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Chelsea Gonzales
by Chelsea Gonzales
Posted March 17, 2023

Los Angeles is a great city! That said, it is also a bustling place and can be overwhelming and exhausting at times. If you’re looking to escape from LA for a few days and take in some new sights, you are not alone. Lots of people like to take weekend trips from Los Angeles. 

The good news? There are tons of amazing places to get away for the weekend outside of Los Angeles. Not only that, but we’ve done all the legwork for you and compiled this itinerary of the best weekend trips from LA. Now all you have to do is choose a destination and pack the RV!

RVs For Rent Near Los Angeles

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A Family Weekend Getaway – San Diego

Drive time: about 2 and a half hours

Have kids in tow? San Diego is one of the best weekend trips from LA for families, and since it’s just 2.5 hours away, it’s easy to pack everyone up for a quick getaway. Honestly, if you’re an LA native, you’ve likely already visited San Diego before, but it’s unlikely you’ve seen everything the wonderful place has to offer. 

Things to Do

Some of our favorite attractions in San Diego include the ever-popular San Diego Zoo of course, as well as the San Diego Safari Park, which is a drive-through experience found about an hour outside of San Diego in Escondido. Both are fantastic places to see animals and are lots of fun for the whole family. Be sure to bring some binoculars so you can get a good view!

Pacific Beach (located just north of downtown) is a wide, flat beach that is ideal for kids, as they won’t need to lug their sand toys through dunes. We also love that there is plenty of beach for them to dig, build, run, and play on.

You will also want to make time for visiting the adorable Belmont Park for some seaside amusements, as well as La Jolla Cove where you can visit with the local sea lions. If you have extra time to fill, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California are also good options. 

Giraffe at LA Zoo Top 3 Weekend Trips from Los Angeles

Where to Stay

Of course, you will need someplace to park your RV while visiting San Diego. Fortunately, there are plenty of great RV parks and campgrounds to choose from. We highly recommend the San Diego Metro KOA for a family trip to the city, but if that doesn’t suit your needs, you can find even more options listed on this page

No matter which campground you choose, you’ll be happy to know that a campsite tends to cost about half of what a hotel room costs in the city!

Joshua Tree NP is a Top 3 Weekend Trip from Los Angeles

An Outdoor Adventure – Joshua Tree National Park

Drive time: about 2 and a half hours

Perfect for short getaways into nature or even long weekend trips from Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park is a magical place that should absolutely be on your radar. This is the ideal destination for outdoors enthusiasts, especially those who are traveling in an RV. 

Things to Do

Obviously, you will want to drive the main road through the national park. That said, if you want to dig a little deeper and see even more of this amazing place, you will have to do some hiking. Some of our favorite hiking trails in Joshua Tree include…

  • The Hidden Valley Trail for kids and those who can’t hike long distances.
  • The Hall of Horrors Trail (be sure to look for the hidden slot canyon behind the boulders).
  • Arch Rock Trail.

Another great thing to do in Joshua Tree National Park is bouldering. There are plenty of amazing places to hop from rock to rock and check out the view from above. 

We also highly recommend checking out the Cholla Cactus Garden, taking a tour of Keys Ranch, walking down to the Cottonwood Springs Oasis, and staying late enough to do some stargazing (bring a telescope if you can). 

Where to Stay

One of the greatest things about Joshua Tree National Park is the fact that there are plenty of campgrounds within the park itself, meaning you can do that awesome stargazing from the comfort of your own campsite. Another great option is to dry camp on the BLM land just outside of the park, which is totally free, making it perfect for travelers on a budget. 

Of course, you could also choose to stay at one of the full service RV parks in nearby Palm Springs. Even staying at one of these, you will save overpaying for a hotel room in Palm Springs. 

A Seaside Escape – Santa Barbara

Drive time: about 2 hours and 15 minutes

Lastly, we must mention Santa Barbara. This lovely little city offers a great escape to the seaside as well as a wide variety of other great things to see and do, meaning there truly is something for everyone. It’s the perfect getaway for couples, those traveling with friends, and even families. 

Things to Do

Obviously, you will want to spend some time at the beach while visiting Santa Barbara. Some of the best beaches in Santa Barbara include the lovely Leadbetter Beach, the quiet Mesa Lane Beach, and the kid-friendly Goleta Beach Park located 15 minutes outside of the city.

Make sure to spend at least one afternoon checking out the Old Mission Santa Barbara for a quick history lesson. You’ll also want to set aside at least one evening to explore the vibrant Funk Zone, a redeveloped former warehouse district where you can find art galleries, eateries, and more. 

Finally, we highly recommend making a quick day trip over to the quaint town of Solvang. This town is very proud of its Danish roots, and walking through it feels as though you’ve stepped into Denmark. Make sure to visit the Hans Christian Andersen Museum while you’re there!

Where to Stay

Wondering where to stay while in Santa Barbara? This page gives all kinds of great Santa Barbara campground suggestions. Our favorite though? Santa Barbara Sunrise RV Park, which puts you right in the middle of the action for just about $75 a night, a far cry from the $200-a-night hotel rooms in the area. 

As you can see, there are all kinds of amazing weekend trips from Los Angeles. Next time you have a free weekend, why not hit the road on an adventure to one of these wonderful spots? We promise you won’t be disappointed!

The first step to planning one of these weekend trips from Los Angeles? Search top RV rentals in Los Angeles on Outdoorsy here. We especially love this beautiful brand-new class C for families, as well as this awesome campervan for a couple or solo traveler.

RVs For Rent Near Los Angeles

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Chelsea Gonzales


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