Route by car from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the California coast


Colonial city of Santa Barbara in California

When planning atrip along the west coast of the United StatesBetween 12 and 15 days long, there are three cities that become the basic axis of it.

Of course, I mean San Francisco, The Angels and Las Vegas.

These three cities, essential visits on a trip of this duration, they form a triangle from which you can make different variants based on your tastes and preferences, outlining a route to suit you.

Monterrey in California

But basically at plan your trip You must decide what you are going to give the highest priority to.

That is, if you prefer to travel inside the western United States, a route that will focus on the visit of spectacular national parks, As the Grand Canyon, Yosemite or Monument Valley.

All information in detail

  • What to see on the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles
  • Spanish West Coast Tours
  • Map of the route from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the coast

What to see on the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles

Or if you prefer to make a route along the coast, linking the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

If you are interested in this last alternative, then I will detail the most recommended visits to do on a two or three day car trip along the coastal coast.

Sea lions on the beach of Piedras Blancas in California

Natural sites in Monterey

Starting the route from San Francisco heading south along the coast, the first point you have to visit is the bay area and the peninsula of Monterey, which is located two hours away from the aforementioned city of San Francisco.

There, near the city of Monterey, you must travel the natural site 17 Mile Drive, where you can see populous colonies of sea ​​lions They rest on the sand of the beach.

And from the jetty Fisherman's wharf from Monterey you can make a boat trip to see whales and dolphins.

Carmel by the Sea

Very close to Monterey you can visit the town of Carmel by the Sea, which is characterized by its great bohemian atmosphere, as it was founded by a community of painters and artists.

Carmel by the Sea in California

Cliffs of the Big Sur

Following the route to the south, now you will enter the Big sur, a coastal area that will allow you to enjoy the typical cliff landscapes.

Of course, the road is a succession of curves, so that to reach San Simeon, the next important point of your trip along the coast, although there are 145 kilometers to travel, I anticipate that it will take you almost two and a half hours.

At the end of Big Sur cliffs you will arrive at the viewpoint of Ragged Point Vista, where you will have the best panoramic views of this natural area.

A few kilometers later you can stop at the Piedras Blancas beachwhere there is another sea ​​lion colony.

Hearst Castle in California


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Hearst Castle in San Simeón

From the aforementioned beach you can almost see at the top of the mountain what will be your next visit, the Hearst Castle, near San Simeon.

Actually, it is an incredible mansion with numerous buildings, gardens and swimming pools that at that point was built at the beginning of the last century William Randolph Hearst, the famous tycoon of the tabloid press in the United States.

Not well known, I anticipate that this is a visit that surely will not disappoint you.

The extravagant architecture of Hearst Castle it will make you have the feeling that you are visiting a theme park where you will find buildings that will remind you of the Alhambra of Granada or to the Giralda of Seville.

Saint Barbara

In this West Coast tour to Los Angeles, another area that deserves to be visited is the small one colonial city of Santa Barbara, which is three hours from San Simeon.

Santa Barbara Mission in California

Saint Barbara will show you the best combination of the characteristic atmosphere of California, a mixture of large and exotic beaches with a style of spanish colonial city.

In Santa Barbara you can visit buildings that are beautiful examples of Spanish colonial architecture, as the Santa Barbara Mission or the courthouse.

Or also do from Santa Barbara a boat tour to see whales.

Wine tourism in Valle Santa Ynez

In this area near Saint Barbara is the Santa Ynez Valley, wine area where you can make a day of wine tourism tasting the Californa wines.

Danish village of Solvang near Santa Barbara

Danish village Solvang

In the same valley you can also visit a curious town, Solvang, with a Danish style as a result of the arrival in the early twentieth century of a community of emigrants from Denmark.

Book hotel for your trip on

Finally, from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles you will have 150 kilometers on the highway, that is, an hour and a half to complete your route.

Have a nice trip along the coastal coast of the western United States !!

Spanish West Coast Tours

If instead of going on your own by rented car you prefer to sign up for an organized group tour, here is all the information about a Circuit in Spanish along the West Coast in 8 days.

In this circuit you will visit several of the most prominent corners, such as San Francisco, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite or Las Vegas.

Or you also have information about a Tour in Spanish for the best beaches in California, in which on a four-hour excursion you will visit the main beaches around Los Angeles.

You also have the option to make a excursion to Carmel and Monterey from San Francisco, with a duration of 8 hours and the company of a guide in Spanish.

Map of the route from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the coast

Here you have a map with the places described above, which you can visit on your car trip along the California coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles.