Los Angeles, or LA, is the perfect city for a rental car, as it is very spread out. To get around you will have to travel a fair distance down well-connected boulevards or freeways. We recommend a trip to the famed Getty Center. Entry to the Getty is free, the architecture is Los Angeles at its finest with fantastic grounds and the art on view is an impressive blend of American and European works. A great family day out in Los Angeles is on Santa Monica Pier, there are great views of the waterfront, talented street performers and tasty fast food.
The more mainstream sites of LA like the Hollywood Walk of Fame are countered with a wide array grassroots galleries, music venues and artisan studios churning out innovation from LA's diverse neighborhoods. In this melting pot of cultures a plethora of tastes and styles are served. We love Koreatown for its eateries, Franklin Village for the laid back bars and a drive up to Eagle Rock for the sheer beauty of a sunset over la la land.
With its city beach front and al fresco restaurants it's easy to see why Santa Barbara branded itself the 'American Riviera'. The Mediterranean climate and the stunning backdrop of the Santa Ynez mountains also help. The Spanish architecture also adds to the city's Mediterranean flavor. If you are lucky enough to visit while the annual summer solstice party is happening in late June, don't miss it. State Street goes wild all weekend with floats, arts shows, beer and wine stands and live music.
The waterfront city of San Diego is best taken in from Bay View Park, it's small but the view of the city skyline and Cowles Mountain peak is massive. Surfing, stand-up paddling and kayaking in sea caves are just a few of the outdoor activities on offer in this waterfront city. Theme parks and zoos are to be found in abundance across the waterfront, making it an ideal city break for a family. Mission Bay alone has 27 miles of pathways to amble along enjoying the pacific vistas.