Your Southern California Vacation:

What Do The Locals Know? Where Do The Locals Go?

Welcome, Southern California vacation traveler! We’re here with insider information to help you create the best possible experience, whether it will be a short weekend break or part of your family summer travel plans.

The Santa Monica Pier in Southern California

Why an emphasis on the Southern California locals' vacation perspective? Well, years ago we took a trip to Chicago, meeting up with a friend who had lived in the area. He showed us around with an insider's perspective and the fun factor went way up!

...the point being that a Southern California vacation can be greatly enhanced with the right local “color” and insight as to recreation options. For that, you have come to the right place--the Southern California Vacation Guru!

Southern California is a huge place, with an awesome number of vacation destinations, attractions, beaches, and writers of movie screenplays. Here you will find what the locals know—important scuttlebutt that we’ve learned about Disneyland Resort, Knott’s Berry Farm, SoCal beaches and a bunch of other major targets for your California vacation dinero. We locals can also tell you about that perfect hidden “off-the-wall” shopping or dining experience.

Here is just a tiny sampling of the bases we cover:

  • Detailed information, scuttlebutt, tips and links to the best specialty websites for all of the major SoCal theme parks: Disneyland; Disney's California Adventure (with its billion-dollar facelift); Knott's Berry Farm; Sea World; Legoland; Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Pretty much everything you need is here or linked to (linked to?).
  • What if you only have a couple of hours squeezed out of a busy Southern California vacation itinerary to check out some Hollywood landmarks and celebrity homes; where should you go with such a time limitation? We've got ideas.
  • Does it make sense to drive down to San Diego from the Disneyland area for one day of your vacation?
  • Where is a good place to go for a beach bonfire and s’mores?
  • Where can I find a Bubba Gumps restaurant?
  • Where can you get beginner’s surf lessons?
  • Do I really need to spend 80 hours wading through all the dozens of Disneyland Resort web sites to find what's most helpful and interesting?
  • What if I need to find a place to park my blimp?
  • I'm flying in (not by blimp), can I get around reasonably by public transit, taxi cabs and shuttles? If so, where should I stay?
  • What is the story behind the Paradise mentioned in Joni Mitchell's popular song "Big Yellow Taxi?"

So, don't forget about our Understanding Disneyland videos.

  • Is the Buffalo Springfield Song "For What It's Worth" a war protest song or a song about an intersection in Hollywood?
  • Is it true that no Southern California vacation is complete without a trip to In 'n Out Burger? (Answer: Perhaps. Decide for yourself by ordering a "double-double, animal-style.")
Ocean view in Laguna Beach

There are reasons to hit the big-name travel sites out there such as Travel Zoo, Trip Advisor, Expedia and others, which you’ll want to check out. Also available are many local web sites with Southern California travel information ranging from great to BORING. We’ll save you some time and weed through those SoCal travel sites, giving you suggestions for other local sites with their own different emphasis.

And, we’ll put you directly and effortlessly in touch with many of your favorite Southern California vacation attractions and destinations.

Organization and some advance planning will help you pack the most into your vacation schedule and budget (the latter being particularly important in these difficult times). We can’t answer every specific “what if” that might come up, so our goal is to give you the perspective, information and opinions to guide you. I suggest you take a few notes as you surf through our pages. Then do some brainstorming with your traveling companions; bringing kids into the planning process can be a great thing.

As California natives, we’ve gained a lot of SoCal-erly vacation wisdom over the past several decades and, with a team of associate-gurus, look forward to sharing that with you as you vacate in the Southland. You'll notice that we are growing consistently to cover more and more turf; check back often as we'll be adding a lot of new material regularly.

For you who are about to vacation in the place many of us affectionately call Southern California,

The Guru will see you now…

P.S. Our proper "given" name is, but my friends call me in a reverent, informal manner. You're a friend, and you can conveniently get to this web site either way!

So come on out.  And if you find this all to be helpful, please consider booking your hotel at:

SoCal Vacation Guru is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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Discover Orange County Activities Beyond Disney, Knott's and the Beaches!  There are dozens of Orange County Activities to enhance your Southern California vacation. Check out museums, sports events, arts, parks, you name it! The SoCal Guru will help you learn about it!

Orange County Travel Ideas and Suggestions For Common Vacation Challenges.  What if you have a limited vacation budget? What if you only have a day or two for your Orange County travel? The Guru gives guidance to avoid situations that could detract from your SoCal Vacation.

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Some Ideas for San Diego:


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