Southern California July 01, 2017
11 Out Of This World Summer Day Trips To Take In Southern California
Summertime is the best time to explore all your favorite parts of Southern California, plus all the new spots that are waiting to be checked off your summer bucket list. Here are 11 of our favorite spaces and places that you will want to savor in SoCal this summer. From breezy oceanside day trips to charming small town destinations, this list will make your summer pretty epic.
Please note, Malibu Wine Safaris is temporarily closed.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Big Bear Lake
It's hard to decide what season is best to visit
Big Bear Lake
, because every season at Big Bear makes for a fun adventure. A summer day trip here is especially spectacular with all the outdoorsy adventures to enjoy including afternoons on the lake, hikes in the surrounding mountains, and breezy afternoons exploring the quaint village shops along tree-lined Pine Knot Avenue.
2. El Capitan Canyon -- Santa Barbara
If you're seeking a day trip that is more of an "overnight" trip, then you'll want to consider this
in Santa Barbara that is purely delightful. This picturesque glampground will spoil you to pieces with an onsite gourmet grocery store, a wine shop, charming picnic tables under a canopy of trees, and comfy-cozy sleeping quarters in a yurt, cabin, or a safari tent.
3. Chantry Flat Recreation Area -- Sierra Madre
Nothing says summer like a refreshing hike out in nature. But who wants to go hiking in an area where the sun will beat down on you on a hot SoCal day? Thank goodness for Angeles National Forest, where you can hike in a lush outdoor paradise with lots of shade and trees to protect you on a scorching hot day. You can find more information about the hike in Chantry Flat right over
4. A Day Trip by the beach -- the Pacific Surfliner
Nothing beats a scenic train ride in SoCal. With ocean views right outside your window in an air conditioned train car, this may be the best way to travel. The Pacific Surfliner via Amtrak offers a relaxing ride between San Luis Obispo and San Diego. Take the train from town to town and explore each stop on foot. Pictured here: San Clemente.
5. Balboa Park -- San Diego
You may need more than one day to explore this sprawling 1,200-acre urban park tucked inside America's Finest City, as there is so much to see and do in this single setting.
is overflowing with fun summer activities including stunning trails, a picturesque rose garden, a Spanish Arts Village, some of the best museums in SoCal, outdoor restaurants, food vendors galore, and a beautiful outdoor fountain that is a blast to splash in on a hot summer day.
6. Laguna Beach
is a summer paradise. From stunning oceanfront hikes to the charming historic shopping district plus everything in between, you'll have a blast exploring this Orange County resort town on a summer afternoon. Add a little old-fashioned charm to your day in Laguna Beach and hop on the free summer trolley to do even more exploring.
7. Head to Malibu for a Wine Safari!
Take a drive to Malibu and spend a few hours exploring the lush rolling hills of a picturesque Malibu ranch on a fun-filled safari filled with wine tasting, exotic animals, and views galore. This outdoor adventure is perfect all year-round, but there's something about a summer breeze that makes this
Malibu Wine Safari
even more unforgettable.
8. A Waterfall Adventure
We could all use some cooling off on a hot SoCal day. And nothing beats a refreshing waterfall to do that. Sturtevant Falls, in the San Gabriel Mountains, is an especially beautiful destination where you can hike to a waterfall and cool off with a refreshing mist from the water. The hike can be a doozy in the heat, so plan to go early in the day and make sure to pack plenty of water. If you're seeking a waterfall adventure a bit closer to you, here are
10 SoCal waterfalls
to choose from that you may want to add to your bucket list.
9. Spend the day in the charming town of Solvang.
If your summer plans don't include a European vacation this year, you can still experience the flavor of Europe by heading to the charming village of
. This SoCal destinaton that's been nicknamed the "Danish Capital of America" will make you feel like you've traveled to another part of the world without ever jumping on a plane.
10. San Diego Zoo Safari -- Escondido
How about going on safari right here in SoCal? No need to hop on a plane for this safari adventure. Just head to Escondido in San Diego County to experience the next best thing to a real safari adventure at
San Diego Zoo Safari
. To make this the most authentic experience possible, you'll want to take the covered wagon tour so you can experience the wildlife up close and in person.
11. A small town day trip to Oak Glen.
Spending an afternoon in
is like stepping back in time. This storybook town in San Bernardino County is the perfect destination for a scenic Sunday drive. Take in the sights and sounds of the local orchards, spend some time exploring nearby Oak Tree Village, and make sure to take a relaxing stroll through Oak Glen Preserve.
How’s that for the perfect summer activity list? Go ahead and add these destinations to your Southern California staycation, and you’ll have one unforgettable summer that you’ll never forget.
Speaking of summer…with Fourth of July right around the corner, make sure you check out our list of fireworks shows in SoCal to locate one near you:
You Won’t Want To Miss These Incredible Fireworks Shows In Southern California This Year.