Many people think of the LA area when you mention SoCal but the east side of the state has plenty to see too (Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, etc). We enjoyed spending a little time in the area on our drive around the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada's. We were coming from Sacramento and the mountain pass was closed so in order to get to central Nevada we had to drive all the way around! This gave us opportunity to see some neat ghost towns such as Randburg, which is a neat little community and the more remote town of Ballarat.
Points of interest
Fun old mining town with some historical things and antiques