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Does Getting Married Affect Auto Insurance?

If you’re ready to walk down the aisle and say “I do” you know you’re in for a serious commitment. According to most marriage vows, that includes “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” As part of your union, your finances, taxes, and insurance may all be affected. But is car insurance cheaper when married or more expensive? In many cases, you may benefit from a change to your marital status but not always.

is car insurance cheaper when married

Is car insurance cheaper when you’re married? 

Being married means combining many aspects of your life. That may include your car insurance coverage. If you get a joint car insurance policy as a couple, you may be able to score a married insurance discount. 

According to financial site ValuePenguin, a full coverage car insurance policy on average is $123 cheaper for a married couple than a single individual, resulting in a 5% savings. But that also depends on the state you live in as well. 

You may qualify for a steeper discount on your car insurance when married — or not, depending on the situation and your driving history. 

Why does being married lower car insurance? 

You might wonder what your marital status has to do with car insurance and why does being married lower car insurance in some cases? Why do married people get additional car insurance savings than their single (at least, legally) counterparts? According to The Zebra’s 2021 The State Of Auto Insurance Report (pg 15), here’s part of the reason:

“Statistically, insurance companies have found that married drivers are less likely to file claims than drivers who are single, divorced or widowed, so married drivers pay less for car insurance. When single people get married, their car insurance rates drop about 6.5%, saving roughly $96/year.”

In other words, if there are fewer claims, married people are deemed safer drivers and not as risky. According to The Zebra, there are some states where you won’t see a married insurance discount though. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Montana don’t allow car insurance rates to be impacted simply because you have a ring on it (or not). 

On top of being deemed a safer driver, couples are rewarded for bundling their auto insurance and having a multi-car policy. So there’s not exactly an insurance discount available by car insurance providers for being married. 

Instead, your marital status is one factor that can impact your rates, and you can get a discount for having a multi-car policy. 

When you won’t get lower car insurance rates when married 

Because rating factors for marital statuscan vary by insurer and your state, not everyone who gets hitched will see car insurance savings (womp womp).

In fact, if your spouse has a not-so-great driving record and you get a joint policy, you may face even higher car insurance rates. So on top of talking about debt levels, credit scores, and taxes when married, discussing your driving history is a wise idea before opting for a joint policy. 

If one person has a stellar driving record and the other one does not, you may want to keep things separate (just like there are financial reasons to file your taxes separately in some cases, such as having income-based student loan repayment). Of course, you can always comparison shop and review an individual versus joint policy to see your prospective rates. 

You may need to list your spouse on your policy anyway if you live together, even if you have separate policies. In that case, you may ask for a named-driver exclusion that acknowledges the party in your household but won’t affect your rates. That driver won’t be covered under your policy and shouldn’t drive your vehicle either. However, some states may not offer this option. 

Marital status and car insurance 

In many instances, if you’re married, you’ll want to check your auto insurance policy to see if you can qualify for a discount on a multi-car policy. It’s important to note though that marriage insurance discounts depend on the following:

  • The car insurance provider
  • Each of your driving records
  • The state you live in 
  • The area you live in

To score competitive car insurance rates, be sure to ask your current car insurance provider about any potential discounts after your legal union. 

Additionally, compare rates with a joint policy and look at the numbers separately. In theory, if you both have pretty good driving records with no recent infractions, you should see some savings. But it’s always a good idea to see for yourself, so you know what you’re getting and know you’re not missing out. 

When it’s not happily ever after 

No one gets married imagining a divorce will happen later on. But the likelihood of first-time marriages in the U.S. ending up in divorce is close to 50%, notes the American Psychological Association. As if that isn’t difficult enough, it’s important to be aware that splitting up may also impact your rates. 

While marriage may positively impact your car insurance rates, the converse is also true in that divorcing may negatively impact your rates. From Zebra’s analysis, divorced drivers tend to file more claims than married drivers. 

The bottom line 

Marriage can change many aspects of your life, including your insurance. A common question  is if car insurance is cheaper when married.In many cases, yes it is, but not always. That’s why it’s important to do your own research to see if a joint policy would make sense or not. Regardless, your marital status may impact your car insurance rates whether it’s an individual or joint policy. If one or both of you are low-mileage drivers, it might be time to rethink your auto coverage altogether and pay-per-mile insurance might be the solution for you. Why pay for miles you aren’t driving, when you can get insurance based on the miles you actually drive? That way you know you’re not overpaying for coverage. Find out pay-per-mile coverage options through Metromile and get a free quote. 

Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

How Will Car Insurance Work For Self-Driving Cars?

Self-driving cars can seem like something from the future, but the future is closer than you think. In fact, many manufacturers  have already rolled out some self-driving features. While an official rollout of fully autonomous cars hasn’t happened yet, self-driving cars could hit the market in the next few years. Imagining cars without a human driver is tough to reconcile and brings a lot of questions and concerns. Will self-driving cars be safe? Will they be affordable? How will car insurance be affected by self-driving cars? Based on new research from Metromile and The Ferenstein Wire, this new technology stands to revolutionize the auto landscape and could save consumers $1,000 in car insurance every year. Read on to learn more about car insurance and self-driving cars. 

car insurance self driving cars

The self-driving cars landscape 

Fully self-driving cars, also sometimes referred to as autonomous cars, aren’t sold to the public yet. But as noted above, automated driving systems are already in some vehicles, helping take some of the load off the driver, and are currently being tested. 

Currently, many top car manufacturers are working to make autonomous vehicles (AV) a reality and testing out the technology to move things forward. 

Where we’re at with self-driving cars 

Self-driving technology is moving forward rapidly, but full-on driverless vehicles aren’t a thing just yet. For some context, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has outlined the various automation levels from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Currently, we’re at level 2. These levels of automation are:

  • 0 = No automation, where the driver is fully responsible
  • 1 = Driver assistance, where some features assist the driver
  • 2 = Partial automation, which includes automated functions such as steering and acceleration, but the driver is still responsible and needs to remain present and engaged
  • 3 = Conditional automation, where a driver is needed but isn’t tasked with monitoring the environment and must be ready to take over when needed
  • 4 = High automation, where the vehicle can perform all driving requirements under certain conditions, and the driver may be able to take over as needed
  • 5 = Full automation, where the vehicle can perform all driving requirements during all conditions, and the driver may be able to take over as needed 

So while more vehicle manufacturers are adding self-driving features to their cars, we’re still a few years out from a fully autonomous vehicle. The NHTSA predicts that by 2025 and beyond, fully automated safety features will be available and on the market. 

Currently, General Motors is looking to manufacture one million self-driving vehicles by 2030

Self-driving cars and insurance issues

One of the primary questions with self-driving cars is if there will still be a need for car insurance. Car insurance providers assess a driver’s risk on the road, among other factors, and offer various types of coverage in the event of property damage, bodily injury , and more. 

In many cases, incidents occur because of the driver. So what happens if you no longer need the driver or the risk is seriously reduced? Will it be the driver’s fault or the auto manufacturer’s fault? 

In response to questions like this, the NHTSA states:

“It is vital to emphasize that drivers will continue to share driving responsibilities for the foreseeable future and must remain engaged and attentive to the driving task and the road ahead with the consumer available technologies today. However, questions about liability and insurance are among many important questions, in addition to technical considerations that policymakers are working to address before automated driving systems reach their maturity and are available to the public.”

Car insurance claims for property damage

So even though self-driving cars can reduce the risk of an accident and make establishing fault a bit murky, there will still be a need for car insurance. 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, car insurance claims around accidents may be reduced, but there will still be a need for coverage when it comes to property damage or loss due to theft or inclement weather. 

The cost of repairing self-driving vehicles may be higher 

Additionally, it’s important to note that the overall cost of repairing self-driving vehicles may be higher. 

Given the technology of autonomous cars, including various sensors, cameras, and other equipment — when repairs are needed, the cost will likely be at a premium and not something your local mechanic can fix. 

Insurance underwriting and claims 

As technology shifts, so will the car insurance industry. Underwriting criteria and liability insurance will likely be reimagined. 

Claims for accidents may be reduced and the Insurance Information Institute notes that healthcare, disability, and workers comp claims from auto accidents may be reduced as well. Since many car accidents are caused by human miscalculation, error, or judgment, self-driving cars may end up lowering car insurance rates. 

What the future holds for autonomous cars and insurance 

There’s no doubt that autonomous cars will be a reality faster than we think. What that looks like from an insurance perspective is complex. Each state has its regulations as it relates to auto insurance. On top of that, each state deals with liability for injuries differently and has different minimum requirements for coverage. 

One of the persisting questions is who will pay in the event of an incident ? Though the NHTSA states that the liability will be shared, how that works and actually breaks down will need to be clarified. Will the insurance company subrogate the AV manufacturer if the technology failed and the operator was not at fault? These nuanced situations and important questions will need to be answered. 

Given all of these factors, self-driving cars can create insurance issues that will need to be dealt with. On top of that, it’ll be an adjustment for consumers as well. 

According to a 2021 JD Power Study on self-driving cars, 41% of respondents are comfortable with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) as the highest level of automation, and only 14% of respondents are comfortable with fully self-driving cars. 

In the coming years, car insurance may look different, and consumers may see autonomous cars on the market. 

The bottom line 

Car insurance for self-driving cars might look different than what you’re used to today. At Metromile, we will have the ability to adapt our signature pay-per-mile insurance to autonomous vehicles as they enter the market. For now, low-mileage drivers can use pay-per-mile technology to pay less for car insurance. You pay for gas by the gallon, so why not pay for insurance based on the miles you drive? Get a free quote with Metromile.


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

8 Short Road Trips from Chicago Under 100 Miles

Chicago is a city that is full of great art, architecture, food and has many things to do for residents and tourists alike. It also has a great public transportation system, is walkable, and is very bikeable, increasing the ways to get around the city. Whether you’re visiting the Windy City for a few days or live there and are looking for a little adventure, you might be considering weekend getaways from Chicago. We’ve rounded up eight short road trips from Chicago that are under 100 miles away.

1. Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana 

8 Weekend Getaways from Chicago Under 100 Miles | Metromile

If you’re looking for a Chicago getaway that is close by and want to enjoy a natural habitat, consider heading to Indiana Dunes National Park. According to IndianaDunes.com, the locale is home to a whopping 15,000 acres, 350 types of birds, and more than a thousand flowering plants. 

You also get to explore 15 miles of the shoreline and can take advantage of 50 miles of trails. You can go hiking or horseback riding on Glenwood Dunes Trail, relax at Dunbar Beach, and grab a bite at Aaron’s Mortgage Inn. Find more information about Indiana Dunes National Park here. 

Distance from Chicago: 36.2 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 44 minutes 

2. Elgin, Illinois 

Elgin Illinois

Another short Chicago getaway option is to Elgin, located in Northern Illinois as part of the Fox River Valley. You can hike and bike at the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve or explore the Fox River Trolley Museum. You can also see a show at the Hemmens Cultural Center, which is located along the Riverwalk. Grab some pizza at Riverside Pizza and Pub or grab some espresso or a cocktail at Mockingbird Bar + Garden. Find out more information about Elgin here. 

Distance from Chicago: 40.5 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 48 minutes 

3. McHenry County, Illinois 

Mc Henry County

Looking for weekend getaways in Chicago during the winter months? Look no further than McHenry County. You can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, ice fishing, and more. You can satisfy your sweet tooth at Julie Ann’s Frozen Custard and stay at a beautiful Victorian home at Cherry Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast. Find out more information about McHenry County here. 

Distance from Chicago: 62.8 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr and 18 minutes 

4. Kenosha, Wisconsin 

Kenosha, Wisconsin

One of the top weekend getaways from Chicago is Kenosha, Wisconsin where you can enjoy the beauty and majesty of the Lake Michigan shoreline. You can enjoy the public art in the city, see the two signature lighthouses, and go by streetcar. 

You can explore the Dinosaur Discovery Museum or have a beach day at Alford Park and Beach or go skiing or snowshoeing in the winter. You can grab your morning coffee at Harborside Common Grounds or enjoy a beer and a bite at Kenosha Brewing Co. (fun fact: 90 years ago, monks in Kenosha mastered the art of creating beer in the same location). Find more information about Kenosha here. 

