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8 Getaways From Los Angeles to Get Some Peace of Mind
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8 Getaways From Los Angeles to Get Some Peace of Mind

Looking for the best getaways from Los Angeles? From day trips to weekend trips, here are the top relaxing getaways from LA.

Palig Dzadourian

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6 min read

November 14, 2022

Living in a city as boisterous and lively as Los Angeles can get a little tiring at times, so why not get a change of scenery? Well, the good thing about this bustling city is that it is very conveniently placed, you are always a short drive away from amazing locations, making mini vacations very accessible. Surrounded by natural beauty, stunning national parks, forests, and mountains, Los Angeles getaways are surprisingly secluded and devoid of their usual liveliness. It is the perfect opportunity to take a step back and get in touch with yourself and the nature around you. So where shall we go first? 

Best Road Trips From Los Angeles

A 2 hour trip down to Palm Springs is the perfect, and quickest, palm tree-lined poolside getaway that your soul desires.

Palm Springs

Let’s start with the quick and easy, not to mention glamorous, option – Palm Springs. It’s an obvious choice when planning the best road trips from Los Angeles over the weekend due to it being a relatively affordable and accessible, yet luxurious, getaway spot. Not only is the drive short and convenient, but there are a ton of cool places to stop along the way. For example, the Cabazon Outlets, Hadley’s Fruit Orchards (for their famous date milkshake), and Desert Christ Park. Paleontology enthusiasts also get to have their fair share of fun, with the popular roadside attraction: the 50-foot Cabazon Dinosaurs! Although not all factually accurate, climbing into the mouth of the T-Rex for a cool picture will be exciting nonetheless. Cities close to Los Angeles are always worth the effort considering the hidden gems they host.

Besides the road being ideal for an eventful road trip with friends, Palm Springs is the ideal destination for a mini vacation consisting of lounging poolside under that warm desert sun, enjoying boutique restaurants, and lively shopping centers. Not to mention the amazing retro architecture of this part of the desert, making for the perfect aesthetic for a Palm Springs Instagram reels.

It’s never a bad time to visit the stunning Joshua Tree, one of the only places you can witness the peculiar Joshua Tree in all its glory.

Joshua Tree

Next on the list is Joshua Tree, always brimming with wonder and excitement. Joshua Tree remains to be one of the most magical and captivating locations in California, where boredom is a foreign concept. What gives off this peculiar feeling is the presence of the ancient Joshua Trees, found nowhere else in the world but here, their strange shape is truly an intriguing sight. 

Once you arrive in the area, you’ll be able to traverse the desert with your vehicles, but be sure to prepare beforehand as it can get quite intense – we recommend a 4-wheeler. People wanting to stay overnight at either a resort or a camping site will experience the otherworldly stargazing experience that Joshua Tree offers. Joshua Tree is truly versatile as you can have a luxurious getaway at a 4-star resort or get active by camping, rock climbing, and hiking.

Getting its name from the gold mining era, Mammoth Lakes is a tourist hotspot in the summer, winter, and all year round.

Mammoth Lakes

Seeing the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains never gets old, but the vantage point from Mammoth Lakes is especially delicious. After taking the picturesque Route 395, the mountains will eventually reveal themselves to you, and tag along for the ride. The ancient bristlecone pine forest is a small detour off to the east, some of these magnificent species have been around for 4,000 years!

This charming town is the perfect getaway to truly connect to nature – take in the fresh mountain air and cool lake water to cleanse your soul of the busy city grime. You can wind down, relax with spas and massages, or get sporty with a plethora of activities to partake in! It is recommended that you take at least three days off to undertake this trip to Mammoth Lakes to fully take in the wonders of California’s wilderness. 

Camping and Hiking

This island is actually in very close proximity to your LA residence, making Catalina Island the perfect getaway.

Two Harbors, Catalina Island 

Exuding to the warm summer vacation vibes, Two Harbors on Catalina Island is just an hour boat ride off the coast. Two Harbors is truly a small, calm town; you could say that it is the quieter version of its sister town, Avalon. With only one restaurant and one general store, there are lots of open spaces to explore and discover. But most importantly, crystal blue waters for you to dive into and leave the reality of land-life behind.

Two Harbors is also a great location for camping, especially for people seeking seclusion and quietude. Traditional camping and cabins are what you will find here, with the general store delivering goods directly to your campsite!

Channel Islands 

The journey to the Channel Islands starts from Ventura County, where a stunning three hour boat ride awaits you. Once you arrive at this chain of five islands – Santa Cruz, Anacapa, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara – you will be met with miles of untamed natural beauty. With your sense of adventure already awoken, it is time to go out exploring!

The Channel Islands is home to some of the best hiking trails in the state, with breathtaking views and exciting sights. There are also many campgrounds to check out in Channel Islands National Park, one established on every island. Although limited, backcountry camping is also available on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands. On one of the best weekend trips away from Los Angeles, you can enjoy island life without even getting on a plane. 

Walk down the beach and simply relax, and listen to the swish of the waves of the beautiful ocean.

Point Mugu State Park

Point Mugu State Park is located in the Santa Monica mountains, boasting miles upon miles of incredible hiking trails and stunning scenery. It is a great place to be able to experience the West Coast and the Pacific Ocean. Among the most adventurous weekend getaways from Los Angeles, spending a few days here will definitely help you catch up on those missed workout sessions. Sandy beaches, rocky bluffs littered with gorgeous wildflowers, sand dunes, and river canyons, Point Mugu State Park has it all. One of the hardest trails to take is the Mugu Peak Trail, so get your toughest pair of hiking boots on!

The park is also home to many campground sites, located along the southern coast of Ventura County. Their proximity to the beaches is a big plus because water is the best way to cleanse the spirit!

Secluded Locations Close to Los Angeles

Another hotspot that will make you feel like you’ve hopped on a plane and gone somewhere foreign, Solvang is a hidden gem awaiting your discovery.

Solvang 

Los Angeles getaways don’t have to solely include hiking and camping, they can also be a fun touristic adventure. Although Solvang is a city located in Santa Barbara County, once you get there, it will feel as though you have traveled to a small Danish town. This is where the Christmas spirit lasts all year round, with shiny lights and baked fresh goods served fresh every morning. Solvang is truly a village unlike any other within the state, and it is only a 30 minute drive from Santa Barbara, making it a two and a half hour trip in total! With seasonal festivities, endless activities, fine dining, and charming vibes all around, going to Solvang city is one of the best getaways from Los Angeles

Enjoy the gorgeous view of San Jacinto peak from the Idyllwild hike. A quick getaway is all you need to center yourself.

Idyllwild 

Nestled within the pine forests of San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild is a hidden gem of a paradise just waiting to be discovered. There is no shortage of things to do here in Idyllwild, from shopping in the eclectic, artisan town, to getting lost in the beauty of the wilderness surrounding it. The nightlife here is also quite lively, with live music to be enjoyed and unique restaurants to choose from. Idyllwild is where you want to go if you want to discover a new corner of the California forests.

Julian 

Located in the Cuyamaca mountains, Julian is another destination fostering unique energy and charm. This is where you will be taken back in time, to the 1870s, during the gold rush. Walking down the streets that have stopped in time, Julian is a true look back to the history of how life was back when the gold rush was at its peak. Besides getting a very interesting history lesson, you can also shop in well-preserved buildings dating back to the 1870s and indulge in Julian’s famous apple pie!

A weekend away from traffic jams and noisy city life is sometimes all you need to remind you that you’ve made the right decision living in LA. Take a few days off, reset your mind and body, and return feeling refreshed and energized. So why not start planning? Your self care journey awaits!




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