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Ultimate Guide To A Coastal California Road Trip

Ultimate Guide To A Coastal California Road Trip

Ultimate Guide To A Coastal California Road Trip

Picture this: car top down, warm sun beating on your shoulders, wind blowing through your hair, and “Life is a Highway” blasting through the speakers. Besides awesome, what does that sound like? Road tripping the coast of California! In fact, driving Route 1 (known as the Pacific Coast Highway in LA) is one of the most “California” things you can do. It’s also one of the best trips you can take with some of the most beautiful views in the US. So, without further ado, here’s a guide to the perfect coastal California road trip!

San Francisco

I suggest going from north to south if possible to put the ocean view on the side of your car, unobstructed by other cars. So that starts you off in San Francisco, where you might have trouble leaving because there is so much to do! It’s the perfect start to a coastal California road trip! The Golden Gate Bridge (duh), along with the Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, the Full House house, and more! Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!


A bit quainter than San Francisco, Monterey offers famous destinations like Pebble Beach and the Monterey Aquarium. They have sea lions, people!


Big Sur

Big Sur doesn’t need any words to describe it, considering that it will leave you speechless. Trust me, you’ll see.

San Luis Obispo

Known as SLO, this adorable college town is home to some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Be sure to check out the eccentric Madonna Inn, which has mountain horseback riding and pink tennis courts—actually more like pink everything—and the grandiose Hearst Castle. Yeah, it’s a real freaking castle.

Santa Barbara

This place is major #Calivibes. With the some of the best waves and beachiest people, you’ll feel like you stepped into a Jack Johnson song. Oh wait, that’s probably because he went to college at UC Santa Barbara, which also just so happens to be a huge party spot. So if you’re down for a fun night after hitting the beach, check out Isla Vista and you won’t forget it. (Actually, you might not remember it….)


Los Angeles

Home to the USC Trojans, Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in the country. With the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame, Griffith Park Observatory, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier, and more there are countless iconic things to do in LA!

San Diego

San Diego is like a calmer Los Angeles with less traffic, which I can’t complain about. The beaches are gorgeous and the downtown Gaslight district is a must-see. Famous for its Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Beach is the first place I’d hit.

Do you have any suggestions for a coastal California road trip? Comment below and share the article!
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