25 Best Day Trips in Southern California (2022)

Home to so many large urban centers, Southern California is also incredibly rich in diverse ecosystems that range from deserts to mountaintops. Small charming towns provide a wonderful, relaxing destination in their own right, while large national parks offer active recreation but also an opportunity to get close to the lush nature and diverse wildlife. Don’t forget Disneyland, LEGOLAND, and Universal Studios – world famous but fascinating and must-see for locals and visitors alike. Be sure to call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Palm Springs

25 Best Day Trips in Southern California (1)

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Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert in Southern California, Palm Springs is known for its healing hot springs, luxury hotels, world-class golf courses, and pampering spas. Palm Springs has a number of great mid-century modern architecture examples, especially in its downtown shopping district on Palm Canyon Drive. Just outside the city is Coachella Valley, with excellent trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to go to the top of San Jacinto Peak for spectacular views of the city. Visit the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens to see what thrives in the sparse desert ecosystem. Enjoy the 1938 Palm Springs Art Museum to learn about regional art, performing arts, and natural science.

Palm Springs, California


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Only an hour from San Diego, in the scenic Cuyamaca Mountains, lies Julian, a charming historic town and a popular mountain getaway. Julian was in the heart of the only San Diego gold rush, when gold was found in a local creek in early 1870. The gold rush did not last long, but many miners stayed to farm the rich land. Many remnants from the gold rush era are still standing, and visitors love travelling back in time by visiting the historic 1870 buildings, now housing charming B&Bs or hotels. A ride down Main Street in a nicely refurbished horse-drawn carriage is a must. Visitors can venture into the tunnels of a real abandoned gold mine, stroll through century-old pear and apple orchards, fish on Cuyamaca Lake, and much more.

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3.Cabot's Pueblo Museum

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Cabot's Pueblo Museum is a house museum in Desert Hot Springs, California. A large, Hopi-style pueblo was built in the Pueblo revival style by homesteader and adventurer Cabot Abram Yerxa in the early 20th century. The four-story 5,000-square-foot house was entirely hand-made from found and reclaimed objects and has 35 rooms, 65 doors, and 150 windows. The house museum is a fascinating portrait of the life adventures of Cabot Yerxa and his family. The museum includes many household artifacts collected during their adventures through the Dakota Territory, Mexico, Alaska, Cuba, France, California, and the Southwest. There are also many artworks from Alaska Native and Native American cultures as well as curious memorabilia of desert homesteaders’ life.

67616 Desert View Ave, Desert Hot Springs, Greater Palm Springs, CA 92240-4114

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4.Cabrillo National Monument

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Located on the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California, Cabrillo National Monument was built to mark the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay in 1542. Cabrillo led the first European expedition that landed on what is today the West Coast of the US. The site, surrounded by a beautiful park, is listed as a California Historical Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The park includes various former military installations, such as coastal artillery built to protect San Diego Harbor. Every year in October thousands of visitors come to participate in the annual Cabrillo Festival Open House, which commemorates Cabrillo with a reenactment of his historic landing at Ballast Point in San Diego Bay. The celebration includes Portuguese, Kumeyaay, and Mexican singing and dancing and booths with regional and period native food.

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

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5.California Citrus State Historic Park

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California Citrus State Historic Park is a popular open-air museum in Riverside, California, established in 1915 to interpret the historic and cultural influence of the citrus industry on California’s development. The lovely 248-acre park recaptures the period of time when "Citrus was King" in California. There is a nice, very informative visitors center and a "History Hike," a free guided tour through the park. Visitors can learn about California's citrus industry and enjoy fruit fresh off the tree. California’s citrus industry grew rapidly from 1873, when the US Department of Agriculture sent two navel orange trees to Eliza Tibbets in Riverside. Perfect conditions, climate, and soil produced exceptionally sweet fruit and word of this wonderful opportunity spread fast, starting a “second gold rush.”

