Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
I've lived in Southern California my entire life. But whenever I pick up a travel guidebook for the region, I discover some fascinating new place I've never visited or never heard of within a day's drive of home! Since the airlines and the TSA have made air travel into an ordeal, I've taken advantage of the new opportunities to discover all the treasures right in my own backyard that I had overlooked for so long. So in 2009, I plan to just get in my car, hop on the freeway, and I'm off to a world-class adventure! In 2009, I also resolve to do at least some of my exploration using MTA buses and light rail, to reduce some of the stress on myself and on Mother Earth. I recommend that all your readers this year spend one vacation in exploring the innumerable wonders of their own region.
--Ted Marcus, Torrance, Calif.
Pictured: Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles