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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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La Jolla: the Jewel of San DiegoFeatured

With a winding coastline of stunning views and unique microclimate rarely dropping below 50 or exceeding 90 degrees, it’s not surprising that La Jolla is one of the most desirable coastal cities in California. Surrounded on three sides by the ocean and backed by the steep slopes of Mt. Soledad, La Jolla’s classic Mediterranean village ambience suggests a casual, upscale lifestyle in keeping with its nickname, “the jewel” of San Diego. Just 15 minutes north of downtown, La Jolla’s seven-mile stretch of picturesque coastline may be officially within the San Diego city limits, but it has shaped an esteemed identity as a city in its own right.  It is also one of the country’s most affluent communities with fine dining, shopping, art galleries, events and renowned research centers including the Salk Institute and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, now a part of the University of California at San Diego.   In 1913, the original Colonial Apartments and Hotel made big news when it opened, charging a nightly rate of $1 and has since watched a century of storied growth. Following its first renovation in 1928, the property reopened boasting the first sprinkler system in the western U.S., reinforced cement stairways and…

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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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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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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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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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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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