While your work may not slow down during the summer months and you may not get a 3 month vacation like you did when you were a kid, it’s still important to take some time for yourself and plan an adventure of sorts. Luckily for those living in Southern California, we are pretty central when it comes to opportunities for weekend getaways. Sometimes we all need to get away without actually going too far away, like to one of these 5 quick Southern California getaway destinations!
I’ve put together a list of my favorite weekender spots, all within a 2-hour drive of the Los Angeles area. So grab your favorite travel companion, pack a weekender bag, and hit the road for a quick trip out of the city. You’ll be back in plenty of time for work on Monday morning.
1. Santa Barbara- 1 Hour and 30 Minutes from Los Angeles
photo via unionbank.com
Santa Barbara is perfect for those looking for more of a beachy and relaxing vacation spot. It is one of my favorite places to escape from LA and do some shopping, most notably at State Street. Filled with cute boutiques, record stores, cafés and bistros, State Street is a must-visit part of Santa Barbara. After a day of shopping, visit one of Santa Barbara’s wine tasting venues and enjoy a beachside sunset over the ocean. If you’re in the mood for incredibly fresh Seafood with a view, definitely hit up Brophy’s on the wharf. Another one of my favorites is East Beach Tacos, which is a total hole in the wall taco shack that quite possibly has some of the most delicious tacos I’ve ever had the pleasure of scarfing down. Other fun things to do in Santa Barbara include a trip to the zoo, renting bikes and cruising along the boardwalk, checking out local art, and hitting up some spa resorts.
2. Palm Springs- 1 Hour and 45 Minutes from Los Angeles
photo via etraveltrips.com
Hot and sunny, Palm Springs is perfect for those who dig desert vibes and gorgeous scenery. Palm Springs has a history of Hollywood legacy and it’s easy to see why. Take your pick of the many spa resorts, golf courses, downtown restaurants, dance clubs, casinos, and shops! One of my go to restaurants, Big Wangs is a must if you’re a fan of Chinese food and lemon drop martinis.
3. Laguna- 1 Hour
photo via Robert Swetz
Not just the setting of that notable early 2000’s show, Laguna Beach has a lot to offer in terms of getaway perks. A great escape for couples and art enthusiasts, Laguna has its share of gorgeous views and year round community art festivals including the Sawdust Arts Festival which draws people from all areas of Southern California. Also enjoy Laguna’s fair share of wine tasting venues, explore the coves, and pack a basket for a hike through Heisler Park. The park has gorgeous views of the coastline and grassy areas to relax and take in the scenery.
4. Big Bear- 2 Hours
photo via libelletage.com
If you’re looking for more of a change of scenery, Big Bear will have you feeling like you’re farther away than you are. Gorgeous pine trees, fresh mountain air, and a breathtaking change of pace await you. In the warm seasons, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, you name it- Big Bear Lake has it. If water sports aren’t your thing, bring some breadcrumbs and share some love with the ducks at the lake- my favorite pastime. Big bear is also filled with cute shops, ice-cream parlors, and view worthy restaurants. Come here during the winter months for snow sports, cozy nights, and an actual Winter- unlike Los Angeles.
5. La Jolla- 2 Hours
photo via thefamilysavvy.com
Just 25 minutes north of San Diego lies La Jolla, a laid back beach town perfect for a Girl’s Weekend away. Grab your babes and enjoy a massage at one of the many spa resorts, catch some sun-rays at the beach, and get your Instagram ready for some afar sea lion encounters. If you love mimosas and anything benedict and/or covered in Hollandaise sauce, you’re going to appreciate La Jolla’s many brunch destinations including Cody’s in the village. Cody’s is one of my favorites and offers a stunning ocean view and a pomegranate mimosa that is simply to die for.