5 Weekend Getaways From Los Angeles

If you want to getaway, there are many fantastic options in SoCal. Here are our picks for your next weekend getaway, all under 3-hours away.

Joshua Tree

2hr 18min from Downtown Los Angeles

Joshua Tree National Park has activities for everyone. Climbers come for rugged rock formations, bikers enjoy the cruising the backcountry roads, hikers can scale peaks or trek through the desert and photographers capture the magical landscape and epic night skies. Picturesque too are the many mid-century rentals in the area, where you can take in the desert sunset from an Eames Lounge Chair.

Palm Springs

1hr 58min from Downtown Los Angeles

Palms Springs is perfect for a pampered getaway. Hang poolside during the day at one of the many stylish hotels in town. Once you’ve had your fill of lounging, take a house tour to see some of the best examples of midcentury-modern architecture. Even in winter, Palm Springs can be hot. Another way to cool down is taking the tram up to Mt. San Jacinto State Park, where the temperature is usually 30 degrees cooler than the valley floor.

Santa Barbara

1hr 54min from Downtown Los Angeles

Santa Barbara might be perfect. Called America’s Riveria, its charming Spanish architecture, temperate weather and gorgeous beaches make for an incredible getaway. Spend the day tasting local wines on the Urban Wine Trail (formally nicknamed the “Funkzone”). For dinner, head to the wharf to try the area’s speciality, sea urchin.

Idyllwild

1hr 54min from Downtown Los Angeles

A short drive up the San Jacinto Mountains transports you from the Inland Empire to a funky mountain town, complete with lush pines, a-frame cabins and mean BBQ. The area features an expanse network of hiking trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail. After hiking, explore the many art galleries and locally-owned restaurants in the walkable town square.

Anza Borrego

2hr 37min from Downtown Los Angeles

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California’s largest state park, is 600,000 acres of slot canyons, badlands, palm oases, ancient oyster reefs, and free camp sites. But, its surprising unknown to Angelenos, meaning no crowds. Favorite activities include hiking the slot canyons, off-roading through the badlands and stargazing. Borrego Springs, the town bordering the park, is the first International Dark Sky Community in California. The light restrictions and vast desert make Anza Borrego ones of the best places to stargaze. ▲

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