Distance from Chicago: 66.2 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr and 13 minutes 

5. Harbor Country, Michigan 

Harbor Country

Can’t decide between a beach or forest getaway? Why not do both in Harbor Country, Michigan. Harbor Country is home to eight towns nestled along Lake Michigan. You can go to Warren Dunes State Park and enjoy hiking, various winter sports, and dunes along the beach. 

You can also enjoy the 105-acre Friendship Botanic Gardens which has trails and playgrounds for kids. Adults can enjoy wine tasting (just be sure to avoid driving to avoid a DUI) and dinner at Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant and can stay at Baymont Inn and Suites. Find more information about Harbor Country here. 

Distance from Chicago: 72.9 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr and 16 minutes 

6. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva Wi

A top destination for weekend getaways from Chicago is Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. You can ski and do winter sports at Wilmot Mountain or in the summer enjoy Riviera Beach. You can also go ziplining or get your dose of local history at the Geneva Lake Museum.  

If you’re a foodie and want to enjoy the surroundings, head to Frontier Restaurant at Lake Lawn Resort for dinner and stay the night there at Lake Lawn Resort. Find more information about Lake Geneva here. 

Distance from Chicago: 83 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr and 29 minutes 

7. Rockford, Illinois 

Rockford Il

Ready for a Chicago getaway that is the size of a big city but feels like a small town? Then Rockford is your next destination. If you’re going with kids, check out the Discovery Center Museum. Are you an art lover? Check out Rockford Art Museum

You can also hike, bike, golf, ski, or bird watch at the expansive Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. Two must-visits for garden lovers include Anderson Japanese Gardens and ​​Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. You can dine at Abreo and stay at a local hotel or go camping at a nearby campground. Find more information about Rockford here

Distance from Chicago: 88.9 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr and 33 minutes 

8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee WI

When it comes to road trips from Chicago, Milwaukee is another great destination. You can explore the Milwaukee Art Museum or Milwaukee Public Museum and take a stroll down the Riverwalk and explore local art and breweries. Grab some lunch and a pint at Lakefront Brewery and go golfing, to a casino, biking, and much more. Stay in downtown Milwaukee at ​​Dubbel Dutch. Find more information about Milwaukee here. 

Distance from Chicago: 92.1 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr and 31 minutes 

The bottom line 

If you live in Chicago or are just visiting, you can enjoy these eight destinations if you’re looking for close road trips from Chicago. These options are good weekend getaways from Chicago that you can enjoy in a few days or even if you just want to take a day trip. While on the road, you want to make sure you’re covered and prepared. That can include having the right car insurance. Low-mileage drivers can benefit from pay-per-mile coverage and pay for miles based on how much they drive. Check out a free quote with Metromile and get roadside assistance to stay protected on your road trips. 


​​Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

8 Weekend Getaways from Portland Under 100 Miles

Portland is home to an amazing array of restaurants, breweries, wineries, parks, and has some of the best public transportation and is very bike-friendly. Whether you live in Portland or are planning to visit, there are many things you can do in the city. But sometimes you want to explore attractions and locations nearby for a change of scenery. If you’re looking for weekend trips from Portland that aren’t too far away, here are 8 getaways from Portland that are less than 100 miles away.

1. McMinnville

McMinnville

Oregon is well-known for its wine country in the Willamette Valley. There are many areas to explore, but one of the top places to get your wine fix and experience what it has to offer is McMinnville. According to the city’s tourism website, McMinnville is the “heart of Oregon’s wine country”. You can explore a 100-year old farmhouse and get a wine tasting at Dominio IV Wines and stay at McMenamins Hotel Oregon, a unique and eccentric chain of establishments. Get some pizza from 3rd Street Pizza Co and go for a walk at Wortman Park. Find more information about McMinnville here. 

Distance from Portland: 32 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 57 minutes 

2. Silverton

Silverton,OR

Are you looking for a small-town adventure with charm and majestic beauty? Look no further than Silverton, also known as “Oregon’s Garden City”, which was established in 1854. Silverton is one of the top weekend trips from Portland as it’s home to Silver Falls Park, a lush and cascading waterfall and park. Don’t miss the 177-foot South Falls waterfall and feel free to hike around the park or even camp there or have a barbeque. You can stay at the quaint Oregon Garden Resort and get dinner at The Gallon House. Find more information about Silverton here.

Distance from Portland: 41.1 miles

How long it takes to get there one-way: 53 minutes

3. Salem 

Salem,OR

Want to visit the Oregon capital as one of your weekend getaways from Portland? Then add Salem to the list. According to the tourism website Travel Salem, the location is “The most Oregon part of Oregon.” You can enjoy the Riverfront Park, check out the Oregon State Capitol, and get your flower fix at the Adelman Peony Gardens. You can sip wine at Redhawk Winery and eat Italian food at Gamberetti’s. Find more information about Salem here. 

Distance from Portland: 46.1 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 49 minutes 

4. Columbia River Gorge 

Columbia River Gorge OR

For residents and tourists alike, one of the top weekend getaways from Portland is the stunning Columbia River Gorge. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the Columbia River Gorge is a whopping 80 miles long and 4,000 feet deep. While there, you can see the tallest waterfall in Oregon at Multnomah Falls, which is a sight to behold. You can also see gorgeous views of the river from the Crown Point Vista House.  You can also check out the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and hike the Angel’s Rest Trail. Find more information about the Columbia River Gorge here. 

Distance from Portland: 54.9 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr, 4 minutes 

5. Hood River 

Hood river Oregon

Just a short drive from Portland is Hood River, a city full of zest and adventure. Whether it’s winter or summer, there are many outdoor activities to enjoy. You can rent a raft or a motorcycle or even go windsurfing (Fun fact, according to Travel Oregon Hood River is the windsurfing capital of the world). You can also grab a bite and brew at Solstice Woodfire Cafe and try out a craft beer at pFriem Family Brewers. For something unique, check out the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum. Find more information about Hood River here. 

