Lone turkey seeks weekend day trips in SoCal
November 11, 2017 7:06 AM   Subscribe

I'll be (sorta-kinda voluntarily) alone this Thanksgiving, and I want to go on an adventure. Where should I go/what should I do?

I’m going to be a holiday orphan this Thanksgiving - I have to work that day and the next, my partner will be out of the country, my family is too far away for me to pop in to visit, and most of my friends will be with theirs.

Anyway, I love having alone time and rarely get more than 12 hours of it at a time these days, so I figured I’d use this as an opportunity to treat myself a little bit. Basically, I want to go on a little holiday weekend adventure by myself.

I’m in the Los Angeles area (South Bay), and getting around isn’t an issue. I was thinking something along the lines of going solo camping somewhere, or aimlessly wandering around a place I’ve never been before, though I’m open to all suggestions. The only caveat is that I have to be back home by Sunday evening.
posted by otenba to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Death Valley is about four hours away. It looks like it will be peak Mercury viewing, but I'm not sure if it's the best viewing spot. Still, stars!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:48 AM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

29 Palms Inn in Joshua Tree.
It's a really interesting place with lots of quiet and a great restaurant.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:28 AM on November 11, 2017

If money was no object and I wanted to avoid being reminded that it's Thanksgiving, I'd fly up to Vancouver for the weekend. Canadians have their own T-Day celebration, but it happens a few weeks previous. I guess for the same reason, you could head south; Mexico's a lot closer to LA.
posted by Rash at 10:18 AM on November 11, 2017

Maybe take a day trip to Anacapa Island (or one of the other islands) with Island Packers? They can leave you out overnight too, there are designated camping areas in Channel Islands Natl Park.

Or there is a cool harbor tour in San Pedro I've been wanting to go on. You could make a day of it by getting some Fish cooked to order at the extremely lively San Pedro Ports O' Call. It's liable to be jammed with happy families that weekend. You go buy your fish (or shrimp, or whatever seafood you want) at one stand, then take it across the walkway to another stand where they cook it however you want. Totally delicious.

Or you could take a day trip to Santa Barbara, to have lunch at La Super Rica, which is a worthy destination all by itself.

Orrr, you could bomb up highway 395 to Mammoth after work on Friday, ski, snowboard, snowshoe or cross country ski all weekend, and head home Sunday night. Yes folks, Mammoth is already open for the season I checked! On Nov. 11th!
posted by bluesky78987 at 2:58 PM on November 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

There's great camping in the Mojave National Preserve, and it's a lot less crowded than Death Valley or Joshua Tree. Only caveat is that you'll probably want to head home on Saturday (or really, really early on Sunday) in order to avoid the traffic coming back from Las Vegas.

Also, the roads to the best campsites aren't maintained, so a high ground-clearance vehicle is strongly recommended. Until I recently bought an old 4Runner, we used to rent SUVs at LAX whenever we went camping. It's literally half the price of renting anywhere else, and it comes with unlimited mileage. (We've twice taken out vehicles with less than 50 miles on the odometer and put over 300 miles on them - much of that off road - in a single day. Good times.)
posted by Anoplura at 5:51 PM on November 11, 2017

Maybe a little road trip south that includes the Wild Animal Park (I still have trouble calling it Safari Park) and Glen Ivy Hot Springs? You could likely loop desert camping into the mix by continuing east from the animal park and routing past Ramona and Julian.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 8:22 PM on November 11, 2017

Joshua Tree -- most of the campsites in the park are walk-up, though I imagine it'll be pretty busy.

Or, if you *really* want to be alone and you're cool with digging cat holes, you can pick pretty much any spot in Anza Borrego and plop yourself down. You could easily go the whole weekend without seeing anyone, depending on where you plopped. I wouldn't venture too far off the beaten path alone though -- it's easy to get stuck out there (most of the "roads" are actually washes, so there's plenty of deep sand, high rocks, and deep holes) and there's limited cell service. So please adventure intelligently and within your skillset!
posted by natabat at 9:08 AM on November 13, 2017

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