California is one of the country’s top destinations for a road trip and although you can cover a lot in a car or RV over a couple of weeks this state is larger than you might think! Popular starting points for a California road trip are the state’s two best known cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles, both of which offer far more than simply a place to start your vacation!
The hillside charm of the City by the Bay won’t escape visitors to San Francisco. It’s scenic setting, culture, and famous landmarks will need several days out of your itinerary, as will the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, Disneyland, beaches, and the high life! Further south the quieter city of San Diego offers quite a contrast with Sea World and the San Diego Zoo topping the family attractions here.
California is equal to Alaska in having the most national parks of any state in the USA and you can experience them all (if you have plenty of time to spare!) on your California road trip. The most scenic forests and mountains of popular Yosemite National Park are here, as well as the world’s largest trees in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. There are also the redwood trees of Redwood National Park, or the bizarre looking Joshua trees of Joshua Tree National Park. So much variety!
After all those lush forests the barren landscape of Death Valley National Park is a huge contrast. This desert like landscape is home to the hottest place in the United States, and quite possibly the world, so shouldn’t be visited in the summer!
But this isn’t all; California has a beautiful coastline too, best experienced by taking a road trip down Big Sur and making use of all those pullouts. Inland is Wine Country, featuring the famous Napa and Sonoma Valleys where some of the country’s best known and loved wines are produced, while further inland still sits the beautiful Lake Tahoe, an outdoor recreation paradise! One thing’s for sure, your family won’t have time to get bored on a road trip of California!
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5 trips match your search criteria.
11 to 14 Nights | from $5,200 for a family of four
From the Pacific Coast to giant sequoias and granite mountains, this trip hits the highlights of California's most spectacular scenery. From San Francisco down Pacific Highway 1, you'll travel along the scenic coast before heading inland to the Giant Forest where four of the world's five largest sequoias are found. Another scenic drive awaits you into Kings Canyon and then on to Yosemite with its impressive waterfalls, towering cliffs, rounded domes, and massive monoliths.
7 to 10 Nights | from $4,600 for a family of four
Incredible scenery, good wildlife watching and famous Hearst Castle await you on this coastal route trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Start with a fun-filled day in San Francisco, riding cable cars and visiting Alcatraz, then head south on coastal Hwy 1. Take a wildlife cruise by boat or kayak, search for moonstone agates on the beach, tour William Randolph Hearst's mansion, and taste some wines near Santa Barbara, before ending your trip in the City of Angels. This trip can also be done in reverse order.
Over 14 Nights | from $6,600 for a family of four
Enjoy two popular western cities in addition to some of the best national parks in the country on this one-way trip. Start with a visit to Las Vegas, a truly one of a kind place. Hike or ride horses through the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Walk the canyons of Zion National Park and be dwarfed by huge walls of sandstone. Visit ghost towns and mining towns of the Old West as you drive through Nevada. Experience Yosemite National Park, with its granite mountains and waterfalls. Top off your visit in San Francisco with a tour to Alcatraz Island or bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Trips longer than 15 nights can also tie in a short trip to the Grand Canyon. RV availability is limited; please call before purchasing airline tickets.
7 to 10 Nights | from $4,500 for a family of four
Explore two of Northern California's most scenic places on this tour. Yosemite National Park is home to impressive waterfalls, towering cliffs, rounded domes, and massive monoliths. Enjoy a couple of days at spectacular Lake Tahoe. You'll have some time to try activities like kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, boat tours, whitewater rafting and mountain biking. Return to San Francisco via Sutter's Mill, birthplace of the 1849 California Gold Rush.
7 to 10 Nights | from $4,300 for a family of four
From granite mountains to giant sequoias, this trip hits the highlights of 3 of California's most spectacular national parks. Start your tour in the Bay area, then head east to Yosemite with its impressive waterfalls, towering cliffs, rounded domes, and massive monoliths. Visit the country's second oldest National Park, home of the Giant Forest where four of the world's five largest sequoias are found. Top it off with an incredibly scenic drive into Kings Canyon, "a rival to Yosemite" according to famed naturalist John Muir.