5 Day Trips To Take Near LA This Summer When You Want A Change Of Scenery

Living in LA is a dream come true for you. The palm trees, warm weather, and being walking distance from the Pacific Ocean — I mean, what more could you ask for? You thank your lucky stars every day for landing you an apartment in Huntington Beach, a bunch of best friends who are always down for a bonfire, and memories of dancing in the California deserts. But, living your dreams has come with some struggles, like traffic, bustling sidewalks, and crowds at all the popular sights and super cool landmarks. Can I suggest some day trips to take near LA this summer, for when you want to switch things up? They'll be cool, trendy, and most importantly, Instagram-worthy.

Originally, you may have moved to this city for the creative opportunities or because you wanted to experience the West Coast. LA didn't disappoint, and you've spent almost every weekend taking pictures with the colorful walls on Melrose Avenue and trying smoothie places in your neighborhood. You may have gone to constellation shows at the Griffith Observatory and hiked to the Hollywood sign, too.

You've also come to the conclusion that you can never be bored in this city. I don't think you're wrong. I understand, though, if you want to ditch the city life for waves and natural wonders elsewhere. That's why I'm highly suggesting you take a day trip and check out these five destinations this summer. (Sunscreen, sneakers, and some glittery Polaroid frames are required.)

1. Laguna Beach

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First things first: Grab a crochet bag, filled with your favorite pair of sunnies, a good book, and a colorful towel. You have to ditch LA and head to Laguna Beach for a day trip this summer. It has all the excitement and waves you're looking for — minus the traffic and other struggles you deal with in LA.

According to VisitLagunaBeach.com, there's a farmers market, a bunch of hiking trails, and sea caves waiting for you and your wanderlust. You can spend your morning with a surf instructor learning how to ride the waves, and your afternoon soaking up the warm rays of the sun.

2. Malibu

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Next, hop in your car and cue up "Malibu" by Miley Cyrus for a day trip to, well, Malibu! This is an ideal destination for surfing, spotting celebrities, and living your #bestlife.

Depending on how much time you have, you'll want to go to Zuma Beach and get in a golden state of mind. You'll want to stroll down the Malibu Pier, and maybe catch a sunset from this lovely spot that's surrounded by the ocean.

Let's be honest: LA has filled your camera roll with pictures of palm trees and aesthetically-pleasing açaï bowls. There may be a few green smoothies in your editing apps, too. But, nothing will beat these Malibu views of the sea on your social media accounts. Right? Right.

3. Joshua Tree National Park

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Some days are meant to be spent in the desert. They're meant for appreciating the natural beauty that's on the West Coast, from the redwood trees to the gorgeous mountains. They're meant for getting away from the city life and going for a hike elsewhere.

Can you agree? Of course! That's where Joshua Tree National Park comes in. It's the ideal spot for adventuring with your best friends and having a photo shoot this summer. It's filled with places to view wildflowers, trails for backpacking, and cozy airstreams that you can rent for the night.

Let's be honest: After even an hour in this national park, you'll want to extend your stay. You'll want to watch the sun set and the bright stars illuminate the night sky. I don't blame you! In fact, can I join?

4. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

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You may have already heard about Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve since you're living in LA. You may have heard about the vibrant poppies that and cover the ground in radiant shades of pink, orange, and yellow. Currently, your social media feeds may be covered with your favorite influencers going to the California Poppy Reserve and taking beautiful pictures there.

Well, now it's your turn. As spring turns into summer, it's time to take a day trip and experience the bright color palette for yourself. It's time to refresh your mind, body, and soul with a walk amongst the flowers, leaving you more rejuvenated when it comes time to head back to LA.

Just keep a few very important things in mind: According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, you can't pick the flowers, nor can you walk on trails that aren't officially marked. You also cannot snap pictures in the flowers. Be sure to visit the website for more information, and follow all of the rules to help preserve this natural wonder for years and years to come.

5. San Diego

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Last but not least, take a day trip to San Diego this summer to escape the city you call home and experience another one. Truth is, sometimes you just need a break from LA. That's understandable, and gives you time and energy in your schedule to explore the other bustling cities in California.

San Diego, in particular, is a great spot to explore, because it has a little bit of everything. According to SanDiego.org, there are beaches, but also parks and gardens that you can hang in in the afternoon. You can spend your day at the San Diego Zoo, or you can hop to different restaurants and try all the local cuisine.

Personally, I'd want to do a little bit of everything, which might require taking another day trip or two. Sorry, LA! Be back soon.