Los Angeles is the perfect place to live, because it’s a beach town with year-round sunshine, and easy access to many scenic spots, art galleries, and wine country within about an hour drive. However, even the most passionate Angelenos occasionally need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Luckily, there are many incredible destinations for weekend getaways within easy reach of LA. Here are our top picks for the best weekend getaways from Los Angeles.
Quick Answer: Best Weekend Getaways From Los Angeles
Best Day Trips From Los Angeles
- Best for Beach Lovers - Santa Barbara
- Best for History Buffs - Solvang
- Best for Adventurers - Catalina Island
- Best for Outdoor Lovers - Joshua Tree National Park
Best Road Trips From Los Angeles
- Best for Spa-Goers - Ojai
- Best for Groups of Friends - Palm Springs
- Best for Nightlife - San Diego
- Best for Nature Lovers – Big Sur
Best Weekend Trips From Los Angeles
- Best for Wine Lovers - Napa Valley
- Best for City Lovers - San Francisco
- Best for Winter Sports Enthusiasts - Lake Tahoe
- Best for Foodies - Seattle
Best Day Trips From Los Angeles
When you see the Hollywood sign, you’ll know you’re in Los Angeles! The city offers endless entertainment options, but if you're in need of a break from the hustle and bustle, fear not. There are numerous nearby destinations perfect for a day trip, catering to a variety of interests such as wine lovers, beach-goers, foodies, history buffs, nature enthusiasts and hikers, and adventure-seekers.
Whether you're in the mood to soak up some sun at the beach, explore the great outdoors, or indulge in some wine tasting, you'll find a day trip from Los Angeles that caters to your preference. Plus, with these destinations being just a short drive away, it's easy to escape the city for a day and experience something new.
So pack a bag, grab your keys, and hit the road to explore some of the best day trips from Los Angeles.
1. Santa Barbara
- Perfect for: Wine lovers, beach-goers, and foodies
- Highlights of Santa Barbara:
- Stunning coastal city
- Plenty of outdoor activities
- Wine tasting
- Delicious restaurants
- Beautiful beaches
How to Get to Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is located about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. If you're driving, take Highway 101 North for a scenic coastal drive.
If you prefer public transportation, you can take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train from Los Angeles Union Station to Santa Barbara, enjoying the picturesque views along the way.
Things to Do in Santa Barbara
Take a stroll down State Street and explore the local shops and restaurants or visit the beautiful Santa Barbara Mission with its stunning architecture and historical significance.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the city's many beaches and parks, including the famous Stearns Wharf and the Santa Barbara Zoo.
The city is also known for its wine tasting and tours of local vineyards, making it a great destination for wine lovers.
Where to Stay in Santa Barbara
For a luxurious experience, consider staying at the Kimpton Canary Hotel located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. This upscale hotel offers elegant rooms, a rooftop pool, and a popular on-site restaurant.
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, check out this dreamy tropical-style Airbnb that has a lot of style. Enjoy a private entrance and a nearby beach.
- Perfect for: Wine lovers and history buffs
- Highlights of Solvang:
- Quaint Danish town
- Danish architecture and bakeries
- Wine tasting rooms
- Historical landmarks
- Beautiful scenery
How to Get to Solvang
Solvang is located about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles. If you're driving, take US-101 North and CA-154 West for a scenic drive through the Santa Ynez Mountains. If you prefer public transportation, you can take a bus from Los Angeles to Solvang.
Things to Do in Solvang
Explore the Danish architecture of the town, including windmills, half-timbered houses, and Danish bakeries.
Solvang is also home to a variety of wine tasting rooms, showcasing the region's excellent wines.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking or biking through the beautiful scenery of the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley.
Where to Stay in Solvang
For a luxurious ranch-style experience, consider staying at the Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort located just outside of Solvang. This upscale resort offers spacious guest rooms, horseback riding, golf courses, and a tranquil spa.
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, check out the Solvang Inn & Cottages. This cozy inn features comfortable rooms and cottages, a refreshing pool, and a convenient location in the heart of Solvang.
3. Catalina Island
- Perfect for: Adventure seekers and nature lovers
- Highlights of Catalina Island:
- Beautiful island destination
- Golf cart rentals for exploring
- Scenic hikes
- Snorkeling and scuba diving
How to Get to Catalina Island
You can take a ferry from Long Beach or San Pedro to Catalina Island. The ferry ride typically takes about an hour, providing scenic views of the ocean. You can choose from several ferry companies that operate daily trips to the island.
