STUDIO CITY ( — Jason Lee, travel expert for, visited KCAL9 to discuss “smart-cations,” budget-friendly vacations suited to your interests.

Instead of traveling to the popular and often overcrowded vacation spots, Lee recommends choosing the road less-traveled in order to save.

Drivable Destinations:

• Altadena, California (30 minutes from Los Angeles);

• Sam Merrill Trail: a 5-mile trail offering great views of the Old Mount Lowe Railroad and the San Gabriel Mountains;

• Oxnard, Calif.: Oxnard includes 7 miles of secluded white-sand beaches, with three wineries on the Ventura County Wine Trail (1-hour from Los Angeles);

• Downtown Heritage Square: Home to 11 historic Victorian homes where you can take a self-guided tour or relax in the gardens.

Off the Beaten Track Places:

• Little Corona del mar Beach (45 minutes from Los Angeles);

• The smaller “sister” of popular Corona del Mar State Beach;

• San Onofre State Beach: A scenic coastal-canyon park consisting of San Onofre Bluffs, San Onofre Surf Beach, and San Mateo Campground (1-hour from Los Angeles).

For more information, visit


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