If you caught last week’s blog post on Salvation Mountain and the Salton Sea, you’ll know that I love to go exploring, even if it’s just a single 1-day road trip to somewhere near Los Angeles. So today I’ve rounded up five of my favorite weekend road trips that you can take from Los Angeles. But before we get into the travel details, I’ve got a few tips on how to prep for your weekend road trip to get the most out of it.First, I’ve got 2 tips for you:
1. Make sure your car is up to date on service and an oil change. It sucks to break down on the side of the road when all you really want to be doing is sipping wine in Santa Ynez or sitting by the pool in Palm Springs.
2. Stock up on any snacks, drinks, or supplies. You want to make sure you’ve stocked on for your road trip with any needed supplies such as water, munchies, sunscreen, a new beach towel, a cooler, baby wipes (I keep them in the glove box), or any car chargers you might need.
Ok! On to the road trips! In no particular order, here are 5 of my favorite weekend road trips starting out from Los Angeles:1. Las VegasWhere to Stay: This one is a bit tricky. There are SO many places to stay in Las Vegas! But I prefer to stay at a hotel that isn’t connected to a casino which always makes it less smokey. The last few times we’ve gone to Vegas, we’ve stayed at the Vdara hotel and loved it every time.
Where to Eat: I recommend The Golden Steer Steakhouse! It’s a step back in time to 1960’s Rat Pack era. Want something newer? I recommend Gordon Ramsay’s Burgr, and of course you have to stop by one of the famous Las Vegas buffets, such as the Cosmopolitan’s Wicked Spoon.
And if you’re looking for things to see along the way, be sure to check out my posts here, here, here, here, and here which are all about what to do and see while driving to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and once you get there.
2. Santa YnezWhere to Stay: Well, if you can figure out how to stay at the Sunstone Winery and Villa (pictured above), I highly recommend it, although it is not open to the public and only available for events and members of their wine club. Since I haven’t stayed anywhere else in Santa Ynez, I can’t recommend any other places other than to say Solvang is quaint and full of hotels!
What to Do: Wine tasting! I recommend Sunstone Winery and Brander. I also love stopping by the little lavender farm for some lavender treats. Stopping by the cute little Danish town of Solvang. And of course, feeding the ostriches at Ostrich Land.
3. OjaiWhere to Stay: Again, there are so many places to stay in Ojai, but I recommend the Ojai Rancho Inn. It has such a darling camp vibe at a decent price.
Where to Eat: My favorite place to eat in Ojai is Boccali’s for their bruschetta, pizza, and strawberry shortcake! I’m getting hungry just writing about it!
What to Do: I prefer to shop when I’m in Ojai. A must-stop place is the world’s greatest outdoor bookstore at Bart’s Books! Another cute shop is Shop Summer Camp (pictured above) and you can discover more to do in Ojai here.
4. Palm SpringsWhere to Stay: If you’re looking for a peaceful and relaxing place to stay, then Korakia Pensione (pictured above) is the hotel for you. But if you’re in town to party, check out the Ace Hotel, the Saguaro, and The Parker.
Where to Eat: I can’t really recommend many places since I eat breakfast at Korakia, lunch at Korakia, and then dinner at Matchbox Pizza. Every time. It’s an addiction.
What to Do: Sit by the pool. Do nothing. Oh, you wanted to see Palm Springs? Ok, then check out the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Or go shopping at the Cabazon Outlets. Check out the Cabazon Dinosaurs. Or just sit by the pool.
5. San Luis ObispoWhere to Stay: The Mister and I always stay at the Madonna Inn (pictured above) while in SLO. It’s on my life bucket list to stay in every single themed room at the hotel. I think we’ve stayed in 7 of the 109 rooms so far, so we have quite a few trips to go! Another great hotel is the Granada Hotel & Bistro.
What to Do: When we’re in the SLO area, we like to go wine tasting and antiquing in Paso Robles. We also stock up on the best olive oil ever at Pasolivo. But I also recommend a trip to Heart Castle and stops in Cayucos and Morro Bay.
Do you have a favorite road trip destination within a day’s drive from Los Angeles? Let me know in a comment!