9 Epic Adventures Every Southern Californian Must Experience Before They Die
Southern California is a wondrous place to explore. From stunning ocean settings with views for miles to magnificent hikes that are truly awe-inspiring; to colorful botanical gardens and dreamy wine trails that will awaken your senses, it’s safe to say you’ll never run out of things to see and do.
If you’ve lived here your whole life, then you may recognize many of these spots that are a must see, but we’re sure hoping you’ll find a few new gems to add to your bucket list of epic adventures to experience in Southern California. Here are nine memorable experiences we think you’ll love.
1. Enjoy the great outdoors at Sturtevant Falls.
We sure love our hikes here in SoCal, especially when there is a waterfall involved. One of our favorites is the hike to Sturtevant Falls. Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, Sturtevant Falls is a great way to escape the city and spend some time out in nature.
Address: Chantry Flat Road, Arcadia, CA, 91006
2. Take a ride on the Pacific Surfliner.
Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner is one of SoCal's best-kept secrets. This 350-mile train ride treks between San Diego and San Luis Obispo for an extraordinary adventure that is a feast for the eyes. To experience the trip from beginning to end, you'll want to start your trip in San Diego at the Santa Fe Depot.
Address: 1050 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA, 92101
3. Enjoy the view along the De Portola Wine Trail.
Whether you're here for the wine or just the views, you can't go wrong with an epic day out in SoCal's wine country. With miles of vineyards and scenic settings for a Sunday drive, this is one surefire way to have an adventure in Southern California that's packed with gorgeous scenery.
Address: Intersection of Anza Road and De Portola Road
4. Take in the beauty of Balboa Park.
For those of you seeking an urban adventure, a day trip to Balboa Park is an essential SoCal experience not to be overlooked. From nature trails to museums and glorious architecture in every direction, this outdoor oasis in Southern California is an all-time favorite that you'll want to return to again and again.
Address: San Diego, CA
5. Escape to Catalina Island.
Nothing captures the magic of SoCal like a day trip or a weekend getaway to Catalina Island. And we must confess, half the fun is taking a scenic and relaxing ride on the ferry so we can soak up the soaring views and that heavenly ocean breeze.
6. Hike to Mt. Rubidoux.
There's something about the view from the top of Mt. Rubidoux Memorial Park that is beyond breathtaking. Like a backdrop from a movie set, the view will take your breath away as you head up the trail toward the World Peace Bridge and Tower. It's magnificent!
Address: 4706 Mount Rubidoux Drive, Riverside, CA, 92501
7. Discover a hidden swimming hole at Big Falls Trail.
Hikes and waterfalls are two things we simply can't resist, which puts this outdoor adventure in SoCal at the top of our list. Big Falls Trail, located in the Santa Lucia Wilderness, is quite the sight to see as it's one of SoCal's biggest waterfalls. Take a hike along the 4.4-mile trail but proceed with caution as we hear the trail can be challenging. After you complete the hike, you can reward yourself with a refreshing dip in the water.
Address: Located near Arroyo Grande, CA in the Santa Lucia Wilderness
8. Kayak through the La Jolla Sea Caves.
Kayaking through the La Jolla sea caves in SoCal is pretty much heaven on earth. Perfect for an adventure on the water, this thrilling outing will show you a side of Southern California you've never seen before. A variety of tour companies offer kayak rentals along with morning or afternoon tours with an experienced guide. La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks is always a great choice.
Address: 2164 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, CA, 92037
9. Awaken your senses at Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens.
One of the dreamiest places to visit in Southern California is the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. You'll find a variety of stunning botanical gardens to stroll in an outdoor oasis filled with an array of magnificent trees, flowers, and ornamental artworks in every direction. This local adventure is definitely one for the books.
Address: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA, 91108
Have you experienced any of these amazing spots in Southern California? If the answer is yes, do you have a favorite place on this list?
Looking for more ways to embrace the beauty of SoCal? We think you’ll also enjoy this
Southern California Beach Day Road Trip. It’s the perfect thing to do when you want to be reminded just how lucky you are to live here.