Things to Do in Catalina Island
Visitors can rent a golf cart to explore the island's charming streets, visit the Catalina Island Museum to learn about the island's rich history, or take a scenic hike through the island's interior.
Outdoor enthusiasts can also go zip-lining, snorkeling, or scuba diving to see the island's stunning marine life.
For a relaxing day, visitors can lounge on the island's pristine beaches or indulge in delicious seafood at one of the island's waterfront restaurants.
Where to Stay on Catalina Island
For a romantic getaway, consider staying at the Pavilion Hotel located in the heart of Avalon. This boutique hotel offers comfortable rooms, a relaxing courtyard, and easy access to the beach and local attractions.
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, check out the Hotel Catalina. This charming hotel offers affordable accommodations, friendly service, and a convenient location near the Catalina Island Museum and shops.
4. Joshua Tree National Park
- Perfect for: Nature enthusiasts and hikers
- Highlights of Joshua Tree National Park:
- Unique rock formations
- Desert camping/glamping
- Hiking trails
- Bouldering opportunities
How to Get to Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located about 130 miles east of Los Angeles. You can easily reach the park by car, taking Interstate 10 and then exiting onto State Route 62. Alternatively, you can join a guided tour bus that provides transportation and informative commentary about the park.
Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park
Visitors can go hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking on the park's trails. There are also opportunities for stargazing, bird watching, and wildlife viewing. Joshua Tree is a popular spot for camping, with a range of campgrounds available.
Visitors can also explore the park's historic sites, including abandoned mines and homesteads. The park's Visitor Center provides information on the park's history, geology, and natural features, as well as helpful tips for planning your visit.
Where to Stay in Joshua Tree National Park
For a unique and historic experience, consider staying at the Joshua Tree Inn, known for hosting legendary musician Gram Parsons. This charming inn offers comfortable rooms and a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.
If you prefer a more rustic option, check out the Pioneertown Motel. Located in the nearby town of Pioneertown, this motel captures the essence of the Old West with its Western-themed rooms and proximity to the Pioneertown Mane Street, where you can find shops and entertainment.
Best Road Trips From Los Angeles
Setting off on a road trip from Los Angeles presents an unparalleled opportunity to encounter the stunning beauty and variety of Southern California.
Whether you relish dramatic coastal vistas, desert backdrops, or mountainous landscapes, there's something for every type of scenery lover and outdoor enthusiast. Each of these four destinations offers a distinctive adventure and a chance to escape the city and connect with nature.
So, pack your bags, hit the road, and brace yourself for an unforgettable journey. This road trip is ideal for beachgoers, families, and foodies, as well as for those who seek a refreshing weekend getaway with excellent weather, spas, golf courses, and outdoor activities.
- Perfect for: Nature lovers and spa-goers
- Highlights of Ojai:
- Picturesque small town
- Beautiful natural surroundings
- Spa retreats
- Artisanal shops and restaurants
How to Get to Ojai
Ojai is located about 85 miles northwest of Los Angeles. If you prefer to drive, you can reach Ojai by taking US-101 North and CA-33 North. Alternatively, you can take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train to the nearby Ventura Station and, from there, take a short taxi or Uber ride to Ojai.
Things to Do in Ojai
Explore the charming downtown area with its unique shops and restaurants, or take a hike in the beautiful natural surroundings. The town is known for its many spa retreats, making it a great destination for relaxation and self-care.
You can also check out the local art scene by visiting galleries and studios or attending one of the town's many cultural events.
Where to Stay in Ojai
For a luxurious spa experience, indulge in the Ojai Valley Inn, a renowned resort offering world-class amenities, including a spa, golf course, and fine dining options.
If you're seeking a more affordable and quaint accommodation, consider the Hummingbird Inn, a charming bed and breakfast known for its cozy rooms and warm hospitality.
6. Big Sur
- Perfect for: Scenery lovers and outdoor enthusiasts
- Highlights of Big Sur:
- Picturesque coastal drive
- Breathtaking ocean views
- Scenic parks
- Secluded beaches
- Whale watching
How to Get to Big Sur
Big Sur is located about 300 miles north of Los Angeles. If you prefer a scenic drive, you can take Highway 1 along the coast, enjoying the breathtaking views along the way.
Alternatively, you can fly to Monterey Regional Airport, which is the closest airport to Big Sur, and then drive south along Highway 1 to reach your destination.
Things to Do in Big Sur
Some popular activities in the area include hiking in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park or Andrew Molera State Park, enjoying the scenic views of the Bixby Bridge, visiting the famous McWay Falls, camping, or exploring the charming local galleries and shops.
For those looking for a relaxing getaway, the region also offers luxurious spas and resorts with stunning ocean views.
