You can start this trip at either end. From the south the road trip begins in San Diego then travels north to beach towns, the bustle and excitement of Los Angeles, through elegant Santa Barbara and surrounding wine country, then north to more beaches and attractions in Carmel, Monterey, and Santa Cruz. End in the ultimate ‘City by the Bay,’ San Francisco.
A highlight along the route is the region known as the ‘Big Sur’, a 90 mile long stretch of redwood and fog-trimmed waterfront between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle (although there are no specific boundaries). Art and nature merge on this rugged coast, one of California’s most spectacular settings.
For the ultimate road trip experience, why not rent a vintage open-topped Cadillac and be sure to listen to the Beach Boys’ 1973 ‘California Saga’, songs inspired by precisely this incredible scenery. Make sure to stop for one of many roadside photo opportunities at little Point Lobos State Park, home to noisy sea lions, sea otters and spouting Pacific grey whales.