Los Angeles is famous for its glitz and glamour and proximity to several charming towns with breathtaking natural scenery. If you’re looking for a change of pace and a taste of small-town charm, you can spend your weekends getting lost along the quaint streets and picturesque landscapes of these nearby destinations.
Here are five of the most charming small towns to visit near Los Angeles:
Nestled in the lush Ojai Valley, this serene town is known for its bohemian vibes and artistic community. Stroll along the arcade-lined streets, discover unique art galleries, and rejuvenate your senses with the town’s tranquil atmosphere. Don’t miss this Ojai Valley caravan resort for a surreal off-the-grid break.
Drive: 1 hr 47 min away from L.A.
2. Santa Barbara
With a captivating blend of Spanish architecture, beautiful beaches, natural hot springs, and a vibrant downtown area, Santa Barbara should be on the top of your list of towns to visit near L.A. You can spend a day (or a few) taking a leisurely stroll along State Street, visit the historic Mission Santa Barbara, and soak in the breathtaking views from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse tower.
Distance: 1 hr 57 min away from L.A.
3. Avalon (Catalina Island)
Escape to the island paradise of Catalina, and find yourself in the charming town of Avalon. This picturesque coastal destination offers stunning beaches, colorful houses, and a laid-back atmosphere. Enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, or simply relaxing on the beach, immersing yourself in the island’s captivating natural beauty.
Distance: 1-hour ferry ride from San Pedro Port
With its rich history and Victorian architecture, Redlands exudes a timeless charm. Explore the beautifully preserved historic buildings downtown, enjoy a leisurely bike ride through tree-lined streets, and discover the town’s vibrant arts scene. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Kimberly Crest House & Gardens, a stunning example of French Château-style architecture.
Distance: 1 hr 1 min away from L.A.
Transport yourself to Solvang, a gorgeous Danish village nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley. It boasts windmills, half-timbered buildings, and a rich Scandinavian heritage. You can explore local bakeries, browse charming boutiques, and sip on Danish pastries while immersing yourself in the town’s old-world charm.
Distance: 2 hr 37 min away from L.A.