18 Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

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The most glamourous city of southern California boasts of world-class tourist spots, idyllic weather, a funky dining scene, and many cultural-artistic attractions. Not only inside the city but there are so many day trips from Los Angeles with numerous options. There are many vineyards, valleys, mountains, deserts, and artistic quaint towns around Los Angeles. So let’s read some weekend day trips from Los Angeles – the best road trips.

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18 Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips – California road trip 

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Joshua National Park from Los Angeles – 127 Miles (Approx. 2 hours 20 minutes)

Why Joshua Tree National Park – Joshua National Tree Park is one of the finest hiking in the Californian desert area. You can spot many natural rock formations, a Palm tree Oasis and a perfect spot for nature lovers. It is a must-visit for wonderful scenery and nature photography.

Things to do in Joshua National Park

  • Hidden Valley Nature Trail
  • Keys View
  • Barker Dam Nature Trail
  • Camping, Bird Watching & Rock Climbing
  • Cholla Cactus garden
  • Skull Rock
  • Ryan Mountain Hike
  • Keys Ranch Guided tours
  • Cottonwood Spring Oasis

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BIG BEAR LAKE, CALIFORNIA

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Big Bear Lake from Los Angeles – 100 Miles (Approx. 2 hours)

Why Big Bear Lake – Famous skiing destination a perfect place for winter sports lovers. Having Alpine mountainous beauty with serene lakes, wildlife, and picturesque scenic locations. A perfect mountain-lake escape.

Things to do in Big Bear

  • Snow Summit Ski Resort
  • Big Bear Alpine Zoo
  • Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain
  • Big Bear Snow Play
  • Castle Rock Trail
  • Big Bear Mountain Resort

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OJAI

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Ojai from Los Angeles – 83 Miles (Approx. – 1 Hour 30 minutes)

Why Ojai – Ojai is a famous tourist spot for hiking, recreation, boutique hotels, local farmer’s market. It has an amazing beautiful sky with a quaint town on the foothills of Topatopa mountains and 15 miles away from the Pacific coast. Also a famous wellness spa resort town.

Things to do in Ojai

  • Ojai Farmer’s market
  • Ojai Meadows Preserve.
  • Rose Valley Falls Trails
  • Art Galleries & Shopping
  • Ojai Olive Farm visit
  • Libbey’s Park
  • Krishnamurthi Education Center
  • Ecotopia Hot Springs

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TEMECULA

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Temecula from Los Angeles – 85 Miles (Approx. 1 Hour 20 minutes)

Why Temecula – Old and quaint town with lots of history, amazing food options, local farms and their produce, antique galleries. A perfect town for families and also with lots of walking tour options. You will find 1880’s style of construction and as it is located in the heart of wine country, you will find many interesting breweries, boutique bars, wineries on rolling hills, etc.

Things to do in Temecula

  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Walking along with the old town
  • Temecula Valley museum
  • Wine tasting tour.
  • Take a ride with a horse-drawn carriage
  • Promenade Temecula
  • Alpaca Hacienda
  • Harveston Lake Park
  • Pennypickle’s workshop

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LAGUNA BEACH & NEW PORT BEACH

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Laguna Beach & New Port beach from Los Angeles – 57 Miles to Laguna Beach (Approx. 50 minutes) and the distance from Laguna Beach to New Port Beach is 16 Miles. 

Why Laguna Beach & New Port Beach – Laguna Beach is a pretty charming beach town with pretty beautiful art galleries too nearby. It is famous for Bohemian vibes with beautiful scenic beaches and people. New Port Beach is a family-oriented beach destination. Whale watching, spotting seals, and boating around are common things to do at New Port Beach.

Things to do at Laguna Beach & New Port Beach

  • Heisler Park
  • Victoria Beach
  • Main Beach
  • Laguna Art Museum
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
  • Crescent Bay Point Park
  • Crystal Cove State Park
  • 1000 steps beach
  • Pacific Marine Mammal Center
  • Top of the World
  • HIP District
  • Diver’s Cove

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NEW PORT BEACH

  • Corona Del Mar State Beach
  • The Wedge
  • Newport Beach Whale Watching
  • Lido Marine Village
  • Fashion Island
  • Sunset Cruises

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MALIBU

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Malibu from Los Angeles – 35 Miles (Approx. 40 minutes)

Why Malibu – Malibu is a beach town in western Los Angeles county. With a long oceanfront, it is a great spot for surfing, scuba diving, and windsurfing. Known for its beautiful Mediterranean climate and scenic sunsets.

