Los Angeles is among the best places to visit during most times of the year. But, not everyone can afford a vacation in Los Angeles considering how expensive it is. The average cost of a hotel stay in Los Angeles is $135.

So, it’s good news that there are plenty of fun things to do around Los Angeles if you’re on a budget. You can plan your next vacation near Los Angeles with a budget in mind if you know where to go.

Here are some places you can visit around Los Angeles that you’ll find fun and affordable.

1. Laguna Beach

Southern California has some of the most scenic beaches in the country. People from all over the world hail these beaches as being top-notch. And why wouldn’t they? Southern California beaches feature clear waters and picturesque cliffs. That’s why, even a one-day trip to Los Angeles involves going to its beaches.

The sunsets you’ll see at these beaches are stunning. One beach in Southern California you can visit is Laguna Beach. You can spend your day here as part of an affordable vacation plan.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

This beach is only 80 km away from Los Angeles. So, you can plan a day trip from Los Angeles to visit this beach if you want a relaxing getaway. You can spend all day in the area as there are many fun things to do here.

For instance, you could visit the Laguna Art Museum for some cultural enrichment. You could even consider hiking if you’re up for it. The nearby Heisler Park has the perfect terrain for summer hikes.

If hiking isn’t down your alley, you could consider driving around the area instead. Driving along the coast will give you a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. You’re sure to get some great sunset pictures here as well.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

You could even visit Hollywood Beach located between Miami and Hollywood. This beach is perfect for those looking for a beach vacation. The beach is 57 miles away from Los Angeles, which makes it pretty accessible. You could take a bus from Los Angeles to Hollywood Beach if you want to save money.

It’ll take you less than 3 hours to reach the beach by bus. So, this option is great if you don’t want to travel too far to have a relaxing beach vacation. This beach also has jetski rentals if you’re feeling adventurous.

2. The Cities of Oxnard and Pasadena

Oxnard is 98 km away from Los Angeles while Pasadena is 14 km away. Oxnard has many cultural activities for those looking to spend a relaxing time away from Los Angeles. Everything from luxury hotels to water sports are available in this city.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

You could even watch the Dallas Cowboys practicing for their NFL season in Oxnard. But, there are many more relaxing activities to watch out for if you’re not into sports. You can explore Visitoxnard.com to learn more about the same.

Pasadena touches the San Gabriel Mountains, which makes for a scenic backdrop. One of the best times to visit Pasadena is during the Tournament of Roses. In this tournament, football teams from colleges compete in the Rose Bowl Stadium.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

But, the highlight of the tournament isn’t the athleticism on display. It’s the Rose Parade that takes place at the start of the tournament. In this parade, floats covered with flowers attract scores of spectators.

The vibrant display is worth it if you can make the trip. After all, the parade is pretty convenient to attend for those living in Los Angeles. This experience is great for those looking to soak in the culture of Southern California.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

You would need to book your hotel stay well in advance if you plan on attending the parade. The city attracts thousands of visitors from the surrounding areas during the tournament.

Waiting until the last minute to book your stay will prove expensive. It would help if you made restaurant reservations as well so you don’t need to put your dining options on hold.

3. Mojave National Preserve

What better way to spend your vacation than to take in the local flora and fauna? Southern California has some of the best preserves and national parks in the country. Visiting these preserves with your family may prove to be a worthwhile experience.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

Also, it’s not costly to visit Mojave National Preserve. It would be much cheaper than visiting artificial tourist attractions like theme parks. There’s a lot to do in this preserve that won’t cost you too much.

For instance, you can go hiking or camping to explore the landscape. It’s great that this preserve is large since you’ll have space to yourself. It covers almost 700,000 acres of land, which makes it massive. This preserve is also great if you want to go backpacking.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

The terrain in the preserve makes backpacking convenient. There are desert landscapes too if you’re not up for hiking. The preserve captures 10,000 years’ worth of human interaction with the desert.

One of the most interesting features of this preserve is horseback riding. You’ll find horseback riders on a dirt trail in certain sections of the preserve.

4. The Town of Ojai

Ojai is an interesting place to visit if you want to explore some local culture. It’s also great for those looking for spiritual experiences. Ojai attracts a host of healers and artists every year. You can explore the place by yourself if you like with the help of bike rentals.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

The town attracts tourists every year, so car and bike rentals are easy to access. Ojai is 134 km away from Los Angeles. So, it’s a place near Los Angeles that you can visit over the weekend.

This town is worth visiting if you’re fond of wine. There are pretty vineyards that you can visit and sample the local wine. There’s also a picturesque Rose Valley Falls trail to explore if you’re up for some physical activity.

Top 4 Places to Visit Near Los Angeles for Affordable Vacation Plans

One of the highlights of Ojai is the Farmer’s Market. This market has fresh produce and interesting bits of culture you’ll want to learn more about. The Farmer’s Market is not available everyday, so be sure you don’t miss it if you want to shop for fresh produce.


The four places we’ve covered above are near Los Angeles and perfect for an affordable weekend getaway. It’s possible to access these places with a day trip and a tight budget. So, you don’t need too much time or money to make the most out of these places.

Southern California has attractive tourist spots that are close to Los Angeles. Make sure to plan out your vacation well in advance to find the best spots.