Southern California

See (and surf) SoCal's sand dunes

What to do, where to eat & stay on these close-to-home desert adventures.

I typically love the sea, sun and sand. Interestingly though, not all the sands I’m drawn to lie in coastal regions. In fact, most of the sand on Earth is stacked in massive piles in ...

Altadena: a rustic Los Angeles

2.5 hours north, there's lots to discover for history & outdoor lovers alike.

Author Zane Grey said, "In Altadena I have found those qualities that make life worth living." Walking down Mariposa Street, “Millionaire’s Row,” where Grey’s home still stands – past the oversized craftsman-style bungalows and through ...

Escape the Go: Fiesta Island

You don't have to go far to travel, Mission Bay reveals.

We didn’t have anything like this in Chicago. We didn’t have a jutting piece of terrain you could drive out on, pull your car off the road wherever you felt like it, and set up ...

Wining & dining through Santa Ynez Valley

Winery-hopping, foodie draws, and Solvang's charming kitsch.

You want to go wine tasting. You’re craving somewhere one notch up from Temecula, but closer than Napa. Enter Santa Barbara wine country: a quick four-hour drive along scenic Southern California coastline to the Santa ...

Backpacking in the Santa Rosa Wilderness

"It seems as remote as you can get in Southern California."

My boots grate loudly over the gravel as I shuffle onto my crinkly tarp. After manhandling spare clothing into a fussy Sea to Summit stuff sack, I rustle into my Kelty down sleeping bag. With ...

Daytrip to the Salton Sea

DIY tour of Salton wildlife refuge, Slab City, Salvation Mountain & more.

Crunching fish bones. Foul-smelling water. Skin-scorching sun. It may not sound like an enticing adventure, but in fact one of the most interesting and unexpected getaways to be found in Southern California is a day ...

Art meets nature in Idyllwild

Find mountain-town charm just two hours north of S.D.

Just two hours north of San Diego, nature and art commingle: Idyllwild is a quick mountain getaway for those of us in low-lying Southern California cities, but also a haven for artisans who want to ...

Joshua Tree for the uninitiated

Reasons to make the nearby national park your next weekend adventure.

There are few things as graceless as someone begging for help with pure and unbridled fear in their eyes. Which about sums up my position at Indian Cove Campground during the waning hours of a ...

Catalina's calling

Your guide to a weekend – and world – away on island time.

Santa Catalina Island, one of the Channel Islands (but not included in the Channel Islands National Park), lies 22 miles off the southern California coast. Though it is privately owned by the Santa Catalina Island ...

Welcome to East Jesus, CA

Up the road from Salvation Mountain, miles from anywhere.

Overlooking the Salton Sea in the shadow of mature Ironwood trees rests a man still much loved. The former “mayor” of East Jesus, a fenced community of free-roaming, ever-rotating artists, musicians, scientists and builders located ...

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