The Ultimate California Road Trip Itinerary

Written By: The Planet D

This California road trip itinerary will take you along incredible the famous Pacific Coast highway, through deserts, and around lakes and mountains. It is one of the most diverse road trips you can take in the United States.

We have personally driven these roads and highways on different road trips in California and we visited all the sights recommended. This two week itinerary can easily be mixed and matched to create different California road trips as long or short as you like.

California Road Trip Itinerary

Make sure to download your Pacific Coast highway Self Drive tour before embarking on your California road trip. Explore the California Coast at your own pace as you follow the app to discover monuments, towns, and points of interest along the route. It will track your route and play automatically to tell you about your stops as you drive from Monterey to Pismo Beach.

California Road Trip Map

california road trip itinerary map
Click here for the interactive California Road Trip map

1. San Francisco – 2 Days

We’ve planned the initial stage of our California road trip itinerary from San Francisco. It is easy to fly into from all major hubs and car rentals can be picked up directly at the airport. Plus, traffic in San Francisco isn’t as congested as it is in Los Angeles making it the perfect start for any California road trip itinerary.

California road trip golden gate bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco

Spending two days in San Francisco will give you the chance to see all the iconic sites like the incredible Golden Gate Bridge before moving South. We have an excellent 72 hours in San Francisco guide where you can plan your entire stay in San Francisco.

  • Tip: When we visited San Francisco for the first time, we bought a City Pass and explored all the neighborhoods by bus. It was a great way to get acquainted with the layout of the city and have the option to hop on and hop off whenever we wanted with a 24 or 48-hour pass.
  • Click here to search all the car rental agencies and get the best price for your California Road Trip!

Things to do in San Francisco

road trip california palace of the arts
The Palace of fine Arts in San Francisco
  • Pier 39
  • San Francisco Cable Car
  • Alcatraz
  • Golden Gate Park – one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge
  • The Painted Ladies – made famous by Full House
  • Hippie district of Haight Ashbury and China Town
  • Palace of the arts
  • See our complete guide to the Best Hikes in San Francisco

Make sure to get out on the Bay to see the city when in San Francisco, this Golden Gate Bay Cruise let’s you see many of San Francisco’s top attractions. You’ll cruise along the waterfront, sail under the Golden Gate Bay Bridge, go around Alcatraz and see the former hippy enclave of Sausalito. Whatch for marine life such as sea lions, dolphins and whales as you cruise the Marin Headlands wildlife reserves.

Where to Stay in San Francisco

For first-time visitors to San Francisco, we suggest staying near Fisherman’s Wharf. You will be close to all the iconic places in the city.

2. Monterey / Carmel By the Sea – 1 Day

Drive just 2 hours and 45 minutes from San Francisco to Monterrey

California Roat Trip stop: Monterey
California Roat Trip stop: Monterey

After leaving San Francisco, we make our way down the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey. You can stay either stay in Monterey or Carmel by the Sea. Monterey and Carmel by the Sea are only 10 minutes from each other. We stayed at Carmel by the Sea and it was a great location to get around Big Sur.

When visiting Monterey, you’ll want to get out on the water as it is one of the best places in the world for whale watching. This Monterey Bay tour departs from Old Fisherman’s Wharf to set sail for some whale watching. You’ll see Californian Sea Lions basking in the harbor as you pass Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. 

Things to See and Do

The Ghost Tree of 17 Mile Drive
The Lone Cypress of 17 Mile Drive
  • Cycling 17 Mile Drive – If there is one thing to do in Carmel before moving on, you must take a tour of 17-Mile Drive. We had a blast on e-Bikes with Big Sur Adventures. Read about our full experience at 17-Mile Drive – California’s Most Scenic Drive. 
  • Cannery Row – The Historic Cannery Row has been transformed from old warehouses to colorful buildings lining the waterfront filled with eateries and shops.
  • Monterey Aquarium – The Monterey Aquarium is the centerpiece of the city where they study the waters of Monterey Bay and tackle the oceans health problems.
  • Kayaking Monterey Bay – Don’t miss getting on the water in Monterey. We highly recommend taking a kayaking tour of Monterey Bay with Adventures by the Sea to view sea otters and sea lions.
  • Surfing Carmel – Beginners will love the easy break and sandy shallow waters of Carmel Bay. We spent the morning taking a lesson with the Carmel Surf Company

Hotels and AirBnBs in Monterrey

The Hideaway – Centrally Located on Juniper Street, a short walk to restaurants, and just a few blocks from the beach. This luxury boutique hotel has in-room fireplaces and offers a modern design. TripAdvisor /

Suggested Place to EatLa Belana Cucina Toscana takes you straight to the heart of Tuscany with a traditional setting. Sit outside on the heated patio and enjoy a fresh farm to table menu drizzled in olive oil and truffles.

