Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens
Paths paved, unpaved paths, and occasional seating areas invite guests to explore or sit back and connect with nature. Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens are a great place for walking and hiking. Docent-led tours are always available, but just wondering about and exploring at your own pace can be just as fun.
Joshua Tree In December
Whenever Im in Southern California in the winter months, I absolutely must stop by Joshua Tree National Park.
Its an easy day trip from Los Angeles, though I prefer to camp in the beautiful desert and fall asleep to the sounds of coyotes.
So it makes a good winter getaway. Plus, there are so many things to do in Joshua Tree.
Joshua Tree is a fairly popular place, so the first piece of advice Id give is to book your accommodation as early as possible.
This applies whether youre camping in the park, glamping in a nearby yurt or cabin, or staying in a hotel or lodge in town.
Winters in Joshua Tree are quite mild, but keep in mind it is the high desert, so nights, in particular, can get chilly. Theres nothing quite like getting cozy next to the fire at sunset in the desert.
The silhouettes of the Joshua trees against the wide California desert horizon are just as eerily magical as youd thinkand the stargazing, once that sun sets, is some of the best in SoCal.
A Joshua Tree National Park vacation has something for every type of traveler.
I enjoy hiking and checking out the educational Ranger programs, but you could just as easily spend the whole time relaxing, meditating, and taking in the serene desert solitude.
Kaisa | Glam Granola Travel
Where to stay in Joshua Tree
Stay at Hawks View House in a secluded canyon just six minutes from the park. This historic 1950s homesteader cabin has been completely renovated with state of the art everything, include A/C.
Tour The Wineries In Santa Barbara County
Although the Napa Valley and Malibu region is the first place that comes to mind when you think of California wines, Santa Barbara is also a must-visit for wine lovers. With over 200 wineries offering a wide variety of wines, youll need to take a day trip for this wine tasting experience. To get a more comprehensive view of its wineries, you should join a winery tour where you can explore several wineries at once Learn about the meticulous process of winemaking and get a chance to sip and sample a glass of pinot noir and chardonnay, two wines produced in the region. Before the tour ends, why not purchase a bottle of two to take home?
Also Check: Delta Dream Vacations Phone Number
California In December: Weather
Californias weather in December obviously varies depending on where you go.
Its one of the coolest months for the state but that means you can expect day time temperatures in Southern California in the mid to high 60s and overnight lows of about 50 degrees.
Days are mostly sunny with scattered rain showers.
In Northern California, its just a bit cooler. For example, San Francisco in December sees sunny days in the low 60s and overnight temps averaging around 48 degrees.
Head to the mountainsLake Tahoe or Mammoth for instanceand you can expect clear sunny days in the mid 30s and 40s with overnights in the teens. December in California is gorgeous!
Californias rainy season is between November and April so expect a few showers at lower elevations and snow at higher elevations.
If youre looking for warm places in California in December, head directly to the desert. Youll enjoy the very warmest sunny weather with little chance of rain.
Death Valley and Palm Springs make an ideal California vacation in December.
Where To Stay In Laguna Beach
Settle in at Montage Laguna Beach, 30 acres of pure luxury on the coastal bluff above the Pacific. No need to ever leave the property as it has four gourmet restaurants, two pools, and the 20,000-square-foot Spa Montage. But youâll want to pop into Laguna Village to shop, gallery hop, and catch the sunset outdoors while dining on coastal-American cuisine at one of the beachfront restaurants such as The Cliff or Splashes.
The sun will be beating against your skin no matter where you end up on your weekend getaway in Southern California. Enjoy your time exploring the left coast!
