Dream Trip: SoCal Tour

When a new year rolls around, it’s exciting to think about all the possibilities in store. We LOVE dreaming about exotic destinations, as well as those hidden gems just a car ride away! If your travel bucket list is anything like ours, it can be tough to choose a place to start… so if you need some help planning for your next vacay, here’s a few ideas from our wish list.

Our design team fit in a last-minute inspiration trip to Southern California before the Christmas holiday – and it was inspiration overload! The city is so vibrant and filled with amazing art, abundant fashion, fantastic eats, and beautiful botanicals.

But it was an action-packed visit, so we had no downtime along the coast… which is what we were really craving, especially after we looked at a map and saw just how many beaches one can hit during a visit to Southern California. Whether you take on all these cities & beaches in one ultimate SoCal Dream Tour, or just try out one for a weekend getaway, here’s our must-see hit list.

You can find great flight deals to LAX from just about anywhere. From there it’s just a short 5 miles to our first beach destination, so put on your sunnies and grab a Lyft to….

MANHATTAN BEACH

This is a very cool, laid-back beach community. You’ll find a little bit of everything you know and love about California – upscale restaurants alongside dive spots, mansions next to bungalows, and surfers and families living in simpatico. Take some time to explore and you’ll easily find a favorite hangout. Ours include:

º Find your spot in the sand to soak in the sun, check out the surfers, and drift away to the soothing sounds of the beach.

º Join (or just watch) a game of beach volleyball at one of tons of sand courts.

º Get your exercise on The Strand… continue along the pier if up for it, or stop into a restaurant with an iconic view of the Pacific.

º Stroll around the quaint downtown area and pop into any of the shops and eateries that catch your eye.

º Bring your beach cruiser by our store at 451 Manhattan Beach Blvd to say hello and cruise around our store – on foot of course!

Next, head south along the PCH. There’s beautiful views at every turn, and in under an hour you’ll have arrived in the OC (Orange County). First stop:

NEWPORT BEACH and BALBOA ISLAND

As soon as you arrive, the first thing you see is a stunning harbor filled with lots of gorgeous boats. The overall vibe is more upscale, but everyone can afford to look. There are plenty of beaches and piers to explore, and we have a feeling you’ll spend most of your time along the water (which is definitely where we’d be). Here’s our list of picks:

º Beach time is a must and Newport Beach is the most popular (obviously).

º Visit Balboa Island – cross the bridge or take the ferry – it’s just a short and inexpensive sail, and totally worth the trip.

º Daydream about island life as you stroll by idyllic homes and quaint shops.

º Ride the Ferris wheel (with a view) at Balboa Fun zone, because who doesn’t love a good Ferris wheel?

º Grab the perfect pair of flip flops for your sandy toes at our store on 323 Marine Avenue.

If you’re short on time, you can do this whole stop in less than a day: spend the morning in Newport Beach, lunch in Balboa Island, then head 11 miles down the coast for an afternoon at our next stop, Laguna Beach!

LAGUNA BEACH

We adore this gorgeous seascape! The town is seven miles of coastline with over 30 coves alongside hills and cliffs. It’s also a destination for those who love art, outdoor adventure and nightlight, so you’ll want to book something on Airbnb ASAP. Ideas for your visit include:

º The beach – yes, more beaches, but what did you expect? This is a SoCal trip! Pick your fave and go soak up that sun!

º Get up close and personal with the ocean by exploring the numerous tide pools and coves Laguna Beach has to offer.

º Exercise (and enjoy the view) by hiking through breath-taking canyons and parks.

º Laguna Beach is an artsy town – make sure to see if anything exciting is happening while you’re there!

º Get a fab new beach cover up at the Fresh Produce store on 240 Forest Ave.

Ready to head further south? One hour of cruising along the coast and you will reach La Jolla, near the edge of San Diego.

LA JOLLA

Immediately, you will be struck by the rugged coastline and the classy village. Arts, culture, and nature collide here, so we recommend:

º A beach day! Again, several to choose from – as well as more coves, tide pools, and caves if you didn’t get a chance to explore in Laguna.

º Check out one of the renowned local museums, like the Museum of Contemporary Art.

º Explore the rugged, wild landscape of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

º Walk La Jolla Village- it’s a great place for a bite to eat or souvenirs to take home.

º Celebrate the night away in San Diego! The FP team (located at 1147 Prospect St) is happy to help you find the perfect outfit and dinner spot for your night out.

If we haven’t made it clear yet, we love the beach. But, there are also some amazing places to explore off the coast, such as beautiful desert destinations like…

PALM DESERT

Talk about a change of scenery! Palm Desert and nearby Palm Springs are both destination locations in the desert full of amazing architecture, lush resorts, and stylish hotels, all with a much hotter climate. You will be thoroughly impressed by the landscape while you dine, shop, and play. Here’s our short list:

º Treat yourself at one of the many remarkable spas!

º If a spa day isn’t in the budget, you can always pretend by hanging out at a stunning hotel pool, or having a drink at the bar.

º Go for a hike or explore the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens and learn about the local desert ecosystems!

º Play a round of golf at one of the many beautiful courses.

º Grab some shade under a stylish new sun hat! We have a great assortment in our store at 73-199 El Paseo.

So, did a SoCal trip just move up on your list? If you’re from anywhere on our list, what would you add? We love to see what our community is up to, so if (read: when) you take this trip, we hope you have an incredible time – share lots of pics and have a great trip!

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