Southern California Road Trip Photo Diary

After cruising around theLos Angles, Long Beach and Santa Barbara areas of Southern California for nearly two weeks, I’m ready to move out there! The nearly endless sunshine, coastal driving, beautiful outdoor settings, and delicious dining venues and bars will do that to you.

I traveled with my friend and fellow blogger, Ian Michael Crumm, and we made so many new friends along the way (and notes of where to check out that we didn’t get to do while there), we are sure to return soon.

Check out the moments below and mini guides on each destination we visited:

Long Beach

It was my first time in Long Beach, and I wasn’t sure what to expect beyond it being a coastal city and home to the retired Queen Mary vessel (a must visit if you like to sail and history). The waterfront city won me over with what it offers throughout the destination:

POW! WOW! Long Beach

Centered around a week-long event in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, creative community spaces, concerts, and live art installations across the globe.

The festival has expanding to cities and countries around the world, including Long Beach – with the works from POW! WOW! having recently joined the city’s colorful murals and artwork already throughout the city.

I really enjoyed the art brought to the city from the artists. You can find the map of the murals online or pick up a map in the city. A couple of my favorites are here:

A place to find a lot of art is the East Village. Bike-able (which the entire city is as well), the area offers cutting-edge exhibits, one-of-a-kind galleries, unique retailers, and sidewalk cafes. While in the area, check out the Breakfast Bar and James Republic (pictured to the left) for delicious morning eats, and Hamburger Mary’s for diner classics (and a gay watering hole).

For more eats, head out to Retro Row (a specialty shopping and dining district with vintage-inspired clothing and furnishings, record stores, and 50s-style barbershop — plus many locally-owned restaurants and coffee shops) for delicious tacos and Mexican fare at Lola’s Mexican Cuisine. And if you like Mediterranean and Greek cuisine, visit George’s Greek Cafe on Second Street in the heart of the city’s seaside community – Belmont Shore.

More Long Beach coming up in a weekend guide for the summer, but here’s a few more moments:

Gondola Getaway

Long Beach Harbor Lighthouse

The Queen Mary

More Long Beach on Insta at #VeeTravelsLB

Santa Barbara

It was also my first time in the Santa Barbara area, and it also won me over! We started our journey with a night in Goleta at the hidden gem of The Goodland, a Kimpton Hotel. A full hotel review is coming as I push myself to blog more this summer, but here’s a couple quick highlights from the property (and the area):

The Goodland from the second floor

Dinner at Outpost

Goleta Beach

We then made our way back to Santa Barbara proper with a stay of the Belmond En Encanto, a truly luxurious escape. A hotel review and weekend guide coming, but here’s a few teasers of what we did while in SB to hopefully inspire you to check out if you’re already there or visiting soon:

Flowers in the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

View from Stearns Wharf, the pier in the SB harbor

Sunset wine tasting at Deep Sea (part of the Urban Wine Trail)

Dinner at The Black Sheep

Belmond El Encanto infinity pool

Taking photos around the hotel

Just one of the beautiful villas 

More Santa Barbara on Insta at #VeeTravelsSB

Los Angeles

Coming soon, but check out moments from this trip and my last ones at #VeeTravelsLA 

Getting around from city to city in SoCal was made easy with the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback. This easy spot compact car gets 30 MPG in a city and up to 40 on the highway, has CarPlay, and has its own WiFi hotspot so you don’t have to drain your phone’s data (and battery basically) while driving with directions. More about the car coming about the car soon too!

All photos by Andrew Villagomez – expect the ones of me of course 🙂

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About Andrew Villagomez

Andrew Villagomez is a lifestyle journalist, style photographer and owner of He contributes to publications such as, Out Magazine, Logo TV's, Passport Magazine,, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @VeeTravels

Posted on May 7, 2017, in Gay Travel, Hotels + Resorts, Tech + Gear, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.


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