Whether you want to see the landscape on foot or from the ocean, Southern California offers awe-inspiring views. Check out the bright lights of Hollywood, then head south to the picturesque scenery of San Diego – you’ll find that the region is eye-catching from every angle.
In Japanese, “yamashiro” means “mountain palace,” so it’s no surprise that the Hollywood restaurant by the same name offers breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. Yamashiro was built by the Bernheimer brothers in the early 1900s as a place to store their collection of Asian treasures. An ancient pagoda was brought from Japan, and the adjoining gardens and structures soon became a popular lounge for Hollywood celebrities of the 1920s. Yamashiro was later remodeled as a restaurant, and for the past three decades, guests have been enjoying the mountain palace’s Japanese cuisine and incomparable views. According to DiscoverLosAngeles.com, “Sunsets stretch above the LA metro area in an endless sky – hence a designated section called the ‘Sunset Room’. Couples battle for Table 8, one of the best seats in the house.” After indulging in dishes like Spicy Yellowtail & Toasted Macadamia, stroll among Yamashiro’s gardens and koi ponds. For the complete menu and photos of this historic Hollywood landmark, visit www.yamashirorestaurant.com.
With the gray whale migration period lasting until April, you still have some time to catch these ocean giants finish their seasonal journey. Newport Landing Whale Watching offers daily whale-watching trips from Newport Beach; guests have a chance to view whales, dolphins, sea lions and other marine wildlife. In addition to spotting sea creatures, you’ll be able to take in the spectacular ocean vistas aboard the Ocean Explorer
or Western Pride
, all of which provide multiple decks for unobstructed views. More than 1,600 different whales were spotted in 2011, and more than 50 were counted in the first few weeks of 2012. Check out all of Orange County’s stunning views – both above and below the water – on a Newport Landing whale watch. Learn more at www.newportwhales.com.
Standing more than 400 feet above sea level, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse looks out over San Diego Bay. Soon after it was first lit in 1855, however, the lighthouse proved ineffective against the area’s fog and low clouds. Today, the landmark has been put to good use by the National Park Service. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for a 360-degree view of San Diego and beyond. Guides dressed in 1880’s attire will show you around while explaining the history and geology of the surrounding area. Point Loma is part of the Cabrillo National Monument, which also offers unbeatable views. See for yourself by using the live webcams at www.researchlearningcenter.com/webcams. For more information about the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, visit www.nps.gov/cabr/historyculture/old-point-loma-lighthouse.htm.
Wherever you are in Southern California, you can bet that every view will be one to remember, so take some time to explore.