The palm trees, the sunshine, the turquoise waves. Los Angeles is such a beautiful city with so many breathtaking places to explore. We’ve rounded up the top 10 best weekend getaways whether you’re looking for a scenic beach escape, mountain hideaway, or relaxing resort. Trust me you’ll definitely want to start planning your trip after reading this!

1. Palm Springs

About 110 miles from L.A., Palm Springs has become quite the hot-spot with its desert weather and chic style. You can spend your time at a relaxing resort that will treat you like royalty. Think lush pools, private villas, and delicious food. If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of L.A., Palm Springs is truly an oasis.

2. Rancho Santa Fe

In the northern San Diego area, Rancho Santa Fe showcases some of the best scenery nestled right by the beach. It’s great for those looking to stay active as well as kick back and relax. Rancho Santa Fe is home to a bunch of elegant resorts which have tennis courts, outdoor pools, romantic restaurants, and more. Plus you’ll be close to the Del Mar racetrack in case you want to go to the popular horse races held there annually.

3. Santa Barbara

Also known as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara sits on a picture perfect stretch of coastline sheltered by the foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains. Just 90 minutes north of L.A., it’s a go-to destination for weddings. The atmosphere feels very European with its Mediterranean climate and appeal. Bike along the water, brunch at a cute cafe, go to a winery, or just walk through the town. It’s an idyllic dream getaway.

4. Newport Beach

Only an hour south of Los Angeles, Newport Beach is a great seaside getaway in Orange County known for its great shopping and fun, family-friendly activities. If you go between May and August, you’ll have a chance to spot the whales migrating during this season. There’s a ferry that takes you over to Balboa Island, a very quaint island great if you like window shopping for houses or walking along the waterfront pier. It’s a great place to take kids with a huge park and special community events planned all summer long. Newport prides itself on being a great place to go boating so if you like to be on the sea, this is the trip for you.

5. Big Bear

Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino County which offers swimming, boating and hiking in the surrounding San Bernardino National Forest. About 80 miles from Los Angeles, this getaway is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who like to stay active on vacation. It’s really affordable to stay in Big Bear and if you stay near the lake, you can get some pretty amazing scenic views.

6. Ojai

Just a short 2 hour drive from Los Angeles, the small town of Ojai is home to a thriving artist community, mountain scenery and valleys dotted with blooming flowers. Another big wedding spot, the Ojai Valley is really great for the creative hearts and those who want some peace and quiet.

7. Carlsbad

Carlsbad, just 2 hours from Los Angeles, is home to Legoland, skate parks and family-friendly restaurants. If you are planning a family weekend getaway from the city, Carlsbad is a great idea. So parents looking to skip the ridiculously long lines at Disneyland this summer, Legoland could be a cool alternative. Carlsbad also is right near the beach and close to San Diego, so this destination provides you with plenty of options.

8. San Diego

With sunshine year round and hillsides blossoming with flowers, the city of San Diego really has it all. You can relax on it’s endless beaches, go hiking in the desert, or dine on some of the best food in Southern California. The downtown Gaslamp quarter has been revitalized and the clubs, boutiques, and restaurants have created quite the nightlife for those looking to have some fun.

9. Las Vegas

The farthest of the destinations, Las Vegas, really needs no explanation. The famous Vegas Strip offers full-scale entertainment for worldwide guests year round and never disappoints. There is everything from gambling to Cirque Du Soleil shows to high end dining to roller coasters to clubbing. It’s known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World” so if you’re looking to be entertained, look no further. Vegas has you covered.

10. Paso Robles

Plan a trip to Paso Robles to enjoy wine tasting, restaurants, art galleries and local farmers’ markets. A more low-key option, Paso Robles flies under the radar but it has plenty to offer. You can visit excellent wineries, take a tour of Hearst Castle, enjoy the beautiful California coast beaches, or even go horseback riding, biking and fishing. It’s halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the trip is worth it.

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