It’s no secret that Southern California has some of the most beautiful sites, beaches, and parks that make for a beautiful place to live or visit. Here’s a list of 10 gorgeous SoCal day trips for the tourist or the native who just wants to break the routine:
1. The Getty: The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles offers inspiring artwork in many mediums whether you’re into photography, European painting, or even decorative arts. The ambiance and architecture of The Getty Center is a powerful one. The lush gardens offer an outdoor retreat to muse over. Hop over to Malibu to visit The Getty Villa for a historical immersion in 7,000 years of ancient art.
2. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: The largest state park in California is a great visit for the nature enthusiast. While campgrounds are available, a day trip can be just as satisfying with a well planned hike or an interpretive hike led by one of the Visitor Center’s volunteer naturalists.
3. Catalina Island: With four different ports for departure and up to 30 daily, an escape to Catalina Island is a paradise vacation within a boat’s reach. Whether it’s a day of relaxation or it’s adventure you seek, Catalina offers a wide variety of activities such as massage, beaches, kayaking, golfing, even zip lining.
4. Joshua Tree: This National Desert Park is located in Twentyninepalms, CA and features magnificent rock formations. A favorite for rock climbers, Joshua Tree’s Rangers offer a variety of programs to take in the breadth of what the desert offers. Be a mindful visitor and leave no trace by packing out everything you bring in, as you should for every natural treasure.
5. Big Bear Mountain: Beaches are typically the first thought that comes to mind when you think SoCal. However, snowy slopes can be enjoyed by snow bunnies during the winter months. In the summer, enjoy water sports at the vast Big Bear Lake.
6. Temecula Wine Country: Mini-Napa is just Northeast of San Diego in Riverside County. Tour this picturesque wine country in a limo, party bus, or even horse!
7. Coronado Island: The backdrop for Some Like It Hot still offers nostalgic and resort-style fun with the Hotel del Coronado. Enjoy wide beaches, dog beach, and a mix of fun fare and luxurious eats.
8. Julian: The apple pie capital of Southern California is a step back to a simpler time. Enjoy seasonal harvest festivals and apple picking.
9. Palm Springs: If you are looking to relax, a trip to Palm Springs will ensure you take a slow-down. Offering hot summers, pool time is a great time and so is the golfing and shopping.
10. Laguna Beach: This seaside resort town doesn’t just boast a stunning coastal escape, it is an artist and art lover sanctuary. Start your artistic day with a self-guided tour of over 70 public works and end the day with a ticket to the theatre.