San Diego is always lovely but it can be a downright paradise around the holidays. There are so many things to do during the holidays that it’s hard for those of us at GoCar Tours to choose a favorite. Check out these five options that are sure to please. 1. December Nights at Balboa Any visitor to San Diego will want to check out Balboa Park, but those here in December have an added reason: December Nights. There you can be dazzled by thousands of holiday lights, enjoy live music and dance performances from any different cultures, and see some of the best museums this city has to offer. In 2017, there are a few extras too enjoy too, like the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages and several performances by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet. 2. The Parade of Lights The San Diego Bay Parade of Light will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017. It’s completely free and features a host of boats with holiday lights, fireworks behind them, and some other unique treats. We recommend seeing it from The Embarcadero or the Coronado Ferry Landing. 3. Del Mar Village’s Holiday Wonderland This free community event fun activities for the kids, horse and carriage rides, a cake walk, arts and crafts, face painting, and even a visit from Santa. All this by the sea, with a special fresh snow atmosphere. Be there at 5 PM if you want to see the tree lighting ceremony. 4. The pet parade in the Gaslamp Quarter The Gaslamp Quarter Association is host to one of the most beloved animal events in San Diego: The holiday pet parade. Puppies and dogs are dressed up as Christmas trees, elves, dreidels, Mr. and Mrs. Clause, and many other holiday costumes….

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Those of us at the GoCar Tours offices were treated to something amazing this week when the Formula 1 Red Bull team came to San Francisco to shoot a promotional video. It was quite a scene to see an F1 car driving up and down San Francisco’s famed Hyde Street. Of course, in the City by the Bay, there are awe-inspiring things like this to view every day. Enrico Fulgenzi didn’t disappoint As if it weren’t enough to see a Formula 1 car driving up and down Hyde Street, Enrico Fulgenzi was at the wheel of the 2015 Red Bull car. If you’re not up to date on your Italian Formula 1 drivers, just know that Fulgenzi has been racing for ten years. His first year racing he won three podiums and one podium, which gave him 5138 points – enough to win runner-up of the series in his first series. Since then, he’s done it all: He’s been in the Porsche Cayman Cup, he was the 2013 champion of the Italian Porsche Carrera Cup, he’s been in the Abarth 500 Europe Trophy, the Porsche Carrera World Cup, the Porsche Supercup, and now a promotional video driving up and down one of the most famous streets in the world. What are you going to see on your visit to San Francisco? It’s too late to get out there and see this for yourself, but the GoCar Tour experience allows anyone to see this city like they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Hop in one of our storytelling cars, which are much smaller than your average Formula 1 car, and much slower, too – but just like an F1 car, they’ll take you somewhere you’ve never been before. There’s no telling where Red Bull’s Formula 1 car is going to show…

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As far as we’re concerned, there’s really only one thing you must know about Lisbon: It’s fun to visit! That said, there’s a lot more than meets the eye about this bustling city. Check out eight fast and fun facts about visiting Lisbon. 1. Lisbon’s both the capital of and the biggest city in Portugal Not only that, but it’s the oldest city in the entirety of Western Europe – and actually one of the oldest cities in the world. 2. Lisbon’s climate is hard to beat Experts agree that Lisbon has one of the mildest climates in the continent of Europe. You’ll see sunshine in Lisbon most days of the year. In fact, the city gets around 3,000 hour of sunshine every year. 3. The Tagus is Iberia could hold all the warships in the world If you’re visiting Lisbon, you’ll likely see the Tagus is Iberia. After all, it is the largest river in the country – but that’s not all. At 14 km wide, they say it’s big enough that it could hold all the warships in the world. 4. You’ll only find ravens on Lisbon’s coat of arms The raven has long been a symbol of Lisbon, thanks to the fact that were once many ravens in the city. For some years, there was a large cage that had ravens right in the Sao Jorge Castle. Today, the birds have all disappeared so the only place you’ll find them is on the Lisbon coat of arms. 5. Lisbon’s built in numerous hills Cities like Rome and Moscow are known for being built on a hill. That’s not enough for Lisbon though: It’s built on seven hills. They include Santa Catarina, Castelo, Monte, S. Pedro de Alcantara, Estrela, and Graca. 6. Baixa is where you want to…

