Surreal Weekend Escapes That Are Only A Few Hours Away From San Diego

Secret San Diego Secret San Diego

weekend escapes

Now, this is what we call a change of scenery.

We all need a little change of scenery every now and then, but luckily San Diegans don’t have to travel too far for it. As much as we love San Diego, with some of our favorite things out the picture, there’s simply no better time to get to know the surrounding lands and discover (or rediscover) all its hidden gems. Here are some dreamy weekend escapes, most less than a 3-hour drive from San Diego, that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world.

1. Caravan Outpost Ojai

Head to this Ojai oasis surrounded by gorgeous palm trees and enough greenery to make you feel like you’ve landed on a tropical island. You’ll stay in a classic airstream trailer and enjoy evenings around the campfire with fairy lights and stars twinkling above you. You can spend your days horseriding, chasing waterfalls, and visiting the incredible wineries, breweries, and eateries nearby.

Caravan Outpost, 317 Bryant St, Ojai, CA 93023, United States


2. El Capitan Canyon

This idyllic spot brings you the very best of the Santa Barbara coast. From the rolling meadows, adorable farm animals, rocky streams, and scenic ocean views, you’ll find it hard to even imagine returning to city life. You can choose to stay in a number of glamping options like a cozy cedar cabin, a beautiful safari tent, or a circular yurt complete with wooden floors and views of the sky.

El Capitan Canyon, 1560 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, United


3. Pioneertown Motel

Yes, this is a real motel. It looks like a set from a Hollywood Western and that’s pretty much how it started out. The Pioneertown community was founded in 1946 by a group of Hollywood legends including Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Russell Hayden and Dick Curtis. Nowadays, it’s a bonafide motel in the middle of Yucca Valley and these dusty little inns are the perfect way to change up your scenery. Unlike those old flicks, however, there are all the modern amenities you could need out here.

Pioneertown Motel, 5240Curtis Road, Pioneertown, CA 92268 


4. Sacred Sands

Leave the city behind and take in the infinite horizons of the Joshua Tree by soaking in the outdoor tub, then spend your nights gazing up into the magical Milky Way. This iconic landmark is a rustic farmhouse escape balanced with pure luxury, in what feels like the middle of nowhere.


Sacred Sands, 63155 Quail Springs Rd, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, United States


5. Vintage Desert Homes

Choose from an array 50s-era homes out in the middle of Joshua Tree. These farmhouses feature outdoor tubs, quirky installations and details that make for a wild escape from reality.

View the Airbnb listings here

6. The Oasis at Death Valley

This desert escape is a bit of a drive, but it’s definitely worth the long journey. A total desert oasis awaits you for a quiet and relaxing weekend right in the middle of Death Valley National Park (and close to major Death Valley attractions!). Relax at the pool or on a nice shaded patio, or head to the golf course for an afternoon on the lowest elevation course in the world. And there are accommodation options for every kind of budget, from camping to a four-diamond historic inn.

CA-190, Death Valley, CA 92328, United States


7. Moon Mountain Cabin

Take in sweeping views of the desert at this intimate secluded cabin just 15-minutes from Joshua Tree National Park. Made just right for a weekend away, this cozy is situated on a ‘mini mountain’ perfect for star gazing and disconnecting. If soaking in a hillside hot tub with endless desert vistas doesn’t relax you, we don’t know what will.

View the listing here.

[Featured Image: Instagram/@sacredsandsjoshuatree]

Wellness & Nature