SoCal

Southern California vacation planning guides and itineraries. Best beaches in Orange County and Los Angeles, best things to do, and photos by Tom Bricker.

10 Best Beaches in Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach has the best beaches, oceanfront, and public parks in Southern California. In fact, its miles of coast along Pacific Coast Highway might be some of the best in the world. This list ranks the top 10 beaches–plus whether they’re currently open or closed. (Updated June 9, 2020.) While this quiet little beach town […]

Travel Newsletter Sign-up & Free Planning eBook!

Our free travel newsletter features updates about U.S. National Parks, California, Japan, Europe, and other places to visit. It offers the latest travel news, vacation planning guides, step by step itineraries, tips & tricks for your trips, and more. As the world starts to reopen and travel resumes, we’ll also be providing updates to help […]

Ultimate 2020 Los Angeles City Guide

Our 2020 Los Angeles visitor’s guide offers tips to plan a vacation, including best things to do, best places to eat in L.A., hotel suggestions, and how to navigate Southern California. LA is one of our favorite cities in the world, and we’ll provide you insider tips to experience both the touristy highlights and hidden […]

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Review

The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is an oceanfront 5-star luxury hotel perched on a seaside bluff located along Pacific Coast Highway between Dana Point and Laguna Beach, and 60 miles south of Los Angeles, California. In this resort review, we’ll share room photos, thoughts on our stay here, how the Ritz compares to nearby properties, and […]

Los Angeles & Southern California Itineraries

Our Los Angeles itineraries offer step-by-step 1-day plans for every area of the city, and we also have some itineraries for areas of Southern California outside L.A. These touring plans offer tips and strategy for the best things to do (and skip!), museums to visit, where to eat, and more. (Last updated August 2, 2019.) […]

IT Experience Hollywood House Review & Info

The IT Experience Chapter Two: the Derry Canal Days Festival is a free haunted house that will run August 15 to September 8, 2019, with free tickets that can be booked here. In this post, we preview this new interactive experience with a review & photos of IT Experience: Neibolt House, which we toured prior […]

Things To Do In Joshua Tree National Park

This provides info on my favorite things to do in Joshua Tree National Park, and tips for accomplishing it all. Since it’s the closest National Park to Los Angeles (see our Ultimate LA City Guide for more on visiting), Joshua Tree is an easy stop on a California road trip. For me, this is the […]

1-Day Pasadena, California Itinerary

Our 1-day Pasadena, California itinerary covers the most popular things to do in the City of Roses. It provides an efficient yet leisurely walking tour through Pasadena’s Old Town, past its most iconic homes and buildings. In so doing, we’ll take you to the highlights of Pasadena, including gardens, museums, and architecture, all in (under) […]

Tips for Visiting Hollywood, California

Hollywood. Tinseltown. Showbiz City. This post offers planning tips for visiting the neighborhood in Los Angeles that has a reputation as being the epicenter of the film business, a glamorous spot to rub elbows with celebrities. With the Oscars showcasing the glitz and splendor of Hollywood tonight, I thought this would be a perfect post […]

Annenberg Space for Photography Info: Free Los Angeles Museum

The Annenberg Space for Photography is a free museum in the Century City area of Los Angeles, California’s Westside. It showcases themed galleries of digital and print photography that rotate a few times per year as well as special programming that includes lectures, workshops, classes, and family-friendly events. The space’s galleries are curated to highlight […]