Don’t Miss: A Colleague Vacations At The Beach Every Year
How Far Is Each Attraction From Oceanside
San Diego Attractions
- LEGOLAND California Resort: 7.6 miles / 12.3 km
- San Diego Zoo: 40.5 miles / 64.2 km
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park: 27.2 miles / 43.8 km
- Sea World San Diego: 35.7 miles / 57.5 km
Orange County Attractions
- Aquarium of the Pacific: 76.1 miles / 122 km
- Angel Stadium of Anaheim / Honda Center: 55.2 miles / 88.9 km
- Disneyland California Resort: 57.6 miles / 92.7 km
- Knotts Berry Farm: 63.6 miles / 102 km
Los Angeles Attractions
- Hollywood Sign: 95 miles / 153 km
- Universal Studios Hollywood: 95.7 miles / 154 km
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Bill45 / Shutterstock
The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest houses outstandingly old flora some of the oldest in the world, not just in California!
The USDA states that some of these bristlecone pines are more than 4,000 years of age.
Among these phenomenal wonders of nature, youll also find the Patriarch Tree, the largest of all trees of its kind on the planet.
Enjoy a picnic, a hike, or just a little excursion surrounded by some of the best flora youll ever see.
The Waterfront Beach Resort A Hilton Hotel
Also located next to Huntington Beach is another elegant resort that provides outdoor fun and modern facilities to give you your best staycation yet. The rooms have stunning views of the ocean, and you will have slippers, bathrobes, a coffee machine, a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and complimentary WiFi in your room. Enjoy soaking in the outdoor pool, sunbathing in the sun terrace, and savoring a range of delicious meals at the on-site restaurant. There are various watersports facilities and a spa that guests can access. The area is also famous for hiking and windsurfing, and this accommodation has beach cruisers and bicycles available.
Best Things To Do In Southern California In 2022
Looking to discover all the things to do in Southern California? This guide on top SoCal activities and attractions has got you covered!
Southern California is well known for its perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and epic landscapes. Offering a myriad of enjoyable, scenic, and sometimes even free things, visiting this state must be on everyones bucket list. The best things to do in SoCal entail outdoor activities, eating and shopping, and checking out the regions assortment of entertainment options. With so many ways to have fun in the sun, you will always enjoy Southern California no matter how many times you come back.
Planning a trip to Southern California? Youll be excited to see what awaits you. Whether you are visiting with family or adventuring alone, here are the 17 coolest things to do in Southern California in 2022.
You may also like: Top Nature Getaways in SoCal
Also Check: Southern Belle Savannah Vacation Rentals
Visit Hollywood Forever Cemetery
While a cemetery isnt the first thing on every list of must-visit places in Southern California, Hollywood Forever Cemetery tells a different story. It is not only the burial ground of well-known celebrities like Judy Garland and Charlie Chaplin, it also hosts cultural events. Catch a film on one of its outdoor film screenings, attend story-telling events and podcast tapings, and join its Dia de Los Muertos festivities.
Admire The Cosmos At Griffith Observatory
For lovers of the night sky, visiting the Griffith Observatory is one of the best things to do in Southern California. This free-admission facility is also a great place to visit if you want to see panoramic views of Los Angeles. Learn more about space and all things astronomy-related through the daily programs and exhibitions or pose with the Hollywood sign. At night, marvel at the illuminated cityscape and get the chance to see the sky using the observatorys telescopes.
You May Like: Vacation Rentals Papagayo Costa Rica
Romantic Getaways In Southern California
There are some pretty wonderful places to visit in the vast state of California. Still, if youre looking for romantic getaways in Southern California, you might want to consider our Select Registry Bed and Breakfasts in either Palm Springs or Catalina Island.
Both offer a luxurious escape to a beautiful destination and are perfect for your upcoming romantic getaways in Southern California.
Luxury and Palm Springs are synonymous, and Palm Springs has long been a preferred getaway for Hollywood celebrities and elites. The high-end nature of Palm Springs, complete with excellent shopping, indulgent spas, beautiful poolside retreats, and exceptional restaurants, makes it an ideal candidate for your romantic getaways in Southern California.
There is a bit of something for everyone in Palm Springs. Soak up the beautiful desert scenery at the famed Joshua Tree National Park, or on one of many hikes in the Palm Springs area, ride the historic Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and admire the views, meander your way from one boutique to the next on Palm Canyon Drive, dine under the stars at one of the many outdoor patios at top restaurants, or otherwise indulge to your hearts content in this incredible desert getaway.
