Hidden Gems to Visit in Orange County and Los Angeles
California Scenario – The Noguchi Museum
Location: 611 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
The Noguchi Museum is both a hidden gem and secret spot to Southern California. The place is filled with rocks of all shapes and size, fountains, and other water features. One of the most prominent features is shown above. A low pyramid with streams of water running beneath it.
It may be small in size so you probably won’t be spending your whole day here. What does make it worth mentioning here is the fact you can take some awesome pictures here. Many people love to take a picture of themselves jumping across the streams with the pyramid in the background.
So for amateur photographers or someone who is looking for a great social media picture both are encouraged to check this place out.
Tall Ships in Los Angeles and Southern California
View the Tall Ships in Dana Point Harbor
ADDRESS 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629, USA
PHONE +1 949-496-2274
WEB Visit website
There are three tall ships in Dana Point, two of which are docked at the Ocean Institute at the north end of Dana Point Harbor. It costs nothing to park and get out to admire these tall ships and take a walk along the harbor, and during the Christmas holidays, the dock is lined with light displays as part of IlluminOcean, which is also free.
Crystal Cove State Beach And Park
Day Use – 06:00 AM to Sunset
Crystal Cove State Park has one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California. Three miles of pristine beach plus over 2000 acres of park. The main point of entry is the Crystal Cove Historic District. Crystal Cove Beach cottages that were built during the 1920s.
Wildlife of Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Park has a registered 180 different species of birds that can be observed throughout the entire year, seasonally, or a few times per year. Some of the birds seen regularly include the Turkey Vulture, Mourning Dove, Ring Billed Gull, the Common Raven, the Greater Roadrunner, Quail and the House Sparrow. Along with registered birds, there are roughly 26 registered reptiles of Crystal Cove State Park, and 10 of which are commonly seen by visitors. These include the Silvery Legless Lizard, Arboreal Salamander, Pacific Tree Frog, Red Diamond Rattlesnake, Gopher Snake, southern Pacific Rattlesnake, California King Snake, Side Blotched Lizard, Western Fence Lizard, and the San Diego Horned Lizard.
http://www.crystalcovestatepark.org UPDATE (April 3, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access. The park remains open for locals provided they practice safe, physical distancing of 6 feet or more and are visiting parks near their primary residences. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach. Crystal Cove State Park. … The park remains open for locals who wish to walk, hike and bike (in parks with bike trails) in the park, provided they practice social/physical distancing of 6 feet or more. This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach.
One Of The 7 Wonders Of Huntington Beach
World’s Largest Surfboard.
A 42-FOOT LONG SURFBOARD HOLDS the world record for the “World’s Largest Surfboard.” On June 22, 2015, 66 people rode an epic wave in Huntington Beach for 12 seconds, breaking not one but two world records: one for most people riding a surfboard at once, and the other for the world’s largest surfboard.
Today, the so-called Biggest Board is proudly on display outside the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach, California, a town that clearly isn’t messing around when it comes to defending their title as Surf City, USA. 411 Olive Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Bommer Canyon Nature Trail
Bommer Canyon is a hidden gem between Turtle Ridge and Shady Canyon in Irvine California. At one time the canyon was an import part of the of Irvine ranch cattle operations. Today the cattle are long gone but several buildings, cattle loading ramps, corrals, and equipment can be seen at the cattle camp. Bommer Canyon is designated as a California Natural Landmark which will help protect this beautiful area of Southern California from development. Boomer Canyon nature trail is a part of the vast network of trails that make up the Irvine Open Space Preserve. Mountain bikes are allowed on most trails, equestrians are permitted from May to November, but since this is wilderness you must leave your dogs at home.
Restrooms are available at the Bommer Canyon trailhead along with a map of the trails. The parking lot is free but often full on weekends. More parking is available at nearby Turtle Rock Community Park. Bommer Canyon Address is 6400 Shady Canyon Drive. Trail Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset. Parking Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Bommer Canyon trailhead is located at Shady Canyon Drive and Boomer Canyon Road. A section of Shady Canyon Drive from the 405 freeway is a private road (there is a public trail adjacent to the road) Public access to the BommerCanyon trailhead can be found via Bonita Canyon Drive in Newport Beach near UCI.
