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.

Orange County California Resumes Reopening

With Labor Day weekend and the summer tourist season both now in the rear-view mirror, there’s good news for travelers to Southern California. Not only will you enjoy lower crowds in the off-season, but more will be able to reopen as Orange County enters the “red” tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy […]

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 September 8, 2020.) While this quiet little beach town […]

Laguna Beach, California Vacation Planning Guide

Looking for a relaxing seaside vacation in Southern California? Laguna Beach is the perfect destination, and in this planning guide we’ll offer tips for visiting, things to do, places to eat, and more that you need to know about Laguna Beach, California. (Updated September 4, 2020.) Let’s start with the latest developments on the State […]

Newsletter Sign-up & Free Planning eBook!

Our free newsletter offers info & tips about our favorite places to travel. Right now, the big question we’re trying to update and answer is when will Japan reopen? We’re also monitoring news on California, Europe, and the National Parks. Beyond that, the newsletter offers the latest travel news, vacation planning guides, step by step itineraries, tips […]

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) […]