All Natural! Cachuma Lake Recreation Area

100_8051  Just 15 minutes from downtown Solvang, you’ll love to discover all the natural wonders of Cachuma Lake Recreation Area. This is one of my favorite local outdoor spots—there’s so much to do (or not to do)—from hiking, boating, kayaking, canoeing and fishing plus amazing guided nature cruises offered year round aboard The Osprey, a 30-passenger pontoon boat. During my most recent boat cruise, we saw bald eagles, herons, hawks and deer (not to mention some amazing flora). The recent rains have really “greened” up the surrounding Santa Ynez mountains and it’s a gorgeous place for a relaxing day or a picnic on the shore (yes, the lake level is lower due to the drought, yet it’s still beautiful). Conveniently, there are boat rentals, bait & tackle shop, a general store plus the very interactive Neal Taylor Nature Center—amongst all the cool displays, see how your arm span compares to a bird’s wing span (I couldn’t believe mine was the size of a turkey vulture!) Year-round, there’s free Nature Hikes leaving from the Center at 10am on Saturday mornings. Plus a whole lot of fun events—coming up April 12 & 13, it’s the 19th Annual Trout Derby! Park admission is only $10 per car and so worth it! For more details, access http://tinyurl.com/solvang-cachumalake

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