Surf is a former unincorporated community in Santa Barbara County, California. Surf Beach lies on the Pacific coast within Vandenberg Air Force Base west of the city of Lompoc. The Surf Amtrak Station is adjacent to the beach. California State Route 246 used to run to Surf, but in 1984 the highway was truncated at Lompoc and the road from Lompoc to Surf is designated West Ocean Avenue. Surf grew as a railway town to accommodate the personnel needed to maintain the trains and tracks after Southern Pacific Railroad built a station here for its Coast Line in 1900. In 1909, the schooner cargo ship Sibyl Marston sank off the coast south from Surf. The station at Surf became popular with U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base) during World War II. The population of the town peaked at 40, with most residents being employed with the railroad. As trains modernized, Surf experienced depopulation, to the point where Southern Pacific was only operating a telegraph station. The telegraph station closed in 1985, and it was not until 2000 that the current Surf Amtrak Station was completed. The unstaffed Amtrak station is currently the only structure left standing in Surf. Sections of Surf Beach are closed between March 1 and September 30 every year during the nesting season of the western snowy plover. The closures are in place to protect the bird under the Endangered Species Act. If a set number of trespass violations have been reached during any nesting season (currently 50), the beach is closed entirely. Two fatal shark attacks have occurred near Surf Beach: one on October 22, 2010, and the other on October 23, 2012. Travel + Leisure has listed it as one of the worst beaches for shark attacks.
Mighway, by TH2, allows you to rent your vehicle to discerning travellers when you’re not on the road, earning money and sharing the experience. At Mighway, you choose your level of service and we take good care of the rest. That means comprehensive insurance coverage, customer vetting, security deposits, payment processing and round the clock customer support for renters. It’s a bit like renting out a vacation home, with Mighway beside you all the way.LEARN MORE
By the time great white sharks grow to around 10 feet in length, they start to feed on marine mammals and migrate up the coast toward Santa Barbara and beyond, where sea lions number in the hundreds of thousands. Any beach that is a common haul-out zone for seals is guaranteed to have a healthy population of sharks. “The seals feed on the fish which hang around the river mouths while adapting themselves to the fresh water and waiting for Mother Nature’s signal to head upstream,” says Ralph S. Collier of the Shark Research Committee.
Joshua Tree National Park is immense, nearly 800,000 acres, and infinitely variable. It can seem unwelcoming, even brutal during the heat of summer when, in fact, it is delicate and extremely fragile. This is a land shaped by strong winds, sudden torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Rainfall is sparse and unpredictable. Streambeds are usually dry and waterholes are few. Viewed in summer, this land may appear defeated and dead, but within this parched environment are intricate living systems waiting for the opportune moment to reproduce. The individuals, both plant and animal, that inhabit the park are not individualists. They depend on their entire ecosystem for survival. Two deserts, two large ecosystems primarily determined by elevation, come together in the park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between “high” and “low” desert. Below 3,000 feet (910 m), the Colorado Desert (part of the Sonoran Desert), occupying the eastern half of the park, is dominated by the abundant creosote bush. Adding interest to this arid land are small stands of spidery ocotillo and cholla cactus.The higher, slightly cooler, and wetter Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the undisciplined Joshua tree, extensive stands of which occur throughout the western half of the park. According to legend, Mormon pioneers considered the limbs of the Joshua trees to resemble the upstretched arms of Joshua leading them to the promised land. Others were not as visionary. Early explorer John Fremont described them as “…the most repulsive tree in the vegetable Kingdom.”Visit Joshua Tree National Park
Crystal Cove State Park is one of Orange County’s largest remaining examples of open space and natural seashore. It features 3.2 miles of beach, 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness and an offshore underwater area. The park also features the federally listed Historic District, an enclave of 46 vintage rustic coastal cottages originally built as a seaside colony in the 1930’s & 40’s and nestled around the mouth of Los Trancos Creek.Visit Crystal Cove State Park
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