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May 16

Six Epic California Road Trip Ideas

“A road trip is a way for the whole family to spend time together and annoy each other in interesting new places.” – Tom Lichtenheld

With the official first day of summer just around the corner, it’s time to channel your inner Jack Kerouac and start planning that perfect family road trip. Hitting the road with your family is a great way to deepen bonds and spend quality time together. In between the ‘are we there yet?’s and arguments over stolen phone chargers, road trips allow for families to grow closer and learn more about one another, regardless of the destination. With picturesque national parks, vibrant cities and everything in between – California has all the ingredients for an epic road trip experience. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry – we have put together a list of the best road trip routes in Northern and Southern California that are sure to satisfy even the most serious case of wanderlust.

Northern California

Highlighted by towering redwood trees and scenic ocean views, Northern California is a road-tripper’s dreamland. Residents at our NorCal Trumark Homes locations are blessed with endless travel destinations in their backyards, from bustling cities to sprawling national parks.

One of the most convenient destinations from the Bay Area is Lake Tahoe. With endless water-sport options, including boating, kayaking, and canoeing, it’s the perfect destination for family fun. While there, Emerald Bay is a must-see in the South Lake Tahoe area. Sheltered by towering trees, this inlet is known for its colorful granite cliffs and panoramic vistas. Also, make sure to check out  Mt. Tallac, one of the highest peaks on Lake Tahoe, offering many one-of-a-kind trails ranging in difficulty.

Only about 3 hours from the Bay Area lies our next NorCal road trip gem – Yosemite National Park. Driving through Yosemite is an experience in itself, but this national park also offers plenty of family-friendly activities, including hiking, fishing, camping, and more. Among the many ‘must see’ spots at Yosemite is Tunnel View, offering the best vistas of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Fall.

The final spot on our NorCal road trip list is the picturesque  Mendocino County. The drive to this place is unforgettable, featuring deep cliffs, crashing waves, and green wilderness. Tzo start planning your road trip to Mendocino County, check out this awesome trip guide.

Southern California

Southern California offers equally as spectacular road trip destinations as the Northern part of the state. About three hours northeast from Los Angeles is the Sequoia National Forest and Park. Sequoia and the Giant Forest is home to half of the Earth’s largest and longest-living trees. In particular, The General Sherman Tree is a must see attraction, as it is officially the largest tree in the world! Enjoy the wonders of Sequoia National Park from the comfort of your own car, or take the path less traveled in its endless miles of hiking trails.

Next up on our SoCal road trip list is less than a two hour drive from our Anaheim and Chino Hills locations – Joshua Tree National Park. Known for its world-class hiking, horseback riding, biking, stargazing, and tons of other great outdoor activities, Joshua Tree is a great place to sightsee with family. A photographer’s dream world, this desert landscape is full of amazing scenery. Joshua Tree is also home to local art, music, food, lodging, events, and festivals making it a must-see for SoCal natives and beyond.

For those longing for a beachier road trip should look no further than the beautiful drive from the Los Angeles area to San Diego, featuring scenic stops such as Huntington Beach, Encinitas, and La Jolla, along the way. To discover more, check out this great itinerary, featuring plenty of destination options between LA and San Diego.