Relaxing Getaways in Southern California

Between getting things done at work, managing household activities, and keeping up with daily commitments, it’s not hard to believe that most people carry at least some degree of stress in their lives. But while being busy isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, busyness that turns into chronic stress can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health.

But how do you achieve more balance in your day so you can still get your work done while successfully avoiding burnout? One way is to develop coping strategies, where you are able to first acknowledge but then release stress so it doesn’t take over your life. Other de-stressing methods include establishing regular mental exercises to keep your mind focused, or creating more peaceful rhythms in your day to day. Even just taking the time to appreciate what you have and actively practicing gratitude is good for both your mind and soul.
Of course, sometimes all you need is an actual break from the norm to restart, refresh, and relax—and what better place to de-stress than in beautiful Southern California? From the exciting cultural experiences of LA to the outdoor adventures of Orange County, there are so many relaxing getaways in Southern California waiting for you. Read on to find your perfect dose of SoCal sunshine.

Top Places to Relax in Southern California
From the Pacific coast to the desert mountains, there are plenty of things to do in SoCal to unwind and recharge. Here are 10 places to relax in Southern California:

  1. San Juan Capistrano

  • Tucked away in South Orange County is the peaceful town of San Juan Capistrano. Explore the Spanish-inspired architecture, cruise the quaint downtown area, and don’t forget to visit the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, famous for the cliff swallows that return each year during migration.

  1. Laguna Beach

  • Laguna Beach is a beautiful seaside town in Orange County, known for its beaches, coves, and thriving artist community. Here, you can spend a day strolling through local galleries, catching a music festival, or exploring mysterious sites like the Pirate Tower on Victoria Beach.

  1. Crystal Cove State Park

  • Just north of Laguna in the neighboring beach town of Newport Beach is Crystal Cove State Park. With both an inland and beachfront portion of the park, visitors have the freedom to surf, fish, and explore tidepools, as well as mountain bike, horseback ride, hike, and even camp overnight.

  1. Huntington Beach

  • Known as “Surf City, USA,” there are plenty of relaxing beachfront activities to do in Huntington Beach. Take a walk down the famous pier, join in a game of volleyball, then end your day with a bonfire on the sand. Those who call Huntington Beach or nearby Seal Beach home can also take advantage of watching the annual surf and volleyball tournaments held in this lovely beach town.

  1. Disneyland

  • What better way to feel carefree than in the Happiest Place on Earth? With daily shows, a variety of delicious dining options, and of course countless rides and experiences, Disneyland is a magical place for children and adults alike. Those who are local to the area are even able to spot fireworks on a nightly basis, or choose to take advantage of an annual pass so they can always take a quick getaway to Disney.

  1. Palos Verdes

  • Spend a relaxing afternoon exploring the cliffs of Palos Verdes, located in southwestern Los Angeles County. Take in panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, enjoy a peaceful drive around the peninsula, or visit the famous Wayfarers Chapel, or “The Glass Church.” 

  1. Pasadena

  • Explore the beautiful Victorian-style streets of Pasadena, just northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Tour the art museums, visit the famously picturesque Huntington Library, or scope out iconic sites and homes featured in Hollywood movies. Pasadena is also home to the Rose Bowl, where residents in nearby neighborhoods can easily come out to enjoy a football game or take part in the annual Rose Parade. 

  1. Palm Springs

  • Few things are more relaxing than a getaway to the desert of Palm Springs, where your days consist of laying out by a pool, playing a round of golf, or indulging in a natural hot spring spa. Stroll down rows of boutique shops, experience amazing culinary options, and imagine what it would like to call this vacation destination home.

  1. Joshua Tree National Park

  • If unwinding and recharging in nature is more your style, visit Joshua Tree National Park, just east of Palm Springs. You can either spend the day hiking through gorgeous rock formations, sprinkled with thousands of Joshua trees, or stay the night camping under the stars. 

  1. Malibu

  • Malibu is a coastal city in western Los Angeles County. Though it’s known in pop culture as a place for celebrities, most people don’t know that there are plenty of hiking trails, nature preserves, and even wine tasting for everyone to explore in this corner of LA. 

Stress Relieving Activities: Things to Do in SoCal
With sunshine nearly every day of the year, there’s never a shortage of relaxing things to do in Southern California. Here are three stress relieving activities to consider, SoCal style:

  1. Experience forest bathing

  • We all know that escaping to nature for a peaceful hike can be therapeutic, but forest bathing takes tranquility to the next level. By taking the time to open all of your senses and really meditate on what’s around you, you can experience total refreshment without even traveling very far. Need a new hiking spot to explore? Try Peters Canyon Regional Park in Irvine, where nearby residents boast the variety of trails and wildlife. 

  1. Go art museum hopping

  • Another way to spend a day in LA is to explore the local art museums, taking in all the rich history this city has in store. From the contemporary art of the Broad, to the hands-on experiences at the California Science Center, to the famous Getty Museum, Los Angeles offers so much variety for every kind of museum goer. 

  1. Catch a live show

  • No matter your style of live entertainment, Southern California has a venue for you. From LA to San Diego, there is an array of concert halls, open air arenas, and beautifully architected theaters for you to sit back and enjoy a performance. For example, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa hosts many nationally touring shows, bringing out-of-town visitors and local patrons together for a relaxing experience.

The Right Partner to Help You Find a Relaxing New Home in Southern California
While there are so many places to relax in Southern California and opportunities to get away, simply living in a place where you can kick back and soak in the SoCal surroundings can be stress relieving in itself. Ready to start your next life chapter here? Shea Homes builds across many Southern California regions, so you can live the lifestyle you want. Search for new homes in the SoCal area, and don’t hesitate to contact a New Home Advisor with any questions. Or, if you’d like to get more information about new communities and homes in SoCal, sign up below to receive email updates.

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