Southern California August 22, 2017
10 Underrated Southern California Towns That Deserve A Second Look
With so many picture-perfect towns in Southern California, it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite place. Perhaps you’ve stumbled upon these ten towns in the past, but if you haven’t visited in a while they are all worth a second look. Some of my all-time favorite SoCal trips have been at a few of these destinations. Number 9 is at the top of my list. Which one is at the top of your list?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Santa Paula
If you've never experienced the charm of small-town SoCal then you're in for a treat when you visit Santa Paula. Take a moment to savor the gorgeous farm land, the peace and quiet that abounds, and the many community activities that will make you feel right at home.
Located in the San Gabriel Valley less than 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, you'll be charmed by the town of Glendora as it's close enough to access the big city yet distant enough to feel like you're tucked away from all of the hustle and bustle. Plus, what's not to love about the delightful main street in Glendora Village? It feels like it's right out of a storybook.
3. Palm Springs
The thought of Palm Springs may conjure up images of 1950s Hollywood -- Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. to be exact. But Palm Springs is every bit as cool today as it once was back in the Rat Pack Days with a twist of retro chic. You'll find award-winning restaurants, lavish hotels, and stylish streets filled with all the best shopping that will keep you entertained for hours in this glorious SoCal desert town.
The town of Redlands will take you back in time. With historic architecture dating back to the late 1800s, you'll experience a taste old SoCal in this delightful town located in San Bernardino County. Pictured here: Dearborn Street with the San Bernardino Mountains in the background.
Brea often gets overshadowed by some of the more well-known Orange County towns but that doesn't mean this lively and artistic city shouldn't be tops on your list. With a thriving public art scene and a redeveloped downtown area, this is one city that is definitely worth a second look.
6. San Dimas
Another charming destination that just so happens to be in San Gabriel Valley is San Dimas. For those of you drawn to nature, local parks, and wide open spaces where you can enjoy the outdoors, you'll be delighted to know you can find an abundance of each and every one of those things in this lovely SoCal town.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked towns on this list, Riverside is one of those gems that needs to be experienced in order to fully appreciate all that it has to offer. Home to some of the most beautiful parks in the Inland Empire and a prime destination to experience some incredible architectural buildings including the one and only Mission Inn in downtown Riverside, you truly don't know what you're missing until you spend some time exploring this SoCal town. Pictured here: Fairmount Park.
You can't help but feel the charm of this mid-sized SoCal town from the moment you arrive. From the revitalized downtown area with locally owned shops and restaurants to the beautiful mountain views, this is one town you should definitely check out if you've never taken the time to explore it.
Ojai is one of those towns that is like a little slice of heaven on earth. Although many considered it a tourist town, it's one spot that has managed to retain its small town feel even with an influx of visitors. From quaint boutiques to art galleries and plenty of natural scenery to explore on foot or by bike, this is one place that will most certainly delight everyone who is lucky enough to visit.
When you think of San Diego, Carlsbad may not be the first place that comes to mind, but don't make the mistake of missing out on this great North County town. Whether you're the outdoorsy type, the beach type, or the shopping and dining type, Carlsbad is a beautiful place that will instantly make you feel right at home.
So many places to see. So much to explore. Which town will you explore next? And, if you’ve already explored all of the towns on this list, which ones are your favorites?