In beautiful, sunny California, there is no shortage of expeditions and adventures for ambitious travelers. While trains and busses are great for getting around the city, we recommend these amazing destinations for your next California road trip!
With as big as California is, it has much to offer. We have complied a list of some of the Must Do California Road Trips. Check it out!
Sequoia National Park, South Sierra Nevada – from Santa Barbara
This gem is Instagram-worthy and one of the most beautiful sights you will ever see. If you are a nature lover and have been fascinated by amazing greenery and trees, then you will love Sequoia National Park.
As many people know, this park is infamous for its tall trees and the picturesque environment. If you want a breath of fresh air and a little bit of magical adventure vibes, be sure to check out the National park and take some amazing shots!
If you’re heading to Sequoia National Park from Santa Barbara, expect a travel time of 5-6 hours. For a scenic route, we recommend taking Highway 101 up from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo (SLO). Stop in SLO for breakfast or lunch, and then make your way up to Sequoia National Park. For lunch, we recommend eating at High Street Deli in downtown SLO – their sandwiches are amazing!
Big Sur – from San Diego
If you want a long and beautiful drive, then Big Sur might be for you. The estimated time to get from San Diego to Big Sur is roughly 7-8 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.
Whether you’re riding solo or with friends, hop in the car and pack your backs and head to the entrance of the Big Sur coastline drive. Make sure to check an updated map on Google before leaving, as parts of Highway 1 are subject to closures! During the rainy seasons, monsoons and mudslides can close stretches of the highway, so make sure to plan ahead!
This trip is more for the people who may love the trip itself more than the destination. Big Sur is a long and winding coastline where the Santa Monica Mountains meet the ocean. You will see more things than you can capture on that drive and a sense of peace that is unmatched. This drive is one you can’t miss!
Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada Mountains – from San Francisco
If you’re more of a trail person and prefer a little more dirt and a little more dry land, but also some magic green, then you can buckle up and head to Yosemite National Park. We recommend making the scenic drive from San Francisco to Yosemite, as there are great views along the way and places to stop! It’s best to leave early if you plan to stay for the day. For this ride, we recommend avoiding the hours of 8-10 a.m. for your departure from San Francisco. Also, make sure to gas up the car before leaving! Between Oakdale and Groveland, there are no gas stations!
Also located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is one of the best places to catch some hike in the U.S.
Pack your hiking books and some water because you’re in for an all day adventure through the trails, but rest assured, it will be worth it.
Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada – from Los Angeles
The epitome of beautiful bodies of water.
This is for those that want to experience some beautiful water but don’t necessarily want to be swarmed and surrounded by others on the beach.
Engulfed in amazing trees and water so still you can see your reflection; Lake Tahoe is perfect for the weekend vacationer who wants to read and escape.
On a good day, this ride from Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe will take about 7-8 hours. As with the other trips, we recommend leaving early and at non-peak times. Ideally, you pack the car the night before and hit the road right as the sun is coming up over Los Angeles! Don’t forget to gas up, either!
There you have it. Some of the best road trips in California that you must see. We got a combination of city, forest, and a little peace and mountains, so hopefully you find this article helpful.
For your California road trip, make sure to check us out at ITH! We have locations in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and also a few in San Diego!