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Chelsea Gonzales
by Chelsea Gonzales
Posted March 17, 2023

We love San Diego! It’s a beautiful city with lots to see and do. That said, sometimes you just need to leave the city behind, immerse yourself in nature, and let your soul have a break from the busyness of day-to-day life. Fortunately, there are tons of great places for weekend trips from San Diego, and a lot of these are natural areas with beautiful views and amazing adventures. 

Hoping to experience some of the best weekend trips from San Diego? This itinerary will show you how. Below, we’ve listed our absolute favorite places to visit when we’re in San Diego and need to leave the city behind. 

RVs For Rent Near San Diego

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A Hiker’s Dream – Idyllwild

Drive time: 2 hours

First on our list of amazing San Diego getaways is Idyllwild. This gorgeous resort town is located up in the San Jacinto mountains. It’s a quick two-hour drive from San Diego, but we don’t recommend making the drive during the winter months when the mountain roads can be pretty treacherous. 

Things to Do

Idyllwild is home to a few cute little shops, as well as some art galleries that are fun to walk through. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes to try, making the foodies who visit here pretty happy. 

As far as activities go, Idyllwild is the perfect place to hike. This is because it’s a jumping-off point to hundreds of miles of beautiful hiking trails. These trails wind their way through the countless pine trees, giving you plenty of amazing views of the lovely alpine landscape along the way.

Essentially, Idyllwild is a hiker’s dream come true, so make sure to pack your hiking poles

A Top 3 Weekend Getaway from San Diego

Where to Stay

Idyllwild is a wonderful place to take an RV and park in a beautiful natural area. There are a handful of campground options to choose from, including Mount San Jacinto State Park, where RVs up to 24 feet in length can park and enjoy dry camping or camping with hookups. 

Joshua Tree NP Is a great weekend trip from San Diego

A Desert Adventure – Joshua Tree National Park

Drive time: 3 hours

Those looking for a beautiful desert landscape and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities should head to Joshua Tree National Park. This park is just three hours from San Diego and it’s well worth every minute of drive time. 

Things to Do

Joshua Tree National Park plays host to a variety of things to see and do. There are a number of great hikes, including the Arch Rock Trail, which takes you by some of the most notable rock formations in the park. You will also want to check out the Hall of Horrors trail and try to find the slot canyon that is hidden behind a group of boulders along the trail. 

Other fun things to do in this park include bouldering, touring Keys Ranch, checking out an Oasis (we recommend Cottonwood Springs Oasis), and wandering the Cholla Cactus Garden. You will also want to stay after sunset for some of the best stargazing in the entire country. (Be sure to bring the telescope along!)

Where to Stay

We highly recommend camping in the national park itself, if at all possible. There are a number of great campgrounds within the park and you’ll almost certainly find one to suit your needs. Jumbo Rocks Campground is one of our favorites. This campground has 124 sites and can accommodate rigs up to 35 feet long. There are no hookups, so be sure to bring water in. 

Lake Arrowhead is a great weekend trip from San Diego

A Lakeside Paradise – Lake Arrowhead

Drive time: 2 hours

Lake Arrowhead is another one of the best weekend getaways from San Diego. This place is great no matter the season, and since it’s only two hours from San Diego, it’s a good option even if you only have a couple of days. 

Things to Do

Things to do in Lake Arrowhead include a nice selection of restaurants and shops, as well as art galleries that can be enjoyed year-round. 

In the summer, visitors to the lake can enjoy swimming and fishing. Paddling is another popular activity at the lake, and water sports such as wakeboarding and water-skiing are fun ways to get your thrills out on the water. 

Planning a wintertime visit? We recommend heading to the Snow Valley ski resort to try your hand at skiing! There is also a fun snow play and sledding area that is perfect for those with young children. 

Where to Stay

One of our favorite places to stay near Lake Arrowhead is Dogwood Campground. This lovely camping spot is located just five minutes from the town of Lake Arrowhead and is tucked away into the trees of San Bernardino National Forest. The sites here do not have hookups, but flush toilets, showers, and potable water are all available. 

Clearly, there are tons of amazing weekend getaways from San Diego. In fact, the options listed here are just the tip of the iceberg. We encourage you to give these a try and then start exploring on your own to see what other hidden gems you come across. Who knows? You might just find one of the best weekend getaways from San Diego yet!

Of course, you will want a way to see all of these beautiful places in comfort. This is where a San Diego RV rental comes into play. There are all kinds of amazing rental RVs out there, including this wonderful class C that easily fits the whole family, as well as this comfy van that is ideal for just one or two adventurers. 

RVs For Rent Near San Diego

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Chelsea Gonzales


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