Southern California Close-Ups Travel Guides

Southern California Close-Ups Travel Guides

These micro-itineraries bring together two or three neighboring destinations to make a single adventure. Others stand alone, like those odd, irresistible Joshua Trees out in the desert. Try a few, and maybe you'll see L.A. anew.

 

Head in the clouds in the Southland's Mountains

December 23, 2012

Head in the clouds in the Southland's Mountains

Where is the John Muir of the San Gabriel Mountains? The Ansel Adams of the San Bernardinos? The Donner Party of the San Jacintos?

SoCal Close-Ups: A date with the Coachella Valley

November 25, 2012

A date with the Coachella Valley

Sure, you could go to the beach again. Or you could turn your back on the Pacific and head instead for a desert land of date shakes and camel races, jumbo windmills and creationist dinosaurs, native palms and gay parties, mountain views and midcentury buildings. We'll get to those details later, but by now you know we're talking about the Coachella Valley.

Southern California Close-Up: Santa Barbara County wine country

10:00 AM EDT, October 7, 2012

Santa Barbara County wine country

About 20 miles beyond the red-tile roofs of downtown Santa Barbara, it begins: the rolling blond hills that go indecently green in spring, the massive estates and miniature horses, the sprawling vineyards and "Sideways" scenery, the dude ranch with 10,000 acres, the old stagecoach stop with boar on the menu and bikers in the parking lot ....

SoCal Close-Ups: San Diego's North County more than just a pretty face

August 19, 2012

San Diego's North County more than just a pretty face

Maybe you've always suspected that there was more to San Diego's North County than beach towns, rolling hills, expat giraffes and a walled kingdom of brightly colored plastic. But frankly, they had me at beach towns.

Southern California Close-Ups: The gentle and genteel Santa Barbara

July 15, 2012

Southern California Close-Ups: The gentle and genteel Santa Barbara

If all of California had been created by a romance novelist, it would probably look like Santa Barbara -- whitewashed walls, red-tile roofs, gentle slopes, lapping waves, swaying fronds, stately churches and private estates suitable for Oprah, Rob Lowe and the crowned heads of Europe.

Southern California Close-Ups: San Diego, Coronado and La Jolla

10:00 AM EDT, June 3, 2012

San Diego, Coronado and La Jolla

San Diego could be improved. If the county had 75 miles of beaches instead of 70. If the Padres won a World Series or the Chargers won a Super Bowl. Or if the municipal sloganeers dropped "America's finest city" in favor of "You stay classy, San Diego."

Southern California Close-Ups: Joshua Tree National Park and Desert Hot Springs

March 25, 2012

Joshua Tree National Park and Desert Hot Springs

It's a dry heat – a boulder-studded, wind-raked Mojave heat, in which rock stars lie low, artists think big, marines train, weird plants jut toward the sun like beseeching biblical figures, and climbers cling to granite walls like insects stuck to flypaper, except the climbers are way happier.

Southern California Close-Ups: Going Hollywood

7:32 PM EDT, June 8, 2012

Going Hollywood

There's much more than stars to check out in Hollywood, where nuns, horse trails, the Magic Castle and Cirque du Soleil await.

Southern California Close-Ups: Pasadena and environs

1:30 PM EDT, June 5, 2012

Pasadena and environs

The area has its traditions, including Craftsman homes, Old Pasadena and the Rose Bowl, its greenery including Huntington Library, its Asian flare with Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants, and its fun and funky side at Eagle Rock hangouts.

Southern California Close-Ups: West Hollywood, Fairfax, Wilshire, Koreatown

1:20 PM EDT, June 5, 2012

West Hollywood, Fairfax, Wilshire, Koreatown

Highlights include the Sunset Strip, Chateau Marmont, Farmers Market, Canter's, Pink's, Fairfax, Melrose, La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA, Koreatown and the Wiltern.

Southern California Close-up: Westside of Los Angeles

1:03 PM EDT, June 5, 2012

Westside of Los Angeles

Even away from the beach, there is plenty to see.

Southern California Close-Ups: The real South Bay

12:47 PM EDT, June 5, 2012

The real South Bay

In Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach, you can pedal the Strand, see a Jay Leno live comedy show, explore the piers, visit a beach hangout. Also: LAX hotels, the Theme Building and Marina del Rey.

Southern California Close-Ups: Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu

June 2, 2012

Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu

The odd humanity of Venice's Ocean Front Walk. The fun-filled Santa Monica Pier. Getty's ancient art in Pacific Palisades. The sun-kissed beaches of Malibu. The area lets you mix with the masses or take a solitary trek.

Southern California Close-Ups: Long Beach, San Pedro and Catalina Island

June 2, 2012

11 micro-itineraries for Long Beach, San Pedro and Catalina Island

Do you have a desire for a sea adventure in southwest Los Angeles County? Come onboard.

Southern California Close-Ups: Coastal Orange County

2:41 PM EDT, June 2, 2012

12 micro-itineraries for coastal Orange County

Sand, surf and a boat called Pilgrim: Welcome to the O.C.'s 42 miles of sun-kissed coastline. For a day or a week, here are 12 tempting itineraries.

Southern California Close-Ups: San Fernando Valley

7:44 PM EDT, March 30, 2012

San Fernando Valley

Yes, it's suburbia. Yes, it's inland from the beach. Still, the San Fernando Valley has attractions that date from the 18th century (Mission San Fernando) to the latest attraction at Universal Studios.

Southern California Close-Ups: Los Angeles' park neighborhoods

6:49 PM EDT, March 30, 2012

Los Angeles' park neighborhoods

Here are 10 itineraries for the Griffith Park, Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park areas.

Southern California Close-Ups: Inland Orange County

February 20, 2011

Inland Orange County

Yep, it's home to Disneyland, but it's also the land of arts (Santa Ana), Nixon (Yorba Linda), the Ducks and Angels (Anaheim), lively Fullerton and more. Here are 10 spots to explore in the O.C.

Southern California Close-Ups: Downtown Los Angeles

4:52 PM EDT, March 30, 2012

Downtown Los Angeles

From Chinatown to Olvera Street to the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, downtown has a lot to offer.

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