The 15 Best Road Trips from Los Angeles

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They don’t call Los Angeles the City of Angels for no reason! For tourists and locals alike, LA offers idyllic views that can only be described as a little slice of heaven. 

Even though LA is a pedestrian-friendly place with plenty to do (and see) on foot, there are times when you want nothing more than to hop in a vehicle and take a road trip. 

If you have access to a mode of transportation, whether that’s a car or an RV, why not hit the road and take a trip for the weekend? Here are some of the best road trips from Los Angeles to scratch that itch for adventure. 

#15: Los Angeles to Malibu

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Known for celebrity sightings and jaw-dropping views, Malibu is a ritzy area filled with lavish restaurants, lavish bars, and gorgeous architecture aplenty. If your road trip is for a celebration—like an anniversary or a birthday—go all out and head to Malibu!

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 40.3 Miles
  • 1 Hour 2 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#14: Los Angeles to Santa Barbara

Courtesy of Visit California

Santa Barbara is a must-visit attraction that’s most widely known for its Spanish architecture, identified by its red-tile roofs and white stucco walls painted white.

On your trip, you should plan to spend a few days in Santa Barbara at a minimum. Why’s that? Well, the art and details of the city are so intricate that it takes time to appreciate all that Santa Barbara has to offer!

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 94.7 Miles
  • 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#13: Los Angeles to Big Sur 

Courtesy of Hotel Abrego

Another must-visit destination spot along the California Coast is none other than Big Sur. Lined with rugged cliffs, A trip to Big Sur is a chance to look out at the coastline and listen to the waves crash against the rocks. And get this! Big Sur is one of the most reliable places to be if you want to spot sea lions, especially in the summer season. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 253 Miles
  • 5 Hours 35 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#12: Los Angeles to Laguna Beach

Courtesy of Visit California

A part of Orange County, Laguna Beach is the halfway point between LA and San Diego. While California has countless beaches to choose from, Laguna Beach is the place to stay if you want to rent a room along the beachfront because it has the most lodging options!

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 50.1 Miles
  • 1 Hour 9 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#11: Los Angeles to Newport Beach 

Image courtesy of The Independent

An hour’s drive from Los Angeles, Newport Beach is recognized for its upscale ambiance and picturesque harbor. Whether you want to dine along the waterfront, go boating at sunset, or watch the waves in search of whales, Newport Beach offers a little bit of everything. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 44 Miles
  • 1 Hour 

Top Attractions in the Area

  • Balboa Island Ferry 
  • Sherman Library & Gardens 
  • Fashion Island Shopping Mall 
  • Inspiration Point 
  • Balboa Village Boardwalk 

#10: Los Angeles to Huntington Beach 

Courtesy of RedFin

As the shortest road trip on our list, Huntington Beach is the perfect place for anyone interested in a brief and leisurely road trip. You can practically take off at a moment’s notice. With direct access to the Pacific Ocean, prepare to pack your towels and put all your favorite snacks in a picnic basket as you drive toward Huntington Beach. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 36.3 Miles
  • 58 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

  • Huntington Beach Pier 
  • Huntington Dog Beach 
  • Downtown Huntington 
  • Bella Terra 
  • International Surfing Museum

#9: Los Angeles to Yosemite National Park

Courtesy of National Geographic

Yosemite National Park might be the destination for you if you’re hoping to hike and explore, as you become one with nature. If you’re thinking about camping during your time away from LA, be sure to research the site you want to reserve, and if you’re traveling via RV, double-check that the campground is RV-accessible.

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 279 Miles
  • 4 Hours 36 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#8: Los Angeles to Nevada Falls 

Courtesy of The American Southwest

Located in Yosemite National Park, Nevada Falls is a jaw-dropping waterfall so pretty that it’s hard to look away. For a day trip spent hiking and bonding with the ones you love, there’s arguably no better place. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 311 Miles
  • 5 Hours 36 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

  • Glacier Point 
  • Yosemite Falls 
  • Liberty Cap 
  • Vernal Falls 
  • Clark Point 

Save up to $1,200/year on RV storage & parking

#7: Los Angeles to Mariposa Grove 

Courtesy of Joe’s Guide to Yosemite National Park

Have you ever wanted to road trip to the woods and surround yourself with trees taller than the eye can see? If so, Mariposa Grove is the place to be! Just note that it’s not always accessible in the winter.

