Ultimate California Road Trip Itinerary
Countless songs have been sung about California. It's a land of dreams and opportunity; innovation and enchantment. On this 12-day road trip around the length and breadth of the Golden State, you'll see why it's been a muse to so many and agree with the State Motto – “Eureka!”
On this ultimate California Road trip start on the sun-filled shores of SoCal, drive by the dramatic cliffs of Big Sur to San Francisco, admire the Redwoods, explore distant peaks in the Sierra and be embraced by the solitude of the Mojave Desert.
This curated 12-day itinerary covers as many of the state's varied landscapes as possible – with helpful tips on where to stop and spend the night. Read on below to start planning your own ultimate California road trip.
What is the ultimate California road trip itinerary?
The ultimate California road trip itinerary covers a total distance of 2,455 miles and would take a whopping 55 hours to drive nonstop. We suggest breaking up the drive over 12 days; this makes the average drive time about 4 hours and 30 minutes per day.
Some days entail as much as 7 hours of driving and others are as short as two, so read carefully to see where you'll have more time in a day to explore and note where you might want to spend more than one night if a lot of the previous day was spent driving.
The ultimate road trip itinerary in California
|1||Los Angeles to Pismo Beach||180 miles||3 hours 15 minutes|
|2||Pismo Beach to Monterey||150 miles||3 hours 30 minutes|
|3||Monterey to Sonoma||160 miles||3 hours 30 minutes|
|4||Sonoma to Mendocino||140 miles||3 hours 30 minutes|
|5||Mendocino to Klamath||210 miles||4 hours 15 minutes|
|6||Klamath to Mineral||340 miles||6 hours 30 minutes|
|7||Mineral to Lake Tahoe||180 miles||4 hours|
|8||Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park||110 miles||2 hours 15 minutes|
|9||Yosemite National Park to Bakersfield||350 miles||6 hours|
|10||Bakersfield to Palm Springs||325 miles||6 hours|
|11||Palm Springs to San Diego||180 miles||3 hours 20 minutes|
|12||San Diego to Los Angeles||125 miles||3 hours|