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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips. 

Travel is back, thank goodness. But even if your desire to disappear for a month or more doesn’t exactly jibe with your paid time off, your wanderlust can still be sated. Cue weekend getaways: We like to think of weekend trips as the tapas of travel. Whether you’re an LA visitor eager to see everything SoCal has to offer, or just an Angeleno local dying to get out, we’ve got you covered. Here are six perfect weekend trips from the City of Angels.

RELATED: Meet New River Gorge, America’s newest National Park


Sandwiched between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, Ventura doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. But despite what the seaside town lacks in reputation, it makes up for in unexpected delights. Sip liquor distilled from local plants at Ventura Spirits. Wander through the infinitely walkable downtown, where you can browse for second-hand books, sniff spices, and shimmy into all manner of second-hand clothing. Feeling adventurous? Hop an Island Packers tour boat out to the Channel Islands and experience hiking, camping, kayaking, and the world’s cutest foxes.

STAY If the beach is your raison d’etre, or just reason for visiting, book a room at The Pierpont Inn. Its location to the shore makes it easy to slip out for a sunrise surf, or sunset walk along the city’s iconic pier.



Ojai Valley Inn

Yes, it’s only 20 miles from Ventura, but Ojai feels like its own secluded, nature-rich enclave. (It’s no wonder that several major celebrities call it home.) Ride a horse into said nature, find your zen at Meditation Mount, or just page through books at Bart’s Books which, in line with the ethos of Southern California, is largely outdoors. Whatever path you choose, just be sure to grab a bottle of wine from Casa Barranca to share while admiring the town’s ultra-pink sunsets.

STAY If you’re ready to commit to the luxury of leaving home, book a stay at Ojai Valley Inn. From a celebrated golf course to a well-soaked spa, it’s pretty much guaranteed they’ll have your particular brand of indulgence.


Santa Barbara

Since Santa Barbara is practically synonymous with sun, get your inner beach bum on with a walk along Sterns Warf, a surf lesson from Santa Barbara surf school, or a show at the gorgeous, open-air Santa Barbara Bowl. Anyone with a curious streak will appreciate Moxi: The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, and anyone with a mouth will enjoy Mexican food from Los Agaves Restaurant. Don’t miss wine bars and thrift stores in the happening Funk Zone (yes, seriously).

STAY Located in the middle of The Funk Zone, The Waterman features both shared and private rooms, and a retro-chic pool area. Make a quick exit by renting a beach cruiser, or browse their on-site marketplace for local treats.


San Luis Obispo

The Madonna Inn

Sitting next to Central California Wine country, San Luis Obispo has the charming smaller city thing on lock. Wander down Higuera Street for the kind of charming shops you’re unlikely to ever see turned into chains. Or stroll to San Luis Obispo Creek, a body of water that cuts through the downtown area. If you don’t gross out easily, it’s even worth it to swing down Bubble Gum Alley, if only to witness the power of collective action (and chewing gum). Again, we can’t emphasize this enough: Wine country is literally on San Luis Obispo’s doorstep, including Edna Valley, located only 15 minutes outside the city

STAY You’re not in San Luis Obispo if you don’t stay at the Madonna Inn. Pick out your candy-colored room from 110 different options (Yes, every room is different!), grab dinner at the Barbie dream house-worthy Gold Rush Steak House, and relax with a signature pink cocktail at their curvy pool. Horseback riding, spa treatments, or tennis on an imaginatively colored court? This place has everything.


Avengers Campus | Photo by Joshua Mellin

Let’s get this out of the way: The draw to Anaheim is Disneyland (get your advance tickets here). The good news is that after hibernating for over a year, the park is back, and thanks to the newly opened Avengers Campus, and perennial favorite Galaxy’s Edge, it’s still as fun and escapist as ever. (Bonus: Walt and the gang are taking hygiene seriously.) But after you’ve paid homage to your childhood memories, consider exploring more. Take in an Angels’ game, and see Shohei Ohtani outstanding pitching and batting skills—which have some calling him the next Babe Ruth. Grab a bite at the Anaheim Packing District, an airy food hall built into a 1919 citrus-packing house. After that, you’ve earned some downtime—so get lost in nature at Yorba Regional Park or Oak Canyon Nature Center.

STAY Yes, staying at Howard Johnson makes walking to Disneyland a breeze. But this retro-fantastic property has more to offer than its proximity to the mouse house. Send kids to play in the property’s ornate water park (or take a splash yourself). Fans of mid-century modern take note: Later this year the property will launch a suite inspired by the Monsanto House of the Future.

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National Park | Photo by Laura Studarus

Joshua Tree National Park may be the closest thing you can get to experiencing an otherworldly planet. Bring plenty of water and spend the day running, hiking, and climbing around the surreal landscape, dotted with Dr. Seuss-worthy trees. Then swing by Pioneertown a—no joke—former 1940s cowboy film set turned tiny town. You can even eat dinner at Pappy + Harriet’s, the ultimate intimate music venue that’s hosted a string of notable names, including Jenny Lewis, Courtney Barnett, and Modest Mouse.

STAY There’s no better way to get into the spirit of the area than by staying in your own private Cowboy Camper. Throw your phone on airplane mode and make use of the expansive deck and dark sky for quality star viewing. Pioneertown is walkable, so be sure to say hi to the other property residents on the way, a horse, donkey, and the new love of your life—Pop-Tart the goat.

Tagged: California, Los Angeles

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Laura Studarus

Laura Studarus

Laura is a writer/vagabond with bylines in Marie Claire, Vice, Bandcamp and Lenny Letter. Sometimes she can go several hours without a cup of tea. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

One thought on “6 best weekend trips from Los Angeles”

  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog. I really like your blog and also wants to add some more places like The grove, The Getty centre, Universal studios Hollywood.
    You can also check our website chepofly travel agency based in United States.

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