Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) is your best bet. I went to college at ASU, and my roommates and I would drive down almost every weekend. Its not a far drive from SOCAL. I have driven there over 50 times and I have never ever had a problem.
Rocky Point is safe, just use common sense. Most of the crime is cartel vs cartel, and rarely targeted at tourists.
Rocky point is awesome. It really has come a long way in the past 5 years, lots of resorts. You can rent amazing houses right on the ocean, or stay at a resort. Great night life. If you want to really party go during ASU spring break..
Great cliff jumping.
Rent a sand rail or atv
Party at the reef on Sandy Beach
PM if you want more details.