One of the great things about going to school at USC is the fact that you’re in the middle of the biggest metropolis on the west coast. There are so many things that you can do in LA for a few hours, a day, or even the entire weekend. Here are some of the best weekend trips in LA (there are only so many ties you can go to Disneyland and Universal), especially now that it’s spring and the weather is getting even warmer and nicer!
Catalina is an island 22 miles south west of LA, accessible from San Pedro, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Dana Point. It has two major towns, Avalon and Two Harbors, and beautiful scenery. Sailing classes at USC will often go to Catalina for the weekend for good reason. Catalina has great hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, beaches, biking trails, para-sailing, and even a zip line. There are hotels or locations for camping, depending on what you prefer. It’s a nice getaway from the business of LA while still having plenty to do!
San Diego is just a couple hours south of LA and it’s another great California City with great beaches, hiking, and food. Home of Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari, in addition to Belmont Amusement Park and Balboa Park (where the San Diego Zoo is located). Balboa park is home to museums, theaters, and gardens. It’s one of the big cultural spots of the city.
Santa Barbara is north of LA and a great relaxing place to go for the weekend. There’s Mission Santa Barbara, a historic landmark, the annual Fiesta – a multi-day event with lots of different attractions and performances, the French Festival that takes place every year on Bastille day, the Santa Barbara Zoo, and great surfing. Surfing is huge in Santa Barbara with two major surfing sites: the Point or Rincon.
Palm Springs is south of LA and makes a great weekend trip. Home to Joshua Tree National Park that has camping, hiking, biking, rock climbing, and not a lot of light pollution so it’s great for star gazing. Palm Springs has a ton of restaurants and lots of shopping. There are also driving tours of the desert and aerial tours.