Travel Guide for the Perfect Southern California Road Trip

Southern California beaches during sunset summer road trip

Photo: Zocha Group – Travel Guide for the Perfect Southern California Road Trip


Your Travel Guide to Southern California

With some of the best weather in the country, Southern California is known to be an alluring destination for a getaway. Whether you live in the state already, or are looking to plan a drive to the West Coast, there are endless places you can visit during a drove through the region. Plan your next Southern California road trip with these quintessential destinations in mind, so that you can get the full experience in some of the state’s most inviting cities.

california beach at sunset palm trees

Photo: Zocha Group

Los Angeles

There are dozens of neighborhoods in Los Angeles, each with their own individual style, culture and attractions. Book a hotel stay in a centrally-located area like West Hollywood, and you’ll get to experience the full dazzle of the city. A room at the West Hollywood EDITION places you in a sleek, luxury hotel with easy access to restaurants and nightlife. Buy tickets for a show at the Hollywood Bowl for a unique, outdoor music experience unlike any other venue in the city.

While you’re in Hollywood, grab a drink at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, one of the city’s favorite bars for cocktails and dancing. You can’t leave the area without taking in the ocean waves, and the Santa Monica Pier is an iconic locale to visit in Southern California. You can also stop by one of Santa Monica’s most popular bars, The Bungalow, to watch the sunset over the Pacific as you sip a refreshing cocktail.

hollywood sign view of los angeles during sunset

Photo: Zocha Group – Los Angeles

San Diego

San Diego is the biggest county in California, offering plenty of space to explore the beautiful landscape. Road trip to the area and stay downtown in the bustling Gaslamp Quarter to be walking distance from the hottest restaurants, bars and nightlife. The Kimpton Hotel Palomar is a great selection for a stylish place to stay in the heart of the area. Visit San Diego’s trendy Little Italy neighborhood for delicious restaurants like Herb & Wood, brunch favorites like Morning Glory or revelrous bars like Kettner Exchange.

To get in touch with nature, head to Torrey Pines Beach to take in the breezy, ocean air. This beautiful beach is a local favorite along with secluded locales like Black’s Beach. When you get back on the road, don’t forget to plan a visit to the Potato Chip Mountain hike–a uniquely shaped mountain that provides a photo-worthy experience.

san diego beach blacks beach crowd

Photo: Zocha Group – San Diego

Desert Cities

An escape to the desert can be the perfect road trip getaway when exploring Southern California. While the area is most widely known for Coachella Valley’s world-renowned Coachella Music & Arts Festival, you can drive in any time of year for warm weather and awe-inspiring landscapes. Joshua Tree is known for its scenery of unique, yucca trees and uninhabited desert, making it a great destination for camping under the stars. You can also drive further out to see Salvation Mountain, a colorful, Instagram-worthy art installation just east of the Salton Sea.

To stay in the desert overnight, book a room in Palm Springs and experience the culture of casual living and mid-century architecture. The Ace Hotel Palm Springs is known for its poolside bar, the Saguaro Hotel is a favorite due to its vivid, rainbow-colored exterior, and Parker Palm Springs is a go-to for a lavish, artsy stay. You can also drive out to Pioneertown–a one-of-a-kind destination that gives the true essence of the wild, wild west. A former movie set, this town now preserves the Western way of living with places like Pappy and Harriet’s where you can grab a drink and take in live music.

palm springs house with palm trees

Photo: Zocha Group – Palm Springs

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