Oh, she knows quite well about California. However, followers of mine, wanna help this pal out here?
I suppose it’d largely depend on your interests, and how long of a stay you were planning on really. I’m originally from Northern California myself, but I’m somewhat familiar with SoCal as well… so I’ll at least provide my knowledge here, in case it’d help you decide on a game plan once you get to Cali yourself.
From the sounds of it, you’d be planning a vacation there – not a relocation to move there permanently (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here).
If you’d be looking to stay in the Los Angeles area, you’d be looking at a more congested area, and a pricier hotel stay, so keep that in mind. AirBnb may be your friend here, as well as Hotwire’s mobile app… they oftentimes run specials you can’t find anywhere else, so it pays to keep your options open. Otherwise, it may be wise to look outside the city limits/along the outskirts if you have a reliable means of getting around while you’re there.
As far as tourist attractions and places of interest go, SoCal is a wonderful location to choose. There’s plenty to see… particularly if you enjoy being outdoors.
My favorite places?
- The Santa Monica Pier – The very end to historic Route 66. Pacific Park (an amusement park) is here, and the views are stunning… a must-see if you’re in the LA area, IMO!
- Beaches – There are many, and if you love the ocean as much as I do? You’ll love SoCal’s beaches. Again, Santa Monica is lovely… Venice Beach is another wonderful choice. along with Laguna. Really, you can’t go wrong in this area. Just check around and swim/surf/tan to your heart’s content.
- Disneyland – I mean… need I say anything else about this one? Sure, it’s in Orange County – but it’s incredibly close-by. If you’re into Disney, or amusement park rides of any sort? You’d be remiss to NOT visit this place. Nuff said.
- Six Flags Magic Mountain – If you’re less about the family atmosphere of Disneyland, but still enjoy amusement park rides? Check this place out. It’s wonderful, and heavy on the rollercoasters/thrill rides.
- Hollywood, CA – This is a no-brainer, really. If you’re into the film industry, go check out Hollywood Blvd. You’re able to find guided tours quite easily here, and they’ll take you around a host of well-known film studios and other locations. This area is a must-see for entertainment buffs!
- Universal Studios Hollywood – A little bit of everything, really. Guided tours of Universal Studios meets amusement park meets Wizarding World of Harry Potter nowadays. Universal Studios is up there for me, and may be my favorite park in the area.
- Sunset Strip – Quite subdued and benign during the day, Sunset Blvd truly comes alive at night. If you’re into upscale shopping, or you’re into exploring the ever-bustling nightlife (assuming you’re 21+), the Sunset Strip may be for you. Nightclubs and neon lights galore… you’re sure to find something you like, if that’s your jam.
There are many other places I could recommend, if I knew a bit more about your interests (assuming these didn’t suit your needs well enough, of course) but I hope this at least gets the ball rolling for you as-is.
Assuming you’re strapped for cash, I found this wonderful list of free-to-do things in the LA area, in case you’re interested in that sort of thing – http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/calamenu/ss/Things-to-Do-for-Free-in-Los-Angeles.htm
Aside from that, I’d just like to say – If you ever have the chance to visit San Francisco? I would recommend it over Los Angeles, hands down. Both are wonderful places, but still… you’d be hard pressed to find a place more rich in culture than SF, and I will be the first to line up and give you a recommendation list a mile long for that city because I goddamn adore it, and miss it every day.