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Cultural Sites & Events in Southern CA Overview
Whether you’re interested in music, museums, or art, you’ll find several cultural sites and attractions around Southern California to explore. Southern California hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including the Hollywood Bowl. You can spend your days visiting the Laguna Art Museum and learn more about local and national history with a tour of the presidential libraries.
You’ll need a few days to visit some of the museums in the area so you can learn about the history of aviation, surfing, Route 66, and local attractions. Spend the day visiting the Burbank Aviation Museum or take a tour of the International Surfing Museum. Several history museums in the area are perfect for exploring on a rainy day. You can also learn all about the history of Route 66 with a tour of the McDonalds and Route 66 Museum or the Route 66 Territory Museum.
If you’re traveling to the area with kids, you’ll find several family friendly destinations that are perfect for kids who want to learn about nature, the planet, art, and science. You can spend an afternoon at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert or head to the Griffith Observatory to see the stars. The Discovery Science Center is another destination to learn more about science and nature.
Southern California is a haven for music enthusiasts and you’ll find several destinations that host musician tours, festivals, and special events. The Hollywood Bowl is one of the most well-known concert hotspots but you’ll also find several amphitheaters and event venues that host festivals and live music throughout the year. One of the most iconic music venues is the Masonic Lodge/Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Its outdoor lawn can accommodate thousands of guests and has hosted the likes of Johnny Ramone, Woody Herman and Hattie McDaniel.
Head to the Staples Center to catch musical acts and concerts. The multi-use arena can accommodate over 19,000 people and is the home of the LA Lakers. Don’t miss the chance to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, one of the most beautiful examples of architecture and art in the city.
Southern California hosts dozens of annual festivals and cultural events every year so you’ll never be at a loss of things to do. From film festivals to street fairs, you can look forward to a variety of celebrations and unique experiences throughout the year. Make plans to attend the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January where you can see screenings of world cinema productions. The Asian American Expo in January is the largest Asian-themed event in the United States and has more than 1,000 vendors.
If you’re visiting the area in February, don’t miss the Laguna Beach Music Festival where you can watch classical and contemporary music performances. Learn about Scotland’s rich history and culture at the ScotsFestival and International Highland Games, a weekend of competitions and entertainment. In April, the Renaissance Pleasure Faire gives you a chance to travel back in time and learn about life in England when Queen Elizabeth I ruled the country.
Music lovers will want to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a sellout event that features a diverse lineup of music acts and showcases art from the region. Country music fans can look forward to Stagecoach in April, a three-day event in the desert with a diverse lineup of country music stars.
From San Diego and Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, you’ll find a wealth of cultural attractions and events to enjoy across Southern California. Plan on spending at least a day at some of the museums, art galleries, and science centers to make the most of your visit. You’ll find dozens of events and festivals that give you a taste of local culture and traditions taking place across the region every month so you’ll need to plan ahead.