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9400 Dufferin Ave, Riverside, CA 92503, Phone: 951-780-6222

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6.Day trips in California: Carpinteria

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Carpinteria is a charming, small California coastal community between Ventura and Santa Barbara known for its spectacular, safe beaches. The town life revolves around its lovely downtown, lined with stately palm trees, galleries, cafes, boutiques, and restaurants, which is the heart of the Carp, as the locals call their town. They go for burgers at The Spot, stroll along Linden Avenue for window-shopping, have a cup of coffee at Zookers Cafe, or look for a gift at the quirky gifts store SOAP. Carpinteria’s wonderful white sand beach is equally popular with families and surfers and is safe, clean, and spacious. Along the mile-long beach lies the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, a green area with hiking trails and scenic overlooks with views of the ocean and playful harbor seals. Carpinteria Valley Museum is a wonderful place to learn more about the area, with exhibits that range from Native American artifacts to original Victorian antiques.

Carpinteria, California

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One of California’s Channel Islands, southwest of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina is only 22 miles off the coast and is a curious combination of resort towns such as Avalon, the rustic charm of the old town of Two Harbors, rich wildlife and diverse wild nature at the nearby Mt. Orizaba, and endless adventures. The largest island beach, Descanso Beach, is lined with stately palm trees and colorful cabanas. The magnificent circular art deco Catalina Casino is the island’s cultural hub with a museum, a movie theater, and ballroom. Catalina attracts thrill-seekers with its Island Zip Line Eco Tour, snorkeling, diving, boating, and land and sea excursions.

Catalina, California

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8.Coronado Island

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Coronado is a historic resort city on a peninsula in San Diego Bay. The city’s oldest landmark is the 1888 grand Victorian Hotel del Coronado. The magnificent hotel is located just across from Coronado Beach, which is popular with surfers and sunbathers. On the western end of the beach is the leash-free Coronado Dog Beach. The Coronado Ferry Landing is a lively area with shops and restaurants, while the Gaslamp Quarter is famous for its rich nightlife. Centennial Park offers spectacular views of the San Diego skyline, and the Point Loma Peninsula has a popular park with the Cabrillo National Monument, hiking trails, tide pools, and fascinating exhibits on California history.

Coronado Island, California


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Crestline is a small mountain resort town close to the major Southern California cities, perfect for an active day trip. Surrounded by the San Bernardino Mountains and on the banks of scenic Lake Gregory, Crestline is the perfect playground for visitors who want to enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, sunbathing, and fun waterslides. The whole area is crossed by hiking and biking trails snaking through the fragrant pine forests. All around Lake Gregory runs a fitness trail with high-tech exercise stations located at strategic spots. The historic Old Town area and Lake Drive are full of quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. Horseback riders can head out to scenic Mojave River Forks Regional Park.

Crestline, California

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10.Death Valley National Park

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Death Valley National Park stretches between eastern California and Nevada and is one of the driest spots in the world. The park includes Titus Canyon, known for its ghost town and interesting colorful rocks, and the lowest spot in America – Badwater Basin and its salt flats. High above the valley, higher even than pine trees, is the Telescope Peak Trail. Hospitable only to rattlesnakes, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are located north of salt mounds called the Devil’s Golf Course. It is hard to believe, but Death Valley is home to a number of animals adapted to the dry conditions, such as bighorn sheep, kangaroo rats, and others. In spite of the inhospitable conditions, Death Valley is a fascinating place to visit, with massive sand dunes, mysterious singing rocks, salt flats located below sea level, and brightly colored sandstone canyons. There are also whole fields of wildflowers if you come at the right time.


11.Day trips in California: Disneyland

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Disneyland Park, or Disneyland as it is known worldwide, was built in 1955 as the first theme park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. It is a magical kingdom where children and adults alike enter a dreamland where they can sail with blood-thirsty pirates, explore thriving jungles, dance with fairytale princesses, dive under the ocean with mermaids, and fly among the stars. Disneyland Park is an iconic Southern California destination to which families from all over the world make a pilgrimage to visit beloved characters from Disney movies and cartoons, see endless shows, eat favorite treats, and have the time of their lives. The park is divided into eight themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Mickey’s Toontown, Critter Country, Frontierland, Adventureland, and New Orleans Square.

1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

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12.Hollywood Forever Cemetery

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One of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood Forever Cemetery was founded in 1899 and was one of the first West Coast cemeteries designed like a park, with lush greenery, a pleasant landscape, and classical architecture. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, and there are more celebrities buried in Hollywood Forever than in any other cemetery on the planet. In the 1920s, visitors to Los Angeles used to search the city for celebrity homes but also for their tombstones at the cemetery. The cemetery was quite neglected until late 1997, when Tyler Cassity bought it, and he has been restoring it ever since. Ever summer since 2000, Hollywood Forever has featured “cemetery screenings” under the stars, showing classic Hollywood films.

