Uncover California’s extraordinary beauty on an adventure you’ll never forget.
Embark on the road trip of a lifetime through the United States from the laidback and star-packed Los Angeles to the vibrant and multicultural ‘City by the Bay’, San Francisco. Leave the glitz, the glamour, and the incredible food of LA behind and hit the open road on your way to experience the mesmerizing landscapes of some of the best national parks in the world. From deep canyons, golden deserts, and sparkling lakes to alpine forests and granite mountains - the wilderness has it all, and so do our Los Angeles to San Francisco tours and vacations.
Our Los Angeles to San Francisco tours & vacations
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Los Angeles to San Francisco highlights
Lay out on a Los Angeles beach
From the fun-filled pier and golden sand of Santa Monica to the fresh and salty air of Malibu, Los Angeles has plenty of top-rated beaches for you to relax on. Whether you feel like a quick dip in the water to cool off or prefer soaking up as much Californian sun as you possibly can, you can’t come to LA without spreading out a towel, laying on the sand, and listening to the sounds of waves gently lapping against the shore.
Visit the town of Santa Barbara
You can’t embark on a fun-filled road trip from LA to San Francisco without stopping at one of the many coastal towns along the way and Santa Barbara is one of the best. Featuring the best of both worlds when it comes to outdoor adventure, this charming town boasts world-class wineries, sunbake-worthy beaches, endless Los Padres National Forest trails, and Mediterranean-style architecture you can make stare at all day long.
Drive along the dramatic coastline of Big Sur
While the entirety of California’s coast is undeniably impressive, the 90-mile stretch that makes up Big Sur is perhaps the most visited part (and it’s not very hard to see why). Situated between the charming towns of Monterey and San Luis Obispo, this dramatically beautiful coastline features a whole heap of mesmerizing stops from cascading waterfalls and hidden hiking trails to golden beaches and secret coves begging to be explored.
Explore the extraordinary Yosemite National Park
If you’re into dramatic scenery and marveling at breathtaking rock formations, or if you have a healthy appetite for adventure, then visit Yosemite National Park should be at the top of your LA to San Francisco bucket list. Whether you want to hike up stunning mountain ranges, peer out over crystal clear lakes, or stare at ancient (and staggeringly tall) sequoia trees, this beloved national park has a little something for every nature-lover.
Walk through the epic Joshua Tree National Park
California isn’t short on epic national parks to explore, and Joshua Tree National Park is no exception. Nestled between the Colorado and Mojave deserts, this iconic landscape is recognized for its extraordinary cacti, uniquely shaped rock formations, and naturally sculptured scenery no camera will ever do justice. From hiking to animal spotting, adventuring through this park is a must.
Marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
Taking a good look at the Golden Gate Bridge is as about as San Francisco as it gets so it makes sense that at the end of your LA to San Francisco tour, this iconic bridge is where you’d end up. Completed in 1937 after over 4 years of construction, this famous landmark is a sight to behold so whether you’re driving across it, looking out over it, or sailing beneath it, this spot simply can’t be missed.
Los Angeles to San Francisco tour reviews
Los Angeles to San Francisco FAQs
Everyone traveling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travelers are required to produce:
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
- All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
- If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.
Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy
There are a number of ways to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco but as we've outlined above, road-trippin' your way from city to city is the best way to see as much as possible. The drive will only take around 6 hours but be mindful of peak traveling times when driving through more populated areas as this could add time to your journey. You can also fly between the two cities with the flight only taking 1 and a half hours.
California enjoys a very Mediterranean climate with hot, relatively dry summers and mild winters making it perfect for lazy beach days and weekends spent hiking through national parks. This kind of weather pattern is mostly true for the majority of areas in California but there are some exceptions such as San Francisco experiencing fog in spring, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges experiencing snow, and Palm Springs experiencing extreme heat.
Embarking on a road trip from LA to San Francisco is a fun and exciting process but there are a few things you should pack to make your journey a great one. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing with you for the season you're traveling in and an extra bag so you can separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones. This extra suitcase also doubles as extra room for any must-have purchases you make during your trip. It's also important to have an epic playlist for when those games of Eye-Spy simply aren't cutting it. You should also pack a GPS (and portable chargers) so you always know exactly where you're going.
Click to read more about what to pack for a LA to San Francisco road trip
California has a whopping 28 national parks, all located in different regions of the state. Redwood National Park is the largest national park in California and is located on the Northern Coast however, the most popular national park is Yosemite thanks to its stunning natural landscapes, gushing waterfalls, and other geological features. Some of the best national parks in California are below:
- Yosemite National Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Death Valley National Park
- Sequoia National Park
- Point Reyes National Seashore
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. Accessibility depends on whereabouts in California you're traveling to but in general, the state is relatively well equipped to deal with any disabilities in many areas such as mobility, transportation, and communication. However, we’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
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