We teamed up with Orbitz to host an Instagram Takeover featuring some of our favorite places in Southern California—after plotting the course and creating a list of locations, we realized it would be more fun to make a road trip out of it! Whether you want to start in San Diego and make your way up to Malibu, or take the reverse route and travel down PCH toward the Salton Sea—there are many treasures to be found along the way. The following are just a few of the hidden gems in Southern California!
Beginning with fantastical roots when his hot air balloon failed in the desert, Leonard Knight set up camp and began to build his final masterpiece: Salvation Mountain. Inspired by love, the folk art monument is the result of years of sculpting and painting, making this candy-colored mountain a must-see near the Salton Sea.
Sequestered away in Malibu Canyon is a little ol’ cave, where—legend has it—Jim Morrison frequently hid out to escape the city and write lyrics. Today, it’s in a stage of constant metamorphosis as new artworks, colorful graffiti and stone etchings are added daily.
A swirling labyrinth of colorful mosaics and zealous paintings, the Mosaic Tile House in Venice is a collaborative effort of two artists that fell in love. Inspired by the likes of Gaudí, the house quickly became a canvas to their lives and the vibrant kingdom has been a work in progress since 1994.
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and nestled in a grove of redwood trees, the Glass Church blends lush greenery with architecture. Also known as Wayfarers Chapel, this masterpiece invites one to, “Pause for a moment, Wayfarer, on life’s journey. Let these waters restore your soul and nourish your inner being.”
Go bananas at the International Banana Museum…literally. The most ‘aPEELING’ destination in the Coachella Valley—the museum houses over 20,000 banana related items, making it the world’s largest collection devoted to any one fruit.
Situated atop a canyon mountain in Laguna, “Top of the World” offers up some of the best views of Orange County. Dipping below the plateau is a ravine of winding trails that leads to the “Dripping Cave”—which once served as a hideout for 19th century stagecoach robbers.
Initially built as sets for silent films, a handful of beach bungalow structures dotted Crystal Cove’s shore. By the 1930s, many more equally colorful cottages were added—each one constructed with salvaged materials, including pieces from a shipwrecked vessel.
Situated on the Balboa Peninsula, Lido Theater has been a leading movie house in Orange County since the 1930s. The old-fashioned theater can be found lit up by its neon lights at night, and if you squint your eyes just so—I hear you may even see old Hollywood stars lining up under the marquee.
For more, check out the Orbitz website for their recap: Instagrammers You Should Know: Southern California’s Hidden Gems
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