• Cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway 1

Self Drive California

Embark on a California road trip to remember

California lends itself to a self drive holiday as there are so many places you will want to see and with short distances between exciting attractions, it is easy to explore. Start north in the state and drive the coastal road with the Pacific Ocean on your right; not only will you have unobstructed views, it is also more convenient to pull over at lookout points along the way. Make time to stay overnight in seaside towns such as Carmel-by-the-sea and Santa Barbara, visiting wineries and the well-known visitor attraction, Hearst Castle.

Drive inland and explore the High Sierra; glistening lakes, flowing waterfalls and wildflower meadows in spring and summer with contrasting snow-covered peaks in winter. Just under 4 hours from San Francisco you will find the incredible Yosemite National Park, with its massive granite faces and unparalleled parkland. Death Valley National Park would be the next suggested destination from here, where you can stand at the lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin. Las Vegas is only just over 2 hours drive from here, so why not combine your California self drive holiday with another state; Nevada and see the dazzling lights of the Vegas Strip and soar above the Grand Canyon by helicopter? 

Loop back from Las Vegas into Southern California where Los Angeles is 4 hours 30 minutes away. Here there are wide golden sand beaches and well-known family attractions, such as Disneyland® Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood™ and Knotts Berry Farm. Learn to surf in Huntington Beach, paddle board around the waterways in Newport Beach and kayak into sea caves in La Jolla before reaching the border of California. Drive just 2 hours to Greater Palm Springs and discover a desert oasis of jagged rock formations, gold mining ruins and oddball trees.

These are just a few suggestions of what you can visit and experience in this golden state, so book a self drive holiday to California and start making incredible memories.

Top Tips from our Experts


Destination Manager

"Hire a convertible while cruising around California, it really is the best way to experience this amazing state. Wind in your hair, sunshine on your face and of course you look the part among the cool Californian locals."