Despite some forecasts earlier this week, it seems as if the rainy season is finally over. Temperatures could hit the low 80s this weekend, and that means summer is on its way. Before the heat scorches Southland hillsides dry, why not take a trip to Southern California’s green spaces and see springtime in bloom?
Here are our five favorite places to see Southern California blossom. Living in the big city means some of these are a fair drive away, but don’t let that dissuade you. Summer heat is close at hand, and soon Southland green spaces could dry up.
No list of Southern California greenery would be complete without Lake Elsinore. After historic rains earlier this year, this Riverside county town found itself the epicenter of a history “superbloom,” as its hillsides erupted with millions of poppy blossoms. Of course, thousands of visitors descended on the town and nearly destroyed the superbloom, but city officials announced earlier this week that a new system for guiding visitors safely has been implemented. Make sure to bring snacks, as there’s still thousands of visitors each day, meaning traffic jams are likely.
Kidspace Children’s Museum
It’s butterfly season at Kidspace Children’s Museum. This spring has seen millions of butterflies descend on Los Angeles County, and although most of them have already flown by, there’s still time to get in on the fun. From March 16 through April 30, visitors can adopt a caterpillar at the museum, then release the butterfly into nature when it’s ready to fly. You can also join other visitors at the Butterfly Exploration each day at 11:45 a.m. where guests are invited to release their butterflies together.
Nothing says summer like the beach, and at this iconic Malibu cliff, you can get a bit of spring, too. Giant coreopsis turn from dusty green to lively yellow each winter and spring, and this year is no different. Visitors can expect plenty of parking on Cliffside Drive, between Birdview Avenue and Dume Drive, but the flowery hillside can also be hiked from the sandy beach below, giving you an intimate look at one of Southern California’s premier beachside destinations.
Of course, seeing wildflowers in their natural habitat is totally different from seeing them in a curated garden space such as Descanso Gardens. Here, visitors can take advantage of spring bloom walks, every weekend through May 12. Here, visitors can stroll through the Gardens and learn about cherry blossoms, flowering trees and other seasonal spring favorites on these guided walks. Special events, like nature journaling and Easter Brunch, will take place on certain days.
Chino Hills State Park
Finally, if you want to see blooming hillsides but don’t have time for a long drive, head over to Chino Hills to stroll through patches of poppies over rolling green hills, with snow-capped mountains visible in the distance. You can either pay $5 to park close by, or park for free in the residential area near the entrance. Just bear in mind that means trekking over two to three hilly, shadeless miles into the park.