I was born and raised not just here in Southern California, but in Los Angeles. Yes, that does mean that any temperature below 70 degrees is “cold” to me, and rain is a wonderful but rare thing – but SoCal is more than just the sunshine and beaches that come to people’s minds when they think of the area (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I surf because I grew up here.) What really makes SoCal, the place I’ve always called home, so special is that it’s got everything. Beaches? Sure. Cities? That too. But more than that, there’s so many unique areas with their own cool places and secrets to discover. Want to go hike in a forest, or up a mountain? Yep, we’ve got that.
Even if you want to go play in the snow, the one thing it seems like you really shouldn’t be able to do in sunny Southern California, you can do that without much trouble. I’ve hitched rides with friends countless times to hit the slopes at Big Bear just for the day, only to be all the way back at the beach in the evening. Seriously, I got into snowboarding after coming to USC (if anyone wants to go, hit me up! I’ve got a car now too, so I’ll be going a bunch during the winter!) Even just Los Angeles itself has so many different areas: Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Valley, Malibu, Downtown, the Marina, Santa Monica, the list goes on and on. I love to relax on Zuma Beach, or explore the trails leading into Topanga State Park which, by the way, is right here in LA and is something everyone should definitely check out at least once. Each one has its own atmosphere that blends together to make Los Angeles a truly unique place, and I like to think that Los Angeles is a microcosm of SoCal as a whole. From the coast to the mountains, the forests to the desert, no two places in Southern California are exactly the same, and it’s impossible to run out of places to explore – I’ve been here 20 years, and I’m still discovering. There’s no place like home.Meet Andrew