Every Single Event Worth Leaving LA for This Spring

Splash House Concert
Splash House

It's one thing to just rattle off a list of places that are, like, available from LA to take a quick road trip to, but in order for you to really get motivated to get off your couch, you've got to have, like, a reason to go there. Which is why we're here: here are a slew of excuses to take a quick road trip in the next few months, with at least one option per weekend ranging from music festivals to car shows to events for people who really, really like strawberries. Like, a lot.

Hit the slopes for the Mammoth Invitational

The 8th annual Mammoth Invitational is a massive three-day party on the mountain, featuring pro-coaches doing workshops, silent auctions, and a gala with plated dinner, all to benefit the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation.


Look, everyone knows that if you're not on the field for Coachella, there are an almost overwhelming amount of other parties, including many that are open to the public, like the Pandora Indio Invasion (with Walk The Moon DJing), Not A Pool Party (with a live set from Dan Deacon), and Desert Gold by the pool at the Ace.

Drink the bubbly at the Vintners Spring Weekend

Would you like to drink over ONE HUNDRED wines at a grand tasting? You would? And you would like to do it in beautiful Buellton, outside of Santa Barbara? Then you would like to go to this.

Visit the banana stand and also drink a lot at the Newport Beach Beerfest

We've got a ton of suggestions of how you can spend your time in Newport Beach not at the beer fest, but we know how you'll spend your time at that, too: drinking lots of beer, and getting very specific with your early-aughts nostalgia, since the music includes Hoobastank and Alien Ant Farm. "Smooth Criminal" cover, y'all!

Hit the beach for the Wines, Wave & Beyond Surf Classic

This event reads like a list of California's greatest hits: a winemaker dinner, screenings of new surf movies, a vintage car show, and a surf contest. Yep: that's a killer weekend.

Go south at the OC Beer Festival

Because Newport is just one city but OC is a WHOLE COUNTY, this big ol' beerfest has tastings of dozens of local beers, great food trucks, and Saved By The '90s, who -- you guessed it -- are an Eagles cover band. Just kidding. They play '90s hits. 

Get all heady at the Joshua Tree Music Fest

If Burning Man is your jam, you'll probably love this similarly open-minded small-time fest out in the desert, although the music leans more funky than electronic, with headliners including Dumpstaphunk and Chicago's The Main Squeeze.

Meat up at the West Coast BBQ Classic

OK, Long Beach isn't quite the road trip some of these other picks are -- it is in LA County, after all -- but heading out to the Queen Mary always seems like a hike, and if you eat too many ribs at this monstrous BBQ festival, you can always get a room on the boat for the night to sleep it off.

Fish for respect at The Hall Family May Trout Classic

It's $75 to register for this fishing contest, but there's $8,000 in prizes and the lake will be stuffed with giant trout. And even if you don't catch anything, you get to hang out in Big Bear for the weekend, which is a win no matter how you look at it.

Get sweet on someone at the California Strawberry Festival

If you grew up in SoCal, you may have considered the strawberry fest the beginning of your summer -- and now as an adult, you can enjoy it even more, since your parents won't stop you from eating more strawberry nachos. Or strawberry pizza. Or deep fried strawberries. OR MARGARITAS, PEOPLE.

Santa Barbara Street Painting Festival

This festival (an offshoot of an Italian fest) is not a traditional arts fest; it's over 150 people painting the street and sidewalks, and it's hugely impressive. Seriously.

Play fair at opening day of the San Diego County Fair

Sure, OC is closer, and LA is sorta-closer (if you consider Pomona closer than Orange County, which, let's be honest, it's not) but the San Diego County Fair is FIRST, which means if you want to stuff your face with fried everything, this date needs to be circled on your calendar.

Cool off at Splash House

It'll be, like, CRAZY HOT by June in Palm Springs, so why not cool off with an insane pool party? Splash House is always nuts -- this year's lineup hasn't been announced yet, but last year had Cashmere Cat, RAC, and dozens more at three pools across the desert.

Pismo Beach Classic Car Show

Even if you're not a gearhead, the Pismo Beach Car Show'll blow you away: literally thousands of the best-kept classic cars you've ever seen will line the beach, with events including a fundraising gala and a poker game if you wanna get close with the owners.