8 Best Road Trips for Perfect Weekend Getaway from Los Angeles (2023)
Los Angeles itself is a beautiful city. Located in the state of California, on the west coast of the United States of America, the glamour of Los Angeles is truly incomparable to any other place on Earth. From the iconic Hollywood sign to the road lined with palm trees, everything about this city is mesmerizing.
However, did you know that there are several places within 3 hours of distance from Los Angeles, which can be the perfect weekend getaway. If you plan to take a road trip from Los Angeles alone or with your loved ones, make sure to keep these awesome weekend destinations on your checklist!
Best Road Trips for Perfect Weekend Getaway from Los Angeles
Check out these amazing weekend getaways from Los Angeles compiled below:
1. Santa Barbara
The beauty of Santa Barbara is truly one of a kind. You might feel like you never want to come back home once you reach Santa Barbara. The Butterfly Beach is one of the most iconic locations in Santa Barbara and a great place to start your exploration. This beach is located right opposite the iconic Four Seasons Hotel.
After visiting the beach, you can opt for lunch at a hotel known as Bella Vista, right across the street from the beach. Following your lunch, make sure to explore the lovely hustle and bustle of downtown. State Street has some of the best boutiques and shopping centers, from where you can shop to your heart’s content!
You can also get a customized box of chocolates from the lovely Chocolats du CaliBressan, as a gift for those back home. Plan a perfect trip by visiting Santa Barbara!
Driving Time from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara: 2 hours and 30 minutes.
2. Palm Springs
Palm Springs could very well be the celebrity headquarters in the state. Once you get there, you can actually take a tour to learn which house belongs to which famous face from any of the industries. However, there are things you can do while you are en route to Palm Springs as well.
You can shop at an open-air Cabazon Outlet to shop at some amazingly discounted prices. And don’t forget to stop for a date shake from Hardley’s, the iconic milkshake shop of the region.
You can continue your journey in Palm Springs by engaging in more shopping and window shopping. You will also be able to find various vintage items which you can buy to expand your collection. End your day with a lovely dinner at the Parker Hotel. Palm Springs is truly one of the best weekend getaways from Los Angeles for celebrities and common people.
Driving Time from Los Angeles: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
3. Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake is one of those places where you can choose to visit during the season, which appeals to you as both during summers and winters, this weekend getaway from Los Angeles has a lot to offer!
If you drive to Big Bear Lake during the winters, you will not only be able to see snow but ski as well. For those who enjoy that, this happens to be the perfect time to drive to Big Bear Lake.
During the other warmer months of the year, visitors can go tubing in Tube Park. Visitors can also get on the Scenic Sky Chair Lift to get a marvelous view of the place and its adjoining areas. Before you leave, make sure to have a fantastic meal at the famous Teddy Bear Restaurant. Image Source
Driving Time from Los Angeles: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
4. Temecula Valley
For those who are lovers of wine, Temecula Valley can be the best alternative to Napa Valley, as it is not possible to reach the latter within a day’s time from Los Angeles. The Old Time Temecula in this valley is lined with buildings that depict how things looked in the past. There is a certain charm to every corner of this Valley.
After this, you can get a tour of a horse-drawn carriage that will lead you to the wineries. You can have a lovely picnic with some delicious wine in any of the beautiful fields surrounding the winery.
End your trip with an amazing hot air balloon ride, which will let you have a mesmerizing glimpse of the Temecula Valley that will forever be etched in your mind.
Driving Time from Los Angeles: 2 hours and 10 minutes.
5. Catalina Island
Catalina Island is not that far away from Los Angeles, but it genuinely is one of the best weekend getaways from Los Angeles. To reach Catalina Island, all you need is a ferry-ride. Once you reach the Island, you can either book your private cabana or stay in a chaise on the beach.
Don’t forget to visit the Descanso Beach Club, as they have a variety of mouth-watering dishes. However, their most famous dish is alcohol mixed with a variety of flavors of ice cream. This is the perfect dessert to get your weekend started!
The Catalina Casino is one of the most famous landmarks in the city, and you should definitely give this a visit to catch a sight of the unique architecture and design.
Driving Time from Los Angeles: 45 minutes to Long Beach, followed by 1 hour of ferry ride.
Ojai is famous throughout for its olives. So, once you visit Ojai, you have to shop for their famous olive products like olive oil, olive face creams, and olive lip balms. Did you know that their olive oils are actually award-winning? Yes, we were just as surprised to know that! You can buy all these from the famous Ojai Olive Oil Company, located downtown in the city.
Additionally, for the best relaxation, don’t forget to visit the Ojai Valley Inn. This facility has one of the best spas in all of California. You will feel like a new person once you get a spa from here. All in all, Ojai has a lot to offer for your weekend getaway to be perfect.
Driving Time from Los Angeles: 2 hours and 17 minutes.
7. Joshua Tree
If you are interested in seeking thrills and chills for the weekend, then Joshua Tree can surely be the perfect option for you. You can begin with a 1.7-mile hike in the Skull Rock Nature Loop. This trail has some very interesting rock formations, including one that looks like a skull. This rock is what earned the place its name. There are also some exhibits and museums in the park.
You can also visit Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Art Museum to see some fine artwork and sculptures. Noah Purifoy is an African-American artist who makes unique creations and is one of the most well-known artists throughout America.
Do remember to try the famous barbecue when you are at Joshua Tree. Some of the restaurants there will offer the best barbecues you have ever tasted.
Driving Time from Los Angeles: 3 hours.
8. San Diego
A drive to San Diego is very peaceful and calming as the road is lined with beautiful palm trees, and the whole journey is enhanced by that beauty. However, you can also choose to reach San Diego on a train if you do not feel like driving. That is very relaxing as well.
Once you reach San Diego, you can have an authentic Mexican lunch at Tacos El Gordo. This restaurant has the best tacos in the region! Next, pay a visit to the San Diego Zoo to catch a glimpse of plenty of animals from around the world. You can also take a San Diego Seal Tour and get to interact with seals and sea lions.
Remember to make a stop at Baked Bear to buy one of the famous and customized ice cream sandwiches.
Driving Time from Los Angeles: 2 hours and 30 minutes.