5 California Road Trip Ideas


Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is one of the most iconic and breathtaking stretches of road on any map. The highway combines portions of California State Route 1 and U.S. 101 that hug the rocky California coast all the way from Los Angeles in the south to Crescent City at the Oregon border. The PCH spans over 800 miles (1,287 kilometers) of twisting curves, spectacular bridges (including the Golden Gate in San Francisco) and one mind-blowing scenic overlook after another [source: California Highways].

The PCH isn't a high-speed roadway, making it the perfect meandering detour for a leisurely, soak-it-all-in road trip. To drive the whole thing would take you days, so it's recommended that you choose a destination along the highway and enjoy a few hours of the scenic route as you go. Some of the most popular PCH tourist destinations are Big Sur, a ruggedly gorgeous stretch of coastline south of Monterrey, the famous Hearst Castle north of San Luis Obispo, and the dreamy cliffside resort town of Mendocino north of San Francisco.

If all that driving is making you thirsty, drive inland to wine country.