12 Magnificent Hidden Gems To Discover In Southern California This Year
Southern California has no shortage of fun, unique, and interesting things to see and do, but some of our favorites are places you may not even know exist. So, this year, why not think off the beaten path and make it a goal to visit these hidden gems in Southern California?
1. January: Painted Cave - Santa Barbara, CA
is a small but fascinating piece of Chumash history found just off Highway 154 in Santa Barbara. The rock art is thought to date back as far as 1600 years ago.
Chumash Highway, CA-154, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
2. February: Bart’s books - Ojai, CA
Tucked away among the residential streets of charming Ojai, California, is the very unique
, a mostly-outdoor book store with a warm, inviting vibe. Browse the open-air bookshelf-lined nooks, the vintage art book room, and the kitchen full of cookbooks and food-related materials, or sit and read in the quaint little courtyard.
302 W Matilija St, Ojai, CA 93023, USA
3. March: Bennett’s Honey Farm - Fillmore, CA
Bennett’s Honey Farm
, you can sample a variety of honeys. Learn about the farm’s process of producing raw, unfiltered, gravity-strained honey and see live bees in action in the shop’s working hive.
3176 Honey Ln, Fillmore, CA 93015, USA
4. April: The Japanese Garden - Van Nuys, CA
The very epitome of a hidden gem, the authentic
is actually on the site of a water reclamation plant in the suburban San Fernando Valley. This oasis is a series of three distinct gardens designed to stroll through - a Zen meditation garden featuring Tortoise Island, a “wet” garden with waterfalls and streams, and a tea garden complete with an authentic teahouse.
6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406, USA
5. May: Seaside Gardens - Carpinteria, CA
Stroll through the varied landscapes, such as the Australian, Tropical, South African, Mediterranean, Grassland, and other gardens at
. Meandering paths, benches, ponds, and fountains add to the relaxing environment.
3700 Via Real #3050, Carpinteria, CA 93013, USA
6. June: King Richard’s Antique Vintage Center - Whittier, CA
is California’s largest antique and vintage center boasting 57,000 square feet of shopping area inside a historic 1903 citrus packing house. With four floors and 302 dealer spaces, you might need the whole day to explore this one-of-a-kind shop.
12301 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, CA 90602, USA
7. July: The Oasis Camel Dairy Farm - Ramona, CA
The Oasis Camel Dairy
is located in San Diego County and is a truly unique attraction. At this family farm, you can meet the camels - even ride one - and discover all sorts of camel milk products, including soaps, bath bombs, skin care, lip balms and tints, and camel milk chocolate.
26757 CA-78, Ramona, CA 92065, USA
8. August: Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave - La Jolla, CA
The Cave Store
in La Jolla to find the only one of the area’s sea caves that can be accessed by land. You will reach the opening of Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave by descending 145 stairs through an old tunnel believed to have been used by bootleggers to smuggle alcohol during Prohibition.
1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
9. September: Getty Villa - Pacific Palisades, CA
In the hills above the Malibu coastline, you will find a stunning recreated Roman mansion known as the
Getty Villa Museum
. Enjoy ancient Greek and Roman art, serene gardens, classical sculptures, striking architecture, and the gorgeous central courtyard with its grand columns, long reflecting pool, panoramic views, and ocean breezes.
17985 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
10. October: Pioneertown - Joshua Tree, CA
If you have always wanted to experience the Old West of the 1800s, or to be in a Western movie, take a little trip to
, a real living desert town that is also a perfectly picturesque movie set. Belly up to the bar at the saloon, visit the tiny town jail, or spend some time in the film museum. You can even spend the night at the Pioneertown Motel.
11. November: Oak Tree Mountain - Oak Glen, CA
Oak Tree Mountain
is a good old-fashioned theme park in the tiny mountain town of Oak Glen, known for its colorful fall foliage and apple country. This 14-acre theme park and family-owned farm is a fantastic place for families to take a step back to a slower time and enjoy a day of fun activities like a petting zoo, mountain slide, axe throwing, gold and gem panning, and giant games. Be sure to try the mile-high apple pie at Apple Annie’s Bakery.
38480 Oak Glen Rd, Oak Glen, CA 92399, USA
12. December: Enchanted Forest of Light - La Canada Flintridge, CA
For a limited time each winter, the already beautiful Descanso Gardens is transformed into an immersive wonderland of light and color. The
Enchanted Forest of Light
features mesmerizing displays of light, movement, and music.
1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, USA
We think every one of these hidden gems in Southern California is worth a visit. Have you had the chance to visit any of them? Do you know of any other well-kept secrets in SoCal? Tell us about them in the comments. You may also want to check out these
12 charming small towns to visit. Address: 302 W Matilija St, Ojai, CA 93023, USA Address: 3176 Honey Ln, Fillmore, CA 93015, USA Address: 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, USA Address: 17985 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA Address: 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406, USA Address: 12301 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, CA 90602, USA Address: 38480 Oak Glen Rd, Oak Glen, CA 92399, USA Address: 26757 CA-78, Ramona, CA 92065, USA Address: Chumash Highway, CA-154, Santa Barbara, CA, USA Address: Pioneertown, CA, USA Address: 1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA Address: 3700 Via Real #3050, Carpinteria, CA 93013, USA
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