Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

The 33 Best Things To Do In Southern California (Local’s Guide)


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Theresina Timmerman



Welcome to sunny Southern California, a land of endless possibilities and breathtaking beauty. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the tranquil shores of Malibu, this diverse region has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures or laid-back beach vibes, Southern California has it all.


Home to iconic landmarks, world-class attractions, and picture-perfect beaches, Southern California has captured the hearts and imaginations of travelers from around the globe. With its pleasant year-round climate, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cities, it’s no wonder why millions of people flock to this region every year.


In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the 33 best things to do in Southern California. From popular tourist spots to hidden gems, we will cover it all. Whether you’re a local looking to explore your own backyard or a visitor embarking on an unforgettable adventure, this guide will help you make the most of your time in Southern California.


From the glittering lights of Hollywood to the sun-kissed beaches of San Diego, get ready to experience the magic and allure of Southern California. So pack your bags, put on your shades, and let’s dive into the best that this stunning region has to offer.


Disclaimer: Please note that due to the dynamic nature of Southern California, attractions and experiences may vary. It is always advisable to check beforehand for any closures, restrictions, or updated operating hours.


Explore the glamour of Hollywood

No visit to Southern California is complete without a trip to the legendary neighborhood of Hollywood. Known as the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood is a must-visit destination for movie buffs and celebrity enthusiasts alike. Take a stroll down the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame and marvel at the stars embedded in the sidewalk, honoring Hollywood’s biggest names.


2. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Malibu


Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and unwind on the pristine beaches of Malibu. With its stunning coastal cliffs, golden sands, and crystal-clear waters, Malibu offers a slice of paradise just a stone’s throw away from the city. Grab a surfboard or simply soak up the California sun as you enjoy the laid-back vibes of this beachside haven.


3. Visit the iconic Santa Monica Pier


The Santa Monica Pier is a true Southern California landmark, offering a mix of nostalgia and fun. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel for stunning views of the coastline, indulge in some classic carnival games, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk. With its lively atmosphere and stunning ocean backdrop, the Santa Monica Pier is a must-visit attraction.


4. Explore the vibrant Venice Beach Boardwalk


Step into the unique and vibrant world of Venice Beach. Known for its bohemian atmosphere, colorful street performers, and lively skate park, Venice Beach offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Take a bike ride along the boardwalk, browse through quirky shops and art galleries, or simply people-watch as you soak in the eclectic vibe of this iconic location.


5. Discover the historic Griffith Observatory


Perched atop the hills of Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the stars above. With its stunning architecture and fascinating exhibits, the observatory is a treat for both science enthusiasts and those seeking panoramic views of the city. Don’t miss the chance to gaze at the night sky through the observatory’s telescopes, or catch a show at the state-of-the-art Samuel Oschin Planetarium.


6. Take a stroll along the famous Walk of Fame


Embark on a Hollywood journey as you wander along the Walk of Fame. Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry as you spot the names of your favorite actors, musicians, and artists immortalized on the sidewalk. With over 2,600 stars to discover, the Walk of Fame is a must-visit for any pop culture enthusiast.


7. Visit the Getty Center for art and culture


Experience the world of art and culture at the Getty Center, a renowned museum nestled in the hills of Brentwood. With its impressive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, the Getty Center offers a captivating journey through the history of art. Explore the beautifully manicured gardens, enjoy the stunning views of the city, and immerse yourself in the world of creativity.


8. Explore the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach


Step aboard the majestic Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner turned floating museum in Long Beach. Explore the opulent interiors, learn about the ship’s glamorous past, and even spend the night in one of the onboard hotel rooms. With its art deco design and rich history, the Queen Mary offers a unique glimpse into the golden age of ocean travel.



Southern California truly has it all – from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to the sun-drenched shores of its beautiful beaches. This diverse region offers a multitude of experiences, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion.


From exploring the iconic landmarks of Los Angeles to immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of San Diego, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Southern California. Whether you’re a local looking to uncover hidden gems or a visitor discovering the region for the first time, this guide has provided you with a comprehensive list of the best experiences the area has to offer.


Whether you’re star-struck on the Walk of Fame, catching waves in Malibu, or exploring the cultural treasures of San Diego, Southern California never fails to captivate and inspire. Its natural beauty, world-class attractions, and vibrant cities make it a destination like no other.


So, pack your bags, soak up the Californian sunshine, and embark on your own unforgettable adventure in Southern California. Whether you’re exploring the stunning coastline, delving into the region’s history and culture, or simply enjoying the laid-back beach vibes, you’re bound to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Remember to soak up the vibrant energy of Hollywood, relax on the sandy shores of Malibu, and take in the iconic sights of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Don’t forget to explore the cultural treasures, such as the Griffith Observatory, the Getty Center, and the Queen Mary.


Experience the magic of Southern California, where dreams come true, and memories are made. No matter where your journey takes you in this captivating region, one thing is for sure – Southern California will leave an indelible mark on your heart.