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Things to do in Malibu

  • Zuma Beach
  • Point Dume
  • El Matador Beach
  • Malibu Lagoon state beach & Adamson House
  • Malibu State Creek Park
  • Solstice Canyon
  • Leo Carrillo State Park
  • Santa Monica Mountains National
  • The Getty Villa
  • Malibu Country Mart

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ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Angeles National Forest from Los Angeles – 18 Miles (Approx. 20 Minutes) 

Why Angeles National Forest – Haven for hikers, nature lovers, mountain bikers, and campers. Spread across Gabriel mountains, it has rocky slopes, rugged landscapes, and rocky canyons. You can spot stunning views of LA valley.

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Things to do at Angeles National Forest

  • Descanso Gardens
  • Angeles Crest Highway
  • Mountain High Resort
  • Vasquez Rocks National Park
  • Mount San Antonio
  • Bridge to Nowhere
  • Mount Baldy Resort
  • Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

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BALBOA ISLAND

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Balboa Island from Los Angeles – 45 Miles (50 Minutes Approx.)

Why Balboa Island – A man-made island that is a unique gem that is perfect for walking, driving, chic coastal shops, stylish beach fashion boutiques.

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Things to do in Balboa Island

  • Balboa Island Ferry Trip
  • Balboa Fun Zone
  • Shop till you drop

CORONADO

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Coronado from Los Angeles – 125 Miles (2 hours Approx.)

Why Coronado – Coronado Island is known for stunning beaches, quaint downtown area, stunning views of the San Diego skyline, with a perfect Mediterranean climate.

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Things to do in Coronado

  • USS Midway Museum
  • Coronado Beach and Bridge
  • Seaport Village
  • Visit a Sunken Ship
  • Stroll along Orange Avenue
  • Hop on Old town Trolley
  • Hotel del Coronado

PALM SPRINGS

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Palm Springs from Los Angeles – 107 Miles (Approx. 1 hour and 40 minutes)

Why Palm Springs – A post desert getaway with laidback and fun vibes. It is also a favorite spot for Hollywood celebrities. You will find the mid-century modern style of architecture with fine dining options here.

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Things to do in Palm Springs

  • Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  • Palm Springs Art museum
  • Indian Canyons & Tahquitz Canyon
  • The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens
  • Cabazon Dinosaurs
  • Palm Springs Air Museum

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SANTA BARBARA

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Santa Barbara from Los Angeles – 95 Miles (1 Hour and 45 minutes)

Why Santa Barbara – It is also known as Californian Riveria famous for its beautiful Mediterranean climate. It has several pretty beaches, Mediterranean architecture, and palm trees. Also, it houses the famous California mission, State Street shops with laidback quaint vibes.

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Things to do in Santa Barbara

  • Chromatic Gate
  • East Beach
  • Old Mission Santa Barbara
  • Whale Watching Tours
  • Santa Barbara Zoos
  • State Street
  • El Presidio de Santa Barbara
  • Arroyo Burro Beach County Park
  • Stearns Wharf

SOLANA BEACH

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Solana Beach from Los Angeles – 100 Miles (Approx 1 hour and 30 minutes)

Why Solana Beach – Located at a relaxed beach town on the northern coast of San Diego County, this place gives you a perfect suburban feeling with peaceful and relaxed vibes. Family-oriented beach activities, surfing, shopping, and great food is the highlight of this place. Not only here there are artistic and beach vibes, but it is considered as one of the best places to live in California.

Things to do in Solana Beach

  • Fletcher Cove Beach Park
  • Annie’s Canyon Trail
  • Cardiff State Beach
  • The Scream Zone
  • Torrey Pines State Beach
  • Coast to Crest Trail
  • Tide Beach Park

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of San Juan Capistrano from Los Angeles – 55 Miles (Approx. 1 hour)

Why San Juan Capistrano – It is known as the “Jewel of the California Missions”. A perfect historic place with quiet vibes with the Spanish style of architecture. 

Things to do in San Juan Capistrano

  • Mission San Juan Capistrano
  • Zoombars Petting zoo
  • Festival of the Shallows.
  • Los Rios Historic District
  • Coach House
  • O’Neill Museum
  • Old Capistrano Certified Farmers Market

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LAS VEGAS – Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Las Vegas from Los Angeles – 270 Miles (Approx. 4 hours 15 minutes)

Why Las Vegas – World famous destination for complete entertainment, fun, and nightlife scene. It is also known as the ultimate playground for fun. It is a land of adventure, wild fun, with more than 150 casinos, 20 largest hotels, and is known as the brightest glittering spot on the earth.

