One of my favorite things about our location here at Biola is that we have such a wide variety of places to travel to right inside this golden state! Not only is Biola in the heart of sunny southern California but you can also easily get from the city, to the ocean, to the desert, to the mountains, and back to Biola in one whole day! However, if you’re up for a little road trip there are a few gems north up the coast, too. Here is a list of some of my favorite places I’ve ventured to during my time here!

Balboa Beach

My go to. Most people around here love going to Huntington or Newport beach..but if you keep driving south down the 1, you’ll get to a little gem called Balboa Beach. I grew up here—it’s old timey, and I am convinced it’s got the best views. There’s a fun-zone where you can ride a ferris wheel and grab some chocolate covered bananas too!

Balboa Beach

Palm Desert

This desert is about a 1.5-2 hour drive away. There are a few hidden gems you can explore such as Joshua Tree National Park and Salvation Mountain! Every so often, there is an art exhibit called Desert X that goes up as well. My friends and I love coming here every spring to enjoy the warmth of the sun!

Joshua Tree National Park and Salvation Mountain


I love spending time in the mountains. Whether it’s hiking, or even just passing through and stopping for some hot chocolate on the way. Here are a few of my favorite spots.

Mt. Baldy

About an hour and a half of a drive away from Biola. If you head all the way to the top, there’s a ski resort where even if you don’t ski,  you can take a fun ride up the lifts and enjoy good views (and some really good french fries up at the top). Mt. Baldy is my favorite destination for days when you just need to drive and get away for a bit!

Mt. Baldy and Beautiful People

Big Bear

Big bear is about 2-3 hours away from campus. My favorite thing about it is that there’s a lake where you can go jet-skiing or just go in for a quick dip! There’s also a little village where you can window shop and eat some good food with a few pals.

Big Bear Lake

San Louis Obispo

This is one of my favorites. About a 4 hour drive up the coast will take you to this quaint little town which is called “the happiest town in California”. Once you get there, you’ll know why! SLO has beautiful rolling hills with horses and fun coffee shops all in between. I’ve gone up and come home in one day..anything is possible!

Rolling Hills


The furthest drive, but so worth it. The view!!! Notorious for half-dome, Yosemite is what I mean when I say mountains. I love coming here in the summer and going on hikes around the park. I know friends who have gone up and come home overnight, but I recommend making a weekend out of it so you can really see all it has to offer!


*pro tip: Mammoth mountain is a couple of hours drive away--and there are natural hot springs there open to the public!

San Francisco

Long weekend ahead? You can pack your bags and jump in the car for about 7 hours and make your way to San Francisco, California! For out-of-staters, I say this is a must. The city is bursting with culture. There are endless sights, sounds, and smells to experience in this 7 mile round city! I came here once for 4 days with one of my best friends, and it was plenty of time to get away from school for a bit and enjoy a little adventure up north.

San Francisco Trip

And while I covered a lot of ground, the possibilities are seriously endless over here! I hope this blog gives you a little peek at all the beauty California has to offer.

'Til next blog!