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When you think of foodie cities in the United States, what cities come to mind? New York, Chicago, maybe Los Angeles? If you assume those would be the top spots, you’re not alone. In fact, they were until recently. When Michelin released its 2018 Michelin Stars, many were surprised to see that San Francisco now has more three-star Michelin restaurants than any other. What’s a Michelin Star? Think of the Michelin Star as the Oscars of the restaurant industry. Each year the French company (yes, the same one that makes Michelin tires) publishes a guide to the best restaurants in the world. They award restaurants a certain number of stars and have been doing so since 126. The highest award is a three stars. As of the 2018 guide, San Francisco will have seven restaurants with three stars. Compare that to the six three-starred restaurants in New York City, or the three three-star restaurants in Chicago. Note that three Michelin starred restaurants are described by Michelin as “exceptional” and “worth a special journey. When you consider that San Francisco has many fewer restaurants than Chicago or New York, it’s easy to see just how impressive this feat is. The winning restaurants The seven restaurants that earned three stars in San Francisco were: Benu The Restaurant at Meadowood Coi Quince The French Laundry Saison Manresa There are just over 100 restaurants throughout the entire world with three Michelin stars. San Francisco has several two-star restaurants (including Acquerello, Commis, Atelier Crenn, Lazy Bear, and Single Thread) and 41 with one star. San Francisco has a unique foodie culture Chefs work their entire lives to try and work at a Michelin starred restaurant. Diners build their vacations around visiting restaurants with these coveted stars. San Francisco has long been a popular city to…

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San Diego is an incredible city that truly has something for everyone – even those whose tastes take them off the beaten path. At GoCar Tours, we strive to offer an exciting mix of locations and events our clients can get to in their unique storytelling cars. Here are five of the weirdest and wackiest places tourists like to check out. 1. Sunny Jim Cave Store Do you like caves? Do you like shopping? Why not hit scratch both of this itches at the Sunny Jim Cave Store? Located just north of San Diego in La Jolla, this home is also a retail store with all sorts of beachy goods for sale. It wouldn’t be much to look at if not for the fact that its back entrance goes down into a colorful, hidden cave that, once traveled through, gives visitors unparalleled ocean views. 2. Whaley House Chosen by The Travel Channel as the most haunted home in the entire country, Whaley House isn’t for the faint of heart. Located within San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood, this two-story home was built in 1856 using bricks from the owner’s brickyard. This home has a paranormal investigation event on the last weekend of every month. 3. Lemon Grove Mummies Lemon Grove is known for two things: Having an enormous ten-foot high sculpture of a lemon and being the location of two stolen mummies. The story goes, two teen boys found the mummies on a trip to Mexico. After sneaking them into the country, the mummies were stored in a garage until 20 years later when they were discovered by one of the boys’ mothers. 4. 1895 Looff Carousel Located within the seaside village of Seaport Village on San Diego’s shore, the 1895 Looff Carousel is one of the few remaining examples of…

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Believe it or not, 2017 is coming to an end. While it can be sad to say goodbye to the year, it’s exciting to prepare for 2018. Today we’re thinking about all those Spanish cities we hope to see in 2018. Following are five of our top choices. 1. Seville Known as a capital of the Flamenco culture, Seville is a Southern Spanish city and offers a unique history. Stop by the Real Alcazar if you’re interested in architecture, and don’t forget to stop by the Metropol Parasol too. The former is an excellent example of Mudejar architecture and the latter is an enormous wooden structure that offers shade from the hot Spanish sun. 2. Madrid Artists and art appreciators will want to visit Madrid. With a number of art galleries, some of which hold world-famous works from Picasso, there’s also the largest palace in Europe: The Royal Palace. Wherever you go, you’ll find churches, shops, tapas, and bars. 3. The Pyrenees For those who want a more relaxing Spanish experience, the Spanish Pyrenees are a great choice. With adorable timbered homes, hearty food, and quaint villages in the mountains, it’s truly an idyllic spot. It’s also a great choice for those who enjoy hiking and skiing. 4. Almeria The only desert area in Europe, Almeria has been filmed as a stand in for the Wild West in America. Stop by the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park to see some special coastal areas complete with whitewashed fishing towns, salt flats, and beautiful beaches. 5. Ronda Another Southern Spanish town, Ronda is located atop mountains near Malaga. It’s well known as the home of the Puente Nuevo, which is a stone bridge that goes over the El Tajo Gorge. This town is also home to the oldest building in the entire…

