TRAVEL
California Bucket List: Strange vibrations near Joshua Tree, monarch butterflies, startling urban archaeology and a new adventure each day
TRAVEL
(Al Seib, Brian van der Brug, Rick Loomis, Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Here's our growing guide to essential California adventures, easy to edgy. We'll be adding to it daily all year. And we won't suggest an adventure unless one of the Travel section's staffers and contributors have tried it.

Tell us what's on your California bucket list. Email travel@latimes.com and put California Bucket List in the subject line.

Southern California

Bite into a burger by the beach at Hodad's in San Diego

Hodad's on Newport Avenue in San Diego is a classic burger joint, a block from the beach. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
Hodad's on Newport Avenue in San Diego is a classic burger joint, a block from the beach. (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Why: Is it the onions? The beef? The thrill of waiting in line among the wayward beach people of Ocean Beach in San Diego? It's impossible to say. But Hodad's, born in 1969, has won a reputation as a classic burger joint, a block from the beach.

What: The walls are covered with license plates.The best table is a truncated surfer van. The people-watching on Newport Avenue will be a revelation to anybody who thinks San Diego, with all its military and Republican history, has no scruffy lefties.

Non-surfers are welcome at Hodad's in San Diego. None
Non-surfers are welcome at Hodad's in San Diego.

To avoid waiting in line, get there a few minutes before the 11 a.m. opening time. Or go to one of the restaurant's newer locations: one downtown, and one in Petco Park, where the Padres play.

By the way, as the beach culture authorities at Merriam-Webster note, a hodad is "a non-surfer who frequents surfing beaches and pretends to be a surfer."

Where: 5100 Newport Ave., San Diego, 123 miles southeast of downtown L.A.

How much: Double cheeseburger with fries, $10.75.

Info: Hodad's

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