Top Sights of Southern California

Sightseeing in Southern California, South of Los Angeles

What to see in Southern California?

Southern California - from the Desert to the Sea, Valleys and Mountain Ranges

Southern California has a diverse range of things to do with the desert, mountains, valleys and the sea all within less than 3 hours from Los Angeles. This will take a little planning to see it all but very rewarding with a lot to talk about when you get home.

South out of LA - Laguna Beach

Drive South to Newport Beach and then on to Laguna Beach along the Pacific Coast Highway. Laguna Beach has mostly managed to retain its laid back feel despite its growing popularity. You could spend either a day or half of one walking around and visiting boutique stores and art galleries.

San Juan Capistrano

Take Highway 5 south stopping at San Juan Capistrano. Admire the beautiful Spanish Mission and look out for the famous swallows. The swallows have returned every summer for centuries. Next drive to San Clemente for its lovely beach. Then on to Carlsbad and Encinatas, and if you still have the time, a stop in San Diego.

San Diego

San Diego is approximately a two hour drive from Los Angeles. San Diego has fine old historic California Missions to see and good old "Old Town". Stay a couple of nights to see the world famous San Diego Zoo. Head for the Gas Lamp Quarter for refreshments and entertainment.

Temecula and Palm Springs

Leaving San Diego head "Temecula", which is about an hour away, and the Temecula Valley Wineries for a taste of real California wine direct from the valley wineries. Stay overnight in Temecula. If you can afford the time, take a leisurely desert drive to "Palm Springs".

Palm Springs

At Palm Springs head for the must do Palm Springs Aerial Tramway rotating car. It's a 2-1/2 mile ride from the Valley Station to the Mountain Station for breathtaking views of the desert and the mountains. Stay a couple of nights in Palm Springs see the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and walk around the town early evening.

Joshua Tree National Park

Given enough time you could further experience the desert with a drive into the desert park that makes up the Joshua National Park.

Viewed from the road, this desert park only hints at its vitality. Closer examination reveals a fascinating variety of plants and animals that make their home in this land shaped by strong winds, unpredictable torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the attraction of this place.

Back to LA?

You will certainly know Southern California if you managed to explore Southern California both South and North of LA so it's no crime to return to Los Angeles at this point.

But why not stay a while longer in Southern California?

However, expect to hear alot more along the way so if you can leave yourself a few more days you'll see even more of California. Trouble is, if you see even more you might find it hard to leave. So maybe its best to get back to Los Angeles before it's too late.

Take me North of Los Angeles to explore more of Southern California