Southern California Road Trip Destinations


What better time than the summer to roam the scenic highways of California on your way to the perfect weekend getaway? Nothing beats the ease of traveling on your own time and with your own car. But beautiful weather and an abundance of national parks all within California can make choosing which destination to visit first a difficult choice. Borrow wants to help its readers by filling them in on some of the great southern California destinations worthy of a summer road trip.

Here are some of the best local road trip locations to visit this summer:

San Luis Obispo:

If you’re looking for a quaint, quiet beach town to escape to while also treating yourself to a weekend of self-care, look no further than San Luis Obispo. At the southern tip of the city are affordable and accessible hot springs for anyone looking for an authentic spa experience that’s still in a city. But before jumping into to the mineral-infused waters, drive through the Irish Natural Hills Reserve, and enjoy the trees and hiking trails -- all within a half hour drive of the city. For a bite to eat, Novo and Buona Tavola are some of Slo’s highest rated restaurants.

La Jolla -- San Diego

La Jolla offers a relaxing coastal community filled with beautiful beaches and spectacular views. The upscale neighborhood is best for surfing, beach lounging and its cuisine – primarily seafood and Mexican. Some of their best Mexican food can be found at Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen and Bar, Verdes El Ranchero or Jose’s Courtroom. If you manage to flag down a local, you might be able to find the spot where sea lions flop around, just several feet from other beach dwellers. No shirt and no shoes? No worries, La Jolla is the location for you.

Panamint Springs -- Death Valley

While Death Valley is known for its breathtaking desert, the edge of the park is filled with gems for the less daring, including Panamint Springs. Rather than go on a hike through the seemingly never-ending desert, relax in a cabin, surrounded by hundred-foot-tall trees and enjoy the natural springs. With the Valley just several miles away, there’s ton more nature to see and experience as well.


Ojai is a small town with easy access to the Topatopa Mountains as well as the Los Padres National Forest, great for those looking for a more lowkey nature experience. The old-school vibes bring a sense of nostalgia for earlier times. But Ojai is just as lively and progressive as the next town; during the summer, the town hosts Ojai Music Festival, which hosts local classical artists. The town itself includes various parks and the Ojai Meadow Reserves -- tons to do without ever having to step foot out of the town.

Santa Monica Pier:

For a fun day out in the sun with the family, head to the Santa Monica Pier. Get the entertainment of carnival games and rides and the benefit of extensive beaches. The nearby Venice Beach Boardwalk as well as other local activities suitable for both kids and adults makes Santa Monica the perfect location for a weekend getaway; Newport and Balboa are also just a short drive away -- beautiful local spots for when the pier is just a little too jam-packed with other tourists and visitors. Dozens of family friendly food options can be found inland from the pier itself.  

If you’re a southern California local or visiting the area on vacation, using Borrow’s all electric vehicle fleet is the perfect way to road trip to these destinations.

Borrow is the right way to own a car, with a simple monthly, flat fee subscription. We are bridging the gap between leasing, ownership and on-demand and removing the complexity of car ownership by making the process simple, intuitive and fun. Think of Borrow as your personal mobility concierge. JoinBorrow: Take The Wheel.