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Best short breaks from Los Angeles

Los Angeles offers visitors so many experiences and sights: the infamous Hollywood sign, the walk of fame, Santa Monica beach, Beverley well as some of the best bars and restaurants in the country. But if you stay a little longer in the City of Angels, you’ll discover that there is plenty to be seen just outside of the city itself. From day trips to longer getaways that can give you a few days of entertainment, here are just a few of the best short breaks from Los Angeles:

Mammoth Mountain

1hr 15 min flight

In a little over an hour you can fly from one of the biggest cities in the world to the great outdoors, where you can spend days in both summer or winter exploring and adventuring to your heart’s content. In summer, take a hike in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, visit Mono Lake or relax in some of the area’s natural hot springs. When the snow starts to fall, it’s time to get your skis on and try some North American snow sports (or sit by the fire with a hot chocolate and enjoy the view). It’s a perfect 2 or 3 day break away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.

Santa Barbara

1hr 30min drive

Known as the American Riviera, Santa Barbara features miles of pristine, palm-lined beaches for visitors to enjoy. There are plenty of ways to get active here, but if relaxation is on your itinerary, choose from one of the many spas in the area to indulge in some treatments before heading out again into the sunshine to shop, browse some art, try local cuisine or just enjoy the sun setting over the beach. It’s blissful, and it’s only an hour and a half away from LA.


45 min drive

Disneyland isn’t just for kids; it’s guaranteed fun for any ages, and the best part is that the park is just a 45 minute drive from Los Angeles. There are companies who offer day trips from your hotel in LA, which means you can have a full day of fun in the happiest place on earth and still be back at your LA hotel by bedtime. If you don’t want to miss any of the fun, get a park hopper ticket which allows you entry into both Disneyland and California Adventure so you can experience the best of both of these incredible parks.

San Diego

2hr drive

Head South from Los Angeles for two hours and you’ll find yourself in sunny San Diego, known for its world-class zoo and aquarium, and its laid-back beach scene. Take a few hours to wander through San Diego old town, considered the birthplace of California, where you can sample traditional Mexican food (you are just minutes from the border here after all) and take a walk through the history of the city before driving back to Los Angeles.

Las Vegas

1hr flight

Overnight trip to Las Vegas? No problem! It’s just an hour’s flight from LA, which makes it the ideal one-night trip if you don’t want to commit a whole holiday to Sin City. Even if bright lights and glitzy shows aren’t for you, from Vegas you can take tours to Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon, which is a spectacle you’ll never forget!

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Written by Elle Croft

When Elle is not travelling, she's blogging about it over at A Bird in the Hand Travel. She believes that you don't have to look like a backpacker to travel, and writes about the stylish side of wanderlust, from stylish destinations to packing tips.

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