Our last visit to Southern California was on Fourth of July weekend where we stayed at a Torrance, CA Airbnb and spent most of our time at beaches (and looking for parking at beaches). Needless to say, visiting during America’s rowdiest weekend was a bit overwhelming. We hoped to explore Orange County, but failed to find parking at both Huntington and Newport Beach after much circling, and only succeeded at 7pm when we arrived at Laguna Beach. Our SoCal visit this time around was a bit less hectic to say the least.
We stayed at my aunt’s place in Pacific Palisades for two nights, which is nestled right in between Santa Monica and Malibu. She was a fantastic host and introduced us to places we wouldn’t have found on our own as tourists. I didn’t get a chance to write a full recap of that last SoCal trip, but want to offer suggestions on some unique things to do down there that we got to experience this time around.
Suggestions for Your Southern California Trip:
- Palisades Park in Santa Monica – a great spot to relax and stroll just a few blocks away from the congested Santa Monica Pier and 3rd Street Promenade.
- Sawtelle Blvd – if you like Asian food, this is the place to be! You’ll find sushi, ramen, and all the Asian desserts your heart fancies in this hip Asian neighbourhood. Bar-Hayama has $5.55 happy hour food from 5:30-7pm everyday.
- The Arts District – we stumbled upon a lesser-known free gallery called Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, which is worth checking out if you’re into art.
- The Garment District – you’ll feel like you’re shopping in local Mexico here! Comb through the cheesy graphic tees and knock-off bags to find some genuinely nice pieces.
- Koreatown – I finally got to check out Ktown and it did not disappoint! We got lunch in Koreatown Plaza’s food court at Awoolim, which Yelp recommended.
- Hiking in Topanga State Park – since I was a bit under the weather, we found a really easy hike at the Santa Ynez Waterfall trailhead. Despite being dry due to drought, the canyon was a really worthwhile destination.
- Leo Carillo State Park Beach in Malibu – not super busy even on a long weekend and offers tide pools and picturesque rock formations.
Pictures from the Weekend in Southern California
Thoughts and tips on Southern California? Let me know in the comments below!