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.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Review & Tips

Hollywood Forever is the cemetery to the stars, serving as the final act for some of Hollywood’s once-brightest stars (too much with the morbid puns?), as well as others behind the scenes in the film and television industries. In this post, we’ll review this cemetery as a tourist spot, share some photos of the what […]

Japanese American National Museum Review & Tips

The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district, and is one of many museum options in DTLA. While it’s not as high profile as other options, we consider it to be one of the most important museums you can visit. In this post, we’ll offer a review of the museum, plus a few tips […]

1-Day Downtown Los Angeles Walking Itinerary

If you only have one day in downtown Los Angeles and want to take a walking tour of DTLA’s best things to do, this is the step-by-step touring plan for you. This is full-day Los Angeles itinerary covers the city’s relatively compact downtown area, and does not require the use of a car or public transportation […]

Los Angeles Times Building Tour Info & Review

If you’re visiting downtown Los Angeles, one can’t miss location is the L.A. Times Building, which offers free tours and has its beautiful Globe Lobby open to the general public. Gordon B. Kaufmann designed the Times Building, which won a gold medal at the 1937 Paris Exposition. At minimum, the Times Building is a must-visit 15 […]

Aquarium of the Pacific Review & Tips

Long Beach, California’s Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the largest aquariums in the United States, and without question the nicest in Los Angeles County. In this post, we’ll review this aquarium, offer tips for visiting, and also offer insight into whether it’s worth the time for visitors to California. Situated on the California […]

MOCA Review & Tips

MOCA, or the Museum of Contemporary Art, has three locations in Los Angeles: MOCA Grand Avenue, the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, and MOCA Pacific Design Center. This review focuses on the ‘main’ downtown location, offering thoughts about the museum’s exhibitions, logistical information, and whether it’s worth the price of admission. If it seems like we’ve been […]

Tips for Knott’s Boysenberry Festival

This post covers our tips for enjoying and saving money at Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, an annual event at Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California. Basically, what Food & Wine Festival is to Disney California Adventure, the Boysenberry Festival is to Knott’s Berry Farm–except literally everything on the menu features boysenberries. That might sound odd at […]

The Broad Art Museum Review & Tips

The Broad is a free museum in downtown Los Angeles, California with an impressive collection of contemporary art, including conceptual art. It’s an impressive museum that cost $140 million to build only a couple of years ago. This review of the Broad offers photos from inside its galleries, tips for visiting, and pros and cons […]

El Matador State Beach: Malibu’s Megastar

Southern California has a lot of incredible beaches, but without question, the best beach near Los Angeles is El Matador State Beach in Malibu, which is one of the pocket beaches in Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach (all of which are part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area). In this post, I’ll […]

The Hollywood Museum Review & Tips

My expectations for the Hollywood Museum were not high. I had walked passed it many times while wandering around Hollywood & Highland to show visitors the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s, and other tourist-y spots that are on everyone’s bucket list. In this post, I’ll review the Hollywood Museum and offer some tips for visiting it. […]