Where to Stay in Big Sur
For a luxurious and romantic getaway, indulge in the Post Ranch Inn, a renowned resort nestled on the cliffs of Big Sur, offering breathtaking views, world-class amenities, and exquisite dining experiences.
If you're seeking a more budget-friendly option, consider the Fernwood Resort, a rustic and charming accommodation with cabins and camping sites surrounded by nature.
7. San Diego
- Perfect for: Beach-goers, families, and foodies
- Highlights of San Diego:
- San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
- Beaches and boardwalks
- Balboa Park
- USS Midway Museum
- Shopping and dining in the Gaslamp Quarter
How to Get to San Diego
San Diego is located about 120 miles south of Los Angeles. You can easily drive from Los Angeles to San Diego via Interstate 5 South, which offers a straightforward and scenic route.
If you prefer a more relaxed and scenic journey, you can take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train, which runs along the coast and provides picturesque views of the ocean.
Things to Do in San Diego
Some popular activities to enjoy in San Diego include visiting the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, strolling through the historic Gaslamp Quarter, or exploring the museums and galleries in Balboa Park.
And of course, no trip to San Diego would be complete without a visit to the iconic La Jolla Cove or Coronado Island.
Where to Stay in San Diego
For a luxurious experience, consider staying at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, a historic beachfront resort known for its elegance, Victorian charm, and stunning ocean views.
If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Ocean Beach Hotel offers comfortable accommodations just steps away from the popular Ocean Beach, with its lively atmosphere and beautiful sunsets.
8. Palm Springs
- Perfect for: Weekend getaway, families, and outdoor adventurers
- Highlights of Palm Springs:
- Warm desert oasis
- Mid-century modern architecture
- Golf courses and spas
- Hiking in Indian Canyons
- Aerial tramway
How to Get to Palm Springs
Palm Springs is located about 100 miles east of Los Angeles. There are several ways to reach Palm Springs from Los Angeles.
You can take a direct flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or Burbank Airport (BUR) to Palm Springs International Airport (PSP).
If you prefer driving, you can take Interstate 10 (I-10) east from Los Angeles, which offers a straightforward route to Palm Springs. Another option is to take a shuttle or private car service, which can provide a convenient and comfortable transportation experience.
Things to Do in Palm Springs
Some of the most popular things to do in Palm Springs include exploring the Palm Springs Art Museum, taking a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, visiting the Moorten Botanical Garden, and relaxing in one of the city's many luxurious spas.
Palm Springs is also known for its vibrant nightlife and dining scene, with many excellent restaurants, bars, and clubs to choose from.
Where to Stay in Palm Springs
For a luxurious and elegant experience, consider staying at The Parker Palm Springs, a renowned resort known for its chic design, beautiful gardens, and world-class amenities.
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage offers a luxurious desert retreat with stunning mountain views and exceptional service.
If you prefer a more trendy and vibrant atmosphere, the Ace Hotel & Swim Club is a popular choice, featuring a retro-inspired design, poolside parties, and a lively social scene.
Best Weekend Trips From Los Angeles
Escape the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles with these incredible weekend getaways, all within a short two- to three-hour flight.
Enjoy a wine-tasting extravaganza in Napa Valley, explore the bustling city of San Francisco, hit the slopes in Lake Tahoe, or soak up the culture in Seattle. Each destination offers a unique experience, catering to a range of interests, including wine lovers, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts, and culture seekers.
So pack your bags and get ready to indulge in some of the most breathtaking weekend getaways from Los Angeles.
9. Napa Valley
- Perfect for: Wine lovers and foodies
- Highlights of Napa Valley:
- World-renowned wineries
- Michelin-starred restaurants
- Scenic drives through vineyards and rolling hills
- Hot air balloon rides
How to Get to Napa Valley
Napa Valley is located about 400 miles north of Los Angeles. To reach Napa Valley from Los Angeles, you can take a flight to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) or Oakland International Airport (OAK). From there, you can rent a car and drive to Napa Valley, which takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours depending on traffic.
Alternatively, you can take a shuttle service from the airport to Napa Valley, which offers convenient transportation options.
Things to Do in Napa Valley
Go wine tasting at renowned wineries like Chateau Montelena, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, or Opus One, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants like The French Laundry or Bouchon Bistro, take a hot air balloon ride for stunning views of the valley, or enjoy a relaxing spa treatment.
Where to Stay in Napa Valley
For a luxurious and serene retreat, consider staying at Auberge du Soleil, a renowned resort offering stunning views, world-class dining, and a tranquil spa.
