Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Photos Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Photos Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Photos Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Photos Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Photos Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Blog Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Blog Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Blog Hiking Mount San Jacinto State Park Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Blog Hiking Mount San Jacinto Hiking Mount San Jacinto Hiking Mount San Jacinto Hiking Mount San Jacinto State Park Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Review

When we arrived in Palm Springs after our 6 hour drive, the first thing we saw was the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. It is the largest rotating tram car in the world and provides breathtaking aerial-like views of Palm Springs. It was something I knew I wanted to squeeze into our trip, so we made the turn and headed up the road through Chino Canyon to get to the base of the tramway. The ride up took around 10 minutes to go from Valley Station (elevation 2,643 ft.) to Mountain Station (elevation 8,516 ft). With every pass of a tower the tram car would gently sway back and forth. The scenery may have been different, but the ride was reminiscent of our tram ride in Juneau, Alaska. At the top we met some very friendly animals, and did some very light hiking around Mount San Jacinto State Park. We explored for about an hour at the top before heading back down. I’d love to go back some day, perhaps in Winter when the mountain has snow.

Destination, Monterey Bay



The California central coast is one of our favorite places to visit because we live so close, and I even shared a Santa Cruz city guide not too long ago. It’s not often that we get to stay the night, so I’m really excited to stay in a unique accommodation at the Santa Cruz/ Monterey KOA Kampground and would love to hear about your favorite off the beaten path places in that area. We’ve done a lot of the major tourist stuff already, but would love to explore more of Monterey. So far I have:

  • See Old Fisherman’s Wharf (I know, it’s touristy but we haven’t spent much time there.)
  • Do 17 Mile Drive (Haven’t done this either, shocking!)
  • See Dennis the Menace Park (Always a favorite.)
  • See Del Monte Beach (We’ve only been here once.)
  • Eat at Ghiradelli (Cookies!)
  • Do ride the Monterey Bay Coast Trail
  • See Point Pinos Lighthouse
  • See Lover’s Point
  • See Fort Ord National Monument
  • See Elkhorn Slough Preserve
  • See Moss Landing State Wildlife Area
  • See Steinbeck House (Of Mice & Men!)
  • See The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park

As you can see, my list is not very long and I’m a little short on food choices.

Have you been to Monterey Bay? Do you have anything to add, or do you have any tips for us? I’d love to hear them in the comments!


How To Photograph A Sunset

How to Photograph a Sunset

Have there ever been times where you wanted to photograph the sunset, but weren’t sure how? Today I’m sharing with you my best tips for how to photograph a sunset. I know it sounds like something that should be easy, but that’s not always the case when you are learning to shoot in manual mode. You will want to pick a day where you can devote the last two hours of the day prior to sunset to taking photos. You can use this sunrise/sunset calendar to determine the sunset time for your location .

1. Frame Your Photograph
Look through your camera. What do you see? Is it cluttered? How will the light effect the rest of the photo? Is it crowded? You may want to change locations or find a better vantage point if you don’t think you’re in a good spot. If you are in a good spot, you can practice taking photos of people, this is usually the best time of day for portraits.

How to Photograph a Sunset

2. Change Your Angle
Does your photograph feel like it could be better? Sometimes the difference between a good and great photo is simply the difference between standing or kneeling. When I’m at the beach I prefer to get as close to the sand as I can to provide a different view point. Something I am a stickler for is a level horizon so I try to make mine as level as possible in camera (while I’m taking the photo). You may also want to back up for a different perspective, or focus on a foreground detail with the sun in the background.

3. Expose for the Sunset.
This is something that I do when I’m not taking portraits. I expose my photograph for the actual sunset, not the foreground. Often times I take sunset photos at 100ISO. I do this because I do not want my sunset to be overexposed and I want to capture the vivid colors that might accompany it. It also helps to highlight the smaller details in the foreground like the foam ripples in the above photograph.

How to Photograph a Sunset
How to Photograph a Sunset

4. Wait It Out
The two photos above were taken only four minutes apart using the same settings, but since the sun was so low on the horizon, it made all the difference. The four minute difference was the time it took me to walk back to frame a wider photo.

How to Photograph a Sunset

5. Clean It Up
When all is said and done, you will probably want to edit your images to put a finishing touch on them. In the above image the horizon was not level and there were distracting elements on the right side. A quick crop and small rotation made a big improvement to the photograph. You can tone down your whites and highlights if the sun is too bright or add a little more vibrance to your photos to add interest. I also like to sharpen the finer details in my photographs, like the lighthouse and bushes above.

A quick tip to be able to capture sun flare in your photos, you will need to take your photo at a higher f-stop (try F/9.0) if you want them more defined like in my top photo. For a less defined and softer flare (my favorite), photograph at a lower aperture (F/4.0 or lower). You may need to compensate in both cases by adjusting your film and shutter speed.

The photos in this post are from a trip we took to Mendocino County where we were lucky enough to have beautiful sunsets for our whole trip. The lighthouse is Point Cabrillo Light Station, and the beach is West Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. I hope this post will come in handy during your summer sunset adventures.

Have any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below!

This post is part of my photo tips series. Want more photo tips? View the whole series here.