For this trip all you'll need to get away from LA is a free afternoon and a full tank of gas. Easy to get to, fun for photos and surrounded by great hikes. Take an afternoon to journey back in time to the Paramount Ranch.
With a rich film history, this park has fooled movie-goers into mistaking it for the Ozark Mountains, Albuquerque New Mexico, Tom Sawyer's Missouri and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman's Colorado Springs, but you won't need a ticket to this show because admission is free (and so is the parking). The set is an honest homage to the Wild Wild West, and luckily for us, its located an hour away in the Agoura Hills.
Get me there: Just 40 miles north on the 101 (but a century back in time) you can almost drive right into the famous faux-ghost town. Multiple hiking trails are tucked away in the valley behind the town but some of the trail junctions are unmarked, so bring a copy of the Paramount Ranch Trail guide before setting out.
Give me something more: Throughout the year there are multiple fun festivals that take place, but the one not to be missed is the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest in early May.
Give me food: If the mock-western town wasn't fix enough, top off the day with dinner at Old Place. The name says it all. Recently written up in LA Magazine and reviewed by the LA Times, this restaurant is my definition of perfection. Sip on a Craftsman 1903 pre-prohibition Lager while enjoying a reasonably priced and completely delicious dinner. The ambiance is king, the food is top notch and reservations recommended. What are you waiting for? Make John Wayne proud and go.