Get Inspired / USA / Mainland USA From Coastal Beauty to Glitz and Glamour on a Californian Self Drive Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / USA / Mainland USA From Coastal Beauty to Glitz and Glamour on a Californian Self Drive story by: Mike Williams Unlike in New York, in Los Angeles, everyone drives. However, while some might feel that dealing with L.A.’s infamous traffic jams might form part of the quintessential L.A. travel experience, it’s actually the stunning self-drive opportunities in the surrounding region that make hiring a car a must when visiting the area. It’s the perfect place to begin or end a road trip due to the gorgeous scenery in between L.A. and other must-see West Coast cities. The picturesque coastal drive between Los Angeles and San Francisco is an attraction in itself. By adding a few days after San Francisco and driving onto Seattle, you could also visit Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. St.Helens, the Oregon Dunes and Redwood National Park. Cars travelling southbound, between San Francisco and Los Angeles, will be on the ocean side of the highway and enjoy a more unobstructed view of the coast and ocean. To make the most of the San Francisco to L.A. experience, consider spreading it across four or five days to truly soak up the stretches of golden sand and rolling green hills on the way to Hollywood glitz and glamour. This gives the opportunity to break up the journey with visits to Carmel Mission, Hearst Castle and Solvang. The first leg, between San Francisco and Carmel, is 202 kilometres and takes in the 17-Mile Drive along the Peninsula Coast from Pacific Grove to Carmel and showcases magnificent seaside scenery. Day two boasts arguably the most scenic drive, as it takes in the California coast through the Big Sur peninsula to San Simeon. However, with 394 kilometres of driving, you’ll be looking forward to stretching your legs by walking the trails near Pfeiffer State Beach. On the third day, be sure to spend some time exploring the quaint village of Solvang, with its bakeries, specialty shops and surrounding local wineries, before finishing the day in Santa Barbara after 237 kilometres of driving. Finally, on day number four, a leisurely 159-kilometre drive will see you take in the sights of Malibu before finally parking up in L.A., ready to mix it up with the rich and famous in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills. Click here for HOT USA Deals. Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? My preferred House of Travel Store* Select Outlet Auckland Albany: Auckland North Botany Junction: Auckland South Browns Bay: Auckland North Devonport: Auckland North Ellerslie: Auckland Central Hobsonville: Auckland West Howick: Auckland East Milford: Auckland North New Lynn: LynnMall Auckland West Newmarket: Auckland Central Orewa: Auckland North Parnell: Auckland Central Ponsonby: Auckland Central Remuera: Auckland Central St Heliers: Auckland East Takanini: Auckland South Takapuna: Auckland North Whangaparaoa: Auckland North Bay of Plenty Mt Maunganui Papamoa Rotorua Taupo Tauranga CBD the Crossing Canterbury Ashburton Barrington: Christchurch South Christchurch City: Christchurch Central Ferrymead: Christchurch East High Street Lanes: Christchurch Central Hornby: Christchurch West Merivale: Christchurch Central Northlands: Papanui Christchurch North Rangiora Riccarton: Christchurch Central Shirley: Christchurch North Timaru Upper Riccarton: Christchurch West Hawke's Bay / Gisborne Havelock North Jenny Nilsson: Hastings Nelson / Marlborough Blenheim Motueka Nelson Richmond Northland Kerikeri: Northland Whangarei: Northland Otago / Southland Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Lakers Gore Lakers Invercargill Oamaru Wakatipu: Queenstown Wanaka Taranaki / Manawatu Broadway: Palmerston North New Plymouth Stephen Parsons: Palmerston North Wanganui Waikato Calder & Lawson: Hamilton East Cambridge Coromandel: Whangamata Hamilton: Hamilton Central Matamata Morrinsville Taupo Te Awamutu Wellington / Wairarapa Featherston Street: Wellington City Hunter St CBD: Wellington City Johnsonville: Wellington North Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu Lower Hutt: Wellington North Masterton West Coast Greymouth Hokitika Westport I would like to receive email updates on the latest HOT holiday deals HOT Privacy Statement * required fields Similar Journeys Add or remove from Wishlist Inspire - October 2017 Read more Add or remove from Wishlist Inspire - March 2018 Read more Done this? Tell your friends about it.