Have you decided that this year’s vacation will be an epic RV trip along the Pacific Coast Highway? Touring California’s coastline is not only a beautiful way to spend your holidays, but also one of those bucket list trips for many, since it’s one of the best road trips in RV to do in the US. The route will take you along some of the most stunning coastal and mountain scenery you can experience, and there are so many incredible attractions and stops along the way, so, pack whatever you want to bring on an RV trip and hit the road!
Outside of the dining, shopping, festivals, museums, and events that you can experience, there are some must-see locations that should simply be on everyone’s itinerary. Here we’ll take a look at seven of them.
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7 Stops you should do while road tripping the California Coastline on an RV
San Francisco is easily one of California’s most well-known cities, and for good reason. From the architecture to Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, and of course the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, this is a stop you simply cannot miss. Just be sure to give yourself a little extra time to explore, as usually, one day isn’t nearly enough to take in all the sights of the city and surrounding area.
If you’re looking for a more laidback stop, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a must-see. The architecture is European-style so you may even feel as though you’re in a whole other country. Experience the lovely gardens, small quaint cottages, and cobblestone courtyards in this village. For those with an interest in the art scene, you’ll find a wide selection of artists selling their creations. Boutique shopping and local wine are also very popular here.
It should also be mentioned that the coastal views are nothing short of spectacular, so you’re in for a real treat on this stop.
For those who are enjoying the HBO series Big Little Lies, a stop in Monterey is the ultimate fan dream. The show is filmed and takes place in this stunning town, so you may even recognize some of the sights. Points of interest include Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Monterey Bay, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a drive on “17 Mile Drive” known for its epic scenery, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, the local shops and cafes, and shopping at Cannery Row.
If you’ve got a little extra time to stay, you can also take in the many recreational sports that are popular here such as biking, golfing, kayaking, sailing, and even whale watching when in season.
If architecture is your thing, then Hearst Castle is a must-see. Built in 1865 by George Hearst, a miner, rancher, and then US Senator, the castle sits on 40,000 acres of ranch land, offering absolutely stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Heart’s son bought additional land and started to build what is known as the Enchanted Hill, which is now one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area. It is open for tours and dining and acts as an art museum.
Of course, you can’t tour California without making a stop in Malibu, one of the state’s most beautiful stretches of beach. The area is very upscale and is home to a number of A-list celebrities, so be prepared to get a look at some massive mansions and estates. Besides the sandy beaches, you’ll also find rocky coves, cliffs, and headlands.
Another upscale must-see is Santa Barbara which has been coined “The American Riviera.” Located on the coast, you get stunning views of the Pacific Ocean as well as the mountains rising behind the town. The area is well known for its white stucco buildings with red tile roofs that help create that Mediterranean vibe.
Besides sightseeing, the area is also known for its local wineries, upscale shopping, and local art galleries, as well as more than 160 restaurants to sample. Taking a walk along State Street in the heart of Santa Barbara is a great way to get a feel for this stunning destination.
Then we have Los Angeles, which can act as the perfect starting point as you head north on the Pacific Coast Highway, or your ending point if you don’t want to continue south to San Diego. Los Angeles, or the “City of Angels,” is ideal for movie and television buffs. You never know what stars you may see out and about, and you can even take part in tours that drive you past the stars’ homes.
Some of the highlights worth checking out in Los Angeles include the Santa Monica Pier, a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theatre, Rodeo Drive, and of course Sunset Boulevard.
If you have dreams of seeing the “Hollywood” sign in real life, then you need to head to Griffith Observatory for the perfect view. If you can’t seem to get enough in terms of stars and film, then a visit to Universal Studios is also a great way to spend an action-packed day.
New to RVing?
For those who are new to RVing and haven’t yet experienced this mode of travel, you’re in for a huge treat. Using an RV to travel means you don’t have to worry about booking hotels and inns along the way, and you get to travel with all the conveniences of home.
This is where you want to be sure you take the time to look into various rv rentals in terms of how many they sleep, the size of the RV itself (smaller ones will be easier for newbies to navigate), the layout, and of course the budget. Being picky about what it is you want and need will help ensure the trip is a huge success.
A Trip to Remember
By adding these stops to your itinerary, you’ll be sure to have a trip to remember that introduces you to all kinds of stunning and beautiful places along the world-famous Pacific Coast Highway. It’s the kind of trip that you will want to repeat a few times since there are just so many stops along the way.