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California day trips, weekend getaways and Pacific Coast highway vacation
Don’t let summer pass you by! In the spirit of Jack Kerouac – take the weekend off and head out on the highway. Here are some of the best California scenic drives, Pacific Coast highway vacations and California day trips.
Sonoma Mendocino Coast Scenic Drive: Marin City to US 101
This California scenic drive starts on the Marin Peninsula just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and follows Highway 1 up the beautiful Pacific coast. The highway passes through historic sites, redwood forests, wave carved coves, quiet sandy beaches and much more. From Muir Woods to Point Reyes National Seashore there are tons of state parks and beaches to visit and be awed by. It’s the perfect day or weekend retreat away from the bustle of San Francisco.
Angeles Crest Scenic Byway: La Canada to Mountain Top Junction
Only sixty-six miles long, this California scenic drive offers a secluded and scenic getaway from the traffic laden Los Angeles. The Angeles Crest Scenic Byway climbs up from La Canada into the San Gabriel Mountains, offering a stunning panoramic view. From the many vista points along the way, travelers can view the Mojave Desert, the San Gabriel Mountains and Pomona Valleys. This Pacific Coast highway vacation is so peaceful, you’ll forget about your busy life.
Route 1: Monterey to Morro Bay
Not that it needs mentioning, but Route 1 from to Morro Bay is a scenic drive that tops them all. Beginning south of Monterey, the highway takes you along the Big Sur where the Santa Lucia Range meets the Pacific Ocean. This scenic drives offers an abundance of marine life, sandy beaches and breathtaking views. In general, Route 1 from San Francisco to San Diego is a drive worth-taking and renting a convertible is recommended. For photos visit TravelPost blogger Marlon’s entry.
Carson Pass Scenic Byway: Jackson to Woodfords
The Carson Pass Scenic Byway travels along through alpine forests and meadows and over the towering Caron Pass in the central Sierra Nevada region. Spectacular views of rocky peaks and lakes, coupled with volcanic landscapes, deep canyons and dense forests make this seventy-five mile long scenic drive as varied as it is beautiful. There are plenty of historic sites, camping, hiking, fishing and backpacking to be done for this California day trip or weekend getaway.
Sonoma-Napa Valleys Scenic Drive: Santa Rosa to Hopland
A scenic drive and wine tasting extravaganza! This 132 mile scenic drive loops through the wine country of Sonoma and Napa and follows three California highways. Winding through rolling mountains and dense forests, the scenic drive also passes through Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely within the state. Along with wine tastings, there are numbers state parks and sites including Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga and the Jack London State Historic Park along the way on this California scenic drive.
BONUS Scenic Drive: San Francisco
At only 49 miles, San Francisco’s official self-guided driving tour is one of shortest. Simply begin anywhere you see one of the Scenic Drive signs with the big seagull, and follow the looping route counterclockwise to Mission Dolores, Coit Tower and other San Francisco highlights. Be wary of rush-hour traffic, I recommend hitting it up mid-week during the day.
write by Cosima