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Things To Do in Southern California: 13 Best Attractions, Activities & Tours

Going on that Southern California Road Trip? This travel guide covers some of the best things to do in Southern California including Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Glendale and Beach Cities.

I visited family in California for 14 days before heading to Las Vegas.

We only stayed in SoCal this time which was fine because there are so many things to do in Southern California from road trips, nature hikes, sailing to dining, Hollywood tour, and watching an NBA game.

Best Things To Do in Southern California | Travel Guide by Travelling Foodie

Best Things To Do in Southern California

Road Trip to Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a desert city that was hugely popular among movie stars in the 1930s. The drive itself is very scenic already.

It’s known for its 130 hotels and resorts, golf clubs, over 100 restaurants and dining spots, and nearby casinos and outlet malls.

Did you know? Greater Palm Springs’ annual Restaurant Week is a popular yearly event where participating restaurants offer special lunch and dinner menus at set prices.

Stay and Play at a Country Club

When we visited Palm Springs, we stayed at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage.

It’s such a great getaway, and one of the best things to do in Southern California for golfers. But even if you don’t, the resort has other amenities and the nature views are just amazing.

Golf and Dine at Palm Desert

Just near Palm Springs is Palm Desert which is home to about 30 golf courses. This is where advanced golfers want to be as lots of big golf tournaments are held here.

But it’s not just about golf, nature is also abundant here, and so is food. Classic Club Golf has one of the best restaurants in Palm Desert, Bellatrix Restaurant.

Explore Joshua Tree National Park

One of the best things to do in Southern California for nature lovers is the Joshua Tree National Park, well known for its abundance of twisted, bristled Joshua trees.

It’s also characterized by ruggest rock formations and stark desert landscapes.

Travelling Foodie Tip: Don’t go here during Christmas day. We thought it would be empty since people would be staying at home, but instead it was packed with huge line-up of cars at the entrance.

Website / Address: Joshua Tree National Park. California, USA

Go Behind-the-Scenes of Your Favourite TV Shows & Movies at Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood

What are some of your favourite TV shows? Mine are Friends, Big Bang Theory and Gilmore Girls. I was so excited to do the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood in Burbank!

Even if you don’t watch the shows, it is awesome and enjoyable to see how TV and movie magic is made.

Check for the best prices on Los Angeles Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood!

Website / Address: 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, California 91505, United States

Window Shopping at The Americana at Brand

On our way back to Torrance from Burbank, we passed by The Americana at Brand, a large shopping, dining, entertainment and residential complex and one of the best things to do in Glendale, California.

This place was magical during Christmas, with huge Christmas Trees, lots of lights and a fountain show. Lots of luxury shopping and trendy restaurants.

Website / Address: 889 Americana Way, Glendale, California 91210, United States

Eat and Sail at Redondo Beach

You can’t go to California without visiting one of their beaches. What’s special about this Redondo Beach is there’s a pier with a fisherman’s wharf, a row of seafood shops and restaurants offering fresh catch seafood.

There’s also lots of water activities here because of the marina: harbor cruises, seasonal whale watching, kayaks, pedal boats and sailboats.

I actually did my first ever sailboat ride here with South Bay Sailing.

Stroll the Manhattan Beach

One of the best beaches in California, the Manhattan Beach is quite a popular beach particularly because of The Strand, a section of Manhattan Beach where you’ll find some of the most expensive houses in the United States.

It’s nice to stroll along The Strand to admire the beautiful million-dollar homes. Lots of people love to surf here too, even during New Year when we went.

Did you know? Majority of Manhattan Beach’s land was exposed sand dunes once. Now, they are buried underneath buildings and streets.

Nightlife at Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach is the neighbor of Manhattan Beach. When Hermosa Beach ends on the North, The Strand and Manhattan Beach begins.

We actually walked from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach then back. It’s such a great exercise while admiring the scenic views and the beach houses.

Hermosa Beach features an amazing nightlife, which doesn’t necessarily start at night, with its Pier Plaza hosting various bars and restaurants.

Hang out at L.A. Live

L.A. Live is the entertainment complex right at Downtown Los Angeles.

With 5,600,000 square feet, L.A. Live features bars, concert theatres, restaurants, movie theatres and more, including the Microsoft Theater (which used to be Nokia Theater), Grammy Museum, ESPN Zone and the Microsoft Square.

During Christmas, the Microsoft Square is transformed into a Christmas haven with a skating rink in the middle, a big Christmas tree, lots of lights and Christmas decorations.

Website / Address: 800 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015, United States

Watch an NBA game in Staples Center

Adjacent to L.A. Live is the Staples Center, a multi-purpose sports arena for various sports and concerts.

Watching the Lakers v.s. Jazz game on December 27, 2016 was my first time watching a live basketball game. Isn’t this the best way to have my first live game?

Website / Address: 1111 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015, United States

Spend A Weekend in Conejo Valley

Conejo Valley is such a beautiful gem with lots of unique things to do and delicious places to eat, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway!

You’ll definitely see a different side of Southern California here!

Go on a Southern California Food Trip!

It’s not surprising that California is a hotbed for foodies with its diverse cuisines and food trends.

With so many culinary delights, one of the best things to do for foodies is to do a food crawl of the best restaurants in Southern California!

MAP: Things To Do in Southern California

Here’s a map of the best things to do and attractions in Southern California covered in this travel guide.

Hope this travel guide give you an idea on the best things to do in Southern California. There is so much to explore in this part of the state.

What do you recommend for the best sights and attractions in SoCal?

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