6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

13.Joshua Tree National Park

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Joshua Tree National Park is a huge protected area near Palm Springs in Southern California. It has two distinct desert ecosystems, the high Mojave Desert and the low Colorado Desert. It is home to an incredible diversity of plants and is characterized by stark, empty desert landscapes and rugged and colorful rock formations. The park got its name for one of the most common trees in the region: The twisted, strange-looking, bristly Joshua tree. The incredible beauty and strange energy of the place has long attracted painters, musicians, and other artistic types. Today, the park offers all kinds of adventures, from exploring the Indian Cove Nature Trail to rock climbing at Echo Cove or any of over 8,000 climbs and 400 rock formations to strolling through the magical Cholla Cactus Garden, and much more.


14.Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

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To enjoy the full majesty of the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, you have to visit it in the spring, when the valley bursts into a spectacle of bright colors and the typical seasonal show of the Mojave Desert grasslands. The mosaic of colors and fragrance changes from day to day and from year to year and lasts from mid-February to the end of May. There are 8 miles of trails in the park, and strolling along the rolling hills covered in wildflowers is a true delight. There are occasional benches, perfect for spotting lizards, meadow larks, or even a bobcat. The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center features wildlife and wildflower exhibits, a gallery of Jane Pinheiro’s botanical watercolors, an orientation video, and a gift shop.

15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536, Phone: 661-724-1180

15.Day trips in California: LEGOLAND California

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LEGOLAND California is a theme park and aquarium in Carlsbad, California, based on the popular LEGO toy brand. The park, which opened in 1999, is designed for families with children aged 2 to 12 and has more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions. Kids can travel on the Dragon Coaster, drive in Fun Town, and explore the cities constructed entirely from millions of LEGO bricks. They can also splash at the LEGOLAND Water Park and visit the SEA LIFE aquarium, featuring the new Sea at Night display showcasing bioluminescence. There is also the Lego Ninjago interactive ride, in which riders control lightning shockwaves, ice, and fireballs. The SEA LIFE aquarium provides a home to over 5,000 living creatures and LEGO models that travel to the depths of the ocean.

1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008, Phone: 888-690-5346

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16.Los Angeles

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Known to people all over the world as the center of the movie and television industry, Los Angeles is a large, modern city famous for its iconic Hollywood sign, famous studios such as Universal, Warner Brothers, and Paramount Pictures, tours of luxury celebrities homes, and historic theatres such as TCL Chinese Theatre with its celebrity footprints and handprints. But, there is more to Los Angeles than just the movies. The best way to see the city is from the OUE Skyspace LA observation deck, which is 1,000 feet up. Visit the Getty Center in Brentwood to see some of the world’s greatest art. Take a hike through Runyon Canyon Park in the heart of the city and see Hollywood from a very different perspective. Take a stroll along Rodeo Drive and see where the stars go shopping; you might even spot some!

Hollywood, California

17.Los Olivos

Los Olivos is a charming small town in the lush, scenic Santa Ynez Valley, surrounded by picturesque Santa Barbara County’s vineyards and lively horse ranches. The town is a wonderful place to visit for a day or a weekend as it is full of art, gourmet restaurants, excellent wineries and wine bars, antique shops, popular festivals, and great outdoor fun opportunities. Follow the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail to visit all the best wineries and vineyards. Stroll through the historic town center with old trees and gardens and a number of Victorian architectural treasures. Visit the 1882 Keenan/Hartley Home, Rice’s Gas Station, the Uncle Tom Davis Store and the Campbell and Fleenor homes.

Los Olivos, California

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18.Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is located in southern California, within the Colorado Desert. The 600,000-acre state park is the largest in California and was established in 1933 to protect unique and fragile desert ecosystems. The park is framed by rugged ranges of the Bucksnorts, the Santa Rosas, the Jacumba Mountains, the Vallecito Mountains, the Pinyon Mountains, the Anza-Borrego Mountains, and the Carrizo Badlands. More than 500 miles of roads run through the park, over rocky hills, deep sands, cool streams, and steep hills, some requiring an off-road vehicle. The park includes some of the hottest spots in the country as well as rich 6,000-year old archaeological findings. Visiting the park in the spring will award visitors with a spectacular mosaic of wildflowers. The park is home to many animals, including mountain lions, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and others.

