If you have any doubts that Southern California is a magnificent place to live or visit, then take a look at this list of 10 things that you can only find here. From a secret tower at one of SoCal’s beaches to North America’s hottest place and everything in between, all of these things are a reminder that there’s nothing quite like SoCal.
1. The oldest operating McDonald's -- 10207 Lakewood Boulevard, Downey, CA.
Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the site of the oldest McDonalds restaurant still in operation is located in Southern Calfornia in the town of Downey. Whether or not you're a fan of McDonald's, there's no denying that this tourist attraction in Downey is part of SoCal's unique history.
2. Victoria Beach Tower -- Laguna Beach
Hiding along a stretch of sand along Victoria Beach in Laguna Beach you'll find a mesmerizing 60-foot tower that looks like it's right out of a fairytale. But believe us, this is no fairytale -- it's completely real. Although this tower looks like it's carved from rocks, this structure is a staircase that dates back to the 1920s and leads up to a beautiful house. Although you can't go inside and climb the staircase since it belongs to a private party, you can still enjoy this unique treasure as you walk by one of SoCal's most beautiful beaches.
3. The World's Tallest Thermometer -- Baker, CA.
Did you know SoCal is home to the world's tallest thermometer? If not, now you can add that to your list of fun SoCal facts. Built in 1991 in Baker, CA, this towering thermometer is a staggering 134 feet tall, which represents the highest recorded temperature at Death Valley at the time it was built. To see this thermometer in person, you can find it at 72157 Baker Boulevard in Baker, CA.
4. Death Valley National Park
Speaking of hot temperatures, Southern California also just happens to be the home of the hottest and driest place in all of North America. Death Valley National Park, with scorching hot summer temperatures averaging close to 120 degrees, is one spot that you may want to visit during the winter when the average high temp drops down to 65 degrees.
5. Catalina Island
There's only one Catalina Island, and we're beyond lucky to have it right here in SoCal. Hop on a ferry and take a short ride to Avalon and you will find one of the most beautiful places on earth. Stroll through the main street, head to the iconic casino, and take in the beautiful views that can be enjoyed throughout this picturesque island.
6. Walt Disney Concert Hall -- 111 S Grand Avenue in Los Angeles.
This architectural beauty, designed by Frank Gehry, is a true masterpiece that can only be experienced right here in Southern California. Whether you have the opportunity to attend a concert performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic or you just show up for a tour of this architectural masterpiece, this is one of many destinations that we are lucky to have in SoCal.
7. The Wayfarer's Chapel aka The Glass Church -- 5755 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Nestled inside Rancho Palos Verdes you'll find a stunning Glass Church that is surrounded by redwood trees and a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. A perfect example of organic architecture, this magnificent church is flooded with light as the sun beams through the glass windows. Whether you're here for worship or to take in the beautiful surroundings, the Wayfarer's Chapel is one more awe-inspiring destination that can only be witnessed in SoCal.
8. Watts Towers -- 1727 E 107th St, in Los Angeles, CA.
Take a drive through Los Angeles in the Watts district and you'll spot this unique tower that stands almost 100 feet tall. Built by hand, these 17 interconnected towers are the work of Simon Rodia, who spent over 30 years creating this unique sculpture made from concrete, glass, tile and wire mesh.
9. Balboa Park -- San Diego
Being home to one of the largest urban parks in the country is an honor we are lucky to have here in Southern California. Take a stroll through Balboa Park and you'll find stunning nature trails, a colorful rose garden, museums, a zoo, the world's largest outdoor organ pavilion, and restaurants and food carts galore to keep your taste buds happy all afternoon.
10. Disneyland -- Anaheim, CA.
Although other Disneyland locations have popped up all over the world, no other place but SoCal can boast being the home of the first and the original Disneyland. Whether you're a kid or a grown-up, there's no question that this one Southern California destination is truly the happiest place on earth.
What do you think of these 10 things you can only find in Southern California? What else would you add to this list?