Los Angeles, the largest city in California, is home to 4 million people! It is the entertainment capital, the culture mecca, and there are ample number of things to see and do around LA. The best part about California is its weather… take a road trip from Los Angeles and enjoy the heavenly sun around the area. We have collated the top 10 best road trips from LA for you. Make memories on the road and holiday the caravan way! Take a look to be inspired:
Tip – If you are not based in LA, you can take one of the many cheap flights to Los Angeles if you book in advance. Use the dough you save for your road trip essentials.
- Palm Springs
Palm Springs is at a 100-110-mile distance from LA, the road trip is quite cool, filled with wind farms and miles of windmills. There are roadside attractions of prehistoric creatures – T Rex and other dinos towering at 50 feet high in whose mouth you can even climb into and pose (if you fork out and pay $13 to enter). There is a gift shop too, in the park. When you get to Palm Springs, pick up some info at the Visitor’s Centre and enjoy this architectural city!
- Santa Barbara
Just a nice 2.5 hours away, Santa Barbara is home to Butterfly Beach, the iconic poster boy of the very beautiful sea-side holiday destination Santa Barbara is. There are many things to do in Santa Barbara from the beach to the downtown to candy stores – you name it and you have it there. The road trip is superb, and quite iconic too – take the Gaviota coast road and enjoy!
- Big Bear Lake
This destination is at a 2-hour 45-minute drive from LA and a must visit on your USA trip. An ideal road trip for the summer months but a great destination for the winter (as there is some snow too!) the Big Bear Lake has a lot of attractions like the Scenic Sky Chair lift and the Tube Park. There are ziplines and hiking options too! Big Bear Lake has multiple nature and adventure activities to do for the fun-loving soul. The road trip is a nice drive as well.
- Salton Sea
A nice 165-miles long drive to Salton Sea is worth every mile behind the wheels. It is quaint and slightly eerie too, because not many holidayers come this way anymore. Back in the 50’s this is was popular luxury vacation destination with many resorts there. Pollution of agriculture and high salinity has reduced the luxury appeal but added a strange, rustic, other-worldly charm to the environs. Visit the place if you want something beyond the usual.
- Las Vegas
Who doesn’t know Las Vegas! But little do people know that it is actually just a 270-mile drive from LA and you can happily spend a long weekend there without getting bored even for a little while. On the way you can check out some Wild West history by just a little detour to Calico Ghost Town. The ZZYZX mineral springs and the Health Spa are nice too. You can take a detour through Red Rock Canyon which is a 13-mile route through the canyon walls!
- Big Sur
Big Sur takes a 3.5-hour drive from LA but worth the hours. On this road trip you can see redwood-covered mountains blending into the seas, roads are narrow and nearly carved out of the mountain and can be one hell of an adventure, and even spot Elephant Seals on the coast up North if you go until Morro beach. Just keep going along highway 1 to see a new surprise all the time. You can park anywhere for a while and go into the wilderness on an unmarked trail for a better feel.
- Catalina Island
You can reach Catalina Island by driving for 45 minutes from Los Angeles until Long Beach and then taking a ferry until Catalina Island. This is a perfect itinerary for a day trip around Los Angeles. You can do a lot of things on the Catalina Island like beach fun, clubbing, boozy ice-creams, casinos, and a lot of fun stuff. You can get on the 405 south, then 710 south in order to get to Long Beach from the LA airport. The Downtown Long Beach is located at the end of the 710 freeway and from here you can get on to a ferry to take you onto Catalina Island.
- Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree is 130 miles away from Los Angeles. This is a national park which has unusually alien looking landscape and you will love the drive to Joshua Tree because similar landscape dots the way. Think outer-worldly boulders, Joshua trees with their gnarled trunks and an atmosphere that is completely unexpected. Gaze at stars and hear Coyotes howl at night if you are camping in the park. A fun stop in the way is the World-Famous Crochet Museum which is the house to all sorts of quirky things.
Solvang is a small hamlet – style town in the Santa Ynez Mountains, and it can feel as if one is driving through Denmark! The old-world style and rustic charm of the place and the approach road is mesmerizing. The Danish village hosts Segway tours which can fill you in about the local history too. Carry home some delicious pastries on the way back. Solvang is 3 hours’ drive one way from LA.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Evoke the tree lover in you and go see the giant redwoods at this park. The only way to get there is to drive and the roads are dotted with these shady, giant trees. The way has a lot of things to see – The General Sherman tree, the Tunnel Log, which is a fallen huge Sequoia hollowed out for cars to pass through and the Moro rock. You will need to go on highway 180 in order to reach. There is a risk of wildfires, so be on the lookout.