Upper Newport Bay The Back Bay Loop Trail
Known to locals as the Back Bay, the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve draws naturalists and scientists from around the world. Some 35,000 migratory birds and 200 endangered species make their home on the 1,000 acres of coastal wetlands, which also offer hiking and cycling trails and amazing aquatic activities – from kayaking to stand-up paddleboarding – for nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts.”Upper Newport Bay is one of the premier recreational and environmental assets in our region. The Back Bay Loop Trail provides an exciting opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to discover a magnificent regional trail experience at the Bay. The 10.5 mile Trail is well-signed as it winds around Upper Newport Bay, with scenic stops at places like Upper Castaways Park, the County of Orange’s Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, the new Back Bay Science Center at Shellmaker Island, and Big Canyon.”
The Back Bay Loop Trail has multiple entry points, with opportunities for scenic stops and visits to local nature and educational facilities, including:
- Back Bay Science Center at Shellmaker Island
- Newport Aquatic Center
- Upper Castaways Park
- Environmental Nature Center
- Mariners Park and Library
- Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
- Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center
- Back Bay View Park
- Big Canyon
The Balboa Island Ferry
Since 1919, Balboa Island Ferry has provided continuous service for drivers and passengers in vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians between Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, California. Crossings approximate 800 feet. Via bridges, an alternate route is possible; but the traveling distance increases up to six miles. Many choose the ferry’s direct route and scenic crossing.
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Sunday: 6:30 a.m. until 12:00 a.m.
Another Amazing Southern California Hidden Gem
Cabrillo Beach is 370 acres of land located at 3720 Stephen M. White Drive San Pedro, California, specifically the Port of Los Angeles West Channel. The beach is on both sides of the eastern point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This Peninsula is 1.6 miles long and serves as a breakwater. The inner beach is located within the breakwater where the water is calm. The outer beach is located on the outside of the breakwater, which is where one would find the ocean surf.
Overlooking the Los Angeles Harbor is the Cabrillo Beach Fishing Pier. Built in 1969 inside the breakwater, the pier runs 1,200 feet parallel with the breakwater. Biking and fishing on the pier is allowed and neither require a license. There is a cover area for shade and washing stations for cleaning up after fishing.
Today, the bathhouse has shower rooms, restrooms, life guard facilities, a snack bar, and a community meeting room upstairs.
Cabrillo Beach is a popular destination for those interested in water sports, such as swimming, windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking and scuba diving.
It is also home to a few famous landmarks, namely the 1.75 mile Los Angeles Breakwater which ends at the Angel’s Gate Lighthouse, the recently restored Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse, and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. The Angels Gate Lighthouse is home to the annual Angel’s Gate Lighthouse Swim competition, held by Lifeguards and San Pedro residents each summer.
In 1913, Angel’s Gate Lighthouse was built at the end of the breakwater, which was, and still is today, the main entrance to the Port of Los Angeles.
Lots Of Parking
Very Few People
Bay On one Side
Ocean On The Other
Address: 3720 Stephen M. White Drive San Pedro, California
Salvation Mountain Niland California
There’s Mt. Sinai, and then there’s Salvation Mountain. On the barren badlands east of San Diego, there is a 30-foot high, 100-foot wide concrete and adobe mountain covered in religious slogans and over an estimated 150,000 gallons of lavish multi-colored acrylic paint.
Located near the salty shores of Salton Sea, this interactive landscape is the creation of a single man—Leonard Knight—whose failed attempt at launching a hot air balloon made from bed sheets with bold letters emblazoned on the side stating, “God is Love” in the 1980s, led to the 26-year construction of his glorious mountain.
Getting to Salvation Mountain is half the fun as you must traverse a two-lane road just east of Niland, a ramshackle old farming town known for its annual Tomato Festival and Parade.
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Salvation Mountain is a hillside visionary environment created by local resident Leonard Knight in the California Desert area of Imperial County, north of Calipatria, northeast of Niland near Slab City, and several miles from the Salton Sea. Wikipedia
Address: Beal Rd, Calipatria, CA 92233
Artist: Leonard Knight
Hours: 6:30AM–6:30PM *Times may vary with COVID-19*
Laguna Lake Park Fullerton
Today Laguna Lake is a wonderful hidden gem in the middle of Orange
County. Dog Walking Laguna Lake
Laguna Lake Park is a great place to take your four-legged friend for a
walk. A circle around the lake is about 3/4 of a mile. If Fido is feeling
frisky there are several trails leading from the lake for an extended hike.
All dogs must be on a leash at all times. And please clean up after
Hiking & Biking
The 11-mile Fullerton Loop Trail passes through Laguna Lake Park.
The loop trail is actually several trails including the Juanita Cooke Trail
and which follows the route of the old Pacific Electric red car. This
Fullerton Loop trail is a favorite of mountain bikers, runners, and
Where is Laguna Lake Park
Address 3120 Lakeview Drive Fullerton, California.
• All dogs must be on a leash at all times in the park and on the trails.
• Hikers to equestrians. Bikers yield to hikers and equestrians.
• Fishing Licence age 16 and older
• There are public bathrooms at Laguna Lake.
• Laguna Lake is a no-smoking area.
Laguna Lake offers something to do for every member of the family.
From relaxing and enjoying the views to an exciting mountain bike
Amazing Southern California Hidden Gems
Laguna Niguel Botanical Preserve
Niguel Botanical Preserve is a hidden gem 4 miles inland from the
Pacific Ocean along Crown Valley Parkway. The garden covers a little
over 18 acres of Crown Valley Community Park. The preserve is
located on a hillside with numerous trails leading to the top of the hill.
From this vantage point, there is an amazing view of the Mission Viejo
and Saddleback Mountain. Plants and trees in the preserve are mostly
Southern California native or from regions of the world with similar
climates. Regions of the word represented include Australian, South
African, Mediterranean, Chilean, and Southern California. Attractions at
the Laguna Niguel Botanical Preserve include the Children’s Garden,
Boy Scouts Eagle Trail, Girl Scouts Path, Laguna Niguel Labyrinth, and
the South African Overlook.
2000 Plant Species
4 Miles of Walking Trails
18 Acres of land
The Preserve is open 7-days a week, 365 days a year (COVID-19 Could effect these hours)
from sunrise to sunset. Free Admission. Laguna Niguel
Botanical Preserve is dog-friendly.
29751 Crown Valley Pkwy, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
The Preserve sits midway between I-5 (Santa Ana Fwy)
and Pacific Coast Hwy on Crown Valley Parkway; just
above the Crown Valley Community Park in Laguna
Sherman Gardens Corona Del Mar
It’s little surprise that Sherman Gardens is regularly ranked as the top attraction in the pretty California town of Corona Del Mar. This hidden gem covers over two acres of land packed with flora and fauna from around the globe. Originally a nursery, the Sherman Library, and Gardens were established in 1955. Far more than your average botanical garden, the site is also home to one of the most comprehensive collections of books about the history of the Pacific Southwest. There’s also a great Sunday brunch. A Japanese Garden and KOI Pond. There is a gift shop at the gardens where visitors can purchase seeds and other souvenirs. Free parking is available on site. – modest entrance fee.
Sherman Library and Gardens
2647 East Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 (949) 673-2261
Bolsa Chica Wetlands Huntington Beach
Although there are still active oil wells on the wetlands today, the area has become the home to a large and diverse collection of flora and fauna, as well as a haven for an abundance of coastal wildlife and is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. Before you start your adventure, be sure to stop by the Bolsa Chica Interpretive Center, located in the parking lot at PCH and Warner and grab a pamphlet to help you identify all the possible things you might see on your nature walk.As you cross over the long wooden pedestrian bridge entering the marshlands, you will be treated to all types of marine activity in the shallow waters just beneath your feet, including sting rays swimming among the fish and native undersea plant life, as well as feisty diving terns as they look for a tasty meal. Continuing down the path, you will see lots of jumping fish, lizards, snakes, coyotes herons and pelicans. Every year, especially during the migration seasons, almost 200 different species of bird can be seen at the Bolsa Chica wetlands. this Huntington Beach nature preserve is perfect for families with young children. Most of the trails are easy enough for strollers. Bolsa Chica Wetlands has two parking lots.
Bolsa Chica Interpretive Center
3842 Warner Avenue Huntington Beach, CA 92647.
Warner and Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.
Moorten Botanical Garden
The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is a 1-acre family-owned botanical garden specializing in cacti and other desert plants, located at 1701 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, Riverside County, California, United States. It is in the Colorado Desert ecosystem. A hidden gem in the desert of Palm Springs, the Moorten Botanical Gardens is the perfect destination for anyone that has an appreciation for desert flora. Established in 1938 by Chester “Cactus Slim” Moorten and his wife, Patricia, and now owned and operated by their son, Clark Moorten. UNDER CLARK MOORTEN, THE PALM SPRINGS GARDEN HAS BECOME A HORTICULTURAL GEM. Phone: (760) 327-6555
Sherman Gardens Corona Del Mar
It’s little surprise that Sherman Gardens is regularly ranked as the top attraction in the pretty California town of Corona Del Mar. This hidden gem covers over two acres of land packed with flora and fauna from around the globe.
Historic Dory Fleet Fish Market — Since 1891
WED-FRI 6:30am – 12pm Fish Only.
SATURDAY 5:30am – 12pm Crab & Seafood.
