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Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

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Los Angeles...
posts: 35
Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

Hi, any recommendations or favorite places for an overnight that is about a 2-3 hour drive from greater LA / OC? We have two kids - 8 and 11. We have done Santa Barbara, San Diego/La Jolla/Carlsbad, Palm Desert/Springs.

Sequoia/Kings, Monterey, Carmel, Yellowstone, San Luis Obispo, Death Valley, etc. are too far for us.

We were thinking of Joshua Tree but are really looking for suggestions. Thanks!

Los Angeles...
posts: 35
1. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

I think I'm beyond the edit period of the post.

Sorry to bump my own thread.

I meant to say that we were thinking of Joshua Tree or Arrowhead/Big Bear but are really looking for suggestions. Thanks!

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
posts: 7,385
reviews: 174
2. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

When are you planning this trip? I love Palm Springs, which is a good base for a day at Joshua Tree, but prefer it around February/March or April (for the spring wildflowers). But, you can sure go at this time of year, too. Visit the Palm Springs forum for things to do and hotels there.

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g32847-i179-Palm_S…

I think your kids will like the overnight visit there. Plenty to do for them (there is a zoo in PS that is quite good). Look into a night visit to the desert; the tour operator will take you out with black lights to see scorpions, etc. Very cool and educational!

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 8,773
reviews: 13
3. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

Catalina Island

Julian

Laguna Beach

Los Angeles...
posts: 883
reviews: 66
4. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

Big Bear Lake!

edmonton
posts: 2,159
reviews: 45
5. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

you don't say when you are travelling...if the family likes boat rides, i'd go to catalina.

there are some nice golf courses/resort/spas north east of san diego...rancho bernardo area

depending when you are going, a whale watching trip out of dana point/laguna beach.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
posts: 14,812
reviews: 3
6. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

Lake Arrowhead is only a couple hours drive from LA. The Lake Arrowhead Resort is a great place for an overnight. It sits next to the lake and they have a nice boat ride from the dock with narration.

Los Angeles...
posts: 35
7. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

WOW! Thanks for the numerous and quick replies, so many more options for us to consider.

We intend to go in a couple of weeks over Christmas break. I figured we would make a reservation on an open night and get in the car and drive.

Didn't know about Julian - we'll have to look into that as well as Rancho Bernardo --- both areas around SD that we haven't explored.

I hadn't thought of using Palm Springs as a jumping off point for Joshua Tree. We have been to Palm Springs, but it's a really good idea with the expanded option of JT and the zoo! Might even bring the grandparents again so they can sit in the saunas.

Thanks for the votes for Big Bear and Arrowhead.

All good options for us to consider now!

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 33,953
reviews: 339
8. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

Big Bear and Arrowhead are great, but are you ready to drive in snow if that happens?

You said you had done Santa Barbara, but have you done Carpenteria? Carp is a fun, cute little town. So is the Channel Islands Harbor and the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach. Also up north are Solvang, Santa Ynez, Buellton, Ojai and Los Olivos. Each has its attractions and high points.

To the south have you done San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, San Clemente and Oceanside? Again, each area has its attractions, charms and high points.

Los Angeles...
posts: 35
9. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

Good point, hadn't really considered snow on the roads. Hopefully not more to deal than good all seasons and years of driving experience in the NE and CO.

We have been to some of the other places that you mentioned but can always discover new things.

Haven't stopped in Carpenteria - usually just pass through on the way to other places - it's sounding like a definite option though.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Edited: 6:28 pm, December 10, 2012
10. Re: Recommendations on overnight trip within 2-3 hours of LA?

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