A Southern California January

Some people may claim that Southern California is the ideal U.S. location any time of the year, but it is probably safe to say that the weather and scenery on a beautiful clear day here in January are hard to beat. Wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt to watch the waves splash against the rocks feels right with a warm sun and the temperature in the low 70s (22 C). Rain and dreary weather will come soon enough, but it is frequently delightful here during much of January.

These cactus are showing off their tall red blossoms against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. Like many succulents, they bloom this time of year because they need long cool nights to initiate flower buds.

This coastal area is best known for its expansive smooth sandy beaches, but there are a few locations like this one in Laguna Beach that have dramatic cliffs and rocks that look more like Northern California beaches.