SoCal's Southern Side

We live in one of the most interesting places in the United States because there are so many things to do and so many places to visit nearby.  At this point in the year (or in your CMC career), you have explored the Claremont Village thoroughly and visited the major LA hot spots.  But are you aware of some of the lesser known—yet still interesting—places or events that are around us?  The aim of this column is to provide you with two places or events that you might not otherwise have heard about in the region that are definitely worth a visit. Stagecoach Country Music Festival

Everyone knows about Coachella or when there is a major concert in LA, but did you know that Southern California is home to one of the largest country music festivals every April (I know there are plenty of country fans out there even if you don’t always admit to it…)?  Every year in Indio—to the East of Palm Springs on the 10—some of the biggest names in country music perform in a several day long concert festival that rivals concerts in traditional country music hot spots like Nashville.

This year Stagecoach is Saturday April 24th and Sunday April 25th.  Saturday’s lineup features Keith Urban, Sugarland, Billy Currington, Phil Vassar, Joey + Rory, and new star Easton Corbin as well as many others.  Sunday has Toby Keith, Brooks and Dunn (this is their final tour together), Jason Aldean, and Heidi Newfield.  As country fans know, most major cities are lucky if they get this many stars in an entire summer.  At Stagecoach you get all of these stars in only two days.  You can buy tickets for only one day or get a two day pass for only $129.  Definitely a must for country fans.

Redhill BBQ

Anyone who knows barbeque knows that when the dining halls try to do “barbeque” they butcher it miserably.  Struggling to satisfy your BBQ cravings?  Check out Redhill BBQ in Rancho Cucamonga (on Foothill on the edge of Upland and Rancho).  Redhill has the look and the feel of a classic Southern hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint.  The strong and wonderful smell of wood burning BBQ hits you as you approach the front door from your car.  The inside is fairly small—probably a better carryout place if you can wait that long to eat it.  The menu features the classic BBQ meats: beef, pork, and chicken all of which can come as a sandwich with a generous portion of their very savory BBQ sauce (definitely the best part).  Their menu also features ribs, sausage, smoked turkey legs, and traditional sides like corn on the cob, red beans and rice, cole slaw, and potato salad.

Would their BBQ win a head-to-head competition with the finest BBQ places in Texas?  Probably not.  Is it some of the best BBQ you will find in the area and will it satisfy your BBQ fix?  Absolutely.

So dust off those cowboy boots you wore last Halloween, throw on a straw hat, embrace your inner Southerner, and enjoy SoCal in a way you never imagined you could.