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Weekend Trips from Los Angeles

View of mountains at Palm Springs, California

With world-famous beaches, exclusive shopping, theme parks and seemingly endless sunshine, it is hard to imagine why you would want to leave L.A. However there is much more to discover in California, and a lot of destinations are within hours of the city.

Rent a car from one of our Los Angeles depots, and hit the road. Escape the busy city and see some of the best of California.

Red rooftops in Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara

At the base of the Santa Ynez Mountains, this seaside town is reminiscent of Spanish colonial architecture. To reach Santa Barbara, travel north on US-101 for 95 miles.

Weather in Santa Barbara is perfect for anyone looking for a beach holiday. The Mediterranean-like climate and Pacific Ocean vistas make for an unforgettable vacation. There are also a number of noteworthy restaurants in Santa Barbara and elegant beachfront hotels.

The region has an interesting maritime history, and is home to many fine examples of Spanish architecture, which were rebuilt after an earthquake in 1925.

Palm Springs

This desert oasis has been luring in visitors for a long time. The journey to Palm Springs will take you two hours east of Los Angeles along the I-10. You'll find the town in the Colorado Desert.

With more than 350 days of sunshine, chances are you will be in for nice weather. Ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to admire the view from Mount San Jacinto, or embark on one of the great hiking trails.

Newport Beach

Just 40 minutes south of the city, Newport Beach is a fantastic, easily-accessible destination. The 605-S and the 405-S will take you to the center of town. 

Newport Beach boasts a number of different neighborhoods, each with something unique to offer. Corona Del Mar offers brilliant ocean views, where as Balboa Village is a great place too take the kids. A rental car is the perfect way to travel around Newport Beach and make sure you do not miss out on anything.

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park

Not far outside of Palm Springs, you will come across the vast Joshua Tree National Park. The journey will take you more than 128 miles from central Los Angeles.

The park is home to a lot of unique wildlife and plants, including of course the Joshua Tree. You can explore the park via the many walking trails. The Ryan Mountain hike is particularly popular, but it will take you awhile to complete. From Keys View, visitors will also have great views of the San Andreas Fault.

Big Bear

For a weekend of hiking and water sports, there is no better destination than Big Bear, located in the San Bernardino Mountains. To reach Big Bear, head east through Pasadena on CA-210 for two hours.

Spend the day on Bear Lake, where you can rent plenty of watersports equipment. Spend some time kayaking, or enjoy relaxing in a boat. In winter, take to the slopes of Bear Mountain and test your skills.

Anybody who is after an adrenaline-fuelled adventure will not be short of things to do. From zip-lining to jeep tours, you will find something to keep you occupied.

What is your favorite weekend getaway from Los Angeles? Let us know in the comment section below.

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