Road Tripping California

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Road Tripping California – why California is my favorite place for an unforgettable road trip – and how you can plan your own California road trip and see why California is the new Road Trip Republic!

Sunset on Mandalay Beach, Oxnard CA

This post is sponsored by Visit California. All opinions are 100% my own. I love to partner with companies and organizations I love and know my readers will enjoy learning about – and Visit California is one of my favorites!

As a native of Southern California, I grew up road tripping all over the state – and now that I have kids of my own, even though we live far away, there is no place I like to road trip more than California!

I have been named to the Visit California Digital Advisory Board for 2019, and can’t be more excited to partner with one of the world’s best travel destinations to help bring you closer to a fabulous California vacation!

Get your own copy of the California Road Trip Planner for the ultimate California road trip planning resource.

While planning the perfect trip to California can be seriously daunting (there is just SO MUCH I always want to do and see… and never enough time for it all) – Visit California’s new 50 Life Changing Adventures Road Trips publication has made it incredibly easy to take in some of California’s best sights and locations.

Anacapa Island Lighthouse, Channel Islands National Park

The Visit California’s new 50 Life Changing Adventures Road Trips publication is truly comprehensive and creative – with an itinerary that offers something for everyone.

There are road trips for Taco lovers (aka my dream trip… they even included my absolute all time favorite taco joint, Tito’s Tacos in Culver City, on their list!), road trips for wine lovers, road trips for girlfriends, road trips for families, road trips for beach lovers, road trips for history freaks – even a military history road trip!

I have gone through my copy of the guide so many times, and every single trip has things I would love to check out – and so many ideas!

Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach, Oxnard CA

If you’re looking for your own personal California Road Trip tour guide, you need a copy!

There are suggestions on what to pack, who to bring, what kind of car to rent (including where to rent, what to expect from rentals, etc.), where to fly into, where to stay, where to eat, and even tips on what to wear!

Since California is such a big state, with so many different climates, attractions, regional cuisines, and natural wonders it can get a bit overwhelming to pick through places to visit – but the 50 Awesome Road Trips Guide takes out all of the pressure.

Huntington Beach Pier

What to See in California

California is such a big state, there is no shortage of exciting and fun things to do.

Some of the worlds most beloved tourist spots are in California – from the Golden Gate Bridge, to Disneyland, to Hollywood – and on to beaches, mountains, desert, and everything in between!

There are so many options in California, it helps to pick a theme or central area when planning your trip so you can see as much as you’d like.

Planning a trip? You can get your own copy of California’s 50 Amazing Road Trips and free California visitor guides here!

View Alcatraz Sign, San Fransisco CA


California’s beaches are known across the world – with must-visit spots like Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Big Sur, and more… from soft sand to rocky cliffs, there is a beach for everyone in California!

Love California Beaches? Be sure to check out the Santa Barbara to San Diego road trip!

[mv_create key=”1053″ type=”list” title=”beaches” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]


California is home to 3 major deserts – the Mojave desert, the Colorado desert, and the Great Basin desert – all with unique opportunities to explore otherworldly sights, awe-inspiring vistas, and bright nighttime stars.

If you’re drawn to the wild and quirky desert sights, check out the Amazing Desert Oddities road trip:

[mv_create key=”1047″ type=”list” title=”desert” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]


California is known for beaches – but the mountains shouldn’t be overlooked! As a mountain loving girl, California’s peaks offer a ton of fun if you’re looking to hike, bike, ski, or board – or just float around in the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe.

For a breathtaking tour through California’s mountains, check out the Sierra Adventure Road Trip:

[mv_create key=”1048″ type=”list” title=”Mountains” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]
Sunrise over La Crema Winery vineyards, Sonoma County CA


Wine is a major draw to California visitors – and California’s vineyards offer so much, you don’t even need to drink to enjoy a day in the gorgeous rolling hills in the Central Coast, Amador county, and Sonoma/Napa wine regions.

Many wineries are family-friendly, have food or snacks (some, like Niner Wines in Paso Robles even have amazing restaurants), and are often surrounded by some of the best fresh from the farm food you’ll find on the planet, thanks to California’s strong agricultural industry.

To plan your own wine-soaked itinerary, check out the Winding Through Wine Country Trip:

[mv_create key=”1049″ type=”list” title=”vineyards” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]

Theme Parks

Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm, Legoland, Six Flags, Sea World — there are so many fun ideas to spend time on the wild side in California.

With world-famous attractions and theme parks in California, you can’t find more fun than a rod trip from theme park to theme park!

For your own theme park tour, check out the theme park thrills tour:

[mv_create key=”1057″ type=”list” title=”theme parks” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]
Disneyland at Christmas


From art, to military history, to computer technology, as well as natural history and science – there is a museum to just about everything in California.

If you’re a museum or architecture fan, you could plan a trip hopping from museum to museum as you cross the state – most are affordable, family friendly, are in gorgeous buildings, and a great option for budget conscious travelers.

[mv_create key=”1050″ type=”list” title=”museums & architecture” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]


San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco are some of the best known cities in the world to visit – and driving between the three gives you an awesome opportunity to see so much of California’s unique spots in between all the hustle and bustle!

To create your own San Diego to San Fransisco trip, check out the Classic Highway 1 Road Trip:

[mv_create key=”1046″ type=”list” title=”San Diego to San Fransisco” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]

Wide Open Spaces

While California has large cities and sprawling suburbs, it doesn’t take long to get out to the middle of nowhere, either.

There are so many remote, wild, and gorgeous places all over California waiting to be explored – if you’re looking for a less traveled trip, check out the Natural Wonders trip:

[mv_create key=”1054″ type=”list” title=”wide open spaces” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]


California is an art-lovers dream – from galleries and museums to street art and large scale public displays, if you’re looking for a road trip full of art – look no further than California!

Great Food

California is the farm to fork capitol of the US – as a major supplier of food for the United States, you can’t get any fresher than enjoying food in California.

You can plan a whole trip around sampling California specialties – strawberries at a Ventura County farmers market, cheese straight from a Nothern California creamery, oysters caught fresh in SLO, tacos and salsa from LA’s numerous taco joints – as well as world-class beers and wines to wash it all down.

For a fun trip through LA’s taco scene, check out the taco tour road trip:

[mv_create key=”1056″ type=”list” title=”food” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]
San Fransisco CA

Plan The Perfect California Road Trip

Ready to hit the road in California?

You can get your own copy of California’s 50 Amazing Road Trips and free California visitor guides here!

You can also find all of the itineraries I linked above, and many more, on Visit California’s road trip page.

You can find tons of itineraries – sorted by interests, lengths, and areas here:

[mv_create key=”1058″ type=”list” title=”california road trips” thumbnail=”” layout=”hero”]

And for more from my trips across California, please check out some of my favorite spots to visit!

[mv_create key=”1045″ type=”list” title=”Favorite California Vacations” thumbnail=”” layout=”grid”]

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. You have me dreaming of a much needed vacation! What a fun family trip; I will have to convince my husband!