Orange County

The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.

Los Angeles is awesome whichever way you look at it. Despite its reputation of having few attractions for tourists and huge distances to cover to get to any of them, L.A. has plenty to offer with top-notch restaurants, world-class museums, a vibrant nightlife scene, and wonderful beaches that attract millions of visitors every year. But it’s good to take a break from all the buzz sometimes and head somewhere new, be it a more relaxed spot for some serious R&R, or the perfect stretch of sand for surfing. So whether you’re in town visiting and want to mix it up a bit, or you’re a resident and want to get away from it all, start packing and hit the road! We’ve got the perfect nearby spots that are just a short drive away.

Road Trip #1: Los Angeles to Orange County, CA

  • Total Driving Time:1 hour
  • Distance Covered:51 miles
  • Take This Trip If: You’re ready for some pampering
It'a all about fun in the sun and easy living here in the O.C.

It'a all about fun in the sun and easy living here in the O.C.

Don't you just want to take a dip in the Coliseum Pool at the Pelican Hill?

Don't you just want to take a dip in the Coliseum Pool at the Pelican Hill?

Lunch with a view at the Montage Laguna Beach

Have lunch with a view at the Montage Laguna Beach

Orange County is known for its well-heeled residents and high prices, but if you want to get some serious R&R, it’s the place to be. This string of uncrowded beaches is a good pick for families, but the area is popular among couples as well for its bucolic landscape and unparalleled sunsets. The beaches (and the waves) are definitely the main draw. If you’re planning a trip with the family, the ultra-luxe Pelican Hill is a wonderful choice. The property boasts two great golf courses, along with a plethora of other amenities, such as two gorgeous pools, a world-class spa, a fitness center, and a top-notch kids’ club. If it’s just you and your significant other, the Montage Laguna Beach is great for spending some quality time together. It offers an excellent spa, impeccable grounds, and beautiful rooms with breathtaking views.

  • Top Driving Tip: The fastest and shortest way to get there is the Santa Ana Freeway, but if you’ve got some time to spare, Cabrillo Highway (SR 1) is the most scenic. Along the way you’ll see gorgeous beaches and rolling hills.

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Penthouse at the Villa La Estancia; Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Penthouse at the Villa La Estancia; Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico

There’s nothing like a beautiful ocean view to make you take a deep breath and relax. In fact, a balcony with an ocean view is often a prerequisite for travelers looking for some serious R&R in sunny destinations. (Us included.) Regardless of your budget, location, or taste, we’ve found the perfect room with a view. Check out our ten favorite now!

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