Top 10 Sights to See on the West Coast This Summer

If you’re planning a long-term vacation on the West Coast, or are relocating for the summer, you’ll want to know about some of the outstanding sights to see.  There are literally hundreds of contenders – places that command attention, locations that are breathtaking, and sights that are nothing short of extraordinary. To get the most out of your stay on the West Coast, it will help to plan your trip ahead of time. For this task, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 sights to see on the West Coast this summer, including the websites that will help you with your planning:

  1. Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, is a storied, hilltop mansion that is open for tours, and is a popular place to go back in time as visitors experience dramatic architecture, stunning décor and more. On 127 acres of fountains, pools, terraced gardens and lush grounds, the castle is open daily at 9:00 a.m. each day.
  2. Balboa Park in San Diego, CA, is a 1400-acre site that has several museums, gardens, beautiful landscaping, historical buildings, and more. The architecture is of the Spanish-Mexican style, and you’ll enjoy the Museum of Man, the Botanical Gardens and lily pond, the San Diego Zoo, and much more.9cbdb536c6455e99756745b6e0e55196
  3. Mount Rainier National Park is home to Mt. Rainier, ascending 14,410 feet above sea level. With wildflower meadows, ancient forests and plenty of wildlife abound on the lower slopes,  there is no lack of dramatic, natural wonder here. The park is located in Ashford, Washington, near Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle.
  4. Emerald Bay State Park, located in the Lake Tahoe, California area, is a sight not to be missed on a tour of the West Coast! With plenty of natural wonders, camping, boating, swimming, museums, geocaching, scuba diving, fishing, and much more, you’ll want to reserve at least two days for this park.
  5. The Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District is a unique area that has been restored to its 19th-century splendor. It’s a trendy area full of restaurants, galleries and shops, and runs from Broadway to San Diego Bay. The Gaslamp Quarter is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  6. Washington Park in Portland, Oregon, is another stop that you should consider. The park contains museums, a zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Hoyt Arboretum. The land was purchased by the city in 1871, and is located to the west of the center of Portland. You’ll want to reserve one full day for Washington Park!
  7. Pike Place Market is a public market center that includes farmers markets, crafts, specialty foods, and more. In fact, there are more than a dozen restaurants at the market, featuring fresh ingredients from local vendors. Don’t miss the fish tossing at the Fish Market! Established in 1907, the market is located in Seattle, Washington.
  8. Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument near San Diego, is the location where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first landed on the West Coast in 1542. You can learn the story of his journey through exhibits and displays, and visit the large statue dedicated to him. Be sure to also visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which was built in 1858.
  9. A great national historic site on the border of Washington State is Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a reconstructed fort and visitor center. The Pearson Air Museum is located here, as are many gorgeous historic homes that make up Officers Row. Hudson’s Bay Company established Fort Vancouver as a fur trading post, and today it is open to visitors from all over the globe.
  10. Pebble Beach Drive, also known as 17-Mile Drive, is a scenic loop that runs along the Monterey Peninsula in California. Lining the drive are famous golf courses, Bird Rock, stunning mansions, the Lone Cypress, and the Del Monte Forest. The road serves as the main road through Pebble Beach, so be aware that non-residents must pay a toll to use the road.

With hundreds of other options for your travels this summer, you’ll want to be sure to look into fully furnished apartments and short term housing for your accommodations as alternatives to the standard hotel stay. For more information on how corporate housing in San Diego, Portland, and other cities can be an advantage for your vacations, you can contact us at U.S. Suites! Happy Travels!

Top Things to Do In San Diego During The Holidays

san diego corporate housing

Experiencing corporate housing in San Diego over the holidays? Feeling like you’ve missed out on a “White Christmas”? Even the most majestic snowstorm outlives its welcome once you’ve spent months being cooped up indoors. Consider visiting some of San Diego’s highlights during the holidays. While most of the country is bundled up and scraping windshields, you can enjoy these activities while walking around in shorts and flip flops!

Hike It!
You can go hiking in San Diego at any time, even during the dead of winter. Cowles Mountain, the city’s highest point, is a favorite among locals, and there are countless trails in the surrounding Mission Trails Regional Park.

Imperial BeachSurf It!
You can experience year-round waves from Oceanside to Imperial Beach. Read more about Oceanside Beach and the variety of activities available here: http://www.visitoceanside.org/info/oceanside-beach/

Shop!
With a slew of world-class shopping centers located in Mission Valley and Fashion Valley, experiencing a shopping high can be one of the top things to do during the holidays. Located in the neighborhoods of North Park and South Park, you’ll discover many Mom & Pop shops selling locally-made products. Check out specifics here: http://www.sandiego.org/discover/mission-valley-old-town.aspx

Whaley-HouseCheck out some of the historical sights
San Diego is rich in history, which makes visiting historical sights a top activity. For example, “Old Town” is located just north of San Diego’s downtown area. Visitors can explore the original site where missionaries settled. Authentic Mexican restaurants and the “haunted” Whaley House are just two sights that attract both tourists and locals.

