Get your camera rolling for this coastal road trip that begins in Los Angeles where you can experience the best of the city’s incredible beach and thriving arts scene. Sink your feet into the warm sand in Manhattan Beach, which is literally 10 minutes from LAX, enabling you to unpack your bathing suit almost as soon as you land. Filled with restaurants and boutiques, the hilly town rolls down to a classic southern California beach with a pier, volleyball nets, surfers and dolphins swimming off the coast.Then point your wheels north where sparkling waves, whales and wine trails await in authentic towns like Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Buellton, Lompoc, Santa Maria and Pismo Beach. North of Pismo Beach make nine spectacular stops, including Hearst Castle, along the stunning Hwy. 1, which hugs the coast.
Before you reach San Francisco, stop in Gilroy, the "Garlic Capital of the World," and its fantastic Gilroy Gardens. Then head east to Yosemite where the cathedral of granite domes leaning over Yosemite Valley will literally take your breath away.
Road Trip Itinerary
Start: Los Angeles, Calif.
Ventura County Coast
7 Sea-Swept Vistas on the Ventura County Coast
Just 70 miles from LAX, you’ll find beautiful botanicals, historic places and national park islands in along California’s undiscovered coast.
Harboring Fun in Oxnard, Calif.
In Oxnard, they like to take time to coast. Take their advice with these four top things to do including islands, beaches, a harbor and a collection.
Go Off the Beaten Path in Lompoc Valley
This quiet California agricultural town offers four ways to experience wine country’s deep roots: a mission, local wine, a mural walk, and skydiving.
Santa Ynez Valley
A Toast to the Land in California's Santa Maria Valley
In the heart of Santa Ynez wine country, here are five authentic things not to miss including an historic inn, a buried city and an ice cream lab..
4 Things to Do in the Sideways Town of Buellton, California
Peel off the coastal Hwy. 101 to a town made famous by the film Sideways that follows two men on a weeklong vacation in wine country.
Classic Beach Escapes
California Dreamin' at Pismo Beach
Experience the West Coast's surf culture in this vibrant beach town. In winter, see the migration of thousands of monarch butterflies.
9 Stops on the California Highway 1 Discovery Route
Follow the magnificent Hwy. 1 along 101 miles to experience these nine dazzling spots including a luxurious castle and lackadaisical wildlife.
A Winemaker's Tale at Cima Collina near Carmel
When she was 24, Annette Hoff Danzer decided to shape her career around a grape, specifically the Pinot Noir.
Sea Matters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Visit Rosa, the charismatic otter, at this world-class aquarium, where more than 800 sea otters have come through the aquarium's Sea Otter Program.
San Benito County
Slow Pace in San Benito County
Here grapes grow, historic towns feel like a return to yesteryear and a host of movies have been quietly filmed. Dig deep at these four spots.
Local Flavor in Gilroy, The Garlic Capitol of the World
The annual Gilroy Garlic Festival has grown into one of the nation’s most famous food fests. Also visit historic buildings and Gilroy Gardens Theme Park.
Deep-Rooted Secret at Gilroy Gardens
When Axel Erlandson died, he left behind his legendary circus trees. Here's how two strangers saved them.
End: Yosemite National Park
Enter the park from the Highway 120 Entrance and visit Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point. Then head toward the south entrance and stop in the Wawona area to tour the Mariposa Grove of sequoia trees, reopening spring 2018.
More things to do in Yosemite National Park.
Expand your park experience: Take a private tour of the park with Yosemite Family Adventures. Do one of four classic tours, or go stargazing, fly fishing, or hiking with a Yosemite expert guide.