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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

5 Best Southland Beaches to Visit in the FallFeatured

Summer in SoCal is the best time to go to the beach, which is why most are so crowded. But the fall is even better because the beaches are just as spectacular, but much less crowded. If you’re looking for a little piece of peace, be sure to visit these secluded pockets of heaven. Trestles beach, or just Trestles, is a mystery beach for sunbathers but a home to surfers. It’s divided into sections; Church, Middles, Lowers, Uppers and Cottons; depending on surfer skill level. Located in San Clemente, the beach is known for taking a while to get to but being one of the most gorgeous in the area. After parking, take a hike through brush and trees, under Interstate 5, over a small hill and a straight trail walk before reaching the beach. During the hike, you’re likely to run into beautiful views and some wildlife, so have your camera ready. http://funorangecountyparks.com/trestles-beach-walk.html Since Laguna is a hotspot for beachgoers, weekends are often overcrowded. With Wood’s Cove, skip the hordes of people all together. The rocks on the shore make the beach less popular because surfing is too dangerous, but the water is more turquoise and the beach is…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

The Fantastic-Four “Castles” in Southern CaliforniaFeatured

When you hear the word “castle,” you might immediately think of stone-spiraling relics of antiquity that serve as reminders of a bygone era of humanity when vassals, lords, and fiefs ruled the land. But “castle” can also be used to describe postmodern architectural phenomena that are as relevant today as they were when they were first erected. There are four prime examples of “castles,” re-imagined with class, dignity, and prestige for the contemporary Southern California resident. The Desert Castle in Palm Desert desertcastle.com The Desert Castle in Palm Desert is one of the foremost vacation retreats in the area. The 7-bedroom, 7.5-bath mansion is what opulent and lavish dreams are made of.  The castle is situated rather unexpectedly on the 18th fairway of the Desert Springs Golf Course. The main house is beige in color and wonderfully rustic in design, with plenty of palm trees and welcoming archways for visitors. At night, the castle lights up with an attractive orange incandescence that infuses the observer with inspiration. Inside the Great Hall of the property is a particularly classic overhead mural on the vaulted ceiling featuring women (of possibly the Baroque era) playing instruments and dancing, in addition to a loving…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured, People & Personalities

Camarillo Ranch HouseFeatured

The Home that Remains a Jewel in the Seaside City’s Crown for More than a Century Known for picturesque scenery that ranges from agricultural-rich land to Spanish architecture, Camarillo, California, is a lively mix of modern amenities, lush, century-old vegetation and plenty of early California charm; and a pristine, 18th century ranch house is its anchor. Juan Adolfo Camarillo first ventured to California in the early 1800s during the Hijar Padres Expedition There, he would purchase a 10,000-acre ranch. Camarillo’s land, which would become the site of his home, was one of the last remaining Rancho Calleguas (Mexican land grants) of the era. Development and Public Relations Director for the Camarillo Ranch House, Niki Chopra Richardson, says, “The ranch house was the original home of the Camarillo family. It was a working ranch, but it was also very much a family home. When Juan Adolfo passed away in 1880, his eldest son, 16-year-old Adolfo, took over the ranch.” Camarillo would not only run the day-to-day operations of his father’s ranch, he would take it from having only cattle and mules, to a booming agricultural business, including barley, corn, alfalfa and lima beans, as well as Citrus and Eucalyptus trees. Camarillo…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured, People & Personalities

Frank Gehry: Constructing the ExtraordinaryFeatured

The corner of Sunset & Havenhurst in Los Angeles is about to go down in history. 8150 Sunset is already across the street from the legendary Chateau Marmont on the most famous stretch of boulevard in the world, but now the southeast side of this intersection is being “utterly transformed” by a $300 million mixed-use project designed by architect Frank Gehry. Whether you’re familiar with his name or not, you’ve seen Gehry’s work, and you know his curvy, reality-bending aesthetic. He’s the visionaire behind such world-famous attractions such as The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the Experience Music Project in Seattle and Prague’s surreal Dancing House. In 2010, the World Architecture Survey cited his contemporary works as among the most important in architecture, and Vanity Fair named him “the most important architect of our age.” It’s no surprise that when Gehry’s name is on something, people pay attention. And the kind of clout he brings also eases minds. He was actually hired onto 8150 Sunset after an outcry from the neighborhood’s residents over the original designs for the lot. When Gehry was brought on board, the project was elevated to a…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

Southern California’s Prettiest Coastal CitiesFeatured

By Eric Plante No need to fly across the globe to experience glitz and glamour in a seaside setting. Here are 5 of our own Southern California coastal towns that can hang with the world’s best. Dana Point is a boater’s playground. The city was named for Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the picturesque area. Dana described the coastal town as “the only romantic spot on the coast.” For the best view of Dana Point Harbor, drive the Street of Green Lantern to the top and look east. If you’ve not yet seen the largest animal to have ever inhabited the Earth, Dana Point is the place to try your luck. Blue whales pass closer to the coast here than any other California shoreline. Blue whale tours run May – October; gray whales cruise this coast during the winter. Sink your toes into the off-white sand at Salt Creek Beach, one of the city’s finest. Every Saturday evening during the summer, curious adults and children gather on the lobby terrace at the St. Regis Monarch Beach to witness a flicker of orange and yellow, as a staff member releases a…

