Los Angeles to California Coast and Yosemite Road Trip

From sparkling beaches to fresh food, this 886-plus mile route gives you the best of the Central Coast on the way to Yosemite National Park.
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The Bixby Bridge on California Highway 1

The Bixby Bridge on California Highway 1


Get your camera rolling for this unforgettable coastal road trip that begins in Los Angeles. Experience the best of the area’s film history and natural beauty while avoiding the crowds and congestion with our tips on the following pages. Just outside LA, hike at a ranch once owned by razor magnate King Gillette or go on a wine tasting safari in Malibu.

Then point your wheels north where sparkling waves, seals and wine trails await in authentic towns like Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Santa Maria and Pismo Beach. You'll discover gorgeous beaches, delicious restaurants, boat tours and wine country. But don't miss visiting Channel Islands National Park just off the coast of Oxnard and Ventura. North of Pismo Beach make seven spectacular stops, including Hearst Castle, along the stunning Hwy. 1, which hugs the coast.

As you leave the coast, stop in Paso Robles for some wine tasting and then head to Gilroy, the “Garlic Capital of the World.” From there, drive east to Yosemite National Park where
the cathedral of granite domes leaning over Yosemite Valley will take your breath away.


Start: Los Angeles

Hollywood Sets and Wine Safaris in Conejo Valley

Malibu Wine Safaris in Conejo Valley, Calif.

Go on a Malibu wine safari

Say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of LA and hello to its quieter but fun side when you make time for these six adventures.

Inland Gems in Camarillo

Picking strawberries

Minutes from the beach, pick your own fruit, discover the local art scene and pay tribute to a president. Here are the top four stops not to miss.

Oxnard and Ventura County Coast, Gateways to Channel Islands National Park

Arch Rock on Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park.

The lighthouse overlooking Arch Rock on Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park

Wild Islands at Channel Islands National Park
Take a day to explore the “American Galapagos,” otherwise known as Channel Islands National Park.

Harboring Fun in Oxnard
In Oxnard, locals like to take time to coast. Take their advice with these four top things to do

7 Sea-Swept Vistas on the Ventura County Coast
Just 30 miles from Thousand Oaks, you’ll find beauty at these seven places in Ventura County along California’s undiscovered coast.

Stop at Ventura Harbor Village
Base out of Ventura Harbor Village for easy access to the Channel Islands, a gorgeous beach and a lively seaside experience. Visit the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center before boarding the boat.

Seaside Escapes in Santa Barbara

Butterfly Beach in Montecito, Santa Barbara

Butterfly Beach in Montecito, Santa Barbara

Discover these four quintessential Santa Barbara experiences including finding your beach match, where to taste today's catch and how to step back in time.

Lompoc's Top 6

La Purisima Mission in Lompoc

La Purisima Mission in Lompoc

Pronounced “Lom-poke,” this scenic valley town offers a ton to see and do year-round including a mission, local wine, a mural walk, a scenic course and a secluded beach.

Dune Days and Wine in the Santa Maria Valley

Dune buggy at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area

Uncork and unwind. In the heart of the Santa Maria Valley wine country, here are six authentic things not to miss including a wine trail and trolley, a buried city and food for thought.

California Dreamin' at Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach Pier

Pismo Beach Pier

Experience the West Coast's surf culture in this vibrant beach town. Tour the newly opened Pismo Preserve and in winter, see the migration of thousands of monarch butterflies.

9 Stops on the California Highway 1 Discovery Route

Old Woody car near Cayucos Pier in California

Old Woody car near Cayucos Pier

Follow the magnificent Hwy. 1 along 101 miles to experience these nine dazzling spots including a luxurious castle and a tree-lined walk to the beach.

Tour the Coast Like a Local with Gypsy Guide
On your Big Sur adventure, listen to an entertaining guide in your car that automatically plays while you drive. Download the app at gypsyguide.com/tour/big-sur/.

The Grapes of Paso Robles

Dine in the Vines in Paso Robles

Dine in the Vines in Paso Robles

Driving from the coast, you’ll pass gorgeous rolling golden hills before you get a hint of what’s to come in Paso Robles: green vines begin racing up and down the hillsides. You’ll discover more than 200 wineries and vineyards in Paso Robles, plus a friendly, laid-back town.

Local Garlic Flavors in Gilroy

Biking in Henry W Coe State Park near Gilroy, California

Biking in Henry W Coe State Park near Gilroy, California

Not far from the giants of Silicon Valley sits a quaint town named Gilroy where you can drive to friendly boutique wineries, explore a gorgeous children’s theme park and dine in the what is known as the “Garlic Capital of the World.” 

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

Try Something New in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite's Half Dome Guest Lounge

Yosemite's Half Dome Guest Lounge

Year-round Fun in Yosemite National Park
Take a leap and try new activities to explore the park. Which ones have you tried?

5 Famous Viewpoints Close to the Road in Yosemite
Visitors to the park won't want to miss any of these following heart-stopping vistas, all easily accessible from paved roads throughout the park.

Tour Yosemite Like a Local with Gypsy Guide
On your Yosemite adventure, listen to an entertaining guide in your car.

The Giving Trees
Don't leave Yosemite without visiting the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

End: Back to Los Angeles