While you cannot drive your RV or camper through Mariposa Grove Road, the National Park Service invites you to park outside of Mariposa and use the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System during your stay.

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 281.1 Miles
  • 4 Hours 44 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

  • Guardians Loop Trail 
  • California Tunnel Tree 
  • Big Tree Trail 
  • Wawona Tunnel Tree 
  • Grizzly Giant Tree

#6: Los Angeles to Palm Springs 

Courtesy of Visit California

Do you love golfing in laidback and serene environments? Anyone whose ears perked up at the sound of that should pack their caddies and head to Palm Springs. Just don’t forget to bring your favorite hat so you don’t get a sunburn while playing your rounds. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 107.2 Miles
  • 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#5: Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park

Courtesy of National Geographic

Joshua Tree National Park is about as diverse for many reasons, especially its elevation range. From 900 feet at its lowest to over 5,000 feet at its tallest point, Joshua Tree National Park has a variety of rock formations and scenic points to checkout (not to mention critters and wildlife). Plus, the night sky is a view everyone should see at some point in their lives. 

You can reserve one of the 500 campsites at the park, but make sure you check for availability in advance. Also, double-check that the campsite is RV-friendly before driving your camper on-site.

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 131.9 Miles
  • 2 Hours 19 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#4: Los Angeles to Coachella Valley 

Courtesy of Robb Report

Popularized by the spring festival Coachella, which typically happens every April, Coachella Valley is a household name in the music and art space. Plus, it has reliably stunning weather, with sunshine nearly every day of the year and a desert backdrop with beauty that can’t be beat. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 119.6 Miles
  • 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#3: Los Angeles to San Francisco 

Image courtesy of Britannica

If you want to take a road trip with your family, what better place to visit than the home base of the family-friendly ’90s sitcom Full House?! When people think of San Francisco, the Golden Gate is often one of the first iconic landmarks that comes to mind. However, there’s so much to see in San Fran, the city where residential neighborhoods and corporate buildings collide. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 381.5 Miles
  • 5 Hours 53 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#2: Los Angeles to Napa Valley 

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

In the heart of wine country, Napa Valley is the place to be if you’re interested in spending a weekend sipping Pinot Grigio and exploring vineyards. Talk about an idyllic getaway for couples who appreciate the intricacies of wineries and the process of transforming grapes into vino. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 413.1 Miles
  • 6 Hours 26 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

#1: Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe 

Image courtesy of Hotels.com

When you visit Lake Tahoe, the natural scenery will leave you feeling like you’re in a dream. Tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is a picturesque location filled with natural hot springs, hiking trails, and iconic landmarks galore. 

Distance From Los Angeles

  • 443.5 Miles
  • 7 Hours 30 Minutes

Top Attractions in the Area

In Summary

As your road trip from Los Angeles comes to a close, it’s time to head back to the hustle and bustle of LA. But do you have somewhere to store your vehicle when you get to the city? It’s hard enough to find short-term parking spots in LA, let alone long-term storage spaces. To avoid a parking predicament, it’s best to plan ahead when it comes to vehicle storage. 

Whether you’re headed out on your road trip in a car or packing up your RV for a few days, peer-to-peer vehicle storage marketplaces like Neighbor offer both car and RV storage spaces.

As a platform with an easy-to-access search engine, you can look for covered or enclosed RV spaces in your area. All you need is internet access. From there, scour all the LA-based storage options in your area for 50% less than traditional storage options. The best part? All storage hosts are pre-vetted before being added to the platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Hidden Gem Is 2 Hours From Los Angeles?

If you asked Secret Los Angeles, they would say Big Bear, located 2 hours away from LA, is one of the area’s best-hidden gems.

Where Do People From LA Go on Holiday?

When holidays roll around, Travel + Leisure recommends destinations like Palm Springs, wineries in Temecula, and beach cities like San Diego.

How Long Is the Car Ride From LA to Palm Springs?

According to Kyte, the car ride from LA to Palm Springs takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes when you plan for traffic. But Google Maps says you can make it in under 2 hours when you travel via CA-60 E.

Where Can I Go for a One-Day Trip?

To get away from LA for the day, you can road trip to and from Malibu, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Palm Springs within a twenty-four-hour period. While you could try heading to Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree National Park, or Coachella Valley and back all in one day, it’s recommended you allot more than a one-day period for the trip.

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