Budget traveling around the world for two years

Southern California


  • Extremely diverse population and landscape
  • World-famous beaches, landmarks, and cities
  • Second largest population center in the country

Population: 22.7 million

Largest city: Los Angeles (metro population: 18.2 million)

Photo: Santa Monica Beach

Renowned for its near-perfect weather and perennial sunshine, Southern California hosts a tremendous amount of urban and natural beauty across a wide expanse of deserts, mountains, valleys, and beaches. The largest population hub is the gigantic Los Angeles region, followed by San Diego two hours south.

Where To Go in Southern California

SoCal Cities

Los Angeles: The largest city in the West is so much more than the entertainment capital of the world. Explore its plethora of neighborhoods and find hidden treasures like the tucked away canals of Venice and the secret stairs of Silver Lake. Read more.

Orange County: Halfway between LA and San Diego, the OC has several major cities and is most known for hosting the Disneyland resort in Anaheim and some of the nicest beaches in the state. Read more.

San Diego: Billed “America’s finest city” and renowned for its near-perfect weather, this more peaceful sister of LA has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Read more.

SoCal National Parks

Channel Islands National Park: Accessible only via boat, this park allows you to explore five of the only islands off the coast of Southern California. Undeveloped, these islands contain several endemic species, beautiful sea caves, and prime hiking. Read more.

Joshua Tree National Park: The alien-looking joshua tree is the main attraction at this park, but there are also beautiful rock formations, oases, and wildlife to see. Read more.

Mojave National Preserve: Off the beaten path, this preserve contains the 3rd tallest sand dunes in the U.S., the densest grove of joshua trees in the country, and some unique hiking opportunities. Read more.


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