The Top 5 Destinations You Should Visit- When You Just Need to Get Away

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa - Ojai, California

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa - Ojai, California

City life can be enthralling and exhausting at the same time, especially when you live in Los Angeles. Though LA can be a great place, packed with culture, rich history, and ecclectic characters from all walks of life, there are days when the busy urban sprawl, and the crawling traffic can be a bit too much. Here are the top five destinations that we've hand picked from our own personal adventures to help wash away some of that urban grime- because sometimes, we all just need to get away. 

 

1. Carpinteria

Carpinteria State Beach 

Carpinteria State Beach 

Nestled between Ventura and Santa Barbara, on the south eastern tip of Santa Barbara County, this quaint seaside community captures the unpretentious beach vibe that's hard to come by in Southern California. Featuring one of the best Southern California beach campgrounds,  Carpinteria State Beach offers advanced facilities ranging from outdoor showers, fire pits, and trailer/RV parking (tents are welcome) that can host multiple groups (for those large family outings). Reservations are highly recommended, as campgrounds require 6-8 months advanced booking during the peak season. 

 

2. Ojai

View from the land- at the Johnston's residence.

View from the land- at the Johnston's residence.

North of Ventura and east of Carpinteria lies a hidden gem. Home to the Los Padres National Forest,  The charming town of Ojai, though small in size, is home to many different stress relieving activities. With a mixture of rich mission-inspired architecture, quality wine, and a plethora of spas and health resorts, Ojai has everything you can think of when it comes to activities that can help you relax and get away from the city.

 

3. Avalon

Looking out onto Descanso Beach and the Casino. 

Looking out onto Descanso Beach and the Casino. 

Home to the cleanest ocean water in the entire Pacific West Coast, the small town of Avalon, located on Catalina Island is the ultimate getaway from the city life. The island can only be accessed by boat or airplane, which truly makes this destination a remarkable and secluded island retreat. Relax under the shade of beach cabanas on a private Descanso Beach, or go golfing on the Island golf course. Whatever you choose to do, the breath-taking views at every angle and corner will keep your mind away from the woes of urban life. 

 

4. Wrightwood

Jackson Lake, Wrightwood, CA

Jackson Lake, Wrightwood, CA

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, in San Bernardino County, the town of Wrightwood is only a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles, deeming it the closest destination where Angelenos can venture to see snow during the winter. 

 

5. Morro Bay

View of Morro Rock

View of Morro Rock

Known for its infamous, ancient volcanic rock mound (Morro Rock- at the end of Morro Rock Beach within Morro Bay State Park), Morro Bay is not only home to beachgoers, but also a hot destination for adventurists. A renown location for hikers, trails that lead up to Black Hill feature expansive views over the city and Morro Bay. Kayaking, biking, and eating are among the obvious- as it is with any other beach town. The Main Street Market, open every Saturday from 2:30pm to 6:00pm (except in Winter- Market closes at 5pm November through March), is also a great option for those looking to peruse the beach side town. 

 

5 Great Hiking Trails in the Los Angeles Vicinity

As the weather warms up, we see a rising trend of reluctant urban dwellers make their way out into the outdoors. It's no secret that Los Angeles is home to an abundance of Flora and Fauna, located right in its own backyard.

Life in Los Angeles can get hectic at times, so we've compiled a list of five great trails to get away from the city life. Grab your friends & family, some sunscreen, and get ready to hit the trail!

 

1. Malibu Creek State Park (Out & Back Loop - 5mi)

Only moments away from LA, Malibu Creek State Park is a great destination for a great, short, summer hike. Rated as a moderately easy hike, this trail is family friendly and forgiving to those who don't have much experience hiking. Hikers are awarded with a great swimming hole towards the end of the trail. Be advised, there are no dogs allowed. $12 parking fee required. 

 

2. Eaton Canyon (Out & Back - 3.8mi)

Eaton Canyon is a must-see for those living in LA. It is a relatively easy hike, with a 592 ft elevation gain. Although it can get crowded during the weekends, the 40ft waterfall at the end of the trail makes it all the worthwhile. Hikers walk alongside several streams and creeks that run along the trail, and for those who are lucky, you may be able to some dazzling wildflowers in bloom. Don't forget your bathing suit for a refreshing swim in the water pool!

 

3. Trail Canyon Falls (Out & Back 4.3mi)

Trail Canyon Falls is a slightly less-trafficked "out & back" trail than the previously mentioned trips above. This trail requires a slightly more rigorous trek to get to the falls. Tucked alongside rocky canyons, the falls feature a 30-foot waterfall. Swimming isn't advised, as the pools can be a little too shallow, but a quick rinse under the waterfall can be quite a refreshing treat after a 2-hour hike. Trail runners are recomended. 

 

4. Cucamonga Peak (San Gabriel Mountains) (Out & back - 12mi)

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Cucamonga Peak is not for the faint-hearted. This trail is rated moderate-difficult, and is only recommended for those who are up for a big challenge, as well as a rigorous hike that will lead you up into the clouds (literally). With an elevation gain of 8,859 ft. and a round-trip distance of 12 miles, this excursion will require several basic necessities. To cut weight, bringing a water filter, or drops to rehydrate from the creeks and streams is highly recommended. Drinking directly from the water is discouraged, as Cryptosporidium and Giardia can easily be contracted from the water. Trail snacks high in protein are also advised, along with a light jacket for when you reach the peak. Hikers can pick up an Adventure Pass at a local REI, BIG5, and select 711's. The Visitor's Center will also have Adventure Passes available for purchase (required for the hike). (Properly rated Hiking Boots/shoes are highly reccommended).

5. Mount Wilson

Echo Rock

Echo Rock

Mt. Wilson, via the Sierra Madre's Chantry Flats, is a spectacular trail. This hike is rated moderate, and is a moderately-heavy trafficked, out and back trail. With an elevation gain of 4,200 ft., nany people use this hike to prepare and condition for tougher treks. Hikers are awarded with a stunning view of the peaks from the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Parking tends to be sparse towards mid-day, so arriving early is highly recomended. A $5 Adventure Pass is mandatory for parking, and available for purchase at select locations. Directions can be found here.