7 Best Day Trips Around Los Angeles

Published on:
September 29, 2021

California is a fantastic place for a vacation, even if you already live here. If you need a quick weekend getaway, Los Angeles and the surrounding areas have you covered. There is so much to do and to see around Los Angeles that even locals don’t get bored of all the options. You may find that some of these top day trips are perfect for long weekend getaways.

Big Bear

Southern California offers attractions for those who want to enjoy nature and spend time in the mountains, too. Big Bear is located in the San Bernardino mountains and is a great place to enjoy hiking or mountain biking during warmer weather. The lake offers an opportunity to enjoy water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. If you like stargazing, the Big Bear Solar Observatory is definitely worth checking out. It’s the closest ski slope to Los Angeles, which makes it a popular winter destination.

Palm Springs

For a more luxurious weekend getaway, consider visiting Palm Springs. It’s roughly a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. A desert oasis, Palm Springs is famous for its super fancy resorts and being the place that many celebrities have called home at some point in time. Leonardo DiCaprio, Frank Sinatra, Sia, the Kardashians, Ann Miller, and Dean Martin all either lived or currently have Palm Springs properties. You’ll have the opportunity to shop at outlets, relax in a luxurious spa, enjoy a poolside massage, or hike one of the many trails. For a relaxing, wholesome experience, check out the natural mineral springs in the area. If you can get into the Palm Springs Art Museum, you can view Picasso and Warhol’s pieces. There is something for everyone in Palm Springs.


International travel can be a little extra difficult at the moment. Thankfully, you can visit a small piece of Denmark just a couple hours north of Los Angeles. Solvang retains much of its Danish charm, offering attractions such as authentic bakeries, art galleries, wine and beer tasting, and shops where you can pick up fun souvenirs. If you’re in the area during March, September, or December, you might have a chance to experience some of the annual festivities they hold.

Joshua Tree National Park

National parks have seen a lot more attention lately, and for good reason. Getting outside does wonders for people. Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to visit on a weekend getaway in California. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might consider trying your hand at rock climbing or bouldering. For a zen experience, check out the Integratron and have a sound bath. During the spring, you can visit Pinto Basin and see beautiful wildflowers. The unique trees and cacti can be fun to look at.

Oak Glen

September through November might be the perfect time to visit Oak Glen on a weekend getaway in Southern California. Roughly an hour and a half out of Los Angeles, Oak Glen’s most popular activity is apple picking. You can even try your hand at making your own cider at some of the orchards. If you’re visiting with children, they might enjoy the Oak Glen Animal Park petting zoo. Animals are roaming free all over the park, which can be a particular delight for children. During the weekends, they’ll also have a chance to enjoy pony rides and train rides. This is truly a fun, family-friendly weekend getaway vacation spot.


For beach lovers, Coronado is the place to go for a quick weekend getaway. It offers some of the best beaches in the country and is home to the grand Hotel del Coronado, which opened in 1888. The beaches are great for surfers and swimmers. If you have a dog that you vacation with, consider visiting the leash-free Coronado Dog Beach. Because there is a naval base at Coronado, you might be able to catch sight of fighter jets or submarines in the area too.

Balboa Island

Balboa Island is a manmade island in Newport Beach, about an hour away from Los Angeles. There are lots of fun activities here for people of all ages. One of Balboa Island’s attractions is the chocolate-covered frozen bananas that are a favorite treat for many. The Balboa Fun Zone is perfect for children. Kids can ride a Ferris wheel and play arcade games. There are opportunities to participate in wine tasting for adults, various water sports, and other outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. If you’re into whale watching, you may see grey whales from December to April, while from May to November, you might spot a blue whale.

Treat Yourself to A Weekend Adventure

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway in California, Los Angeles and the surrounding areas are a great place to start. There is a lot to see in Los Angeles itself, but don’t feel the need to limit yourself to just that city. There are lots of day trips around Los Angeles that are well worth your time as well. With the massive variety in activities and location, there is sure to be something for everyone when you visit Los Angeles and the surrounding Southern California area.

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