California Getaways: The Best Weekend Road Trips In California

Road trips may not have been invented in California but we’re pretty sure they were mastered here.

True, being a California-based publication, we’re 200% biased, but our massive freeways, miles upon miles of coastline, and range of topography (after all, on opposite sides of the state, we have the lowest and highest elevations in the continental U.S.) just scream exploration.

Because we have a case of chronic wanderlust, we end up traveling even when we don’t mean to and our weekends fill up with impromptu road trips

Among our concierge clients who are traveling to California one of the most common requests is for help with itinerary planning for road trips so we're clearly not alone!

Sponsored: #HowIRoam with Blundstone | Aida Mollenkamp at El Matador Beach, Malibu |  @saltandwind

Sponsored: #HowIRoam with Blundstone | Aida Mollenkamp at El Matador Beach, Malibu |  @saltandwind

How We Roam California

So you can’t blame me that when Blundstone wanted to know #HowIRoam, a California road trip came to mind. To us, there’s something super refreshing and invigorating about heading off at a moment’s notice and there’s no place quite like California to do that. 

When I head off on an adventure, I try to pack as light (always following our essential travel packing tips, of course!) and practical as possible. This time of year in California the weather can go from sunny to rainy in 5 seconds flat so it’s full-on boot weather. Because the day could bring anything from hikes in the Muir woods to a food crawl in downtown Los Angeles, I always pack something walkable and versatile like these lace-up Blundstone boots.

And, because I’m on the road most of the time, my shopping usually happens online at odd hours. Enter Zappos where there’s fast, free shipping, a 365-day return policy, and some of the best customer service around. That way when I get home, my shipment has arrived and I can turn around and head off on another travel without any stress.

Girls Getting With A Map And Car Road Trip

The Best California Weekend Road Trips (According To Us)!

In case you can't tell, we’re on a constant mission to get out and explore California. Once you've brushed up on our essential road trip tips the only question is where to go! Arrange here from north to south we're listing some of the most delicious reasons and best places to roam in the Golden State:

  • San Diego’s Little Italy
    Around here, road tripping or taking the Surfliner train to San Diego has become a pretty regular weekend trip. And, because the train station is right next to Little Italy, we always schedule a few hours to roam around and see what's new. 
  • San Diego's North County
    Make like a local and hideaway in one of Northern San Diego county's beachside towns where the laidback vibes and indie spirit of San Diego are more apparent than ever!
  • Boho Beach Vibes in Venice Beach
    Those weekends when we can't get away, we just try to travel our town and explore a new side of Los Angeles. And when the weather's good, it's hard to get better than a day of wandering around Venice Beach.  
  • Big Sur via California Highway 1
    The most classic of California road trips, we try to drive up to Big Sur once a year because we like it that much. 
  • Santa Barbara’s Food Lover’s Weekend
    Yes, Santa Barbara is a total gem of a place where you can get in the water, hike, or just hang out and explore. But, being the food fiend I am, I always make time to check out the food scene.
  • Wine Country Chic in Healdsburg
    When I lived in San Francisco, I made it a point to go up to wine country at least once monthly and my local friends introduced me to Healdsburg. This once sleepy town has now become ground zero for wine country chic.  
  • Savor Sonoma County
    Of course, the historic town of Sonoma is adorable too -- here are our picks of where to shop, eat, and sip!
  • Bay Area Oyster Crawl
    But to truly make like a Bay Area local, make time to do an oyster crawl through Marin County. Some of the best oysters on the West Coast come from this region of NorCal so it's hard to go wrong.  
  • San Francisco To Palm Springs
    The longest itinerary on this list, you could do this in a weekend but we'd recommend blocking off at least four days to do this right!
  • Skiing In Squaw Valley
    You've probably picked up on the fact that one of my favorite hobbies out there is skiing! I grew up skiing Mammoth Mountain but another spot I adore here in California is Squaw Valley, which is one of my favorite places to do Spring skiing here in the Golden State!

How about you? What are your favorite ways to travel California? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sponsored Post: This post was brought to you by Blundstone and Zappos, but all content, ideas, and words are our own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors who allow us to keep Salt & Wind up and running.

Photo Credit: Christopher Kalima and Robin Jolin