Hidden Gems in SoCal


Taylor Lakin, Reporter


Southern California has so many interesting and diverse places to visit, however they are often overlooked. As unfortunate as that is, most of these hidden gems are either difficult to find or very unknown. If you are ever wondering what to do and want to switch it up, opt for one of these, because everyone should visit all these places at least once in their life.


Thousand steps

Although now more known, this beach is located in South Laguna just north of 9th Street. Named after its intimidating walk to the beach, the 218 steps are sure to have your legs burning by the end of the trip. It is bordered by sandstone cliffs and is the perfect spot for a beach day. Walk down the shoreline and discover a full walk through cave along with naturally occurring tide pools. However, beware of the tide if you are wishing to explore, as parts of the beach are inaccessible during high tide.  


The LAB (antimall)

This “mall” in Costa Mesa at first glance appears to be a sort of industrial complex. Take a look and find all the unique restaurants and shops. For those who crave a sense of new surroundings, this place is for you. Filled with art installations, there is always something new to see and it is truly one of a kind.


UCR Botanic Garden​​

This 40 acre luscious garden located in Riverside is filled with over 3500 types of plants. For those who love nature and plants this is the place for you!


Keys Creek Lavender Farm

This picturesque farm has so much to enjoy. Whether you choose to take a walk through the lavender fields or stop for a cup of delicious tea, there is a lot to do no matter the time of year. It is a bit longer of a drive but it is totally worth it for the photo ops.


Carbon Canyon Regional Park Redwood Grove

Right in Brea you can see these gorgeous redwood trees. Disregarding their size, they are quite hidden within the park. But not to worry, the trail will lead you right to them with multiple signs posted along the walkway to guide you in the right direction.


Great Park balloon

If you ever wished to take a hot air balloon ride, now you can. Located in Irvine, these gigantic balloons carry up to 29 adults. Reaching heights of 400 feet, the 360 degree view is incomparable. And the best part, it is free!


With spring break quickly approaching and summer right around the corner, there are so many opportunities to go and explore what is around you. From the amazing beaches, gardens, art filled malls, and a hot air balloon there is something for everyone to experience.