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13 Southern California Attractions to Check Out Now

13 Southern California Attractions to Check Out Now

Whether you're looking for beaches, fun destinations, or historic locations, Southern California's attractions have them all covered!

Roubina Al Abashian


4 min read

January 13, 2022

Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame might be the first things to come to your mind when you think of Southern California. And while you’re not wrong to think that, there’s more to that than meets the eye. If you ask us, we’d say SoCal is home to national parks, architectural wonders, exciting amusement parks, and gorgeous botanical gardens we can explore for hours. It’s not too late to discover Southern California’s attractions—you just have to know where to look.

These Are All The Things To See In Southern California

Experience the best views in San Diego by simply hitting Coronado Beach. Sunsets here are truly magical!

1. Coronado Beach

Nothing beats a day spent at one of San Diego’s best beaches—Coronado. The popular stretch of sand is where people come to surf, swim, sunbathe, and start bonfires at night. Your pup is more than welcome to have fun in the sun with you. Don’t forget to check out the adjacent Hotel Del Coronado; it’s one of the spookiest haunted hotels in California.  

2. Balboa Park

Balboa Park is San Diego’s green paradise sitting over 1,200-acres of land. There are 16 museums, historic structures, a world-class zoo, Spanish-Renaissance architecture, and acres of open spaces, making the park a staple in any Southern California itinerary. Even though one trip isn’t enough to cover all grounds, it’s always worth a shot. 

3. San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo needs no introduction—this zoo in Southern California is, hands down, the coolest you’ll ever visit. Here, you get to go on entertaining and educational adventures to learn about animal life. Don’t miss the chance to meet all the exotic animals at one of the best zoos in the U.S.

La Jolla Cove is the ideal snorkeling destination in Southern California; it's rich in marine life, making for an ideal underwater experience.

4. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is a quintessential Southern California attraction that you simply cannot miss. The small bay is full of gems waiting to be uncovered. Kayak towards the sea caves here and head north for the best tide pools in all of SoCal.

5. Legoland 

With plenty of California’s exciting amusement parks located in the region, Legoland is arguably the best. More than 60 rides, entertaining shows, attractions made of legos, and a waterpark make this Southern California theme park one of the area’s top attractions. Your inner child will thank you for checking out this fun activity in Carlsbad

The Santa Monica Pier contains Pacific Park, a family amusement park with its solar paneled Ferris wheel, as well as an original carousel hippodrome.

6. Santa Monica Pier

There’s no doubt that the Santa Monica Pier is the coolest boardwalk in California. Packed with restaurants, shops, historic landmarks, and performers, the pier promises you all the fun you could dream of. Indulge in theme park food, scream your lungs out on the rides, and marvel at the Pacific at this uber-cool SoCal attraction. 

7. Bradbury Building

The golden rule is: if filmmakers love it, then you will too. Los Angeles’ architectural beauty, the Bradbury Building, is a sought-after film location in California and one of the best places to take pictures in the City of Angels. Open cage elevators, marble staircases, and a Victorian courtyard make the oldest standing commercial building in L.A. one of Southern California’s most unique attractions.

The Getty Center has around 1.8 million visitors per year, making it one of the most visited museums in the United States.

8. The Getty Center 

The Getty Center is an impressive art gallery both inside and out. This top Los Angeles art gallery has been one of the most popular Southern California tourist attractions since it opened in 1997. With European paintings, sculptures, and photographs on display, you'll love paying a visit to this architectural marvel in SoCal.

9. Bob Baker Marionette Theater

As the oldest of its kind in Los Angeles, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater is a popular spot to visit especially during the holiday season. Vintage marionettes, detailed work, and unique storylines attract children from all over the region—see what the buzz is all about at this local attraction. 

As SoCal's largest recreation lake, Big Bear Lake is about seven miles long and about one mile at its widest.

10. Big Bear Lake

Known as one of the best lakes in SoCal, Big Bear is the perfect spot to paddleboard, windsurf, waterski, and have every kind of fun during any season. Exciting activities await you at this Southern California attraction in both summer and winter.

11. Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is one of the most mesmerizing things to see in Southern California. Covering 249,354 acres, the park comprises five underdeveloped islands that are accessible only by boats and ferries. Enjoy the fascinating flora and fauna and engage in watersports at this  California national park—paddling towards the sea caves is an absolute must. 

Besides being a place of worship, Old Mission Santa Barbara contains a gift shop, a museum, a Franciscan Friary, and a retreat house.

12. Old Mission Santa Barbara

Old Mission Santa Barbara, also known as the “Queen of Missions,” is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Southern California. Established in 1786, the mission is recognized for its double bell towers, 17th-century artwork, and lush gardens. Touring this SoCal Mission will transport you back in time.

13. Death Valley National Park

Encompassing a total of 3,373,063 acres, Death Valley National Park is the largest, lowest, hottest, and driest park in the entire county. This Southern California tourist attraction is the perfect place to try your hand at sand-boarding. Just when you thought SoCal is all about the ocean, you’re surprised with the adventures its deserts unpack.

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