4. Big Sur – 1 Day

Continue down the Pacific Coast Highway 1 for an hour from Monterrey to Big Sur.

california road trip mcway falls
McWay Falls Iconic Stop on the Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway is the Grand Dame of all California road trips. We suggest a minimum of 2 days exploring the coast along Big Sur. You can easily keep your base in Monterey to explore these sights.

A great compliment to your Big Sur road trip is to download this Pacific Coast Highway Self Drive tour. The app showcases the top scenic stops and views from Monterey to Pismo Beach. It tracks your route and the audio guide plays commentary to tell you stories and suggest points of interest. On this leg, you’ll see places like Garrapata State Park, Pfeiffer Canyon, McWay Falls, and the Bixby Bridge.

Considered by many the world’s most scenic drives, The Big Sur portion of California Coastal Drive on Highway 1 is a must for any road trip lover. In our opinion, all California road trips should include this leg as there are so many gorgeous stops from sea cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Things to See in Big Sur

California Road Trip Bixby Bridge
Bixby Bridge
  • Bixby Bridge – Don’t miss stopping at the Bixby Bridge. Made famous by many a film and TV Show (most recently Big Little Lies. Tip: Go for sunrise no tourists were there at all when we were up before dawn.
  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – This a good place to go for hikes and walk along the trails. It’s most famous for the McWay Waterfalls and offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Pfeiffer Beach – One of the best beaches on the route. Pfeiffer Beach is a bit of a drive off the main highway down a narrow and bumpy road, so it attracts fewer tourists than other viewpoints on Highway 1. Check out: 24 Of The Best Beaches in California
  • Garrapata State Park – Hiking trails along the coast, Karst formations, sea arches, and jagged rocks make for extraordinary views of a rugged coastal landscape at Garrapata State Park. For a complete breakdown of photography stops with GPS Co-ordinates visit our Photography Guide to Big Sur

Where to Stay in Big Sur – Ventana Resort

When exploring Big Sur we made a home base at Ventana Resort and spent two days exploring the surrounding area. We spent one night in their glamping tents and one night in a luxurious suite overlooking the ocean. Ventana is the perfect base for exploring Big Sur as it’s in the heart of everything.

Check out our guide to The Best Places to Camp in Big Sur

Where to eat in Big Sur

The views at Ventana are spectacular
  • The Sur House – Located at Ventana Big Sur, The Sur House is an upscale dining establishment using locally sourced cuisine created by Executive Chef, Paul Corsentino. $90 Fix menu offers a divine three-course meal. Location: 48123 Highway 1
  • Big Sur River Inn – The Big Sur River Inn was the first hotel and restaurant in the area. Enjoy the photographs from a bygone era dating back to 1932.
  • Nepenthe – Open since 1949, Nepenthe is a staple of Big Sur attracting artists, poets, and travelers to its 800-foot sea cliff views. Location: 48510 Highway One
  • Big Sur Roadhouse – This locally run eatery has a funky vibe with family-style seating. Designer Steve Justrich transformed the roadhouse into a unique design that they claim as homegrown modernism.

5. Coastal Highway Stops

This drive takes 3 hours from Big Sur to Santa Maria, but take you time to see all the sights.

southern california road trip

We continue down the coast from Big Sur to the charming town of Santa Maria, which is one of our favorite California road trip stops. Be sure to give ample time for breaks on this route. There is still a lot more to see on this portion of the California Coast and you can easily spend a day exploring the sites as you make your way to your next overnight stop. 

  • Hearst Castle – Built by San Simeon, this incredible estate was built on 127 acres on a hill overlooking San Simeon. Pop in for a tour of America’s castle before driving on to spend the night in the lovely town of Santa Maria.
  • Morrow Bay – Another beautiful beach, Morrow Bay’s main attraction is Morrow Rock, a 180-meter tall volcanic plug standing proud offshore.
  • Pismo Beach is another place to stop if you still have time before spending the night in Santa Maria.

6. Santa Maria – 1 Day

santa maria wine country

So it is a good time to park your car and get out to explore the nearby vineyards for a proper “Sideways” wine tour experience. We have it as one day on your California road trip itinerary, but if you can spend two days here, we recommend it.