Meadowood Napa Valley is another top-rated luxury hotel nestled in a beautiful setting with exceptional service, championship golf, and a luxurious spa.
The Carneros Resort and Spa provides a luxurious and relaxing experience with spacious cottages, beautiful gardens, and a renowned spa.
10. San Francisco
- Perfect for: Urban explorers, foodies, and culture enthusiasts
- Highlights of San Francisco:
- Iconic Golden Gate Bridge skyline
- Alcatraz Island
- Cable car rides
- Vibrant food scene
- Silicon Valley
How to Get to San Francisco
San Francisco is conveniently accessible from Los Angeles by a 1-hour flight. The main airport serving the city is San Francisco International Airport (SFO), located approximately 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco.
You can book a flight from Los Angeles to SFO with various airlines offering frequent connections between the two cities.
Things to Do in San Francisco
Some popular attractions include visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, exploring the iconic Alcatraz Island, strolling through the vibrant neighborhoods of Chinatown and the Haight, and taking a cable car ride through the city's steep streets. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are also plenty of parks to explore, including Golden Gate Park and Presidio Park.
Don't forget to try some of the city's famous food, such as sourdough bread, seafood, and Mission-style burritos. And for those interested in technology and innovation, a visit to Silicon Valley is a must.
Where to Stay in San Francisco
San Francisco offers a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. Some popular neighborhoods to consider for your stay include:
- Union Square: Known for its central location, luxury hotels, and shopping options. Staypineapple, An Elegant Hotel is a stylish and centrally located boutique hotel in Union Square.
- Fisherman's Wharf: A bustling waterfront area with attractions, seafood restaurants, and souvenir shops. Consider Argonaut Hotel for its nautical-themed rooms and proximity to Pier 39.
- Mission District: A vibrant neighborhood with a hipster and artistic vibe, offering a mix of trendy restaurants, bars, and street art. The Phoenix Hotel is a unique and retro-inspired boutique hotel in the Mission District.
11. Lake Tahoe
- Perfect for: Outdoor enthusiasts
- Highlights of Lake Tahoe:
- Crystal-clear lake
- World-class ski resorts
- Year-round outdoor activities
- Hiking and biking trails
- Stunning scenic drives
How to Get to Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is located about 440 miles north of Los Angeles. The nearest major airport is Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), which is approximately 60 miles from the lake.
You can fly from Los Angeles to Reno and then rent a car or take a shuttle service to reach Lake Tahoe. The drive from Reno to Lake Tahoe takes around 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the specific destination within the lake area.
Things to Do in Lake Tahoe
Go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many resorts in the area, hike the Tahoe Rim Trail for stunning views of the lake, rent a boat or kayak to explore the lake, or drive around the lake on the scenic Lake Tahoe Loop.
Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences. Some popular options include The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, a luxurious mountain resort with stunning views and a range of amenities, including a spa and fine dining options.
For a stay at a premier lakeside resort with elegant accommodations and access to a private beach and golf course, check out The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe.
The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort is a family-friendly resort offering comfortable accommodations, lakefront access, and various recreational activities.
- Perfect for: Coffee lovers, foodies, and outdoor enthusiasts
- Highlights of Seattle:
- Stunning waterfront views
- Home to the original Starbucks
- Iconic Space Needle
- Famous Pike Place Market
- Delicious seafood
How to Get to Seattle
The most convenient way to reach Seattle from Los Angeles is by flying, which is about a 2- to 3-hour flight.
Several airlines offer direct flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
Things to Do in Seattle
Take a stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the beautiful views of the Puget Sound. Visit the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market and grab a cup of coffee while you explore the market's many vendors and attractions. Take the elevator to the top of the Space Needle for breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding area.
Visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum, which is right next door to the Space Needle and across the street from the Museum of Pop Culture, to see the stunning glass artwork exhibits. Seattle is also known for its delicious seafood, so be sure to try some local favorites like fresh salmon or clam chowder.
Where to Stay in Seattle
For a luxurious experience with beautiful waterfront views, consider staying at the Edgewater Hotel. Located near popular attractions like Pike Place Market, this hotel offers stunning vistas of the Elliott Bay.
If you're looking for a more affordable option, the Hotel Max is a stylish boutique hotel in downtown Seattle. It provides comfortable accommodations and a convenient location for exploring the city.
As you can see, the best day trips from Los Angeles are only limited to your imagination. There are many excellent near and far road trips from Los Angeles, and if you're willing to fly that greatly expands the possibilities for weekend trips from Los Angeles. Happy vacationing!