I was recently asked by a reader what the best road trips were from Los Angeles, CA. She was going to be in LA this winter and was looking for places within a six hour drive for a great couples trip. Having grown up in California, I was super excited to answer her inquiry and thought it would make a great post!
As a disclaimer, there are so many wonderful places in California, so I’m just sharing a handful – feel free to share your favs in the comments!
I narrowed mine down to 3 places along the coast – each with a distinct difference in distance and travel time…
Malibu (28 miles) – Located just outside of LA on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), Malibu is certainly a tourist-y spot, but one not to miss. You may have heard of:
Zuma Beach – one of the most famous beaches in the area, Zuma Beach is a great surf spot as well as a great all-around beach with a wide, sandy area.
Getty Villa – part of the J. Paul Getty Museum (located in LA), the Villa is a beautiful place to view ancient Greek and Roman art and enjoy the gardens and architecture.
Duke’s – a tourist-y restaurant on the ocean – can’t beat the views.
Howdy’s Taqueria – great burritos located in the main square in Malibu.
Lily’s Cafe – the best breakfast burritos around.
Monterey (326 miles) – Located about 5 hours from LA and roughly 2 hours from San Francisco, Monterey is a not-to-be-missed spot.(Stay in the quaint town of Carmel)
Monterey Bay Aquarium – a world class aquarium. Admission is a tad price-y, but it’s home to sea and (in my opinion) worth every penny.
Mission Basilica – Missions are a huge part of California’s history and there are so many to choose from. If you skip this one, be sure to find another.
17 Mile Drive – a scenic coastal drive between Carmel and Pacific Grove. It is a toll road, but certainly has some gorgeous views and you can see Pebble Beach. (It may not be worth it if you’re driving up the whole coast along the ocean.)
La Mirada – part of the Monterey Museum of Art, La Mirada houses various galleries inside of a beautiful historic building in the midst of gardens. It is located in one of Monterey’s oldest, most beautiful neighborhoods.
Mill Valley (401 miles) – located in Marin County, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Mill Valley has a small-town feel with big-city amenities.
Muir Woods – an old-growth Redwood tree forest – some of the biggest trees you’ll see in your life!
Mt. Tamalpais Park – highest peak in the area – gorgeous views of the surrounding area.
Dipsea Cafe – homemade breakfast and lunch – a great casual place.
Mill Valley Inn – lovely, romantic getaway hotel in downtown MV.
What’s your favorite spot along the California coast?