Things to do in Santa Maria

dune buggy adventure california
  • Wine Tours – There are several vineyards to choose. Hire a private car through Gold Coast Executive Transportation to take you on a wine tour. We had an amazing time touring Wine Caves of Cottonwood Canyon.
  • Dune Buggy Adventure – To explore even more of the highest dunes in the world, go on a Dune Buggy adventure with Steve’s ATV Rentals, 332 Pier Ave. Oceano.  Get in a dune buggy and hit the dunes.
  • Hidden Hollywood – Don’t miss this very cool Hidden Hollywood at the Dunes Center museum in Guadalupe Cecil B. Demille created an entire set of the pyramids of Egypt in the middle of the California Sand Dunes. He didn’t want anyone to use his set again, so he buried it in the desert and didn’t tell anyone where it was. It was nearly forgotten by everyone, until the 1990s when the director, Peter Brosnan decided to search for the hidden city.

Hotels and AirBnBs in Santa Maria

Check in to the historic Santa Maria Inn in the center of town. It has been a staple in Santa Maria since 1917. Be sure to peruse the halls to see legendary movie stars that have stayed here.

  • Santa Maria Style Barbecue – If you want to try authentic Santa Maria Style Barbecue, go to Far Western Tavern Tavern in Orcutt.

7. Santa Barbara – 1 Day

Today we drive a short distance of just 1 hour from Santa Maria

california coast road trip | deb and Dave

Continuing on through wine country and making our way through our California road trip itinerary, we arrive in Santa Barbara for a night before stopping in Los Angeles.

Santa Barbara is considered one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions with nine different wine routes to explore. It is a popular escape from Los Angeles, and there are many things to do here.

Things to do in Santa Barbara

biltmore four seasons santa barbara
  • Sunset Sail – We suggest a sailing trip to enjoy the beautiful sunset and the California Coast followed by dinner on a patio by the waterfront.
  • Stearns Wharf – Historic deep-water pier dating back to 1871.
  • Shopping – Santa Barbara is all about the upscale experience, stroll the Spanish style shops lining State Street.
  • Museums – Check out the many museums. The Museum of Art, MOXI – The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation and Museum of Natural History and the Sea Center.

Santa Barbara Hotels and AirBnBs

We stayed at the luxurious Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara. This estate is the perfect place to relax after all that driving.

8. Los Angeles – 2 Days

It’s an hour and a half to Los Angeles so you can start enjoying the city immediately

los angeles sunset

Click here for map CA coast

We’ve come to the next metropolis on our California Road Trip and it is time to explore L.A. Los Angeles is a good place to start for southern California road trips. Who doesn’t love Los Angeles? There are so many things to do in LA, that you could have your entire California road trip right here.

Things to do in Los Angeles

Hollywood Sign California Road Trip

The possibilities are endless for sightseeing in L.A. so you can decide how long you want to stay here. From Universal Studios and Disneyland to hiking up to see the Hollywood sign or follow the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You must get out to see the beaches of Los Angeles. Our favorite beach is Manhattan Beach where you can see the famous 90210 beach house. But everyone loves popping over to Venice Beach too. I hope you’ve rented a nice car to drive along Rodeo Drive but if not, don’t worry, you’ll fit right in with the Bohemian atmosphere of Venice Beach. Read 25 Best Things to Do in Los Angeles – Hollywood, Hikes, And More

Option: Continue to San Diego – Or Turn North

From Los Angeles you can continue south to San Diego or start heading north to make your way back to San Francisco.

For our road trip, we turned north up towards the National Parks.

9. Joshua Tree National Park – 1 Day

From Los Angeles we drive two hours to the iconic Joshua Tree National Park.

california road trip joshua tree national park

Get the link to this portion of your road trip ideas in California.

Joshua Tree National Park is where two deserts meet: The Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. There are lookout points and there’s even a cactus garden. You can camp overnight in Joshua Tree and there’s also rock climbing. It’s one of the premier places on earth for bouldering. We only suggest spending a day here on this California Road Trip Itinerary, but if you have more time, put a tent in the back of your car and spend a couple of days hiking Joshua Tree and exploring more of California

10. Death Valley National Park

It takes about 2 hours to drive through non stop

Death Valley California road Trip

If you are planning a California road trip, you must try to include a day driving through Death Valley. It’s very hot, dry, and it’s a beautiful drive, but this portion of your California road trips planner should involve some precautionary steps. The average temperature is 48 degrees Celcius. (120F) Luckily there are enough stops at viewpoints along the road that keep you from having to trek too far for viewing in the heat.

