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Featured stories from Southern California Life Magazine

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in Featured, Sports & Adventures

It’s a New Day for Downtown L.A.Featured

Most tourists head to cities to enjoy their fine hotels, restaurants, shopping, and activities. Not so with Downtown Los Angeles … until recently. It was a place where people worked and left it pretty much shuttered at 5 pm.  Happy Hours, movie nights and home were in the valleys, Inland Empire, Westside and coastal cities. And then the renaissance began. Los Angeles was founded in September 1781 when 44 settlers established El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles—The Town of the Queen of Angels, which a century later, had grown into the largest town in California. With the arrival of the railroads and land boom of the 1880s, the population of 11,000 exploded to 97,000.  Los Angeles was here to stay. Growth of Downtown continued until 1957 when the building boom moved to outlying areas creating masses of shopping malls, business centers, entertainment complexes, and residential neighborhoods.  The city went into decline, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that the renaissance began. A vibrant new energy in economic and social environments created by millennials and other professionals began building a new social and economic dynamic in the heart of the city. With the resurgence came an influx of new…

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in Featured, Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

Best Places to Do Water SportsFeatured

Flowers are blooming, trees are filled with new leaves, and the days are longer and warm which means summer is almost here. It’s time to find stop binge-watching the latest series and make more space for outdoor activities. Southern California is known for its blue skies and golden sands, but there’s nothing more exciting than doing water sports on its emerald waters. Water sports are the perfect way to be active and stay cool. If you love being in the water but are tired of your backyard swimming pool, SoCal has limitless options. These water activities are for beginners, experts and those just looking to have a fun, memorable time. So put on your swimsuits and grab your friends and families. Huntington Beach Surf Lessons 19881 Brookurst St., Suite C156 Huntington Beach 92646 949.558.2075 huntingtonbeachsurfinglessons.com If you’ve always wanted to surf but never learned how, Huntington Beach offers a wide range of lessons. Not only do they encourage children to get involved; they have something for all ages. Huntington Beach Surfing Lessons include private, semi-private, mini groups of three,  groups of four people, and larger groups for birthday parties. Expert surf instructors make it their mission to have everyone stand…

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in Featured, Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

Flying Over Southern CaliforniaFeatured

The Gold Coast’s Best Zip Lines By Dustin Clendenen Once upon a time, ziplining was an actual mode of transportation in countries such as Australia and China, but here in America, soaring through the air on a rope is just a really cool and fun way to spend an afternoon. With year-round 72 degree and sunny weather, Southern California is replete with lots of options for ziplining, granting riders the ability to enjoy mountain, ocean, forest and valley views all within a radius of several hundred miles. If you want to have one of these pseudo-hang-gliding experiences yourself, here are the best places in SoCal to hop on a zipline: The Catalina Zipline Eco-Tour 1 Descanso Canyon Rd., Avalon, CA 90704(310) 510-7422www.visitcatalinaisland.com Catalina Island is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Southern California, and perhaps the best way to really see it in all its glory is by a two-hour zipline tour. The course is intense but perfect for beginners, with friendly guides talking you through each progressively steeper incline. The final even runs a seemingly endless 1,100 lineal feet from platform to platform. As you soar through the air, you’re probably going to see some of…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Featured

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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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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