Real California Coastal Road Trip


Real California Coastal Road Trip

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While Los Angeles and San Francisco each have their fair share of landmarks, the road that links that two has its own sights and sounds worth exploring. Roadtrip along California’s Pacific Coast Highway on this four-day adventure, starting in the City of Angels before heading north to take in the natural splendour of Big Sur. You’ll feel plucked from a car commercial as you cruise scenic mile after scenic mile, soaring redwoods to one side and endless ocean to the other, with campsites waiting each night. Sometimes it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey!

Trip Name
Real California Coastal Road Trip
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  • Behold the beauty of Big Sur as you drive along California’s northern coastline, stopping to see the magical McWay Falls located on a beach that’s closed to public access.
  • Ride Ferris wheels, rollercoasters and other fairground delights during stops at Santa Monica Pier and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
  • Rub shoulders with Hollywood royalty – or at least their lookalikes – as you begin your journey in the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, visiting the vibrant Venice Beach.
  • Sleep under the stars in Monterey and along California’s Central Coast, getting up close to Mother Nature as you join in on the communal camping experience.
  • Join in on the optional food kitty with your fellow travellers and enjoy camp cooking and picnic lunches while keeping costs down.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, the Grand Canyon Conservancy. Donations help them protect Grand Canyon National Park and support trail restoration, conservation of native plants and wildlife, and educational programs. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Los Angeles
Welcome to Los Angeles! The City of Angels needs no introduction and will play host to the start of your coastal Californian experience. Your adventure will begin with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, but if you arrive earlier there’s no shortage of sights to keep you occupied. Stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, experience the food markets of Downtown LA or head to one of the many theme parks in the area – the choice is yours!
Day 2 - Central Coast
Head to Venice Beach this morning for your first taste of the sea breeze. Home to the iconic Muscle Beach gym – and known for the many walks of life that grace the boardwalk – you'll be free to explore this free-spirited slice of LA for yourself. Whether you stop by the Venice Beach skatepark, ride the Ferris wheel at Santa Monica Pier or try out a local eatery, there’s plenty on offer! Then, swap spaghetti junctions for seaside views as you drive north, stopping at coastal viewpoints to stretch your legs and snap some pictures. Pismo Beach will provide a picturesque final pit stop before you set up camp for the night.
Day 3 - Monterey Area
Continuing north along the Pacific Coast Highway, today you’ll take in some of the finest natural scenery California has to offer. Big Sur doesn’t do things by halves, with this famous stretch of coastline sandwiched between soaring redwoods and endless ocean. Taking it slow to soak in the views (and maybe spot an elephant seal or two), there’ll also be a stop at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. An almost-flat hike will take you to a view of the magical McWay Falls – an 80-foot drop that flows directly into the Pacific during high tide. The seaside city of Monterey will then provide your camping ground for the night.
Day 4 - San Francisco
Trading one all-American experience for another, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk awaits! Let your inner child run free on a variety of fairground rides or go the full nine yards and treat yourself to a funnel cake. Later, Half Moon Bay’s coastal charm will provide a moment of respite after the morning’s madness before you follow the road to your final stop at San Francisco. A guided tour of the vibrant city will help you get your bearings, and then it’s time to bid farewell to your fellow travellers as your adventure comes to an end, and no accommodation is provided tonight. As there's a great deal to do in San Francisco, we recommend you stay a couple of extra days to make the most of the city. If you do wish to spend extra time in San Francisco, we'll be happy to help you book additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
25-06-202428-06-2024AUD $ 1,046-
16-08-202419-08-2024AUD $ 1,088-
23-08-202426-08-2024AUD $ 1,088-
02-09-202405-09-2024AUD $ 1,046-
06-09-202409-09-2024AUD $ 1,046-
13-09-202416-09-2024AUD $ 1,046-
15-05-202518-05-2025AUD $ 1,290-
19-06-202522-06-2025AUD $ 1,290-
17-07-202520-07-2025AUD $ 1,345-
31-07-202503-08-2025AUD $ 1,395-
14-08-202517-08-2025AUD $ 1,395-
21-08-202524-08-2025AUD $ 1,395-
28-08-202531-08-2025AUD $ 1,345-
11-09-202514-09-2025AUD $ 1,345-
25-09-202528-09-2025AUD $ 1,290-


Hostel (multishare) (1 night),Camping (with facilities) (2 nights)


Private vehicle