Coastal Southern California by far has been my favorite place to visit. The weather is nearly perfect, ranging from 75 during day to 65 at night. In land, the temperature can be as much as 20 degrees higher. Go out to the Mojave, and it’s even hotter. There’s a cool breeze constantly blowing off the water. The coast has beautiful beaches all along it.
The coast between Oxnard and Santa Barabara has an army of RV’s parked for the opportunity to camp along the beaches of the Pacific.
And the art has been fun and eccletic. They have so many homages to Mr. Rex’s plight.
San Clemente Beach is a hour south of Los Angeles. It costs to park at a state park. Maybe $12/day. But you can explore the cliffs, as long as it’s isn’t along the private property further down the beach. But if you like seeing gorgeous houses, this is a great hike down the beach (they may have to listen to the railroad, but it might be worth it).
Pacific Coast Highway, US-1 along the coast of Los Angeles has great views of the beaches. North of Los Angeles, US-101 is a bigger highway that runs along the coast, but US-1 is right up on the beaches. Below you can see Laguna Beach.
Huntington Beach, is in Orange County, between Los Angeles and San Clemente. $15/day to park. One of the great appeals of this park are the first come first serve firepits to have BBQ’s or bonfires.
Mesa Verde is along the southern coast of Los Angeles, west of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It’s mostly on a cliff, and coincidentally enough, nearby Trump National Golf Course. It’s got a great view of the western coast of Los Angeles. The is still a small seating area with a free parking lot for the view.
Redondo Beach, is a beach with a municipal parking lot nearby with hourly meters.
Caltech is in nearby Pasadena.
Monterrey Park has an asian majority, with plenty of asian restaurants. Bubble tea shops that compete for the Starbucks market in that local market. Where else are you going to find Shanghai style fried dumplings?
Burbank has all the Hollywood studios, and the first Bob’s Big Boy. Universal Studios has a tour/amusement park. Warner Brothers studio has a tour/amusement park. I think Warner Brother tour admission was $62.
Chinatown nearby downtown Los Angeles. Where else can you find $10 lobster? But the most popular place I saw was Howlin Ray’s Nashville Hot Chicken, which had huge lines.
Little Tokyo is slightly north of Chinatown. Sushi and Ramen shops. You’ll see some shops with “cute” merchandise. Anime shops. You might even see the occassional Cosplay on weekends. The Rubik’s cube in front of the Museum is moveable.
Koreatown is north of Little Tokyo by about 15 minutes. South of Thai town. Korean BBQ’s. Korean mall. H-mart supermarket. On both sides of Wilshire Blvd.
Fourth of July in Santa Monica. Park all day for $5 on weekends or $12 on weekdays. Tons of great looking sand that leads up to the water. Fireworks were in Marina Del Rey (between Santa Monica and Venice Beach), but you can see them from the pier, if you didn’t want to make the walk.
Venice Beach I think has lost some of it’s “Muscle beach” attitude and gentrified for the tourist crowd. But the basketball courts are still there with pickup games. The gym and exercise equipment has upgraded. Some of the graffitti art has been “preserved” to some parts. But there is still the occaisional tagging on the businesses. Nearby is the Venice Canals which is also gorgeous to look at, if you like looking at houses. They are more cozy, unlike the fantastic houses on the cliffs on the coast. But the beach’s great appeal is the abundant businesses on the Boardwalk which offer all kinds of food fare, and souvenirs.
Malibu has Pepperdine University nearby. But the “town” actually seems rather small. A parking lot serves the nearby beach for $5. A lot of the cars are parked on the Pacific Coast highway with surfboards. It might be mostly a locale for very expensive houses.
Oxnard has also some gorgeous houses on the beach. The drive into town, you can see some California agriculture at work.
Oldest operating McDonalds (under renovation, so this is probably the last time it will look vintage)
Plenty of shopping. Del Amo Mall near Redondo Beach is a good place to juts hang out, and shop.
Not pictured is the tremendous homeless problem Los Angeles seems to have. It’s difficult to tell sometimes bc there is so many RV vacationers along the coast, such as the Westphalia vans at Venice Beach which are likely temporary. But when the sun comes down, the tents come up downtown. And they are all along the walls of industrial buildings without doors, for blocks and blocks. Roughly, around 5th St. But it’s tremendous, and I lived in NYC in the 90’s.