One of our favorite things about L.A. is that you can leave its urban sprawl at a moment’s notice and suddenly find yourself surrounded by nature just a few miles out of town. Whether you’re interested in a whole weekend getaway (hello, Vegas or Big Sur) or need a nearby day trip to get some fresh air (maybe Joshua Tree?), this list has a destination for every kind of traveler.

We’ve included some suggestions of things to see and do at each locale, but for some of the bigger destinations—like nearby desert and Bay Area cities—we’ve focused more on the journey, with links out to full guides to each spot for once you’ve wrapped up the road part of your trip. So hop in the car, crank up the tunes and take your pick of scenery: Forest, beach, desert and mountain landscapes all make up these gorgeous road trips from L.A. Happy travels! 

RECOMMENDED: The best day trips from Los Angeles

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