Southern California has some of the most glorified and popularized beaches in the world--and the exposure is justified. The beautiful, sandy beaches here are always paired with warm water and beautiful sun. Even in the dead of winter, people can be seen swimming in the water and relaxing on the sand.
Torrey Pines beach, in San Diego, is one of the cleanest and most scenic beaches in the area. When you've had enough swimming and sunning, change into your clothes and some comfortable hiking shoes and explore the neighboring Torrey Pines Reserve. The windswept cliffs provide a stunning view of the beaches below.
A few hours north lies the famed beaches of Malibu, where tourists and Hollywood hotties mingle together on the sand. Bring your cycle and enjoy a nice cruise along the boardwalk between dips in the warm, salty ocean water.
12600 North Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, California 92037
Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu Beach, California 90265
Angeles National Forest
The Angeles Forest is not only a beautiful reserve in Southern California, it also offers just about every type of outdoor recreational activity around. Canoeing, climbing, swimming, horseback riding, hiking, camping, skiing, snow shoeing and cycling are only a few of the many activities that take place here every day.
If you choose to camp in the area during the summer though, be forewarned that the area is a wildfire danger zone, so no campfires are allowed.
Angeles National Forest
701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
Arcadia, California 91006
Anza Borrego Desert
In the spring time, the surprising beauty of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park is unbelievable. Wild animals of all species cater to their pups and cubs as the wild desert plants explode into bloom revealing stunning flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors. Be sure to take a hike all the way to the natural spring to capture a glimpse of a real life desert oasis, lush with growth.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park
Borrego Springs, California 92004
Catalina is truly a desert island paradise. The natural flora and fauna are spectacularly beautiful and there are ample outdoor activities for all outdoors enthusiasts. Take scuba diving trip to enjoy the lively world beneath the waves, and then take a long walk to the backside of the island where you can see wild buffalo roam through the native chaparral. Don't forget to bring your bike or rent one, as they are the main form of transportation on the island.
If winter activities are more up your alley, then don't miss the opportunity to go skiing in sunny Southern California. Southern California has two main ski resort towns, Mountain High and Big Bear. Mountain High Resort is closer to most of the area's cities, making it more popular. Big Bear is a further drive, but the stunning mountain scenery more than makes up for the hassle. There are two main skiing resorts here, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, both are equally matched for difficulty, price and crowding, so try each and choose your favorite.
Where ever you go, don't forget to bring your shades and sunscreen, as the sun reflecting off the snow can be worse for you than spending a sunny day at the beach.
Mountain High Resort
24510 State Highway 2
Wrightwood, California 92397
Big Bear Lake, California 92315
(800) 4 BIG BEAR