After living in Southern California for a long time, it’s easy to take for granted the many beautiful spaces and places that make this side of California such a blissful place to live. If you need a reminder of the many destinations that are worth exploring again and again, then you might want to take a look at this list and bookmark these destinations. These spots are no secret, especially to those of us who are local, but they’re definitely worth visiting once again.
1. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.
The Huntington, located at 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino, CA, completely embodies SoCal's abundant beauty. From lush gardens of every variety to elegant architecture throughout the grounds, you'll be reminded exactly why you love visiting this gem in SoCal as you spend a day strolling through this scenic setting.
2. Balboa Island
Whether you're a kid or just a kid at heart, a day trip to Balboa Island is a classic SoCal day trip that will bring a smile to your face. For the ultimate Southern California experience, you can hop on the ferry to head to the island. Once you arrive, you can fill the day with local shopping, dining, and strolling for a perfect SoCal afternoon.
3. Sturtevant Falls
Tucked inside the San Gabriel Mountains, Sturtevant Falls is a challenging and rewarding hike that will get your blood pumping in a stunning setting that leads to a refreshing waterfall. This hike can be especially challenging as the temps in SoCal increase, but the waterfall is one way to cool off after a long day on the trail.
SoCal locals know that you don't have to hop on a jet for an international getaway when you need a holiday fix. Just head to the town of Solvang only a short drive from Southern California and you'll be in the "Danish Capital of America" in no time.
5. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
When spring rolls around in SoCal, every Southern Californian knows it's time to head out and soak up the beauty of the wildflowers. One of the best spots to see some spectacular color is at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Whether you're a local or an out-of-towner, you will never tire of this magnificent scenery. The Flower Fields are located at 5704 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, California.
6. La Jolla Cove
SoCal is filled with many picturesque beaches. Although it's hard to pick a favorite, it's just as hard not to fall in love with La Jolla Cove. The perfect spot to spend a day lounging, playing, and soaking up the sun, this perfect beach in Southern California is a slice of paradise any day of the week.
7. Santa Monica
No matter where you explore in Santa Monica, you can count on a dreamy setting surrounded by some of the best views of the Pacific Ocean. Whether you stroll along the pier, relax in Palisades Park, or pick a perfect perch near the bluffs, the charm and beauty of this SoCal city is no secret.
8. Torrey Pines
When you're seeking an epic SoCal view, there's nothing quite like a hike at Torrey Pines where you can gaze out at a picture-perfect setting of the Pacific Ocean. Grab your hiking shoes, fill up that water bottle, and take in the scenery of this magical spot that can only be found in Southern California.
9. The Ocean View Benches in Laguna Beach.
Sometimes all you want to do is find the perfect spot to sit and relax and stare out at perfection. If you are a local, you've most likely found yourself sitting at these very benches in Laguna Beach that offer the most epic view of a lifetime. If you've yet to experience this view in SoCal, you can find it at Treasure Island Park in Laguna Beach. No matter how many times you stare out at this setting, this view never gets old.
10. Wayfarer's Chapel
The most beautiful chapel in the entire world is located right here in Southern California and it's a gem that every local must witness at least once. Constructed of glass and surrounded by the natural beauty of towering trees , this glass church in the woods that overlooks the ocean is a masterpiece that can easily be viewed again and again. You can find the Wayfarer's Chapel at 5755 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
11. Lake Gregory
Lakes are not the first thing that come to mind when you think of Southern California, but for those of us who live here we know that SoCal has some delightful lakeside destinations that we love to return to again and again. Lake Gregory is a favorite for its tranquil setting and its walkable trail that winds its way around the entire lake.
So many stunning places to return to in Southern California. Do you have a favorite on the list?