11. Yosemite National Park – 2 Days

From Death Valley we drive 7 hours to Yosemite National Park

California Road Trip: Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the Big 3 National Parks in the USA and it did not disappoint. It is where the legendary photographer Ansel Adams set up shop and took some of the most recognizable nature photographs of all time.

Things to See in Yosemite

Yosemite has all those iconic formations that you’ve all heard of like “The Nose” and “El Capitan”. Here you’ll find Bridalveil Falls, and the famous Tunnel View Lookout. Glacier Point is another not-to-miss stop. It’s also a place for adventurers to get out an enjoy nature. There are so many hiking trails you will need days to complete them all. Read more at Things to do in Yosemite National Park

california road trip mariposa valley

En route to Yosemite, be sure to stop at Sequoia National Forest. We combined our stay in Yosemite with seeing the sequoias as they are less than an hour away. A highlight for us was taking the park tour to see the Grand Sequoia Trees of Mariposa Grove. It is a bit of a drive from Yosemite, but hey, you’re on a road trip so it’s right up your alley!

When booking accommodation in Yosemite, plan in advance. During high season, things sell out fast! Curry Village has a range of canvas tents and wooden cabins plus hotel rooms. Accommodation range from basic tents with shared bathrooms to private hotel rooms with bathrooms. Check out TripAdvisor for prices.

12. Lake Tahoe – 2 Days

From Yosemite it is 2 hours and 30 minutes to Tahoe.

lake tahoe california trips

There are two major tourist areas to make a base in both South and North Lake Tahoe. The south is certainly the busier of the two sides of the lake with casinos, nightclubs and lots of people. While the north side of the lake is all about nature, quiet family run lodges and rugged and historic ski hills, the South sits directly on the Nevada border and feels kitschy and commercial.

Things to do in Lake Tahoe

Emerald Bay, south Lake Tahoe
  • Scenic Drive – The best views most certainly happen when driving between South and North Tahoe via Emerald Bay State Park. It takes an entire day to really explore the lake and you must give a lot of time for sightseeing at Emerald Bay.
  • Emerald Bay State Park – Emerald Bay has several different scenic stops and each one is a must! When you pull over, be sure to get out of your car and hike to the viewpoints. They get more spectacular with each turn! Hike down to the bay and see the famous Vikingsholm Castle or go on a lake cruise.
  • Camp Richardson – If you are up for more hiking, there are trails all around Camp Richardson that are less steep than the hike down from Emerald Bay. They also offer hotel and cabins for lodging.
  • Skiing – Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is the closest skiing to San Francisco and receives the most snowfall out of all the hills in California. After driving up the long and winding road, we stopped for a magnificent view of Donner Lake. North Star offers the luxury end of the spectrum of skiing with the only slope-side five-star lodging in the area, and don’t forget Mt.Rose offering Tahoe’s Highest Base elevation. Heavenly Mountain located in South Tahoe.
  • Read Things to do in Lake Tahoe in Winter

Hotels and AirBnBs in Lake Tahoe

Where to stay in Lake Tahoe Cedar Crest Cottages
  • There are plenty of lodging options in North Lake Tahoe and a good stay for families would definitely be our lodge at Cedar Crest Cottages.
  • Sunnyside Resort is a welcoming resort located on the Shore of Lake Tahoe. Your stay includes continental breakfast and afternoon tea.

Where to Eat – We loved our meal and the friendly staff at Sunnyside Restaurant and Resort located at 1850 W Lake Blvd, Tahoe City. It has been a Sunnyside tradition since 1965.

13. Sacramento – Bonus Night


It’s about a five-hour drive from Lake Tahoe to San Francisco, so if you want to split up the 5-hour drive we suggest stopping in Sacramento. Even if it’s not on your California road trip itinerary from the start, it’s worth the time to see all of this history. The state capital of California is worth a visit even if you only see the historic downtown landmark of Old Sacramento. This 28-acre district is filled with old town saloons and bars taking you back to the 1800s.

Where to Stay in Sacramento

A great place to stay is The Kimpton Sawyer Hotel that is just a short 15-minute walk from Old Town. This new upscale hotel is located in the heart of Sacramento overlooking the Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings.

How much does it cost to Road Trip in California?

