Cruise down California's coast from San Fran to LA on Highway 1
This is what road trips were made for. Take the ultimate drive down the California coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles. With the old school sound of the Beach Boys in your head, it's "California Dreamin" down to the bayside city of Monterey, a wildlife-filled marine sanctuary where there's "Fun, Fun, Fun" with kayaks and boat trips on the bay. From "Surfin' U.S.A." in Big Sur, to "Good Vibrations" around the hairpin curves of Highway 1, "God Only Knows" how this jagged landscape of crashing waves and sheer cliffs got so stunning. This short break passes through some of California's most charming towns - San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara - and memorable scenery. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" to drive it every day.
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Tightly hugging the spectacular California coast, Highway 1 is simply one of the most amazing drives in the world. This trip allows you to focus all your attention on the incredible views and let someone else do all the driving!
Pack in the best of the California coast in a really short period of time. See otters, sea lions and the rocky coves on the Monterey Bay area, the dramatic cliffs of Big Sur, and the sandy beaches around Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara.
This wouldn't be an all-American road trip without camping in the States' beautiful outdoors surrounded by the sounds of the Pacific and an ocean of stars above.
This is a participatory trip. That’s a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride – you’re part of a team! You know the phrase ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Well that’s extra true on this trip. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand – everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!
That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately US$10 per day, run to cover the cost of meals. This kitty saves you worrying about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out and purchase (and cook) your own food.
The United States is a world of endless possibilities – that’s why our Basix trips are designed so they fit together as (not quite endless) combinations. That means while you might just be starting your trip, some of your new travel mates may have been travelling together for a week or more (and so have some great tips for you). You can see how our trips fit together and all the different possible combinations at www.intrepidtravel.com/brochures. Simply click view/download on the North America brochure and look at the combo map on page 12.
If you're under 25, the insurance rates for hiring a car in the US are very high. This trip allows you to avoid that, and let someone else do all the hard work of driving too!
As this is a short trip with a packed itinerary, there's not a lot of free time to explore on your own or relax. We recommend spending an extra day or two in Los Angeles and San Francisco either side of the trip to make the most of these cities. We'll be happy to help you book additional accommodation (subject to availability).
You'll be travelling in a van with other travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped if the group is full. This is all part of the adventure and a great opportunity to make new friends.
Traffic in and out of Los Angeles and San Francisco can be very busy, especially during holiday periods. There may be delays, so be prepared to take part in car games to keep you entertained.
Road tripping is the ultimate way to see the USA, so the spectacular drive along the California coast is a main focus of this adventure. Given the trip is so short, expect to spend a lot of time in the van, rather than spending most of your time in each destination.
Some travellers have reported feeling unsafe in San Francisco due to the large number of homeless people. Unfortunately homelessness is a fact of life in San Francisco and the problem is widespread throughout the city. It is very likely that you will see homeless people on the street during your time in the city, and while it can appear intimidating, they are mostly harmless.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our California's Coast trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. This trip finishes on arrival into Los Angeles in the afternoon on day 4.
Our California's Coast trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 5 reviews in the last year.
The Western Circuit-tour is a great way to discover the diverse southwest of the USA. The itinerary covers many of the highlights of that vast region and still gives enough space to do what you want to do. Not having to care about the transportation and accommodation takes away a lot of the stress. Only drawback is the location of the hotel in San Francisco, but I can still highly recommend this tour!
Review submitted 26 Sep 2017