Like Palm Springs, Catalina Island isnt too far away from the hustle and bustle of downtown LA and that is one of the many things that makes it a great candidate for romantic getaways in Southern California!
Soak Up The Sun At The Beaches In Orange County
When youre at the sunny coast of the Golden State, hitting the beaches is one of the best things to do in Southern California! There are countless beaches perfect for relaxation or exciting water sports. And while most tourists tend to flock to popular beaches like La Jolla Cove, Mission Beach, Coronado Beach, and those in Malibu, there are other beach destinations worth visiting in Orange County like Laguna Beach. If surfing is in your itinerary, ride the waves at Huntington Beach. On the other hand, if you prefer beaches with fewer crowds, head to Table Rock Beach.
Also Check: Marriott Vacation Club In Panama City Florida
Best Things To Do In Southern California Top Activities & Places To Go
- Tanner Wilkes
- May 16, 2022
Endlessly surprising and breezily gorgeous, SoCal is everyones favorite destination.
With breath-snatching beaches, year-round sunny weather and quirky attractions, SoCal offers a plethora of bucket-list-worthy adventures.
Whether youre into theme parks or nature trips, you are sure to find your bliss in Southern California.
And, we know that picking attractions to visit in SoCal can be tough, with the numerous options available.
Thats why weve rounded up the best things to do in Southern California.
No : Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is one of California’s national parks with opportunities to hike, fish, ride horses, and enjoy scenic views.
The national park also included guided tours and climbing lessons, which are great attractions for the kids.
Many people love enjoying Mother Nature, so you’ll want to plan your summer trip in advance.
You May Like: North Carolina Mountain Vacation Rentals
Huntington Beach Orange County
Known as Surf City USA, Huntington Beach hosts several surfing competitions each year. Ten miles of shoreline and five beaches, including Huntington Dog Beach, offer ideal swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, kitesurfing, and fishing conditions. Fire rings at three of the beaches make watching sunset, picnicking, and roasting s’mores a special experience, too. A wide range of lodging includes the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa and the Pasea Hotel & Spa.
San Francisco In December
San Francisco is one of Americas greatest cities at any time of year and one of the best places in California to visit in December.
It makes for one of the best winter vacations in California.
However, its also one of the best places in California to spend Christmas as they really roll out the red and green carpet.
Throughout the city is a month-long celebration called the Festival of Lights.
A collection of artists install massive light sculptures in installations in prime locations for your enjoyment.
You can enjoy the lights in any number of ways from a self-guided walking tour of San Francisco to riding a historic fire engine to taking a Christmas cruise on the bay.
Dont forget SantaCon, an adult-only party where thousands of costumed revelers take to the streets for a jolly party or the Chocolate and Art Show.
There are the usual holiday shows as well, like Christmas Carol, Handels Messiah, and The Nutcracker.
Even without the holiday glitz, San Francisco is a spectacular destination. Alcatraz, Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, and Cable Cars are every bit as beautiful in the winter.
See them from a Golden Gate Bay cruise.
If you think Christmas is spectacular in the City by the Bay, you should see what they do for New Years.
Fireworks by the Bay and New Years cruises will let you celebrate in style.
Where to stay in San Francisco
Jenn and Ed | Coleman Concierge
Don’t Miss: Vacation Homes In St George Utah
See The Animals At San Diego Zoo
Visiting San Diego Zoo is one of the best things to do in Southern California with kids. After all, it is the most visited zoo in the United States, boasting over 12,000 animals from more than 650 species and subspecies and thousands of plants. In addition, the zoo has earned praise for using open-air and cageless exhibits, allowing the animals to behave more naturally. See giraffes, elephants, polar bears, koalas, tigers, and more animals at its different trails and exhibits. Meanwhile, visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to see several wild and endangered animals from all parts of the globe.