As you’ve seen, your California road trip itinerary can move in a lot of different directions. There were a lot of stops we didn’t even make because this state is so enormous. As such, the cost can vary greatly depending on lodging.

Accommodation – If you stay in a campground you will pay $35 per night but you can also spend up to $1000 per night in luxury lodges like Ventana in Big Sur or the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara.

This road trip is 1500 miles in total. If the average car gets 20 miles per gallon and the average cost of fuel is $3.50 per gallon, you can expect to pay $262 in fuel for this trip.

Meals too can have a broad range. If you want a multicourse meal at some of the luxury hotels, you can spend up to $200. but you can also hit roadside diners for $20. We mixed and matched packing lunches, eating in diners and sometimes splurging on gourmet meals. We suggest you do the same to make the most of your trip.

If you can get breakfasts included and pack sandwiches and waters for lunch, you have just saved a lot of money for a romantic dinner out.

Full Map of Our Road Trip in California

California Road Trip Map
Map of our complete California road trip itinerary – You can download the link on Google Maps.

Whatever route you choose, you will go through some of the best scenery in all of California. We hope to have given enough information to create your own tour by offering these California road trip ideas.

california road trip itinerary
Enjoy our video of scenes from our California Road Trip

You have now completed the route and can make your way back to The San Francisco Bay area to return your rental car. Or feel free to stick around California. There are so many places to visit, you can spend months exploring.

Did you enjoy this California Trip Planner? Why not pin it to use as a reference for future road trips.

California Road Trip Itinerary

And that ladies and gentlemen are our picks for the best road trips California has to offer. So, now you are ready to hit the road with a solid plan of all the things to do in California!

To see our full itinerary through California check out Follow ThePlanetD from Oceans to Mountains on the Visit California Website.

You may also like these other great road trips:

Our trip to California was in partnership with Visit California. For more information on California travel and itineraries, visit their website. As usual, all opinions are our own.

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

49 thoughts on “The Ultimate California Road Trip Itinerary”

  1. Wow, what a great itinerary! I remember my California road trip like it was yesterday – an unforgettable experience. Starting in San Francisco was a smart choice – it’s such a diverse city with so much to see and do. I couldn’t get enough of the panoramic views from Golden Gate Park! And that City Pass was definitely a worthwhile investment. Made getting around the city super convenient. The drive along the Pacific Coast Highway was absolutely stunning. It’s a journey I think everyone should experience at least once. For anyone planning this road trip, don’t rush it! Take your time and really soak in the breathtaking views. It’s worth every second.

  2. This is really an ultimate road trip! I live in CA and have done so much of this but only little bits at a time. Beautiful photos!

  3. This is incredible and you travel photography is totally shocking! In spite of the fact that I live in California, there are a few places on your excursion that I haven’t visited at this point! I’m anticipating getting to Lake Tahoe and Death Valley sooner rather than later! A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing!

    • You are going to love Lake Tahoe. In the winter it’s a great destination. They really have it figured out as a four season destination.
      Make sure to bring plenty of water for Death Valley. I am sure you are used to the heat, but we were amazed with how hot it actually was.

    • Santa Barbara is gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to go there since the soap opera called Santa Barbara. It didn’t disappoint.

  4. This is a great itinerary! There is so much to see in California. I have been creating CA road trip itineraries for 4 years of different duration and covering various interests. I currently have 35 and counting on my blog.

    • Oh wow! There are so many places to see in California, it really does take years. This road trip planner is from several different trips we’ve taken as well. It would be a dream to do it all again at one time!

  5. I could not agree with you more about California being one of (if not the) best destinations for a road trip. Have you ever thought of renting a campervan to make the trip? It really makes the trip all the more immersive when you can stop and sleep right in the middle of it instead of having to venture off the beaten path to find lodging. And in most cases, you can do that in Cali. I recommend Travellers-Autobarn for an awesome campervan rental. They have locations in San Francisco and LA. I put their link in the website field. Happy Trails!

    • A campervan would be amazing. We love camping and meeting people on the road and we find that campgrounds are so much fun. Thanks for the tip!

  6. California is just amazing and blog was so informative about the Joshua Tree,Los angles ,South Lake Tahoe,Yosemite,Death Valley i love these kinda places actually nice write-up thanks or posting!

  7. This post made me move towards road trip to California. Incredible post along with awesome photograph which is central attraction of the blog. Reading this post made my day. I wish I could travel like you without any worry of time.

    Appreciate it for your great effort that made my day with motivation.

