May 8, 2024

Escape the City: 5 Incredible Group Day Trips from Los Angeles


Los Angeles, the City of Angels, is not just a hub of entertainment and bustling city life; it’s also a gateway to some of Southern California’s most enchanting destinations.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, soak up the sun on pristine beaches, or indulge in a wine-tasting adventure, there’s a day trip from Los Angeles to suit every group’s fancy.

With Metropolitan Shuttle at your service, organizing these getaways becomes a breeze, allowing you to focus solely on the fun without the stress of logistics. From the mystical landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park to the laid-back luxury of Laguna Beach, join us as we explore the best day trips from Los Angeles that promise unforgettable group experiences.

1. Adventure and Art in Joshua Tree National Park

Nestled a short drive from Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park offers a blend of stunning natural beauty and artistic inspiration that’s perfect for adventurers and art lovers alike.

  • Activities: Begin your day with a mountain bike ride through the park’s rugged terrain, exploring the fascinating flora and rock formations that define this landscape. After your ride, visit the local art galleries, where artists capture the spirit of the desert in unique and compelling ways. As the day wanes, find a spot to watch the sunset paint the sky in hues of orange and pink, a serene end to an active day.
  • Key Attractions: Don’t miss the Cholla Cactus Garden for an otherworldly stroll among the teddy bear chollas, and Keys View for panoramic vistas that stretch across the Coachella Valley.
  • Travel Tips: Spring and fall offer the most pleasant weather for your visit. Group transportation with Metropolitan Shuttle can enhance the experience, allowing everyone to enjoy the scenic drive without worrying about navigation.

2. Seaside Serenity: Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

For those who dream of the ocean breeze and sandy toes, a day trip to Orange County’s Laguna Beach and Newport Beach provides the perfect seaside escape for a fun day trip from Los Angeles.

  • Activities: Spend your morning lounging on the sun-kissed beaches or catching waves. In the afternoon, take a leisurely ferry ride to Balboa Island, where the charm of small-town coastal life unfolds in its shops and cafes. Explore the tide pools at low tide to discover marine life up close.
  • Key Attractions: Heisler Park offers breathtaking views and art installations, while Newport Harbor is ideal for a sunset cruise. The Balboa Island Ferry is a quaint way to see the area from the water.
  • Travel Tips: Pack sunscreen, a towel, and your favorite beach gear. Catching the ferry at sunset offers a picturesque view of the harbor that shouldn’t be missed.
The waves at Newport Beach

3. Sipping Through Southern California’s Wine Country

Just a short drive from Los Angeles, the vineyards and tasting rooms of Southern California’s wine country await, offering a sophisticated escape for wine aficionados and novices alike.

  • Activities: Embark on a wine-tasting tour to sample the region’s finest varietals, from robust reds to refreshing whites. The Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, with its vibrant collection of tasting rooms, art galleries, and shops, is perfect for groups seeking a lively atmosphere. Pair your wine with local cuisine at one of the winery restaurants, where the flavors of Southern California are showcased in every dish.
  • Key Attractions: Explore the boutique vineyards scattered across the region, each offering a unique glimpse into the winemaking process. The Funk Zone, with its eclectic mix of experiences, is a must-visit for those looking to combine wine, art, and fun.
  • Travel Tips: Plan your wine-tasting itinerary in advance and consider a weekday visit to avoid the weekend crowds. Metropolitan Shuttle can arrange for a comfortable and stylish ride, allowing everyone in your group to enjoy the tastings responsibly.

4. Family Fun Day: San Diego Zoo and More

San Diego, a vibrant city with endless attractions for families, is home to the renowned San Diego Zoo, making it one of the best day trips from Los Angeles for those with kids in tow.

  • Activities: Spend the day marveling at exotic animals in one of the world’s most famous zoos. From the African savannah to the Australian outback, the San Diego Zoo offers a global safari adventure. Nearby Balboa Park is not only picturesque but also packed with museums, gardens, and live music performances, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
  • Key Attractions: The San Diego Zoo and its vast array of species is the highlight, while Balboa Park’s diverse attractions offer cultural and recreational activities to complement your visit.
  • Travel Tips: To avoid the afternoon crowds and see the animals at their most active, arrive early. Pre-booking your group tickets can ensure a smooth entry, leaving more time for exploration.

5. High Altitude Adventure: Big Bear Lake

For those seeking a break from the city’s heat, Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains offers a cool respite and a plethora of outdoor activities, making it one of the most enjoyable 2-day trips from Los Angeles to 3-day trips from Los Angeles.

  • Activities: The area around Big Bear Lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. In the summer, hiking, mountain biking, and water sports on the lake are popular. During winter, the region transforms into a snowy playground, with skiing and snowboarding taking center stage. The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain offers year-round fun with its bobsled-like experience.
  • Key Attractions: The charming Big Bear Village boasts shops, eateries, and seasonal live music, providing a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. The lake itself, with opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming, is a natural centerpiece.
  • Travel Tips: Whether visiting in summer or winter, pack accordingly for outdoor activities. Big Bear is a popular weekend getaway, so consider a weekday trip to avoid the crowds. Metropolitan Shuttle can accommodate your group’s transportation needs, ensuring a comfortable journey to and from the mountains.

The Bottom Line

From the serene beaches of Laguna and Newport to the adventurous trails of Big Bear Lake, Southern California is a treasure trove of day trip destinations waiting to be explored. Metropolitan Shuttle stands ready to transport your group from Los Angeles to these incredible locales, offering convenience, comfort, and camaraderie.

Whether it’s sipping wine in the Funk Zone, encountering exotic wildlife at the San Diego Zoo, or embarking on a high-altitude adventure, your next group outing promises to be unforgettable. So, pack your bags, gather your friends, and set off on a journey that will take you from the heart of LA to the soul of Southern California.

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