Saturday, March 8, 2014

Great Southern California Weekend Getaways

Southern California getaway

Beyond the glitz and glamor of the entertainment capital, awaits the beautiful wide-open spaces of Southern California. Whether you'd like to let the coastal breeze blow through your hair, take a hike up a rugged mountain or gaze lazily upon a desert sunset, the southern region of California has it all...and there's nothing more fun than jumping in the car, plane or train for a much needed getaway.

San Diego

San Diego skyline

For a getaway with excitement and activities, San Diego offers a variety of entertainment. Spend a morning at Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Convention Center or the Old Town.

Of course you can't travel to San Diego without a little beach therapy. For a relaxing afternoon head to Mission Beach, which offers a hip, young crowd... there's even a roller coaster. Ocean Beach has a more sophisticated feel with shops, dining and quaint cafes. Both beaches are very close to Sea World. For a nice evening try the Gaslamp Quarter, where shopping, dining and entertainment are abundant.

La Jolla

Wild seals along a beach in La Jolla.

To sample real Southern California luxury take a getaway to La Jolla. Just north of San Diego, this beautiful seaside resort community lies along the dramatic Pacific Coast. Sandy beaches and rocky shores surround the community on three sides. The shoreline's topography attract wild seals to sunbathe. Windansea Beach, La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove and Children's Pool Beach are just a few of the beautiful beaches. For shopping and dining make your way to Prospect Street and Girard Avenue.

Catalina Island

Catalina Island

The majestic island is located about 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles, California. Hop on the Catalina Express ferry departing from Newport Beach, Dana Point, Long Beach, San Pedro or Marina del Rey. Watch the water closely, as it's not unusual to spot dolphins, even whales following the ferry. Catalina offers beautiful beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving, golfing, hiking, fishing--virtually everything outdoors. Rent a golf cart or bicycle for the weekend as vehicles are prohibited on the island.

Catalina Express

95 Berth

San Pedro, CA 90731


Santa Monica

Surfer on the waves of Santa Monica Beach

For an unforgettable weekend away, Santa Monica offers the best of all worlds. It's a seaside community just a few miles away from the hot-spots of Los Angeles. Take a stroll along Santa Monica Pier and walk on the beautiful stretch of beach, which is a link between Venice beach and Malibu. For shopping and dining try Third Street Promenade.

Big Bear Lake

From surf to snow, Southern California has it all.

Big Bear Lake along with Snow Summit and Bear Mountain are great destinations, year-round. Almost seven miles long and a mile wide, the lake is the largest recreation lake in Southern California. During the summer at Big Bear, you can fish for trout, bass and catfish, take a hike around the San Bernardino Mountains, mountain bike or maybe go on a horseback ride. In the winter and early spring, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain make terrific snowboarding and skiing destinations.

Big Bear Mountain Resort

880 Summit Boulevard

Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

(909) 866-5766

Palm Springs

Wind turbines in Palm Springs

For a desert getaway, Palm Springs is the place to be. Almost two hours east of Los Angeles, the affluent city offers golf, swimming, tennis, horseback riding, hiking and of course it's renown for the terrific shopping. The city is also known for its mid-century modern architecture. Quick trivia; Sonny Bono was once the city's mayor.


Ojai offers many relaxing outdoor activties.

With a name that means Valley of the Moon, you can find all things quaint in this small but beautiful city. Just north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara, Ojai is lined by an east-west mountain range, which creates a rare pink moment when the sun is setting. For recreation, you can enjoy Los Padres National Forest, which borders town on the north or venture to Matilija Creek to play under waterfalls, hike and relax in a hot spring. On the west side of the city, Lake Casitas is also a great place to camp, picnic and hike.

Tags: great, southern, california, weekend, Southern California, Santa Monica, Bear Lake, Bear Mountain, Palm Springs, shopping dining, beautiful beaches