200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004, Phone: 760-767-4205

19.Palomar Observatory

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Located on Palomar Mountain near San Diego, Palomar Observatory was established in 1928 and was at the time the largest astronomical observatory in the world, and to this day it is one of the world’s finest. Palomar Observatory is operated by the California Institute of Technology and is a world-renowned center of astronomical research. The observatory has three research telescopes: The 200-inch Hale Telescope, the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch telescope. Leading the world’s astronomical research since the mid-century, the observatory today operates every clear night and is used for scientific research, development of instruments, and student training. It is also a popular tourist destination and tens of thousands of visitors come from all over the world to see the famous 200-inch Hale Telescope.

35899 Canfield Rd, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060

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20.Day trips in California: San Diego Zoo

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San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, is one of the largest zoos in the country, sprawling across 100 acres and offering a natural habitat for more than 3,700 animals from 660 species. The lush, verdant park also has 700,000 plants from all over the world, which recreate native environments for the animals. The zoo, founded more than 100 years ago in 1916, is an absolute delight for any animal lover. Miles of trails will take you to a tropical oasis to see gorillas in what looks like real jungle as well as tigers, eagles, sun bears, reptiles, leopards, thousands of colorful tropical birds, and much more. In the Australian Outback biome exhibit you will see a family of 24 koala bears, while at Elephant Odyssey you will meet animals that used to roam the fertile hills of Southern California. The Skyfari Aerial Tram will offer you spectacular views of the whole park from the air. With or without kids, you will enjoy every minute of the visit to this exceptional animal park.

2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

21.Day trips in California: San Juan Capistrano

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San Juan Capistrano is a small town east of Dana Point, about 10 miles from downtown Laguna Beach. The town’s most famous landmark is a jewel of all California missions, established by Roman Catholic priests in the 18th century. Stroll through the Los Rios Historic District with its centuries-old tile-roofed adobe homes and wood cottages, and if you come in March you can watch the swallows return to their homes in the old mission as they do every year. Cool off or have a picnic at Doheny State Beach. Learn more about the history of San Juan Capistrano at the fascinating Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum.

32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, Phone: 949-493-1171

22.Solana Beach

25 Best Day Trips in Southern California (22)

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What was in the 1920s just avocado groves and fields of lima beans is today a charming coastal town popular with surfers and families. With 4 square miles by the sea, much of life revolves around beaches here. The nicely manicured green polo fields at the southeast end of town attract a different kind of crowd. A short distance from the beach is sprawling San Dieguito Park, with miles of hiking trails, playing fields, and ocean overlooks. The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is a lush wetland with 7 miles of trails and rich wildlife. Fletcher Cove Beach Park has something for everyone: A viewing deck, a basketball court, grassy area with picnic tables and benches, and a large kids’ playground.

Solana Beach, California

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23.Day Trips in Southern California: Universal Studios Hollywood

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Visiting Universal Studios Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles allows visitors to go behind the scenes of the movie making magic. The best way to explore this vast world is by taking a 60-minute open bus tour through 13 city blocks on 4 acres of historic movie sets that you will easily recognize as well as currently working movie studios. After the tour, enjoy theme park rides and shows such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, DreamWorks Theatre with Kung Fu Panda, and the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead. You will even have the chance to get up close and personal with King Kong in 3D and so much more!

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

24.Venice of America Canals

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When you combine a grandiose vision, wild imagination, and a lot of money, you get a wild marshland transformed into a luxury resort that was tobacco millionaire Abbott Kinney’s idea of Venice in America. He designed a network of canals lined with flowerbeds, crossed by charming bridges, and dotted with colorful gondolas. Unfortunately, after a period of popularity, the canals fell into disrepair; but after 40 years of neglect, the canals are in fashion again and the whole neighborhood is being rapidly renovated. It is once more a fun place to visit with funky architecture, pleasant paths along the water, and an interesting landscape.

