Not going to Cabo San Lucas for spring break? No problem. While many students across the country are counting down the days to their SoCal spring break, it’s easy for APU undergrads to forget how great their location really is.

Staying on campus could be the best plan possible. For starters, there is no need to purchase a hotel room if you are crashing in your own bed at night!

The Los Angeles/Orange County area is one of the most sought after vacation spots in the nation, so with a few friends, a reliable car and free time, you may just have the spring break of a lifetime.

Find your inner fan-girl (or boy) and head to The Grove for a celebrity sighting. The Grove is not only known as a favorite shopping center in the celeb world, it also hosts a wide variety of upscale stores, a range of restaurants and a movie theater. SoCal Fun Places marks The Grove as a must-see in Los Angeles and notes it as “a great place to shop and see wonderful dancing fountains, green lawns and unique street vendors.”

Freshman nursing major Emilee Murphy is staying in SoCal over break and plans on spending the majority of it hiking. As a native of Orange County, Murphy’s favorite trails are in Laguna overlooking the ocean. She also suggests students spend their break laying out on Laguna State Beach because it’s “always full of college students during spring break.”

If you are looking for a more peaceful beach experience, Murphy suggests 1,000 Steps Beach in Laguna. The cliffs separate this more secluded beach from the popular, often crowded main beach and allow for a more spacious-feeling and quieter day.

The only problem with this spot is the stairs, which can be a difficult climb for some. Contrary to the name, there are only 220, but that’s still a significant number.

“There’s a restaurant in Dana Point called Taco Surf, and it’s this awesome Mexican restaurant that’s right by the beach, so I like going there a lot,” Murphy said. “Another one would have to be Harbor House, also in Dana Point. Those two are definitely my favorites.”

Taylor Guthrie, freshman psychology major, plans to “go to the beach and travel around Palm Springs” over spring break. Guthrie has a long list of beaches she faithfully visits, but similar to Murphy, her favorite shore is Laguna Beach. The area surrounding it is home to laid-back seafood restaurants and plenty of boutique shopping.

Guthrie suggests exploring downtown Los Angeles for those who are staying close over break. Her favorite activity is finding hole-in-the-wall restaurants and coffee shops that aren’t widely advertised to the public. Wexler’s Deli, The Pie Hole, Alfred Coffee & Kitchen and Daily Dose Café are examples of quirky “stay a while” coffee shops and bakeries downtown.

Trip Advisor names the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as one of the top 30 things to do in LA. LACMA’s Urban Light exhibit is a favorite on Instagram, so head to DTLA for an artsy photo-op.

Another must-see on Trip Advisor’s list is the Griffith Observatory. Despite the smog, it allows for a beautiful view over the City of Angels – not to mention, it’s free!

Whether it’s hiking, shopping or beaching, Southern California is home to thousands of things to do, and not everything will cost you an arm and a leg. Staying on and near campus doesn’t have to be a drag – spring break 2015 is what you make of it!