Road Trips to Take This Fall Break

Amidst the stressful midterm weeks, fall break provides a much needed escape from the late nights and deadlines. While one option is of course to get ahead, or catch up, on your schoolwork, sometimes taking a weekend to decompress will make you more effective in getting your work done. One of my personal favorite ways to relax and get out of my dorm room is exploring Southern California. If you haven’t made any plans for your break, get a group of friends together and take the weekend to get away. Here’s some places around LA and some surrounding cities that I highly suggest visiting either this break, or before graduating, if you get the chance.



San Diego is my absolute favorite place in the world. Only a few hours away, this city has myriads of things to explore from shopping to amusement parks. The mix of having slightly less city vibes and a bit more beach town vibes makes San Diego relaxing, while still incredibly exciting and interesting. It even has Seaworld and Legoland, though my favorite tourist trap to visit is Balboa Park, which houses museums, shops and the zoo. The prohibition caves are a must-see for history lovers and nature fans alike with their gorgeous views packed with stories. There are too many noteworthy beaches in San Diego to name but be sure to choose at least a few to visit on your getaway.



If you only have a day to spare, you can still feel like you’ve made it to a vacation town by driving along the coast to Malibu. Miley said it best - “skies are blue in Malibu”, even when it’s smoggy there, it can be a gorgeous beach day. Even in traffic, the drive isn’t that bad given the views on the way. Be sure to carpool as much as possible though; parking at the beaches can be difficult. The malibu pier is much calmer than that of Santa Monica, letting you feel like a local even if you aren’t. For those of you over 21, I’ve also heard raving reviews of the Malibu Wine Safari where you get to meet exotic animals while wine tasting. The area is packed full with adorable restaurants, many of which are near the beach, so there will be somewhere to go for everyone.



Want a thrill? Spend a weekend in the epicenter of amusement parks. Disneyland, California Adventures, Adventureland and Knott’s Berry Farm are all located here, so if you are dying to ride some roller coasters this is a great place to go. Downtown Disney is also a fun place to visit for a dinner even if you don’t want to pay the admissions fees for the parks. And if you really want to get the most out of your amusement park weekend, stay overnight and hit two parks in one weekend for an adrenaline filled break.



It’s starting to be fall weather occasionally, and if you are as much of a weakling as me when it comes to weather, that means you are already desperate to go on a hot weather vacation. Palm Springs, or any of the surrounding desert villas, lets you relax by the pool in the weather you have been yearning for. Also, Palm Springs has an amazing shopping street, lots of good eateries and an incredible art market. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even go ATVing or ride a camel. If you don’t share my incredible love of the heat, you can catch a blast of cold by taking the aerial tramway to see the gorgeous views of the city from above.



Palm Spring’s expressive and lesser known neighbor is a great spot for anyone who prefers locations that have seasons. Home to my alma matter Idyllwild Arts Academy, the city gets lots of its pizzaz from the arts high school and is filled with original shops and works of art. This will also bring major small town vibes. If you want an example of what you are walking into - the town’s mayor, Max, and his two deputies are all dogs. The weather here can go from ninety degrees to snowing very quickly, so make sure to look it up ahead of time and come ready for a unique experience. Also, the drive is up a steep mountain, so while it is very pretty, make sure you are confident in your driving.

So, pick a trip to take this weekend and plan some others for your upcoming breaks! Wherever your fall break takes you, enjoy having a weekend away from campus life to clear your mind or get work done. The break will inevitably feel too short, but if you take the chance to go away and enjoy it fully, it will feel at least a bit longer.