socal: perfect queer vacation spot

Now that same-gender marriage is finally legalized, it’s the season for queer matrimony. And what comes next? Homo-honeymoons! Homo-neymoons?  I’m not very good at puns. It works better out loud, I swear.

I know Arizona has the grand canyon and Nevada has gambling, but Southern California still makes the best honeymoon spot for all of the fun-loving LGBTQIA+ newlyweds. You can only stare at the canyon for so long before the coyotes lose their charm, and Las Vegas is mostly just lost money and strip clubs- Southern California has that and more!

Perhaps I’m biased because I’ve grown up in Orange County, but that means I’m a great advocate for how beautiful and cultured SoCal is. Please, read on and see my point of view, hopefully my words can do justice to Southern California’s grandeur.

a2If you’ve heard the song Surf City from the Beach Boys or their other hits “Surfin’ Safari” and “Surfin’ USA” , then you’ve already been exposed to the chill vibes and good times of Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach, known as Surf City, is actually a lot more than just surfing. We do host the U.S. Open of surfing as well as a few other major sporting events. While our beach is great and does have huge waves, our culture is relaxed and our city is beautiful. Main Street has various small, homely shops as well as main stores such as Forever 21, American Apparel, and Urban Outfitters. Along with clothing shops, our main street has great food places and extends into the Huntington Beach pier. Every tuesday we have Surf City Nights, where vendors line main street and sell art, fresh fruits, plants, and various other homemade or home-grown merchandise.

No one will ever say they’re too old to enjoy amusement parks. And if they do, they’re lying. Within an hour’s drive of each other, Socal has several major amusement parks. Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Universal Studios California Adventure, Wild Rivers, and Adventure City are the major ones. Knott’s a3Berry Farm is a peanuts themed amusement park that is more geared towards ages 9-18, with a couple more adult roller coasters like excellerator. Every halloween season it transforms into Knott’s Scary Farm, which is very much more an adult setting. With many terrifying haunted mazes, cast members dressed up as corpses, zombies, werewolves, chainsaw murderers, and clowns, once you step into the gates the “illusion” of hell’s awakening becomes all-too-real. If you’re a thrill seeker, Knotts Scary Farm is a must. Disneyland is magical for just the opposite reason- when you fully allow yourself to be immersed, it seems like you’re not in a children’s park but instead in a fairytale movie. The trick to amusement parks is this: Go with someone you love and allow yourself to enjoy it.

If you’re more into the club life, Southern California is almost too prepared to meet your needs. West hollywood is notorious for their wild gay bars, strip clubs, and dance clubs. I’ve never been but I’ve heard they’re fantastic.

Coming from someone who performs Improvisational comedy: COME SEE AN IMPROV SHOW! Orange County has so many great troupes, two of which are centered in the beautiful town of Fullerton. Spectacles Improv and Improv shimporv are fantastic and are very close to each other, which is convenient. There are also smaller troupes scattered across OC, like Improv Collective in Costa mesa. I promise, although it’s an obscure talent, Improv is worth seeing. It’s as addictive as cigarettes but not as bad for your health. If improv isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sorry for you. But there are so many quality comedy clubs, music shows, music festivals, art galleries, and museums throughout SoCal that you could see on your next vacation.

I’ll end with this: there’s a little bit of everything for you here. Our culture doesn’t include homophobia, we’re all just about having a good time and treating each other right. Looking for a relaxing vacation in a rich area? Palm springs. In fact, in the near-by town Palm Desert they’re is a fantastic, humane zoo called the Living Desert, I recommend it highly. Are you looking to party? Los Angeles and west hollywood is your place. How about the beach and nightlife? Huntington is your go to. Want to indulge your whimsical side? Disney and Universal Studios are just magical enough! Want an island getaway? Catalina is a smaller, cheaper, just-as-beautiful Hawaii! But please, don’t take my word for it, come on down!

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Elyssa relies on her sarcasm and wit often in her writing, however, she doesn't shy away when it comes to serious topics regarding social issues, especially when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community. She represents strong opinions and a forthright attitude.