Southern California is one of the most popular holiday destinations worldwide, and for very good reason.
Its beautiful weather year-round offers the perfect escape for nature and adventure-lovers alike. Surfing, hiking, mountain biking and professional tennis and golf tournaments are just some of the activities you can enjoy in this sun-drenched paradise.
Huntington Beach: Surf City
Just 45 minutes south of Los Angeles in Orange County, you will find Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City USA®. Famous for its consistently good waves, Huntington Beach makes the perfect destination to host some of the biggest surfing competitions in the world. Huntington Beach offers plenty of exciting activities for all the family to enjoy, from bicycling along the miles of beachfront, to volleyball, great shopping and dining, fishing, kayaking, horse riding and bird-watching in restored wetlands. Residents and visitors alike rarely stay indoors!
Surfing in Los Angeles, California
Spectacular Nature in Joshua Tree
Next on my itinerary was heading a couple of hours inland to the incredible Joshua Tree National Park. This natural beauty encompasses over 800,000 acres of dessert, 750 different plant and wildlife species and a completely diverse terrain, including rugged mountains, granitic monoliths, oases and Yucca brevifolias (Joshua Trees) for as far as the eye can see. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, rock-climbing and camping in this peaceful outdoor haven.
Joshua Tree National Park near Palm Springs, California
Soak Up the Sun in the Greater Palm Springs Area
Just 33 miles south of Joshua Tree and nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains is the desert playground of Palm Springs. Have a drink by a luxury hotel pool, followed by dinner at a fantastic restaurant. Out-of-doors, you can go enjoy the 350 days of sunshine with hiking to secluded waterfalls. Watch a professional golf or tennis tournament, or learn how to play at one of the many resorts and clubs. After the sun sets, enjoy gazing at millions of stars in the desert’s clear night sky.
One of my favourite things to do is to ride the 8,500-feet-high Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the famous Mount San Jacinto State Park where you can camp, spot wildlife and view the breath-taking mountain scenery. You’ll notice a big temperature difference from the bottom of the mountain to the top, so bring a jacket!
Golfing in Palm Springs, California
Year-Round Fun in Mammoth Lakes
The last stop on my journey is approximately 300 miles from Los Angeles and just 40 miles from Yosemite National Park — stunning Mammoth Lakes — one of California’s premier mountain resorts. Although famous for its winter skiing, Mammoth Lakes offers a host of activities for all ages and interests in the summer, too. You can enjoy hiking, mountain climbing, biking, horse riding, swimming in pools fed by natural hot springs, canoeing, kayaking and even off-roading!
Make sure you don’t miss the spectacular Rainbow Falls, where the San Joaquin River ends with a 101-foot drop. The mist creates a streak of rainbow – a picture-perfect ending to your Southern California holiday.
More experiences nearby