Take Interstate 10 east from Santa Monica to Vincent Avenue/Glendora Boulevard. To get to the Donut Hole, turn right on Glendora Boulevard and make a right on Amar Road. For the Foothill Drive-In, return to I-10 and go east until you hit Grand Avenue. Take a left onto Grand and turn right onto Foothill Boulevard. For the Circle C Lodge, go west on Foothill Boulevard to Citrus Avenue, then south through two stoplights to Route 210. Go east and follow signs as 210 merges with 10. Continue east on 10 for about 70 miles until just past the Palm Springs (Route 111) exit. Turn left onto Route 62 and follow it through the towns of Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree into Twentynine Palms. The Circle C Lodge is just off Route 62.
Smith's Ranch Drive-In and 29 Palms Inn both lie east of the Circle C on Route 62. For Smith's Ranch, turn left on Adobe Road and head north about two miles. For the inn, turn right off the highway onto National Park Drive (just after Adobe Road), then follow the signs.
Backtrack west on Routes 62 and 10. The Cabazon exit is about 15 minutes past the Palm Springs turnoff. Continue west on I-10 and pick up Route 60 near Beaumont. To get to Riverside, take Route 91 west and turn right onto Mission Inn Avenue. The Mission Inn is three blocks down. For the Rubidoux Drive-In, continue west on Mission Inn Avenue for about 20 minutes. To reach the Van Buren Drive-In, return to town on Mission Boulevard and, just before the Mission Inn, head south on 91. Exit at Van Buren Boulevard and go south. The drive-in is just a few miles past the exit. Turn onto Interstate 215 in the direction of San Diego. I-215 merges with I-15, which you take until Route 52. To get to the La Jolla Cove Suites, go west toward La Jolla on 52, which turns into Ardath Road and then merges with Torrey Pines Road. Follow Torrey Pines and turn right on Prospect Street. For the South Bay Drive-In, head south on I-5 to southern San Diego. Take the Coronado Avenue exit and go west for a few blocks.
Vermont Drive-In Theatre 17737 S. Vermont Ave., Gardena; 310/323-4055.
Edwards Azusa Foothill Drive-In Theatre 675 E. Foothill Blvd., Azusa; 626/969-9632.
Smith's Ranch Drive-In 4584 Adobe Rd., Twentynine Palms; 760/367-7713.
Rubidoux Drive-In Mission Blvd. at Opal St., Riverside; 909/683-4455.
Van Buren Drive-In Theatre 3035 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside; 909/688-2360.
South Bay Drive-In 2170 Coronado Ave., San Diego; 619/423-2727.
Hotels and Restaurants
Georgian Hotel 1415 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 800/538-8147 or 310/395-9945; doubles from $225.
Cora's Coffee Shoppe 1802 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 310/451-9562; breakfast for two $15.
Urban Epicuria 8315 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; 323/848-8411.
Donut Hole 15300 Amar Rd., La Puente; 626/968-2912
Circle C Lodge 6340 El Rey Ave., Twentynine Palms; 760/367-7615; doubles from $85.
29 Palms Inn 73950 Inn Ave., Twentynine Palms; 760/367-3505; doubles $65; dinner for two $50.
Mission Inn 3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside; 800/843-7755 or 909/784-0300; doubles from $140; lunch for two $35.
La Jolla Cove Suites 1155 Coast Blvd., La Jolla; 888/525-6552 or 619/459-2621; doubles from $135.
Meal prices do not include drinks, tax, or tip.
Shax Riegler is an associate editor at Travel & Leisure.