road trips in California

8 Scenic Road Trips in California You Must Explore With Family

Are you tired of the same old routine and looking for a way to spice up your life with some adventure? Look no further than California! With its diverse landscape and stunning scenery, the Golden State is the perfect place to hit the road and explore. Here are 8 scenic road trips in California that you must explore with your family at least once.

1. Pacific Coast Highway

road trips in California
Winding Highway 1 along the California Coastline near Big Sur via Getty Images.

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most iconic road trips in California. Firstly, stretching along the coast from San Francisco to San Diego, this route offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rocky cliffs, and quaint seaside towns. Additionally, make sure to stop along the way at popular spots like Big Sur and Santa Barbara.

2. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park via Getty Images

If you’re gearing up for a road trip in California, Yosemite National Park should be at the top of your list. As you cruise through the park, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of towering granite cliffs, enchanting waterfalls, and lush forests. Furthermore, make sure not to skip Tunnel View for an unforgettable panoramic vista of this natural wonderland. Road-tripping in California just got a whole lot more spectacular!

3. Death Valley National Park

If you’re up for a truly unique and otherworldly road trip in California, look no further than Death Valley National Park. Prepare to be captivated by the stark and captivating beauty of the desert landscape, as you traverse its winding roads, complete with sprawling sand dunes, expansive salt flats, and rugged mountain vistas. Be sure to include Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, on your itinerary for an extra dose of adventure.

4. Lake Tahoe

road trips in California
Lake Tahoe, California via Getty Images

Get set for an epic road trip in California! Lake Tahoe, the star of the show, is calling your name. As you cruise the scenic byways, let your eyes soak up the shimmering lake, the towering forest friends, and those snow-capped peaks. And, of course, make sure to swing by Emerald Bay State Park for the grand finale of your amazing California road adventure!

5. Route 66

Route 66 via Getty Images

If you are looking for a classic road trip in California that stretches from Chicago to Santa Monica, then look no further than Route 66. While the entire route is over 2,000 miles long, there are plenty of stops along the way in California that offer a taste of Americana, including the iconic Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino.

6. Joshua Tree National Park

Get ready to hit the open road and experience this beautiful road trip in California by venturing into Joshua Tree National Park. This exceptional destination offers a peek into the surreal beauty of the desert. The twisted Joshua trees, rugged rock formations, and the celestial display of starry night skies, along your drive through the park will leave you spellbound. Be sure to mark Keys View on your map for an absolutely stunning panoramic vista of the Coachella Valley.

7. Redwood National and State Parks

road trips in California
Dirt Road in Redwood National Park, California via Getty Images

Redwood National and State Parks serve as the ultimate launchpad for an unforgettable road trip in California. Cruise beneath the world’s tallest trees, explore enchanting fern-covered landscapes and discover secluded waterfalls. Be sure to add the iconic 31-mile Avenue of the Giants to your itinerary, where colossal redwoods will leave you in awe at every turn.

8. Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes is a hidden gem in the Eastern Sierra that offers various outdoor activities, from skiing and snowboarding to hiking and fishing. Take in the rugged beauty of the mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and wildflowers on this road trip in California. Be sure to stop at Mono Lake for some of the best views of the Eastern Sierra.

In conclusion, there is a wealth of scenic road trips in California that are just waiting to be explored. From the iconic Pacific Coast Highway to the surreal landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park, there’s something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an adventure that you’ll never forget!

Also, read the 9 Must-Try Restaurants in California for a Memorable Family Dinner.

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