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7 best places you said to staycation in SoCal

Downtown Los Angeles at sunset.
Photo by Mulling it Over via Flickr Creative Commons
Downtown Los Angeles at sunset.

Griffith Park, Watts Towers, the Bradbury Building and The Getty. All across Los Angeles and beyond, there are tourist attractions and hidden gems.

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Griffith Park, Watts Towers, the Bradbury Building and The Getty. All across Los Angeles and beyond, there are tourist attractions and hidden gems.

For many Angelenos in the throes of vacation season, there’s no reason to leave home. Staycationing in Los Angeles can be as simple as holing up at home with a stack of good books or a Netflix to-do list or as elaborate as any out-of-town vacation.

From the beach to mountain treks, secret stair hikes, stellar restaurants and museums are all great staycation draws.

Where are your favorite places to explore when you have free time in Los Angeles? How do you spend your time off? Is an in-town vacation as satisfying as a big trip? Let us know in comments, or click here to become a KPCC source. 

We asked our listeners to share their favorite staycations, and here's what they had to say: 

1. Joshua Tree

(Photo: Alison Massey)

We always rent a cabin from Diane at Rattler Ranch and hike in the park, go out to pioneer town for great music and decent BBQ. Korakia in Palm Springs and Airbnb rentals in Topanga & Malibu. 

— Alison Massey

2. Palm Springs

(Photo: Andrew Borrego)

Relax, have fun! 

— Andrew Borrego

3. Long Beach

(Photo: dj venus/Flickr)

Hotel Maya in Long Beach is a unique and relatively inexpensive overnight getaway spot. It's right on the water, a short walk from the Queen Mary and the Reef Restaurant, and across the harbor from the Aquarium of the Pacific. Enjoy waterfront dining with a great view at the hotel's onsite restaurant Fuego or the nearby Reef Restaurant. To really relax, leave your car parked at the hotel and take Long Beach Transit’s free Passport bus that serves downtown Long Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Queen Mary. Or enjoy a refreshing ride across the harbor to the Aquarium on the Aqualink water taxi. Since Long Beach lacks an actual beach, the hotel provides a private man-made beach with cabanas for the use of of hotel patrons.

—KPCC PIN source

4. Downtown L.A.

(Photo: St. Vibiana's Cathedral taken by Zachary Rynew)

Staying in Downtown LA is similar to going overseas. You can walk around and feel like you've seen a lot going just a few blocks. 

— Zachary Rynew

(Photo: Grand Park taken by lcorona286/Flickr)

Being well-served by mass transit also makes Downtown easy to get to without driving on clotted freeways.

—Ted Marcus

Pro tip: Read THIS for the ultimate DTLA staycation, thanks to Across Los Angeles. 

5. Ventura

(Photo: Kevin Tanaka)

Ventura. We like to stay at the Country Inn and Suites. We can walk to the pier from there. The kids can go swimming or fishing off the pier. There is a play area at the beach. We've rode bikes on the path along the beach. Plenty of places to eat in the downtown area, and antique/thrift stores too. You can go to the historic Mission. We even did a spontaneous sleep over there; we hadn't packed anything. It's a close by getaway destination that's much cooler compared to the baking SFV.

— Kevin Tanaka

6. Malibu Canyons

(Photo: Jenny Vazquez-Akim)

Hands down, the best staycation we've ever done was a Airstream rental on a hilltop in the Malibu Canyons overlooking the ocean. Incredibly peaceful and a perfect recharge that is amazingly just 40 minutes away!

—Jenny Vazquez-Akim

7. Pacific Surfliner

(Photo: Loco Steve/Flickr)

Explore Pacific Surfliner! All the stress of driving is gone and enjoy glass of wine en route! Even commutes after can be easily accommodated by Yellow Cab, which now is a text away and very customer service oriented!

—Kate Collins


  • Look at towns that aren't that far but are totally different from where you live. We once rented a cabin in Topanga for just one night. We only live 45 minutes away, but it was like another world. — Alison Massey
  • Stay somewhere with a kitchen and stock up at Trader Joes on your way. — Alison Massey
  • Book early to get the best deals. Shop around. — Andrew Borrego
  • Always look at TripAdvisor for guest reviews. I also recommend comparing prices on websites that use multiple discount search engines. (Kayak, Travelocity, Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Priceline, etc.) — KPCC PIN source
  • Forget that you live in L.A. and act like a tourist. — KPCC PIN source
  • Bring comfortable walking shoes. — Zachary Rynew
  • Must be kept simple to keep the stress down. — Kevin Tanaka
  • Less is more. The beauty of a staycation is that there are no airport trips, no figuring out what to do with the pets, no travel drama at all! We use our staycations to simplify things and take a break of hustle and bustle L.A. — Jenny Vazquez-Akim
  • Turn off devices if you can because it's too easy to feel like a work day : ) — Kate Collins
  • Research and plan your staycation exactly as you'd plan a trip to a foreign country. Get guidebooks and read websites to make a list of things you want to do. You're likely to find all sorts of things you've never heard of! — Ted Marcus

Where do you staycation? Let us know! 

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