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Things To Do

Must Do highlights day trips, fun activities, and entertainment and recreation options every tourist and local of Southern California should check out. SoCal’s hidden gems, local secrets, unique finds and off-the beaten path venues will also be uncovered and explored.

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in Family Fun, Things To Do

The Guide To O’sideFeatured

Oceanside is known for perfect weather, beautiful beaches and laidback vibes. Known as O’side by locals, and now SoCal Life readers, this cool Cali town is located in the heart of SoCal. This popular surf spot offers a beachy escape, with activities ranging from relaxing to heart racing. Whether you enjoy lounging on the beach, diving deep into history, eating amazing food or exploring someplace new, this eclectic area is filled with hidden gems only found in O’side. A fun way to explore Oceanside while getting a taste of history, culture and local favorites is with Carla and Linda’s Food Tour. These awesome ladies know the ins and outs of the best O’side eateries, and you’ll hear some fun facts along the way. They offer a variety of tours and often change things up to incorporate their new favorites. Come hungry and leave full! Oceanside can definitely be walked, but to cover ground fast, pick up an electric scooter or bike.  While riding around, check out the vibrant street murals. Get in touch with your creative side as you browse the beautiful artwork during a self-guided tour. O’side has around 30 murals with nine more on the way … more…

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Santa Catalina IslandFeatured

SoCal’s Favorite Island for Land and Sea Adventures An island vacation can bring to mind long flights and expensive accommodations, but just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Santa Catalina can satisfy that island urge with surprising convenience. As the southern-most region in Los Angeles County, Catalina Island is a lush 2.9 square miles of quaint shops, hotels, restaurants, a spa, and a variety of scenic tours that spotlight the area’s culture and history. Catalina has evolved into an active destination that offers water sports, camping, and programs that educate visitors about sustainability and environmental preservation. Think of it as an escape to a charming town on a remote island — except it’s not as remote as you may think. It’s a quick boat trip from SoCal, and with approximately 4,000 people who call it home, Catalina Island is particularly ideal for those who seek an uncongested getaway. Tourists can visit the island’s two primary communities: the city of Avalon at the east end and the unincorporated region of Two Harbors near the west. The small town of Avalon consists of a picturesque harbor, green hillsides dotted with homes and hotels, and narrow streets lined with shops and…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Things To Do

Alisal Guest Ranch & ResortFeatured

Celebrating its 76th anniversary this year, The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort is one of more than 300 hotels and resorts throughout the country that is recognized for maintaining its history and distinguished architecture. “The Alisal,” in the Chumash language means “grove of the Sycamores,” which describes the backdrop of the celebrated ranch, located in the Santa Ynez Valley. The 10,500-acre property was once known as Rancho Nojoqui and is still a working ranch today.  The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort boasts 73 private guest cottages and suites, a 6,500-sq.ft. spa, swimming pool and fitness center. With an array of amenities and activities from which to choose, this renowned luxury dude ranch is the ideal destination for a fabulous family vacation, given the multitude of activities suitable for all ages and interests. This full-service, Western-themed ranch has been enjoyed by guests from around the world since it opened in 1946.  The resort features a weekly schedule of events that list daily happenings and special activities. Some are scheduled, such as classes and cultural events, and others are self-guided.  Hikers will enjoy the Deer Canyon Trail, a 2.5-mile loop that begins at the gated entrance. There are plenty of signs to keep…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, People & Personalities, Sports & Adventures, Things To Do

Rediscover Wide Open SpacesFeatured

Outdoor Experiences in Palm Springs Post card-worthy landscapes. Endless sunshine. Fresh air and room to breathe! Palm Springs is home to some of the best outdoor experiences in Southern California. Luckily, this haven for outdoor enthusiasts is only a short drive from Los Angeles. Yes, you read that right! Hike, bike or take a tour; whatever your activity preference is, it’s bound to be more enjoyable when done Palm Springs style. Shift your adventure into high gear by exploring Palm Springs on two wheels Predominantly level streets, 13 miles of marked bike lanes, vast mountain trails and notorious neighborhoods filled with colorful doors makes Palm Springs a true bicycler’s paradise. To kick-start your adventure, check out Bike Palm Springs for all your cycling needs. Whether you’re an avid mountain bicyclist, a road bike junkie or you’re simply looking to take a cruise through the neighborhoods, Bike Palm Springs can bring your ideal biking adventure to life. Does all this bike talk seem like too much exercise? Don’t worry, we know just the fix! Check out Pedego Palm Springs and rent an electric bike to power you through town instead! (Cue Fleetwood Mac ‘Dreams’). Moun-tain your distance by hitting the trailsSoak in…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Family Fun, Things To Do

Solace and SustainabilityFeatured

Cuyama Buckhorn There’s a lot of chatter among SoCal travelers seeking “off the grid” destinations that are within driving range. Loosely defined, these are getaways that offer solitude and serenity—hotels and resorts that are far enough away from civilization but close enough to access when the urge to escape suddenly hits. In Southern California, one of these idyllic locations is the tiny town of New Cuyama, known as “The Hidden Valley of Enchantment,” approximately 2.5 hours from Los Angeles. The first hint of how remote this area truly is, can be detected early into the drive as travelers realize that the road to New Cuyama, regardless of one’s starting point, is no doubt off the beaten path. Highway 33, one of the few course options, leads drivers through a lonesome mountain path. The road, which at some points is green and lush and at other points brown and dry, seems to last hours beyond the GPS’s ETA. The scenic commute leads to an alluring valley that is set at the junction of Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Kern, and Santa Barbara counties. And at this point, the Cuyama Buckhorn, a charming mid-century gem that is worth every bit of the drive…

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in Destinations & Landmarks, Things To Do

What to Expect in Travel in 2022Featured

After a couple abnormal years, many families are eager and ready to travel together again, and there are indications some pandemic-influenced travel behaviors will persist in 2022. For example, remote work and virtual school allowed families to travel and combine work and vacation time into “flexcation” getaways, a trend that will continue, according to the 2022 Vrbo Trend Report. In addition to the 44% of families that said they’re more likely to work remotely from a place that’s not their home, extended stays are also on the rise. The vacation home site and app has seen a 68% increase in demand for 3-4-week stays over the past year. Consider these 2022 trends spotted by the travel experts at Vrbo: Up-and-Coming Destinations Spots in Ohio, New York and Alaska saw double vacation rental demand over the past year. Within driving distance of major Midwest metros like Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville, Cincinnati was the year’s top emerging destination. Other up-and-comers include Niagara Falls, a popular choice for those who wanted to experience life at the border. Yorktown, Virginia, the location of the last Revolutionary War battle, allows history buffs to witness a battle reenactment. Adventurous travelers trekked to Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska, to enjoy…

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