Get in the RV, We're Outta Here - 3 Perfect Southern California Day Trips

You can hit the beach or that favorite campground any old time. For a truly fun and adventurous Southern California RV trip, go off the beaten path and visit some of its hidden gems. These destinations are perfect for day trips, so for less of a tourist vacation and more of an RV adventure, try these three Southern California stops:

Salvation Mountain, Niland

About an hour and a half from Palm Springs and just east of the Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain is situated in the lower desert of Imperial County. Leonard Knight’s “God Is Love” message reverberates through his tribute to God and his gift to the world. Containing bluebirds, suns, waterfalls, trees, flowers and other colorful objects, as well as religious and biblical scripture, this is an art masterpiece not to be missed. The reoccurring theme of love is everywhere in the mountain, from the cross at the top, to the big red heart in the middle, to the Sea of Galilee at the bottom. Constructed of donated paint and local adobe clay, this 150-feet-wide, 50-feet-high attraction makes a perfect stop for RVers.

Photo by reverendlukewarm via Flickr

Thousand Palms, Coachella Valley Preserve

Known to many as the host of the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, Thousand Palms is a great spot for RV travelers (on non-festival dates, that is). There are no user fees for the preserve. Visitors can take advantage of 20,000-plus acres of trails, wildlife and desert wilderness. Leave the RV behind and hike or picnic through “The Old West,” as its known, to take in miles of desert beauty. To take full advantage of what Coachella has to offer and to learn more about the preserve, there are guided hikes led by expert trail stewards.

Photo by bdearth via Flickr

Integratron, Landers

You’ll find Integratron in the desert just outside the town of Landers, near Yucca Valley. While the exterior may not look like much, the interior will definitely provide an exceptional experience. As the only acoustically perfect sound chamber constructed of all wood, Integratron was constructed by George Van Tassel, a NASA physicist who claimed that aliens told him how to build it. This unique building is a hybrid of the science of Nikola Tesla and design of Moses’ Tabernacle. Resembling a small observatory, Integratron rises 38 feet out of a powerful vortex in the center of the Mojave Desert. It’s been said that Integratron has the ability to rejuvenate and heal living cell tissues through its unique geometrical design, which may or may not offer visitors spiritual and physical healing.

Photo by Shamrox via Flickr

Before You Hit the Road

Keep in mind a few RV road trip basics to remain safe throughout the trip:

  • Do you have good insurance and a roadside assistance plan? AARP teamed up with The Hartford to offer plans tailored to the type of vehicle you drive and the type of coverage needed for the trips you’re planning. Roadside assistance is also a good idea because you don’t want to be stuck in the desert without a way to be rescued.
  • Have you kept up with the regular maintenance on your RV? Hit the Road RVing offers a maintenance checklist, along with just about every other checklist you'll ever need.



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