Taking day trips from Los Angeles is very easy because of being such a unique colorful city surrounded by miles of mountain and coastline. Los Angeles maybe an expensive city to live in, but finding activities doesn’t have to be.
Whether you’re simply vising Los Angeles or have lived here for years, you can go on these day trips from Los Angeles many times and they will be just as interesting as the first time you went.
Visit the Los Angeles Piers
It’s impossible to go on day trips from Los Angeles without going to the beach.
One must see is the Santa Monica Pier, just twenty to thirty minutes west of Los Angeles. It’s a great for tourists and families a like.
People can often be seen on the beach roller skating, sun tanning, playing volleyball, walking their dog or swimming. These activities never get boring year round and the cost is free.
The Pier itself is a colorful place that is identifiable from miles away by its giant Ferris wheel and other assortments of rides. People often come with their kids for the day to go on the rides, see the street performers and then move back to the beach only yards away.
An alternate to the Santa Monica Pier is the Redondo Beach Pier. Similar to the Santa Monica Pier, there are miles of sandy beach and various street performers during the day.
Redondo Beach has more restaurants and shops, so it would make a great choice for the evening. There is live music playing at many places on most nights and you can find everything from ethnic food like Mexican and Hawaiian to various Seafood restaurants.
Visit the Theme Parks
No day trips from Los Angeles would be complete without vising the theme parks.
A little north of downtown Los Angeles is Universal Studios. Open from 10 AM – 5 PM on most days, this theme park is fun packed for kids and adults. There are various TV and movie inspired rides like the Simpsons and the Jurassic Park ride and also a studio tour so you can see where movies like Jaws and Psycho were filmed.
Disney Land is located 45 – 60 minutes south in Anaheim, depending on the infamous traffic. It would best to start heading town to his popular destination at times other than morning and afternoon rush hour.
This park is divided into two areas. One has the calmer attractions, for smaller children and adults that like to take it easy. The other side of the park has more fast moving rides for adrenaline rush seekers and older children.
You can save money by getting a ticket pack, so you can get into both Universal Studios and Disneyland at a discounted price
Drive Down to San Diego
Depending on the traffic, beautiful San Diego is only two to three hours south of Los Angeles. San Diego has its own set of beautiful beaches and local attractions.
One place often visited is Balboa Park, one of the nation’s largest cultural parks which has 15 museums, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo.
Another great destination for kids is Sea World, open from 10 AM – 5 PM most days. There is a host of exhibitions like different sharks, performing dolphins and other marine animals.
You can get a discount if you buy packaged passes that will allow you entry into Universal Studios, Disney Land, and Sea World.
Drive Mulholland Drive and the Santa Monica Mountains
One of the perfect day trips from Los Angeles is driving through Mulholland Drive, which begins west of Highway 101. This winding scenic drive begins in the City of Calabasas and moves through the Santa Monica mountains, and eventually ends at the Leo Carillo State Beach.
There are various overlooks on Mulholland Drive with fantastic views of the city. Different overlooks give panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley, the Simi Hills, the San Gabriel Mountains, and even a view of the Hollywood where you can clearly see the Hollywood Sign and the Hollywood Bowl.
Of all day trips from Los Angeles, it is one of the most relaxed and inexpensive. Before you head back, you can drive all the way down to Carillo State Beach in Malibu where you can walk on the sandy beaches and explore the caves.
Pacific Coast Highway and the Malibu Coast
Another option for day trips from Los Angeles is driving down the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway along the Malibu Coast. The best way is to drive south where most of the views of the beautiful coastline are. Otherwise, driving north to Santa Barbara is fine also.
You will have plenty of opportunities to stop at one of the beaches or simply to have a picnic. Otherwise, you can buy food along the way. Although they’re not upscale restaurants, there are plenty of seafood shacks along the way that have their own unique charm.
The total drive is about an hour or two, depending on traffic and how many stops you make. Weekends also tend to draw the most traffic, but the scenery of the coastline makes it worthwhile anyway.
Day Trips From Los Angeles: Santa Monica Pier
Day Trips From Los Angeles: Redondo Pier
Day Trips From Los Angeles: Universal Studios
Day Trips From Los Angeles: Disney Land
Day Trips From Los Angeles: Sea World
Day Trips From Los Angeles: San Diego and Tourist Spots
Day Trips From Los Angeles: LA Mountains
Day Trips From Los Angeles: Pacific Highway Coastline