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Filtering by Tag: Newport Beach

Southern California Speed Tour: LA and Orange County

Hannah Fleming

With a few visits from friends and family in the books, we have created a list of destinations we tend to take our visitors. With my brother living in Orange County, and me up in LA, we’ve figured out how to cover quite a bit of ground in a short period of time. Some of these are touristy and cliché, but that doesn’t make them any less great! 

Orange County

The spots we go in Orange County are pretty easy to cover in a day, depending on the weather and how much time you want to spend in each place. Starting in Newport Beach and ending in Laguna Beach, these stops are a great way to see a lot of what Orange County has to offer!

Newport Beach- I may be a bit biased towards Newport, but this is the beach we regularly went to when I first moved here, and one of my favorites. The beach is nice, clean, and parking is rarely an issue. There are good food options, and plenty of activities outside of working on your tan. Beach cruisers are available for rent year round, along with boogie boards, surf boards, stand up paddle-boards and kayaks in the warm(er) months.

 Laguna Beach-  Laguna is small, but if you want a quaint town to mosey along with a coffee in hand, this is a great place to do so.  There are also some great trails in the Laguna, including Top of the World and the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

Perfect Day: Breakfast at Stuft Surfer, rent beach cruisers and ride all the way down to “The Wedge”, head down the coast to Laguna for some window shopping, a meal, possibly another quick hike and catch the sunset.


Los Angeles

Due to the infamous traffic, LA requires you to be a little more selective when deciding what to pack in to a day.

Santa Monica- Downtown Santa Monica has tons of restaurants, shops and of course the Santa Monica Boardwalk.  While this area is a little busier, it’s a cool area to walk around and definitely do some shopping. I have yet to make it down here without stopping at either Patagonia, REI or both. 

Griffith Observatory- Seen in many movies, and has a great vantage point of the city and the Hollywood Sign. There are also tons of trails leading up to the observatory if you would rather hike than drive!

LACMA- Los Angeles County Museum of Art is another great place to spend a few hours if you’re with someone who appreciates museums. We found there were some really cool exhibits, and a few floors we definitely skipped. Make sure to check out the Tar Pits!

Rodeo Drive- Because these stores are ridiculous.

Runyon Canyon- a solid workout, great view of the city AND celebrities are often spotted here.

            Hollywood Sign- A longer hike than Runyon, but another                   great view of the city!


Other Day Trips

- The San Diego Zoo
-Potato Chip Rock (San Diego)
-Mt. Baldy

If you've visited out here and have any other great suggestions to add to the list, leave a comment below! If you're planning a visit, let me know and we can meet up!



Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon

Perfect Day: Start the day with a hike at Runyon or the Hollywood Sign, grab a smoothie or lunch at Urth, Rodeo Drive, possibly stop at Griffith before heading down to Santa Monica for shopping and a sunset along the PCH.



Boogie Boards and Busy Bodies

Hannah Fleming

Being a busy body gets way too bad of a rep. Constantly going from one thing to the next, cramming the most into each day. I understand how it can seem chaotic, but it's also incredibly rewarding. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than checking everything off of my to-do list. However, sometimes I have to tell myself it's okay to relax and watch TV for a night, but most of the time I like to be busy. 

With that, planning becomes even more important. It seems like there is a constant list of everything I WANT to do, friends to see, places to explore, hikes to go on, while making sure the things I NEED to get done make it onto the list too.

Going into the weekend there was a strong possibility I was going to try surfing, however that very quickly changed to boogie boards, and it was a blast! We also went hiking in Palos Verdes and were able to see Catalina Island from a different perspective. It's amazing how much i've been able to see in such a short time, just by making the most of every weekend.

Paddles and Poles: Newport and Mt. Baldy

Hannah Fleming

Paddles and Poles.  Boards and Boots.  Ocean and Mountains.

SUPing in Newport.

SUPing in Newport.

California is a unique place to live, since I now live here! You can be in a completely different environment by driving an hour in any direction. This weekend we got the best of both worlds, a day spent at the ocean and a day spent hiking in the mountains. 

We kicked off the weekend with breakfast at Stuft Surfer in Newport, followed by renting Stand Up Paddleboards and playing in the waves for few hours. Not a bad Saturday.

Sunday we headed North to Mt. Baldy. The hike starts around 6,000 ft., increasing to 10,064 ft. over the course of 3.8 miles. This hike was not only my longest hike, reaching the highest elevation, but definitely the hardest. I'd like to say it was because Friday was leg day, but I know that would be a lie. Investing in a pair of trekking poles was a great decision.

Part of the hike up to the top of Mt. Baldy.

The descent across Devil's Backbone.

Typically the descent is six miles, the last three of which along a fire road. We chose to ride the ski lift down, cutting off around three miles.