California Road Trips

Coast to Mountains: Epic Road Trips Across California

California is known for its beautiful coastlines and grand mountains, making it a great place for a road trip. But, have you ever wondered which road trip in the state is the most amazing? Is it the Pacific Coast Highway, with its views of the sea, or the drive to Yosemite National Park through mountains?

This article will show you the best road trips in California. It takes you from the coast to the mountains. You’ll find hidden treasures, amazing views, and unforgettable experiences. These will truly make your trip through California special.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the most iconic road trips in California, from the Pacific Coast Highway to Yosemite National Park.
  • Uncover hidden gems along the way, including charming coastal towns and vibrant cities.
  • Find tips and recommendations for planning your perfect California road trip itinerary.
  • Learn about the diverse landscapes and attractions that make California a dream destination for road trippers.
  • Embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating beauty of California’s coast and mountains.

Two-Week Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Itinerary

Start an amazing journey down the Pacific Coast Highway with our two-week guide. Begin in San Francisco and end in sunny San Diego. You’ll see California’s best scenery and beaches along the way.

Begin in San Francisco, home to the Golden Gate Bridge and cable cars. Visit places like Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz Island. Don’t forget to explore Chinatown’s colorful streets.

Then, head south to Santa Cruz. This town is known for its beaches and fun boardwalk. Try some fresh seafood and maybe a surf lesson.

Continue to Monterey County. Here, you can see the Monterey Bay Aquarium and drive the 17-Mile Drive. This route is famous for its stunning views and the iconic Cypress Point Lookout.

Next, visit Big Sur. It’s known for its cliffs, beaches, and forests. Stop at the Bixby Creek Bridge and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for nature at its finest.

Then, Paso Robles awaits – perfect for wine lovers. Taste local wines and enjoy the beautiful view of vineyards rolling by.

Now, head to Santa Barbara. It has beautiful beaches and lovely architecture. Visit the Santa Barbara Mission and Stearns Wharf, or relax by the ocean.

From there, go to Malibu/Topanga. Explore the beaches and the nearby Topanga State Park. It’s filled with trails and great views.

Your next stop is Los Angeles, packed with famous spots. See the Hollywood sign and visit places like Griffith Observatory and the Getty Center.

Then, head to Laguna Beach. This town has art galleries, beaches, and luxury resorts. Relax on the beach or take a walk on the trails.

Finally, end in San Diego. Enjoy its beaches and the lively Gaslamp Quarter. Don’t miss Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo.

This Pacific Coast Highway trip is full of beautiful drives and must-see stops. Experience California’s nature and culture on this amazing journey.

Ready for the adventure? Plan your Pacific Coast Highway road trip now. Discover California’s stunning drives and coastal gems.

Three-Week Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Itinerary

Scenic Drives

This three-week road trip lets you really take it in. It’s a chance to see California at a slower pace. It includes more time in spots like San Francisco and Los Angeles. You’ll also get to see Yosemite National Park. The trip is full of amazing coastal views and natural sights.

Extended Coastal Exploration

Start your adventure in San Francisco, a city known for its culture and sights. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge and visit Alcatraz Island. There’s also Chinatown and Haight-Ashbury to explore. After, head to Santa Cruz. Here, you can relax on the beach and have fun at the boardwalk.

Next, go to Monterey County with its beautiful drive and aquarium. Don’t forget to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea and try some local wines. Then, journey to Big Sur. This area is famous for its coastal drive and natural scenery. Make sure to stop at places like Bixby Creek Bridge and McWay Falls.

You’re also heading to Paso Robles for wine tasting. It’s a great break from the coast. After, you’ll reach Los Angeles. Explore places like Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and Hollywood.

Then, see Santa Barbara’s lovely architecture. Topanga offers a chill beach vibe. And you can’t miss Malibu’s beautiful coast. Your trip ends in San Diego. Here, you can relax by the ocean or visit attractions like the Zoo and SeaWorld. Enjoy the historic Gaslamp Quarter and Cabrillo National Monument.

Highlights of Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park

Don’t skip Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park on your adventure. Mariposa has beautiful landscapes and charming towns. Yosemite is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its granite cliffs and old sequoias. It’s perfect for hiking, climbing, and enjoying nature.


Heading out on a road trip through California from the coast to the mountains is truly amazing. You’ll drive on the famous Pacific Coast Highway and see the stunning Yosemite National Park. This state has it all for any traveler. Even if you only have a couple of weeks, you’ll see California’s sunny beaches and high mountains.

So, get your bags ready, start your car, and head out on this adventure in The Golden State.


How long does the Two-Week Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary take?

The Two-Week Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary takes about two weeks. This time allows for a relaxed visit to California’s beautiful coast.

Which destinations are included in the Two-Week Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary?

The itinerary includes Santa Cruz, Monterey County, and Big Sur. Also, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Malibu/Topanga, and Los Angeles. You’ll see places like Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, and San Diego.

What can I expect to see along the Two-Week Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary?

Expect to see lovely coastal towns and famous sites by the ocean. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the Pacific and visit pretty beaches. Vibrant city life is also part of the journey.

What additional attractions are included in the Three-Week Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary?

The Three-Week itinerary offers more time in certain places. It also includes extra destinations like Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park. There, you can see impressive granite monoliths and giant sequoias.

How does the Three-Week Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary differ from the Two-Week itinerary?

The Three-Week itinerary is more leisurely. It spends longer in some locations. You’ll also see Mariposa County and Yosemite National Park, which the shorter trip leaves out.

What should I expect on a road trip along California’s Coast to Mountains?

Traveling from the Coast to Mountains in California is an epic adventure. You’ll drive the famous Pacific Coast Highway. This journey takes you from the beautiful coast to stunning Yosemite National Park. With either two or three weeks, you’ll experience the best of California.

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