When you think of Southern California, you probably imagine beaches, Disneyland, and Hollywood. However, there’s much more to do, particularly when it comes to outdoor recreation. Though the landscape of Southern California may not be lined with mountains, there are plenty of outdoor activities worth participating in, particularly when you consider the hundreds of state parks in the area. The next time you visit Southern California, forget the traditional tourist attractions and consider some of these great outdoor activities.
- Cave Exploring on the Coast
The seaside actually creates the perfect landscape for cave exploring. The tide is excellent for naturally carving out caves, and there are hundreds along the shoreline. Some of the most famous are in La Jolla Cove in San Diego County.
- Hiking in Yosemite
If you go north of Los Angeles just a couple hours, you’ll run into the southern gateway to Yosemite National Hiking, which has some of the most renowned and beautiful hiking destinations in the world.
- Walking the Trails at Griffiths Observatory
The hiking trails at Griffiths Observatory near L.A. are some of the most extraordinary in the state. They are short, but steep, and many of them are family friendly. These offer scenic views of the Hollywood sign, the city view, and the many surrounding hills.
- Climbing to the Hollywood Sign
One of the most iconic hikes in Griffith Park is the path to the Hollywood sign, which can be seen from nearly every part of Beverly Hills. The climb is short, but steep, and it’s certainly one for the books.
- Deep Sea Fishing
Deep-sea fishing at Newport Beach is an incredible experience for the avid fisherman. It offers brand new bait and species to target, bringing an element of excitement to the sport of fishing. Simply hire an expert to take you on the sea for an amazing Southern California experience.
- Trek at Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park is often called the hidden gem of Laguna Beach. The landscape includes steep hills where you can go for hikes and enjoy the incredible scenery of the ocean and surrounding landscape. The best part is, you can cool off immediately with a swim on one of the most beautiful beaches in California.
- Bike Along “The Strand”
The Strand stretches for 22 miles along Southern California’s coastline for one of the most picturesque and leisurely bike rides you’ll ever take. Along the way, enjoy the attractions at beautiful Venice Beach, Santa Monica Pier, and Manhattan Beach Pier.
- Bird Watch at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Check out the incredible bird watching at Huntington Beach, where you can photograph both the breathtaking scenery and spot a rare bird or two while you’re at it. It’s the perfect place to go to avoid the congestion at the beach.
- Rent a Kayak at Malibu Lagoon State Beach
This beach has some of the best surfing and fishing in the world, not to mention places to go kayaking. The saltwater lagoon is rife with wildlife, making it the perfect place to take a leisurely kayaking trip.
- See the Views at Palomar Mountain State Park
The elevation of Palomar Mountain State Park is actually 5,000 feet at the tallest point, which means that as you hike through forests of beautiful pines and cedars, you’ll see magnificent views in every direction.
- Exploring Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Several miles from the coast, you’ll find Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which will allow you to explore some diverse desert environments in Southern California. If you go during the springtime, you’ll see meadows of colorful wildflowers, not to mention plentiful waterfalls and incredible rock formations. It will be one of the most beautiful destinations of your Southern California vacation.