Unlike many cities with large urban centers such as NYC, most of Los Angeles feels like an overcrowded suburb with distinct neighborhoods. There are lots to choose from. You can go from the riding the waves at the beach to sipping cocktails on a Hollywood dance floor within minutes if traffic cooperates. However, whether you live in the City of Angels or are just visiting, sometimes you may need to mentally escape Los Angeles for the day to a place less crowded, more relaxed and with a different twist on romance.

With our list, you can escape and be back in time for dinner. No overnight stays required. Let us know in the comments section if you have any other favorite escape Los Angeles day trips.

1. Long Beach

(Distance from LA: 24 miles)

This is a short distance to escape Los Angeles, but there is so much to see and do. You can enjoy a lovely walk at one of Long Beach’s best-hidden gems, the El Dorado Nature Center, or take in some of the more well-known landmarks: the Queen Mary and Aquarium of Pacific. If you have time, check out the canals of Naples Island. 

2. Mentryville Park

(Distance from LA: 35 miles)

Get outdoors and take a hike to the closest ghost town LA has to offer! Mentryville was once home to an oil boom town. It is now a popular shooting location for films and television shows and movies, including The X-Files, The Color Purple, and Murder She Wrote.

3. San Juan Capistrano 

(Distance from LA: 54 miles)

Enjoy the gardens, fountains, and architecture as you escape Los Angeles by strolling through a 200-year-old Spanish Mission. Don’t forget to enjoy the shopping and restaurants in historic downtown. One of the best places to dine is the restored 1929 Pullman Car at The Vintage Steakhouse.

4. Fort Tejon

(Distance from LA: 77 miles)

Attention History Buffs: No need to travel to the East Coast to catch a reenactment of the Civil War! Travel back to the 1860’s at the California State Park, Fort Tejon where you can you can take in a battle, talk to a soldier, and visit a Blacksmith to learn about their life.

5. Temecula

(Distance from LA: 85 miles)

Check out one of the 40 wineries Temecula has to offer. Robert Renzoni Vineyards is one of our favorites. If wine is not your thing, don’t worry… there is still plenty do to.  Temecula is also known for hot air balloon riding, shopping in Old Town and if you are feeling lucky you can play the slots at Pechanga Resort & Casino. What a great way to escape Los Angeles! 

Final Thoughts on Day Trips to Escape Los Angeles:

The best thing about these day trips to escape Los Angeles is that they are each different and unique.  At least one day trip should fit a couple’s personal preferences for a romantic adventure and provide numerous benefits to the relationship. Looking for more? Check out another idea for a day trip to visit California’s Poppy Reserve

Your Thoughts:

Did you escape Los Angeles to any of our top five destinations?  If so, please share your experience.  Do you have a favorite that didn’t make our top five? Let us know what you would add.