Take the long road out of LA-LA land and make California dreams come true in the mountains, sea and sky.
San Gabriel Mountains
Head east out of Los Angeles, and make your way into the San Gabriel Mountains to drive what is often considered the most scenic road in Southern California, the Angeles Crest Scenic Byway.
With views of both the Mojave desert and wooded villages, this stunning drive takes you from city to solitude in less than 50 miles.
Image Credit: Patrick Pelster
If the San Gabriel Mountains are about mountains and scenic drives, San Clemente ticks a whole other set of boxes.
Often described as having the feel of a ‘Spanish village by the sea in California’, you’ll find a laid back ‘surfer’ vibe and the Californian staple of good wine and good farmers produce. San Clemente is perfect if you’re seeking spectacular views and an opportunity to relax.
1 hour and 10 minutes
Located in the heart of Southern California wine country, Temecula boasts more than 30 wineries offering tastings and tours.
Take in the beautiful scenery and stroll amongst the lush countryside. With an annual hot air balloon and wine festival, nine golf courses and boutique shopping, a trip to Temecula offers leisurely days but also a vibrant nightlife.
1 hour 30 minutes
Image Credit: Don Graham
Big Bear Lake
Southern California’s biggest recreation lake, Big Bear Lake cuts a swathe through forest and mountains, making this a perfect destination for hiking, skiing, biking and fishing.
After a long days fishing / skiing (delete according to one’s own taste!), why not kick back and relax at the highest beer garden in elevation in the US.
Image Credits: Mike Baird
If you’re looking to head out into the great wide open, you could do worse than taking a day trip down to Borrego Springs.
Situated in the middle of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California’s largest state park, it plays host to a wide variety of flora and fauna, both living and sculpted. Why not check out the larger than life animal sculptures throughout the park?
2 hours 45 minutes