What are Overrated Places in San Diego
California Travel Tips
California is one of the most beautiful highlights the US west coast has to offer. For many, the large state with the bear on the flag is the epitome of the postcard motif that has come true. Picture-perfect! You read about the starlets in Hollywood, the summer surfing cities in the south, the impressive nature along the famous Pacific Coast Highway and the oasis called Palm Springs in the middle of the Mojave Desert. California has a lot to offer - no question about it - but where do you start? Which places should definitely be on the agenda when traveling to California?
There is no general answer to that, but it can be answered with a few California Travel Tips let's try to summarize Vicky's countless trips to California in a few must-sees and insider tips!
Editor’s Note: We deliberately omit the obviously well-known sights such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Golden Gate Bridge or Beverly Hills - the necessary information can be found in (almost) every travel guide. For us, California is a destination that lives from indulging in the local lifestyle as much as possible.
For most, a trip to California begins in Los Angeles. There are good and numerous flight connections to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) (e.g. non-stop from Vienna or Munich in the summer) and those visiting California should of course not miss Hollywood & Co. Unlike NYC, L.A. is difficult to conquer without a car. The city is very spacious with different corners that you should have seen. Our highlight is definitely West hollywood, there you will also find Melrose Avenue (= shopping, cafes), the climb to Runyon Canyon (a must for the sunrise over the city and perfect to take advantage of the jet lag) and the beautiful 1 Hotel (formerly The Jeremy).
Also Venice Beach definitely not to be missed. Abbott Kinney Road (The Butcher’s Daughter, ChaCha Matcha, Erewhon Market, ...) and the Venice Board Walk are good places to go there. During the board walk you can watch the skaters, rent bikes and cycle towards the Santa Monica Pier or watch a few crazy athletes workout on iconic Muscle Beach.
Downtown With various old warehouses, cinemas and a few high-rise buildings, a lot has developed in recent years. There is the ACE Hotel, the Rossoblu adjacent to the Arts District is great for a dinner and The Broad is a great modern museum where Jeff Koons & Co. can marvel at.
Those who prefer more hipster vibes will be in the up-and-coming neighborhood Silver Lake find it. As in most areas of L.A., the same applies here: just let yourself go, experience the lifestyle (grab a coffee, go workout, do some shopping, ...).
Otherwise, in Los Angeles we love the sunset from the Griffith Observatory and also a trip to Malibu for breakfast in the Malibu Farm Café or a night in the Malibu Surfrider is always recommended.
Favorite Foodie Spots in Los Angeles:
The Hart and The Hunter
Alfred Coffee (Venice + Melrose)
Urth Caffee, Zinc Café
Nic’s on Beverly
Joan's on 3rd
and of course: In ‘n Out
The OC: Orange County
Between Los Angeles and San Diego there are a few beautiful places right on the Pacific. A large part of these are known under the term The OC - at least since the TV series of the same name. Of Newport Beach to south of Dana Point it is a place that has less town but more beach and surf to offer. Vicky grew up in this area for a few years and loves it there. Less exciting than Los Angeles, a bit calmer and slowed down, you will find the Californian beach life on Balboa Island, inLaguna Beach and in between. For a larger group, a house is recommended, for example on the Balboa Peninsula to rent in Newport Beach, where you are only a few meters from the beach and the Lido Marina Village is a super nice shopping area. There you will also find a Malibu Farm Café, the Bear Flag Fish Co. where you can eat great poke and many nice little boutiques and a well-stocked bookstore.
Crystal Cove State Beach is located between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, a beach that is under conservation and is fantastically beautiful. If you come to Laguna Beach, the Zinc Café (brunch) or the Urth Caffee are on Main Road along the PCH and the most beautiful beaches are Victoria Beach, Pearl St and Diamond. On Main Beach there are usually a lot of tourists and you can hardly find a place - it is better not to spend the day here but only to stroll past at sunset.
Our hotel tip for Laguna Beach: The Joaquin.
The California desert is impressive and definitely worth a detour. Even without Coachella at all - we've never been there! Palm Springs leaves everyone Mid-Century Modern Hearts (#ThatPinkDoor) beat faster and is a guarantee for good (read: hot) weather. In summer you have to expect temperatures above 40 degrees, but thanks to the dry desert air, the heat can usually be endured. Our hotel recommendations for Palm Springs are the L’Horizon Resort & Spa and The Dive Hotel. The ACE Hotel & Swimclub and The Parker are very popular, but overrated as a hotel in our opinion. Breakfast at King’s Road Diner (ACE Hotel) or lunch at The Norma (Parker) are sufficient to get an impression of the hotels.
About an hour from Palm Springs you can find it Joshua Tree National Parkwhich is particularly impressive at sunset at golden hour. The barren landscape, countless Joshua trees and rocks create a unique atmosphere!
Otherwise, there isn't much to do in Palm Springs, a stylish hotel, the pool and ice-cold cocktails are therefore your best friends on site.
Highway 1: Pacific Coast Highway
If you embark on a journey along the coast of California, the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) is definitely the most scenic route. Driving north of Los Angeles is from Malibu in the direction Santa Barbara, comes through Morro Bay, past the Hearst Castle, then through Big Sur (Post Ranch Inn is incredibly beautiful - and expensive - but definitely worth a visit for a coffee or lunch) and ends sometime after that 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach (hello Big Little Lies) in San Francisco. We probably don't have to explain to you that the Golden Gate Bridge, small colorful houses, the fishing harbor and Alcatraz are waiting there.
For all wine lovers, Napa Valley in Northern California is a must-see region. In addition to small ones, there are super romantic ones Wineries (e.g. the Scribe Winery) also great, world-famous such as the Coppola wines.
Last but not least, you will find San Diego at the southernmost point of California, just a few kilometers from the Mexican border. Unlike Los Angeles or San Francisco, there isn't necessarily much to see there. San Diego feels more intimate and relaxed. We spent relatively little time in San Diego, but the historical is always best for us Gaslamp Quarter and OB aka Ocean Beach like. Also the San Diego Zoo is incredibly impressive (supposedly voted No. 1 zoo in the world) - but whether you want to support zoos is up to you.
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