If you feel torn between a beach vacation and a scenic road trip, you'll find the best of both worlds in sunny Southern California. This southern edge of the Pacific coastline is home to iconic destinations like Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara. In Los Angeles, start the day with a hike to the world-famous Hollywood sign before driving westward to walk the Santa Monica pier. In San Diego, catch some waves with a surfing lesson or unwind with beach-side yoga. Santa Barbara, "The American Riviera," is home to history, culture, and unbeatable views.
Southern California: What to know before you go
If you're only in town for a weekend, we recommend picking one must-do city. If you're planning a longer trip, consider road-tripping down the coast to catch Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, or head east to explore the desert at Joshua Tree National Park. Most of Southern California is warm year-round, with temperatures peaking in the late summer, but pack a jacket because it gets chilly after sundown. Southern California is infamous for its traffic, so plan ahead when traveling from place to place.