California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 24

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

STA R T
Santa Barbara

2-3 242
days

miles

FINISH
San Diego

Pacifi
P
acific
Coast
Highway
South

If there was ever a reason to
rent a convertible, this road
trip is it: Imagine the sun on
your face and wind in your hair
as you cruise the stunning strip
of roadway known to locals as
"the PCH"

T H E J O U R N E Y I S J U ST A S E N J OYA B L E A S YO U R D E ST I N AT I O N as you explore this
sun-and-salt-kissed stretch of road from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Begin your coastal cruise in
elegant Santa Barbara, where classic Spanish architecture gives the region a look straight out of the
Costa Brava. Stroll State Street and The Funk Zone for shopping, dining, and wine tasting; paddle under
Stearns Wharf; and tour the historic Old Mission Santa Barbara before hitting the road.
Head south on coastal Highway 101, soaking up the expansive, glittering ocean views all the while
POST
A N CH
I Nknown
N , B I GtoSUR
as you make your way to the surf town of Ventura. While antique hounds
haveRlong
been
pull off the PCH to poke around, a new generation has discovered the town's microbreweries and cool
boutiques. Stroll the downtown district and historic Ventura Pier, or, for a diversion into a truly wild
region, catch the Island Packers boat to Channel Islands National Park from the Ventura Harbor or about
six miles south from the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.
You'll now swing inland on 101, passing through some rural stretches before the bustle of Los Angeles
starts to energize you. Cruise on to Santa Monica, heading straight to the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park for
a bird's-eye view of the broad beach and lively pier (which is the official end point of the iconic Route
66). Now head southeast through the urban heart of L.A. to coastal Long Beach for a visit to the iconic
Queen Mary and the outstanding Aquarium of the Pacific. Stroll the waterfront marinas, then sample
the cool dining and shopping scene on downtown's Pine Avenue. From Long Beach, your route skirts
the coastline for the 30-minute drive to watch surfers carve it up in Huntington Beach, a.k.a. "Surf City,
USA." Bike down an oceanfront path, shop the boutiques at Pacific City, or, of course, surf.
Continuing south, you'll encounter undulating stretches of pristine coastline dotted with chic
seaside towns like Corona del Mar and Newport Beach, home to the 2,400-acre Crystal Cove State
Park. Walk along the park's three miles of coastline to find your own perfect sandy crescent with
family-friendly waves. Keep heading south along Highway 1 to reach the posh enclave of Laguna
Beach, where cheerful cottages dotting the steep hillsides flow to a jumble of downtown streets, all
ending at the edge of a sparkling blue sea. Spend a sunny afternoon perusing rooftop restaurants,
cute boutiques, and upscale galleries.
The Pacific is never far from view as you hop on I-5 to your final destination: San Diego. Shop the
boutiques throughout the Gaslamp Quarter (also home to lively nightlife), catch a baseball game at
Petco Park, and get close to 650 species of animals at the San Diego Zoo. Or explore one of the city's
diverse neighborhoods: Little Italy, North Park, and the evolving East Village are all pedestrian-friendly
enclaves at the epicenter of San Diego's culinary movement, progressive art scene, and craft beer boom.

24
VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

PHOTOGRAPH: DAVID H. COLLIER

6

SA N TA B A R B ARA


http://www.VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 3
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 4
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 5
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 6
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 7
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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover3
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/time/california_roadtrips2022
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/time/california_roadtrips_bookazine2020
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