There's no better way to see California's stunning scenery than to take a road trip. San Francisco Monterey Peninsula San Simeon Los Angeles Joshua Tree National Park Death Valley Lone Pine Sequoia National Park Yosemite National Park
In this blog, we will go over the American road trip in California. Here is the list of top 9 stops:
- San Francisco
- Monterey Peninsula
- San Simeon
- Los Angeles
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Death Valley
- Lone Pine
- Sequoia National Park
- Yosemite National Park – the end of your epic road trip
It was bound to happen - the ultimate road trip - the California road trip. This one has it all - metropolises, wilderness and coast. We will dedicate the first part to urban culture, while the second part will bewilder - reconnect with nature to lower stress levels - explore further, go deeper and get wilder. For this part, you will need to rent a car as there is no public transportation that you can use to do this road trip. Plus, there are many benefits to driving your (rented) car - you can stop whenever you feel like it, enjoy the cool breeze, and listen to your music. California, here we come!
The starting point – San Francisco
The City of Lights is located on the north coast of California. San Francisco is a city that refuses to be mediocre. Everything is full of extremes, their food, the streets, the people. Everything looks and feels like it is out of this world. San Francisco's pride and symbol is undoubtedly the Haight Ashbury Street - the nest of the hippie revolution. San Frisco can be a bit of a culture shock - you'll see some really weird places and meet some really bizarre people - maybe they'll just be wearing their birthday suit (jp, it's legal to be naked as a jaybird in San Francisco ) - but hey, you're here to see the different, the extraordinary, to experience California. There's also the famous Pier 39 dock full of sea lions - you don't see those every day - it's like landing in the middle of a zoo. Other places of interest: - Twin Peaks- Golden Gate bridge- China Town And of course there's food - San Francisco has a real hardcore foodie scene. Carnivores will surely enjoy the House of Prime Rib - the aroma of roasted beef will turn you into a drooling fool. For even more of a local scene, you need to head to Oakland - and look for a Taco Truck Ojo de Agua - they have the best tacos in town.
2nd stop – Monterey Peninsula
Landing at Monterey. A mix of charming old town atmosphere and enticing beaches. There's plenty to do and discover here. Be sure to visit the Gallery - Dali17 - this is where it gets surreal. Named after Carmel's 17- Mile Drive, this museum features the most extensive private collection in the U.S. of works by the master. If you're running out of ideas, here's one: Carmel-by-the-sea offers numerous options and activities - from art experiences, wine tasting, shopping, parks and hiking. There's no shortage of things to do here. Stay on track - another "must-see, must-do" is definitely Big Sur: "...when you're convinced all the exits are blocked, you either start believing in miracles or you stop like the hummingbird. The miracle is that the honey is always there, right under your nose, you were just too busy looking elsewhere to notice it. The worst thing is not to die, but to be blind, blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of wonder." These words from Henry Miller are dedicated to the wondrous Big Sur. Long gone are the days of solitude and peace, now Big Sur has become a top tourist attraction - yet you'll find it filled with hippies and self-proclaimed artists. For local cuisine and great views, visit Nepenthe Restaurant.
3rd stop – San Simeon
Your drive on Highway 1 will take you to San Simeon. San Simeon is a special town because of its wildlife. This small community is home to herding zebras, elephant seals competing for the affections of their potential mates, and baby whales playing with their mothers. If you are in San Simeon, you will definitely want to see the famous Hearst Castle - California Historical Landmark. This mansion was built as a residence for media mogul William Hearst (W.H. built the nation's largest newspaper chain and was a pioneer in the Yellow Journalism style) and Hears Castle is one of the most visited castles in the world. San Sebastian is a great family restaurant to stop at while driving down the coast.
The 4th stop on your road trip is Los Angeles - the city of dreams. LA is top of the line compared to NY. The City of Angels is the nightmare of New York. It is the city of the young and beautiful. Everything and everyone looks like they were sent by a god. And the citizens of LA are some of the friendliest, nicest, and most outgoing we've ever met. You're here, and you're not Hank Moody, but that's OK - you're in the city of eternal sunshine.- If you're in LA, Venice Beach is a must - here you can ride the waves, take a stroll through Venice Canals or watch the street performers on the boardwalk.- Rodeo Drive - Pretty Woman fulfilled her dream here, while you can do some window shopping - the heart of Beverly Hills is greatly expensive.- Visit Little Tokyo - California Roll was invented here, and you can spend your "Zen time" in many of their Buddhist temples or Japanese gardens.
Joshua Tree National Park
Our journey now turns to the wild side. Nature brings us back together, healing and connecting. This American National park will bring your senses to life. It's a fireworks display of colour. When you've had enough of the desert, rocks and Cholla Cactuses, head to Pioneertown - the vegetation is pretty much the same, but it's more vibrant. In this "fake town," you can enjoy amazingly good music and food (ribs and burgers).
The inhospitable and unforgiving desert that reminds you of your insignificance - Death Valley is a lifeless and hot corner of the earth. Even volcanoes are extinct here. However, to experience the emptiness that is full, you must visit this place of extremes - it is undoubtedly breathtaking. Besides, why not have a burger in the desert? Toll Road restaurant is where they serve the best.
The next stop on your road trip is a shopping town with great character. Lone Pine is a place to go if you are looking for freedom. This grandiose compound has served as the backdrop for numerous movies - from B-westerns to classics. Check out their museum from Western Film History.
Sequoia National Park
Almighty Mother Nature - eternal, grandiose, immortal, glorious and heroic - all this and more is the Sequoia National Park. It's hard to find the right words to describe this place - so you'll have to see it for yourself. For a roast beef sandwich, stop by Peaks Restaurant at Wuksachi Lodge.
Yosemite National Park – the end of your epic road trip
Here we are - at the end of your California road trip. Sure, there are plenty more sights along the way, but the highlight of this trip is the drive itself. By now, you undoubtedly feel the awe, respect, and devotion to Mother Nature. However, we saved the best part of the road trip for last - here's the Yosemite National Park. If you're the adventurous type, Yosemite is the best playground you'll ever see - you can fish, bike, kayak or even horseback ride. Home to towering waterfalls, it will amaze you, it will take your breath away, and you will fall head over heels in love when you visit Glacier Point for the sparkling view of the Yosemite Valley.