Now, this is what you call a change of scenery.
We all need a little change of scenery every now and then, but luckily Angelenos don’t have to travel too far for it. As much as we love L.A., there’s simply no better way to miss it than getting to know the surrounding lands and discovering (or rediscovering) all its hidden gems. Here are some dreamy weekend escapes, less than a 3-hour drive from L.A., that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world.
1. Blue Sky Center
Gaze into the Milky Way at the rural escape in New Cuyama, California. These designer wagons by Blue Sky Center are the perfect marriage of old-world charm and modern finishes. You can gather a fire pit in the communal area to light up those S’mores fairy lights. It allows you to truly unplug from city life without sacrificing all the modern comforts, which is what the perfect weekend getaway should be all about.
This magical hideaway is tucked into the Rolling Hills Estates in Palos Verdes and it comes with all the Bilbo Baggins-approved creature comforts you could ask for. It’s a secluded semi-subterranean home, on a private residence along the Bridle Horse trail, where you’ll be woken up by roosters and get to inhale the salty air of the ocean just seven minutes away and could be dining at high-end restaurants like Terranea after a 15-minute drive.
3. Caravan Outpost Ojai
Head to this Ojai oasis surrounded by gorgeous palm trees and enough greenery to make you feel like you’ve landed on a tropical island. You’ll stay in a classic airstream trailer and enjoy evenings around the campfire with fairy lights and stars twinkling above you. You can spend your days horseriding, chasing waterfalls, or visiting the incredible wineries, breweries, and eateries nearby.
4. El Capitan Canyon
This idyllic weekend destination brings you the very best of the Santa Barbara coast. From the rolling meadows, adorable farm animals and rocky streams to the scenic ocean views, you’ll find it hard to even imagine returning to city life. You can choose to stay in a number of glamping options like a cozy cedar cabin, a beautiful safari tent, or a circular yurt complete with wooden floors and views of the sky.
5. Pioneertown Motel
Yes, this is a real motel. It looks like a set from a Hollywood Western and that’s pretty much how it started out. The Pioneertown community was founded in 1946 by a group of Hollywood legends including Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Russell Hayden and Dick Curtis. Nowadays, it’s a bonafide motel in the middle of Yucca Valley and these dusty little inns are the perfect way to change up your scenery. Unlike those old flicks, however, there are all the modern amenities you could need out here.
6. Sacred Sands
Leave the city behind and take in the infinite horizons of the Joshua Tree by soaking in the outdoor tub, then spend your nights gazing up into the magical Milky Way. This iconic landmark is a rustic farmhouse escape balanced with pure luxury, in what feels like the middle of nowhere.
7. The Desert Yacht Club
This unique community of artists is the perfect place to pursue your artistic dreams. It’s an assortment of quirky abodes that exude imagination. As the name reveals, you’ll find a whole lot of boats lost in a sea of desert sand. Although, you’ll find almost every means of transportation at this juncture in the middle of nowhere—along with a pool and plenty of eccentric characters (unless you’re hiring the whole place with household friends).
8. Castle In The Forrest
This magnificent Gothic, castle-like structure is nestled in a lush forest in Lake Arrowhead. If you fancy an escape to a land far, far away, then this 10,388-square-foot luxury Chateau might just be it. You’ll be able to wander through the cathedral filled with elegant chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of nature.
9. Vintage Desert Homes
For a more ranch-style weekend escape, choose from an array of fifties-era homes out in the middle of Joshua Tree. These farmhouses feature outdoor tubs, and quirky installations with playful details that make for a wild escape from the city—and reality.
10. The Saguaro
With its vivid facade, The Saguaro looks like it’s a Pantone strip lying on its side in the middle of Palm Springs. This is where you come to get a bit of color in every sense of the word. The entire hotel looks like it’s straight out of a catalog, which is pretty surreal. Beyond lounging on a flamingo float in the sparkling aqua pool, you’ll have plenty of activities to keep you busy in this designer desert playground.
Featured Image: The Saguaro