Best Day Trips from Los Angeles

Road Trips

Best Day Trips from Los Angeles | Road Trips from LA

With plenty of beaches, national forests, architecture and art to explore out of city limits, day trips from Los Angeles offer quaint camps, natural landscapes and must-see wildlife. You can enjoy activities like surfing, hiking, kayaking, tide-pooling, biking or just soaking in the Californian sunshine against bountiful backdrops. Day trips from Los Angeles introduce you to posh rural culture, great food and unforgettable experiences.

Here is the list of 14 Best Day Trips from Los Angeles

1. Coronado (125 miles from LA)

Coronado (125 miles from LA)

Glorified by the beauty of the panoramic San Diego Bay, Coronado city in California is flanked with upscale shops, well-manicured tropical gardens and a leash-free dog beach. The bayfront cabanas and serene shacks offer a riveting backdrop for relishing fresh seafood at the casual restaurants. Fishing, sunbathing and surfing are popular beach activities among visitors. Families and travelers can hop on a kayak and enjoy the sail across San Diego Bay and its many dramatic vistas.
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Top sights:

  • Grand Hotel del Coronado
  • Coronado Bike Path
  • Imperial Beach
  • Centennial Park
  • Coronado Golf Course and Restaurant
Location: San Diego County, California

2. Laguna Beach (50 miles from LA)

Laguna Beach (50 miles from LA)

Laguna Beach is one of California’s most refined cities with vast, turquoise beaches and a vivacious community. Rocky green cliffs meander along the white sand coast, full of quaint shops, multi-cuisine restaurants and opportunities for adventurous activities. Tourists and travelers can enjoy tide pooling, snorkeling, scuba diving and body-surfing at the beach, while the hilly state park and gardens are perfect for hikes and nature walks with your family.

Top attractions :

  • Heisler Park
  • Crystal Cove State Park
  • Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters
  • 1,000 Steps Beach
  • Victoria Beach
Location : Orange County, California

3. Santa Barbara (95 miles from LA)

Santa Barbara (95 miles from LA)

Santa Barbara is a large beach city in California with an upscale community of boutiques, trendy restaurants and the world-famous State Street which is a seasonal fareline. Overlooked by the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, the city has a notable Spanish colonial heritage embodied in its white stucco architecture with red-tile rooftops.

Top attractions :

  • Old Mission Santa Barbara
  • Stearns Wharf
  • Santa Barbara Zoo
  • Lotusland
  • State Historic Park
Location : Santa Barbara, California

4. Palm Springs (106 miles from LA)

Palm Springs (106 miles from LA)

Palm Springs is a posh city in Southern California, a laid-back holiday destination offering glamorous urban culture and a serene desert getaway. With a great culinary scene, most restaurants, bars and cafes offer Greek, American, Asian and multi-cuisine dining options alongside exotic Polynesian cocktails. Spotting a Hollywood star shopping or walking down the main street is a common occurrence, leading to Palm Springs being popularly known as “The Playground of the Stars”.

Top attractions :

  • Indian Canyons
  • The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
  • Mount San Jacinto
  • Palm Springs Art Museum
  • Moorten Botanical Gardens
Location: Sonoran Desert, California

5. Big Bear Lake (96 miles from LA)

Big Bear Lake (96 miles from LA)

Big Bear Lake is a reservoir located in southern California amidst verdantly forested hills, close to Las Vegas and Phoenix as well. Owned by the San Bernardino National Forest, this extremely popular tourist spot is a favorite among locals and adventure enthusiasts for its year-round sunny weather. As the name suggests, you could spot a bear during your wildlife safari here. You could enjoy thrilling outdoor activities like hiking, trekking and mountain biking. When covered in snow during winters, the lake is popular for fishing and skiing.

Top attractions :

  • Snow Summit Ski Resort
  • Big Bear Alpine Zoo
  • Castle Rock Trail
  • Big Bear Mountain Resort and Spa
Location : San Bernardino County, California

6. Solana Beach (100 miles from LA)

Solana Beach (100 miles from LA)

Located off the northern coast of San Diego, about 30 minutes from Downtown San Diego is the quaint little beach community of Solana Beach. Dotted with plenty of bluffs and caves that are begging to be explored, this beach town is more than just that. An evening stroll around sunset can leave you in awe with the beautiful ocean glimmering with the rays of the setting sun and the waves crashing into the rocks below the cliffs.

Beaches :

  • Cardiff State Beach
  • Del Mar Shores Beach
  • Fletcher Cover Beach
  • Seaside Sur Beach
  • Tide Beach Park

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7. Los Alamos (140 miles from LA)

Los Alamos (140 miles from LA)

With a population of less than 2,000 people, Los Alamos is Santa Barbara’s most decidedly tranquil town. Named after the Spanish phrase meaning “The Cottonwood”, this vintage city is endowed with the old West heritage and has a sprawling tropical ranch. The ranch has acres of fragrant vineyards and wine factories which you can tour with your family and children during weekends.

