It’s not like there isn’t a lot to do in Long Beach on any given weekend, but sometimes you just need to get out, even if it is for a day. Luckily, there are many different destinations with beautiful views, landscapes, and beaches, all within a couple of hours of us. If you’re looking for a getaway, but don’t have the time or money for a full weekend trip away, here are a few of our favorite day trips.
Temecula – 1hr 30mins by car
Instead of traveling all the way north to Napa or Sonoma, take an easy hour and a half drive down to TEMECULA. This should be your first choice if you’re a wine lover. You can also stomp grapes and visit Old Town TEMECULA where you can take a historical walking tour at the Temecula Valley Museum. In the heart of TEMECULA, there are over 30 different wineries, in which you can hop around or take a guided tour. Finish off the day by experiencing magnificent views of the wineries and sunset from inside a hot air balloon.
Solvang – 2 hrs by car
The small town was founded by the Danish who left the Midwest and headed west. Unfortunately, there aren’t many Danes left in SOLVANG. But you can find wooden windmills, rural houses, and a replica of Copenhagen’s Round Tower. In these charming homes, there are Christmas shops, Hans Christian Andersen, Little Mermaid trinkets, and Danish bakeries. SOLVANG also has several breweries and pancake cottages. If you love history, make sure you stop by the Elverhol Museum. For a more off the beaten path experience, check out the outskirts of SOLVANG where you can visit OstrichLand, the Jurassic Park for ostriches.
Santa Barbara – 1hr 50min
SANTA BARBARA is a world-class destination and we’re lucky it’s close enough for a day trip. Once you’re there, head to Stearns Wharf where you’ll have a fabulous view of the ocean with State Street nearby, filled with shops. You can also enjoy the ocean at a nearly private beach at Butterfly Beach, next to the Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel. Grab lunch at Julia Child’s favorite eatery, La Super Rica Taqueria. Want to go wine tasting? Try one of the many tasting rooms along the Urban Wine Trail in downtown Santa Barbara.
Coronado – 2 hrs
CORONADO has topped the list of best beaches in the country for years. It never feels crowded with its wide shores, and with its soft, fine-grained sand, it makes for a perfect stroll in any weather. It’s just a ferry ride or a short drive over the bridge from San Diego. Even if you can’t afford the $300+ a night at the Hotel del Coronado, it’s worth checking out. With many different options for eating, you’ll find great food, coffee, and frozen treats at every turn. CORONADO also houses a nice sized naval base in which you can watch fighter jets take off and land.