A weekend getaway to Los Angeles, California is a vacation many people dream of taking, but there’s so much more to California than just the Hollywood sign, Venice Beach, and the Walk of Fame right in the backyard of the dreaded 405 freeway. Whether you’re already a lost angel or a tourist looking for a different kind of vacation, here are five great adventures just outside of L.A. that will help take the worries of if California is a no-fault state for auto insurance and how to avoid the heavy traffic out of your vacation planning.
Into the Woods, We Go
There’s no true escape like the freedom you get out of being in nature. Being one of the largest states in the country, California is home to a wide variety of national parks and adventures out in nature.
Sequoia National Park
The Sequoia trees will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to another planet when you’re just 5 hours out of Los Angeles. The Sequoia National Park is home to some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world.
You can drive through the forest, spend the day hiking through the trees or set up camp for a truly special experience of soaking up what this beautiful, somewhat mystical park has to offer.
TLC might have not been to these waterfalls because this beautiful spot is a wonderful place to escape the chaos, and it is only an hour away from Venice and Santa Monica. Just getting to this stunning hiking location is a scenic oceanside journey that starts the trip.
The average hiking trails at Escondido are about four miles long which gives you just enough sweat time to make you want to jump right into the water once you get there. These hikes also work up a great appetite, and this is a great place to have a picnic. You can also end the day at one of the delicious restaurants along the famous Pacific Coast Highway.
The great thing about planning a day at Escondido Falls is that you can tailor the trip to include as much hiking or as little activity as you wish. No matter what you decide to do, soaking up the energy of the falls will be effortless.
It’s 5 ‘o’Clock Somewhere
Pour some wine and breathe in the fact that you’re not sitting in traffic and pollution. California cuisine is the epitome of fresh innovation in a glass or on a plate. Foodies from far and wide should be gravitating to these outskirt tastebud wonderlands outside of L.A.
If you’re driving into the city or if you’re trying to get away, some wine and fresh produce is the perfect excuse for a road trip. Just about seven hours outside of Los Angeles, Phillips Hill is an apple-orchard-turned-vineyard that is open to the public and hosts wine tastings for only $15.
The owner of Phillips Hill is also an artist that puts his designs on the bottles and has an art exhibit inside of the winery that is open to guests. The vineyard is set up to host groups and is even dog friendly just in case you would like some wine with your walk.
Known for the location’s long history stretching all the way back to the 1800s and the winery’s deliciously crafted Pinot Noir, you can expect a great day exploring and learning all about the rich history of Phillips Hill.
McGrath Family Farm
Five generations of agricultural knowledge have been passed down to give us the McGrath Family Farm. Known for their seasonal vegetables with additional products such as lemons and strawberries that expand for acres.
Visiting McGrath Family Farm is an educational experience as well as a beautiful one.
There are tours of the farm that can be grounding and educational for people of all ages. No matter the season, coming back from a day trip or weekend getaway with an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies is a prize like no other.
Spooks aren’t Just for Halloween
Why not make a trip dedicated to spooks? California has countless beautiful scenic nature trails and fun eateries, but while searching for an unusual escape from the city, why not pick one from out of this realm?
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
If you’re a fan of Al Capone, Alvin Karpis, or George “Machine Gun” Kelly, this place might sound familiar to you. Alcatraz Island can cause goosebumps for a variety of reasons, but those same reasons are what makes this location all the more intriguing.
Starting as a military base in the mid-1800s that turned into a prison in 1934 which then went on to host some of the most famous American criminals, Alcatraz island attracts many crime enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.
Once you take the ferry to the island, the day is yours to explore and tour at your pace. The eerie views and fun facts to discover make this trip a unique and enlightening experience. There’s even a night ghost tour of the facility which can bring you even more ghostly tingles.
Take a Drive and Disconnect
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, escapes are highly needed yet hard to come by this year. To keep our mental sanity, it’s nice to know where we can go and plan trips to keep us excited about looking forward.
A getaway can be for wellness or for some much-needed fun, but stressing about the traffic and highways of getting there can take away from the trip’s objective.
Los Angeles, California is famous for being one of the most sought-after destinations for tourists, but don’t let what’s popular keep you from exploring outside of what’s trending on Instagram.
Find out who has the cheapest insurance quotes in San Bernardino county before you go, and then head out on your journey. This list is just a start to the wonderful adventures waiting to be had off the 405.
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for TheTruthAboutInsurance.com. Danielle was born in L.A. and visits often to see family and friends.