All posts tagged: Travel

Summer Desert Retreat ~ Harmony Vista

Every year when summer hits the city, we start hearing the call of the desert. It might not seem like the obvious destination when the thermostat reaches 90° but for us here at Sirens & Scoundrels, summer and the deep desert have become our favorite pairing for a soul-filling and soul-fueling retreat with friends. We pack up all the fresh organic summer fruit we can find, plenty of iced beverages, pool floaties and board games and head out into the hot desert days to relax and unplug at our most beloved California summering spot—Joshua Tree. Our favorite source for the perfect desert hacienda is  Joshua Desert Retreats. With nine properties spread across the east desert, we have been slowly meandering our way through each one over the years. JDR properties are much like staying at the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo where each room has its own unique theme and eventually you just want to try them all. The same goes for JDR, except here each entire house has its own theme. We …

Best of Fall Fun Hitlist

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl In Southern California, we don’t measure the change of seasons in terms of sun or snow. We measure it in light. Did you catch the subtle shift in sunlight this week—all that bright yellow of Summer fading into the hazy gold of Fall? If so, you may have been filled with a strange urge to stock-pile sweaters and buy everything with a pumpkin on it. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin toothpaste? Sure, throw it all in the cart! Amidst the first-week-of-Fall flurry, we here at Sirens & Scoundrels have been inundated with requests for our “Best of Fall” adventure recommendations. Lucky for you, we happen to be experts on the matter. So to get you prepped for the cozy months ahead, we present you with our “Best of Fall Fun Hitlist”…all the best of the best for getting out into the world and exploring the many gorgeous, off-the-beaten-path treasures that make Autumn in California feel so magical. So grab your list and check it twice…you won’t want to miss …

Bryce Canyon ~ Utah

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Gina Cholick Deep in the heart of Utah lies a surrealist dreamland sprung to life. If Salvador Dalí painted the Grand Canyon full of drippy peach candlestick mountains all melting in the desert sun while Indiana Jones hosted an archaeological dig for extraterrestrial life at the center of it all…that pretty much sums up what Bryce Canyon National Park feels like. At once awe-inspiring, mind-blowing and really pretty trippy. We took a one-day excursion out to Bryce in the middle of our Zion adventure week to take in some new scenery and hit some new trails. An easy 2-hour drive east of Zion, Bryce is definitely the wild child amongst its sleeker Utah and Arizona canyon cousins. If the Grand Canyon is Mozart, Bryce Canyon is Bowie. Nothing to see here but mind-bending intergalactic rock ‘n roll mountainsides incarnate in nature. Upon arrival, we decided to take in the lay of the land as our first endeavor. The road into Bryce is laid out in a loop where …

Zion National Park

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photography by Gina Cholick A couple years ago, I came across a photo of a giant bright peach of a mountainside towering over a meandering aqua river adorned with patches of bright green fluffy trees dozing under a hazy golden sunset. It seemed like something out of a dream. Or perhaps a distant memory from some other world where only peace, beauty and tranquility exist. A mythological fantasy planet that someone managed to come back to Earth with visual proof of. I recognized it somehow, though I had never seen it before. This intense feeling immediately rushed up from deep down inside my soul and commanded, “We must go to there!!” I could almost taste the gorgeous landscape on my tongue, hear it whispering in my ear. My eyes searched for the name of this biblical Eden incarnate until they landed on the word “Zion”. Of course…Zion. I had heard the tales many times from others who had made the epic journey before me but this was the first time …

Summer Road Trip Playlist!

Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl  The dawn of May means one thing: road trip season is officially upon us! Time to make your plans and hop in the car with your nearest and dearest this summer to go explore the big wide wild open! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing highlights from our epic Sirens road trip to Utah’s stunning national parks. We took in the jaw-dropping majesty of Zion and Bryce Canyon and even stayed at the world’s sweetest tiny log-and-tin cabin, Happy Ours Ranch. We’re sharing our on-the-road playlist to set the mood and soothe your soul on all your summer adventures! Car packed, wheels down…go get those tires dirty with our “Dusty Trails” playlist! MAY 2017 ~ DUSTY TRAILS // ZION And stay tuned for this month’s adventures to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon!  Happy Trails!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels FOLLOW US ON SPOTIFY FOR EASY LISTENING FROM ANY DEVICE!~ https://play.spotify.com/user/sirensandscoundrels Be sure to subscribe to Sirens & Scoundrels for unique local, travel & food adventures delivered straight to you! Enter your email …

Wildflower Hunt ~ California Superbloom

Words by Christina Huntington  // Photography by Sarah Prikryl // Contributing Photograph by: Adam Grimes If you live in California, you have no doubt been inundated all spring with photos of your friends and every Instagram model under the sun frolicking in fields of orange poppies alongside the word “Superbloom!” with varying degrees of exclamation points. (PRO DECODER TIP: three “!!!” generally means a 10/10 experience.) While the neon blooms of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve are certainly reminiscent of Dorothy’s intoxicating fields on her way to the merry old land of Oz, we honestly would not recommend this particular destination if you’re looking to get up close and personal with some California blossoms. Officially overrun with way too many visitors who were clearly never taught to “leave no trace”, you have a pretty fat chance of being able to peacefully commune with the beauty of nature at this ever-more-popular spot. But the good news is that due to our record rainfall this past winter, ALL of California is experiencing a Superbloom right now. Just walk outside …

Travel Tales ~ Yosemite

Words & Photography by Alex M. Rice  //  Interview by Christina Huntington Known primarily as a popular summer camping destination, we’ve always been huge fans of Yosemite in winter. So when we heard that one of our favorite recent LA transplants, designer and photographer Alex Rice, was heading to our beloved National Park for a solo winter adventure, we convinced her to let us tag along…by sharing her travel tales with us! We love that Alex was inspired by our same mission to get out and make your life an adventure! So come along for the ride on our first Travel Tales ~ YOSEMITE!  HAPPY ADVENTURING!! xoxo, Sirens & Scoundrels Instead of wearing a sparkly, uncomfortable party dress and hitting the city streets of LA for the New Year, I decided to immerse myself in nature. Although I was looking forward to the new year, 2016 had some incredible memories—living with my best friend in Washington D.C., working with talented artists and traveling with my mother to Montana. But after moving from Burke, VA (a place that was familiar …

Sierra Fall Colors ~ June Lake Loop, CA

October in Southern California. That exciting time of year when pumpkin patch corn mazes start popping up around town, the smell of autumn candles wafts through the air, thoughts of warm apple pies baking in the oven fill your mind and the internet explodes with #pumpkinspice mania. A deep primal need to pull on a sweater, snuggle by a fire and see trees bursting with fall colors begins to take over. Until you realize it’s 90° outside and we’re still stuck between our two seasons of green and greener, warm and insanely hot. Growing up in LA, we only got to experience “real fall” by hopping on a plane to visit our family on the East Coast once in a while. New England always seemed to hold the title for Best Fall Colors in the country. Clearly the Charles Wysocki puzzles I diligently put together fireside on my sunny-and-clear 75° holidays would back that up. I would place each little puzzle piece of bright orange, red and yellow trees next to mini Americana homes with …

Ghost Town ~ Bodie State Historic Park, CA

A couple years ago, I started seeing photos pop up around Instagram that literally haunted me. Images of antique rooms covered in thick layers of dust, wrought iron beds with beautifully decomposing mattresses and dainty wallpaper peeling away in long layers, hats left dangling from chairs awaiting owners who will never return. Perfectly preserved decay, simultaneously frozen in time and ravaged by it. It seemed like a strange fever dream, no way it could exist in reality. Surely these were just film sets, all Hollywood smoke and mirrors built for some weird music video shoot. But as I researched, I discovered that not only was it 100% real, it was right here in our own backyard. Never able to resist a good ghost story, the Sirens packed into the Prius and headed out to investigate the truth behind one of the largest gold rush ghost towns in California and the U.S.…Bodie State Historic Park. Located off the 395 about an hour northeast of Mammoth, things start to feel strange early on as the paved road …

