Southern California is not Just Los Angeles
When most people think of
Southern California they think of Los Angeles and possibly San Diego.
The two most well know cities on the southern portion of the left coast
state. During the summer when vacationers from all over the world flock
to Southern California for the most unbelievable weather in the lower
48 the focus tends to be Los Angeles, San Diego and the beach’s. However,
after you’ve been to Santa Monica Beach, took a peek into Venice to see
guys lifting weights outside, seen the Hollywood sign and waited in line
to take your picture with Batman and Tinker Bell at Mann’s Chinese, you
have to find something to do to fill the rest of your trip.
Without a doubt there is lots to do in Los Angeles. But with a little research, you can find fantastic hidden gems in the oft-forgotten little sister of LA…Orange County. If Orange County were a city it would be the 4th largest city in the country (or close to it.) OC is home to the Anaheim Ducks, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, several minor league baseball teams, world champion college baseball teams, fantastic beaches and ridiculously expensive homes. What many don’t know is that there are some first class performing arts centers tucked into Orange County that should not be missed, and if you plan the traffic right, you can get into OC and back up to Los Angeles without pulling your hair out.
Following are some great ideas for day trips to those family vacationers heading west in the coming months. First, check out the La Mirada Theatre For the Performing Arts located in La Mirada, CA. Opened in 1977 as a movie theatre, La Mirada Theatre reopened its doors as a first class theatre. The LA Times heralded the theatre as “one of the best Broadway-style houses in Southern California. Tickets can be purchased for Music events, fantastic theatre and musicals as well as children events. Absolutely worth checking into when you come into town.
If you take the 605 Freeway south you will run into Long Beach and home of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. Built in 1994, the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center is a 1,074-seat theatre located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. The stage was modeled after the theatre at Lincoln Center in New York. The center puts out first class season or performing arts each season and is home to several smaller resident companies in the Long Beach Area. Coming up in April the popular Pink Floyd, Laserspectacular.
For a great night of music be sure to check out the OC Pavilion Performing Arts Center who calls itself “Orange County’s Premier Destination for Live Entertainment.” In 1962 Michael Harrah, visionary developer and general contractor, spent a million dollars turning this one time Bank of America’s Regional headquarters into Orange County’s jewel Box. Upcoming shows include Dog ‘N’ Butterfly Tribute to Heart, Fletcher Harrington and the Rock Solid Comedy Tour to name a few. From Music to comedy to theatre this venue has it all.
The Long Beach Playhouse is another great place for Theatre. Established in 1929, The Long Beach Playhouse is a Landmark in the City of Long Beach located at 5021 East Anaheim Street. This 80-year-old theatre has been putting on shows since its inception and now houses to theatres under one roof, putting on 16 shows annually with a new play or musical every three weeks. The Mainstage season of shows includes George Washington Slept Here by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Sabrina Fair which is a Romantic Comedy by Samuel Taylor to name a few. Currently running on the Studio is Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a comedy by Steve Martin.
These are only a few of the many things to do if visiting Southern California. All of these venues are located in Orange County and are all just a short drive from Downtown Los Angeles. So whether you are staying in Hollywood or Santa Monica, all are relatively close and should be considered when looking for great events during your stay. There are plenty of additional places to visit while on your stay. For a more detailed list you can check out StubDog.com for discounted tickets to all of these venues and many more.