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25 Fun Things to do in Southern California

Santa Monica Beach - California

One my favorite places to be during the summer months is Southern California. Both Los Angeles and Orange County offer a plethora of things to do. You will never be bored! Beaches, endless exercise opportunities, tourist attractions, waterfront activities, and cultural attractions are just some of the items that should comprise your summer to do list. Enjoy looking through my list of 25 Fun things to do in Southern California!

Take a ride along “The Strand” bicycle path – 22 miles of easy riding along Southern California’s gorgeous coastline. Along the route, you will pass by numerous beautiful beach towns, each with their own unique look and attractions. Beautiful scenery, plenty of fun stops along the way, and an awesome workout all rolled into one – who could ask for more?! Highlights along the route include: the Manhattan Beach Pier, Venice Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier.  To date the most fun bike path I have ever experienced! A must do on any visit to Southern California!

Address: Torrace Beach to Will Rogers State Beach
Marvin Braude Bike Path website

The Strand bike path

Manhattan Beach Pier - California

Hike at Runyon Canyon – This is my favorite place to hike in Southern California. The views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign, and the surrounding mountains are nothing short of amazing. If you avoid the weekends, it really is quiet and enjoyable. The perfect way to take in a warm summer afternoon with scenic views and an energizing workout. Free yoga is offered daily – check the schedule for session times!

Address: 2001 N Fuller Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046
Runyon Canyon Website

Runyon Canyon - view of the Hollywood sign

Ride the iconic Santa Monica Pier roller coaster – The pier is complete with carnival games, rides, restaurants, and a small aquarium. The fun roller-coaster ride comes complete with stunning 360 degree ocean vistas. This is one of my favorite stops along The Strand bicycle path; it is a nice treat after biking 20 miles!

Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier  Santa Monica, CA 90401
Santa Monica Pier Website

Rollercoaster at Santa Monica Pier

Bike, surf & enjoy the views in Huntington Beach – Huntington Beach is one of my favorite towns in Orange County. In addition to an 8 mile long bike/walking path, you will also find plenty of unique restaurants and shops and ongoing events all year long. Known as the “Surfing Capital of the World,” the Huntington Beach pier is a great place to take in all the surfing action. The US Open of Surfing is held annually each summer. Or, you could attempt a lesson yourself!

Address: Main & PCH Huntington Beach, CA 92646 (Pier)
Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, California

Play a game of beach volleyball – It is hard to envision Southern California and not think of volleyball. You will find dozens of beach volleyball nets set up everywhere along the beaches in California, especially Hermosa, Redondo, and Huntington. Whether you want to play a game or just be a spectator, the choice is up to you!

Volleyball at Hermosa Beach, California


  1. Thanks! There are so many beautiful places in Southern California – it is hard to narrow down the list. I only included the coastal OC cities because I prefer the beach atmosphere. I hope to be taking a trip to San Diego sometime in the next year :)

    • Lee
    • July 22, 2014  at  11:19 PM

    Good list of beach things.. And I good list for LA. I was confused because I read it for “Southern California” not “Los Angeles County and a glimpse of Huntington Beach” what about Orange County, San Diego County, Riverside County? Just confused by the title that’s all.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I tried to include a bit of everything that I personally enjoyed in the area. I would love to explore some more trails in the mountains, especially Santa Monica.

    • Paul Warburg
    • March 3, 2014  at  10:17 PM

    This was a fairly decent list with a few interesting things, however, what about things to do that don’t necessarily involve the beach? I am disappointed that I didn’t see places like Medieval Times, or even Knott’s Berry Farm or Disneyland. Also there is much to do in the mountains of Southern California.

    However, if you are the kind of person who loves the beach and that kind of lifestyle, this would be a good list.

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