Sirens & Scoundrels Playlists

You can now find all of our Sirens & Scoundrels travel playlists in one place! Our new PLAYLIST page features our hand-crafted playlists for your listening pleasure! Take us along on your next road trip!! Bookmark the link to our PLAYLIST page for some awesome mood-setting jams right at your fingertips!~  https://sirensandscoundrels.com/playlists/ And be sure to follow us on Spotify for easy listening from any device! https://play.spotify.com/user/sirensandscoundrels   Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl © 2016 Sirens and Scoundrels

The Grand Canyon ~ Arizona

If you were a kid growing up on the West Coast, pretty much everyone has a story about being packed up into the car between siblings, Mom and Dad popping in a John Denver cassette tape on repeat and making the long desert drive out to see the Grand Canyon, where you took a bunch of photos that got tucked away in an album, never to be seen again. As a native Angeleno, I somehow made it into my third decade without ever seeing our great Canyon—a strange and shocking fact to most people, including myself. I was equally shocked when last year out of nowhere, I suddenly had a burning urge to see it. It just hit deep in my soul one day, like a command. As a meditation teacher, I’ve learned to listen to these Soul Calls, even if they don’t seem to make sense. So with one adventurous friend in tow, I headed out to see what this whole Grand Canyon thing was all about—knowing it’d probably be a very different experience seeing …

Hidden Malibu ~ Malibu Hills, CA

Cruising along PCH with the top down, laying on golden sandy beaches with the sun on your skin, surfing the crashing waves of the Pacific, strolling into a romantic ocean sunset…that’s usually what comes to mind when people suggest a trip out to Malibu. As Cali girls, we’re naturally big fans of the beach—that just goes with the territory. But what if we were to tell you that our absolute favorite parts of Malibu are nowhere even close to sand or sea? That tucked in the mountains far away from the ocean crowds are countless secret treasures just waiting to be explored? There is, in fact, gold up in them there hills! So come take a little trip with us to discover…Hidden Malibu. MULHOLLAND WINE COUNTRY Did you know that Napa Valley exists right here in the middle of LA? Deep within the Malibu Hills just off of Kanan, a couple-mile strip of Mulholland turns into Los Angeles Wine Country. As you hit the mountain crest, suddenly little green vineyards begin to stretch across the …

Camp Cooking ~ Lentil Stew (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

With summer in full swing, it’s time to go camping! Last week, I let you in on a delicious, quick and easy campout breakfast idea: Hayley’s Crave-Worthy Banana Fritters. As promised, I am continuing to divulge all of my Campout Secrets. There’s nothing like a warm home-cooked meal, especially after a day in the sun. After mountain hiking, dog chasing and river plunging all day, the act of gathering around a glorious campfire in your dusty clothes with an iced beverage in hand is so satisfying.  While the sun sets over the mountains and through the trees, the harmony of the crickets and crackling fire are hypnotizing as you smell supper ready to be devoured. What could satiate better than a piping hot bowl of delicious hearty stew? My favorite camp eats to cook are always quick and easy, no-fuss, healthy hot-pots. The last thing you want to think about when you’re hungry and ready for some serious campfire lounging is making a complicated dinner for the crew. My recipe for delicious Lentil Stew is probably the easiest camp food you will ever eat. It is so hearty, …

Banana Fritters ~ (Gluten-Free & Sugar-Free)

