17 Spots to Hit on the Ultimate California Road Trip

As the most populous state in the U.S., California offers visitors a lot more than just Disneyland and the Hollywood sign. Many of California’s most incredible spots fall along its 800+ mile long coast, facing the majestic Pacific Ocean. Luckily for us, much of this coastline is hugged closely by the fabled California State Route 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, creating a superb setting for the Ultimate California Road Trip.

While there are hundreds of sites you could see and dozens of routes you can take on your own California Road Trip, here are 17 of our favorite California Road Trip destinations to see this summer along California’s beautiful coast:

1. McWay Falls at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park near Monterey, California

Trover photo by Alex Sam

 

2. Redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument north of San Francisco, California

Trover photo by Mary Hill

 

3. The famous Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California

Trover photo by Adventure Never Ends

 

4. Tide pools at Shaws Cove in Laguna Beach, California

Trover photo by Jason Zite

 

5. View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach in San Francisco, California

Trover photo by Alex Sam

 

6. Riding the Sea Swings on the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California

Trover photo by Gabriela Amodeo

 

7. Sunset on El Matador State Beach in Malibu, California

 

8. Classic In-N-Out burgers and animal-style fries in Long Beach, California

Trover photo by Mark Rentz

 

9. Nighttime at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California

Trover photo by Jim Nix

 

10. Killer cliffside views of the Pacific Ocean from Big Sur, California

Trover photo by nathanial gonzales

 

11. The Roman Pool at Hearst Castle near San Luis Obispo, California

Trover photo by John Henry

 

12. Sunset on the beach in Half Moon Bay, California

Trover photo by Alex Sam

 

13. Glass Beach near Fort Bragg, California

Trover photo by Road it up

 

14. Lone Cypress in Pebble Beach, California

Trover photo by Road it up

 

15. Walking along the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk in Cambria, California

Trover photo by Jesse I.

 

16. Hog Island Oyster overlooking the bay in Marshall, California

Trover photo by Amber Stokes

 

17. Hot Springs at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California

Trover photo by Ian Rowan

 

How’s that for some road trip inspiration? To see more destinations and plan your very own California Road Trip, check out the full list of must-see California Road Trip spots here, and don’t forget to share your own California photos on Trover this summer!