The most wonderful time of the year, summer vacation, is quickly approaching. Whether you’re an international student or someone who hasn’t been in school for 30 years, there’s something special about that time of year when the days get longer and the nights get warmer.
Even though Southern California’s weather stays pleasant all year, summer is still the perfect time to go. Between the perpetual sunshine, the constant events and the miles and miles of white, sandy beaches, you’ll never want to leave.
We’ve compiled a list of, in our opinion, the top 10 places in Southern California everyone should see. And if you rent a car from Super Cheap, you’ll have time to see quite a few of them. Just look up our Los Angeles car rental reservation packages to see what’s right for you. And remember, Super Cheap Car Rental specializes in underage car rental Los Angeles packages, so you’ll never be discriminated against due to your age.
Santa Monica is one of California’s most charming beach cities, and it’s also extremely popular—about seven million people visit every year. Between the beautiful pier and its amusement park and activities, the shops on the Third Street Promenade and the sophisticated dining scene, you’ll never run out of things to do. Santa Monica also offers some of the best sunset views on the coast, so time your trip accordingly.
Located about two hours south of Los Angeles, San Diego is arguable one of the most visually stunning places in the world. If you can take a break from the pristine beaches that border the city, you’ll discover a beautiful downtown area and a well-preserved historic district, Old Town San Diego. There are also some beautiful parks and a major tourist attraction, SeaWorld, so allow yourself plenty of time to explore.
Channel Islands National Park
Located off the coast of Santa Barbara, Channel Islands National Park encompasses five ecologically rich islands. From sea caves to seals and rate Torrey pines, you never know what you might see here. While the mainland visitor centers in Ventura and Santa Barbara are accessible by car, you can only reach the islands by park concessionaire boats and planes or by private boat. Advanced planning is always recommended.
Whether you’re enjoying California for the first time or you’re a veteran traveler, a trip to Universal Studios never disappoints. There’s a huge theme park, tons of attractions and a large plaza of shops and restaurants called City Walk, so allowing yourself more than one day to enjoy the studios is a good idea.
A word of caution: You just might fall in love with Solvang at first sight. You’ll find California’s little Danish village about 33 miles north of Santa Barbara, meaning it’s right in the heart of wine country. Between all the tasting, hiking and boutique shopping, you’ll be charmed by this historic place.
Speaking of charming, make sure you allow a day to spend in the beautiful city of Ojai. Located about 83 miles from downtown Los Angeles, this quirky city is perfect for anyone who loves art and wine. Indie markets and vintage finds are big here, so if you’re interested in checking out an entirely upcycled “anti-mall,” this is definitely the place for you.
No trip to Southern California should be completed without a day-long visit to Catalina Island. Known for its wildlife and outdoor activities, you can truly choose your own adventure here. Of course, if relaxing is all that appeals to you, you can always rent a cabana on the lovely Descanso Beach.
There’s no place in the world like Hollywood, and that’s exactly why we love it. Walk the Walk of Fame, take a tour of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and see if you spot any celebrities. And don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of the iconic Hollywood sign.
Runyon Canyon Park is located just a few blocks from Hollywood, but when you get there, you’ll feel like you’re in another world. This 130 acre “urban wilderness” has plenty of paths to choose from, all with equally stunning views of Hollywood and the city of Los Angeles.
Ready to surf? If you’re curious at all about catching a wave (or if you’re a seasoned surfer), you won’t find a better beach than this one. Dubbed “Surf City USA,” this is a very board-friendly place. But even if you have no interest in surfing, you should still check out this friendly beach city. The oceanfront dining, surfer shops and gorgeous sunsets alone make it worth the trip.
These are just a few of the many, many tourist attractions and hidden gems you’ll find in Southern California. With thousands of places to see and things to do at your disposal, you’ll be planning your next vacation before you leave your first one.