The Southern region of California is renowned for its beautiful beaches, dramatic coastlines, and glamourous lifestyle. It is the ideal destination for tourists who want to soak up the warm sunshine while experiencing breathtaking landscapes and indulging in an assortment of dining options.  Multiple destinations and attractions can be easily incorporated in planning a trip to Southern California to make for the ultimate getaway.

Below are the top 5 must-see locations in Southern California that travelers will not want to miss.


As possibly one of the most recognized destinations within Southern California, the city of Malibu embodies all things sun and sand. With a Mediterranean climate and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu is the quintessential seaside city. It holds the title of a top U.S. surfing destination, with its many beaches providing a combination of relaxation and adventure, depending on traveler preferences. In addition to water activities, Malibu is a wonderful area to hike with many canyon trails and there is also the low-key Malibu Farmer’s Market, which occurs every Sunday and features local vendors.

Joshua Tree National Park

Located just 40-miles of Palm Springs, the Joshua Tree National Park straddles two distinct ecosystems, the Colorado and Mojave deserts. This unique and vastly protected area consists of rugged rock formations and the region’s picturesque spiked-leafed Joshua tree. With various lookout spots and hiking trails, the Joshua Tree National Park will delight nature lovers and makes for the perfect location to spend the day exploring Southern California.

Santa Monica

The hip beachfront city of Santa Monica offers visitors the perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. Recognized worldwide for its iconic pier complete with an amusement park and aquarium, Santa Monica is also home to lots of live entertainment, upscale restaurants, and stylish hotels. A day in Santa Monica would not be complete without a walk on the popular Santa Monica State Beach which runs through the Santa Monica Pier and was evening the filming location of the TV series, Baywatch.

Santa Catalina Island

Those who lust over the idea of an island retreat will want to take the ferry to Santa Catalina Island (known as Catalina Island). Situated only 22 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Catalina Island is a resort town that mimics a tropical paradise full of white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees within a laid-back atmosphere. There is a large emphasis on arts and culture in Catalina, with several galleries and museums to visit in addition to charming cafes and restaurants. Visitors will want to add a Catalina Island sunset to their to-do list, as it is often said that the sunsets on the island are simply unmatched.



Quirky, unique, and unforgettable- Venice is a place where you never know what you might see. With a bohemian spirit and array of funky shops and street performers this vibrant beach town is welcoming and will leave an impression on all who visit. The town’s bustling 1-mile waterfront boardwalk is a favorite area amongst both locals and tourists to wander, where people from all walks of life gather to enjoy the seaside breeze and delicious street food.