Los Angeles is an invigorating city full of endless things to do, but sometimes you just need a break from four million people. When you’re in need of a little getaway from this bustling, big city, these fantastic destinations are less than two hours away from Los Angeles making it the perfect day trip! Grab a friend and enjoy these fun day trips from Los Angeles!
Two hours outside of Los Angeles, down in the Santa Ynez valley, is Denmark! Just kidding, but it’s not far off. Solvang is a charming replica of a quaint Danish village. Come hungry and explore one of the local Danish bakeries. The cream cheese Danish at Mortensen’s Danish Bakery is our favorite. Let your sweet tooth rule this day and take a trip to The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory next and try one of 300 varieties of chocolate. After you’ve indulged in all the sweet treats, head down to Ostrich Land where you can feed and observe the gaggle of birds for only five dollars. End your day trip at The Bit O’ Denmark and go for the Traditional Frikadellar dinner, served with fried Danish pork meatballs.
You can’t go to San Diego without a trip to the San Diego Zoo, and of course, Mexican food. Start your day at Oscar’s Mexican Seafood near the beach and enjoy some of their classic fish tacos served on a warm corn tortilla with salsa bandera. From there head to the zoo and spend the afternoon with exotic animals and beloved elephants After your trip to the zoo, walk next door to Balboa Park, and explore one of the 17 museums specializing in the history of San Diego, automobiles, trains, and the arts at this 1,200-acre urban cultural park. You’ll probably be itching for some more tacos at this point but try to branch out. Remember this is a day trip. Grab a bite at one of the cities hottest restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter. Order one of the artisanal pizzas and a cold draft at Biga an inviting, laid back restaurant which locals claim to be the best Italian restaurant in the city. Prefer something fancier? Check out Searsucker and start this trendy dinner with the melt in your mouth chardonnay-braised artichoke hearts.
Ojai is the place to be when you are ready to unwind and relax. Head down early and enjoy a hearty breakfast at Bonnie Lu’s. Then pop on over to Beacon Coffee Company and treat yourself to an almond milk latte before your big day. With a warm coffee in hand, explore the town’s quaint main streets filled with adorable antique shops and art galleries. After you’ve seen all the pretty things you can see, take a trip to Ojai Olive Oil. Learn how olive oil is made while sampling some of the purest olive oil on the planet. Before heading back into town, take a quick drive up to Meditation Mount to get incredible views of the city. Back down in Ojai, grab a healthy bite with the goat cheese and veggie tacos at Farmer and The Cook. If you have an ounce of energy left, make sure to pop into Bart’s Bookstore, an outdoor bookstore with a solid collection of novels.
A small coastal beach town, Laguna Beach has become one of the most popular surf spots in California, but this relaxed, laid back beach town has much more than waves. Start your day with some comfort food and go for the Fried Chicken and waffles with crunchy bacon at Nick’s Laguna Beach. After you are too stuffed to move, take a morning stroll at Hortense Miller Garden and enjoy the garden views. Next, agree to join in the craze and indulge in one of the mega fruits filled acai bowls at Banzai Bowl while enjoying mesmerizing ocean views. From there head to Pacific Marine Mammal Center to see the sea lions. Don’t you dare go home yet! You can’t leave this city without a trip to one of the many art galleries. Stop by The Jo Anne Artman Gallery or take a tour inside the Laguna Art Museum to see art collections from around the world. End your day with a peaceful dinner and ocean front view at Driftwood Kitchen and try the tomato-caper Spanish octopus. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you want to wait to take fun day trips from Los Angeles and stay in LA instead, join us on a food tour in Koreatown, Downtown, or Venice. A culinary experience makes a fun staycation!
by Sarah Murphee