Distance from Portland: 62 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr, 2 minutes 

6. Mount Hood 

Mount Hood Oregon

While in Portland, you can see the iconic and snow-crested Mount Hood in the distance. In colder months, Mount Hood is a ski haven and ideal for snow adventurers. You can plan a trip to Mount Hood Meadows here and stay at the legendary locale, The Timberline Lodge. While there, you can enjoy a beer and food at Mt Hood Brewing. Find more information about Mount Hood here.    

Distance from Portland: 68.4 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr 37 minutes 

7. Cannon Beach 

Cannon Beach Oregon

Portland may rain for much of the year but the summertime is nearly perfect. When it gets hot, it’s fun to go for a drive and take a beach day. One of the best getaways from Portland is Cannon Beach. There you can see the signature Haystack Rock and grab some lunch at local favorite Bill’s Tavern & Brewhouse or the Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge. You can go on a public art walking tour or shop from the many boutiques and stores in the area. Cannon Beach is one of the best weekend trips from Portland, especially in the summer. Need a place to stay? Check out Ecola Inn. Find more information about Cannon Beach here. 

Distance from Portland: 79.2 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr 31 minutes 

8. Astoria 

Astoria Oregon

The Oregon coast is breathtaking and has numerous options for weekend getaways in Portland. If you want a quirky beach town, head to Astoria. You can go to the historic site, The Astoria Column, and grab lunch at Fort George Brewery. Head to the Oregon Film Museum and see where they shot part of The Goonies or enjoy a bit of history and architecture at the Flavel House Museum. You can also enjoy nature and recreation at the historic Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. Find more information about Astoria here. 

Distance from Portland: 97.6 miles 

How long it takes to get there one-way: 1 hr 45 minutes 

The bottom line 

If you’re looking for a getaway from Portland, check out these eight options. Whether you’re more outdoorsy or more epicurean, you have various options to choose from. Go for a day trip or as part of weekend trips from Portland. While you’re preparing to head out on the road, make sure you’re covered with the right car insurance. Metromile offers drivers in Oregon pay-per-mile coverage, which can help lower costs. Want car insurance that feels more fair and straightforward? Grab a free quote from Metromile to see if it’s the right fit for you. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

Between COVID and Rising Gas Prices, Drivers Face Difficult Decisions

Between the holidays, inflation, and COVID, there are a lot of factors significantly impacting drivers around the country. In mid-December, we asked our very own Metromile customers what was making the greatest impact on their transportation choices right now and heard back from over 7,000 folks.

The biggest takeaway? People are conflicted. While they’re still hesitant to take public transportation for fear of contracting COVID, they’re eager to curb their driving as gas prices creep higher. 

Metromile | Impact of COVID and Rising Gas Prices

COVID’s Continuing Impact on How We Get Around

While driving habits have drastically changed since early 2020, our recent survey results show that 59% of Metromilers agree that COVID still has a huge impact on their day-to-day lives and transportation choices. Work from home reduced the need for many to commute and leave their homes but fear of exposure to COVID has made people more reliant on their own vehicles rather than public transportation or ridesharing.

Many Metromilers commented that even during periods of low COVID levels in their communities, the perceived risk of taking public transportation was still too great. And now with a new variant on the rise and the holidays, respondents are even warier of trains, buses, and metros. They told us they are instead opting for the safety of their personal vehicles.

Getting Creative as Gas Prices Surge

With gas hitting $5 a gallon in some cities, 59% of Metromilers agree gas prices, along with an increase in rideshare prices and bridge tolls, have also greatly impacted how they get around. Customers frequently noted they’re now:

  • Forced to run fewer unnecessary errands
  • Combining outings into a single trip where possible 
  • Planning to purchase an electric vehicle in the near future to eliminate the need to buy gas altogether. 

Retirees noted that surges in necessary items like gas and food are particularly difficult when on a fixed income and are causing them to rethink their priorities and drive less when they can.

Embracing New Ways to Travel

Between COVID and rising gas prices, drivers around the country are faced with tough decisions as they weigh the pros and cons of driving their own vehicles versus using public transportation to save on costs. The rise of COVID cases across the country further exacerbates this problem and prompts drivers to seek out new solutions.

Many Metromilers solved this problem by embracing new ways to get around, including biking and walking where they could. These respondents found the silver lining of WFH and less driving and adopted a lifestyle that’s better for their health and their wallets. We also heard from respondents that both COVID and rising gas prices have led them to more frequently explore their local neighborhoods and support nearby businesses.  

Wallet-Friendly Transportation Choices

Whether it’s COVID, inflation, and/or gas prices that are having the biggest impact on your transportation habits, it’s always a good idea to seek out alternatives to keep your costs and miles low. We’ve gathered some of the top non-driving transportation choices to consider in the new year. 

  • Biking is one of the top transportation alternatives to driving as it is environmentally friendly, good for your health, and affordable. If you find yourself needing to go a bit further than you’d like to manually bike, consider an electric bike. Many cities offer bike rental options run by rideshare apps that allow you to only use a bike when you need it rather than fully owning one.
  • If you are going short distances and running small errands in your community, walking or scootering are nice alternatives that offer a budget-friendly and heart-healthy solution to getting around. Similar to bike rental programs, many cities offer scooter rental options run through apps on your smartphone.
  • Mopeds also offer similar benefits to an electric bike and can keep commute costs low, as they’re cheaper to purchase and maintain than cars. If you’ve never driven a moped, companies now make it easy to start riding. In some cities, app-based moped rentals are becoming commonplace and usually cost just a few dollars. And there’s no need to own a helmet for the occasional ride — these companies often provide helmets in the cargo trunk, ready for riders!
  • Public transportation can still be a safe and cost-effective solution to reducing the miles you drive. Public transit agencies around the country are taking various measures to reduce the spread of COVID, such as increased capacity to allow for proper social distancing. Keeping your mask on and washing your hands after taking public transportation are additional ways you can decrease your risk. For more information, check your local public transit authority to see what protective measures they are taking to increase safety and reduce the spread of COVID in your community. 

Cut Down Costs with Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

If you are a low-mileage driver and drive less than 10,000 miles a year (around 200 each week) you could save a lot of money with per-mile insurance. Your monthly bill is based on the miles you drive, so if you don’t drive much, you won’t pay much. If you are interested in seeing how much money you could save, try getting a free insurance quote.

