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There is so much to do and see in Los Angeles. Whether you’re visiting for a week or are new to the area and want to explore, here are 10 weekend-long trip ideas from Los Angeles.
My Favorite Weekend Trips from Los Angeles
1. Joshua Tree National Park – 2 hours from Los Angeles
Joshua Tree is the perfect getaway from LA. The uniquely shaped joshua trees are a popular favorite in LA.
2. Death Valley National Park – 4 hours from Los Angeles
Death Valley, the largest National Park in the contiguous United States, has several other-worldly spots. Warning: there is a LOT of driving in between each location! I get tired easily when driving so I recommend going with a group.
3. Las Vegas – 4 hours from Los Angeles
From world-famous hotels to Red Rock Canyon only 10 minutes away, Las Vegas has so much to offer! I’m not a gambler, but always enjoy my time in Vegas. There are a variety of amazing DJs, pool parties, and entertainment. (Check out Meow Wolf at Area 15.) Plus, the drive is gorgeous.
4. San Diego – 3 hours from Los Angeles
San Diego is easily one of the most beautiful spots in the world. San Diego beaches are generally cleaner than LA beaches. There are endless sports for surfing or enjoying nature.
Enjoy Little Italy, La Joalla, the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, and more in this city with year-round perfect weather and a surplus of sea lions.
5. Sequoia National Park – 5 hours from Los Angeles
Just a few hours away from the entertainment capital of the world is the world’s biggest trees! Sequoia National Park is home to General Sherman, the world’s tallest tree. Sequoia trees are fascinating. Their insect-repellant, weather-resistant nature makes them ideal for outliving most other trees.
If you visit, pack plenty of mosquito repellant. If you go camping, make sure to bring bear-proof containers and do not leave food or food wrappers out!
6. Big Sur – 5 hours from Los Angeles
Drive up the coast of California, stay in Monterey, and drive down Highway 1 while enjoying some of the most gorgeous views this country has to offer.
7. Catalina Island – 2 hours from Los Angeles
You have to take a ferry from Long Beach, CA to get to Catalina Island. You can rent a golfcart, enjoy wildlife, or go diving!
8. Big Bear Lake – 2 hours from Los Angeles
Big Bear is a popular weekend getaway for the people of Los Angeles. Its best known for its ski resort. It baffles me how someone can enjoy the beaches on the coast and just two hours away, go skiing in the snow!
9. Phoenix, Arizona – 6 hours from Los Angeles
Phoenix, Arizona is known for its year-round sun. Its tranquil desert vibes are perfect for a weekend getaway outside of the hustle and bustle of LA.
10. Lake Havasu – 5 hours from Los Angeles
Enjoy Lake Havasu in western Arizona – known for its plethora of water sports and activities. There is SO much to do here!
11. San Bernadino National Forests – 2 hours from Los Angeles
The San Bernadino Forests aren’t too far from LA. Its home to the tallest alpine mountains in Socal and is incredibly tranquil. Keep fire restrictions and road closures in mind during your trip.