If you are planning a trip to Los Angeles, it’s worth planning some day trips from LA.
Los Angeles has been called a city made up of hundreds of suburbs in search of a city… and whoever said that couldn’t be more right! We have SO much to offer and so many cool neighborhoods outside of the city of Los Angeles. Here are five great day trips from LA!
Long Beach is located about 30 minutes south of Downtown LA (depending on the time of day–always check the traffic report at that time!) via the 110 freeway. It’s home to the world-famous Los Angeles Harbor. Long Beach is a great place to set sail for a whale watching tour or a harbor cruise. You can also enjoy walking or riding bikes along the coastline, exploring the historical Queen Mary, or petting the sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific!
The downtown area of Long Beach is on Pine Avenue and Shoreline Drive, near the aquarium. You can find tons of great restaurants all around. I like The Federal. It’s in a historical building that used to be a bank, and they even have a bar in the vault! Another great area of Long Beach is Belmont Shore, or Second Street, as it is sometimes referred to. The Belmont Shore area hosts great boutique shopping and lots of nice restaurants. If you are looking for a yummy brunch or some seafood, check out Roe Seafood!
Catalina is just an hour-long boat ride off the California coast via the Catalina Express ferry, and it’s a beautiful way to spend the day! You will be transported from one of the country’s largest cities onto a quaint beachy island. Catalina is known for its amazing scuba diving and snorkeling. You can also swim at the beach at Avalon, rent kayaks, or just hang out at the Descano Beach Club and sip Mai Tais.
If ocean activities are not for you, you can take a tour of the island by bus and see the famous Wrigley Mansion or stroll the streets of Avalon for some shopping while enjoying an ice cream cone. If your style is more on the adventurous side, the island also boasts some epic hikes!
Old Towne Orange:
Next on our list of day trips from LA is the sleepy and quaint town of Orange. The city of Orange is–you guessed it–in the center of Orange County. Old Towne Orange is much different than the Orange County you see on TV; it’s not an overly-flashy beach city like Newport Beach. Instead, it’s a historical neighborhood filled with prewar buildings and old California charm.
While Old Towne Orange is not packed full of activities (it’s mostly restaurants, antique shops, and boutiques), it’s worth checking out! Los Angeles has a bad habit of not letting anything get old, but in Old Towne Orange, you can get a glimpse into the past and see what the streets of Southern California used to look like.
If you are looking for more to do in Orange, you can check out The Block at Orange and see the Vans skatepark!
I know, you might be wondering, why Malibu is on our list of day trips from LA?? It’s right by LA, right?? Yes, but LA traffic is no laughing matter. Micah and I drove up to Malibu for a hike (it should have taken us 40 minutes to get there), but it ended up being a one-hour drive to our hike and a two-hour drive home. With that in mind, we suggest packing up the car and spending a day in The Bu!
Malibu is an iconic California beach town! We suggest going to Paradise Cove and renting some chairs for the day. You can walk along the coastline and get drinks delivered to your lounge chair. It’s pretty great! You can also walk along the pier, drive up into the hills and check out Malibu Wines, or dine at our favorite Greek restaurant, Taverna Tony!
If you like art, you have to make Laguna Beach one of your day trips from LA! Laguna is a very cool little town, despite what you might have seen on MTV’s Laguna Beach. Laguna is nestled in between the bluffs of the Orange County coastline. It’s an art town filled with galleries! You can park your car and walk for the rest of the day–no need to drive anywhere! Everything you would want to see is within walking distance.
If you wish to swim, pack a suit and a beach towel and head to the beach. There are tons of restaurants, art galleries, and shops nearby. We suggest stopping at the Sawdust Art Festival on your way in if you are visiting in the summer!
If you are visiting Los Angeles, we highly recommend booking a few day trips from LA to spend a day or two outside of the city. While Los Angeles has plenty to do and see on its own, there is so much more to see outside of the city limits. We hope this article gives you a little inspiration for your next trip to LA!
If you are looking for more information on visiting LA, check out this article on visiting LA for the first time.