Moonroofs vs Sunroofs, Explained

If you’re thinking of buying a car, you might want some special accessories to boost your enjoyment while on the road. Maybe you want to add a bit of sunlight in while you drive, so you can get that fresh feeling of the sun on your skin but without the cost or wind of a convertible. In that case, you might think, “I need a sunroof!” But you may actually mean a moonroof. What’s the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof, though? Read on to learn about the nuances of moonroofs vs. sunroofs and what to consider.

What’s the Difference Between a Sunroof and a Moonroof? | Metromile

What is a moonroof? 

A moonroof is what you might be (mistakenly) calling a sunroof. A moonroof is a small window placed on the roof of your car with tinted glass that can open up. Even with the moonroof closed, some light can come in. However, there is also typically a panel cover that can block the light. 

A moonroof is used by sliding the panel open and letting the light in without actually opening what is basically a roof window. That way, you don’t have to deal with excessive wind or air, debris, or extraneous material that can get into your car. Fun fact, the moonroof was first unveiled in 1973 as part of the Lincoln Mark IV.

What is a sunroof? 

A sunroof is a type of panel on the roof that can open up completely to let both air and light in. You may be able to open the sunroof manually or electronically. Sunroofs are different in that you may be able to remove them or tilt them in a way that brings in light and the outside air to your vehicle. 

What about panoramic roofs? 

On top of moonroofs vs. sunroofs,  some cars have gone an extra step and added a panoramic roof. 

A panoramic roof is a roof that is comprised entirely of glass so you can get more sunshine and light. Unlike a traditional sunroof or moonroof, this takes up far more real estate. Both drivers and passengers can feel the sun and see the light, potentially boosting the overall experience of being in a car. 

Be aware of safety issues with moonroofs vs. sunroofs 

Now you know that even though many people use the terms interchangeably, there is a difference between sunroof and moonroof. Given the nuance, it’s important to be aware that while having a moonroof or sunroof might be appealing, it can come with some safety issues that you want to be aware of. 

One thing to consider is that if you have a sunroof that exposes you to the elements (like the outside air, wind, heat/cold), you could get hit with debris while driving. If you’ve ever cracked your windshield from debris, you know this is a possibility — but imagine if your roof window was open. You may be at higher risk of leaks with a moonroof or sunroof as well. 

What’s scarier is that Consumer Reports investigated the occurrence of exploding sunroofs and reported: 

“An exploding sunroof might sound like a freak occurrence, but a Consumer Reports investigation has found that it’s not. These incidents have happened in every month of the year in every part of the country, in vehicles from all over the world; they have occurred on interstates, on country roads, and even while parked in driveways.”

According to a 2017 Consumer Reports analysis, 208 different car models from 35 companies have experienced this issue. Also, reports about this issue date back to 1995 with a total of 859 complaints. What’s more shocking is that 71% of those reports came after 2011. There were also 36 reports of injury, but fortunately no fatalities. So while these options might sound attractive at first, be aware of any and all safety issues before taking the plunge. 

Moonroofs vs. sunroofs maintenance 

Because moonroofs and sunroofs can be glass, they can be costly to replace or repair if there are any issues. That’s why it’s best to keep up with regular car maintenance, including your moonroof or sunroof! 

To keep your sunroof or moonroof in good condition, be sure to wash it regularly and use a vacuum to get out any potential debris. Also, make sure any parts that assist with the moving of the moonroof or sunroof remain lubricated and in good condition. If you start to see or hear any issues, be sure to get your moonroof or sunroof checked out for good measure. 

The bottom line 

If you’ve heard the terms moonroof and sunroof, you might have wondered what’s the difference between a sunroof and a moonroof. Now you know they are often used to mean the same thing when there are some differences. So when you go shopping you can be more specific and know what you want. If you opt for a moonroof or sunroof, just be aware of how it can affect safety and overall repair and maintenance costs if there are issues down the line. 

To help you stay protected and covered, you also want to do an audit and make sure you have the best auto insurance coverage. If you don’t drive that much, you could take advantage of pay-per-mile insurance and pay less for auto coverage. You can get a free quote to see about savings using Metromile. 


​​Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

8 Road Trip Options Less Than 100 Miles From Seattle

Seattle is a stunning city in its own right and has all the makings of a great destination — lots of great food options, arts and culture, and geography that can take your breath away. Whether you live in Seattle or are visiting, you might consider short trips nearby to satisfy your travel itch or simply get away. Here are 8 weekend getaways from Seattle that are less than 100 miles away, listed from shortest to longest distance from central Seattle.

1. Vashon Island 

8 Weekend Getaways from Seattle | Metromile

If you’re looking for Seattle getaways that aren’t too far and really offer some local charm, check out Vashon Island. It’s a short drive and ferry ride away and you can enjoy the Point Robinson park and lighthouse, horseback riding, sailing, fishing, and biking. Head to the Vashon Bookshop to snag a new book to read and dine at Earthen Bistro. 

Distance from Seattle: 20.8 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr and 5 minutes 

2. Tacoma 

Tacoma

If you have kids and are looking for family-friendly weekend trips from Seattle, consider Tacoma. You can check out the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, The Children’s Museum of Tacoma, as well as the Museum of Glass. End the day with a sweet treat at Legendary Doughnuts

Distance from Seattle: 33.6 miles 

Time: Approx 30 minutes 

3. Whidbey Island 

Whidbey Island

If you want to explore all of Whidbey Island, it’s a local treasure and one of the best weekend trips from Seattle. You can drive the 54-mile scenic route of the island and explore the local parks and scenery. You can go birdwatching, hiking, biking and so much more. Dine at one of these dining hotspots on the South End of Whidbey Island, including some farm-to-table options. 

Distance from Seattle: 35.1 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr and 5 minutes

4. Langley 

Langley, WA

Ready to head to a small “village by the sea”? Look no further than Langley, which is a short drive and ferry ride from Seattle. Nestled along 60 miles of Whidbey Island, you can enjoy the waterfront scenery, galleries, coffee shops, restaurants, and more. There are also numerous public art installations, which you can see for yourself on a walking tour. Enjoy happy hour or dinner at Prima Bistro while you watch the sunset. 

