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Pier 39, San Francisco - Top Destination in California for Road Trips

Top 10 Destinations in California for Road Trips (2024)

California is the dream destination for several travelers, especially the younger generation, that itches for the perfect road trip! There is a melange of places that can be visited in California, and all of them count in the list of California road trip destinations. The road trip destinations of California vary from mountainsides to beach drives, and all of them are unique in their way, which is aesthetically appealing.

On doing quite some research, you will stumble across the gold-tinged West Coast. The West Coast and its blissful coastline, picturesque national parks, and bright sun will form the backdrop for a road trip! Several pictures on the internet will testify to our claims; if it is hard to believe and after you are done.

Top 10 Destinations in California for Road Trips

Let’s Look at all These Road Trip Destinations of California:

1. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles

Perched atop Mount Hollywood, Griffith Observatory is a great place to satiate your extra-terrestrial cravings! Everything spacey can be viewed from within the observatory itself, and no doubt it is a one-of-a-kind experience when it comes out to travel destinations that are uncommon.
Top Destination in California for Road Trips-Griffith Observatory, Los AngelesImage Source

The observatory is a world-renowned destination and has featured in several films besides TV shows, and the best part is that the entry is absolutely free! It is more than enough of a reason to pay a dedicated visit to the observatory. Besides, you can explore the landscape views of Los Angeles from the top of the observatory. There is not an iota of doubt that the Griffith Observatory is on the top of the list of best road-trip destinations in California!

2. Pier 39, San Francisco

A road trip undertaken in California is not complete without a visit to Pier 39. The pier was once a working and trading spot but now has been transformed into a bustling community of restaurants and shops that offer all the fineries of American soil! If that is not enough, the front of the pier is full of adorable seals, which are very playful and will be your perfect selfie buddies! Pier 39, San Francisco - Top Destination in California for Road Trips

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Make sure that you stop by to eat out and have a fun day with family or friends at Pier 39.

3. San Diego Old Town and Balboa Park

Okay, how does a place with palaces sound! Well, we know it sounds great! While on a trip to California, it is impossible to miss out on this beautiful destination. Visit the Old-town historic State Park, which was established in the early half of the 19th century. The town will leave you in a beautiful haze and will be the California road trip’s biggest highlight easily!
Best Destination in California for Road Trips-San Diego Old Town and Balboa ParkImage Source

The town also boasts of great eateries that serve just yummy food! The Mexican influence on the cuisine is very evident, and you will just love the warmth with which it is served to the customers and tourists!

4. Mono Lake & Mono County

The Mono Lake is a shallow but very dramatic lake that has formed over a long duration of hundreds and thousands of years. You can stop by at the lake for an hour or two and even have a nice and cozy picnic on the water’s edge.

One more thing that has to be kept in mind that ‘DO NOT’ drink the water of this lake as it is highly salty and is known to be one of the saltiest lakes on earth!
Sight-seeing Destination in California for Road Trips-Mono Lake & Mono CountyImage Source

Nevertheless, it’s a great destination to just lay low for a while, rejuvenate and move ahead.

5. Route 66

We are sure that many of you have watched X-Men movies, and this particular destination holds a special place in one of the popular movie franchise films. This rocky destination is one of California’s most famous landmarks and is also a staple part of the list of California’s road-trip destinations! If you have done quite a bit of research on the internet about locations in California worth visiting, then we are sure you know quite well why it is worth visiting! And, if not, we will tell you why!
Popular Destination in California for Road Trips-Route 66Image Source

Route 66 lies on the outskirts of the West, and to reach there, the road up from the ocean has to be taken that leads towards the Nevada and Arizona border. You will come across large boulders of rocks and a dessert that looks straight out of textbooks! Several eateries lie on the route and will keep you fed and well hydrated in the unforgiving desert locale.

6. Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada

It is possible that you might have heard about this beauty, Lake Tahoe, and its waters that can put crystals to shame with its brilliance! You look at the pictures of the place, and instantly a trip will find itself impending in the near future! Giant boulders of sandstone, mountains that go as high as the sight can go, and the bottom-clear lake, all of them will leave you gasping. The whole of the location is just so dreamy and feels unreal that a road trip assimilating here will find a forever place in the treasure of precious memories.
Amazing Destination in California for Road Trips-Lake Tahoe, Sierra NevadaImage Source

Take a boat across the lake and flap around, come back on the shore, and lay down camp essentials; you will be all good! And that’s not all that can be done there, and you can visit Vikingsholm for a rendezvous with a modern-day castle, which is tucked away in the hills surrounding the lake. Make the most out of the road-trip destination.

7. Asilomar State Beach, Monterey Peninsula

Hollister is the point of interest when somebody takes the name of Asilomar. Well, it is about 100km west of Hollister and is a vivid beauty that is worth thousands of road trips.
 Attraction Destination in California for Road Trips-Asilomar State Beach, Monterey PeninsulaImage Source

The beach is situated in Pacific Grove, which is famed for being a location where someone can experience divine sunsets and camp overnight! The prospect of lazing about the beach and getting to enjoy the serene scenes as afternoon turns to evening and evening to night! You can park your vehicle outside the beach’s parking and head into the sand patch for a night out that will leave you mesmerized!

8. Temecula, Riverside County

Temecula is a lesser-known and very less-explored city that lies between Los Angeles and San Diego. You might like to note that this country is famous but, for one thing! It is an expansive wine region. There are acres of vineyards and wineries that offer wine-tasting soirees for the tourists visiting the county! Imagine gliding down the roads lined by vineyards with water on the sides and the breeze on your face; wouldn’t it be dreamy!
Nice Destination in California for Road Trips-Temecula, Riverside CountyImage Source

You can even book a hot balloon ride that will make you ogle at all the beauty of the county and its vineyards. It will be better to take the edge of wine-tasting, and who prefers driving after a good bottle of wine! Explore the county as much as you can, and bless your eyes with one of the best landscapes on earth!

9. Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino County

Don’t be mistaken by the name, as it might suggest! There are individuals who look for a significant break from their monotonous lives, or mostly everyone who seeks a quaint background as the ultimate vacation destination will find San Bernardino as the ideal spot! It has a very relaxed atmosphere where anyone can feel assimilated with nature!
Famous Destination in California for Road Trips-Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino CountyImage Source

The Big Bear Lake and town is perched within the San Bernardino Mountains, which is a postcard-perfect picturesque destination and will be a perfect pit stop on a road trip around California. If you doubt us, you can go through pictures of the lake and its surroundings which will make you believe every word written here! You can camp for the night there and watch out the night sky lit with stars amongst the clearest of night skies. If lucky, you might witness meteor showers too!

10. Redwoods State Park, Humboldt County

Humboldt county has the divine Redwoods that can grow really tall and are apparently the tallest in the entire world! You will feel one with nature while roaming around the Park amongst the 100 meters high redwoods. They are an epic symbol of how incredible nature can be. A fascinating fact about these trees is that they can go on to live for 1000 years and many such trees have been found there!
Top Destination in California for Road Trips-Redwoods State Park, Humboldt CountyImage Source

A nature lover’s paradise is this State Park and is undoubtedly a significant addition to the list of California road trip destinations. Make sure that you park your car or trailer in the parking of the State Park and explore the premises of the Park on foot.

The list goes on and on if we sit down to talk about California’s road-trip destinations, and there are several other landmarks and natural paradises that will leave you wanting for more. While traveling, the time slot is something that becomes a deterrent in exploring locations thoroughly, but if you have enough time on hand, then we recommend that you explore all the places that are to be explored! It will become one of the most memorable vacations of your lifetime!

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