I can’t think of anything better than being surrounded by nature and eating around a campfire. Some people pack granola bars in their backpacks when they go camping and call it a day.  But when my crew makes their way out into the wilderness, the cars are loaded down with everything you could possibly need to make a feast under the stars. Half the fun of setting up a camp for a few days is impressing your fellow campers with a gourmet meal by firelight or waking up in your cozy sleeping bag to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and the sound of bacon sizzling in unison with the river rapids in the distance. It is not a secret how much I love California. We have every magical adventure you can think of at our fingertips within a car ride’s distance. I have camped out under the astounding constellations overhead in the Sequioa National Forest on many occasions. So when I got an invite from my crew of besties to celebrate our gorgeous Hayley’s birthday in the mountains, …

Joshua Tree Escape ~ Godwin Ranch

Last week, we spotlighted our trip out to Pioneertown to see Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires perform live at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace—two of our favorite things colliding in one magical place! There is something about Joshua Tree that just inevitably brings about these kinds of other-worldly experiences—and not in the Burning Man kind of way. We’re talking real-deal straight-to-your-core magic that comes from just being still with the people you love and hearing your own soul speak to you of all its dreams and longings. One thing is guaranteed: when you make that drive out to the desert…you always get your Question answered. Even if you didn’t know you have one. After experiencing The Screaming Eagle of Soul in all his soul-shakedown love-revolution glory, we packed it in for a weekend friend retreat in Joshua Tree. Whenever we head out to the desert, we love to stay with Joshua Desert Retreats. Their thirteen quaint and charming desert properties range in occupancy from 2-14 guests and are surprisingly very affordable. We love that they …

Pappy & Harriet’s presents Charles Bradley ~ Pioneertown, CA

If you’re looking for the hands-down coolest adult playground this side of the Sierra Nevadas, then today’s your lucky day. There are some places on this Earth that are so special, they literally warm your whole heart just thinking about them. There are some people you encounter who are such gorgeous souls, they practically bring tears to your eyes just talking about them. Recently, we were lucky enough to experience both of these things together over one incredible weekend…and our hearts almost exploded with joy. So gather in real close now, because we’re about to let you in on some of the absolute nearest and dearest of all our local hidden gems. Just promise to keep it between us, okay? Tucked just beyond the main highway in Yucca Valley on the way out to Joshua Tree, Pioneertown is everything your adventure-seeking heart could desire…and more. Winding through the rocky mountain pillars on Pioneertown Road feels a lot like you’ve hitched a ride onto Big Thunder Mountain, suddenly finding yourself on “the wildest ride in the …

Crystal Sound Bath ~ The Integratron

When summer rolls around, it means one thing: time to head to the desert. We have a long-standing tradition with our friends to pile up and make a pilgrimage out to Joshua Tree each June. Something about being in the desert around the Summer Solstice just sets your soul at ease and acts like a spiritual reset button for the rest of the year ahead. There’s no better way to gain clarity and focus than to unplug and get quiet for a bit. Our first stop is always to The Integratron for a pop-up crystal sound bath. What’s that, you ask? Read on to find out how you, too, can experience a chakra-balancing musical meditation in an alien-crafted perfect acoustic sound dome… Go get your Summer Soul Adventure on! Happy Summering!! ~love, Sirens & Scoundrels Do you feel like your life is really missing an alien-designed-cell-regenerating-perfect-acoustic-chamber-and-possible-time-machine-in-the-middle-of-the-desert? If so, we’ve got you covered. The Integratron—that afore-mentioned chamber—is kinda unlike any other experience you’ll have on Planet Earth. People throw around words like “magical” and “mystical”. We’d …

