California is pretty much the epicenter for road trips thanks to its amazing cities, incredible National Parks, stunning coastlines and gorgeous mountains- you really can see it all.
There are well maintained roads covering the length and breadth of the state, meaning getting around by car is incredibly easy, and there is an absolute abundance of beauty and stunning natural wonders everywhere you look.
Now this all sounds amazing- and it is; but, it can be easy to forget just how big California is. So if you are limited on time -or funds- then here are a few tips on how to get the most out of a California road trip.
Pick Your Starting Point
There are plenty of great cities with amazing California accommodation, but there is no doubt that the best place to start and finish a road trip is LA.
With LAX offering flights all over the world, and the car rental options ranging from sports cars to 9 berth camper vans, you’re sure to find what you need.
Book a room in one of the best 3 star hotels California has to offer; the Miyako Hotel Torrance. Not only is it home to the finest Japanese restaurant California boasts but it has everything you need including great connections to start your trip.
Choose Your Route
From LA you can essentially go south, to San Diego in just less than two hours, or you can go east to Palm Springs in about the same time. Other than that it’s the great north and all of the adventure that it offers.
You can take highway 101 up the coast, or the 5 for an inland experience- both are miraculous so maybe do a loop!
Get Your National Parks Pass
One thing that is definitely not in short supply in California, is National Parks.
The mighty Yosemite is near San Francisco, Death Valley is near LA, Joshua Tree is next to Palm Springs, Redwood National Park is on the north west coast- the list is really, really long.
The message we need to take away is this; spending $80 dollars on an annual National Parks pass will save you money after visiting just two parks!
Don’t Forget the Coast
It would be very easy to head to California’s most mountainous areas and see some incredible sights. Lake Tahoe is particularly beautiful, surrounded by ski towns and the stunning blue waters of the lake.
But it is important not to miss out on the amazing coastal roads. The scenic and incredibly beautiful Highway 1 is one of the world’s best road trip roads, so be sure not to miss it!
Or the Desert, or the Mountains
It’s also really important to include the other incredible geographical locations in your trip.
For example, the world renowned Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks are stunning deserts and amazing rock formations, and cannot be missed. Yosemite, Sequoia and Shasta National Parks are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, with mountains and lush forests as far as the eye can see- and are just as worthy of a visit.
The Ultimate Road Trip
To summarize, there is a heck of a lot to see and do in California. Try to use these tips to help you plan your trip, and include the things that are important to you.
Creating a big loop by heading up the coast, then back through the mountains is a great way to go; but if you’re short on time then choosing your highlights is a great way to go.
Now, get out there and explore!