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Bi-weekly podcast

Summer Travel in California

Get the inside scoop on how to explore the state’s theme parks, beaches, and national parks this summer

On this episode of the California Now Podcast, host Soterios Johnson helps you fill out your summer travel itinerary as he confers with three knowledgeable experts.

To start things off, Johnson chats with Robert Niles, the journalist and “professional rollercoaster rider” behind the website Theme Park Insider. Niles outlines what exciting new developments to expect in parks across the Golden State—ranging from gravity-defying coasters to nostalgic live entertainment experiences.

Next, Johnson talks with Keryn Means, editor of PCH Travel Magazine, about her family’s epic Central Coast road trip. Means details where to discover incredible beaches and breathtaking views in Carpinteria, Cayucos, Cambria, and many more seaside stops.

Finally, Johnson connects with author and trail master John McKinney about some lesser-known hiking spots in California’s national parks. McKinney shares expert tips for avoiding crowds and exploring the best nature has to offer in multiple national parks, including Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, and Pinnacles.


Robert Niles, creator of Theme Park Insider

Keryn Means, writer and editor of PCH Travel Magazine

John McKinney, trail master and author of the Hiking California’s National Parks Series


Robert Niles possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of California’s theme parks, from classic rides to the newest attractions.

Theme Park Insider

Sesame Place San Diego

Emperor Dive Coaster

Chula Vista

SeaWorld San Diego

San Diego

LEGOLAND California

LEGO Ferrari Build & Race




Ghost Town Alive!

Knott’s Berry Farm

Buena Park

Universal Studios Hollywood

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Santa Clarita

California’s Great America

Keryn Means is the editor of PCH Travel Magazine and co-creator of Twist Travel Magazine.

PCH Travel Magazine

Long Beach

4th St. Retro Row

Little Coyote

The Hangout


Ventura Farmers’ Market


Lucky Llama Coffee

San Luis Obispo


Brown Butter Cookie Company

Cambria Beach Lodge


Cambria Shores Inn

Moonstone Beach

Big Sur


Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

McWay Falls


John McKinney is a lifelong hiker, trail master, and author of the Hiking California’s National Parks Series.

The Trailmaster

Hiking California’s National Parks Series

Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point

Clouds Rest

Panorama Trail

John Muir Trail

Tioga Pass

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Redwood Canyon Trail

Heather, Emerald, and Pear lakes

Grove of Titans

Pinnacles National Park

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes Lighthouse

Chimney Rock


Soterios Johnson, formerly the local host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on radio station WNYC, moved from New York City to Davis in 2016. By combining his journalistic instincts with his personal curiosity, Johnson uses the California Now Podcast platform to develop a deeper understanding of his adopted home.