There are hundreds—actually, thousands—of adventures to have in California at any age. Shopping, sightseeing, beaches, music and entertainment are amazing whether you’re 21 or 61. However, there are some things that are better experienced for the first time before you turn 30… not because you grow too old to do them, but because the sooner you can do them, the better.
Everything on this list is fine for the over 30 crowd. But since Super Cheap Car Rental specializes in underage car rental Los Angeles and doesn’t charge extra fees for anyone over 21, we thought we’d make a list for the young and the young at heart. Enjoy these 30 adventures anytime, especially if you’re under 30.
But first things first: When you fly into LAX, the last thing you should be thinking about is securing reliable transportation for your trip. Search Los Angeles car rental packages through Super Cheap Car Rental ahead of time so you’ll already have a vehicle ready and waiting.
Once you’re behind the wheel, you’ll be ready embark on your 30 by 30 California bucket list:
- See a show at the Hollywood Bowl. The venue is beautiful and the experience is like no other.
- Go to the Griffith Observatory at sunset. Then stay for awhile and watch the stars and the LA skyline shimmer.
- Hike the Runyon Canyon. All the celebrities are doing it (at least that’s what you’ll tell yourself to make it through).
- Hike the Hollywood sign. If you want to hike to the sign, there are three main routes you can take. The Brush Canyon Trail is 6.4 miles round trip, the Hollyridge Trail is 3.5 miles round trip, and the Wonder View Trail is a 3 mile loop.
- Eat your way through the Los Angeles Original Farmers Market. Between the onsite restaurants, the treats like Pinkberry and the various produce stands (not to mention the bars), this is best done while you’ve got your youthful metabolism on your side. We recommend crepes from the French Crepe Co. and a falafel sandwich from Moishe’s to start.
- Drive along the entire California Coast. Obviously this will take some time and some planning… and on a short visit, you may have to choose your favorite stretch of the 101 to drive. But our coastline is gorgeous from the northern shores all the way to the southern tip, and it’s absolutely worth making the drive.
- Spend a day at Venice Beach. You’ll have hundreds of amazing California beaches to choose from, but Venice Beach caters to young urban artist types. Stroll the Venice Boardwalk, go thrifting near Pacific Avenue and enjoy a cocktail at the beautiful High Rooftop Lounge.
- Have a drink at the bar of the Chateau Marmont. It’s so celebrity-studded in there that taking photos is actually banned, so your friends will have you take your word for it when you wear you spotted several A-listers. Even if it’s a quiet evening at Bar Marmont, you’ll still enjoy the experience. And when you’re in your thirties or forties and (hopefully) making better money, you can set a goal of having a meal at the restaurant.
- Visit Black Beach in San Diego. Head south of LA to the notorious nude beach. It’s a steep and challenging hike, so it’s best done when you’re young. And if you decide to drop trou, you’ll have your youth on your side. But no matter what your age is, please remember your sunscreen.
- Go surfing. This can be done at almost any California beach. Even if you have no interest in surfing, one lesson won’t hurt. You just might have an amazing time.
- Take a craft beer tour in San Diego. San Diego’s brewery scene is excellent. Park your rental car for the day or let someone else do the driving while you sip.
- Have a beach bonfire. Check the rules of the beach you select, but you’ll find that most of them are open to bonfires at certain hours in set locations. For an unforgettable experience, save the bonfire for your last night and invite the new friends you’ve met on your California vacation.
- Go to a rooftop pool party. Yes, these exist, especially in the Gaslamp district of San Diego. And they’re just as wonderful as they sound.
- Take a road trip to Santa Cruz and relive your youth. Stroll the boardwalk, ride the rides and vow to never grow up.
- Eat your way around San Francisco. San Francisco Food Tours offers a culinary walking tour in three different neighborhoods for $59.
- Go wine tasting in Napa or Sonoma. You might think this is mainly for the over 30 crowd, but you’d be mistaken. Sip, swirl and learn about your favorite vino.
- Visit the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. Three words: Rainbow colored sand.
- Watch a sunset at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. It’s unforgettable.
- Go camping in Big Sur. If you’re not the camping type, go glamping instead.
- Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. Do it while you’re young (or young at heart).
- Take a ferry to Catalina Island. Feeling adventurous? Go snorkeling or scuba diving.
- Visit the Joshua Tree. it’s a quintessential California experience.
- Eat a cheeseburger from In-N-Out. While you’re at it, make it a Double Double.
- Eat all the food in San Francisco’s Mission Bay District. You may never fully enjoy a burrito anywhere else again (sorry).
- Visit The Broad in Downtown LA. This contemporary art museum is a real stunner.
- Go to Disneyland. We know. It’s expensive and the lines are long. Go anyway.
- Go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Over 35,000 sea creatures call it home.
- See a movie at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Since 1926, this historic Hollywood venue has been a local icon.
- Attend an awards show. Attending the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes or the Grammy Awards isn’t as difficult as you might think. You can get free bleacher seats to watch the Academy Awards stars walk the red carpet if you sign up for them in advance.
- Go clubbing in LA. Your 20s are a time for clubbing. The Avalon, DragonFly and Sound are a few amazing options.