Distance from Seattle: 35.8 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr 10 minutes

5. Gig Harbor 

Gig Harbor

If you’re looking for romantic Seattle getaways, consider Gig Harbor. The city’s tourism slogan is “Where Postcard-Perfect Views Meet Small Town Charm.” You can take a Gondola ride, Italian style, in Gig Harbor or check out plant shop Rosedale Gardens and take in the sights at the Bogue Viewing Platform. Dine at Tide’s Tavern on the water and enjoy your meal and the local views. 

Distance from Seattle: 43.8 miles 

Time: Approx 40 minutes 

6. Port Townsend 

Port townsend, WA

Looking for a seaside escape? Head to the Olympic Peninsula’s Port Townsend area and explore The Northwest Maritime Center or go on a wildlife cruise. You can also visitFort Worden State Park, a former army base, with tons of trails for you to hike or bike. Plus, you can check out the local antique shops, record stores, book shops and head to Finistere for dinner. 

Distance from Seattle: 56.2 miles 

Time: Approx 2 hrs

7. Anacortes 

Anacortes, WA

If you’re looking for a nearby island to get some rest and relaxation and enjoy the local charms, head to Anacortes. According to Anacortes.org, “Anacortes, the crown jewel of Fidalgo Island, is conveniently situated halfway between Seattle & Vancouver BC, and is the destination point for the San Juan Islands and International Ferry runs. The island is known for its historic waterfront, 50-miles of hiking trails, and a mix of annual festivals.”

You can go whale watching, kayaking, explore local wineries and check out the local antique shops. Plan your visit and get local information here. 

Distance from Seattle: 80.6 miles 

Time: Approx 1.5 hours

8. Bellingham 

Bellingham - Mount Baker, WA

If you’re looking for weekend trips from Seattle, head to Bellingham, which is close to the Canadian border. The city offers an array of activities like hiking Mount Baker or skiing during the snowy months. You can also check out Larrabee State Park for its picturesque views and happens to be Washington’s first state park. Get your arts and culture fix at The Whatcom Museum and grab a drink and dinner at Bellingham Cider Company. 

Distance from Seattle: 89.5 miles 

Time: Approx 1 hr 20 minutes 

The bottom line 

Whether you live in Seattle or are on vacation there, these eight weekend getaways from Seattle have you covered if you want to explore a bit more outside of the city. Less than 100 miles away, you don’t have to go far to see and experience more. While taking a road trip, you might want to consider if your car insurance has your back. At Metromile, customers can get pay-per-mile coverage and roadside assistance. Get a free quote and learn more.

​​ Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint from Driving

Climate change is no longer something that will affect us in the future. It’s something we’re seeing affect us today in real-time with wild and unpredictable weather patterns, rising sea levels, and melting ice caps. It can be overwhelming to think about. Unfortunately, one of the most common ways individuals add to the problem is by driving. In fact, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data, the transportation sector has the highest share of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at 29%. On top of that, the EPA states that a passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. If you want to take action against car pollution and move the needle forward, here’s how to reduce your carbon footprint from your car.

How to Reduce Carbon Footprint From Your Car | Metromile

Reduce how much you drive 

The most simple solution to reducing car pollution is to drive less. Easier said than done in some cases, especially depending on where you live, but here are some things to consider for each trip:

EPA data states that, on average, passenger cars emit 404 grams of CO2 per mile. If driving less seems complicated, see if you can commit to one day a week. Not driving for one day and opting for biking or walking can cut your emissions, according to transport study data published in Science Daily. According to the data, doing this can reduce your carbon footprint by .5 tons of CO2 emissions a year. 

Drive efficiently 

How much you drive is an important factor when it comes to car pollution. But if you’re looking for more air pollution solutions, looking at how you drive — and not just how much — is also important. 

Going too fast and hitting the brakes can be dangerous, but it’s also inefficient and can waste gas and harm the environment. 

According to FuelEconomy.gov, “Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds, and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.” 

So if you want to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, drive at the regular speed, brake on time, and ease into accelerating. 

Be a more mindful driver 

Sometimes a little mindfulness can go a long way when it comes to reducing car pollution. That means becoming a smart driver and being more mindful of your trips and how it impacts the environment. 

For example, if you don’t have to drive during rush hour, wait a bit longer. Sitting in traffic can hurt your gas mileage. 

Also, think about your trips and errands. Can you batch errands and make less frequent trips? Additionally, remove any excess weight that is weighing your car down. According to FuelEconomy.gov, “An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by about 1%.”

Keep your car in good shape 

Just like it’s essential to keep your physical health in good shape, you want to keep your car in good condition as well. That means performing regular car maintenance like oil changes, changing your air and oil filters, and more. According to FuelEconomy.gov:

  • Fixing an oxygen sensor can improve mileage by up to 40%
  • Having proper tire pressure can improve gas mileage between 0.6% up to 3%
  • Using the recommended manufacturer’s motor oil, you can improve gas mileage 1% to 2%

Maintaining your car has an impact on your gas mileage, which is measured by the term miles per gallon (MPG). According to data from the EPA, the tailpipe CO2 emissions from burning one gas gallon is 8,887 grams CO2. Keeping your car running well may improve your MPG and be a way to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Swap your car for a greener option 

If your current car is a gas guzzler and doesn’t get great mileage and you want to reduce your carbon footprint, consider swapping it out for something that’s more environmentally friendly. 

You can choose from:

Source/credit: FuelEconomy.gov

As you can see from the chart above, the higher the MPG, the lower the amount of greenhouse gases. The converse is also true, with lower MPG leading to higher amounts of greenhouse gases. 

An electric vehicle will have no tailpipe emissions, but the car may create other emissions depending on how the electricity is powered as well as in the manufacturing phase. 

Source/credit: afdc.energy.gov

Using this tool from the Alternative Fuels Data Center from the Department of Energy, you can see common electricity sources as well as emissions by type of vehicle. As you can see, all electric still wins out. 

If you’re unsure of what type of vehicle to look for and want more information, check out this Green Vehicle Guide by the EPA. 

Avoid idling 

You might think you need to “warm-up” the car in the morning or feel like you’ll just keep the car running for a bit while you make a quick stop or wait for someone. But it’s best to avoid idling completely when it comes to your car. According to FuelEconomy.gov, “Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use.”