SUNDAY 5:30am – 12pm — or until sold out
Please note that the Dory Fleet Market is a cooperative of individual fishermen. Each has their own preferred method of contact — either through their website, social links or direct line. You can contact ‘Crabby’ Steve via email or follow him on Twitter, Scott Breneman via his website or Facebook page, Giacomo D’Amato via email or telephone and the Voyatzis family directly at the market. As everyone is often out at sea, you can Subscribe to the Dory Fleet News! and receive a weekly update sent to your email, and read ‘Crabby’ Steve’s tweets for his catch-of-the day.
‘Crabby’ Steve @DoryFleet
Rock crab, spider crab, snails , shrimp, sea urchin and loads of fish tomorrow morning. No more lobster till next October.
LUMMIS HOME AND GARDENS
ADDRESS: 200 East Avenue 43, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Directions via Google Maps
PHONE: (323) 226-1620
FACILITY HOURS OF OPERATION:
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am to 3:00 pm
** TO KEEP LOS ANGELES RESIDENTS AND VISITORS SAFE FROM THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, ALL DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS FACILITIES ARE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE **
Lummis House From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lummis House, also known as El Alisal, is a Rustic American Craftsman stone house built by Charles Fletcher Lummis in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Located on the edge of Arroyo Seco in northeast Los Angeles, California, the house’s name means “alder grove” in Spanish.
The property is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.
It is located in Laguna Beach, CA. This beach is one of the more secluded beaches of Southern California making it a great place for any explorer. You will find people doing a variety of activities while on the beach from skim boarding, swimming, fishing, and playing beach sports.
Victoria Beach is also home to a famous stone structure called the ‘Pirate Tower’. The tower shoots up to 60 feet high and was built in 1926.
It is more than a spectacle for visitors to Victoria Beach. The tower serves as a enclosed staircase to a private cliff-top home. Some owners of the home have been William E. Brown, a California state senator, Naval officer Harold Kendrick, and Bette Midler. It makes for an excellent feature piece of photographs.
LEARN MORE at the LAGUNA BEACH CITY REGISTRY: WWW.LAGUNABEACHCITY.NET/CIVICAX/FILEBANK/BLOBDLOAD.ASPX?BLOBID=2520
JG Island Beach in Huntington Beach, California
JG Island is the southern end of Huntington State Beach at the north side of the Santa Ana River Channel. Most of the island west of Pacific Coast Highway is blocked off in the Least Tern Preserve, but you can walk all around this fenced off area. Access to JG Island is easy from parking lot 1 and lot 0 in the state park or from Seashore Drive on the other side of the Santa Ana River Bridge.
The surfing area at the mouth of the river is referred to as “River Jetties” by local surfers. JG Island is a great place to watch the surfers when conditions are right. The Huntington Beach Bike Trail heads north from here and the Santa Ana River Trail parallels the river for a long distance making this a great place to start a bike ride from. Swimming in the Santa Ana River or Talbert Channel is not advised due to urban runoff contaminants that flow into them from city streets.
E Pacific Coast Hwy and Brookhurst St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Park Name: Huntington State Beach
Owner: State Park
Activities: Surfing, Biking, Running, Skating, Birdwatching
Amenities: Paved Bike Path, Restrooms
Pet Policy: No dogs allowed on the beach
Fees: Fee for parking
The Lost Sunken City
Sunken City, San Pedro Cliffs, CA.
A jumble of foundations, streets, and streetcar tracks inhabit the cliff where a landslide occurred in 1929. Also known as Long Beach, a portion of this cliffside neighborhood sunk into the oceans years ago after a landslide — hence the name “Sunken City.” Popular with the locals for bonfires, sunset hangs, and drinking, every inch of concrete is covered in graffiti. For post-apocalyptic meets urban decay vibes, look no further.
Today, the area is called “Sunken City” by locals, and consists of the broken foundations of houses, abandoned streetcar tracks, buckled sidewalks, and empty streets. The area is now a popular hiking spot.
Do not attempt to enter the Sunken City. Not only is trespassing not tolerated, but accessing the ruins is dangerous and therefore should not be attempted. Due to the danger of the ruins, the site is strictly off-limits to the public.
Gal Gadot does Imagine with a bunch celebs. Hollywood celebrities (Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Natalie Portman, Mark Ruffalo, Amy Adams, James Marsden, Sarah Silverman, Kristen Wiig, Sia, Pedro Pascal, Jamie Dornan, Zoe Kravitz, Ashley Benson, Lynda Carter, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrel, Norah Jones, Kaia Gerber, Cara Delevingne, Annie Mumolo and Maya Rudolph) singing Imagine by John Lennon. #COVID19