  8. A California road trip has been on the top of my travel bucket list for so long and this post hasn’t changed my mind. I’ve been to both LA and SF but would love to see all the amazing scenery in between.

  9. This post makes me want to move home and go on a road trip! Thanks for giving me so many places to book mark. Can’t want to visit Cali again now!

  10. This is great and you photography is absolutely stunning! Although I live in California, there are several places on your road trip that I haven’t visited yet! I’m looking forward to getting to Lake Tahoe and Death Valley in the near future! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Wow, that is a serious road trip, filled with so many gorgeous things! When I was growing up, we did the Highway 1 trip several times, and I have so many great memories of it. This route takes you to all kinds of places I am yet to explore! Love it!

  12. This is some great advice for our upcoming trip. I’m currently planning a road trip from San Francisco, so this is super helpful! Beautiful pictures you captured. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

  13. I just want to tell that your photographs are really very inspiring and they just got me. I wanted to meander in the streets of this state. Thank you for taking us on this part.

  14. Okay … just read over all the comments and I see a lot of people don’t care for Las Vegas. Fair enough. Please don’t right the whole city off as wasteful and uncaring for the environment. I’d ask you to please be open minded and learn more about our city before jumping to that conclusion. There’s more to Las Vegas than the four miles people know as the Strip.

  15. Get in touch regarding Las Vegas and anything you want to know about the Southwest. I’ve lived in Vegas for five years and know the Southwest well. Would love to chat about your plans and provide recommendations/answer questions. You know where to find me!

  16. We’ve been living in the bay area our whole lives and still haven’t done this route. SF direct to LA yes, but not this kind. Sounds like an adventure! I heard you two were at a Travel Massive event in SF late last year no? It was at a beer shop I believe. We were there too!

  17. Hi. That trip sounds amazing. I’ve actually been to all those places on a Trek America tour. Alcatraz is a must see, there is plenty to do in Vegas without gambling and if you get the chance to take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon do it because the views are to die for. You’ll have a blast! l look forward to reading about it.

  18. You guys are going to have such a great trip! I’m from the SF area, went to college in LA and spent several summers on family backpacking trips in Yosemite, so I have to admit I’m actually a little jealous. Enjoy it extra for me, please!

  19. Too bad you will be missing Lake Tahoe! One of the most beautiful places in the country! You definitely have to plan a trip to visit here at some point 🙂

  20. Did a similar road trip last year and Cam is right, you need to stop by Sequoia National Park and see the General Sherman Tree (it’s basically on the way from Yosemite to Bakersfield!). With that said, still looks like tons of fun and I’m sure it’ll be a blast!

  21. Thanks for the report : ) We will be doing about the saem route in September: Denver-Ouray-Arches-Bryce-Zion-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas-Death Valley-Mammoth Lakes-Yosemite-SFO 🙂

    Way Any Way – Airfare search done right

  22. Sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to do a west coast road trip. I have driven from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas, and I definitely did not spend enough time at the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas is fun, and as for shows any Cirque du Soleil show will be a good bet. I saw O which was fantastic.

  23. Seriously–you are driving right by some really amazing places with no time to stop. You have to add several more days and visit Sequoia National Park (world’s largest trees), and Death Valley National Park.They are both incredible! Las Vegas is soulless and weird and there’s nothing to do if you don’t like gambling (my friend Jane who lives there slaps me every time I say that–well, not really, but I can tell she wants to). Replace your time in Las Vegas with time in Sedona, Arizona, about an hour’s drive south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Plus, Zion isn’t all that far from Bryce Canyon National Park, which is way better! How’s that for unsolicited advice!

    • If you want to get out of California, these are all great suggestions. We need a year to really visit California and all the great States that Surround it.

  24. Wha?! You’ve never been to Vegas…? Looks like a fun road trip, we’ve done a couple Californian road trips but we’ve never made it to Utah or Arizona. We originally planned to due a Utah, AZ, NV, CO road trip combined with TBEX this year, but Baby B is not a fan of long car trips, so that ones on the shelf for a few years

  25. What a great route, including some mind-blowing scenery. Don’t spend too long in Vegas. We were disgusted by the excess and waste also. A sidetrip to the Hoover Dam would be an eye-opener as to just how much water is being sucked up. The water of Lake Mead will be so low by 2017 that they dam may not be able to produce any power.

  26. Whoa! I met Felipe from Twtvite in Berlin last summer. Cool guy! Sounds like the road trip will be a blast. Zion National Park is amazing!