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How to Celebrate Earth Day in California

As destinations across California open their doors to tourists near and far, the great outdoors – both land and sea – will be points of interest for those wanting to reconnect with Mother Nature. In honor of Earth Day this April, below is a list of the best beach, park and citywide cleaning initiatives where travelers can give back to the communities they visit.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

North Lake Tahoe’s Travel Pledge
Known for its snow-capped mountains and blue shorelines, North Lake Tahoe aims to preserve nature’s beauty with a six-part Travel Pledge, launching on Earth Day, that is rooted in sustainable travel, education and mindfulness. Visitors and locals are encouraged to participate in green initiatives such as a beach clean-up with Tahoe Blue Crew’s, drink Tahoe Tap from a reusable bottle and to leave nature as they found it – no matter the adventure.

Plant a Tree in Your Honor in Napa Valley
As a way of giving back to nature, for every room night booked in April at the Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina Resort in Napa Valley, the hotel group will donate a tree on behalf of its guest through One Tree Planted. Spa Terra, found at each resort, offers Eminence Organics products for purchase. For each product sold, Eminence will also plant a tree. To date, this has resulted in over 10,000 trees planted.

Nature Preservation in Sonoma County
Popular for its vast selection of vineyards and wineries, Sonoma County is also home to an abundance of outdoor activities perfect for tourists looking to give back to nature. Join Sonoma Ecology Center naturalists at Van Hoosear Wildlife Preserve to view 162 acres of protected wildflowers. Volunteer to restore and cleanup Sugarloaf Ridge State Park post-fire damage with bridge and step construction, signage installation and more. Help preserve Sonoma Creek for fish and other wildlife by removing litter and debris with the “Love Your Mother - Clean Your Creek” volunteer series on April 24, 2021.

Hike and Bike Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County
Throughout the month of April and beyond, outdoor enthusiasts can explore Concord, specifically Mount Diablo, with activities such as Fire Followers Hike, a unique trek through charred areas from the 2020 fires to witness firsthand how plants and wildflowers are regrowing from the damage. Take it a step further by mountain biking along the mountain’s lush trails through Mangini Ranch and Lime Ridge Open Space.


CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

Sustainable Moments in Monterey
Monterey County has been at the forefront of promoting sustainability within the destination for years. This Earth Day, visitors can support the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Sustainable Moments program by adding the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program website directly to their smart device. The new web platform utilizes real-time technology to share the program’s rating system with 2,000 recommendations on 300 seafood species on-the-go. The Seafood Watch program is known worldwide as a pioneering force surrounding sustainable seafood efforts and has changed the way Monterey County restaurants think about and serve their seafood.

Sustainability in Paso Robles Wine Country
Since 2010, Tablas Creek in Paso Robles has been shaping sustainable farming in the wine industry with biodynamic techniques across the vineyard, including a mobile herd of sheep, alpacas and two guard donkeys to graze the land. In 2020, the vineyard received the United States' first Regenerative Organic Certified™ award. Also making a difference are Kukkula Wine, a family-owned dry-farmed estate and Castoro Cellars, who added 42 solar panels to their property to run the tasting room and even summer concerts.

Earth Day Every Day in San Simeon
Limiting carbon footprints and protecting wildlife, habitats and cultural heritage sites while traveling ensures many generations can enjoy the wonders of San Simeon. Just steps away from the sandy beach, visitors and locals can pick up trash at Pico Creek located at the north end of San Simeon. Or visitors can head to Hearst San Simeon State Park to clean up the cove with beautiful views of the pier and turquoise waters.

Earth Week Mono County 2021
This April, the High Sierra Energy Foundation (HSEF) along with local partners has curated a calendar of events to increase awareness and understanding of Mono County’s natural resources. From April 19-24, 2021, Earth Week Mono County 2021 will include virtual and in-person activities such as clean-up events, up-cycle art projects, and panels discussing single-use plastics, waste and trails. The event will also include an environmental mountain film festival. HSEF also received a small grant from Plug in America to host a virtual electric vehicle event, complete with a panel of local owners and a virtual vehicle tour.

Earth Day Fair in San Luis Obispo
Earth Day Alliance is planning to host its 30th Annual San Luis Obispo County Earth Day Fair on April 24, 2021 at Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo. The landmark event continues to educate and motivate attendees to take action to protect and preserve the earth’s natural resources for future generations. Visit www.earthdayalliance.com for up-to-date information and details on the event.


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Celebrate Earth Month at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes

Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes invites guests and the Southern California community to celebrate Earth Day throughout the month of April. Enjoy self-guided nature walks and scavenger hunts, learn about the natural surroundings and the endangered El Segundo Blue butterfly species with a Suzy Blue Butterfly cookie decorating kit among other nature-inspired activities. Guests are encouraged to help re-forest California with complimentary cypress, juniper and stone pine seeds, approved by the California Native Plant Society and provided upon check-in.

Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific's Free Virtual Earth Day Festival
From the comfort of home, learn how to help protect the ocean at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s 21st Annual Earth Day Celebration on April 24, 2021. The free virtual event will include animal meet and greets, ocean inspired poetry, tips to protect the environment and more.

Earth Day Cocktails at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa will celebrate Earth Day all April with a Gratitude Garden. Seed paper will be available for guests and diners to write down what they are grateful for and plant in the garden. Guests and diners can also enjoy specialty cocktails where one-dollar of every cocktail purchased will be donated to Olivewood Gardens, a San Diego-based nonprofit that seeks to inspire youth and adults to be healthy and active citizens through organic gardening, environmental stewardship and nutrition education.

19th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup in San Diego
Get into action this Earth Day by participating in the 19th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup on April 24, 2021. Register to be a part of the largest single-day environmental action event in San Diego County by helping to remove polluting litter and debris from the coastal community. Volunteers self-report litter totals will be uploaded to the event’s Volunteer Impact Map, contributing to the county-wide goal of 30,000 pounds of litter removed.

Soak Up Earth Day in Dana Point
Celebrate Earth Day in Southern California’s Dana Point where coastal conservation is key. The country’s first and only Whale Heritage Site, Dana Point, offers visitors unmatched access to the miracles of Mother Nature with marine life and expansive beaches along the Pacific Coast. One of California’s most popular state beaches for surfing, Doheny State Beach, has a five-acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts. Salt Creek Beach Park is another great location to honor Mother Nature’s holiday, with ocean-front activities.

Note: As communities re-open after COVID-19-related closures, some parks, businesses and attractions may still be closed or have new protocols in place. Please verify local guidelines and regulations for all destinations and hours and availability of individual businesses before publishing. Check out Visit California’s Responsible Travel Hub for guidance on how visitors can travel within California safely.

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