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.

2-Day Los Angeles Itinerary

Our 2-day Los Angeles itinerary offers a step-by-step touring plan for experiencing the best things to do in L.A., with a trip to the top beach, excellent California food, and free attractions. It’s an efficient plan-of-attack for Los Angeles, and while you’ll see and do a lot, we’ve also tried to allow for some relaxed, […]

1-Day “Best of” Los Angeles Itinerary

If you only have one day in Los Angeles and want to see the highlights of the city, this is the step-by-step touring plan for you. This is a jam-packed itinerary that covers the top 5 things to do in and around Los Angeles, and it also includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although it’s an […]

Griffith Observatory Review & Tips

Griffith Observatory is a planetarium and astronomy museum in California, a great free thing to do in Los Angeles, with excellent panoramic views (including of the Hollywood Sign) and a good starting point for hikes. This post offers a review, photos, and some of my tips for visiting Griffith Observatory, which is one of the […]

Guide to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Hiking, Wildflowers & Dinosaurs!

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the perfect road trip in Southern California if you’re visiting San Diego or Orange County. In this post, we’ll offer tips for visiting, including some of the best locations to visit, what to see, and what to expect from the trip. The first thing we should mention is that although Anza-Borrego […]

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. We love Laguna Beach. It’s our favorite of the beach cities, and one […]

Top 10 Things to Do in Los Angeles

Due to its sprawling nature, one of the challenges about a list of the top things to do in Los Angeles is defining L.A. This might sound odd, as the definition of city is pretty straightforward. It’s not exactly an amorphous thing. However, since Los Angeles is spread out, with many of its key draws beyond the […]

Petersen Automotive Museum Review & Tips

Petersen Automotive Museum is a tribute to California’s car culture, set along Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile. This review offers photos from inside its exhibits, tips for visiting, and pros and cons of spending some time at Petersen Automotive Museum instead of other nearby museums in L.A. The museum is located directly across the street from the […]

Heisler Park: Laguna Beach’s Crown Jewel

Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, California is not a hidden gem. Its beaches are no secrets, and its beautifully-manicured landscape is rarely devoid of people. Despite it being a popular place to relax, walk, and exercise in Orange County, Heisler Park is still underrated. How can this be possible if it’s a popular spot? Because […]

The Last Bookstore: Reading is Cool Again in Los Angeles

The Last Bookstore is an iconic location in Downtown Los Angeles, transcending its place as California’s largest seller of new, used, and rare books into a quasi art installation. The Last Bookstore is also something of a cultural touchstone connecting the Age of Literacy to the Post-Information Age. In this post, we’ll share photos from […]

Autry Museum of the American West Review

The Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park is the creation of Hollywood cowboy-legend Gene Autry, who wanted to showcase the various heritages of the West, from Native North Americans to the depiction of Westerns in pop culture. Just pause to think about that a moment: a museum showcasing everything from Native […]