Southern California

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 ...

Swashbucklin' to Catalina

Sailing to Two Harbors for the infamous Buccaneer Days festival.

The southern California waters from Mexico to Point Conception are generally safe and secure to navigate. But at the end of September, be on the lookout: buccaneers are known to frequent the waters off Catalina ...

Finding peace at Lake Shrine

Escape from L.A. stress in Pacific Palisades.

If you’re in L.A. and seek a respite from the traffic and stress, there's a place that just may restore – at least temporarily – a sense of tranquility to your being. The Self Realization ...

It has been considered a poor week for killing

Unforgettable outtakes: Southern California, back in the day

ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT. John Phoenix, San Diego Herald: “Very little news will be found in the San Diego Herald this week. The fact is there never is much news in it ...

Tour Del Mar

Scenic North County bike route features a few surprises along the way.

Like most San Diegans I'm familiar with the touristy parts of Del Mar (Del Mar Fairground/Racetrack and the beaches) – the scenic coastal village between Soledad Valley and the San Dieguito River – but didn't ...

Indiana Jones in Coachella Valley

Coachella's got a lot to offer besides its namesake music fest.

Horses in the desert? What?? The Coachella Valley already offers a ton of activities – from hiking to the infamous Coachella music fest to epic pool parties to camping locales like Joshua Tree. Growing up ...

Following the devil in Anza-Borrego

Close to home off-roading adventure.

Mud walls towered over us as we twisted and turned down the narrow canyon. Smoke trees scraped the truck where they leaned in over the rutted track, and a couple of times there was a ...