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Weekend Road Trips from San Diego

By May 11, 2016March 21st, 2018San Diego

Photo via bensonk42

Life in San Diego is pretty great, but sometimes you just need to get out of town for the weekend. With summer coming up fast, we’re aching for a mini vacation. From outdoor adventures to luxurious escapes, we created simple guides to 5 of our favorite cities within 3 hour drives of San Diego. Starting with Newport Beach!

Photo Via Tracie Hall

Newport Beach
Head North to Newport Beach to explore a different beach city for the weekend. We recommend sticking to the coastal route for the view.

Where to Stay: The Resort at Pelican Hill. Enjoy this Italian-inspired resort while lounging by the pool or dining with an ocean view. However you choose to spend your time here, you won’t want to return to San Diego once your stay concludes.

What to do: Beautiful beaches, little Balboa Island and upscale Fashion Island are all quick trips from the resort. You can also go for a hike nearby at Crystal Cove State Park.

What to Eat: Mama D’s Italian Kitchen. A Newport Beach favorite, locals and visitors rave about this spot. Arrive early because this place can get busy around dinner time.

Photo via Nikki Gomez

This getaway is perfect for the Southern California wine enthusiast that can’t take off to Napa at the drop of a hat. Temecula is a much shorter drive and a quaint, inland wine mecca.

Where to Stay: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. A hotel, winery and spa wrapped into one pretty package sounds like the perfect recipe for a weekend away.

What to do: The area is flowing with wineries; visiting all of them will keep you busy for days! When you’re not sipping on red and whites, you can explore Old Town Temecula or play golf.

What to Eat: Trattoria Toscana. Compliment your relaxing day of wine tasting with a delicious Italian dinner. If you’re in the mood for more wine, Trattoria Toscana offers both local and Italian wines.

Photo via docentjoyce

Palm Springs
Where to Stay: Colony Palms Hotel. All of the little details at this Palm Springs hotel will charm you. It’s an eclectic desert haven just a couple hours from home.

What to do: If you go at a hot time of year, you’ll spend most of your days in the pool. Take advantage of the cooler hours to play some tennis or golf. Palm Springs is also a great place to vintage shop.

What to Eat: Tyler’s Burgers. Heat and heavy food don’t usually go together, but a burger from Tyler’s is a Palm Springs necessity. We promise you won’t regret it.

Photo via Don Graham

Joshua Tree
If you’re looking to rough it for the weekend, Joshua Tree is your go-to destination. So bring some snacks for the car (and for your campsite), and pack your outdoor gear for an outdoor adventure.

Where to Stay: Don’t forget your tent! For the full experience, camping is a must in Joshua Tree.

What to do: Being a nature getaway, hiking, exploring and stargazing are top activities. Joshua Tree is also a great place to work on your photography skills in nature.

What to Eat: Natural Sister’s Café. It’s a small shop, but one of few restaurants in Joshua Tree. If you aren’t a fan of vegetarian cuisine, you’ll probably want to stick to your camping food.

Photo via Prayitno

If you can’t get out of town, you can still get some R&R close by on Coronado Island. Ok, so it’s actually a peninsula. Nonetheless, it’s the perfect place to lay low and relax for a weekend.

Where to Stay: Hotel del Coronado. Built 125 years ago, Hotel del Coronado is a classic hotel. Just walking through the grounds is like seeing the entire history of the hotel.

What to do: We recommend walking through downtown to look at all the little shops and restaurants. Of course, the beach is a must. You can paddleboard, go out on a boat or just relax on the warm sand.

What to Eat: Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge. Leroy’s has a variety of food and drinks to choose from, and it won’t break the bank. Go for bunch, lunch, dinner or snacks.

Moving apartments soon? Remember to visit our San Diego Apartments page to find your perfect new place.