Venice, California

25.Day trips in California: Whitewater Preserve

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Just a short drive from downtown Palm Springs, at the top of Whitewater Canyon Road, the Whitewater Preserve is spread out across 2,851 acres of land owned by the Wildlands Conservancy. The preserve is surrounded by the San Gorgonio Wilderness and includes the Whitewater River, which flows all year round. The river creates a rich riparian habitat that provides home to the endangered southwest willow flycatcher and Bell’s vireo as well as many other wild animals such as deer, bears, and bighorn sheep. The preserve is open to the public and is a popular spot to cool off in the summer. It also provides access to the Pacific Crest Trail. The Whitewater River is full of rainbow trout, but fishing is allowed only as a catch and release program for kids. There is a nice swimming hole and several scenic spots for picnics and camping.

9160 Whitewater Canyon Road, Whitewater, CA 92282, Phone: 760-325-7222

25 Best Day Trips in Southern California

  • Palm Springs, Photo: Courtesy of Byron Moore - Fotolia.com
  • Julian, Photo: Courtesy of Mary - Fotolia.com
  • Cabot's Pueblo Museum, Photo: Cabot's Pueblo Museum
  • Cabrillo National Monument, Photo: Courtesy of jbyard - Fotolia.com
  • California Citrus State Historic Park, Photo: California Citrus State Historic Park
  • Day trips in California: Carpinteria, Photo: Courtesy of Jeremy - Fotolia.com
  • Catalina, Photo: Courtesy of Atomazul - Fotolia.com
  • Coronado Island, Photo: Courtesy of justasc - Fotolia.com
  • Crestline, Photo: Courtesy of Steve Minkler - Fotolia.com
  • Death Valley National Park, Photo: Courtesy of JFL Photography - Fotolia.com
  • Day trips in California: Disneyland, Photo: Courtesy of DJ - Fotolia.com
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Photo: Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Joshua Tree National Park, Photo: Courtesy of dietwalther - Fotolia.com
  • Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Photo: Courtesy of porbital - Fotolia.com
  • Day trips in California: LEGOLAND California, Photo: Courtesy of tlorna - Fotolia.com
  • Los Angeles, Photo: Courtesy of Aevan - Fotolia.com
  • Los Olivos, Photo: Los Olivos
  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Zack Frank - Fotolia.com
  • Palomar Observatory, Photo: Courtesy of steheap - Fotolia.com
  • Day trips in California: San Diego Zoo, Photo: Courtesy of Iriana Shiyan - Fotolia.com
  • Day trips in California: San Juan Capistrano, Photo: Courtesy of Zack Frank - Fotolia.com
  • Solana Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Elie - Fotolia.com
  • Day Trips in Southern California: Universal Studios Hollywood, Photo: Courtesy of Balogh Eniko - Fotolia.com
  • Venice of America Canals, Photo: Courtesy of Image'in - Fotolia.com
  • Day trips in California: Whitewater Preserve, Photo: Courtesy of Steve Minkler - Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of wolterke - Fotolia.com

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Where should I go on a road trip in Southern California? ›

Those who want to plan a Southern California road trip will have the opportunity to explore the 2 great deserts, Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert, where you will also find the main parks in the area, namely, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley and Mojave National Preserve.

How many days do you need for a California road trip? ›

You could definitely do a great California road trip in 7 days, but ideally I'd give yourself at least 10 days. We did this particular route over multiple visits. One time, we did a Pacific Coast Highway road trip from San Francisco down to San Diego over four weeks.

How long do you need to see California? ›

The most popular travel itineraries in California fall into 2 categories. Obviously one does not exclude the other. It depends on the time available and the type of attractions you prefer to see. To fully enjoy both, you will need at least 15 or 20 days.

What is the number 1 attraction in California? ›

1: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the top attractions in California. This gorgeous wilderness rests along the Sierra Nevada mountains. Its granite cliffs and waterfalls are the kind of beauty that only exists along America's West Coast: immense, majestic, and breathtaking.

What is the prettiest part of the Pacific Coast Highway? ›

The Golden Gate Bridge

Perhaps one of the most iconic views along the whole highway – San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is as visually stunning as the views one gets from the bridge itself. Before you head across, come off the highway to get some of the best views and see the best San Francisco sights of the area.

How much do you need per day in California? ›

How much money will you need for your trip to California? You should plan to spend around $198 per day on your vacation in California, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $37 on meals for one day and $34 on local transportation.

