Going to Southern California
Who's on this trip?
Looking for Southern California +/-5 day vacation recommendations for a mom and 25 year old daughter for late April. Ok with hopping between destinations or having one jumping off point. Yes: walking around cute neighborhoods, craft fairs, farmer's markets, outdoorsy activities (moderate), wineries, beaches, random attractions. No: upscale shopping, spas, golf, overly serious museums, amusement parks. Suggestions?
Trip Plan Details
recommended Joshua TreeRecommended for:
recommended Big Bear LakeOne great way to get away from L.A. smog and pollution is going here, enjoy the nature and snow activities.Recommended for:
- Griffith Observatory HikeFern Dell Dr off Los Felizrecommended Griffith Observatory HikeOne of the most popular hiking trail in L.A. great view and close to the city.Recommended for:
recommended Catalina IslandCatalina Island is located 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles. Historically, the first Native Americans believed to have settled here over 7000 years ago. The island used to consider almost as popular ... read moreas Hawaii before commercial airlines came into existence. Some well-known celebrities that have lived in Catalina include Marilyn Monroe and the father of chewing gum, William Wrigley, who spent much of his fortune investing in the island and even sending his team - the Chicago Cubs - here to complete their training camp time. The island closed to tourists during WWII so that it could use for military training facilities. Today, only 4000 residents live in Catalina Island, and the population is small enough so people can really get to know one another. Housing also tends to cost a bit less here than in most SoCal beach towns. Most foods and materials imported to the island, so expect to pay a little more for what you get. Sometimes prices can still be cheaper or comparable to the tourist areas of Santa Monica and other popular beaches. There is NO TRAFFIC LIGHTS anywhere on the island, and there are no rental cars at all! The only way to get around is by golf cart, bicycle, bus, or taxi. Fun trivia fact: These islands used to film the Skull Island scenes in the original King Kong movie! The water and sky often seem bluer and cleaner in Catalina than at other SoCal beaches. Activities may be limited, but if you are feeling adventurous, zip lining is very popular on the island. Scuba diving and fishing are also very common here, since no commercial fishing allowed on the island. Tips: - Bring along a physical map, GPS and/or compass, since the local wireless network is very limited, especially for T-Mobile users who only get 2G in the city of Avalon. - If you want ice cream, skip the overpriced ice cream shops and just head to Von's. Instead of getting one scoop of "Dreyer's" you can buy yourself a whole container for the same price.
- Rose Bowl Stadium1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103-2813recommended Rose Bowl StadiumRose Bowl is a historic stadium and landmark in Pasadena. I cannot believe this stadium is 91 years old! That is older than 98 percent of the population, and even more remarkable is the good condition ... read moreoverall. It can seat over 90,000 peoples. That is only handful of stadium can reach that capacity. It is mostly use for College Football Bowl Game, in fact this is the granddaddy of them all bowl game. The oldest bowl game exists. Home of the UCLA Bruins! This was the stadium use for the World Cup Final in 1994 and the 1999 Woman World Cup Final as well. The size and capacity of the stadium make it flexible for multiple usage. Flear Market is often been use during Sunday. Parking is a nightmare here, and can cost up to $25, which is almost like a robbery. They close the residential area so outsider cannot find free parking in the street. Suggestion is taking a bus instead. Restaurant and other amenities are too far from walking distance. Overall, this is a great stadium. However, getting there can be a real pain.Richard
Flea Market 2nd Sunday of every Month.
- Venice Beach1905 Ocean Front Walk, CArecommended Venice BeachOne of the most popular beach and definite a must visit. Lots of free street performing and the famous muscle beach, the beach isn't idea for surfer but it good for family and couple.Recommended for:
- Malibu Wines31740 Mulholland Highway, Malibu, CArecommended Malibu WinesRecommended for:
recommended MalibuRecommended for:
- Griffith Observatory2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1255recommended Griffith ObservatoryShort history of this Observatory - Griffith Observatory is located facing slope of Mount Hollywood in L.A. Griffith Park. It has 3,015 acres. Construction began in 1933 and opened to public in 1935. ... read moreArchitect design by John C Austin and Fredrick M Ashley. Pros: + Free admission made it possible by donation of Col. Griffith. + Free Parking + Great location excellent for photo ops (Hollywood Sign) and view City Light. + Interesting planetarium shows + Staff are friendly + Lots of free tours around the Observatory. + Chance to see the planet up close. + Can bring you food and watch a great view in the cafeteria. Cons: - No restaurant, just package deli and salad. - Only open 5 out 7 days. Conclusion: Griffith Observatory is easily one of must see L.A. Landmark for local and visitor as well. Chance to take some amazing photos from city and the Hollywood Sign. Kids would love as well. Tips: * It offer Student Discount if you bring your ID. * Time near sunset is the busiest
- The Getty Villa17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272recommended The Getty VillaEasily one of the best museum in L.A. Good collection of arts plus had one of the most amazing garden I see, at top of great view of L.A. The best part is free, parking is not but that's nothing ... read morecompare for what you getting. A must visit !