Top Sights :

  • Casa Dumetz Winery
  • Los Alamos County Park
  • Martian Ranch and Vineyard
  • Space VR
Location : Santa Barbara County, California

8. Temecula (85 miles from LA)

Temecula (85 miles from LA)

Temecula is an upscale tourist and resort destination in California with 300 acres of verdant wineries and a grand portion of the Pacific coastline. The 50 award winning wineries have beautiful Italian, French and American grapes sprouting off the land. This makes Wine Country a hub of events, wine tasting and sumptuous accommodations.

Top attractions :

  • Wilson Creek Winery
  • Leoness Cellars
  • Lake Skinner Park
  • Temecula Valley
Location : Riverside County, California

9. Salton Sea (164 miles from LA)

Salton Sea (164 miles from LA)

Transformed from a salt-covered sink to a spectacular lake in the lower Colorado Desert, Salton Sea is California’s largest lake at a unique depth of 227 feet below sea level. Perfect for birdwatching enthusiasts, the lake is a major stopover for cross-continental migratory birds. The lake boasts of 130 miles of exquisite white sand shoreline with French Riviera style vacation playgrounds.

Top sights :

  • Salton Sea State Recreation Area
  • International Banana Museum
  • Painted Canyon road
  • Bombay Beach Ruins
  • Red Earth Casino
Location: San Andreas Fault, California

10. Las Vegas (270 miles from LA)

Las Vegas (270 miles from LA)
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Known For : The Strip Bellagio Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Las Vegas - a place that brings neon signboards, iconic hotels and the legendary casinos to our minds. For the ultimate, no-limits entertainment trip, there is hardly any place in the world that comes close to Vegas. The city's bright skyline, the super luxury hotels and resorts, the world-famous casino and the even-more-world-famous nightclubs coupled with the supremely extravagant atmosphere of the Las Vegas Strip make a visit to Las Vegas unlike no other.

Best Time: September to November (Autumn)

15 Las Vegas Attractions

11. San Juan Capistrano (55 miles from LA)

San Juan Capistrano (55 miles from LA)

Welcoming over 300,000 visitors every year, San Juan Capistrano is a beautiful bayfront city known for its iconic bell at the Mission San Juan Capistrano christened after the legacy of Saint Junipero Serra who founded it and then the city. Nestled in the picturesque hills of Orange County, the rustic city overlooks Capistrano beach. The shore is lined with chic eateries, traditional shops and gift stores, all of which add to the natural and commercial appeal.

Top sights :

  • Zoomars at River Street Ranch
  • Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
  • Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching
  • Mission San Juan Capistrano Chapel and Museum
Location: Orange County, California

12. Solvang (128 miles from LA)

Solvang (128 miles from LA)

Flaunting ubiquitous Danish heritage and influenced architecture, Solvang is the south Californian little Denmark nestled atop the semi-arid Santa Ynez Valley. The city is renowned for being Santa Barbara’s richest wine country with a pulsating festive scene where visitors come to stomp on grapes and make their own wine. The early-1800’s Old Mission Santa Ines is a Franciscan Church, a revered place with intricate murals worth viewing.

Top sights :

  • Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
  • Mission Santa Ines (Ynez)
  • Santa Ynez Valley
  • Hans Christian Andersen Museum
Location : Santa Ynez Valley, California

13. Ojai (83 miles from LA)

Ojai (83 miles from LA)

Located northwest of Los Angeles, Ojai city is a hub of tourism atop the valley of Topa Topa Mountains, offering thrilling adventure activities like scenic hikes, trail biking and horseback riding. Built in 1917 in Spanish Colonial Revival fashion, the quaint city is popular for its beautiful boutique hotels, sprawling farms and spiritual retreats. It has an eco-friendly atmosphere away from the bustling city and its chain stores.

Top sights :

  • Ojai Valley and Meadows Preserve
  • Ojai Valley Museum
  • The Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room
  • Libbey Park
Location: Ventura County, California

14. Oak Glen (78 miles from LA)

Oak Glen (78 miles from LA)

Known as the only place in San Bernardino County with fragrant apple orchards that grow a mile high, Oak Glen’s fame comes from its rustic farmlands and berry fields. This census-designated place in California has a close-knit agricultural community who run casual restaurants, chic cafes, cideries and bakeries selling apple pies from one end of town to the other. Oak Glen has a popular shopping district where you can find fresh seasonal goods, homemade snacks, stylish apparel and gifts for loved ones.

Top Attractions :

  • Riley’s Farm
  • Oak Glen Preserve
  • Yucaipa National Park
  • Parrish Pioneer Ranch
Location: San Bernardino County, California

This post was published by Koushiki Kundu

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