Southern California is a wonderfully diverse place with something new happening each and every day. Festivals, events, and year-round attractions are all easy to come by on this end of the state, and with California’s eclectic array of people and businesses, there is no shortage of unique dining experiences.
Check out this mini-guide for tips to help you get settled in and suggestions for starting off your visit to SoCal life with a bang!
Quick Tips For Getting Settled In
Making the decision to visit SoCal is one thing, but actually getting there is a completely different story. Whether you are traveling from 3 miles away or 3,000, staying for 3 days or 3 weeks, use some of these suggestions to simplify the journey and focus on making memories you will cherish!
Keep it simple, sweetheart! Pack light.
Flip flops are a thing, be prepared to have a pair and a reliable pair of sneakers for all of the walking and hiking adventures
Relax, it's Cali! We love our beaches and you will too!
Respect nature, dump your plastics in the recycle not the ocean! (Mindfulness practice is appreciated, not just by Californian's but the sea creatures too)
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! It gets pretty hot in the summer days
Ease stress with a timeline
Remember your sunscreen
Cool Cities to Visit
There really are too many cool cities to list, but here are a few to get you started.
Anaheim, the home of Disneyland of course!
Head to Costa Mesa for the Noguchi Garden
Check out the Balboa Fun Zone in Newport Beach
Visit Zuma Beach in Malibu
Take a stroll in Downtown Huntington Beach
Gaslamp district in San Diego is must for a brunch and shopping!
Palm Springs is an amazing destination to relax and rejuvenate
Take a trip to the Getty museum
A trip to the Hollywood sign landmark; an American cultural icon located in Los Angeles, California
Did you know....You could visit a new area of SoCal each weekend for a year and never run out of things to do?
It truly is a bounty of sites, attractions, dining, shopping, and surf.
Cool Places to Eat in SoCal
Speaking of eating, once you’ve arrived, you’ve likely worked up quite an appetite. Luckily, SoCal has a plethora of dining options to explore. It would be impossible to list them all, but here are some of the highlights to get you started.
Oak Mountain Winery (Good for all ages)
Sipping wine straight from the source is an unparalleled experience for the wine fanatic. However, that is not all that makes Oak Mountain Winery Special. In order to better utilize space, this winery built a cave beneath their property to use for aging wine. Seeing its potential as an attraction, they also constructed a Cave Café where winery visitors can enjoy local, fresh, and seasonal small plates in the dark ambiance of the cavern.
Wurstkuche (Popular with Hipsters, but good for 20-somethings and older)
For many, adventurous eating involves exotic or bizarre meats. Wurstkuche has designed a menu specifically for the courageous meat eater, providing German sausages to their diners but with a twist. On their menu you can find rattlesnake, rabbit, duck, buffalo, and pheasant, all expertly combined with a medley of herbs and spices. There is even a selection of vegetarian options.
Cold Spring Tavern (Good for all ages)
What looks like a forest witch’s hut is actually a historic tavern that has been going strong for 130 years. Cold Spring Tavern was initially a stop for stagecoaches where food and drink were served. Today, only the method of transportation has changed. Their menu is also fittingly unique with offerings such as venison sausage stuffed mushrooms, tiger shrimp, and baked artichoke hearts.
Teatro Martini Dinner Comedy Theatre (Good for 20-somethings and older)
For dinner and a show, try Teatro Martini. This colorful, high energy restaurant provides an R-rated comedy show while you enjoy their selection of food and drinks. For dinners, you are provided a several course meal, starting with soup and salad and ending with dessert. Of course, as the name suggests, their drinks are an integral part of your experience.
Opaque (Good for 20-somethings and older)
This destination is the U.S.’s first dark dining experience. Specially trained servers will guide you through your meal, all in utter blackness. With your sense of sight gone, your other senses, including taste, are heightened. Opaque’s menu is small and to the point with offerings of chicken, salmon, eggplant, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Forage (Popular with Hipsters, but good for 20-somethings and older)
Forage may not look special on the outside, but this restaurant is true to the fresh dining concept. The menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh, available, and in season. There is no single type of food served. At Forage, you can get anything from Tandoori chicken to Korean Brisket Bowls. It’s a fully unique experience no matter how many times you dine there.
Other Places to Check Out
Dare to step out on Potato Chip Rock
La Salsa restaurant is a fave amongst the locals
Try some yoga on the beautiful sandy Laguna Beach
Stop by the International Banana Museum
Check out a jam session every Sunday in Huntington Beach Pier
Marvel at the California redwoods without leaving SoCal
Visit the Huntington Library
Take a surfing lesson at Newport Beach
Enjoy a bonfire at Sunset beach
Spend the day at Muscle Beach in Venice, Ca
Six Flags magic mountain
Knott's Berry Farm
The OC mix
Visit the Irvine Spectrum
Take a hot air balloon ride at The Great Park
Finding fun and unique places to eat and explore is fun for all, and in SoCal there is no shortage of exciting options to choose from! From an artificial cavern to dining in pitch darkness to spending the day surrounded by bananas, there is always a new and innovative experience waiting around the corner.
Jane’s mantra is: travel, eat your greens, move your body. Commit for a month and drop her a line to let her know how you feel! Visit FitWellTraveler.com, where Jane shares her love of travel and health awareness in hopes of impacting the lives of her readers.