Southern California is a heavenly place to live or visit. If you’re lucky enough to spend time in this magnificent part of the country you should make sure to soak up as much of the beautiful landscape as possible. If you see nothing else in this part of the world, make sure you put these 12 places sprinkled throughout SoCal at the top of your list. Perhaps you’ve already had the pleasure to visit many of these locations – how many have you scratched off your bucket list?
1. Catalina Island
Have you ever seen such a glorious view? There's no question that Catalina Island is one of the most magnificent spots in all of SoCal. Grab a ferry and head to this scenic getaway that is simply heaven on earth.
2. Pelican Cove - Rancho Palos Verdes
It's no wonder people come here to paint this stunning setting. Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, Pelican Cove is a picturesque spot with towering cliffs and rolling waves crashing below.
3. Treasure Island Park -- Laguna Beach
Treasure Island in Laguna Beach is known for its spectacular setting that boasts picture-perfect ocean views at every angle. Take a stroll along the winding path and find a cozy nook where you can stop and appreciate the scenic overlook.
4. Joshua Tree
You may have heard of Joshua Tree before, but have you ever had the chance to visit? It may look impressive in pictures, but until you see it in person it's impossible to appreciate its arresting beauty.
5. Palisades Park -- Santa Monica
Spending a day or even just an afternoon in Palisades Park in Santa Monica will give you a slice of the SoCal lifestyle. Towering palm trees and the sound of ocean waves in the background make this a dreamy spot for a walk in the park.
6. Death Valley National Park
Over 3-million acres of deserts and mountains is what you'll find at Death Valley National Park. The jaw-dropping landscape is hard to fathom until you are standing in the middle of it and taking it in with your own eyes.
7. Lavender Fields
There are certain times of year in Southern California when you will find lush lavender fields in full bloom across the region. Take a day trip to any one of these fields to experience the intoxicating scent of lavender in the air and it will be a moment to remember. Pictured here: Keys Creek in Valley Center.
8. Hotel Del Coronado
One of the most recognizable hotels in the world is located in Coronado right here in Southern California. Even if you're not staying in Coronado, taking a tour of the Hotel Del is a splendid way to spend part of your day. After you experience the grandeur of this historic hotel, spend some time on the grounds to take a stroll in the outdoor courtyard where the ocean provides a magical backdrop.
9. Mt. San Jacinto State Park
A trip to Southern California isn't complete without an outing to Mt. San Jacinto State Park. What makes the setting even more spectacular? Experiencing it by tram on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway -- the world's largest rotating tramway in the world. Now that's what I call an adventure of a lifetime!
10. Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The scenery at Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden is sublime. You never know what wonders to expect as you explore the grounds, such as this colorful peacock taking an afternoon break on a garden bench.
11. Kelso Dunes -- Mojave Desert
At first glance you may think this is a snow-capped mountain, but what you're actually seeing is the smooth sand of the Kelso Dunes in the Mojave Desert. Have you ever hiked a mountain of sand? Head to Kelso Dunes and scratch that one off your bucket list.
12. Point Vicente Lighthouse
Whether you're a visitor or a local, you should make sure to see the Point Vicente Lighthouse in Rancho Palos Verdes on one of your outings. Take a walk along the grounds and take in the view to be reminded why SoCal is one of the most stunning spots in the country.
Oh my — SoCal is pure bliss! There are so many more spots to add to your bucket list, but these 12 places will get you off to a good start. If you have been lucky enough to see all of these locations in Southern California, which one is your favorite?