City Guide- Southern California

Hey readers!!

Last month I ventured out to the west coast to explore Tucson, Arizona and Southern California with my family. I am thrilled to share my experience through pictures and recommendations. Click here to read my city guide of Tucson! We spent the majority of our time in California, where my mom grew up. It was so special to revisit her favorite places as a kid and hear her stories.

Cities covered: Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Dana Point, San Clemente, Orange, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Balboa Island.

Southern California, also known as SoCal is the second most populated area in the United States. The heavily built-up urban area stretches along the Pacific coast and is home to a large surf and skateboard culture. Also centered in the major economic area is the motion picture, television and music industry. SoCal sets a laid back yet flashy feel with an abundance of Porsche, local art, palm trees, tourism, boardwalks and shopping.



“Urban Light” Free exhibit at the BP Pavilion from the collection at Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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Newport Beach Pier
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Global Angel Wings street art: There are 4 installations in L.A. created by Colette Miller to “remind humanity that we are all angels of Earth.”
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In San Clemente, at a friend’s condo overlooking the San pier. This is same day I hung out with sea lions while kayaking through the harbor.
Of course we blasted “Beverly Hills” by Weezer while driving by
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Newport Beach has 2 miles of local shops on one side of the street and the beach on the other
Hollywood: Where its “normal” for people to dress up in costumes 24/7/365.
The only con about Laguna Beach is that I didn’t see Lauren Conrad haha. Seriously, it is a picture perfect beach located in a established art district.
The Tar Pits in L.A. where fossils and remains of prehistoric mega-creatures are displayed.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour: Explore 142 acres of motion picture and television production.


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We got to see the set of my favorite show, Friends! 
On the tour we also got to see props being used in upcoming episodes of Scandal, PLL, and BBT as well as the “city sets” where they filmed Seinfeld and Friends.
Did you know that all of Batman’s vehicles are real?? This one from his lair can go up to 245 mph!!
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Sunset at Corona Del Mar
Museum of Tolerance located in Downtown L.A. was designed to examine racism and prejudice around the world. I had a very eye opening, educational and humbling experience especially with the interactive exhibit of The Holocaust.
Laguna Beach’s art district
Days before pranksters hiked up to the sign with tarps to spell out “Hollyweed”


Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is the most luxurious shopping destination in the world. (note for people from TN, it is not pronounced the same as the sport with the cattle…)
One of the hundred beautiful and creative booths at The Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. Artists set up on sawdust covered paths through a hand-crafted village of fine arts and superb craftsmanship.


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In-N-Out aka obligatory west coast food pic
Dreams do come true, Afters Ice Cream combines your choice of ice cream flavor, a topping and then puts it inside a “milky bun” aka donut.
Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood
Frozen Banana on the Balboa Island
The Churchill located in Downtown L.A. that serves American classics with a twist in a vintage industrial setting.
Orange Inn, where the locals get their morning coffee before walks on the beach.

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