6 day California road trip itinerary
An overland trip from San Francisco to Santa Barbara via Santa Cruz and Big Sur along the Pacific Coast Highway.
6 days, 5 nights
Start / End
713mi, 14hrs 15min
What you will do
"The Greatest Meeting of Land and Sea"- Big Sur is known as one of the most stunning places in the world. This itinerary combines off-roading in Big Sur with urban exploration in Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. Camping right on the Pacific Ocean on Pismo Beach is a unique California experience not to be missed.
Pacific Coast Highway 1 is possibly the most iconic road trip, and a "bucket-list" item for many. This is the road trip of choice for first-time visitors to California. Give yourself plenty of time to cover the distance. You will find yourself wanting to pull over many times along this scenic drive to soak it all in.
California entered history long before it was 'discovered' by the Spanish. It first appears as a myth, as a best-selling story of a Spanish writer who describes California as "an island on the right of the Indies" and Californians as black amazons commanded by Queen Calafia. Californians rode griffins into battle and fought with golden weapons.
Perhaps looking to find this gold and the amazons in 1533, a party of explorers sailing west from the coast of Mexico under the command of Hernando Cortes, conqueror of Mexico, landed on what they thought was an island. Half believing in the romance, Cortes started calling this island after the mythic California. Only 6 years later did they discover their mistake and California was really a peninsula.
Cortes landed in what we now call Baja California. It took over 230 years to settle in Alta California.