Drink some of the world’s best craft beers
San Diego is considered one of the craft beer capitals of the world. For those looking to get a little more jolly, Stone Brewing, Alpine, Green Flash, Mission, and Modern Times are just a few of the revered breweries located in the city. You can read about the breweries at http://www.drinkupsandiego.com/

Check out some events
San Diego hosts many events during the holidays. December Nights in Balboa Park invites attendees to gather and explore the park’s many museums. Another popular event is the SoNo Chili Fest, a street festival that showcases some of the city’s top chefs competing for the top chili title. Read about winter holiday activities here: http://www.sandiego.org/campaigns/winter-holiday-in-san-diego/25-free-holiday-activities.aspx

Relocating to the San Diego? US Suites offers corporate housing for your transition needs. View furnished apartment options now at: http://www.ussuites.com/

Relocating: Establishing New Holiday Traditions

Holiday TraditionsWhen you and your family relocate to a city that is far from the people with whom you’ve spent many happy holidays, it can be difficult to keep a cheery spirit. If this holiday season will be the first for you away from “home”, you’ll need to keep a bright spirit and look at this as an opportunity to have some new, fun and meaningful family holiday traditions. The following are some tips to consider to keep alive traditions you’re used to and can be kept, and some tips on establishing new family traditions after relocating, whether you’ve moved into a single-family home in New York City or furnished apartments in San Diego.

The Importance of New Traditions after Relocating

Establishing new traditions, especially after relocating, can be an important way to connect with loved ones, make time for family and friends, and affirm a sense of well-being. It’s important to keep in mind that even when family circumstances (and locations) change, you and your family can adapt and alter traditions – even those that you’ve taken part in since childhood. If you are relocating across the country and you have children, you need to make sure you consider them in your efforts to establish new traditions to ease any uncertainty they may be feeling about holidays in a new place. Your kids can help you sort out new rules and ideas.

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Family-Friendly Places to Visit in Portland

Rose Test Garden, Washington Park

Portland may have a reputation as a haven for the progressive adults among us, but there are plenty of places for family fun. Whether you and your family are staying for a while in corporate housing in Portland, or you’re visiting the City of Roses for a day trip, these spots will keep the kids happy – and the adults looking to extend their stay.

Parks and Gardens

The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park should be one of your first stops for a relaxing and beautiful day out with the kids. Since 1919, the garden has been a “testing ground” of new rose varieties. Pack a picnic lunch and a blanket, then walk along the garden paths amid hundreds of types of flowers. It’s hard to take a bad photograph anywhere in the garden, so it’s a great place to go when you want to add to the family photo album.

Portland also has many beautiful parks and playgrounds. One of those parks is on Mount Tabor – an extinct volcano. During construction of the Mt. Tabor Park in 1912, workers discovered volcanic cinders which were later used in making the park’s roads. Are you living in Portland due to a long-term business project? Mount Tabor is a great place to explore. The park features picnic areas, play areas, a basketball court, dog park, horseshoe pit, walking paths – paved and unpaved – a picnic shelter, a performance stage, tennis courts, volleyball court, and wedding site.

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How to Help Your Child Adjust Through Comfortable Corporate Housing

kidsYou’ve got a major project at work, but it requires travel time. Lots of travel time. It might be time to think about relocating, even if it’s just for several months.

But that can be difficult on the entire family, especially children. Moving makes it challenging for kids to build relationships, according to a study from the Journal of Social and Personality Psychology found in Psychology Today. That’s why you have to pay just as much attention to how your kids are handling the transition as you do the work project itself. One potential solution? Corporate housing. Finding furnished apartments in Portland, especially with full amenities, can help make that difficult transition a little easier on your children.

Relation of Quality Furnishing and Stress with Kids

One of the best ways to make the transition go a little more smoothly is to try to mimic your permanent home environment as much as possible. That means don’t overlook the furnishings. Bad housing can have negative effects on a child, according to a study by Boston College and reported by Good Therapy. The study shows that children are more stressed when the quality of their living quarters isn’t up to the task.

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Why So Many Families Choose to Live in San Diego

The fantastic weather. Great schools. Shopping and entertainment options galore. San Diego is a great place to live and raise a family. Unfortunately, the housing market has been bumpy, with sales dropping to their lowest level in three years in January 2014, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

With demand seemingly at a low, families looking to relocate may have better prospects hunting for San Diego furnished apartments rather than buying. Savvy renters will take advantage of the downturn. With fewer people buying, you’ll have a better chance of finding that perfect furnished rental – and sellers are eager to close deals.La Jolla Coast

Look Into Your Financial Options First

However, that means you’ll have to act soon, because rental rates are predicted to continue to rise over the next five years, C.B. Richard Ellis says. For example, rental prices from 2004 to 2014 increased 24 percent. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to find that perfect, inexpensive rental that fits perfectly within your budget. However, San Diego apartment hunters shouldn’t be discouraged. Start by checking your current company’s policies regarding transfers, as many businesses will pay at least part of the moving expenses. Also, military families can seek help from the government with regards to relocating, and various organizations offer assistance to people in need of housing, making affordable corporate housing in San Diego well within reach.

