The 5 Most Scenic Drives in California

Do you fly into California cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco or San Diego and then fly out again? Well then, you’re missing out on one of the Golden State’s major advantages. You see, California has thousands of miles of scenic drives. In fact, cruising along the coast is one of the many appeals of California. No matter what your road-trip preferences are, California has a scenic drive that will satisfy anyone with the travel bug.

1. Big Sur Coastal Drive

Length: 137 miles

big sur california scenic drivers

Image by www.tenfirst.com

Directions: Highway 1 between Monterey and San Luis Obispo

Expect curvy roads, high cliff-top views and dozens of great bridges. There are plenty of side trips and places to stop while driving along Big Sur. Jack’s Peak Road takes you to hiking trails and forest lands. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve features tide pools and rock formations for walkers, as well as an underwater ecological reserve for swimmers. Typical of California, there are plenty of beaches where you can relax or swim. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Point Sur State Historic Park and Lighthouse.

2. Feather River Scenic Byway

Length: 344 miles

Directions: Gold Lake Highway, County Road 324, and Highways 20, 36, 49, 70, and 89

It’s not a straight shot, so be prepared for some backtracking here. However, it’ll be worth it when you see the granite gorge, tunnels, lakes and quaint towns along the way. Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is a great place for Feather River water activities. Or, you can always opt for the picturesque charm of Lake Tahoe. Have fun exploring gold mining towns near the Yuba River down south before heading north to Lassen Volcanic National park.

3. Death Valley Scenic Byway

Length: 130 miles

Directions: Highway 190

If you do it in summertime, expect it to be hot, perhaps even 120 degrees or more. Start at the western tip of the route at Olancha, and then climb up the Argus Range until you reach Aguereberry Point at over 6,400 feet elevation. Descend down to a salty lake that’s 179 feet below sea level. Along the way, you’ll see grand desert vistas, mineral coloration and natural springs. When you’re done, you’re not that far from Las Vegas. Did someone say road trip?

4. Joshua Tree Journey

Length: 89 miles

joshua tree, california

Image by www.myscenicdrives.com

Directions: Highway 68 and assorted side roads

If you’re heading on a cross-country road trip along I-10, this is a scenic loop that’s well worth your time. The Twenty-nine Palms Highway at Palm Springs takes you into Joshua Tree National Park. You may also see wildlife at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve if you stop for some hikes along the way. You’ll definitely be treated to different types of cactus, impressive granite rock formations and breathtaking views from the Little San Bernardino Mountains. Joshua Tree is also a popular site for camping, RVing and much more!

5. San Luis Obispo Wine Trail

Length: 33 miles

San Luis Obispo, california

Image by myscenicdrives.com

Directions: Orcutt Drive to Lopez Road east, then backtrack west along Lopez to Huasana Road and Corbett Canyon Road before reconnecting with Orcutt via Biddle Ranch Road

This route encourages stops along some of the region’s quaintest and most beautiful California wineries. Start in San Luis Obispo and head south through rolling hills. Then relax at Lopez Lake County Park, the trail’s easternmost point, for fishing, hiking or bird watching. Feel free to linger at wineries, as long as you have a designated driver!

California Car Insurance

Of course, to experience these fabulous scenic drives, you’ll need adequate Auto Insurance. Before you plan your trip, contact Auto Insurance Specialists at (855) 919-4247 to get affordable Car Insurance that suits your needs.


The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Auto Insurance Specialists, LLC makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

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