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Southern California Staycations That You Just Can’t Miss

Southern California Staycations That You Just Can’t Miss

Your ultimate guide to can't-miss staycations in Southern California. Explore the Golden State and the endless opportunities it offers. Team


6 min read

October 16, 2020

Living in SoCal is like living the dream. From the rugged hills of Santa Monica to the pristine beaches of San Diego, Southern California boasts many staycation options for locals. It's home to woodsy camping spots, island-like getaways, and exciting road trips—with so much to do in the area, there's always a fabulous vacation waiting to be taken nearby. For your next adventure in the Golden State, check out these top staycations in SoCal

The Best Staycations in Southern California

Sit back and enjoy a truly magical sunrise over the campgrounds of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

For a comprehensive desert adventure just a stone's throw from the vibrant Palm Springs, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is your ideal destination. As California's largest state park, it boasts 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas, and countless hiking trails, offering endless exploration opportunities. Pack a tent and set up camp to enjoy a night under the stars—a must-see for its dazzling clarity and occasional meteor showers. If you're keen on experiencing the seasonal bloom of desert wildflowers and cactus blossoms, plan your visit between mid-March and April to witness this spectacular natural display.

Whilst wandering around the state park, you absolutely can't miss the massive metal sculptures of mammals and reptiles. There are over 130 statues and you're bound to find one, so be on the lookout when meandering about. Stop by Big Horn Burgers and Shakes before heading back home. This is undoubtedly one of the best weekend getaways from L.A., so you'll have plenty to rave about to your friends and fam about once you're back in the city.

Where To Stay In Anza Borrego

The area boasts both luxurious and rustic stays suitable for any mood. Located next to the park is the La Casa Del Zorro Resort and Spa, which boasts authentic 1937 vibes. Make the most of the private outdoor hot tub and spark a budding romance. If you're looking to live life on the wild side, Anza-Borrego State Park welcomes dispersed camping with open arms.

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A real staycation haven, Laguna Beach offers a breathtaking oceanside escape with scenic coves and amazing canyons.

Laguna Beach

Art lovers unite and assemble in the land of creative brilliance. The ever-so coveted seaside town of Laguna Beach is the ultimate oceanfront escape. Scenic coves, shrub-studded canyons, and streets decorated with luxurious shops and art galleries (Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art and Laguna Art Museum, we're thinking about you) make Laguna Beach an idyllic staycation. For a delectably braised New Zealand lamb shank or spiced glazed duck breast, head to Broadway by Anar Santana.

Where To Stay In Laguna Beach

For lavish lodging, stay at Montage Laguna Beach and enjoy the ultimate coastal experience. Spread over 30 acres, the resort boasts two pools, a spectacular spa, and four gourmet restaurants, including the Mosaic Bar and Grille—so you'll basically have no reason to leave the resort during your stay. Laguna Village offers great shops and galleries so you can spend a much needed day shopping 'till you drop in the SoCal sun. 

Name a more iconic vacay destination than L.A. Endless attractions—both known and still undiscovered—will make your stay nothing but perfect.

Los Angeles

La La Land—the city where dreams become a reality—is definitely worth exploring (even if you're from L.A., we know there are several places you've yet to discover). With eclectic neighborhoods, numerous restaurants, and plenty of shopping selections, you could go on a month-long Los Angeles staycation and not feel the time slip by. The dining choices in Los Angeles are bountiful. To complete a romantic getaway with your partner, stop by Providence for a fine dining seafood extravaganza or Bottega Louie for exquisite pizza and pasta. For the best sweet treats in L.A., take your S.O. to the legendary Afters Ice Cream for a fantastic cup of Cookie Monster and Jasmine Milk Tea ice cream. Pick up Afters Ice Cream swag on your way out to remember the experience for years to come.

From exhibits at The Broad and displays at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to the distinctive architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Bradbury Building, and the dazzling lights of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), L.A. is the place to be both day and night. Take a scenic drive during your L.A. staycation to explore everything from the Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Highway and Rodeo Drive.

Calling all adventurers: When in Los Angeles, it ought to be a crime not to explore some of the best state parks near the City of Angels—including Topanga State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, and Leo Carrillo State Park, just to name a few. The state parks also make wonderful stops for family staycations in Los Angeles—you'll all be in a daze as you leave these magnificent places.

Where To Stay In L.A.

There are innumerable places to lodge in Los Angeles, including plenty of walkable options near DTLA. Mr. C Beverly Hills or The Ritz Carlton, Los Angeles are lovely and luxurious locations which blend contemporary and classic aesthetics.

While in the stunning city of Malibu, you won't want to miss the rad waves. Plan an incredible surfing experience you can rave about later.


Referred to as “the bu” for surfers, Malibu is, you guessed it, the ultimate surfers' paradise. No trip to Malibu would be complete without a taste of its waters. Sign up for stand-up paddleboarding classes at Malibu Surf Coach to increase your balance like no other. For high-end retail enthusiasts, the Malibu Country Mart is the place to be for all things new and exclusive in fashion. After a day spent amidst luxury goods, make your way to Cholada Thai Beach Cuisine for traditional Thai favorites. Starstruck celebrity lovers can follow in the footsteps of their beloved big names on the Star Homes Tours with Starline Tours. Between shopping, surfing, and touring celeb homes, Malibu is definitely one of the best staycations in Southern California.

Where To Stay In Malibu

The Malibu Beach Inn is quite divine thanks to its private beach, fine dining, lavish spa suites, oceanside yoga classes, and balconies which offer priceless views of the ocean. Truly a gem in Malibu, you might struggle to leave the Inn when your SoCal staycation ends.

Experience the small-town charm and watch beautiful purple sunsets during your staycation in Ojai Valley.


Its proximity to L.A. makes Ojai the perfect quick escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Embrace the small-town Bohemian vibe as you wander through Ojai's charming two-street downtown or visit the town's many art festivals and literary exhibitions. The Ojai Music Festival, Ojai Valley Film Festival, and Ojai Shakespeare Festival are only a few examples of the artistic festivities held here. Ojai's Mediterranean climate makes for perfect days outside, but is also ideal for growing olives. Stop by Ojai Olive Oil for olive tastings and tours of the farm.

Where To Stay In Ojai

The all-inclusive Ojai Valley Inn is about reinvigoration and relaxation. You can easily spend an entire SoCal staycation at this splendid resort—with golfing, playing tennis, swimming, shopping, dining, and visiting the spa on your agenda, you'll be transported to paradise on this mini getaway in Southern California.

Old Town State Historic Park is one of San Diego's brightest attractions to visit and is a mecca for history enthusiasts.

San Diego

For the ultimate San Diego staycation, pack your bags 'cause it's time to hit the road and head to the beach. But San Diego's world-renowned beaches—Coronado Beach, Mission Beach, and La Jolla Shores—aren't the only reasons you should make your way down south. San Diego's greatest staycation ideas include trips to the various attractions of America's Finest City. From Balboa Park and Old Town State Historic Park to SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland, the top things to do in San Diego are endless. For a romantic staycation in San Diego, take your partner on moonlit scenic drives throughout San Diego. Spend the evening winding down in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and dine at Cafe 21 Gaslamp for exemplary cuisine and live music.

Where to Stay in San Diego

During your San Diego staycation, spend the night at Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, for beautiful views, beach access, and access to a majestic spa. It's quite the place to visit if hosting a wedding is on your mind.

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