The Best Weekend Road Trips in Los Angeles
Summer is nearly upon us, so it’s time to start planning out your weekends. With car subscriptions like Canvas, the world is at your fingertips. Rather than being confined to the limits of the LA metro system, you can zoom along the California coast and take some pretty sweet weekend trips. Consider one of these easy Los Angeles road trips to make this summer one you’ll never forget.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is one of California’s most beautiful ecosystems, and that’s truly saying something considering the diverse array of nature and wilderness this state boasts. If you’ve never been, Joshua Tree is best known for its eponymous trees, which offer sprawling, zagging branches that look like something out of a fantasy novel. Paired with the rugged rock formations and vast desert landscape, this park will impress even the most seasoned traveler.
While you’re here, you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, or any other outdoorsy activity — the choice is yours. Best of all, this natural wonder is only a short two-and-a-half-hour drive (131 miles) from downtown Los Angeles, meaning that if you really aren’t feeling the fresh air, you can quickly make it back to the hustle and bustle of the city in the time it takes to watch a blockbuster flick.
If you are staying the weekend, you’ll be happy to know that June through September is the off-season at the park, meaning you’ll have a great chance of snagging a prime camping spot. Campsites are first-come, first-served and generally cost between $15 and $20 a night.
Enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean as you follow Highway 101 all the way to Santa Barbara, a quaint coastal town that will have you rethinking your decision to live in the big city. Not only will you have views of the pristine Pacific slowly lapping at the sandy beaches, but you’ll also enjoy glimpses of the Santa Ynez Mountains inland, providing a dramatic and sensual view at every turn.
The main attraction here is lounging on the beaches. While there are plenty to choose from, Butterfly Beach is the most renowned for its views and waters. Plus, it’s close to the Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city because of its luxury suites right on the water. In fact, it’s a popular retreat for some of LA’s biggest stars, so there’s a good chance you’ll spot your favorite celebrity if you decide to stay here.
Driving to Santa Barbara in your car from DriveCanvas is a simple two-hour (108 miles) journey, making this one of the shortest and best road trips from Los Angeles.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is hands-down one of America’s favorite parks. One of the park’s selling points is its ancient sequoia trees, which stand tall like massive monuments to nature. You can catch these passive beasts at Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove, or Merced Grove.
Of course, Yosemite has far more to offer than just trees (though really, what more could you ask for?). The park encompasses 1,200 square miles of land, ranging from awe-inspiring meadows to verdant valleys. Try your hand at hiking through this massive expanse, as numerous trails take you all through the park. Two more popular sights you’ll want to catch are Half Home and El Capitan — massive cliffs that double as popular climbing spots.
The journey to Yosemite National Park is a little further than these other destinations. The drive from LA will clock in at about four hours and 45 minutes (279 miles). However, that’s why you’re spending a weekend here, right? Make a reservation as soon as possible if you plan to camp, as sites tend to fill up fast from April through September.
Many people don’t realize just how close Sin City is to Los Angeles. If you’re craving a weekend of gambling, partying, and other entertainment, Las Vegas is just the place to find it. Hit up as many casinos as you can afford on the Las Vegas Strip, or catch a live show at one of the numerous entertainment complexes. This summer, big names such as Celine Dion, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and Gwen Stefani are all hitting the Vegas scene.
For those on a bachelorette or bachelor weekend, Las Vegas is obviously one of the best road trips from Los Angeles. Book a suite or series of rooms in one of the big hotels, and you’ll have everything you need to party within walking distance. Just remember that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas, despite the catchy slogan. Las Vegas is a short four-hour drive (270 miles) from Los Angeles, meaning you should be able to get there in under one tank of gas.
Don’t let not having a car hold you back from having the best summer of your life. Check out Canvas’ car subscriptions today to find the perfect ride for any of the aforementioned weekend road trips. Whether you need storage space to tote around your camping gear, extra seats to fit your entire crew, or the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible, DriveCanvas has something to meet your needs.