Nothing is as peaceful and calming as hitting the road to zone out, even if you are in the middle of nowhere. It helps clear your mind, discover new routes, and familiarizes you with new shortcuts. But why settle for an average cruise when you can be passing by breathtaking nature and historic landmarks?
California is the perfect state for feeling the wind rush through your hair while taking your time to enjoy the scenic views around you. Whether you are on your bike or driving a minivan with your windows down, California highways and farm roads will have you wishing that the road will never end. Now that you’re ready to fire your vehicle up and take off; here’ is an all-inclusive list of some of the best road trips you can take in California.
Route 66, California To Illinois
One of the most famous roads in America, Route 66, is nicknamed “The mother road,” or the Road of America. The highway is given that name for its history of being the entry road to America for western settlers and spans over 2,400 miles through eight states.
Highlights of the long the Cadillac Ranch in Texas and the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Some of the most popular cities on Route 66 include Chicago, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, all way to Sedona, Arizona. Pass by Las Vegas, and find many historic gas stations on your way, along with the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum.
Starting from LA, the Red Rock Canyon State Park is the first stop on this itinerary. Dessert highways offer an experience like no other for the rarity of surrounding life and the emptiness of roads. The road to Death Valley is peace at its finest. Other destinations on the way include the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. A trip out to Death Valley is hitting a bird with one stone because you get to enjoy scenic views of the road and even pack your gear. Sleep a night or two in the desert to regroup from the busy city life. The final destination of your trip will be the hottest and driest place in America, and embrace the dessert vibes Death Valley offers.
Highway 1 Cliffs of Big Sur
Big Sur’s coastal highway is a section of Highway 1 in California and is widely known to be one of the best scenic drives in the area. Australian painter Francis McComas describes it as the “greatest meeting of land and water in the world.” The highway through the cliffs of Big Sur is known to span over 71 mi and is located between Malpaso Creek near Carmel Highlands in the north and San Carpóforo Creek. Along with serving its purpose as a main street in the area, the highway cliffs of Big Sur are also a tourist attraction for locals, bringing in thousands of passing drivers who fall in love with the scenic views.
Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park
A path from rich greenery to dry, vast rough mountain lands, this road in California is decorated with pine trees and enjoys a Nice calming nature-centric vibe. The route to Yosemite National Park has a balance of historic, nature-centric, and touristy attractions. Some of the best places to see and visit include Sand Harbour, Nevada State Museum, and the Travertine hot springs. Finishing this road from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite national park, you’re left just miles away from starting your next scenic journey to Death Valley and its surrounding streets.
Malibu to Lompoc
This route is a part of the 101 Highway stretch that perfectly blends sceneries of vineyards and beached together, creating the perfect contrast of views. Starting at the Rugger Santa Monica mountains, the route leads down beautiful ranchlands into the greenery and flower fields of Lompoc. Lompoc is known to be one of the most colorful floral lands in the area, along with being a hub for production and having some of the best Pinot Noir in California.
Fresno Blossom and Fruit Trails
For those looking to enjoy more agriculture-centered scenes, Fresno Blossom and its delicious scenic views will tempt you to run out into its fields and start picking and gathering a delicious harvest. Some of the most notable stops along your way include Simonian Farms, a 1901 fruit stand housed in a giant red barn; the aromatic Orange Blossom Trail from Orange Cove; and Cedar View Winery in Sanger, where you can taste the red wines made with rare Alicante Bouschet grapes. Additionally, visitors can stop by Selma, the raisin capital of the world, for a quick tasting and farm visit. In the spring, The Fresno Blossom Trail takes you through the orchards of California's Central Valley. Drivers, bicyclists, and photographers alike are prone to say "Wow!" when they make the 62-mile loop drive.
Playa Del Rey To Manhattan Beach
A beautiful beach strip that emphasizes the Cali culture with its white sand shores decorated by palm trees and passing by the Al Porto main street and its many small businesses. Manhattan Beach is a surfer city with many beach-themed small shops, cafes, and restaurants. The driving trip also includes a walkable street with some of the most popular main businesses, such as the Manhattan Beach Art Center, The Farmer’s Market, Metlox Plaza, and more.
Route 1 From Monterey To Morro Bay
Undoubtedly, the highway cliffs in Monterey and its surrounding area are one of the most fascinating routes in the area. However, the beauty of the road doesn’t end with the cliff-side road. Following Route 1 forward, you’ll find a range of farmlands and greenery that balance out the beach vibe along the road. Some of the best places to visit on the way include Ragged Point, Cayucos, and the beautiful clear-watered San Simon.
The 17-mile Drive
Located on the Highway 1 Coastal Route between Carmel by the Sea and Monterey, this road takes you through a scenic journey along the Monterey peninsula and the Del Monte Forest. The 17-mile road is a nickname the scenic road has been given by locals in commemoration of a 17-mile experience-centric journey that one of the local hotels created for affluent guests back in the 1800s, far before there were any cars. Hotel Del Monte in Pebble Beach is responsible for creating the masterpiece scenic route that evolved to be the legendary Automobile route it is today.
Napa Valley Wine Country
Nappa Valley is a Trip that follows the Silverado Trail. Nappa Valley is one of the most famous wine and vineyard destinations. The scenic drive starts in Napa and heads north to Calistoga. Aside from its beautiful surroundings, the Silverado trail goes way back in history to be constructed in the mid-1800s and played a significant part in Californian History. Enjoy the views of vast farmlands, and stop by on your way for some fine dining when hitting the Silverado Trail.
Finally, depending on where you visit Yosemite National Park, you might be lucky to check out California's highest mountain pass. Tioga Pass is a mountain route located in the Nevada mountain range of California. It is the go-to road for bikers and drivers who enjoy natural wonders and camping breaks along the way. The mountain pass is often closed throughout the winter but makes up a perfect Summer or Spring destination. Find an extensive range of outdoor activities, and take in the beauty of your surroundings in a top-of-state mindset.
Once you’ve checked out a few of these scenic drives, it’s going to be great for you to stop cruising down highways and look for the following scenic road path. Lucky for you, America offers many more exciting routes than just California Highwahays; perhaps you are now ready for a more extended trip across the states.