7 great road trips you can take this Memorial Day weekend

Written by
Justin Cross

It's a long Memorial Day weekend, and you need to break away from LA. Booking a last-minute flight home or to somewhere exotic is out of the question. But you need to escape. You're racking your brain for what to do, where to go and how to get there. Then, you realize that LA's car culture has an upside and that road tripping it to one of these seven convenient destinations will help you regain a little bit of sanity that may have gotten lost in the rat race that is LA.

1. Vegas. Yep, we know... you've done it. Maybe a lot, but of course, you only remember a little. Nonetheless, hotel rates are still fairly reasonable given the popularity of the weekend, and you can always win back what you paid for. In theory.

2. Joshua Tree. Besides the dry desert heat, this is pretty much the exact opposite of Vegas. Tap into your inner hippie, scramble up some rocks, look up at the stars—but whatever you do, don't get poked by a Joshua Tree. The damn things hurt. 

3. Mammoth Lakes. Weather looks pretty good for Mammoth, and if you're the athletic type, the endless miles of trails are yours for the taking. Not to mention, if you're hikingrunning or bike riding, be ready to give your lungs a workout at 8,000 feet of elevation and climbing.

4. San Diego. Okay, so this could be a road trip, or it could be your chance to avoid holiday traffic and booze it up in the drink cart on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner. For about $90, you can buy yourself a round trip ticket and not have to worry about your transportation. 

5. San Francisco. The weather in San Francisco should be pretty nice after Friday. It'll still be cool, but you don't go there to lay out anyway. Explore and inhale the inescapable smells of "the city."

6. Big Sur. If you can't handle the drive up I-5 to San Francisco, consider taking a drive up the coast on the PCH instead and stopping in Big Sur. If you try for it now, you may still be able to find a campsite in the actual town, or just south along the coast. Weather is supposed to be pretty nice, and you can catch some of the most majestic scenery you'll ever come across.

7. Arizona or Southern Utah. One way to celebrate a patriotic holiday like Memorial Day is to soak in some of our national treasures, like the Grand Canyon or Zion National Park. A scenic town like Sedona isn't far away, either. If you're feeling like breaking out of the usual California haunts, then a seven hour drive may be worth it.

And if you need any more motivation, here's Billy Ocean...

Make sure to have the 50 best road trip songs of all time on your playlist.

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