If you´re planning to go to Los Angeles, don´t forget that the surrounding area of the city has a lot to offer. Plan a day trip out of the city for a bit of fresh air and a change of scenery.
Here are a few suggestions for great day trips from Los Angeles:
San Juan Capistrano
First on our list of day trips from Los Angeles is the historic town of San Juan Capistrano. This town is easy to reach, it’s just 1 and a half hours by car or Amtrak train from Los Angeles. The train is a convenient option as it leaves you just a few blocks away from the center. Start your day off by having breakfast and coffee at Mollie´s Famous Café or the Bagel Shack. Afterwards, visit Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776. The Mission was once a sanctuary for migrating swallows, this architectural gem now stands as a beautiful reminder of the history of this small town. The Los Rios house district has many historic homes and museums, this is a perfect area for a walking tour. End the day with drinks at Ramos House, or for a truly unique experience, go to the quirky Swallow´s Inn Bar.
Visit this quaint Californian city that´s just one hour by car from Los Angeles. You can spend the day walking the downtown area which boasts an impressive variety of restaurants, galleries and cute boutique shops. You can relax and take in the sun at the Main Beach, located close to the center. If you prefer a more quiet and solitary beach experience, head to nearby Treasure Island, Crystal Cove or Victoria Beach. For those that want to enjoy a day exploring the outdoors, go for a hike on the many trails along the hillsides and canyons.
This historic town is 2 hours and 20 minutes outside of L.A. by car. If you want a glimpse at what a Californian town was like in the 1880´s, Los Alamos is the place for you. This small town was once an important stagecoach stop – today it´s a unique place full of small art galleries, artisan shops and antique stores. There are many wineries to explore and great restaurants to eat at. Visit the old 1880 Union Hotel or the Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast to experience the authentic historical feeling of this town.
Joshua Tree National Park
For anyone visiting California, Joshua Tree is a must-see. This National Park is 2 hours and 15 minutes by car from Los Angeles. The park is perfect for hiking, bike riding, rock climbing and camping. The eery landscape of Joshua Tree is what makes it so unique. The twisted Joshua trees, solitary boulders and cacti make it a sight to be seen. The drive to and from the park has many worthwhile pit stops as well.
Santa Catalina Island
Last on our list of day trips from Los Angeles, but definitely not least, is Santa Catalina Island. This Californian channel island is the perfect place to escape the city life of L.A. for a day or two. The island is accessible by boat from four different mainland ports – San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach or Dana Point, it takes about an hour to get there. On the island, you can explore the town of Avalon, spend the day at the beach or visit The Inn on Mount Ada. The Inn is a historical mansion that sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Avalon and serves as a luxurious hotel and restaurant. Santa Catalina Island has a very upscale atmosphere, if you´re a fan of fancy restaurants and shops, then this is day trip may interest you.