Eastern Sierras, CA

When we met up with Daniel Mansfield of The Adventure Project for our San Bernardino National Forest mountain hike last month, we arrived with one burning question in mind. Our common mission is to get people out and exploring all the amazingness the West has to offer. But Daniel’s mission is, more specifically, to get people out into the mountains. So the one thing we needed to know was…if he could choose just one place in all of California to take someone to experience the Best of the West, where would it be? Without missing a beat, his answer: The Eastern Sierras. We were a bit surprised by this, having never heard particularly much about them ourselves. Everyone knows and loves the Sequoias, Yosemite, Mammoth, Big Bear—all our resident beauties. But “Eastern Sierras” wasn’t readily rolling off the tongues of our hike-loving friends. We had to know: what was it about THESE mountains that made them stand out so far above the rest? There was only one way to answer that question. Road trip. Three weeks later, …

The Adventure Project

The forecast called for rain. Not just a chance of sprinkles here and there…full-on El Niño rain blasting with possible freezing temps and snow. After a winter of nothing but broken promises, it seemed our elusive stormy friend was finally arriving to unleash its downpour fury on Southern California. When iPhone declares 100% chance of showers every hour, you know it must be true. In LA, people cancel dinner plans just ten minutes away because they’d rather not “deal with the rain.” But now we were asking our friends to drive two hours outside the city in possible El Niño storms to meet a guy we’d never met and go to an undisclosed location to have an unknown experience—only knowing he was “taking us to the mountains.” I’m pretty sure these are all the things our parents warned us never to do. But, hey, we get to make our own rules now. And after all, we said we wanted an Adventure… We meet at a gas station at the base of the mountains on the way …

Le Garage ~ Sausalito, CA

What’s a Siren or Scoundrel to do when they’re itching for the South of France but also need to pay the rent? Head up to Sausalito and experience the Riviera’s kissing cousin in all its dreamy aquamarine glory. If you really want to set the scene, go straight to Le Garage for a French Bistro dining experience that will leave you asking, “Cannes who?” Sitting right along the waterfront with big white sailboats and shiny yachts glittering and bobbing lazily in the afternoon sun, you can relax with a glass of French rose and dust off those phrases you haven’t used since high school: “Ah oui, Monsieur, je vais tres bien, merci beaucoup. Umm…that’s all that I remember.” Le Garage is a true fine dining experience made refreshingly accessible and delicious. The French owners wanted to bring some of their local comfort foods to the traditional bistro menu. So alongside their exquisitely executed staples like Steak Frites and Salade Nicoise, you’ll also find Country Pork Chops and Crispy Panisse—french fries made from chickpeas. The highlight …

California’s French Riviera ~ Sausalito & Marin, CA

One of the greatest joys of living in California is that you can hop in your car at a moment’s notice and create the instant epic road trip of your dreams. Snow, surf, forest, mountains, desert—whatever your heart desires, it’s right here for the taking. And if you’re like us and dream of wearing stripes while sipping rosé by the waterfront in Nice, then it’s time to head up to Northern California for a taste of the French Riviera in our own backyard! We feel the call of Northern California quite often. Big fans of a road trip, we answer that call by piling our gang into our (eco-friendly) cars and making the drive up the coast. It’s the perfect time to get in some 80’s-power-ballad sing-alongs, have some deep and meaningfuls, explore sleepy unknown towns and their many dried fruit & nut options, and of course—catch up on Serial and backlogged This American Life episodes. On our last trip up, even though we were seeing Hall & Oates play The Greek in Berkeley, we …

Wolf Connection ~ Acton, CA

Does the Month of Love have you feeling the call of the wild? Looking for that perfect hot date to get your blood pumping and make your temperature rise? Wanna let your inner beast out to play? Well, we’ve got just what you need to satisfy your cravings. If you’re ready to TRULY take a walk on the wild side, then grab the one you love (or the one you’d like to love) and head over to the Wolf Connection for their once-a-month Hike With the Pack. Located in Acton just 45 minutes north of LA, the Wolf Connection rescues and rehabilitates wolves and wolf dogs from across the country. The sanctuary is home to about 30 wolves, most of which are neglected and abused domestic rescues from owners who didn’t get that wolves and dogs are not the same thing. But luckily, the incredible staff here at the Wolf Connection is dedicated to making sure that their adoptees get a second chance at life, nursing them back to health and heartiness with loving care …

