Eye on L.A. hits the road for journeys worth the trip


Sunrise Balloons - Hot Air Ballooning

Eye on L.A. wanted to remind everyone to enjoy the moment and take it all in. So we went to Sunrise Balloons in the heart of Temecula's wine country - a nice getaway from the city traffic and hectic nature of life. Our Sunrise adventure began with an overnight stay at the beautiful Monte De Oro Winery, then an early rise for a pre-reception, where we mingled with fellow "ballooners" followed by a beautiful sunrise and a fun photo session, where we stood inside our hot air balloon! We then fired-up and took to the skies, surrounded by peace and quiet, and a champagne picnic aloft!

Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour- Ziplining

If blasting in the air hundreds of feet above ground at 45 mph in seconds is just your thing, then Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour is the place for you! Eye on L.A. went on this high-flying adventure, plus we took it up a notch with zip lining after-dark too! Catalina's Zip Line offers five different amazing runs with the longest being 1,045 feet long - all surrounded by green paradise and the chance to see wildlife like deer and eagles [Watch video]!

Zion National Park

Designated in 1919, Zion National Park is Utah's oldest national park. The park is known for its incredible canyons and spectacular views. Famous hikes including the Narrows, Subway and Angels Landing attract adventure enthusiasts from around the world. Hiking possibilities here are endless. With nearly three million visitors per year, Zion is Utah's most heavily used park [Watch video].

Zion Adventure Company

Eye on L.A. hooked up with Bill Westerhoff from Zion Adventure Company to load up on all the gear we needed for an exciting day of exploring and canyoneering through Zion. Host Tina Malave even mustered up all of her courage to rappel down the side of a cliff! Zion Adventure Company offers equipment rentals, maps, courses and guided rock climbing and canyoneering in southern Utah.

Big Bear Mountain Resort

We don't get to see much snow here in L.A., but just about two hours east of us is Big Bear Mountain Resort, which features 430 very snowy developed acres, 26 lifts and more than 55 runs between its two ski resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit and it's worth the trip for its picturesque views alone!

For all you daredevils out there, Bear Mountain boasts Southern California's only Superpipe, as well as nationally recognized terrain parks. And if you want to see the cutest thing ever, check out the adorable and fearless kids learning to snowboard at Riglet Park! With the largest beginner's areas in the region, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit feature top notch ski and snowboard schools [Watch video].

Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa

Eye on L.A. host Tina Malave discovered that Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa is more than just a hot spot to gamble. From luxury accommodations and fine dining to performances by big stars, it's all just a short distance from Los Angeles and much closer that Vegas. It's totally worth the trip for a fun getaway that feels like a world away with authentic international flavors to top it all off! Be sure to check out their two newest dining hotspots, Tacos & Tequila and Natural 9 Noodle Company! From L.A., head east on Interstate 10, and Morongo Casino is located just off the freeway at Morongo Trail exit.

Palm Springs

A quick two-hour trip out of the city will take you to one of L.A.'s favorite getaways! With the amazing weather year round in Palm Springs, you've got to take advantage of the great outdoors! Eye on L.A. hit the dunes on an exhilarating ATV and dune buggy ride with Off-Road Rentals and took a 10-minute tram ride 8,500 feet up to the desert mountains on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for a breathtaking view and found it was snowing!

Joshua Tree

If you want to do something a little out there, a trip to the desert might just fit the bill! Only 2 1/2 hours from L.A., Joshua Tree and its surrounding cities offer some fun and quirky options! Must-dos include a stop at the Integratron, an acoustically perfect dome, built by an aeronautical engineer who claims he got the technology from Martians. Step into a living cartoon and stay at the cool and kitschy Hicksville Trailer Palace. Originally an artists' retreat, today you can rent vintage trailers in various themes. The colorful and secluded trailer park grounds include summer camp activities like B.B. guns, archery, darts and ping pong, as well as a salt water pool, giant teepee with indoor fire pit, rooftop Jacuzzi, a recording studio and film edit bay.


Just outside of Joshua Tree is Pioneertown, an unincorporated village which started as a live-in Old West motion picture set, built in the 1940s. Today it's a must-stop photo op! Check out a hootin' and hollerin' shoot out every Saturday at 2:30 p.m., April thru October by the Mane Street Stampede. An all volunteer group of re-enactors perform entertaining Old West skits among the same sets once used by cowboys like Roy Rogers. The shows are free, but tips are accepted and donated to various children's charities. Next, head over to the world famous Pappy and Harriet's. Not only do they serve the most authentic, slow-cooked BBQ in town, but every night they rock the place with incredible live music. Notable acts who have graced their stage include Robert Plant, Sean Lennon and Vampire Weekend [Watch video].

L.A. Labyrinths

Did you know there are hidden labyrinths all over L.A.? Eye on L.A. checked out a few, starting with the Runyon Canyon labyrinth. Then we stopped off at the historic Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale. But perhaps the most hidden labyrinth of them all is in the West Adams area, where we came across the zen-filled Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Garden, right in the middle of the city!

Eye on L.A. journeyed downtown to check out an L.A. classic! For the past decade, Lucha VaVOOM has entertained crowds with a non-stop, action-packed scream-a-thon, where masked wrestlers flip and fly, performing breathtaking acrobatic feats. It's good vs. evil played out in Lucha Libre exhibition-style wrestling! In between matches, the finest, handpicked burlesque acts from around the world will astound you! And let's not forget the raucous aerial acts, pogo-stick peelers and hula-hoop hotties; they've got it all!

But wait there's more! Their color commentary is handled by comedians Tom Kenny, Dana Gould and Blaine Capatch, with celebrity guest commentators including Fred Armisen, Patton Oswalt, Jeffrey Ross, Bobcat Goldthwait and even Jack Black sitting in from time to time! It's a colorful cartoon that comes to life before your very eyes at L.A.'s magnificent Mayan Theatre downtown.[Watch video].

See the complete list of all of the places featured on this week's episode.

[Original air date: Feb. 9, 2013]

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