Fun in the sun with your best buds and a bottle of bubbly – that’s what summer’s all about, right? 2020 might look a little different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and live it to the fullest.
Here’s our list of things you can still see and do in sunny SoCal…
1. Sail or Cruise to Catalina Island
What better time to splurge on that helicopter ride you’ve always dreamed of? I mean, just imagine the views. Once you’re there, you can explore the island by foot, bike, boat, zipline, and even snorkeling. If you’re ballin’ on a budget, Catalina Island Company, aka California’s Island Escape™, is offering to cover your ferry with their Boat’s On Us Package. For more info, visit www.visitcatalinaisland.com
2. Explore Wine Country on Horseback
Unleash your inner cowboy/cowgirl! Meet the gentle giants of Wine Country Trails and ride through the Temecula vineyards at Maurice Car’rie Winery. For an even more majestic experience, reserve yourself a sunset tour, and ride off into the sunset to your heart’s content. For more info, visit www.winecountrytrailsbyhorseback.com
3. Feel the Heat at Deep Creek Hot Springs
There’s no feeling quite like basking in a natural jacuzzi in the middle of the Mojave desert. The hot springs are most accessible from Bowen Ranch via the Freedom Trail, which will take you about 2 miles each way. Those easily offended should proceed with caution, however. The area is known for attracting Angelenos looking to become “one with nature”, in the buff. For more info, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf
4. Catch a Movie at a Drive-In Theater
While things are certainly not business-as-usual with seemingly indefinite restrictions for indoor operations, an era of outdoor movie theaters are having a moment in the spotlight. Queue the perfect opportunity for a road trip down nostalgia lane. Drive-in theaters currently showing include Paramount Drive-In, Mission Tiki, Rubidoux Drive-In, and Van Buren Drive-In.
5. Escape to Joshua Tree in an Airstream
Let’s be honest, we’ve all taken a moment to wonder about #vanlife. Maybe it’s lust for the freedom of travel, tempt for the lack of rent, or simply curiosity of the, um, hygiene situation. Whatever your motive, this undeniably hip Airbnb can give you a taste of the lifestyle, and simultaneously be the envy of all your Instagramming friends. Check it out on www.airbnb.com
6. Go Camping at Big Bear Lake
Breathtaking views, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, waterskiing… Big Bear Lake is where it’s at. If you’re dying to get out on the water, Serrano Campground provides easy lake access and boat rentals. For avid hikers and bikers looking for a challenge, Pineknot is your best bet for scouting out the more technical routes. Note that on-site showers are currently closed due to COVID-19, so a portable solar shower might be a worthy investment. For more info, visit www.bigbear.com
7. Map a Walking Tour of DTLA’s Arts District
While you may be prohibited from actually entering the buildings, there’s plenty to admire from the outside in Downtown’s Arts District. Play tour guide and set out to see some the city’s best street art, and pick up some craft brews from Angel City Brewing while you’re at it. Preorder from www.angelcitybrewery.com
8. Bike Around Griffith Park
Home to the famous Griffith Observatory and objectively the best views of LA’s skyline, you can’t go wrong with Griffith park by any mode of transportation. It is on a bicycle, however, that the entire park really opens up for exploration. With loops available ranging from 3.5 miles to 7 miles, there’s an option for whatever fitness level and/or timeframe you’re working with. For more info, visit: www.laparks.org/griffithpark
9. Visit a Botanical Garden
Tired of people? No better way to escape the madness than to surround yourself in a botanical oasis of nature’s everyday wonders. Some of the most expansive gardens still open in SoCal include The Aboretum, Huntington Library, Descanso Gardens, South Coast Botanic Garden, and Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden.
10. When in Doubt, Hit the Beach
Beaches are now open, but the city asks you to stay with your quarantine crew, as you should with any activity on this list. Still prohibited are beach volleyball, group sports, and any gathering between multiple households. So grab your sunscreen and a mask and get to bronzing that quarantine bod! And be sure to check online for any updates before you make the trip.