Mountain Escape ~ Idyllwild, CA

After many years of patiently waiting, winter has finally decided to grace us with her presence in Southern California. The recent rainstorms have brought fresh snow throughout our local mountain ranges…just in time for everyone to go back to work. For those of you suffering from Mountain Fever and looking for a quick and easy weekend getaway, we’ve got just the thing for you. But here’s the catch: you have to promise to keep this between us, okay? Purposely kept extremely hush-hush within the mountaining crowd, Idyllwild is a quaint and charming artists’ colony located just two hours east of LA in the San Jacinto Mountains above Palm Springs. It’s such a hidden gem that we debated even writing about it. But since we are sworn to provide you with the inside scoop on all things off-the-beaten-path-awesome in California, our sense of duty won out in the end. So without further ado, may we present: Idyllwild, the place to make all your mountain dreams come true. The first thing you should know is Idyllwild is …

Stargazing ~ Joshua Tree, CA

Looking for a fun, easy, affordable excursion to entertain your out-of-town visitors this Holiday season? Jump in the car and head out to Joshua Tree for a night of midwinter stargazing! Less than two hours away, Joshua Tree is one of our favorite places to get away from it all and get in touch with that deep desert stillness that always stirs the soul. In these winter months, the best way to camp out is in a little desert hacienda—so you can be sure to stay toasty and warm when it comes time for sleeping. Joshua Desert Retreats has become our go-to purveyor of desert retreat houses. With twelve adorable, well-appointed and very affordable rental properties ranging in occupancy from 2 to 14 people, they have every kind of getaway home to fit your needs. All houses come with fully stocked kitchens, so you never have to leave the property unless you want to. So cooking and sharing meals together becomes a part of the fun. Most houses also include an outdoor fireplace, pool and …

Apple Picking Season ~ Oak Glen, CA

Every Fall I go apple picking. And each time I come back with my bags of apples and Mile-High Apple Pie in tow, everyone asks, “WAIT!—You can go apple picking in LA?” YES. Yes you can. Meet Oak Glen, CA. Nestled up in the mountains about an hour & a half east of Los Angeles, the folks in Oak Glen have been growing apples since 1867. If you imagine Autumn-in-Vermont Pioneer Village meets 1950’s Frozen-in-Time Americana, you’ve got Oak Glen. It’s a magic combo that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped inside a Charles Wysocki puzzle. Located a mile up the mountain, this 5-mile loop of sweet old-fashioned apple orchards actually experiences all four seasons beyond just “warm and warmer”. Official apple picking season runs September to November, when the trees explode with ripe juicy apples of every flavor and the surrounding landscape bursts into an impressive show of bright yellows, reds and oranges. The best time for apple picking is the start of the season. But if you wait until later, there is …

Integratron ~ Landers, CA

Do you feel like your life is really missing an alien-designed-cell-regenerating-perfect-acoustic-chamber-and-possible-time-machine-in-the-middle-of-the-desert? If so, we’ve got you covered. The Integratron—that afore-mentioned chamber—is kinda unlike any other experience you’ll have on Planet Earth. People throw around words like “magical” and “mystical”. We’d say it’s insanely cool and relaxing. A huge white dome in an empty stretch of desert in Landers, CA just outside of Joshua Tree, you could easily believe this thing is ready for lift-off at any moment. The folklore is definitely other-worldly. It goes something like this: in 1953, George Van Tassel supposedly got instructions from an alien race from Venus declaring that humans were the most annoying species in the galaxy because we spend our entire lives being ignorant and destructive and by the time we finally learn what life is really all about, we die. What a waste! Their plan was to help us humans live longer, so we could actually do some good in the world and evolve human consciousness beyond being the bratty teenagers of the galaxy. Tassel’s idea was to …