These 10 Photos of Southern California In The 1960s Are Mesmerizing

Southern California in the 1960s looked quite different from the SoCal we all know and love today. And while we’ve shared some pretty amazing photos of California from the 1950s, today we’re fast forwarding an entire decade to see what SoCal looked like in the ’60s. Many of these locations are unrecognizable today in comparison to when they were captured on film over 50 years ago. Take a look for yourself to see how much has changed.

It’s amazing to see how things in our corner of the Golden State have changed and transformed over time. Do any of these photos of Southern California from the 1960s bring back some memories for you? Do you have any family members or friends who remember this time? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

The OIYS Visitor Center

Southern California in the 1960s

May 01, 2022

What were some popular attractions in California in the 1960s?

One of the most popular places in Southern California in the 1960s is a place of immense intrigue today. Bombay Beach was a place of pure paradise; a SoCal mecca that boomed with luxurious hotels and yacht clubs in the early 1900s and through the 1960s. The sea and its shores teemed with wildlife, and it truly was a slice of SoCal heaven. Then, seemingly overnight, this bustling resort town just up and vanished, leaving practically nothing behind. It’s one of the most puzzling ghost towns in the country, in fact. And by the ’70s, the fish had died, the birds had become ill, and the tourists had disappeared. Today, visitors will find vacant buildings, fish corpses, and an unpleasant smell that seems to permeate the town, making Bombay Beach one of California’s most intriguing abandoned places.

Are there any retro diners in California from the 1960s?

If you enjoy a classic diner experience, you’ll want to head to Rod’s Grill. Since 1957, this local diner has been a fixture in Southern California. From the moment you step inside Rod’s Grill you’ll be taken back in time. The quaint charm of California in the late 1950s and 1960s is still alive and well at this longtime local favorite. The green booths are mid-century chic, and old black-and-white photographs on the walls tell a similar story to those tales in the above vintage photographs of Southern California in the 1960s. Get comfortable and order a 1960s breakfast favorite — country fried steak and gravy — and revel in this little time capsule in Southern California.