Best California Road Trip Ideas for Every Season!

California is perfect for road trips, no matter the season. Its diverse landscapes, from coast to mountains and forests to desert, make for epic road trips, long or short. 

In the winter or early spring, plan a road trip through the Southern California desert. The weather is pleasant, and you may see wildflower displays in the spring. 

On a California desert road trip, you can explore Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park, the Mojave National Preserve, and Anza Borrego Desert State Park. 

Late spring is a wonderful time to explore the stunning Big Sur coast on a road trip. The hills are green, the rain is mostly over, and you'll see lots of wildflowers. 

The 90-mile stretch of California Highway 1 between Carmel-by-the-Sea and San Simeon features outstanding ocean views, beautiful hikes, and picture-perfect waterfalls. 

Up for a longer California road trip? The iconic Pacific Coast Highway is a bucket-list road trip in any season. Depending on the time you have, you can spend 10 days (or more!) on this route. 

Drive the PCH between San Francisco and Santa Monica / Los Angeles, to book-end your trip with explorations of two of California's most famous cities. 

Fall is a wonderful time to take a road trip through Northern California's renowned wine country destinations of Napa Valley and Sonoma County.

Visit world-famous wineries, shop for unique gifts in little wine country towns, and enjoy outstanding farm-to-table cuisine as you drive through the scenic landscape. Late fall brings beautiful colors.

Fall is also a great time to explore the Eastern Sierra on a Highway 395 road trip in eastern California. In good years, the fall color here is jaw-dropping beautiful. 

A Highway 395 road trip offers outstanding natural scenery, with alpine lakes and towering mountains, as well as numerous opportunities for outdoor fun. 

Swipe up for more California road trips and start planning your California road trip adventure today!