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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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5 Best Southland Beaches to Visit in the Fall

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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SoCal’s Magical Wisdom Tree

  Situated on the Cahuenga Peak Trail in Griffith Park, the “Wisdom Tree”—which resembles a bashful sprout of broccoli—should have been one of Mother Nature’s tragedies, but it has turned out to be a rousing success story.   For all intents and purposes, the tree should have succumbed to not only an unmerciful fire in 2007, but a land sale in 2010 that would have seen it felled without forethought. However, the inferno, though unrelenting as it was in destroying most of the vegetation around it, spared the limbs of the tree. And the potentially disastrous real-estate transaction was countervailed by The Trust for Public Land, which won out when a miraculous $900,000 check by Hugh Hefner sealed the deal and salvaged the tree’s fate.   After winning the “Save the Peak” sweepstakes, the tree has been since meditating on an additional 138 acres of public property, accessible to all visitors, who often hike by to bask in its sage vibe. The really inspired ones will pick up one of the many journals and pens placed at the feet of its bark (provided by advocate Mark Rowlands) and write a meaningful message for posterity.   Among all the Wisdom Tree…

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Take a Hike: The Palm Canyon Trail

After you inch your way down the main drag of Palm Springs, past the restaurants, clubs, shops, noise and famed Palm Canyon Walk of Stars , a peaceful journey awaits.   Continue down South Palm Canyon Drive, along the dusty road dotted with flash flood signs warning “Turn Around or Drown.” At the end you will find yourself at the entrance to the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indian Reservation and some of the most magical hiking trails in Southern California.   Entrance fees to Palm Canyon, Andreas Canyon and Murray Canyon range from $9.00 for adults to $5.00 for children for adventure on foot as well as horseback.   The most spiritual of all the trails is Palm Canyon – 15 miles at most and ranges from easy to strenuous in difficulty level. Or you can just have lunch at a picnic table, surrounded by the largest California Fan Palm Oasis in the world, which has been there for centuries, originally settled by the Agua Caliente Native Californians.   The trail winds along a canyon of palms, pools and streams, surrounded in dramatic contrast by ancient rocky gorges jutting straight up to the sky and the barren desert that is the…

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Ojai, California — The Perfect Escape

After completing a seriously demanding nightmare of a project, I realized it was time for some much-needed respite. Yet with only a few days before my next project began, I needed to find a place where I could recharge and rejuvenate in the quickest, dirtiest way possible. Luckily, I picked the perfect locale — the charming town of Ojai, California. It was exactly what I needed — in just two days, I felt like a completely new woman. I stayed at The Oaks at Ojai (www.oaksspa.com), which I chose because of its reputation for being comfortable and unassuming. It was a great pick — the staff was legitimately friendly and there was absolutely no attitude — I leave Los Angeles for a reason. The newly renovated rooms were nice and relaxing, and as a whole, the place has a casual yet welcoming feel, perfect for a woman traveling by herself (did I mention I also needed some alone time?). The minute I got there, I felt like I was in an entirely different world — it was hard to believe I was only an hour and a half away from Los Angeles. The food at The Oaks was outstanding and amounted to…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

Muscle Beach Venice : Beach Next to the Santa Monica Pier Put LA’s Beautiful People on the Map

During the Great Depression, in an effort to improve the health and welfare of its citizens, the Works Progress Administration would install numbered playgrounds on many the beaches throughout Los Angeles. The program, which was part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” aimed to provide the “3 Rs”—relief, recovery and reform—for Angelenos faced with the many hardships of the time. New schools, parks, bridges and playgrounds went up in record numbers around the city, providing paid jobs for scads of unemployed men and women, and in turn, boosting the morale of people who’d lost all hope. Beach Playground #4 was located right next to the Santa Monica Pier. In addition to swings and slides, it included a plethora of athletic equipment. Within a short time, Hollywood stunt men, circus performers and variety acts began congregating there to train and stay limber. The beach would really gain a reputation for good-looking athletes and perfect physiques, when the UCLA men’s gymnastics team began training there regularly. It’s been said that the section of beach just north of the Pier was such a popular spot for students to study, that it was nicknamed “Brain Beach.” The many strongmen posing and flexing in the…

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Enjoy The Warmth of the Sun in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach: Drive down Pacific Coast Highway and as you come around the rocky bend of the shoreline to your right, you may feel as if you are entering a small beach town in South America, not in the heart of Orange County. That is the vibe Laguna Beach can give a first time visitor or someone who has been coming to this laid-back, artsy coastal hang out for years. Husband and wife writing team, Jeff and Shannah Game took a couple days to fall off the electronic grid and got lost in one of the coolest cities in the OC. Peaceful Easy Feeling Tucked away on the east edge of Laguna sits Casa Laguna, a B&B Inn reminiscent of an Old Spanish villa. Casa Laguna’s 22 rooms offer luxurious and tranquil accommodations, but this B&B’s best-kept secret is their gourmet food. Grab a box lunch for only $10 per person; choose from delicious options like Casa Bahn Mi or the Veggie Sammy, and head across the street to Victoria Beach. In the Waves Laguna Beach has about 27 beaches and coves in seven miles of coastline. One of the most majestic and pristine looking beaches, Victoria Beach, is well off the beaten path…

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