SoCal Roundup – Unique Pit Stops

Now that I’ve shared a bunch of photogenic spaces that are perfect for the ‘gram (see my last post), I gotta add some unique outdoor oddities and road trip pit stops in Southern California. Some of these places are in the desert, some are in Los Angeles, and some are in Orange County. But all are worth the trek – even if only to take some pictures!


Like this interesting outdoor installation at Newport Beach Civic Center. Bunnies!

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Victoria Beach

I first learned about Victoria Beach on good ol’ Pinterest. There I was, just browsing through my feed, when I came across the most dreamy aerial shot of a circular tide pool. It was so perfect-looking that I was convinced it was photoshopped. After some internet sleuthing, I discovered the tide pool was in fact real and located in Laguna Beach (at Victoria Beach). Of course I had to see this Pinterest wonder in person! As I was planning my trip, I realized yet another item on my travel bucket list, Victoria Beach’s Pirate Tower, was a stone’s throw away from the circular tide pool. Talk about killing two birds with one stone (that’s my last stone metaphor, I promise)! So off I went to Victoria Beach:


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Hemet Maze Stone

Way out in the boonies lies a solitary rock surrounded by metal fencing – a California Historical Landmark called the Hemet Maze Stone. I first learned about it on Atlas Obscura, and had to check out this desert oddity. After getting off the highway and driving through a residential area for a few minutes, you’ll eventually hit the end of the road. This is where the adventure begins.


I’m totally being dramatic. But yea, once you reach the end of the road, park your car and get ready to walk. You’ll see this sign at the entrance (you just can’t drive in). It will take at most 5 minutes to reach the Maze Stone, depending on how good you are at inclines. It’s gradual, but still slightly steep…so you can take your time and enjoy the view.

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Aquarium of the Pacific

A few months ago, I did this 5k run in Long Beach. Side note: I love doing these runs because of all the free swag you get for participating! Plus, some portion of the registration fee usually goes to a charity or good cause. And of course – it’s great exercise! Anyway, one of the freebies I scored from this particular run was a $5 admission coupon for the Aquarium of the Pacific. Adult tickets run around $30 so I had to take advantage of that voucher! Here are some pictures from my visit:


I wasn’t lying about that $5 admission! Total score.

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