Southern California Road Trip  

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Southern California Road Trip

If you are planning a California road trip, here are some of the best places to visit from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo!

Drive south from San Francisco on Hwy 101 to Monterey. We stayed at a hotel in Pacific Grove, just next to Monterey. If you are there between October and February, be sure to check out the Monarch Grove Sanctuary, where you will find large clusters of Monarch butterflies! You will also be able to find Sea Otters off the Monterey Coast. It is a beautiful place but it is not always sunny, although the coastline is quite dramatic with huge crashing waves. Monterey and Pacific Grove are great places to cycle, as the towns are connected by a dedicated bike lane.

Monarch butterflies

From Monterey, keep going south. You can stop and check out Carmel by the Sea if you like, but it was so full of traffic last time we were there that we did not stop. If you want to camp, you might want to stop somewhere along the Big Sur Coastline, like Julie Pfeffier State Park. You can also keep going and stay at one of my favorite places in California, Montana de Oro State Park near San Luis Obispo. There is a Eucalyptus forest within the park which is really cool and smells amazing, if you like Eucalyptus! The beaches here are beautiful and somewhat isolated since the park is a bit off the beaten path.

Southern California Road Trip  

If you are making a journey by car with kids, be sure to check out this article on the best car games for kids! Enjoy!







  1. This area is so beautiful, thanks for sharing!

  2. I want to visit the Eucalyptus forest. Beautiful pictures.

  3. laurie murley says:

    wow I would love to take a trip like that, I have never been to californis I live in ky and I would love to see of the west.

  4. tat2gurlzrock says:

    I have never been to California.I have barely been outside of the South.Beautiful pictures!

  5. Cynthia R says:

    The Big Sur coastline is beautiful, we’ve taken a trip from Monterray CA to Venice Beach driving primarily on the coastline. I love how people park on the side of the road to go see the sunset.

  6. I lived in California for a brief time but never got to take a road trip – bummer.
    If I ever get back there I’ll try to make it to the eucalyptus forest you mentioned.

  7. Nataile Brown says:

    I’ve never been to California but, wow, so beautiful! I’d love to take a road trip down the PCH. 🙂

  8. Joanne Gregory says:

    It is really beautiful there. A few years ago we camped at an RV park right off the ocean south of San Francisco. Walked on the beach and rode our bikes all around. I hope to go back in a few years.

  9. Great suggestions. Years since I have been in the area but I remember how beautiful it is.

  10. Karen Glatt says:

    It has been awhile, but we flew into San Diego, and rented a car, and drove the highway to LA, and went to tons of beaches. It is so pretty in California, and going on a road trip is so much fun!

  11. vickiecouturier says:

    when we were there we went to the red woods and alktraza loved it

  12. We went the same way traveling thru Northern California just a few weeks ago.

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