Nature & Wellness

Surreal Weekend Escapes That Are Less Than 3 Hours Away From L.A.

By Ashlyn Davis

city escape los angeles

Now, this is what we 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., with some of our favorite things out the picture, there’s simply no better time to get to know the surrounding lands and discover (or rediscover) 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. 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.

Caravan Outpost, 317 Bryant St, Ojai, CA 93023, United States


2. El Capitan Canyon

This idyllic spot brings you the very best of the Santa Barbara coast. From the rolling meadows, adorable farm animals, 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.

El Capitan Canyon, 1560 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, United


3. 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.

Pioneertown Motel, 5240Curtis Road, Pioneertown, CA 92268 


4. 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.

Sacred Sands, 63155 Quail Springs Rd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, United States


5. Vintage Desert Homes

Choose from an array of fifties-era homes out in the middle of Joshua Tree. These farmhouses feature outdoor tubs, quirky installations and details that make for a wild escape from reality.

View the Airbnb listings here

6. Blue Sky Center

Gaze into the Milky Way at the rural escape in New Cuyama, California. These designer wagons are the perfect marriage of old-world charm and modern finishes. The communal area is draped with fairy lights and comes with a fire pit to light up those s’mores!

Find out more here.

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).

Find out more here.

Featured Image: @sacredsandsjoshuatree