– SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO GET AWAY AND A TRIP ACROSS THE POND OR DOWN UNDER MAY NOT BE IN THE CARDS, BUT A LOCAL STAYCATION MAY BE EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED.
When I crave a life changing experience and a break away from the city, LAX is usually part of the equation. I love the whole journey of travel, from packing to flying, even killing time at the airport. But when time is limited or money’s tight, theres no reason you can’t have a life changing break away from home.
Heres a breakdown of my favorite staycations in Southern California. Hopefully it inspires a trip of your own wherever you are. You don’t have to look as far as you’d think to find something magical:
ART IN OJAI
Driving in LA can be a buzz kill with all the traffic, but if you find a pretty drive, it can make it all worth it. Riding along the PCH is stunning any time of day. I love Malibu for its pure beauty and closeness to nature. There’s the option of a fancy dinner, casual beach picnic or my personal favorite, dinner at Malibu Seafood. Its a delicious fish shack that fries up local catches and you can bring your own wine or beer with NO CORKAGE FEE (major bonus). After the meal, you can frog across the PCH and lay on the beach for sunset. It certainly feels far away from the city. Theres tons of camping available, but it tends to book up in advance. If you want to find a last minute spot, sometimes Malibu Creek State Park will have availability. It’s about a 10 minute drive from the beach, but tucked away in the gorgeous mountains of Malibu Canyon. This trip is my way of being near water, soaking up the sun, enjoying fresh seafood and camping in nature. It’ll take about 1 hour, more or less, and it’s doable as a day trip or a weekend away. Another great thing, if you’re in Malibu on a Sunday, they have one of my favorite Farmers Markets in SoCal.
KERN RIVER, SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST
I had plans to camp in Joshua Tree (another great place), but not when its 108 degrees outside. While getting gas before the trip, we decided the desert would be painful and switched gears to be near water. The best was yet to come. I’d heard about the charm of Kern River, but the trip we had is hard to even put in words. It’s a bit off the grid and not near much, but if you’re looking for a true get away from the city, this is it. I recommend camping during the week if you can. When we arrived we purposely drove deep into the forest away from the first few campgrounds. We stopped at Hospital Flats Campground which was completely empty and full of tags for groups coming on the weekend, just what we wanted. We picked a spot right on the water covered by trees and secluded. The current was rapid and it was impossible to swim, but we got some tubes and tied a rope (tightly) to a tree and held on to it while relaxing, careful not to let go. By night time we were barbecuing and the sun went down as the moon came out. It was truly beautiful and a connection to nature at its finest.
If you like a little action, theres a cute brewery at the entrance of Kernville. We didn’t spend much time there, but who doesn’t love a local craft beer?