My top 4 things to do in Southern California range from obvious to my personal faves. Anyone who knows me knows that I adored growing up in the greater Los Angeles area and love to visit. Though I no longer get to visit my favorite places in the limited time I am there visiting family, every now and then I am able to take Jordan to do more of the typical “vacation” things. I comprised a list of my top things to do in Southern California (mainly Los Angeles & Orange counties) to share for all who may be interested. I would love to hear your favorite places that I may have missed in my list in the comment section!
1. Hike to the Hollywood sign
One of the more touristy items on my list, I love the view from the top and it is a decent hike. It is a great hike to take people from out of town that carries the glamor of Hollywood. Last time we hiked to the sign, we went and walked Hollywood and Highland with our friends from the UK. I am sure locals would disagree but I feel like this is the epitome tourist thing to do in Los Angeles!
2. Eat at Ruby’s Diner
All American food–I’m talking cheeseburgers, fries, and a shake–that is to die for! Seriously, such good food. On our latest trip, we had Ruby’s at the San Clemente outlets and then walked along the beach.. best idea ever. Pro tip: Hit up the Rainbow’s outlet if you are at the San Clemente outlets (it is around the corner) and literally you can thank me later for introducing you to the only brand of flip flops you will ever need.
3. Go to a less popular beach
Sure, you could go to Laguna, Huntington, or Santa Monica Beach proper but what is the fun in hanging at a beach that will be super crowded just for the namesake? I recommend using Google Maps to find a smaller beach just a few minutes away from the main beach to enjoy the sun and water. Or park (you will have to pay to park) and then walk down the coast to the smaller beaches. Growing up, I would always make my best friend walk from Santa Monica to Venice with me (or free beach to the markets on the north side of Malibu). I took Jordan with me to a smaller beach in south Laguna. This local beach was perfect with very few people there and great views. It was a dream!
4. Visit amusement parks…
..in the off season mid week. Obviously if you are going to pay the price to go to an amusement park like Disneyland or Six Flags Magic Mountain you want to get the most of your trip. Disneyland may always be slightly busy but by going on a Wednesday or Thursday during a time when most are in school you will find the park to be emptier than most times. Don’t get me wrong–Disneyland is great and iconic–but if you are craving some amazing roller coasters (that of course have been in movies etc) Six Flags Magic Mountain is the best! It is the next amusement park I want to take Jordan to when we visit SoCal.
This is just a start to things you can do in Southern California. I am sure I will share more favorites as Jordan and I are able to do more “fun” things when we go to visit my family. I am thinking of finishing a book I made for school one semester which was full of secret spots in LA. If you want more let me know and I will add more to my list! <3