Ever feel like you want to get out of town, but because of work or finances you just can’t swing it right now? Me too.. in fact, I feel that way right now!

Los Angeles Magazine has come to the rescue with the cover story for their March 2013 issue. It’s “10 Surprising Hometown Getaways” and the issue is on newstands now. I highly recommend it, and the story got me thinking about some of my favorite things to do right here in the Southland that don’t require a lot of time or money. So, maybe you’d enjoy some of these things too when you have a day free for fun.

Downtown Los Angeles

If you’ve got some free time on a weekend morning, a good camera and an appetite you can skip the weekday traffic hassle and go into downtown LA for the day. Lots of beautiful architecture is just waiting for your photographic interpretation. Here’s a photo I took of one of the old beautiful street lamps downtown. ┬áThere are some historic places to eat, as well as many newer restaurants with lots of fans from all around the city.

One of my favorite newer places is the Nickel Diner. If you go make sure to order their nationally famous Bacon Doughnut. Here’s a photo that I took of one on a plate before it went into my stomach.

Photo courtesy of Christina Kelley

Photo courtesy of Christina Kelley

Laguna Beach

It’s a road trip from LA County but worth the drive to cruise down to Laguna on a sunny afternoon and gallery hop all day. It’s extra fun because since you’ll be walking around in the golden sun there’s no losing a beautiful day like there would be if you were indoors. You can also walk down to the beach and watch the surfers before grabbing lunch or dinner and basking in the beauty of Southern California. Here’s a photo I took of some guys in the line-up.

Photo courtesy of Christina Kelley

Photo courtesy of Christina Kelley

Griffith Park

Want to get your inner cowboy on? Then head on over to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center at Griffith Park and have them saddle up a horse for ya. The trails are long and winding and you’ll enjoy beautiful views. They can take care of beginners to experienced riders and thankfully, it’s not like the old days anymore and all of the horses for rent are well cared for and treated well. Here’s a photo a friend took of me and my favorite horse and one of the views from way up high in the hills.

Photo courtesy of Christina Kelley

Photo courtesy of Christina Kelley

And, there you have a few of my favorite things to do in the Southland. There are more fabulous ideas that you can use, “from the eastside to the westside,” north to Malibu and down to the South Bay in Los Angeles Magazine. So, go ahead and have some fun!


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