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San Francisco to Los Angeles

This is one of the most beautiful roads in the world. It can be driven in 9 hours but the best way, if you can arrange it, is to take your time and enjoy the ride. You will take the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) along the coast; do not follow the direct highway. If you have the flexibility to choose your travel direction, drive from the North to the South.  When travelling in this direction, you will drive on the coast side of the road where it is easier to admire the landscape.You will visit trendy places such as Carmel or Monterey - where Hollywood stars used to go for their holidays - along with picturesque villages with a lot of charm. If you are a surfer or if you want to try it, feel free to do so in Santa Cruz, one of the best places in the world for surfing!

Recommended vehicles:

Couples and Solo Travelers: The perfect vehicle for this road trip is our US Tourer which sleeps up to two people in one bed. Its luxury features guarantee a comfortable vacation, enabling you to enjoy a marvellous American sunrise with your sweetheart.

Families: For a family we recommend the Pioneer. Comfortably sleeping up to 4 adults and one child, this luxury RV will provide all the comfort that your kids and you need for this amazing journey. In addition it is equiped with a TV/DVD that will entertain children during the trip.

Itinerary

Day 1: San Francisco to Santa Cruz
Day 2: Santa Cruz to Monterey
Day 3: Monterey to Carmel by the sea
Day 4: Carmel by the sea to Big Sur
Day 5: Big Sur to Hearst Castle to San Luis Obispo
Day 6: San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara
Day 7: Santa Barbara to Los Angeles

Highlights

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Santa Cruz

Redwood forests and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (amusement park) are the main attractions in Santa Cruz. It is recognized as one of the best places in the world for surfing with notably 11 world-famous surf breaks and is featured in the Beach Boys song “Surfin’ USA”. With marvellous sandy beaches, Santa Cruz is one of the two California cities which hold the name of "Surf City". The O’Neill headquarters is located in Santa Cruz as well and the area has Mediterranean weather which is sunny and warm, allowing plenty of outdoor activities such as surfing and kayaking.  As the sun goes down, watch the sunset over the ocean - such a wonderful place.

Location: Monterey | Photographer: | Copyright:

Monterey

Monterey was the Alta California capital (New California) between 1777 and 1846 and the city has a unique style in terms of architecture due to its Spanish past. If you can, try to visit The Monterey Bay Aquarium - really attractive with hundreds of species of marine life - then Cannery Row from the John Steinbeck novel. Finally check out the Fisherman’s wharf with plenty of seafood restaurants. Another good option, which doesn’t take too long, is to explore Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Location: Carmel By the Sea, Monterey | Photographer:  | Copyright:

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Founded in 1902, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a pretty, small town. Clint Eastwood was one of the mayors from 1986 to 1988. It is famous for its scenery and its artistic history with artists like George Sterling who helped to establish this artist town. Try to visit Pacific Grove - most of the houses in the inner city have been made by the town’s citizens or by their owners, referring to the long tradition of aesthetic presence in the city. More Info

Location: Big Sur | Photographer: name | Copyright: name

Big Sur

If your plan allows a stop, you can discover Big Sur (El pais grande del sur, in Spanish). From this point you can have one of the best views on the coast thanks to its mountains. You'll find some luxurious hotels or you can camp in the woods to admire the stars in the sky. You will find tremendous parks as well like the Carmel River State Park or the Pfeifer Big Sur Park.

Location: Hearst Castle | Photographer: | Copyright:

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is one of California's most famous tourist destinations. The castle is decorated with Spanish and Italian furniture in old fashioned style, retaining the Renaissance style with two incredible outdoor and indoor pools, the "Neptune" and "Roman" pool where you will feel like ‘Caesar’. Call to book before coming, ph. 800-444-4445 or on their website as it is always busy. More Info

Location: San Luis Obispo | Photographer:  | Copyright:

San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo was founded by a Franciscan mission in 1772. It is one of the oldest cities of California with around 50,000 inhabitants. The centre is really colourful due to its Romanesque and Art Deco style. Thanks to its past you can feel an individual style here compared to other California cities. It is the home town of the California Polytechnic State University, many movies and music festivals which makes the city very young and dynamic.

Location: Couthouse Tower, Santa Barbara | Photographer:  | Copyright:

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara or the ‘American Rivera’ is well known for its Spanish Colonial Revival architecture like the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, which is one of the most beautiful public buildings in the United States, or the Presidio of Santa Barbara which was listed on the U.S National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Worth the trip! By visiting Santa Barbara you will see that shopping, fine food, historic attractions, cultural sites and beaches are just few meters away from you.

Video

Beautiful California
Have a look at the breathtaking scenery during a drive in California