Is it better to drive up or down the California coast? ›

Many travelers question, Is it better to drive up or down the California coast? We think the best route on California State Route 1 is from north to south – which is why we recommend the drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles via the Pacific Coast Highway.

What month is the best to visit California? ›

We tend to visit California in the summer, but have now had a holiday to the state at many other times of the year. General advice is that the best time of the year to visit is in the spring during April and the fall in September or October, as it won't be as crowded but the weather will still be very pleasant.

What is the cheapest month to travel to California? ›

High season is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to California is January.

What is the cheapest time to go to California? ›

Crowds and prices drop for a cheaper California vacation on the coast and in the mountains in the shoulder season (April – May, and mid-September – October). Along the coast, rates drop even further in the winter season from November to March.

What should you not miss in LA? ›

Things You Can't Miss In LA
  • Golden Hour At Griffith Observatory. ...
  • Mural Hunting Around The City. ...
  • Wander Down Abbot Kinney In Venice. ...
  • Sunset In Santa Monica. ...
  • Hike Runyon Canyon. ...
  • Wander Around The Venice Canals. ...
  • Head To LACMA. ...
  • Visit The Museum Of Ice Cream (If it's still there and you can get your hands on some tickets)
22 May 2017

What is the most visited place in LA? ›

1: Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is the most popular filming location in LA. You may recognize the palm tree-lined street of Hollywood Boulevard. It is one of the most popular places to go in Los Angeles.

How much cash should I bring to Los Angeles? ›

How much money will you need for your trip to Los Angeles? You should plan to spend around $192 per day on your vacation in Los Angeles, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, $35 on meals for one day and $33 on local transportation.

What is the most visited city in California? ›

No surprise here: Los Angeles is the ultimate star-studded destination for global travelers. There is almost too much to do in the vast Southern California city.

Which of these cities is the number 1 tourist destination in California? ›

Los Angeles – California's Most Visited City

Compared to other cities, Los Angeles is ranked number one in California and number three in the United States (after New York and Miami). Los Angeles gets approximately 50 million visitors each year. The majority of these tourists come from within the United States.

What is the most affordable place in California? ›

Cheapest Places to Live in California
  • Bakersfield. With a median home price of just $254,430, Bakersfield is a surprisingly cheap place to live in California. ...
  • Stockton. The notorious boom and bust town of Stockton, CA continues to offer cheaper house deals. ...
  • Fresno. ...
  • Clovis. ...
  • Sacramento. ...
  • Fontana. ...
  • Chico. ...
  • Eureka.
21 Sept 2022

What should I not miss on the California coast? ›

8 Not To Miss Sights On The Pacific Coast Highway
  • Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery. ...
  • Big Sur and Pfeiffer Beach. ...
  • Monterrey. ...
  • Santa Cruz. ...
  • San Francisco. ...
  • Glass Beach and Fort Bragg. ...
  • The Lost Coast. ...
  • Redwood National and State Parks.
30 Dec 2015

What is the most scenic highway in California? ›

The Highway 1, aka Pacific Coast Highway, road trip that passes through Big Sur on California's Central Coast is perhaps the most famous scenic drive in the Golden State.

What is the most scenic section of Highway 1 in California? ›

One of the most scenic sections of Hwy 1 goes through beautiful Malibu.

How much cash should I bring to California? ›

U.S. Currency and Cash

Especially when you first arrive in California, it's a great comfort to have some currency already converted to U.S. dollars, or you can convert your currency at the airport after you've been through the customs process. A range of $200 to $500 is a good guideline.

How much do you need to make to live comfortably in California 2022? ›

According to BEA statistics, you'll need an income with at least $46,636 per year of take-home pay just to meet the average cost of living in California. That works out to about $3,886 per month. Things like savings and extras would be above and beyond that.

What is the average salary you need to live in California? ›

Typical Expenses
0 Children2 Children
Required annual income after taxes$36,328$97,513
Annual taxes$9,054$29,540
Required annual income before taxes$45,382$127,052
7 more rows

What is the best month to drive the Pacific Coast Highway? ›

The best time of the year to drive the Pacific Coast Highway is in mid-to-late February through April. California's rainy season typically ends in early February, turning its golden hills bright green and covering the coast with colorful wildflowers which last through April and into early May.