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Things to do in Las Vegas

  • Bellagio Hotel & Casino
  • Las Vegas Strip
  • MGM Grand
  • Luxor Hotel & Casino
  • The Mirage
  • Fountains of Bellagio
  • Downtown Vegas
  • Attend big-name concerts and shows

MAMMOTH LAKES – Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Mammoth Lakes from Los Angeles – 310 Miles (Approx 5 hours).

Why Mammoth Lakes – Known for its Alpine beauty and majestic mountain peaks. Located on the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges on the eastern side of the state border this place is perfect for nature lovers. You would love the wilderness of nature, rugged peaks kissing the blue skies, sparkling Alpine lakes. It is the perfect place for nature adventurers.

Things to do at Mammoth Lakes

  • John Muir Trail
  • Mammoth Mountain Hiking Trail
  • Devils Postpile National Monument
  • Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
  • Convict Lake
  • Rainbow Falls & Hot Creek
  • Twin Lakes
  • Visit Mono Lake
  • Minaret Vista
  • June Lake

SALTON SEA – Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of the Salton Sea from Los Angeles – 164 Miles (Approx. 2 hours and 20 minutes)

Why the Salton Sea – A perfect place for birdwatchers. The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California and one of the largest inland seas in the world. It is one of the most unique areas of California with unique geography consisting of large date farms, giant dunes, a huge salty sea, and a man-made mountain.

Things to do at the Salton Sea

  • Painted Canyon Road
  • International Banana Museum
  • Salton State Sea Park
  • Bombay Beach Ruins
  • Salvation Mountain
  • Slab City & The Sole Tree
  • Mud Pools
  • Dos Palmas Preserve

SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK – Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Sequoia & Kings National Park from Los Angeles – 205 Miles (3 Hours and 30 minutes)

Why Sequoia & King’s Canyon National Park – Spot the massive Sequoia trees growing at 5000 to 8000 feet in elevation here and a perfect place for nature lovers. You can see giant mountains, giant canyons, giant trees, and panoramic views of valleys.

Things to do in Sequoia & King’s Canyon National Park

  • General Sherman Tree
  • Mount Whitney
  • Giant Forest
  • Crystal Cave
  • Giant Forest Museum
  • Sequoia National Park’s Tunnel Log
  • Crescent Meadow Road
  • Moro Rock Trail
  • Congress Trail
  • Cedar Grove Day Hikes
  • Mineral King Day Hikes
  • Redwood Mountain and Muir Grove

SOLVANG

Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

The distance of Solvang from Los Angeles – 130 Miles (Approx. 2 Hours and 10 minutes).

Why Solvang – You will get a taste of Europe in heart of California as this place has European heritage architecture. It is called as “Danish Capital of America” too. Take a walking tour around narrow streets and small alleys. You can find Danish pastries, Danish icons like windmills, historic churches here as this place were established by Danish immigrants and is also well preserved too.

Things to do in Solvang

  • Old Santa Ines Mission
  • Walk around the historic town and spot the Little Mermaid fountain, 5 windmills, the giant red clog & Round Tower
  • Shop across 150 boutique shops
  • Santa Ynez Valley tour
  • Hans Christian Andersen Museum
  • Wildling Museum
  • Ostrichland USA
  • Enjoy shows or concerts at Solvang Festival Theater
  • Food tour to taste Danish delicacies.
  • Visit to Bakery and Winery
  • Attend Festivals as Solvang is also known for unique festivities.

So let me know your favorite Places To Visit Near Los Angeles On a Weekend Road trip or what would you prefer for a perfect weekend adventure near Los Angeles. Enjoy your Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

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SOME GENERAL TIPS FOR – Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips

  • Check the weather before planning for any trip as most of the places are natural.
  • These places can be enjoyed in summer for sunny summer escapes and wintery for skiing slopes. All 4 seasons are worth beautiful here.
  • Some of the national or state parks in the US need approval or permit before visiting. So check the information before heading towards it.
  • Some of the places are combined with hiking and camping, so pack your hiking and camping gear with you.  

So plan your Weekend Day Trips from Los Angeles – Best Road Trips with some of the best places to visit on a #Californiaroadtrip. 

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