Why San Diego?

There are many reasons why so many people choose “America’s Finest City” to live every year. Some of the highlights include:

  • Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo houses more than 3,700 animals and more than 650 species. San Diego championed (and pioneered) open-air, cageless exhibits, re-creating natural habitats for animals. It even houses a giant panda within the premises. An Australian experience feature debuted in 2013, called Koalafornia Adventure.
  • Owned by SeaWorld Entertainment, SeaWorld overlooks San Diego’s oceanfront. It is a world-famous animal theme park, outside aquarium, oceanarium, and marine mammal park. Continue reading

Moving: How to Make a Smooth Transition with Children and Pets

dog movingMoving is both stressful and exciting, and comes with many rewards, adventures and stressors. Whether you’re moving to furnished apartments in San Diego or a single-family home in Boston, planning is the key for a move that is as good as possible for everyone. For pets and children, it can be more difficult than for

adults, and it’s important that you keep a few excellent tips in mind in order to make the transition of moving with children and pets as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

 Tips for Moving with Children

One tip that many parents have found helpful is to promise a gift or treat to children upon arriving at your new home. That way, they will build excitement as the journey continues, replacing some of the nervousness with anticipation. Be sure to highlight the benefits of making new friends and meeting new people, and remind them that everyone they’ve met at their current home was a stranger at one time too. Remind them that their friends are only a phone call or an email away, and don’t forget to talk up the fun of setting up, decorating and living in a new room. It also often helps to show children photos of the new house in Boston, or the new Chicago neighborhood, or the new furnished apartments in San Diego they’ll be living at, along with the new school they’ll be going to, which will help them visualize their new life at a new place.

Be sure to engage your children in the process of moving so they don’t feel left out; take them with you to visit a new area, and let them look at homes with you. Ask for their opinions on projects, and have them help with the packing and cleaning if they are old enough. Make sure to support them, and don’t forget to exchange mailing and email addresses, along with phone numbers with the parents of your child’s friends.

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Intern Relocation – Part 4: Five Popular Portland Museums

portland-musuemNo matter how long you’re staying in one of the many furnished apartments Portland has to offer, there is something for everyone to explore. Portland has a unique culture that befits the slogan “Keep Portland Weird” but, there’s also another side to Portland – it is full of museums dedicated to art, history, and spreading artistic culture. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Portland Children’s Museum. The Portland Children’s Museum caters specifically to children with exhibits and studio opportunities for youths to get their hands dirty.       Popular exhibits include the Baby’s Garden – a multi-sensory space for young children from birth to three years of age; the Twilight Trail allows children to experiment with light and shadows, while the zany maze is an outdoor exhibit full of hedges that allow children to feel safely hidden as they explore the little garden. The Portland Children’s Museum is located at 4015 SW Canyon Road in Portland.
  • Oregon Rail Heritage Center. Train enthusiasts will be enthralled with the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. From railway cars dating back to the 1870s to light rail train cars like the city’s Max line, the Oregon Rail Heritage Center features three locomotives – the Southern Pacific 4449 the Portland and Seattle 700 and the Oregon Railway and Navigation 197, all of which were donated to the city of Portland in 1957. The ORHC is located at 2250 SE Water Ave., in Portland.

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Intern Relocation – Part 3: Best Parks to Visit in Portland

Autumn MaplePortland’s Best Parks

If you’re new to Portland and looking for a park to relax in when you’re not working, you’re in luck. Oregon’s largest city is home to more than 70 different parks and you’ll have lots to explore. We’ve compiled a list of the five best parks in Portland (in no particular order) —and we think there’s something on the list for everyone.

1. Lovejoy Fountain Park

At SW Third and Harrison in downtown Portland, this might be the smallest park on the list – Lovejoy Fountain Park is just .75 acres. This park was completed in 1966, and features a copper-clad pavilion in addition to a fountain that draws many visitors, especially during the city’s warmer months.

2. Laurelhurst Park

In the Laurelhurst neighborhood, there’s a 26.81 acre park that was called the “most beautiful park on the west coast” by the Pacific Coast Parks Association in 1911. Visitors who wish to be active can choose from horseshoes, basketball, volleyball or soccer. There’s also a picnic site and an off-leash area to let your dog run.

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Intern Relocation – Part 2: Things to do, Places to see while in Portland

Our series for intern relocation continues with more great information on things to do and places to see during your relocation to Portland, OR. We hope you enjoy your stay!

Portland, Oregon has a little bit of everything for anyone looking to get away. Unique art, music, and food scenes distinguish this Northwest adventure from any other city in America, while trips to the ocean and mountain views make Portland a must see travel destination across the world. The following are just a few reasons why Portland should be your next stop across the continental US.

  • Bikes Rule. Portland is a pedal powered city. Almost every street is equipped with a bike lane, which has supported a thriving cyclist community. Bikes are available to rent at Portland Bike Tours.
  • Food A La Carte. Portland is littered with food trucks, each serving up their own brand of culinary magic. One walk down the street and you can experience a world of cuisines from deep fried chimichangas to classic Italian spaghetti.

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