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Destinations & Landmarks

Want to know where to go in Southern California? Our editors scour every nook and cranny to provide readers with the most fun and unique events that are not to be missed. In addition to upcoming events, Southern California is packed with landmarks and famous hot-spots that have fascinating historical features. This section reveals the behind-the-scene story lines about the prominent places that have made So Cal one of the most desirable sightseeing destinations in the U.S. This section offers readers options of places to visit to make their stay in the Southland even more eventful.

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Getty Center and Getty Villa Reopens to PublicFeatured

The Getty Center and the Getty Villa museum and gardens will reopen to a limited number of visitors with free reservations on Tuesday, May 25, with specific one-way routes and other measures in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. Getty Center “We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the iconic Getty Center, one of Los Angeles’ most visited cultural destinations,” said Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “As well as all the familiar highlights of the Museum’s collections, gardens, architecture, and vistas, we will be featuring our newly acquired painting of Lucretia by Artemisia Gentileschi, and special exhibits of photography and other media. With both the Villa and Center opening, the staff are excited to welcome visitors back to their Getty.” In addition to Lucretia, by the most celebrated woman painter of 17th-century Italy, also on view are new exhibitions Photo Flux: Unshuttering L.A.; Power, Justice and Tyranny in the Middle Ages; Artist as Collectors; and Silk & Swan Feathers: A Luxurious 18th-Century Armchair.  “We are grateful for the support of the community, and glad that people have continued to engage with us online throughout this long year….

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Not Your Average BearFeatured

Big Bear is a beautiful and beloved vacation spot for SoCal residents looking to get away from it all. The Bear’s “keepers” want to keep it that way. Yogi, America’s favorite cartoon bear, is “smarter than the average bear.” He says so himself. So “hey, hey, hey,” it has to be true, right? Unfortunately, his human friends are not always so smart — at least when it comes to the “leave no trace” ethos that should be deeply engrained in every traveler’s mindset.  “We’ve Got a Bear Disturbance Here.” – Ranger Smith (Yogi’s pal) Lately, there’s been a disturbing trend at popular nature-centered vacation spots, including iconic Big Bear. It appears that “Leave No Trace” has been supplanted by “Trash This Place” —marking a new low in responsible environmentalism. Call it a fallout from COVID-19, where restless urbanites seeking relief from their cloistered, masked existence have been descending in even greater numbers upon Big Bear. And who can blame them? A 6-feet-apart-while-wearing-a-mask mandate, job and business losses, and a feeling of constant uncertainty is no way to live months on end. We all feel that urge. We need space. We need a place away from the cloud of COVID hanging…

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Secrets of Downtown LA’s Underbelly HistoryFeatured

By Melissa Curtin Carefully climbing down into the bowels of a famous watering hole that still exists today on the outskirts of Skid Row, I wonder if I should turn back. The smell of rodents or maybe dead air from 100 years ago wafts into my nostrils, suffocating my senses. I try not to breathe too hard. Are those rat droppings? A cockroach skitters. Ducking below an old cobweb, I wonder what life was like down here in the 1920s. Images quickly come to mind from the HBO show Boardwalk Empire of gangster life in Atlantic City. But here we are in the recesses of Wild West Los Angeles. Once a fake piano shop above the bar, a mural of kegs painted on the wall are still present under the city streets next to a false wall made of light wood and sideboards for food and drink. Evidence of what was once a Prohibition-era tunnel is slathered and sealed off with concrete – apparently just cemented in the last 20 years. A crumpling dusty room nearby in the cellar exposes old metal bank vaults where booze money was kept – exchanged and transported underground from banks. Once upon a time,…

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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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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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Discovering Channel Islands National ParkFeatured

Just off the coast of Ventura is Channel Islands National Park, one of our richest, rarest national treasures.  Known as America’s Galapagos, the park’s five islands — Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara — are treasure troves of history and recreation. It also includes some 2,000 diverse animal and plant species, 145 of which exist nowhere else in the world.

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