Life is A Journey, Not A Destination

This ultimate 383 mile journey will guide you along the pacific coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles, making for one of the most iconic road trips.

It offers vast beaches, stunning views and monstrous mountains as far as the eye can see. Stopping in coastal beach towns is the perfect way to break up the drive as you RV your way along the coast.

Quick stats

383km trip distance

10 day roadtrip

Camper Van recommended

road trip map

Alcatraz Island

Stop 1

Start your travels in San Francisco, the city with a little bit of everything. From here you will be able to see the infamous Alcatraz Island. This formal federal prison once held notorious criminals, and just saying the name will send shivers down your spine!

Today, it is a national historic landmark and one of the most sought out attractions in San Francisco. Lying just 1.25 miles offshore from the bay, Alcatraz never had any confirmed escapes.

Golden Gate Bridge

Stop 2

No traveler to San Francisco leaves without checking out the stunning views along the Golden Gate Bridge. Once called ‘the bridge that can never be built,’ today, it is one of the wonders of the world. This iconic, red-orange suspension bridge rises high above the San Francisco Bay and stretches 1.7 miles. This famous landmark gives panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Headlands, Alcatraz and the city of San Francisco.

San Fransisco to Santa Cruz

Stop 3

76 miles along the coast, you will come across the funky city of Santa Cruz. You will want to stretch your legs along the Santa Cruz beach Boardwalk, a half-mile long beachfront amusement park. This admission-free attraction has plenty of thrill rides, including the sky glider, a great way to take in the sights and sounds of the beachfront community.

Santa Cruz to Carmel-By-The-Sea

Stop 4

46 miles South around the bay you will reach the charming coastal hamlet of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This serene beachside town is well known for famous residents such as Clint Eastwood, who was once the Mayor!

Be sure to seek out Carmel’s hidden courtyards while you’re strolling around. You will find the unique Court of the Fountains just off Mission Street between 7th and Ocean Avenues making for a candid photo.

Carmel-By-The-Sea to Bixby Bridge

Stop 5

The Bixby Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in California, and for good reason. The graceful architecture of the bridge, along with the magnificent setting, creates one stunning photo. It’s 80 feet from the ground, and is located 120 miles from San Francisco along state route 1. Be sure to capture the iconic bridge as you continue to RV your way along the coast.

Bixby Bridge To Santa Barbara

Stop 6

If you have the taste for a good glass of wine, Santa Barbara is your city! It is well known for producing delicious wines, such as Down Town wineries and the exquisite Santa Ynez Valley.

If you’re not much of a wine drinker, head to the ocean for a surf as the small waves are a great way to try your hand at a surfing lesson with a local surfer. Don’t leave Santa Barbara without trying some of its world class seafood and farm-to-table restaurants along the ocean front!

Santa Barbara To Los Angeles

Final Stop

The remainder of the drive to Los Angeles is one of the state’s most scenic highway stretches with pull-ins every 100 feet or so to capture the coasts unique glow.

Stop off at California’s more preserved beaches such as Carpenteria and Ventura. These quirky towns offer both local, funky shops as well as a dose of the surfer swell.

Heading straight to downtown Los Angeles can be quite a culture shock, instead, take the slightly longer route and continue along coast, passing through Malibu and Santa Monica. Make sure you explore the Santa Monica Pier at the foot of Colorado Avenue. Not only is it over 100 years old, but it is also the perfect place to watch the sun sink into the Pacific while on top of California’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel!

Are you ready to start planning your RV trip of a lifetime?

Check out more San Francisco road trip itineraries here!

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