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There’s a lot to love about San Diego – including having some of the best beaches in the country. No visit to San Diego would be quite complete without a trip to the beach. There are beaches you can swim at, beaches you can sun at, and beaches with unique wildlife. Check out our five top picks for San Diego beaches. 1. La Jolla Cove La Jolla Cove may be a tiny beach, but it’s truly gorgeous. Sandwiched between sandstone cliffs, visitors are treated to blue-green bay views, snorkelers have plenty to explore, and scuba divers can check out some of the most unique sea creatures in California. This area is part of the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve and has unique fish such as the Garibaldi. 2. La Jolla Shores You’ve only got to head north about a mile from La Jolla Cove to get to La Jolla Shores. This is a several mile long beach that’s beloved for having a gentle surf. As a result, it’s a top choice for people who are just learning to surf, people who enjoy stand up paddle boarding, and parents with young kids. It’s also the only beach within the limits of San Diego that has a boat launch. 3. Swami’s Beach Located south of Encinitas, about 25 miles from San Diego, Swami’s Beach is a top spot for surfers. For those who aren’t quite ready to brave the waves, people watching is prime from the bluff-top park. Sit there and take in some of the scenery Southern California has on offer. 4. Carlsbad State Beach For those who want nothing more than to take in a stunning California sunset, GoCar Tours has you covered. Head out to Carlsbad Beach to see the sun slide into the Pacific Ocean. This is…

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Any time you visit a foreign country, it’s important to know their Visa requirements. This is true even if you’ve visited the country a dozen times before because Visa requirements can change for any number of reasons. When it comes to a trip to Barcelona or another fantastic Spanish city, GoCar Tours is here to provide the most recent requirements. Visa requirements vary based on how long you plan to visit As an American citizen, you can enter Spain without a Visa, provided you’re staying for less than three months. The Spanish government can legally require proof of a return ticket, on-going ticket, or the funds to buy a return ticket. If you want to stay for more than ninety days, then you’ll need to visit the Spanish immigration authorities for an extension. If granted, it will last for more than 90 days and it must be requested at least three weeks before the initial period expires. Note that they only grant this extension in exceptional situations. Double check that your passport is valid It’s not enough that your passport is unexpired on the day you get to Spain. Instead, all of the 26 countries within the Schengen area require that your passport is valid for three months beyond the date you arrive. Several things could happen if you don’t meet these requirements, including being denied entry to the country, or being denied boarding at a connecting airport. You’ll need an international driving permit to drive in Spain Your American driver’s license is not enough to allow you to legally drive in Spain. You must have a valid international driving permit before you get to the country. Essentially, it translates your American-issued driver’s license into ten languages so that other countries can more easily interpret your license. Note that it’s…

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If you’re considering starting a travel blog then you’re in good company. There are thousands of these across the internet, some more popular than others. At GoCar Tours, we want to help you succeed. In addition to the unique group tours we offer – which would give you something truly special to write about – we’re also here to offer some tips on creating an incredible travel blog. There’s a lot in a name First and foremost, you need to choose a name. Remember that you have two seconds for someone to read your name and both understand what it means and remember it. Try to avoid some of the more frequently used words, like global, wander, backpacker, or vagabond. Not only are these names overused as it is, but they can pigeonhole you into a particular type of traveling style. For example, if you choose: Backpacking on the Cheap as your blog name, you’ll have a hard time transition to more expensive travel options years down the line. Sign up for all the social media outlets Once you have your name chosen, you should work on adding social media to your platform. Like it or not, you won’t have successful blog without it. People share info in real time and they don’t have patience for a brand they can’t interact with on their own terms. Grab up the appropriate names on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Even if you aren’t going to set these up right away, you want to claim the names so no one else can. Make sure your “About Me” page really is about you When a person finds your blog, they’re likely to glance through your most recent blogs and then head straight to the “About Me” page. If they like what…

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There are a million and one reasons to visit San Francisco. According to U.S. News and Travel, San Francisco ranked as the best fall getaway in the country, the second best city to visit in November, and the third best foodie city in the entire United States. If those reasons don’t get you packing your bags, then perhaps these three money-saving options will. Skip the city in the summer Everyone want to visit San Francisco in the summer, and we understand why: The weather is beautiful, there’s fresh seafood everywhere you go, and some of the best festivals in the country. That said, if you want a great price on your trip, we have to recommend skipping it in the summer. It’s likely no surprise that because summer is peak tourist time, hotel rates are much higher. If you visit during cooler months, you’ll likely have your pick of accommodations and can get great deals. Skip the name-brand hotels In some cities, all you’re going to find are hotel chains. That’s not the case in San Francisco. There are still plenty of independently run hotels, and they’re much more affordable than the chains. You can even find bed and breakfast options for reasonable prices. We’d also recommend avoiding the most popular hotel areas, like SoMa, downtown, and Fisherman’s Wharf, and instead heading to the more affordable Nob Hill or Marina District neighborhoods. Skip the car Not only is it expensive to rent a car in San Francisco, you’re also looking at some of the highest fuel prices in the country and super-high parking rates – that is, when you can find a parking spot. Many hotels in the city don’t offer parking at all, and those that do can charge nearly as much for parking as they do for the…

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