When you’re told to get out of town — or you simply feel the urge to do so — remember that 20/20 foresight can lead you to greener pastures and less congested outposts in which to spend a glorious day. That said, following are five extremely alluring options for where to go when your goal is to be away from the fray we know fondly as the city of Los Angeles.
701 North Santa Anita Canyon Road
Sierra Madre, CA 91205
Your drive time will be minimal (about 36 minutes from downtown L.A.) when you choose Sturtevant Falls in Sierra Madre’s Big Santa Anita Canyon as your destination. Situated in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest, these fifty feet of rushing water are beyond beautiful thanks to the colors that come from the formation of the algae and moss that grow on the cliffs forming these falls. On the way to and from the place where you’ll hike in to witness this natural wonder, you’ll pass through pretty Pasadena, a great place to stop for lunch and a little retail therapy.
Drivers looking for a great place to feel their vehicle in action will enjoy all that Malibu has to offer. Stretching from Pacific Palisades to the Ventura County Line, this legendary outpost offers 27 scenic miles of winding pavement on which your car can tread. You’ll pass by all manner of terrain, from the Malibu Hills where ranches are the mainstay (keep an eye out for some gorgeous horses out for a graze) to more than a dozen rarified beaches, all of which offer a chance to rest on the sand or romp in the Pacific.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs
25000 Glen Ivy Road
Corona, CA 92883
About an hour’s drive time from Los Angeles, Glen Ivy Hot Springs is a place where pampering is required. Situated near Corona, this eleven-acre outpost affords all manner of treatments, up to and especially including rejuvenating mud baths that make you ultimately feel cleaner than you can even imagine. Meanwhile, Hollywood heavyweights are predisposed to ultra relaxing mineral baths available on the premises. So are hard working Angelenos representing all kinds of industries, all of whom make regular pilgrimages to this healing desert nirvana for the chance to renew the body as well as the spirit.
Seeking a Scandinavian experience? About two hours from Los Angeles, Solvang offers a taste of Denmark in the Santa Ynez Valley. Indeed, that short drive north will take you to a century-old town that contains all kinds of half-timbered architecture thriving on thoroughfares that feel like that of a European village. The Danes are well represented in Solvang with the Hans Christian Anderson Museum a big highlight, hidden on top of the Book Loft on the second level, and a number of pastry shops selling authentic wares in amongst a number of tourist havens. During the drive, savor the many vineyards that take over this part of Southern California and stop into a tasting room if you have the time and/or the inclination. You’ll be glad you did.
Just short of two hours from Los Angeles, the desert community of Palm Springs is reached via a desolate yet peaceful drive that passes by field after field of windmills, making you feel as if you have become a modern day Don Quixote. The reward at the end of these 112 miles is a place where Hollywood made its mark during the 1930s when Westerns were filmed in this oasis so handy to the City of Angels. Today, PS is the place to do whatever strikes your fancy, be that a game of championship golf, a tour of spectacular mid-century modern structures, a stint at a local Native American casino, or a trip up the San Jacinto Mountains via Aerial Tram, where snow is waiting even during the summer months. Want more? Consider biking along the San Andreas Fault or visiting the Palm Springs Wildland for a tour of a trio of preserves.
Related: Top Places To Relax In Los Angeles