Where can I sleep on the Pacific Coast Highway? ›

Best Hotels Along Pacific Coast Highway
  • The Brewery Gulch Inn (Mendocino)
  • Nick's Cove (Marshall)
  • Pelican Inn (Muir Beach)
  • Stanyan Park Hotel (San Francisco)
  • Bella Notte Inn (Santa Cruz)
  • Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa (Monterey)
  • Candle Light Inn (Carmel-by-the-Sea)
  • Fernwood Resort (Big Sur)

How many days do you need to drive the Pacific Coast Highway? ›

To drive the entire coastal CA Highway 1 takes 10-12 hours without stops. But this road trip is all about the stops! Plan on a minimum of 3 days and 2 nights. However, a 5-day itinerary is ideal for the San Francisco to LA trip with the first and last night spent in each city.

What month is the rainiest in California? ›

December, January and February are typically the wettest months in the Golden State, with 75 percent of the state's annual precipitation falling between November and March.

What is the rainiest month of the year in California? ›

The rainy period of the year lasts for 6.3 months, from October 16 to April 25, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The month with the most rain in Los Angeles is February, with an average rainfall of 3.3 inches. The rainless period of the year lasts for 5.7 months, from April 25 to October 16.

What is the most rainiest month in California? ›

On average, January is the most rainy with 6 days of rain/snow. On average, July is the driest month with 0 rainy days. The average annual amount of rainy days is: 35.

How can I visit California cheaply? ›

We gonna go through 7 general tips to cheap California vacations:
  1. Learn to save money with food in your trip.
  2. Use affordable modes of transportation.
  3. Find the rigt flight in the rigth time.
  4. Save money in a long term trip in California.
  5. Save money in a short term trip in California.

How can I plan a cheap trip to California? ›

9 Tips for California on a Budget
  1. Book flights in advance.
  2. Factor in tax AND tip for all food and services.
  3. Remember portions sizes are huge…
  4. Don't bother looking on Airbnb.
  5. Book accommodation early (and factor in tax again!)
  6. Make sure you have CASH for petrol.
  7. Buy attraction tickets in advance.
6 Feb 2022

What are the best months to visit Southern California? ›

The best times to visit Los Angeles are from March to May and between September and November, when the air is more breathable and the crowds are less oppressive.

What airport is the cheapest to fly to California? ›

The 5 Cheapest Airports to Fly to in California
  1. Los Angeles.
  2. San Diego. ...
  3. Santa Ana. ...
  4. Oakland. ...
  5. San Francisco. ...

What is the cheapest day of the week to fly to California? ›

Generally, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are the cheapest days to fly, while Fridays and Sundays are pricier, according to travel deal site FareCompare. Leisure travelers tend to fly on the weekends, either starting their vacations on Friday or taking a long weekend Friday to Sunday.

Why is California so expensive? ›

Land, Labor and Raw Material Costs Are Higher

The demand for raw materials, labor, and land is equally high in California making the place costly. Each one of the lands takes more money from its actual price. The raw materials are very costly to purchase to make new buildings.

How do I not look like a tourist in California? ›

How to Dress
  1. Don't: Ignore the thermometer. Yes, it's December and it's 65 degrees out, but that doesn't mean you're at liberty to avail yourself of your winter clothing. ...
  2. Don't: Overdress. ...
  3. Do: Wear cutoffs and Uggs if you want to. ...
  4. Do: Flaunt your commitment to your physical health. ...
  5. Don't Walk anywhere, ever. ...
  6. Do Be nice.
9 Dec 2014

What neighborhood should I avoid in Los Angeles? ›

The area just west of Downtown Los Angeles, west of the 110 freeway should be avoided. Compton and Los Angeles proper south of the 405 freeway and north of the 105 freeway referred to as "South Los Angeles" should be avoided.

Where do the rich and famous hang out in LA? ›

20 Places In LA Frequented By The Rich And Famous (Outside Of The Cliché Hollywood Spots)
  1. 1 Largo At The Coronet - Comedic Gold.
  2. 2 Nobu - Celebrities Everywhere. ...
  3. 3 Soho Malibu Beach House - Hello Malibu. ...
  4. 4 Joan's On Third - New York Style Deli. ...
  5. 5 The Melrose Trading Post - Vintage Finds. ...
2 Sept 2018

What is the most famous street in Los Angeles? ›

Arguably the most famous street in Hollywood, the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, where 2,400 personalities are immortalised in a pavement star, stretches fifteen blocks along Hollywood Boulevard.