Gray Whale Cove State Beach
alberto dell acqua / Shutterstock
Gray Whale Cove State Beach is one of the best beaches youll find in this state, making it a surefire hit among the top places to visit in California.
It is packed with rugged land that is perfect for hiking through, with plenty of trails to follow and explore.
Nearby, visitors can also check out the Pillar Point State Marine Conservation Area as well as the Montara State Marine Reserve.
Theres lots of wildlife to see and over 40 miles of trails to trek through if youre feeling up to it!
Address: Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
Don’t Miss: National Lampoon’s Vacation Streaming
Channel Islands National Park
The eight islands that lie off the coast of Southern California offer visitors a wealth of island adventures. Five of the islands are uninhabited, preserved for the public to enjoy as part of the Channel Islands National Park. Half-day and full-day excursions to Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara are available through several park-appointed boat concessionaires.
Visitors can camp overnight on the island of their choice as well. The sea caves and kelp forests around the island offer great opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. Boating excursions that combine whale watching with non-landing tours around the islands are a popular option.
Best known as the setting for the television show Baywatch,Santa Monica offers everything travelers want from a Southern California beach town, including great surfing and swimming, wide stretches of sand and plenty of sunshine. Developed as a seaside resort in the early 1900s, the city has grown into an upscale community filled with designer shops, tasty restaurants and unique art galleries.
The old-fashioned amusement park at the Santa Monica Pier is home to the citys most recognizable landmark, a solar-powered Ferris Wheel illuminated with LED lights. Visitors can rub elbows with the rich and famous at the Third Street Promenade, one of the regions premier shopping destinations.
Eat Delicious Food And Surf At Huntington Beach
Looking for Southern California vacation ideas? Huntington Beach is a gorgeous beach town in Orange County. It definitely deserves a visit when youre in Southern California.
Stroll the beaches and piers, and you will find no shortage of dining venues, shops, and other unique attractions. Referred to as the Surfing Capital of the World,Huntington Beach Pier is a terrific place to watch professional surfers in action. It is here, where the U.S. Open of Surfing is held each year.
If youve ever wanted to learn surfing, what better place to do so than the surfing capital itself?
Whether youre looking for relaxation or adventure, youll find that a visit to Huntington Beach is among the top things to do in Southern California.
Read Also: Vacation Packages To Vegas All Inclusive
Unique Things To Do In Southern California
Southern California has it all: sandy beaches, infinite outdoor adventures, entertaining and family-friendly tourist attractions, waterfront activities, and cultural attractions. So, if you havent been there yet, make it the number one priority on your USA travel bucket list. If youre already there or are still planning, we hope this article helps you plan the perfect vacation!
Santa Cruz In December
You cant spell Santa Cruz without Santa!
Santa Cruz is a beautiful California town to visit in December filled with so many fun things to do. Its another one of the best places to travel or visit in winter.
And its not just for humans coming to the party, but animals too!
Late December is the time of year when elephant seals return to Año Nuevo State Park to mate. The beaches there are filled with 5,000 lb males barking for attention.
Monarch butterflies return to the coastal groves of Natural Bridges Park. On warm days, they fill the air, but when it gets colder, they gather in mass on the branches.
Santa Cruz is also home to surfing in California. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum commemorates the first surfing trip from three Hawaiian princes who surf these breaks in 1885.
Check the surfing reports for when the big winter waves are coming to Mavericks, just up the coast in Half Moon Bay. Mere mortals shouldnt attempt these 25 monsters, but its fun to watch.
The town of Santa Cruz offers weekend Christmas celebrations at the Boardwalkan iconic seaside amusement parkand even a skating rink.
At night, the Roaring Springs Railroad converts into the Holiday Light Train. Ride to the redwoods in style as you sip cider and sing carols.
Where to stay in Santa Cruz
Hilton Scotts Valley! Its just minutes from beaches and the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Check price and availability at Hilton here.
Jenn and Ed | Coleman Concierge
Recommended Reading: Holiday Inn Vacation Club Myrtle Beach Timeshare