California and road trips go together like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or fresh sushi and wasabi at the number one Japanese restaurant in Torrance. If there is one place in the world which everyone unanimously agrees is the ultimate road trip destination, it’s the Golden State.
Fill your tank and get inspired by the 5 most scenic drives in California!
1. Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway stretch from San Francisco to San Diego is the classic California road trip. Driving the route nonstop would take about a day, so the best way is to break up the drive with overnights at 3-star hotels in California. Starting at the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll pass the rugged cliffs of the Big Sur and pause for fresh air in the Santa Monica Mountains. A night at the Miyako Hotel Torrance CA is the perfect spot to catch some surf as you near the end.
2. Angel’s Crest Highway
Easily one of the most scenic drives in south California, the Angel’s Crest Highway takes you all the way through the Angeles National Forest and can be experienced as a day trip from the Miyako Hotel.
Begin at La Cañada Flintridge and follow the road as it traverses through the stunning San Gabriel Mountains. You can stop off any point along the way for a picnic with sensational views, or pack your walking boots and take a hike along the way. This drive is especially dazzling during winter when the mountains are dusted with snow.
3. Death Valley
One of California’s most unique national parks, Death Valley, is known for its stark desert climate which receives some of the hottest temperatures to grace the planet. You’ll encounter phenomenal views from Zabriskie Point, which spans the eroded badlands and the Red Cathedral. The 14.5km Artist’s Drive weaves through rainbow-colored hills of Artist’s Palette. You’ll need a dip in the Pacific Ocean and a relaxing massage at the Miyako Hotel Spa after a journey into Death Valley!
4. Mulholland Drive
This legendary road was made famous in the 2001 David Lynch movie. Cruise past some of L.A.’s most prestigious private homes as you follow the twisty-turvy road and enjoy gut-wrenching sheer cliffs and endless panoramas. Short and sweet, the full stretch of road can be driven in under a couple of hours and enjoyed as a day trip.
5. Rim of the World Scenic Byway
This dramatically named route is drenched with mountains, lakes, and forestry. It can be traveled in one day, with time to throw in some outdoor activities to earn yourself a shoulder rub back at the Miyako Hotel Spa. The 177km road offers unforgettable views along the cliffs of the San Bernardino Mountains. Begin at the Cajun Pass and make a stop at Lake Arrowhead where you can enjoy some gentle kayaking. Alternatively, take a 4.8km hike along the Castle Rock Trail to get a beautiful view of Big Bear Lake.