What part of LA do celebrities hang out? ›

Dan Tana's

The west end of West Hollywood may be the most concentrated area for celebrity dining in all of Los Angeles, with spots like Craig's, Catch, and Olivetta all within walking distance.

What salary is considered rich in Los Angeles? ›

In Los Angeles, you'll need to earn $135,373 or more to be considered a “rich” person in the top 20% of the city's nearly 4 million residents. The ultra-rich, or the top 5% of earners in LA, make way more: $516,961 on average, according to the analysis.

How much do you tip in LA? ›

Since we're The Real Los Angeles Tours our guide to tipping in the U.S. is based on what we tip in LA. Restaurants: 15-20%. An easy way to estimate the tip is to double the sales tax (in LA it's 9%). Bars: $2 per drink.

What is the most scenic highway in California? ›

The Highway 1, aka Pacific Coast Highway, road trip that passes through Big Sur on California's Central Coast is perhaps the most famous scenic drive in the Golden State.

What cities are 3 hours away from LA? ›

Cities 3 hours from East Los Angeles
  • 3 hours: Santa Maria, CA.
  • 3 hours: Lindsay, CA.
  • 2 hr 55 min: Corcoran, CA.
  • 2 hr 53 min: Primo Tapia, Mexico.
  • 2 hr 53 min: Tulare, CA.
  • 2 hr 50 min: Lake Isabella, CA.
  • 2 hr 45 min: Porterville, CA.
  • 2 hr 45 min: Tecate, Mexico.

What's the deadliest road in California? ›

The study found the single deadliest stretch of road is on Interstate 15 through Hesperia, a high desert city of San Bernardino County.

What is the prettiest part of the Pacific Coast Highway? ›

The Golden Gate Bridge

Perhaps one of the most iconic views along the whole highway – San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge is as visually stunning as the views one gets from the bridge itself. Before you head across, come off the highway to get some of the best views and see the best San Francisco sights of the area.

What is the cheapest city near LA? ›

Here are the 10 most affordable suburbs in the Los Angeles region.
  • Cudahy. Key Stats: ...
  • Carson. Key Stats: ...
  • Palmdale. Key Stats: ...
  • Paramount. Key Stats: ...
  • Norwalk. Key Stats: ...
  • Pomona. Key Stats: Median home value: $258,700. ...
  • Baldwin Park. Key Stats: Median home value: $285,000. ...
  • Santa Fe Springs. Key Stats: Median home value: $343,100.

Which Mexican city is closest to Los Angeles? ›

The total driving distance from Los Angeles, CA to Tijuana, Mexico is 136 miles or 219 kilometers. Your trip begins in Los Angeles, California. It ends in Tijuana, Mexico.

How many days in LA is enough? ›

How much time should I spend in LA? Let me start by saying that LA is a HUGE city and the landmarks are spread apart from each other. Ideally, you should try to spend 5-7 days here if you don't want to be rushed and want to see everything.

Where is the clearest water in Southern California? ›

If you want to experience the clearest water in California, where you can snorkel, kayak, swim, and have a crystal clear view of the marine life in the water, then you're going to fall in love La Jolla Cove Beach, the clearest beach in California.

How do I plan a trip to California? ›

10 Tips for Planning Your Trip to California - YouTube

Which place is best for 2 days trip? ›

List of Places for 2 Days Trip in India
  • Goa.
  • Pondicherry.
  • Rishikesh.
  • Sikkim.
  • Hampi.
  • Lonavala.
  • Gokarna.
  • Udaipur.


1. 15 UNFORGETTABLE Day Trips From LA
(Travel The Top)
2. Indie / Bedroom / Pop / Surf Rock - 24/7 Radio - Nice Guys Chill FM
(Nice Guys)
3. 10 AMAZING Hidden Gems & Secret Spots in Orange County (Southern California) ! (MUST VISIT)
(Look Who's Blogging)
4. 25 Best Places to visit USA | USA Travel Guide
(Travel 2 Where)
5. California Road Trip: The Best Stops On The Pacific Coast Highway
(Travel The Top)
6. 10 Best Places to Visit in California - Travel Video

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