14 things to do in Southern California in 2014

The Chimes staff presents adventures, experiences, and food you should try this year.


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Chimes Staff, Writer

Food. Art. Outdoor adventures. Iconic experiences. Southern California has a lot to offer you this year. The Chimes staff challenges you to make 14 new memories at the following places in 2014.


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Cinespia Cemetery Film Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

While a cemetery may not be the first place that comes to mind when pondering outdoor movie showings, there’s something about watching a Hollywood classic projected onto a mausoleum wall that just can’t be beat. Bring a picnic dinner, lawn chairs and a blanket — the laid-back ambiance is perfect for a group hang-out or a date. Movies run every Saturday evening from May through October.



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Wurstküche in the Arts District

Los Angeles’ “Purveyor of Exotic Grilled Sausages” has something to offer any sausage aficionado. From classic bratwurst or vegetarian smoked apple sage to rattlesnake and rabbit with jalapeno peppers, Wurstküche offers delectable entrees with innovative flavor pairings. It’s not expensive — just plain tasty. Follow your meal with a stroll through the arts district to enjoy the murals displayed in the area.




Suehiro Cafe in Little Tokyo

If you’re looking for authentic Japanese food, Suehiro Cafe in Little Tokyo may be your future favorite hole-in-the-wall, Yelp-endorsed eatery. We recommend you get lost in a massive bowl of udon. Their friendly service, reasonable prices and delectable food will bring you back for more.



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Greystone Mansion and Park in Beverly Hills

While you cannot enter Greystone Mansion itself, the exterior grounds of the iconic estate are open to the public during regular business hours. The 18-acre property boasts stunning views of the Los Angeles basin, especially on clear days. History-lovers will appreciate the site’s rich heritage as a classic location for film and television shoots.



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Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa

Head down to Costa Mesa for a freshly baked doughnut from one of Orange County’s sweetest gourmet shops. Each doughnut is made from fresh, seasonal ingredients, and flavor selections change monthly. They’re open from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., which gives you ample time to stop by for breakfast or a sweet afternoon snack. Pair it with a Stumptown Cold Brew Stubbie. Gluten-free and vegan options are available.



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Get Your College Football Fix at USC

Biola may not have a football team to solicit your allegiance, but the school’s close proximity to Los Angeles enables you to revel the in school spirit of USC’s Trojans. While attending a game may challenge your loyalty to your home state’s team, we guarantee that the game’s sense of tradition, vigor and thrill of victory — or crushing weight of defeat — is worth the trip to the Coliseum.



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Check Out the Bands Playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Love music? There is a good chance one of your favorite bands may be dropping by to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live. You can request up to two free tickets at a time. Performances are like mini-concerts — usually three or four songs. Check out the series listing to see who’s playing and request your tickets. The show is taped on Hollywood Blvd., so it’s fun to get there early and walk around



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Explore Los Angeles via Metro

Turn your Los Angeles commute into an adventure by taking the Metro through the city. For $5.00, you can pick up a day-pass — which is almost half the price of most parking garages in the city — and ride as far as your curiosity takes you. Ride from Norwalk to Union Station and venture out from there. Many Los Angeles attractions provide Metro directions on their websites, so pick your destination and use the Metro’s website to map out your day.



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Joshua Tree National Park

Hikers, climbers, amateur astronomers, bird watchers, botanists and general outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the rugged beauty of the desert. If you have a free weekend, set up camp, grab a map and explore as many of the sites as you can. Not into camping? Pack a lunch, head out early to beat the traffic and spend the day wandering through the park at your leisure until dusk. Check out the park’s website for everything you need to know to plan your adventure.



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Crystal Cove State Park

While an all-day parking pass will cost you $15.00, Crystal Cove State Park’s secluded coastline, tide pools and hiking trails offer a refreshing alternative to most of Orange County’s busy beaches. Pack a lunch and head down the coast to an all-too-often overlooked destination for some rest and relaxation. Too much reading to do before Monday’s class? Bring your books along. The sun and surf are sure to make your study session brighter.



THE CHIMES [file photo]

Museum Row on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles

Head down to Museum Row to take in some of the most compelling art and history exhibits in the area. LACMA, La Brea Tar Pits, the Architecture and Design Museum and the Craft and Folk Art Museum are four popular destinations. A handful of restaurants and food trucks provide plenty of lunch and dinner options to fuel your increasingly cultured mind. Check out each museum’s website for a list of current showings and exhibits.



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Grand Park in Downtown LA

The recently opened Grand Park boasts sprawling lawns and resting areas in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Bring a lunch and enjoy the sun with some friends or experience one of the many free events held during the week — yoga classes, concerts, farmer’s markets and film screenings fill the event calendar throughout the year. Check out the park’s website for an extensive list of events.



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Beach Camping in Malibu

Pack up your camping gear and your friends and head to one of the most breathtaking beaches in Southern California. Where else can you go to experience the beauty of the mountains and the beach in one place? Malibu Creek State Park and Point Mugu State Park are two popular destinations. Check out each park’s website for specifics on camping reservations, directions and other information to plan your trip.



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Hike to the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park

Take to the trails of Los Angeles’ Griffith Park to reach one of the most iconic signs in the world. Keep in mind that most trails close at dusk, so plan an early hike. You can also make your way to Griffith Observatory. If you’re looking for a great view of Los Angeles’ skyline at night, head up the trail that begins in the observatory’s parking lot. Within 30 minutes, you reach a 360-degree view of Los Angeles at the top of the Hollywood Hills. Be sure to head back down the trail and to your car by 10:00 p.m. — tow trucks are merciless.

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