Tag Archives: beaches

LA’s Top 5 Touristy Spots

By Connor Brown

Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula

[3.5 minute read]

Popularity is an interesting concept. Some people see popular things as good, assuming that if many people enjoy something, it must have value. Others see popular things as bad, assuming that if a ton of people like something, it must be “basic” or overhyped. Los Angeles is home to both opinions, and as a capital of both trends and hipsters, the nuance between these two stances emerges. Many of the most popular, touristy things to do in Los Angeles are fun, others not as much. From my experience as an Angeleno, here are the five best touristy things to do in Los Angeles — all popular, pleasant, and picturesque!

Photo by Joseph Ngabo on Unsplash

1. Santa Monica

First on our list is arguably LA’s most famous beach, the iconic Santa Monica, brimming with sight seers, seagulls, and sunshine. Santa Monica is a fairly large city within LA, and offers more than just an endless, wide beach. The boardwalk is a popular tourist attraction, and while it’s not my personal favorite, many enjoy it. The Promenade along Third Street is a great shopping center, and the surrounding area is full of intriguing stores and sights. Ocean Avenue offers a great walking path, and leads right into the iconic Pacific Palisades. Best of all, Santa Monica is easily accessible via public transit, as the Metro Expo Line ends in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, blocks from both the beach and the Promenade.

2. Griffith Park

My personal favorite on this list, Griffith Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who’s been to LA. The park itself is massive, covering a large swath of the LA hills, and includes a number of great hiking paths. It is also home to one of LA’s most famous landmarks, the Griffith Observatory. If you go to the Observatory on a clear night, you can see the most spectacular views of the city. While the view is the main attraction, the Observatory is a destination in and of itself, offering fun astronomical and scientific displays, planetarium shows, and telescope viewing opportunities!

Photo by Lydia Koh on Unsplash

3. Downtown Art Museums

One of the best aspects of USC, in my opinion, is its proximity to downtown Los Angeles. Downtown LA is an enigma — there are times when it is bustling, with restaurants overflowing, rooftops full, and clubs thumping, and times when it is so empty you expect to see a tumbleweed roll across the street (Sunday afternoons). The one constant is the tranquility of the art museums. I find few things to be more relaxing than wandering around a quiet, curated space dedicated to the great artists of our time, being able to just pause and stare at some often-unintelligible expression of the human spirit. The Broad and The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) are two of the best modern art museums in the country, and are barely two miles from campus. Hop in a bus, Lyft, Metro, or Bird scooter, head up Figueroa and unwind in the sterile vibrance of a modern art museum.

Continue reading LA’s Top 5 Touristy Spots

The Top Beaches Close to USC

By Alisa Saleh

School is out and the sun is finally peaking out from behind those “June Gloom” clouds. Our beach days are here and as a new Southern California resident, you need to finally see why SoCal is famous for its beaches. The problem is there are so many to chose from. To make it a little easier, I have picked my top 5 beaches in the area.

  1. Corona Del Mar

Photo by Daniel Peckham on Flickr

Corona Del Mar, or “CDM” is nestled south of LA in Orange County. It is a nice change from LA’s busy environment with its relaxed feel and quaint surroundings. The beach features views of cliffs, vintage houses, and tide pools. While it is a popular spot with a lot of visitors, it maintains its tranquility even on the busiest of days. The beach has two main points of access, Little Corona and Big Corona. Little Corona is smaller and more secluded while Big Corona is more populated.

  1. Laguna Beach

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The charm of Laguna Beach is unmatched. Also located in Orange County, at this spot the city and beach are one. With beautiful views, basketball courts, great restaurants, and a boardwalk all within a mile, there’s very little that Laguna does not offer. While Main Beach is more popular, the 1000 Steps Beach area is also something to check out. It features steep stairs leading to the main beach area.

  1. Malibu

Photo by Jenna Day on Unsplash

Located North of LA, Malibu is the perfect place for a secluded beach experience. Malibu is probably the most serene of all the beaches listed her. It’s right off the scenic Pacific Coast highway and a popular surf spot. If you go to Point Dume (also known as Westward Beach), you can see the famous rock wall in the iconic final scene in the original Planet of the Apes.

  1. Santa Monica

Photo by Glen Bowman on Flickr

Santa Monica is located in the heart of the LA area. Not only does it feature a beach but also a mini amusement park on its adjacent pier. Additionally, the Third Street Promenade is just a short walk away. If you’re looking for a packed and diversified beach day, this is the perfect spot. Be prepared for huge crowds of people.

  1. Redondo Beach

Photo from Wallpaper Safari

Redondo Beach is located close to LAX on the south bay region. It offers a variety of things including restaurants, seasonal whale watching, and pedal boat rentals. This area is not as populated as some of the others on the list, making it a good place to get away from the busy feel of LA.

Featured image by Orange County Archives on Flickr

Alisa is Business Administration Graduate from the Marshall School of Business. She was born in Orange County, California and moved with her family to Houston, Texas shortly after. She moved back to California at the age of 13. Alisa transferred to USC her sophomore year from Loyola Marymount University. She is fluent in both English and Urdu as she comes from a Pakistani family. Additionally, she has grown up playing basketball competitively and still enjoys watching/playing the sport.