It’s that time of year when we’re all getting a little antsy for a vacation. If you aren’t able to pack your bags and leave for an out-of-town adventure, then take a look at all of these splendid day trips hiding right here in Southern California that will make you feel like you’re on a mini getaway.
1. Balboa Park -- San Diego
One of the best day trips in Southern California is in a place you could explore for an entire weekend and never run out of things to do. At Balboa Park you'll find museums, hiking trails, theatres, a zoo, and even botanical gardens. The list of adventures at this urban park goes on and on, so make sure you take some time to embrace this beautiful destination in the heart of San Diego.
2. California Citrus State Historic Park -- 9400 Dufferin Avenue in Riverside, Ca.
If you love the idea of being surrounded by the smell of citrus, then make sure you take a day trip to California Citrus State Historic Park. Your senses will be dazzled by the smell of citrus trees in every direction. Plus, you'll even get to sample some of this delicious fruit at peak season.
3. Whitewater Preserve -- 9160 Whitewater Canyon Rd in White Water, CA
Who knew this desert oasis existed in Southern California!? You'll be mesmerized by the beauty of this 2,800 acre preserve loaded with hiking trails, streams, ponds, and even mountains. It's the kind of place you want to head to when you're in need of an escape.
4. Calico Ghost Town -- San Bernardino County
When you take a tour of Calico Ghost Town you'll step back in time to the 1800s. This old mining town is well preserved and has been completely restored in order to capture the look and feel of its original condition.
5. Cabrillo National Monument -- San Diego
Take in the splendor of Cabrillo National Monument located in San Diego for a perfect day of exploring in the SoCal sun. You'll find hiking trails, an old light house, and some fascinating history that will make you appreciate the setting even more.
6. Vasquez Rocks Natural Area -- 10700 W Escondido Canyon Rd in Agua Dulce, CA 91350
Located in Los Angeles County in the town of Agua Dulce, you'll be mesmerized by the stunning rock formations within this park that have been around for over 25 million years.
7. Crestline -- San Bernardino County
If you're seeking a relaxing trip to a mountain town that also offers a lakeside vibe then Crestline is the place to be. Located in the San Bernardino National Forest, this is the perfect getaway for the whole family to enjoy.
8. Keys Creek Lavender Farm -- 12460 Keys Creek Rd in Valley Center, CA
Spending time in a fragrant lavender farm is one of the most refreshing ways to spend a day in SoCal. One of our favorites is Keys Creek Lavender Farm in San Diego County. Take some time strolling the grounds and you will feel completely rejuvenated.
9. Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve-- 39400 Clinton Keith Road in Murrieta, CA
This spectacular preserve in SoCal offers over 9,000 acres of gorgeous land to explore. Whether you love hiking and walking trails, scenic picnic areas or vernal pools, this is an epic spot that offers a little something for everyone.
10. Oak Tree Village -- Oak Glen, CA
Sometimes you just need to head to a peaceful, charming and quaint side of SoCal and get away from the city. Oak Glen Village is the perfect escape for a day trip in SoCal's beautiful farm country in a cozy little village where you'll find local shops, boutiques and diners.
11. The Pacific Surfliner -- San Luis Obispo to San Diego
How about a day trip via train? Amtrak offers a scenic route from San Luis Obispo to San Diego on the relaxing Pacific Surfliner. Take the entire route, or just select your favorite cities and explore each location on foot. It's a splendid way to see SoCal with a new set of eyes.
Do you have any favorite spots on this list? Or do you adore them all and have a hard time picking a favorite?
If you love taking SoCal adventures as much as I do, then you might want to check out this
road trip that covers some of Southern California’s most charming small towns.