Summer is shortly approaching which means one thing: It’s time for your summer vacation. A break from the bustle of people on their morning commutes, peeling open their eyes and dodging traffic from the numerous construction projects. Congratulations! You’ve made it to summer.
So it’s time to plan your vacation, and you’ve exhausted all of the local locations. Boone and Blowing Rock could be great for the third year in a row. Wilmington beach would probably be relaxing.. again. Southern California will offer you that change of scenery you’re looking for.
You know an area is truly beautiful when an old Valero gas station looks like paradaise. Dry desert and mountains surround and separate the many counties and cities in Southern California. No matter where you go, you can look out into the distance and set your eyes on a view as eye catching as this one.
On the east coast, mountains are covered in greenery that often prevents you from seeing the mountain’s structure. Because of this, it typically takes reaching the very top of the mountain to be able to see any kind of view. Whether you’re hiking Mount Rubidoux or peering out of your hotel window, you’ll have a clear view of the local scenery in #SoCal.
Stepping outside on vacation in North Carolina in the summer means tons of bug spray for the smart outdoor individual. The dry climate in Southern California makes the area unfit for mosquitoes who love wet climates and sitting water.
2. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
The rugged Chino Canyon on the north edge of Palm Spring is where The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway lives. The world’s largest rotating tram car travels over two-and-one-half miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon, transporting riders to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. While on the journey up and down the canyon, the entire inside of the tram car rotates, allowing everyone in the tram to fully observe the view. Once you reach the top you’re at an elevation of 8,516 feet. There you can eat at the two restaurants, observe the view on the decks, walk through the natural history museum, view films at the two documentary theaters, shop at the gift shop, or wander on the hiking trails.
3. The SoCal Landmarks
Going to Southern California on vacation means there are a few things you have to do to get the full tourist experience. The image above shows one of the two Cabazon Dinosaurs. The Cabazon Dinosaurs have long been regarded as one of the most iconic roadside attractions. They’ve even been featured in movies such as Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure and The Wizard. Dinny’s gift shop lives in the belly of one of the two dinosaurs and features a wide array of unique dinosaur-themed merchandise and souvenirs.
After you stop off at the Cabazon Dinosaurs, taking a trip to Hadley’s for a sweet Date Shake is the perfect destination for a typical SoCal treat.Dates flourish in the California climate, and can be found in many snacks and treats in the area. Stop by Hadley’s for a date shake and you won’t be disappointed. Hadley Date Shakes include a mix of vanilla ice cream, dates and milk. If you can’t vacation out here to snag one, make your own at home. If you’re a non-dairy drinker like myself and had to limit yourself to only a few sips on your vacation (clearly I’m still not over it), then create this shake with your own non-dairy ingredients!
4. The relaxed beaches
Newport beach is home to many things. Dolphins can be spotted clearly off the coast and sea lions greet you on your boat in the harbor as you tour view the beautiful homes in the area, many which were home to countless celebrities like Nicholas Cage and Shirley Temple. Below you’ll see John Wayne’s boat. Although there are many beaches on the North Carolina coast, Southern California beaches have a level of glamour that the Carolinas don’t, due to their popularity among celebrities that live in the area. Aside from the celebrity perks, Newport Beach gives you a relaxed experience with its many uncrowded areas of the beach.
5. Palm Springs
The down town area of Palm Springs is great for grabbing brunch and shopping. Stop by Lulu’s Bistro for some Huevos Rancheros and then set out on main street for some shopping!
6. The Mission Inn
If you’re looking to go out for a fancy dinner or brunch on your trip, the Mission Inn in Riverside, California may be for you! The building is made up of beautiful and diverse architecture and has spectacular food and history.
The story of the Mission Inn stretches over more than a century and began with the Miller family, migrants to California from Tomah, Wisconsin. In 1874, civil engineer C.C. Miller arrived in Riverside, began work on a water system, and with his family, began a small boarding house in the center of town. In 1880, his son Frank Augustus Miller, bought the property and gradually improved and enlarged it. Miller opened the first wing of the current Mission Inn building in 1903. The building grew in several stages, each new wing demonstrating regional architectural trends and Miller’s own travels throughout Europe and Asia. By 1931, the Mission Inn comprised four wings in a labyrinth of gardens, towers, arches, and winding stairways that encompassed an entire city block. The interior was filled with art and artifacts purchased by Miller from across the nation and around the world, displayed throughout the hotel to enchant and delight guests. Since then, the property has been passed down to several individuals and is still running successfully today!
ProTip: if you keep your head up and look like you know what you’re doing, you can sneak around the property and take your own personal tour.
Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opened on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.
The experience you have at Disneyland is much different than the experience you’ll have on the east coast at Disney World. Both parks differ in the rides available to ride, shows to see, and even transportation to the park. There is also a historic and authentic feeling you get from being at the original Disneyland that you won’t get at Disney World.
If you’ve saved up for that vacation you’ve been needing since the first day back to work from the one you took last year, Southern California is a place that’s worth investing into for your break. From the outdoor activities available, to the numerous attractions, SoCal has it all!