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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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La Jolla: The Jewel of San DiegoFeatured

There are many treasures of this Mediterranean-style village that make La Jolla one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in Southern California: luxurious and historic hotels and resorts; fine dining with breathtaking ocean views; retail shopping that rivals northern neighbors Rodeo Drive and South Coast Plaza; sophisticated, world-class arts and culture, and a strikingly beautiful setting complemented by endless outdoor recreational activities. Add to this extraordinary mix a rich history with numerous famous residents, from Gregory Peck to Ted Giesel (aka Dr. Seuss), and some of the nation’s leading scientific research centers, including the internationally renowned Salk Institute and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and visitors can experience an unparalleled leisure holiday. The following are just some of the diverse offerings of La Jolla (pronounced “La Hoya”; translated from Spanish as “the jewel”) that guests can experience throughout the year. BEACHES AND WATER ACTIVITIES La Jolla’s beaches and coastline are considered to be some of the most beautiful settings in the world; its aqua waters provide endless options for fun and relaxation. Lifeguards watch over families splashing in the rocky shallows off La Jolla Cove, a small patch of sand tucked between weather-sculpted sandstone cliffs. This area’s breathtaking views are a favorite…

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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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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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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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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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