Southern California is just bursting with things to see and do beyond the usual theme park attractions. The options are endless – from a day at the beach to exploring the mountains or desert. Here are our top picks for a day out:
Catalina Island. Located about 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Santa Catalina Island is a wonder to explore. Take the Catalina Express from Long Beach, Dana Point or San Pedro and enjoy the 1-hour ride to this island paradise. There you can explore the town of Avalon. Take a glass-bottomed boat tour of the harbor where you can see dolphins, seals, sea lions and, of course, the fish. Or get your feet wet by exploring in a kayak or paddleboat. You can take a walking tour of the Catalina Casino – an art-deco building built during the Great Depression that housed a theater, ballroom and more. And don’t miss the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden – built by William Wrigley Jr. , the head of the Wrigley chewing gum empire - with 38-acres of California island endemic plants.
Ojai. If you’re looking for a laid-back trip to the countryside, then Ojai is a great escape. Don’t miss the Ojai Olive Oil Company, a family-owned business that produces 3 different types of olive oil from 2,000 trees. Visit the tasting room where you can sample the oils and balsamic vinegars they have for sale. The town is brimming with shops to explore, wineries and more. If you are up for a hike or bike ride, The Los Padres National Forest is right around the corner.
Temecula. For the wine-tasting afficionados, Temecula is Southern California’s answer to Sonoma or Napa Valley. There are more than 30 wineries in the area, which you can explore on your own or take a guided tour from one of the local wine touring companies. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a hot air balloon ride over the wineries either – it’s a spectacular view you won’t want to miss.
Solvang. Solvang is a step back in time to Old World Denmark. Here, you’ll find windmills, quaint shops and even a replica of Copenhagen’s Round Tower. Taste some Danish specialties, explore the Christmas shops and breweries. On the outskirts of town you’ll find Quicksilver Ranch with adorable mini horses and OstrichLand to see, pet and feed the ostriches and emus.
Mission San Juan Capistrano. California is dotted with missions founded by the Franciscan order of Catholic priests. The mission at San Juan Capistrano, founded by Father Junipero Serra, is probably one of the prettiest of all the missions. Known for celebrating the swallows migration in February, it’s a wonderful glimpse of life during that time. Take a stroll through town and explore the Los Rios Historic District of historic homes and museums.
Palm Springs. Palm Springs is known for it’s hot springs, luxury resorts, famous residents and great golf courses. Take a ride on the Aerial Tramway up to the San Jacinto Mountains. Explore the nearby Cabazon outlets. Or just relax by the pool, get a massage and enjoy your day.
Julian. The heart of the San Diego gold rush in 1870, Julian is a charming historic town and popular mountain getaway. Shop downtown in historic buildings, explore the hiking trails, or enjoy the self-guided History Walk. And don’t forget to sample their famous apple pie!
Venice of America Canals. What started out as a whimsical experiment, tobacco millionaire Abbot Kenney set out to create his own version of Venice in America – a seaside luxury resort that mirrored its counterpart in Venice, Italy. The network of canals lined with flowerbeds, crossed by charming bridges, and dotted with colorful gondolas fell into disrepair, but after 40 years of neglect, the canals have been renovated and it is now a fun (and funky) place to visit.
Looking for other day trip ideas in Southern California? Give Luxury Destinations Concierge a call at (805) 236-4437. We’re happy to help you plan a great day!
Now that we are emerging from lockdown, it’s time to start thinking about vacations. While a long vacation with lots of travel may not be in the cards right now, you can always plan fun day trips and explore some of the hidden treasures nearby. Here are seven tips to help you make the most of your outing:
Are you missing live events? Even though parts of the country are starting to emerge from lockdown orders, major events like concerts, plays and more are not going to return anytime soon as we continue to practice social distancing. There are, however, opportunities to get your cultural fix – virtually. Here are some upcoming performances that will pique your interest (and I’m sure there are more to come):
Metropolitan Opera. Each night at 7:30pm ET, the Metropolitan Opera is live streaming performances from their repertoire for free. These will continue until the Met opens its doors again, so take advantage of some of the most amazing performances available.
The Show’s Must Go On. This YouTube Channel releases a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical each Friday for 48 hours. Previous performances include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, Phantom of the Opera and more. This week (May 18th) is the ever-popular CATS!
National Theatre at Home. National Theatre normally performs live productions from around the world and streams them into cinemas for your viewing pleasure. During the pandemic, they have introduced National Theatre at Home, where each Thursday they release a different performance and make it available for viewing for 7 days.
Cirque du Soleil. Cirque du Soleil is featuring 60-minute performances of some of its best shows on line for your entertainment.
Billboard Livestreams and Concerts. Billboard knows that music fans need to hear their favorite artists in concert, so they have set up a page on their website dedicated specifically to livestreams and virtual concerts around the globe. The list is updated on a regular basis, so be sure to check back frequently.
Artists are adding more virtual concerts and performances as we continue through the coronavirus pandemic. You can find your favorite artist streaming on YouTube, Facebook and more. All are just a click away. And when you are ready to start planning a trip to your next live concert, festival or vacation, Luxury Destinations Concierge is also a click (or phone call) away. Give us a call at (805) 236-4437 to start planning.
If you are getting bored looking at the four corners of your home, it’s time to mix it up and take a walk around some of the most spectacular cities in the world! No, you don’t need to get on a plane for these trips, but you could get on your treadmill and get some exercise while watching these virtual walking tours:
Paris, France. This 12-mile walk will take you to the Louvre, up the Champs-Élysées, past Notre Dame (before the fire) and the Eiffel Tower, and through the streets of Paris. The cool thing about this video is that it has time stamps for the main sites, so if you just want to see the Arc de Triomphe , you can virtually run there! (It’s at the 25 minute mark).
Florence, Italy. This is a slow, meandering walk through the streets of Florence, Italy. You get to experience the sights and sounds of the city on a warm July afternoon, starting at the Santa Maria Novella Train Station and finishing at Piazzale Michelangelo. Walk through the Duomo, climb Giotto's Bell Tower, see a replica of the statue of David and much, much more.
Tokyo, Japan. Ikebukuro lies in the north-western corner of Tokyo, and this quick walking tour takes you through parks as well as the busier streets of the area with shopping, restaurants and entertainment galore.
Vancouver, British Columbia. Explore this city on a beautiful fall afternoon. This virtual tour shows you the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver.
New York City. This tour takes you all over Manhattan at different times of the day. See Times Square, Central Park, Harlem, Soho and more as you explore the streets of this historic city.
Trakai Trails, Lithuania. If nature is more your style, take this hiking tour of the Trakai trails in Lithuania. Through forests and sand dunes, this virtual hike will get you back in touch with nature – and make you fall in love with Lithuania!
Redwood National Park, USA. This hike through the Redwood National Park is a spectacular 1-hour walk through the forest. Set to music, it is well worth watching.
Pyramids of Giza Walking Tour. Have you ever wanted to visit the pyramids in Egypt, but never thought you’d have a chance? Now you and virtually be there with this walking tour! You’ll explore the Giza pyramid complex, “ride” a horse and even see the Sphynx!
Tunnel of Love, Ukraine. If you are in the mood for a romantic afternoon walk, then this virtual tour is for you. The Tunnel of Love in Klevan, Ukraine is actually old train tracks that have been taken over by nature – and the result is spectacular!
We hope these “walks” inspire you to start dreaming of your next vacation. When you are ready for your next in-person trip, give Luxury Destinations Concierge a call at (805) 236-4437. We’ll help you plan an unforgettable trip!
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