I am a big fan of travel tips, especially Southern California Travel Tips. I love where I’m from–there’s no doubt about it. Growing up, I always kind of knew that I lived in a pretty incredible place (what kind of kid doesn’t realize this when he or she Disneyland annual passes? #blessed).
Here’s a quick and very blunt list. Let’s go!t
Don’t call it “Cali” if you’re trying to avoid looking like an absolute tourist.
“So Cal” is fine. “Cali” is not.
If flying into LAX sounds overwhelming, opt for Long Beach (LGB).
It’s super mellow and totally adorable. We typically fly JetBlue in and out of LGB whenever possible because it’s kid-friendly and small, which means minimal walking for Ollie.
Don’t base driving time off of miles.
Miles in Coastal Southern California mean nothing. If you’re able to look up the timing on your phone & avoid driving as much possible between 7:30-9:30 AM and 4:45-6:30 PM. It could take you an hour to go several miles during those time slots.
Visit Disneyland in the off-season.
If you’re wanting to go to Disneyland (or other theme parks), go January-March (avoiding holidays) or in the fall. If you want more Disney tips, check them out in this post.
Visit the beach, but be smart!
Growing up with Laguna Beach within a few minutes of home meant that I saw a lot of tourists get pummeled by shore break. Watch the waves. Look at the flags on the lifeguard tower. Wear sunscreen, and don’t assume that because you know how to swim that you should be out there—it depends on the beach and the tide. Our favorite beaches include Victoria & Crescent (Laguna) and North & South Ponto (Carlsbad).
Yes, we have in-n-Out, but better yet, we have Amazing Mexican.
We eat an insane amount of In-N-Out, but when given the choice, we’d pick Mexican every time. I’m working on a list of all of the taco places we frequent for le blog, but in the meantime here are a few:
-Aliso Viejo/Laguna Niguel: Baja Fish Tacos (THIS PLACE IS LIFE), Las Golondrinas
-Carlsbad: Mexico Viejo & Roberto’s
-Laguna Hills: Cecilia’s Tortilla Grill
-Laguna Beach: La Sirena Grill, Asada, & Papa’s Tacos
-San Clemente: Pedro’s
Resorts are fun, AirBnB is better.
If you’re wanting a beach vacation, stay as close to the beach as you can for fraction of the cost with airbnb or VRBO.
We have epic shopping.
Our favorite is definitely Irvine Spectrum. We love to walk around and just enjoy the weather. It has a wide array of amazing food, as well.
I’ll be writing a full Orange County and North San Diego travel guide soon. Be sure to share what you’d like to see on there in the comments.