Los Angeles to California Coast and Yosemite Road Trip - My Yosemite Park

Los Angeles to California Coast and Yosemite Road Trip

From sparkling beaches to fresh food, this 1,140-mile route gives you the best of California's Central Coast en route to Yosemite National Park.
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Surfers on Pismo Beach

Surfers on Pismo Beach

Trip Overview

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. 

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Road Trip Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles, Calif.

Ventura County Coast

Arch Rock on Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park.

Arch Rock on Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park.

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.
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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.
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Lompoc Valley

La Purisima Mission State Historical Park. Photo by Jason Reynolds courtesy of Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

La Purisima Mission State Historical Park. 

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.
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Santa Ynez Valley

Stroll through a California vineyard.

Stroll through a California vineyard. 

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..
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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.
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Classic Beach Escapes

Aerial of California Highway 1

Aerial view of California Highway 1

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.
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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.
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Carmel Valley

Cima Collina winemaker Annette Hoff Danzer

Cima Collina winemaker Annette Hoff Danzer

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.
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Monterey

Sea otter with flipper tags

Sea otter with flipper tags

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.
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San Benito County

Vineyards in San Benito County. Courtesy photo

Vineyards in 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.
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Gilroy

The Pyro Chefs in Gourmet Alley serve up sizzling calamari at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Courtesy photo

The Pyro Chefs in Gourmet Alley serve up sizzling calamari at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. 

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.
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Deep-Rooted Secret at Gilroy Gardens
When Axel Erlandson died, he left behind his legendary circus trees. Here's how two strangers saved them.
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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.