geographical context for travel. A physical map, whether fold out or in atlas form, will provide that context and show other places along the way that might be interesting side trips.

Traveling to a third world country can make finding maps even harder. Due to constantly changing political systems and the inability of map companies to survey poorer countries with no road infrastructure and nomadic peoples , it is extremely difficult for map companies to provide up to date documentation. But there are some that work hard to create accurate and current maps of third world countries.

The best place to find these types of maps is going to be a general map dealer. Antique and historic map collectors won’t have the resources for modern maps and art maps aren’t necessarily useful for traveling. There’s also no point in printing out pages and pages of computer generated maps to take on a trip. A good map from a reputable general map store is the best bet. An online store is going to have a large selection of maps from Africa, Asia, South America , and other parts of the world where most nations are third world countries. that will make it easy to find the perfect map for any trip.