Sunny Southern California Itinerary Planner

a photo of a california beach

Photo by Andre Frueh on Unsplash

Arriving By Air

The magical area of Southern California is such a fun place to explore. There’s Hollywood, luxury, celebrities, beaches, amazing restaurants, glitter, glamour, and some of the coolest amusement parks on earth. Let me connect you with some of the best places to visit when traveling to sunny Southern California!

First things first. Which airport should you use?

Here’s some input on the MANY local airports that you may consider using.

LAX (or Los Angeles International Airport), is the major airport in SoCal. With air travel so accessible these days you can probably catch an international flight from any connecting place in the country, but if you want to fly non-stop internationally, this is your go-to. It’s quite congested, but the horseshoe layout makes it simple to navigate. Also, because it’s such an old airport and the metropolitan area has encroached on the perimeter surrounding the facilities, it’s kind of hard to get lost. There are eight terminals plus the one international terminal, yet you can probably walk from one end of the airport to the other end in about 20 minutes. Rental car facilities are offsite and you need to catch a shuttle, so allow time for that. A lot of people go out of their way to avoid LAX, but I don’t mind it at all. If you fly in here, look around, there’s probably a famous face or two catching a flight as well!

a photo of a plane taking off a runway

Image by Bilal EL-Daou from Pixabay

BUR – Hollywood Burbank Airport – This airport is much smaller than LAX but works great if your trip involves locations specific to the city of LA and a bit to the North. If you are planning to explore just LA county & the Hollywood area check out fares into this airport. There are flights to Canada but other than that, this is airport is limited to US travel. It’s small, quick and easy and because of the close proximity to the studios, there’s bound to be a celebrity sighting here at any hour!

SNA – John Wayne Airport in Orange County. This airport is my personal go-to for flights into the LA area. Orange County, (as it is known to the locals), is located conveniently off the 405 freeway in South OC. You are just minutes from the beaches and amazing shopping areas of South Coast and Fashion Island. You can fly internationally to Mexico or Canada from Orange County, but that’s about it. Car rentals are onsite and the terminals are easy to navigate as the layout is a simple, straight line, plus there’s always great lighting with all of that sunshine!

LGB – Long Beach Airport – I used to live virtually across the freeway from this tiny airport. It’s super convenient to access if you just need a quick flight in and out of the area, but unfortunately LGB doesn’t serve many flights or airlines. Like Orange County, this airport sits adjacent to the 405 freeway and it’s just about on the county line between LA and Orange counties, so the location is perfect for a SoCal getaway. It’s always good to see if Long Beach is an option for your travel needs, but all too often flights just aren’t available.

ONT – Ontario International Airport – I like to include this airport on my list of choices because it’s so small, clean, and new! It’s actually an old airport that’s been recently updated, so everything here feels fresh and inviting. The only trouble with Ontario is that it is located REALLY far off the beaten path. If you have business (or leisure) close to the 10 or 60 freeways in Ontario, consider this airport for sure! Rental cars are offsite, so you need to allow time to take a shuttle to the facilities. You can also fly internationally to Mexico and China, (yes, China – that’s not a typo), from Ontario, which is pretty cool if you want to avoid the congestion of LAX.

Read on for some travel itineraries for an amazing week in Sunny Southern California!

A Week In SoCal

Day 5 - Amusement Parks!

Because greater LA is quite spread out, these are full-day ideas to quench your adventure thirst. Check the locations to time travel on your maps as some of these may be quite remote from your hotel.

Optional Day Trip Ideas

a woman looking at art in a museum

Take In A Museum

LA gets a bad rap for lacking culture, but I disagree. While it’s not ancient Rome, there are loads of cool museums and artwork displays all over the city. Here are just a few of my favorites. 

 

Enjoy a Beach Day

There’s no place like LA for sunshine and sand. Why not plan a day at the beach to unwind from the traffic and congestion? Here are some of the best beaches to explore on your journey! 

a photo of the LA Coliseum with an american flag and fireworks

Sports Appreciation Day

If you are a sports fan, you have come to the right place. LA is home to many sports teams and there’s always something going on.  Check out local team venues for these teams: 

Travel Check List

Packing Check List

Buy It There

Download It!

Travel Day Items

Souvenier Ideas

Travel Snippets
a photo of a family at Paramount Studios

Paramount Studios

It seems strange to vacation in a place where I lived for over twenty years, but while raising our kids in Colorado we decided to take them back to our old stomping ground. Every trip to LA requires dipping a toe or two into the Hollywood atmosphere. What better place than Paramount Studios? Great fun!

Newport Beach Pier in the morning fog

Newport Beach Pier

The sun doesn’t always shine in California!  I worked for quite a few years in Orange County when starting my design career. Newport is a great stop in an otherwise bustling area of Southern California. Although it is quite upscale, I like Newport for its beachy, laid-back feeling.  Unpretentious, casual, and fun!

This is a sampling of what is to come as this page develops!

If you like it, let me know! If you need insights into specific areas, I would love to hear it.  

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