10 Car Culture Destinations in SoCal That Are Gearhead Approved

Start Your Engines!

Written By: Ashlee Polarek

So maybe the grandiose predictions that the future—aka now—would bring flying cars was a bit out there, but the emergence of autonomous or driverless vehicles has begun and it’s getting car lovers everywhere excited. California is a state full of people who love their cars. According to DMV records, there were over 34 million cars registered in the state of California in 2016, a pretty large number considering there are upwards of 39.25 million people living in California all together! So all you car collectors, dreamers, and racers out there, we have compiled a list of some the best things to do to scratch that car-loving itch in Southern California.

Gearheads Southern California

Los Angeles

  1. Automobile Driving Museum

This one-of-a-kind museum prides itself on its collection of classic American made cars, and breaks all the rules and perceptions you may have had about museums. Every Sunday, ADM museum staff select a few cars from the early and late 1900s from the collection and let visitors sit shotgun as they take the cars for a spin. Guests can stroll through the collection, enjoy a malt at the ‘50s themed ice-cream parlor, checkout the lifesize Hot Wheels cars at special events, and attend the 15 plus car shows the museum hosts every year.

Native Knowledge: Check out the event calendar for Karaoke and Skate Nights. BYOS—bring your own skates—and enjoy the disco ball, classic cars and karaoke on select evenings!
610 Lairport St
El Segundo, CA 90245


  1. Porsche Experience Center

If you’ve ever wanted to get behind the wheel of a Porsche, then look no further! The Porsche driving experience offers visitors the opportunity to drive and test the latest Porsche models on their incredible track. The experience features a four-mile track and modules designed to make the car skid, slide, climb and accelerate to demonstrate the cars safety, power and design features.

Native Knowledge: After your drive, head to the second floor or the building to Restaurant 917 where you can enjoy a unique fine-dining experience and overlook the track.

19800 South Main St
Carson, CA 90745


  1. LA Classic Auto Show

If classic cars get your engines roaring, then the LA Classic Auto Show has your name written all over it! From March 2-4, the event is the largest indoor classic car show in the country featuring over 1,000 cars on two floors of the LA Convention Center. Automotive celebrities like Jay Leno, Chip Foose, Donald Osborne, Bogi Lateiner and more will be there to participate in panels and give speeches. Watch live builds and meet car enthusiasts from all around.

Native Knowledge: Be sure to check out “Woman N’ Wheels,” where female only classics will be on display, like all-female builds and special female panels.
1201 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Gearheads Southern California

  1. Try Out a Ride From the Exotic Car Collection

This exotic car collection gives divers the opportunity to get behind the wheel of their dream car. With collections that include Maseratis, Range Rovers, Aston Martins, Audis and more, you’d be hard passed not to find your dream drive.   

8734 Bellanca Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90045

Gearheads Southern California

  1. Xtreme Adventures

If you’re looking for an exciting and thrilling date, Xtreme Adventures is home to a few different exotic car adventures, and it’s the Exotic Car Tour that will really win over that Tinder date. Grab a passenger and borrow a beautiful exotic car for two hours and cruise the coast. Or, you can always show off those driving skills on the Exotic Autocross Challenge for a ‘roller coaster’ like experience!

Native Knowledge: The OC location is under renovation, but we can’t wait to see what is in store!

555 Airport Way
Camarillo, CA 93010

Gearheads Southern California

Orange County

  1. Marconi Automotive Museum

The Marconi Automotive Museum in Orange County is home to rare and exotic cars, including Lamborghinis, American muscle, Formula One and Indy cars. Not only does the museum house an impressive amount of beautiful cars, the but the suggested admission goes the Marconi Automotive Museum Foundation for Kids, a foundation the owner Dick Marconi started to help at-risk kids.

Native Knowledge: Grab tickets to the Marconi Fight Night. An insanely fun annual evening of cars, live boxing and kickboxing, celebrities and dinner, with a portion of the proceeds from the evening going to local charities.

1302 Industrial Dr
Tustin, CA 92780

San Diego

  1. San Diego Prestige

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On the San Diego Prestige Supercar Tour, you don’t have to worry about picking just one supercar; you can drive six! Three hours of driving are broken down into 30-minute segments with short pauses in between where drivers have the opportunity to change cars. Gone are the days when you had to decide between the Audi R8 or the Ferrari. Now you can have both! Each tour begins with a brief instruction period on all of the cars available.

7736 Fay Ave, Ste 200
La Jolla, CA 92037


  1. The San Diego Automotive Museum

This is a museum for all those who love the history of the automobile, motorcycles and more. Located in Balboa Park, you can learn about the historic plank road created to help automobiles cross the Imperial Sand Dunes, marvel at the brilliant motorcycle collection and learn all about the vehicles of the 20th century.

Native Knowledge: San Diego residents receive free admission to the museum on the fourth Tuesday of the month!

2080 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA, 92101

Gearheads Southern California

Palm Springs

  1. BMW Performance Center

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At the BMW Performance center, you can get behind the wheel and experience the power and performance of your dream BMW. Car crazy visitors can hit the off-road track, reach exhilarating speeds on the M track or spend the day with a private driving instructor. They even offer drifting class and teen driving courses. It’s the perfect way to get your thrills and learn all at the same time.
61980 Tyler St
Thermal, CA 92274


  1. The Thermal Club

Country club meets car enthusiasts at the Thermal Club in Palm Springs. The club is home to three racing circuits that cater to speed, turns and technique. Each circuit has the ability to change features to accommodate any kind of vehicle. At the club, you can experience fine dining, get your vehicle fully serviced and fill up your tank.

Native Knowledge: Members also have access to the gorgeous villas complete with kitchens, 3-5 bedrooms and a vaulted garage to keep their prized vehicles safe.

61980 Tyler St
Thermal, CA 92274

Website | + posts

Ashlee is a freelance writer with a focus on travel, lifestyle and food. After obtaining her degree in Journalism she took the world by storm teaching in South Korea and giving motivation speeches across the United States. She can often be found on road-trips, plane rides and cooking up her favorite meal from her most recent travels. The anti-homebody loves a good hike, good book and a day spent with friends.


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