Favorite Things to do in Southern California

We are back at home now and today hasn’t been very productive.  I guess we can justify and say we used today to recover from our late arrival home last night around 1 in the morning! Although, we didn’t have it as bad as our travel mates. Their flight got delayed, so they didn’t get home until almost 7 this morning.

I have accumulated quite a few favorites this month, but they’ll just have to wait a little while. I decided to switch courses and share my California favorites this go around.

Favorite Splurge: Rose Bakery & Cafe (Corona Del Mar)

This bakery has been our Orange County designated splurge after my mom stumbled upon it years ago.  It’s a local breakfast spot and has great outdoor seating for their many sunny days in California. The line can be long, but it moves quickly and the food is excellent. Our favorite menu items are the Country Burrito (eggs, potatoes, bacon, and cheese) with their amazing homemade salsa and the chocolate croissants.

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Favorite Shopping Street: State Street (Santa Barbara)

Every ‘main’ street in America should be this beautiful! We took a day to walk and explore all of the nooks and crannies, wonderful shops and restaurants of State Street in Santa Barbara.

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Favorite Spot: Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is most easily my favorite beach in Southern California. My whole family (especially my mom) could spend all day watching the guys in Laguna Beach play volleyball. Other than play volleyball, people stroll along the boardwalk, play frisbee, sell thier art work/jewelry, and swim in the surf.

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Favorite Bike Route: Around Coronado Island (Coronado Island)

Coronado island is already a beautiful as it is, but there is something about seeing the neighborhoods and the water from the perspective of a bike that makes the whole island appear to be breath taking. The landscaping/houses are just so gorgeous.

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Favorite Find: Cinnamon Rolls at Huckleberry Bakery (Santa Monica)

This trip was full of some of our longtime favorite spots, but this bakery was new discovery and a definate addition to the list. Before going for breakfast, we saw online that the cinnamon rolls at this bakery were the best in all of L.A. They sure didn’t disappoint! The cinnamon rolls are like a combination of a croissant/ cinnamon toast (heavy on the sugar)/ cinnamon roll. Yum.

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Favorite Longtime Spot: Reel Inn (Malibu)

Reel Inn… the Real Deal. This is my all time favorite seafood restaurant. It’s a local seafood shack with sawdust on the floor. You order at a window and seat yourself. The seafood is so unbelievably fresh. I recommend the fish tacos (and so do the local surfers who order platters of them!) and the calamari, both are incredible.

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Favorite Souvenir of the Trip: “I am loved” Bracelet (Laguna Beach)

My mom and I found this bracelet at one of the shops in Laguna Beach. More than anything, this bracelet is full of sentimental value. Before leaving for anywhere, my mom always says, “Do you know you’re loved?” and me and my brother respond, “Yes, Mom, we know!” This was a great find for me because it reminds me of what she always says to us.

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Favorite Place to Watch Street Performers: 3rd Street Promenade (Santa Monica)

Third Street Promenade is a pedestrian street full of tons of shops and street performers. The best thing about 3rd Street Promenade is definitely the street performers. During this trip, we were lucky enough to stumble upon Naia Kete, who was on Blake Shelton’s team on the 2nd season of The Voice! It was such a treat to sit in the sun and listen to her live.

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Favorite Moment of the Trip: Meeting Ken Vanderpump!! (Beverly Hills)

As you know, one of our favorite shows is Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Of course, we had to go to Villa Blanca for lunch while we were in California. Little did we know that we would run into Ken Vanderpump!! (a.k.a. one of the owners/one of our favorite cast member from the show) He was so friendly… he even came back to the table to say goodbye 😉

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Favorite View: George’s at the Cove (La Jolla)

This was our favorite view.  The picture doesn’t do it justice at all.  We were overlooking the cliffs in La Jolla.  You could see seals laying all out on the rocks and the sunset was just beautiful.  This is always a stop when we are in San Diego…..La Jolla beach area.  It is a spectacular place.

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Favorite Healthy Bite: Banzai Bowl (Laguna Beach)

My mom and I have become acai bowl fanatics. Acai smoothie bowls are an up and coming west coast trend. Acai taste like a tart berry mixture. The smoothie bowls are topped with fresh fruit, granola, coconut, and/or honey.  We love to try them where ever we find them.  While other places have occaisonally been very good, no place has quite matches Banzai Bowl. Our favorite is the Maui Sunrise.

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 **P.S. We got the recipe!!! (Coming Soon… as in tomorrow because we were so excited to try it we made it this afternoon 🙂 )