Remember the scary stat earlier about how burning one gallon of gas created 8,887 grams of CO2? Idling can get you a quarter to halfway there then, so it’s definitely something you want to avoid. Just stop the car. 

The bottom line 

Car pollution is a big issue in the fight against climate change. If you want to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, taking these steps will be a good start. For more information, you can check out the EPA’s Carbon Footprint Calculator to see where you stand. Also, if it’s possible and easier for you, simply drive less to lower your environmental impact. If that’s possible, you can benefit from pay-per-mile auto insurance coverage. You pay for gas by the gallon, so it makes sense to buy insurance by the miles you drive. Using Metromile, you pay for each mile you drive and a base rate, so you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Get a free quote today. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Naturalist David Attenborough has called climate change “the biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced.” Fortunately, while some consequences of climate change, such as rising seas and coasting flooding, are irreversible, it’s not all bad news. According to NASA, “it may not be too late to avoid or limit some of the worst effects of climate change.” However, it’ll take a good amount of effort from governments and individuals alike.

It may not feel like you can fix climate change by yourself, but reducing your personal carbon footprint is a good place to start. Below, we’ll cover a few changes you can make in each major area of your life — transit, home life, food, and clothing — to do so.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint | Metromile

Transit

Out of all the air pollution solutions we’ll cover in this article, rethinking how you travel may be the most impactful.

  • According to the American Public Transportation Agency, “the private vehicle is the largest contributor to a household’s carbon footprint.” As such, one of the biggest things you can do to reduce air pollution is to drive less. In fact, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 17% just by reducing your driving by 2,000 miles per year.
  • For short trips, walking or biking are great eco-friendly options. For longer trips, switching to public transportation might be more practical. The APTA notes that “a single person, commuting alone by car, who switches a 20-mile round trip commute to existing public transportation, can reduce his or her annual CO2 emissions by 4,800 pounds per year, equal to a 10% reduction in all greenhouse gases produced by a typical two-adult, two-car household. By eliminating one car and taking public transportation instead of driving, a savings of up to 30% of carbon dioxide emissions can be realized.”
  • If you can’t go completely carless, there’s another thing you can do: drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid or electric car. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, even when accounting for the electricity used to charge these vehicles, they still usually have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline cars because they typically produce less tailpipe emissions.
  • Finally, flying less can also dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. While you probably don’t fly as much as you drive, the BBC says that “mile for mile, flying is the most damaging way to travel for the climate.” 

Again, you don’t have to cut all flights out of your life to help the environment. As one round-trip flight between California and New York can generate around 20% of the greenhouse gasses your car emits in a year, even cutting one flight can make a big difference. And if that’s not doable, you can also make other changes, such as flying nonstop, flying when it’s cooler, flying coach, and supporting airlines that use more efficient fuel. 

Diet

Being mindful of the food you eat — and how you shop for it — can also reduce your carbon footprint. Some of the most impactful food-related changes you can make include:

  • Eating less meat. According to Green America, a recent study found that “each meat-eater is responsible for 1.5 more tons of greenhouse gases than a vegan per year.” But you don’t have to go cold turkey (pun intended) to make a difference — even cutting back on your meat consumption, switching to poultry instead of red meat, or eating animals lower on the food chain, such as mackerel, can help.
  • Eating locally. Did you know food travels an average of 1500 miles to get from the farm to your plate? Eating seasonal, local food can help limit your “food miles” and reduce the carbon footprint of your food by up to 7%.
  • Avoiding plastic whenever possible. Around 4% of the world’s petroleum is used to produce plastic. Instead of buying flimsy plastic bags from the grocery store that you’ll likely throw out after one use, try switching to reusable shopping bags. Also, avoid plastic tableware and products with excessive plastic packaging whenever you can, and recycle the plastic if the label says it’s recyclable.
  • Only buying what you need. Food waste is a huge problem, with Americans wasting 40% of the food they buy on average. Wasting less food can reduce methane emissions from landfills and help conserve energy and resources, both of which can lower your carbon footprint. A few things you can do to lower your food waste include making (and sticking to) a list when you go grocery shopping, avoiding bulk purchases you wouldn’t be able to finish before they spoil, and reusing or freezing leftovers. 

Home life

According to a recent study, energy use in homes accounts for around 20% of US greenhouse gas emissions. There are two main ways you can go about lowering your energy consumption:

  • Using less energy: This includes tactics such as turning off lights when you leave a room, unplugging electrical devices you rarely use, and turning down the heat.
  • Making your home more efficient: This strategy often requires an upfront cost but can pay off in the long run. Some ideas include sealing windows, switching to LED lights, replacing old appliances, and planting greenery around your house.
  • Another easy way to reduce your carbon footprint in your home life? Recycling. As the National Institutes of Health explains, “Recycling saves non-renewable resources. For example, by not recycling paper, 80% more wood will need to be harvested… to meet growing paper consumption demands. However, through active paper recycling, only 20% more wood will need to be harvested.”
    But paper isn’t the only thing you can recycle. Many communities make it easy to recycle everything from batteries to beverage containers, electronics, plastic, organic material, and more. However, the EPA found that in 2018, paper recycling reduced the largest portion of municipal solid waste — 46 million tons — which is roughly equivalent to removing over 33 million vehicles from the road for a year!

Clothing

  • The fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions, as it takes tons of energy to produce, manufacture, and transport garments. In fact, it takes around 713 gallons (2,700 liters) of water just to produce a simple cotton t-shirt.
  • One of the most helpful changes you can make clothing-wise is to buy used clothing from thrift stores or online platforms such as thredUP. By buying secondhand, you can give clothes another life and divert them from the landfill, where they’d take a long time to deteriorate. Additionally, it can help reduce the clothing industry’s overall emissions, as the fewer new clothes people buy, the fewer clothes they need to make.
  • If you’re uncomfortable wearing someone else’s clothes, you can also support apparel companies that prioritize sustainability and choose fabrics that have a lower environmental impact, such as wool.

