Pack Your Bags: The 10 Best Weekend Getaways to Take From San Diego

Pack Your Bags: The 10 Best Weekend Getaways to Take From San Diego

While San Diego is a vacation destination on its own, we understand the need to escape the city for a quick trip to explore a new SoCal spot. So, fill up your tank, stock up on snacks, perfect that playlist, and head out to one of these ten getaways (all less than four hours away!) this weekend!

We’ll see you when you get back!

  • Rosarito

    Where to Visit in CA
    image via Rosarito Beach Hotel | Facebook

    Pack up your passport and cross the border for a beachy adventure in Rosarito, Mexico. Less crowded than its border neighbor Tijuana, Rosarito is the perfect place to relax (…or ride horses or cruise on an ATV) on the beach. Following a dip in the ocean, splurge on some fresh lobster or tacos and meander in the city’s art galleries. Finish the weekend off with a night out — Rosarito is known for their vibrant nightlife. Travel Time: 1 hour

  • Laguna Beach

    San Diego Destinations
    image via Don Graham | Flickr

    Laguna Beach isn’t just a throwback MTV reality show — it’s the perfect weekend getaway for those who want to stay along the coast. Explore the various tidepools, the secluded cove at Victoria Beach, and the secret Thousand Steps Pools along Thousand Steps Beach. Top off the weekend with a visit to the city’s famous art galleries and a walk around the beachy downtown mainstreet. Travel Time: 1.5 hours

  • Julian

    San Diego Adventures
    image via @atramos | Flickr

    Travel back in time with a quick trip to Julian. This SD neighbor most-known for their famous apple pie transports visitors back to an 1800s mining town with a classic American Main Street and horse-drawn carriages. Camp or stay in one of the many quaint bed and breakfasts before hiking around the trails in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, embarking on a historic mine tour, or apple-picking in one of the dozens of orchards. Finish off the weekend with wine and hard cider tastings. Fitt Tip: Yes, we promise the line for apple pie is worth it. Travel Time: 1 hour

  • Idyllwild

    Idyllwild, California
    image via Wikimedia Commons

    Tucked away in the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild is a quintessential charming mountain village. While the village is small, the pine tree-laden surroundings are anything but unimpressive. Explore the scenic mountains while hiking or climbing the dozens of trails and routes in the area. Travel Time: 2 hours

  • Palm Springs

    palm springs vacation
    image via pixelbay

    Beat the workweek stress with a trip to the relaxing resort town of Palm Springs, just two hours away from San Diego. Take a dip in the pool, sip on a cocktail, get a massage, and enjoy the hot desert sun. Eager for an adventure? Take a challenging hike up Mt. San Jacinto for the ultimate outdoor adventure. Travel Time: 2 hours

  • Catalina Island

    Adventures in California
    image via Wikimedia Commons

    This idyllic island is like a picture perfect postcard that came to life. The island is the ideal place for a weekend adventure, with options ranging from scuba diving to kayaking to hiking to zip lining to spearfishing to paddleboarding to parasailing. Looking for a weekend of just leisure? Relax on the beach and look out for the dolphin pods that live in the island’s glassy waters. Travel Time: 1.5 hours + 1 hour ferry ride

  • Joshua Tree

    San Diego Adventures
    image via cmichel67 | Wikimedia Commons

    Transform into a desert dweller with a weekend in Joshua Tree. With over hundreds of climbing and hiking routes, Joshua Tree is a dream for the outdoor adventurer in us all. While we recommend camping inside the national park, be sure to stop at Pappy and Harriet’s in neighboring Pioneertown on your way back to San Diego. The quaint BBQ restaurant and bar is a remnant of an old 1940s Hollywood set. Travel Time: 2.5 hours

  • Los Angeles

    Visit Los Angeles
    image via @saescandar | Instagram

    We promise Los Angeles isn’t just traffic. Show some love to your SoCal city neighbor with a trip to Los Angeles. Hike around the famous Hollywood Sign or Runyon Canyon, walk along the Santa Monica Pier, workout at Muscle Beach in Venice Beach, see the stars at Griffith Observatory, and sample just about every up-and-coming health food trend. We can be your guide, of course. Travel Time: 2.5 hours

  • Ojai

    San Diego Destinations
    image via @steve_cattanach

    Head up to the hills surrounding Ventura towards Ojai Valley for a wellness weekend. The breathtaking valley (trust us: you’ll agree when you see the famous pink sunset) is known for offering dozens of options for yoga, meditation, music, and art. Top off the weekend by roaming the hundreds of fruit groves set among Spanish architecture. Travel Time: 4 hours

  • Santa Barbara

    Where to Visit near San Diego
    image via wikimedia commons

    Santa Barbara is practically synonymous with relaxing getaway in our books. The coastal spot is set among beautiful mountains and rolling valleys. Take a walk along the water, bike through downtown wineries for an active take on wine tastings, or visit the Butterfly Preserve for an up-close-and-personal look at nature. Travel Time: 4 hours