I have a confession. I love Southern California. I really do. The first time I went to Southern California it was for a Calvary Chapel Missions Conference in 2006 (I think). I’ve gone back to that conference twice after that. Both times I stayed before and after the conference to hang out with friends, ski in the mountains, or just eat tacos all day.
This trip was my fourth time there, and as always, Southern California doesn’t disappoint.
There are only two bad things about Southern California. No, not the crime. Not the smog. Not the high real estate prices.
Beware of toll roads! You must pay within 48 hours or risk a $56 late fee for a $3-$6 toll. Tolls vary in cost depending on demand, which I think is an awesome economic idea (not being sarcastic). You go through them and go online to pay later. Pay attention to where you drive, the website won’t be able to tell you and your rental car company has nothing to do with it. I’m serious, pay your tolls!
The traffic is serious. It’s probably the worst traffic in the United States. There’s no logic to it, don’t try to figure it out. You may think that you’re safe because it’s the middle of the day on a Tuesday, therefore there should be no traffic. You’d be wrong. You could end up in traffic for HOURS. Plan accordingly. Or at least try to.
That’s it, everything else is perfect, especially the food. I’ve been contemplating this and decided to share a few of my favorites.
Literally everywhere and literally a must every single day that you’re in Southern California. Paleo? No worries! You can get the burgers in a lettuce wrap. You can skip the fries, they’re not all that. But get the milkshake, if you can handle it.
I know it’s a chain, but it’s really good! and they have an awesome buffet for $9. What? An all you can eat Mexican buffet for $9? Including all you can eat tacos? Yes. You can’t beat that.
Shakes and classic diner at end of Huntington Beach pier and other places. Awesome milkshakes and a pretty cool view.
Numerous places around Orange County, good nachos and awesome tacos. Yes, it’s another chain, but you know what, it’s good!
No picture available. I ate it too fast.
Great food at good prices. 2 locations with one of them so close to the ocean you can hear the waves. The really cool thing about this place is that they sponsor my cousin, Daniel Cuervo. Daniel Cuervo is the first professional Dominican skateboarder. He’s a great skateboarder and gifted evangelist. He’s sponsored by the likes of Jimmy’Z, Sikk Shades, among others. He also has his own line of skateboards here. We met at Bull Taco, had great burritos, and a great talk!
Art gallery with a tiny little coffee shop right on Laguna Beach. Get a latte for under $3 and then go to their private back deck and enjoy the sunset. Can’t beat it!
Tacos and bahn mi. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what that was before either. Basically, it’s an Asian hot dog. Awesome place. Order at the window and sit in the back patio. The weather is good year round in San Diego, no ac necessary. Also, don’t let the long lines discourage you, they’re fast. Finally, forget about the competitors across the street. Don’t listen to them, no matter what their signs say.
Who doesn’t love gelato, cappuccinos and cannolis (is that spelled right?) Park in the public parking lot across the street and don’t worry about finding a free spot in this downtown San Diego cafe, you never will.
Random thoughts on Southern California…
Lots of diversity
Life revolves around traffic (sucks)
Cali swag is a thing and it’s different from everywhere else
Orange County is a different world than LA
Starbucks’ and malls everywhere