Get your camera charged for this unforgettable coastal road trip that begins in Los Angeles. From L.A., head north to the gorgeous but uncrowded Ventura area, home to incredible beaches, small towns and the two ferry locations — in Oxnard and Ventura — to get to Channel Islands National Park. Composed of five islands, this national park offers solitude and stunning wild beauty.
On the mainland, discover 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.
North of Pismo Beach, visit Hearst Castle in San Simeon before heading to Hollister to explore Pinnacles National Park, home to uncrowded trails, Californa condors and fascinating caves. Just outside the park you’ll find inviting vineyards and historic sites. Afterwards, 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.
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Start: Los Angeles
Ventura and 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.
7 Sea-Swept Vistas on the Ventura County Coast
You’ll find beauty at these seven places in Ventura County along California’s undiscovered coast, the launching spot for Channel Islands National Park.
Seaside Escapes in Santa Barbara
Discover these four quintessential Santa Barbara experiences including where to find an inspirational view, where to taste today’s catch and how to step back in time.
Lompoc’s Top 6
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.
Barbecue Central in Santa Maria Valley
Experience an affordable getaway while enjoying award-winning wine, legendary barbecue and the outdoors. Here are six authentic things not to miss.
California Dreamin’ at Pismo Beach
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.
Grapes of Robles
Driving from the coast, you’ll pass gorgeous rolling golden hills before you get a hint of what’s to come. Stop in Paso Robles for a fantastic dive into California’s laidback wine and food scene where you’ll discover more than 200 wineries and vineyards.
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/.
Pinnacles National Park and San Benito County
The Pinnacle of a Getaway
An undiscovered national ark, a gorgeous wine trail and historic areas await. Learn more.
Pinnacles National Park Top 6
Here are some of our favorite things to do from gorgeous hikes to exploring a cave.
Local Garlic Flavors in Gilroy
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
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.
9 RV-Friendly Campgrounds in Yosemite
We’ve rounded up all the information you need to know on Yosemite’s RV-friendly campgrounds. These tips, sponsored by American Coach, can help you decide where to spend the night.
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.
The Living History of Yosemite’s Buffalo Soldiers
Yosemite ranger Shelton Johnson brings to life the stories of the Black soldiers who served as the park’s first rangers.