- Downtown Los Angeles202 West 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA, United Statesrecommended Downtown Los AngelesDowntown Los Angeles is coming up! Where else can you look at historical buildings, shop, eat, and drink! Every weekend it seems like there are always groups of walking/photo tours around the ... read morehistorical core as well as great foodie tours. Make sure when you are down there to his the grand central farmers market for lunch and have a drinks at one of DTLA many bars such as Seven Grand, Perch, or Down and OutRecommended for:.Comment.25 days ago. Report
- Blind Barber10797 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA, United Statesrecommended Blind BarberShave & a haircut...........two bits! Flashback to the Prohibition Era, where Speakeasies offered libations clandestinely to avoid the long arm of the law. From the outside, Blind Barber looks like a ... read moresimple, full service barber shop, where customers receive a complimentary cocktail with their cut. The barbers know just the cut a guy needs to make women swoon. However, make your way to the back of the barbershop & you're brought back to the speakeasies of old. A full service bar with booths and tables to enjoy one of Blind Barber's signature cocktails or their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Blind Barber's grilled cheese sandwiches are legit & worth the $10 price tag which includes a small kale salad. Friendly bartenders & waitresses help you unwind after a long day of work or to kickstart your weekend off right. The barkeeps kept my club sodas w/ limes flowing the whole night, since I don't drink. Music was on blast & the 90's rap songs on rotation the night I was there brought me back to my younger days. Once a month, Blind Barber has The Secret Show, a free comedy show on a Wednesday night. Street parking is available in front, on Midway Ave. and the Best Buy shopping center directly behind the building. Looking to relax? Perhaps availing yourself of a nip/tuck before turning in? Then, I highly recommend checking out Blind Barber in Culver City. Have a haircut & then slide on over to the back for a nibble and/or a tipple.
- Mission San Juan Capistrano26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2601recommended Mission San Juan Capistrano"Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano." - Lloyd Christmas, "Dumb & Dumber" Museum Day Live! - Free Admission to Various Museums 9/28/13 Being a history buff, it ... read moreshames me to say I've never been to the famous San Juan Capistrano Mission. I've been to San Gabriel Mission, but not SJC. Capitalizing on the free admission offered by Museum Day Live! and with my interest piqued after seeing the Ghost Hunters episode filmed here, I finally arrived and spent a few hours going back in time. The original church was mostly destroyed during the 1812 earthquake, leaving remnants of the hallowed halls. "Magdalena", a woman who was killed during the quake, is said to appear in the windows, even though there is nowhere to stand on the opposite side. A faceless monk is said to roam the courtyards. If you use your imagination, you can picture monks going about their daily business as you stroll along the grounds. What most people know about Mission San Juan Capistrano, the swallows and their nests. Fabricated nests are utilized to entice the swallows return, which sadly, has been diminishing over the years. The second church is a quaint, rectangular room, where visitors can buy a candle at the gift shop, light and place it inside or out & offer a silent prayer from their hearts. It's fascinating to see the artifacts from daily life at the mission, whether it be dining areas, living quarters or the architecture. For the animal lovers, I saw a rabbit hopping around the grass and quite a few monarch butterflies floating about. It felt like I was in an enchanted garden. I had a great time visiting Mission San Juan Capistrano and left educated and just that much more cultured. I don't agree with forcing religion upon the Native Americans to turn away from their own beliefs, however the Mission system was a significant part of California history as to how things were many moons ago. Parking is street parking by the entrance and directly adjacent, with a few lots nearby. I was lucky and snagged 3 hour parking across the street in front of the Starbucks. I highly recommend getting cultured and visiting Mission San Juan Capistrano.
recommended San DiegoIt's for you to choose whether I'm biased or in the know, but after living in San Diego for almost 20 years of my life I really think it's one of American's best cities. I love the fact that within ... read moretwo hours of surfing, you can be in the mountains picking apples. The weather is fantastic and with such great attractions you tend to get spoiled. Beautiful city with intriguing history, vast cultural diversity and yummy food--that's my hometown!Rachel E.
Also agree that San Diego would be your best bet. If you stay towards downtown or even on Coronado, there's loads of cute shopping as well as farmer's markets in Coronado, Little Italy and Ocean Beach.recommended San DiegoSan Diego, sunny and oh so pretty. Forget about all the haters and focus on what this city does best: beaches, fish tacos and laid-back easy living. What really appeals, after you've spent time in SF ... read moreand LA, is how unpretentious most places are, and how much there is to explore in a low-key kind of way. Edge neighborhoods like North Park / South Park / East Village are full of surprised, from street food to secondhand shops to microbrew bars. So. Much. Fun.Sara Benson
I agree that San Diego would be a great bet, although the wineries nearby in Temecula aren't all that fantastic (compared with wineries outside of Santa Barbara). Have fun!
- Venice CanalsVenice, Californiarecommended Venice CanalsThis is a small area of Venice but a great place to wander around. In our case, we rented bicycles and cycled around which means you cannot go everywhere because cycles are banned from some of the ... read moresmall roads. Many of the houses on the canals looked very fancy.Laurel W
Walking in this area would be great. You might even see Robert Downey Jr, although we didn't.
commented on this trip
It sounds like either Santa Barbara or San Diego would be your best bet. If you could do do both, that'd be great. If wineries are a high priority, Santa Barbara would be better though because there's some great wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. (Though the craft breweries in and around San Diego are just as fun.)