This year has been crazy and has left many people itching for a quick weekend getaway to take a break from it all. Quick getaway vacations can be great for recharging and centering yourself so you can better deal with the challenges that lie ahead upon your return. If you need a fun, fast weekend getaway, here are ten options that are easily accessible from southern California.
Santa Catalina Island is an island located off the coast of California in Los Angeles county. If you’re into scuba diving or snorkeling, Catalina Island offers some fantastic dive opportunities. Lover’s Cove is an incredibly popular site for such activities. There is a wide variety of wildlife that you can have a chance to observe when you visit, including a handful of endangered species. If you love to fish, there are ample fishing opportunities you can take advantage of as well. If you’re a runner, Catalina is where the oldest trail marathon in California takes place each year in the middle of March. For a breathtaking island weekend getaway, Catalina Island is a great place to go.
Less than two hours away from downtown San Diego, Laguna Beach can be an excellent place for a weekend getaway in southern California. Home to beautiful beaches, tide pools, and parks, there are some great options for those who want to simply enjoy nature. If you love art, there are art galleries and museums you can visit. You could even take yourself on a public art tour. If you’re around during the summer, you might have a chance to see the Pageant of the Masters, a part of California’s Festival of Arts. This show brings original pieces of artwork to life as people dress up and pose to recreate art pieces.
Further south, you’ll find Tijuana, Mexico, another popular weekend getaway destination. If you’re a foodie, this is one place that should be on your list of destinations to visit. Tijuana has a reputation for being one of the street taco capitals of Mexico. There’s a gastro park that you should also put on your list of places to visit, home to some great food trucks. It’s also a great place to check out if you’re into craft beer. They’ve been doing some fun things with it down in Tijuana. There’s also a fun, exciting nightlife to explore if that’s something up your alley.
For anyone who needs a mountain weekend getaway in southern California, Idyllwild just might be the place to go to. Idyllwild is home to over fifty hiking trails and offers multiple opportunities for rock climbing. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can just relax and enjoy the mountain scenery around Lake Fulmar. There are a lot of beautiful vistas just waiting to be taken in. Located just a couple of miles north of San Diego, Idyllwild has cabins and inns for visitors to stay in and plenty of dining options to explore. For a relaxing quick weekend getaway, Idyllwild is one option well worth considering.
Located about two hours away from San Diego by car, Pasadena is an excellent option for those who enjoy visiting gardens and museums. The Huntington Botanical Gardens boast over 100 acres of gardens, including 16 beautifully themed gardens. These gardens include themes from different countries and climates, offering a wide array of beauty for observers. If you’re a sports fan and around during New Year’s, Pasadena hosts the Rose Bowl and the Rose Bowl Parade. It’s also home to the Norton Simon Museum, which houses a private collection of European art.
When you think of Vegas, gambling and casinos are probably among the first things to mind. There is so much to do beyond that, though. A trip to Vegas might be best saved for a long weekend getaway. The hotels on the Strip offer a plethora of dining options, from casual to fine dining. You can watch the fountain outside the Bellagio, experience a controlled fall from the Stratosphere’s SkyJump, shop-til-you-drop, visit museums, or see some fantastic shows. For a less typical Vegas experience, check out the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. With lots of trails, rock climbing routes, and wildlife, this site makes a great place to visit for a camping trip.
One of the things California is famous for is its renowned redwood trees. Sequoia National Park is home to five of the world’s ten largest trees. Again, this is an excellent outdoor adventure for a weekend getaway, with lots of fun trails to hike. There are also caves to explore. During the winter, swap out your hiking boots for snowshoes and explore the beautiful winter scenery.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, check out Death Valley. Aside from having a reputation as being the hottest, driest, and lowest national park, it’s also where scenes from both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi were shot. Death Valley is dangerously hot for most of the year, though, so plan your trip in a cooler season and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day.
While we’re talking national parks, the Grand Canyon is a bit further out but still close enough to southern California for a long weekend getaway. If you haven’t been yet, you should go at least once. There are glamping opportunities between late April and early November for those who don’t quite feel like roughing it. If you’re visiting between May and October and want to get away from the crowds, try visiting the North Rim. It’s a different vantage point, but no less stunning.
Just north of Los Angeles is the little town of Ojai, California. If you’re into festivals, this is a great place to visit. There are nearly a dozen festivals held annually, celebrating everything from music to art to food. Take advantage of the small-town feel and enjoy the break from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can even try meditating at Meditation Mount. Be sure to catch the “pink moment” sunsets. They’re stunning.
Local weekend getaways can be some of the best experiences to have right now. Being close to home but not stuck at home can be an excellent and much-needed break from everyday life chaos. Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway or an extended family vacation, there are some great options in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico that are sure to give you the recharge you desperately need.
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