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Wheels Not Wings: Must-Do Road Trips From Los Angeles

Wheels Not Wings: Must-Do Road Trips From Los Angeles

If you're looking to escape LA and you’re ready for some adventure, then keep reading. We've rounded up three of our favorite LA road trips below.

Joshua Tree

2 hours 20 minutes from Los Angeles (130 miles)

Joshua Tree National Park is the closest national park to Los Angeles which makes it perfect for a weekend road trip. The park is huge so you can come many times and still only see a part of it. From easy hikes like the Hidden Valley Nature Trail, to longer, more treacherous ones like Boy Scout Trail, Joshua Tree has endless options for outdoor adventure. Fair warning: Temps can be incredibly hot depending on the time of the year, so plan your trip accordingly. Also make sure to visit Pioneertown (the site of last year's AETHER Rally), a former Old West movie set-turned-tourist town, just 16 miles from the park. When you're there, grab a bite—and if you're lucky a live-music act—at Pappy & Harriet's. And if you want to stay the night, the Pioneertown Motel is a no-frills, hip option.

Big Sur

5 hours 30 minutes from Los Angeles (295 miles)

Big Sur is a long stretch of coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco between the Piedras Blancas Light Station and Carmel-by-the-Sea. To get there, drive the picturesque coastline along Highway 1, which overlooks the Pacific and winds along redwood-covered mountains and steep cliffs. Built in 1932, the 280-feet tall Bixby Bridge in Big Sur is one of the most photographed bridges in California (you'll likely see cars parked on either side trying to get the Instagram shot), thanks to sweeping views of the mountains and ocean. While in Big Sur, take time to explore the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which features several trails that lead hikers to epic scenery, from tucked-away coves and waterfalls to bubbling creeks and redwood forests. Stay at the Ventana Big Sur, a luxury coastal resort tucked among the redwoods.

Yosemite National Park

6 hours and 15 minutes from Los Angeles (330 miles)

Yosemite National Park is one of the best-known national parks in the United States. Even though the park covers more than 700,000 acres, most visitors come to the seven-square-mile area known as Yosemite Valley, home to iconic rock-climbing landmarks such as the El Capitan and Half Dome, as well as countless spectacular waterfalls. While all national parks are sights to be seen, Yosemite is definitely one that needs to be checked off the bucket list. Camp or stay at Autocamp, a glamping resort where you'll call an Airstream home for the night.

For everything you need for your next road trip or whatever your next adventure may be, check out AETHER's travel-ready collections here.