Los Angeles offers an endless supply of luxurious things to do and spectacular places to visit. Best known as the capital of film, music and art, this vibrant city is everyone’s dream come true, including celebrities. However, to fully appreciate the beauty of Los Angeles, one must explore beyond the confines of the urban environment.

Every weekend, locals and tourists escape the bustling city for some fun time exploring hiking trails, visiting national parks, surfing turquoise waters, and exploring vibrant restaurants. Here are 10 easy day trips for travelers looking for a relaxing day out of town.

ten Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park has every reason to be a locals’ favorite park. The destination is in the arid and sunny California desert, which makes the dry landscape full of adventure. Hiking through the adventurous trails is the best way to enjoy a day in this park, with awesome nature trails like Hidden Valley, the Indian Cove Nature Trail, and Cottonwood Spring Oasis. Other tourist activities include photography, bouldering, horseback riding and bird watching.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    2 hour 45 minute drive

Related: Know Before You Go: What to Know Before Visiting Los Angeles


9 Santa Catalina Island

Nothing is more relaxing than a hot summer day in this peaceful seaside community. Santa Catalina Island. Visitors can have fun on land and water with outdoor activities like ziplining, biking, swimming, and paddleboarding. Boat tours are also a great way to experience the island for visitors with children, but not before trying mouth-watering meals at Catalina Island’s chic restaurants.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    3 hour drive

8 Hearst Castle

After being closed for over two years, Hearst Castle has seen growing interest from visitors wanting a piece of this sensational destination. Known for its opulent architecture and 20th-century beauty, Hearst Castle is a cultural landmark that deserves the attention of all history buffs. The sprawling mansion includes a theater, classical pools and a collection of Egyptian antiquities.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    4 hour drive

Related: A Travel Guide to Los Angeles: 11 Things to Know When Planning Your Trip

seven Ojai Valley

Hot springs, fine wine and olive oil are the three things that best define the small town of Ojai. The town exudes a pastoral village vibe, but that shouldn’t fool newbies, as Ojai is one of the best places for outdoor fun near Los Angeles. Art lovers will appreciate the works in the city’s art gallery, while hiking along the vast trails of the Topatopa Mountains is a must-do activity for tourists who love the outdoors.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    1h20 drive

6 Disneyland

Contrary to the opinion of many people, Disneyland is not a destination just for children. Visitors of all ages can have a gala time with the park’s long list of activities, including thrilling rides, Tomorrowland festivals, a cosplay adventure, delicious snacks, and the ever-awaited fireworks season. No wonder it’s commonly known as the happiest place on earth.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    30 minutes by car

5 LEGOLAND California Resort

Nestled in South Anaheim, this family resort offers unforgettable vacation moments. Visitors are always delighted, with the resort offering attractions such as a Lego-themed sea aquarium, a 4D movie theater and the LEGOLAND Hotel. Of course, adrenaline-inducing roller coasters are a favorite with kids.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    1h30 drive

4 Hollywood Sign Hiking Trail

There’s no better way to start a day than a hike to the iconic Hollywood sign. It is possible to get there by walking to the beautiful landmark, with trails ranging from difficult to moderate. Griffiths Observatory is the best route, offering panoramic views of Los Angeles at every step of the hike. The hike costs $35 per adult.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    20 minutes by car

3 Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has been attracting visitors since 1927, thanks to its emerald waters, art galleries and pristine beaches. Nature lovers are drawn to the Pacific Marine Mammal Sanctuary, while history buffs can quench their thirst for knowledge at the Laguna Art Museum. The main beach is the most popular tourist attraction, where visitors can have fun with beach activities such as surfing, swimming, sunbathing and beach volleyball.

2 Solvang

Solvang is a heavenly destination for any traveler looking for some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Exploring the European-themed village is enough to take any visitor back in time. Solvang’s authentic Danish architecture includes a towering windmill, old-school style bakeries and chic restaurants. Additionally, tourists can enjoy a unique day trip to Solvang by visiting Ostrichland, an ostrich farm with friendly ostriches and emus ready to pose for a selfie.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    2h30 drive

1 Palm Springs

When it comes to day trips outside of Los Angeles, tourists can never go wrong with Palm Springs. On the way to Palm Springs, a quick stop at Cabazon Dinosaurs with two giant steel and concrete dinosaurs is worth the time and the photographs. In Palm Springs, tourists can visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, where they can learn about desert animals at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Palms Springs Ariel Tramway is another great attraction, offering spectacular views of the Coachella Valley.

  • Distance from Los Angeles:
    2 hour drive