Bottom line

As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less. But helping fight climate change isn’t the only benefit of cutting back on miles. In addition to saving money on gas, driving less can also lower your car insurance bill if you switch to a pay-per-mile model with Metromile. In fact, our customers save an average of 47% compared to what they were paying their previous auto insurance provider. Get a free quote to see how much you could save — while saving the planet — today.

*Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

8 Quick Weekend Getaways from Los Angeles

Whether you live in Los Angeles or just want to visit, there’s so much to enjoy. You can enjoy the sunny weather practically year-round, go to the beach any time, and have access to world-class arts and culture. Each neighborhood in LA has a different vibe, so if you’re ready for a mini-adventure you can explore somewhere close by, whether it’s a different ‘hood or a nearby city. Here are eight weekend getaways in Los Angeles including one-way distance from central LA and time (assuming no traffic, which is rare), starting with the shortest to the longest trip.

1. Burbank

burbank_weekend_getaway

Whether you’re visiting LA or live in the area, you can head to Burbank within Los Angeles County for a day of unique Hollywood-based entertainment (though, technically in Burbank). In Burbank, you can go on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Universal Studios Hollywood and also see the Walt Disney Studios. Unfortunately, Disney tours aren’t public but you may be able to go at certain times if you’re a part of the Disney fan club or through Disney Movie Rewards or specific Disney-based itineraries. You may even be able to go to a TV taping as well and can end your evening with some laughs at Flappers Comedy Club. 

Distance from LA: 11.6 miles 

Time: 13 minutes 

2. Anaheim 

anaheim_weekend_getaway

When it comes to weekend getaways in Los Angeles, residents and tourists alike can take a mini road trip to Orange County and go to Anaheim. Anaheim is home to no other than “the happiest place on Earth” also known as Disneyland. The park is a world-famous attraction for adults and kids alike. Check out the shows, ride Space Mountain, and see your favorite Disney characters. You can also explore the Disney California Adventure Park next door to get the most out of your time. 

Tickets start at $104, and it’ll cost you $60 more to explore California Adventure Park after 1 pm. Grab your tickets here. 

Distance from LA: 26.5 miles 

Time: 28 min

3. Malibu 

malibu_weekend_getaway

Whether you live near the beach or not or are just visiting LA, there’s one beach that is particularly remarkable — Malibu. You can go to the stunning Point Dume and the Point Dume Nature Reserve and go to the local hot spot Neptune’s Net (hint: get the fish and chips) and get lost in a juicy book while enjoying the surroundings. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and water. 

Distance from LA: 33.2 miles 

Time: 40-60 minutes

4. Catalina Island 

catalina_island_weekend_getaway

If you want to leave the Los Angeles area completely for a weekend escape, you can go to the quaint and charming Catalina Island. It’s a bit of a trek, as you need to drive to Long Beach, Dana Point, or San Pedro first and then take an hour-long ferry to the island. The island is 22 miles from the Southern California coast and can transport you back in time and get you away from the intensity of LA. 

Once you get to Avalon (where you dock on Catalina island), you can check out the Catalina Museum for Art and History and dine at the Bluewater Grill. You can also go on hikes with more than 165 miles of trails, take in the sights, or go whale watching. 

Taking the Catalina Express from Long Beach round-trip is $76 and you can take a one-day getaway from Los Angeles or stay multiple days. 

Distance from LA: 48 miles 

Time: 25 min driving from Los Angeles to Long Beach, 1-hour ferry ride, for approx. 1.5 hrs total. 

5. San Juan Capistrano 

san_juan_capistrano_weekend_getaway

Are you looking to explore a bit of Southern California’s rich history and have a quick getaway from Los Angeles? Go just beyond Orange County to explore San Juan Capistrano. You can check out the local landmark Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is more than two centuries old and is considered the “Jewel of the California Missions” and is well-known for its return of the swallows, birds that return in the spring after spending the winter in Argentina. If you have kids, you can take them on pony rides or to enjoy a petting zoo at Zoomars. You can also hike, bike, and go on horseback via San Juan Capistrano’s Open Space Foundation

Distance from LA: 54.5 miles 

Time: 50 minutes 

6. Ojai 

ojai_weekend_getaway

If you’re looking for relaxing weekend getaways from Los Angeles but don’t want to venture too far, consider the scenic town of Ojai. About an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles, you can explore downtown Ojai on foot and check out art galleries, shops, and various dining options. There’s also a trolley that operates between Ojai Valley Inn and downtown. You can also explore other activities such as hiking, biking, golfing, and horseback riding. 

Distance from LA: 82.9 miles 

Time: 1 hr and 24 minutes

7. Temecula 

temecula_weekend_getaway

If you’re looking for a wine weekend that isn’t Napa and is a bit closer than Solvang or Santa Barbara, your best bet is Temecula. The area is home to close to 50 diverse wineries, so you can choose based on types of wine, ambiance, and production. You can see a wine map here. Also, check out various transportation options so you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving and can avoid a DUI. If you want something unique and magical, you can book a hot air balloon ride. You can also check out shopping and dining options in Old Town Temecula.  

Distance from LA: 84.9 miles 

Time: 1 hr 19 minutes 

8. Big Bear 

big_bear_weekend_getaway

Looking for some outdoor adventure, no matter what season it is? Big Bear is your best bet when it comes to weekend trips from Los Angeles. In the summer, you can enjoy Big Bear Lake which includes 22 miles of lake shoreline and includes nearby trails and you can go mountain biking.  In the winter, Big Bear turns into a haven for snow sports, like snowboarding and skiing. To end your day, enjoy dining at the Pines Tavern on the Lake

Distance from LA: 96.8 miles 

Time: 1 hr 51 minutes 

The bottom line 

If you’re a resident of LA LA land or visiting for a trip, you can explore these weekend trips from Los Angeles. Whether it’s a one-day excursion or a multi-day adventure, there’s so much to do. You can explore the great outdoors, SoCal wine country, arts and entertainment, and more. Just be mindful of potential traffic when planning your trip. If you don’t drive that much or want to see if you can score a lower rate, get a quote for pay-per-mile insurance with Metromile which is available to Angelenos. 


Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer, podcast host of the Mental Health and Wealth show, and author of Dear Debt. She’s a cat mom to two jazzy cats, Miles and Thelonious, an amateur boxer, music lover, and needs coffee to function.