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in Things To Do

Walking Tours in Southern CaliforniaFeatured

Every city has its own persona, its own feeling, and its own story.  Besides the exercise, walking tours offer another dimension to your visit.  A walking tour gives visitors the chance to connect with the character of a city and get a first-hand understanding of what the area is really about. By taking a step into a new place, tourists and locals alike can get a feel for the energy of the city they are in.  And in Southern California, energy is everything.  Vintage Venice Tours Voted “Best Walking Tour” of 2012 and 2013 by Los Angeles Magazine, the Vintage Venice Tour is one of the best ways to experience this iconic boardwalk.  The Vintage Venice Tour allows you to indulge in the modern attractions that the beach has to offer, while also showing you the rich history of the town through film clips that span the past 105 years.  See the past come to life and witness the development of the culture of Venice Beach with stops at Muscle Beach, the Venice Canals, the Ocean Front Walk, and more. www.vintagevenicetours.com Santa Barbara Walking Tour While on your visit to Santa Barbara, be sure to sign up for the Santa…

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in Featured, People & Personalities, SoCal Trends

A Year in LA: How to Stay Alive in the Biz—Five Survival Tips To Make Things HappenFeatured

Once upon a time, I was that girl: I picked up everything and moved to LA to pursue a career in acting. To offer a little back-story, I had a tumultuous breakup with my teenage love and ran to Chicago after college three years prior. After a few years in the city, I was burnt out—holding down a restaurant job and temping to make ends meet. I was garnering theatre gigs consistently—I just wasn’t getting paid. Unfortunately, that is the reality in the theatre world and I thought the time was right to make my move to LA. I had a deep, gnawing pit in my stomach that LA was beckoning me and I couldn’t let it go. It was 1998—I was 25, doe eyed, and full of ambition.  It was then or never. LA was a different place than it is now. The Internet was only about to boom, the bag phone was being replaced by a first generation flip phone (that resembled a miniature tank), and social media didn’t exist. There was no such thing as You Tube, bloggers, Twitter, or Facebook. The oversaturated business of reality TV had not yet happened. The creation of the Internet has made auditions more accessible…

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socallifemag.stay.at.home.
in SoCal Trends

Stay at Home Orders Cramping Your Style?Featured

We’re into our sixth week of stay-at-home orders and even the stellar homebodies among us are getting antsy at this point. It’s been awhile since we’ve met friends at a restaurant or cycled ourselves into a dreadful sweat at the gym. And unless we’re actively walking or jogging outdoors or have found wellness apps that offer virtual workout options, we may be starting to feel a bit flabby and unmotivated. Since conducting business is prohibited unless it’s deemed “essential” (and that’s a pretty subjective definition – just ask the millions of women whose acrylic nails have fallen off), we’ve had to figure out how to function on our own instead of relying on our routine services. But we’ve begun to sort out solutions to help fight the ho-hums, since as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Here are some alternatives we’ve found to help solve our most common requirements from home.

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take virtual tours
in Things To Do

STUCK AT HOME? TAKE VIRTUAL TOURSFeatured

“Stay at Home” orders have been instituted across our nation, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re feeling like climbing the walls right about now, you might enjoy this activity. You’ll get to travel without actually getting out of your seat. Many local and distant points of interest offer free and easy virtual tours and here are a few to get you started.

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in Destinations & Landmarks

The Old Towns of SoCalFeatured

Southern California is historic for many things — the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the gnarly surf culture, and the iconic Route 66 just to name a few. Tourists may venture here for the wonderful world of Disney or to experience the beauty of a SoCal beach. But older cities with plenty of history are definitely the way to go for a more immersive trip. Rich in history and fun, these old towns of SoCal will give you a glimpse into the past.

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in Destinations & Landmarks

An International Culture Tour Through Los AngelesFeatured

If you are fortunate to be in Los Angeles and are inclined to explore, you have a variety of different cultures right at your fingertips. The diverse Los Angeles culture is vibrant and inclusive and SoCal visitors can get a taste of its international flavor just by walking the bustling streets. Never been to China? No problem. We’ll bring China to you. Chinatown is located in downtown Los Angeles and has been since the 1800s. With the shops, the language, the smells and the sights, it is easy to believe you’ve flown thousands of miles, rather than a driven a short distance.

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So Cal Sunsets
in Destinations & Landmarks

SoCal’s Seductive SunsetsFeatured

When it comes to sunsets, Southern California boasts some of the best, especially this time of the year From the peaks of the Palisades to the dunes of Dana Point, there are countless places to catch the last bits of a spectacular SoCal Sunset. But what’s better than gazing at the glow of the setting sun than doing it with your special someone? Here, we’ve curated a list of locations that we not only consider fantastic for sunset viewing, but some of the most romantic, too. So as we inch closer to Valentine’s Day, pick your destination and dash out with your darling to one of these top spots.

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

8 Hidden Beaches in San Diego to Discover

Fall is an ideal time to explore San Diego’s 70 miles of sparkling beaches, as the summer crowds diminish, temperatures average a pleasant 74 degrees and seaside hotel prices dip from peak season rates.  Whereas the beaches of La Jolla and Mission Bay have long had mass appeal, San Diego’s lesser-known stretches of sand offer visitors a spot to lay out their towels, bask in the golden glow of the sun and splash in the surf with nary a tourist around.

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