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Southern/Central Calfornia

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4 reviews
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Southern/Central Calfornia

I'm thinking of a 10 day trip to sunny and warm southen or central california in early January... (will be wanting to escape the cold and snow) But I"m wondering where to go.. any suggestions? I"m looking for beaches, golf, great music, artsy town, and eclectic cuisine.. Trip will probably just be me and one or two girlfriends..


san francisco, ca
11 posts
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1. Re: Southern/Central Calfornia

Hi there, wherever you are......I would think Santa Cruz, about 80 miles south of San Francisco might fit your bill. Also, a bit farther south, the Pismo Beach area, or Santa Barbara ~ 100 miles north of LA are pleasant beaches, as long as you can ignore the oil derricks.

Aptos, CA
3 posts
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2. Re: Southern/Central Calfornia

I suggest Santa Barbara or Laguna Beach. I live just 10 minutes south of Santa Cruz and I think it would be too cold for you during January. It's usually warmer in Southern California during the winter. Now, if you were visiting in September or October, I would suggest Capitola, just south of Santa Cruz. Have fun!

Arcadia, CA
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14 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: Southern/Central Calfornia

Sounds like Laguna Beach is what you are looking for. Artsy, eclectic dining is abundant, and there a number of golf courses (some right on the coast) in the area (Orange County). Keep in mind that anywhere along the California coast is cool in January. Laguna Beach is typically in the 60's that time of year, although January is at the height of the 'rainy season' in So Cal; you have a 50-50 chance of getting some rain and cooler weather during your ten days here; but compared to ice and snow I guess 60's isn't so bad. On the other hand, you may see the Santa Ana winds kick up - so 80's are not out of the question. One thing is for sure - you won't see any snow!

Have fun!

Santa Cruz, CA
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240 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Southern/Central Calfornia

If you want eclectic, artsy, great music, come to Santa Cruz. Stay at the Pasatiempo Inn (check their web site for manager's specials for amazing prices, like $49/night) and play golf at Pasatiempo or elsewhere in the county. (I don't think you could find a price that good on a dump in Santa Cruz, let alone a nice place like Pasatiempo.)


The food scene here is really happening (much moreso than in Laguna, if you're a serious foodie) , and there are clubs and music (depending on your taste). I can advise on restaurants, if you like. (I'm a member of the Culinary Alliance of Santa Cruz County, a group of food professionals who are networking to promote the region's wonderful resources.)

Here's a link to the Good Times, the local weekly paper about Santa Cruz County happenings:


Be aware that California's winter weather usually includes big rainstorms that can go for days. The first year I lived in San Diego, it rained daily from Thanksgiving to New Year's. That is unusual, but you probably will see some rain. On the other hand, you could get plenty of sun and warmth. As we on the coast like to preach, "Dress in layers."

Have fun!

manhatan beach, ca
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508 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: Southern/Central Calfornia

I would suggest Santa Barbara, always a very relaxing and gorgeous town. Laguna Beach in Orange County is also very nice and has a variety of local artists there. Check out some of the local galleries in Laguna Beach. It's the home of the world famous Pageant of the Masters held every summer. And the Sawdust Festival. Also, try San Diego. SD has some great beaches and is a beautiful city!