7 Last Minute Memorial Day Weekend Trips Within Driving Distance of Campus

Looking for a Memorial Day weekend escape from Los Angeles is only tough if you consider the fact that you have so many options available within driving distance. From the beautiful beaches to the desert landscapes and city nightlife, there are so many of the best destinations so close to our campus. You can discover your own little slice of paradise no matter what you’re looking for. Now all you have to do is make your reservations and get packing. Here are 7 last minute trips you can take over the holiday weekend:

  1. 1. Catalina Island

    Catalina Island is just off the coast of Southern California. With a short drive and a ferry ride, you can be hiking through the natural wonders that this tiny island has to offer. You can be snorkeling in the warm waters and see one of the heaviest concentrations of fish found off the west coast. Besides snorkeling, you can visit Catalina Casino, walk through the island’s small marketplace, paddleboard, kayak or just relax on the beach and soak up the sun.  

  2. 2. Solvang, California

    If you’ve always wanted to visit the quaint little streets of a charming European city but haven’t got the time for a flight that lasts forever, take a short trip to Solvang instead. Solvang was actually founded by a group of Danish teachers more than 100 years ago. It’s full of Danish-style buildings with a variety of unique shops and eateries. From stores of Christmas ornaments to handmade artisan pieces, you’ll find lots of European imports that make you feel like you really have traveled halfway around the globe.

  3. 3. Malibu, California

    Malibu is one of Southern California’s most famous beach towns and is home to many celebrities. It features upscale restaurants and an assortment of shops that is unique to the area. You can stay on the beach and live the dream, even if it's only for a couple nights. Go people-watching, looking for celebrities or shop at Malibu Country Mark. Visit Lagoon State Beach for a dip in the ocean, and for those over 21, the Malibu Wine Safari should be up and running after their unfortunate fire earlier this year.

  4. 4. Coronado Island, San Diego, California

    San Diego is famous for its miles-long stretches of sand to take advantage of the year-round sunshine. Coronado Island offers some of the best. You can actually drive onto the island across the bridge and feel the powdery, soft sand that literally sparkles in the sunlight because of the high mineral content. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the water, where you can take in the most beautiful views of the city skyline while splashing in the cool ocean waters.

  5. 5. Palm Springs, California

    Skip the frat formals this year? Well look no further for your own trip down to Palm Springs. You can stay at a spa resort and enjoy a relaxing weekend away from all the noise of your day-to-day life. You can find golf courses, outlet shopping and the peace and quiet that’s missing from the city. Come to Palm Springs for some R&R, and bring your girlfriends along for trips to the spa and a fun pool scene. The nearby mountains make Palm Springs truly beautiful, and it’s only a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles. There are also a few Hollywood attractions you can visit, from Elvis and Priscilla Presley impersonators to Desert Memorial Park to see Frank Sinatra’s grave.

  6. 6. Santa Barbara, California

    Santa Barbara is a resort town where you can enjoy great beaches and top-notch restaurants. The city’s architecture has a strong Spanish influence, like much of Southern California, and you can visit its Spanish-style courthouse for a really beautiful spot for those instagram photos. State Street is full of one-of-a-kind boutiques and high-end restaurants to spend your days leisurely. Stearns Wharf is also a great place to walk around, and you can see the fishermen unloading their catches each day. Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone arts district also offers can’t-miss craft breweries if that’s your style.

  7. 7. Newport Beach, California

    People looking for a weekend to shop until they drop or spend all their money on food will really enjoy a weekend in Newport Beach. This is a place for the glitz and glamour of Fashion Island. From yachts to the clear waters, you can take a trip living the high life.  

Memorial Day weekend getaways don’t have to be daunting. Living in Los Angeles means that so much is available to us. With a short car ride, you can be miles away sunbathing on the beach or getting a relaxing massage after a day of outlet shopping. So take a look and get packing for your upcoming trip!