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Discover 10 Spectacular Getaways from LAX Worth a Visit

City Guide September 22, 2023

 

When the daily grind gets overwhelming, a change of scenery can work wonders. Fortunately, for travelers passing through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a treasure trove of captivating destinations awaits just a stone's throw away. From the serene shores of Big Bear Lake to the artistic vibrancy of Venice Beach, these getaways from Los Angeles are worth every mile. Whether you're planning a weekend trip, embarking on a road trip adventure, or simply looking for a relaxing day at a nearby state beach, we've got you covered with what to do near LAX.

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1. Big Bear Lake: A Mountain Retreat

Approximately 110 miles from LAX lies Big Bear Lake, a year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, this gem offers a refreshing escape from the city's hustle and bustle. In winter, the slopes come alive with skiers and snowboarders, while summertime beckons hikers to explore the scenic trails. With cabin rentals and picturesque views, it's an ideal destination for a rejuvenating weekend getaway from Los Angeles.

 

 

2. Santa Barbara: Where Charm Meets the Coast

Just 95 miles away, Santa Barbara enchants visitors with its blend of Spanish-style architecture, pristine beaches, and a bustling arts scene. The Santa Barbara Mission stands as a testament to the city's rich history, while State Street offers a dynamic shopping experience. Explore the local wineries for a taste of the region's finest vintages, all while soaking in the coastal beauty.

 

3. Ojai Valley Inn: Tranquility Personified

Nestled 80 miles from LAX, the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is a sanctuary of peace and serenity. Surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest, it offers a unique blend of luxury and natural beauty. Guests can explore local art galleries or simply unwind amidst the stunning landscapes. With its world-class spa treatments and lush grounds, this retreat is designed for ultimate relaxation.

 

4. Venice Beach: Art, Culture, and Ocean Views

Just a short drive from LAX, Venice Beach is a microcosm of artistic expression and coastal charm. The iconic boardwalk buzzes with street performers, vendors, and eclectic art displays. The beach itself invites visitors to relax by the waves, while the vibrant scene along Ocean Front Walk provides endless people-watching opportunities. For a true taste of Southern California's cultural kaleidoscope, Venice Beach is a must-visit.

 

5. Catalina Island: A Slice of Paradise

Accessible via a scenic ferry ride from Long Beach, Catalina Island is a slice of paradise located just 22 miles from LAX. With its crystal-clear waters and idyllic landscapes, it's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Snorkeling, hiking, and exploring the charming town of Avalon are just a few of the island's attractions. For a tranquil escape, Catalina Island offers an unforgettable day trip or weekend getaway.

 

6. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area: Nature Oasis in the City

Within an hour's drive from LAX lies the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, a hidden oasis amidst the urban sprawl. This expansive park offers a peaceful respite, complete with scenic trails, lush greenery, and tranquil picnic spots. It's an ideal destination for a day trip, providing a much-needed break from the city's frenetic pace.

 

 

7. Hollywood Sign: An Iconic Landmark

A visit to Los Angeles wouldn't be complete without catching a glimpse of the world-famous Hollywood Sign. Positioned just a short drive from LAX, this iconic landmark offers a spectacular view of the city below. Whether admired from afar or hiked up close, the Hollywood Sign stands as a testament to the magic of Tinseltown.

 

8. Joshua Tree National Park: Otherworldly Landscapes

Approximately 140 miles from LAX, Joshua Tree National Park transports visitors to an otherworldly realm of twisted Joshua Trees and surreal rock formations. As the sun sets, the desert sky comes alive with a mesmerizing display of stars, making it a haven for stargazers. Adventure seekers can also partake in rock climbing amidst the park's unique geological features.

 

9. Wine Country: Temecula's Vineyard Delights

Within a two-hour drive from LAX, Temecula's wine country beckons with its rolling hills and picturesque vineyards. Wine enthusiasts can embark on tastings at the numerous wineries, each offering a unique selection of varietals. The lush countryside and serene atmosphere make Temecula an idyllic destination for a romantic weekend getaway.

 

10. Mid-Century Marvels in Palm Springs

Just 108 miles from LAX, Palm Springs is a living tribute to the mid-century modern aesthetic. With its abundance of beautifully preserved architecture, the city offers a step back in time. Beyond the design marvels, visitors can enjoy spa resorts, golf courses, and a visit to the Getty Villa, all set against a backdrop of stunning desert vistas.

 

 

These getaways from LAX offer an array of experiences, from mountain retreats to coastal wonders. Whether you're planning a weekend escape or a rejuvenating day trip, Southern California's diverse landscapes and vibrant culture have something to offer every traveler. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure from Los Angeles International Airport.

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