Real California Coastal Road Trip

4 Days | Catch all the highlights of the Pacific Coast Highway

18 to 35s
USD $608
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This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

While Los Angeles and San Francisco each have their fair share of landmarks, the road that links that two has its own sights and sounds worth exploring. Roadtrip along California’s Pacific Coast Highway on this four-day adventure, starting in the City of Angels before heading north to take in the natural splendour of Big Sur. You’ll feel plucked from a car commercial as you cruise scenic mile after scenic mile, soaring redwoods to one side and endless ocean to the other, with campsites waiting each night. Sometimes it's not the destination that counts, it’s the journey!

Trip overview

Map of Real California Coastal Road Trip including United States Of America
Santa Monica, United States
San Francisco, United States
18 to 35s
United States
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.
Bucket list destinations

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

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Why you'll love this trip
  • Behold the beauty of Big Sur as you drive along California’s northern coastline, stopping to see the magical McWay Falls located on a beach that’s closed to public access.
  • Ride Ferris wheels, rollercoasters and other fairground delights during stops at Santa Monica Pier and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
  • Rub shoulders with Hollywood royalty – or at least their lookalikes – as you begin your journey in the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, visiting the vibrant Venice Beach.
  • Sleep under the stars in Monterey and along California’s Central Coast, getting up close to Mother Nature as you join in on the communal camping experience.
  • Join in on the optional food kitty with your fellow travellers and enjoy camp cooking and picnic lunches while keeping costs down.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, the Grand Canyon Conservancy. Donations help them protect Grand Canyon National Park and support trail restoration, conservation of native plants and wildlife, and educational programs. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip includes time spent travelling in a private vehicle with your group. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.
  • Although our private vehicles do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool. Expect to feel hot during summer and cold at other times of the year, especially at night. Please consider the season and research the weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.
  • This trip involves either a partial or full camping experience, giving you access to more remote destinations at close proximity, and the joy of camping under the night skies and beside a campfire. This is a participatory trip – a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride, but you are part of a team! 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, and everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!
  • From gorgeous coastal hikes to the hilly San Francisco, this trip can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.
  • If you have more time to spend in the region, check out our Epic American West trip:


Map of Real California Coastal Road Trip including United States Of America



Private vehicle


Hostel (multishare) (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (2 nights)

  • Visit Santa Monica Pier
  • California Coastal Highway 1
  • Los Angeles - Venice Beach
  • Big Sur - Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
  • San Francisco - Leader-led city tour
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1 in Los Angeles and finishes on arrival into San Francisco at approximately 5pm on Day 4.
2. In Los Angeles the group will be in 8 and 6 person dorms, with shared bathrooms. The hostel will do their best to separate the group by gender, but it's not guaranteed.
3. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes night 1 (Los Angeles) where you will be in shared accommodation.
4.The arrival time back into San Francisco on the last day depends on each group, but if you decide to fly out on this day, please don't book a flight before 9 pm.
5. A sleeping bag is required for this trip.
6. Please note that the legal drinking age in the US is 21 and in some parts of Canada it's 19.
7. 2024 departures: Highway 1 and Big Sur area parks are currently inaccessible due to landslides and are scheduled to reopen sometime in June 2024. Until the road is reopened you will spend two nights in the Central Coast region instead of camping near Monterey, and explore the scenic coastal regions near San Simeon, Cambria and Morro Bay.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Real California Coastal Road Trip
USD $608