Cali Beauty From Your Car
Living in California could mean soaking up the desert sun. Or you could be cuddling up on a misty morning in the hills. You can experience every type of weather and terrain. This is the real beauty of the state. Thousands of people every year come to California to enjoy the scenic drives. Some of these take place by the ocean and others on a twisting, hilly road. Getting the best views from your vehicle means planning, getting good gas mileage and knowing where to stop. If you are looking for some awesome road trip ideas this summer, then look no further than the great state of California.
There are a few things you will need before you get started. The biggest and most valuable item for any driver is cheap car insurance. Getting a reasonable rate on car insurance means that you will feel secure out on the road. You will also want to plan your trip down to the road sign. California has thousands of miles of vast road and back roads. If you take detours, you’ll want to have an idea of where you want to end up. The state is large and conditions can change rapidly. When you are looking for a great time, a road trip is the perfect place for friends and family to get acquainted while seeing new and amazing sights.
Most drivers heading out on a trip like this want roadside assistance with their insurance premium. You can add this on to any insurance plan or purchase it separately. California is a great place to road trip for many reasons. One is that there are a ton of large, iconic cities to visit. But just around the corner from these cities can be hundreds of miles of just land. This contrast makes for an enjoyable road trip experience. Because after all, miles and miles and roads and views is exactly what you are looking for.
Before you start your road trip you will want to have a timeline. Summer road trips are a good idea when kids are out of school and weather is more permitting. But beware of those really hot locations. California isn’t called ‘The Sunshine State’ but it could be. Temperatures in the summer can reach well into 100’s. And in places like Barstow could get up to 120 during the day. That doesn’t sound fun no matter how great your air conditioning is. If you plan to road trip in the summer also remember that many other people have the exact same idea as you. So you will find certain destinations very crowded. One of the best times to take the family on a road trip is right before school gets out and on the weekdays. So end of May from Monday to Friday might mean you miss the mad rush. Yes we know, your kids will have to miss school.
If you are looking for a romantic road trip for two, you might want to face some bad weather just to make an excuse to get cozy inside. A little adventure never hurt anyone. And building memories in the rain are unforgettable. Get out your ponchos and head to the beaches of Northern California where the fog rolls in and the ferns grow everywhere. Skip the heat and choose to sit in a hot tub while it snows in the Sierra Nevadas. Take your four wheel drive up in the wilderness for a week.
Road Trip Ideas
Here are some great road trip ideas in the great state of California.
- If you live in Northern California you know that there are a couple gorgeous mountains to visit here. One is Mount Shasta and the other Mount Lassen. From Redding head out to Lassen National Park. You will notice the terrain change significantly. This mountain is volcanic and the rocks around the area are much different than anywhere else in California. You will find flowers blooming through these rugged rocks and its quote magnificent. Check out the geysers and mud pots. Stay on Highway 89 and head to Lake Almanor.
- This placid lake is perfect in spring and summer to fish and to swim in. Swing back around to Mount Shasta. You will take the 299 back towards Redding. Shasta Lake is a great place to rent jet skis and hang out with the family. The whole trip could take just a day or a weekend. You will probably still see snow up on Mount Shasta even in the summer months. Many avid hikers choose to climb this mountain and take in the beautiful views when they’ve reached the top.
Head To The Coast
- If you live in the state’s capitol and want to see the ocean, head west towards Marin County. Take the 80 to the 116 and head through wine country. Napa county is the state’s wine capitol. Stop in for lunch. Continue all the way to Point Reyes. This intimate town is filled with antique shops, great restaurants and even some hiking. There is about a ten mile hike to the coast where you can see a light house and tour the grounds. Or drive in a little further and you can tour an Elk refuge. Many people even choose to ride their horses along this path. There is one place to rent horses and have fun on four legs instead of two. If you would rather drive, head up the Pacific Coast Highway to Dillons Beach and Bodega Bay. The beauty in this area is rich. You might even be able to stop for whale watching if you come at the right time of year. Spend some time in your car and really enjoy it.
- Another coastal adventure takes place in central California. Starting in San Louis Obispo, head out to Morro Bay and stop in at Hearst Castle. This magnificent home can be toured day or night and is lavishly decorated. A very famous 1920’s art deco inspired home will make your jaw drop at the detail and beauty. Continue south towards Santa Barbara. Check out the beautiful campus of UCSB and bike ride to the cliffs over looking the ocean. Stop in at the small but spectacular zoo in town. And don’t forget to catch a bite to eat in Montecito- one of the wealthiest cities in all of the world. This trip from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara and back can easily take a weekend. There is so much to see and the weather is usually perfect.
Southern California Fun
If you live in the Los Angeles area, there is no better road trip than the one out to the desert. Head to the luxurious Palm Springs on a winters day and escape the chills near the coast. Tale Highway ten for a couple of hours and you will see windmills stretching on for miles. It might seem like a desolate place, but then all of a sudden you see a beautiful oasis. The desert is a great place to get away and enjoy sun, golf, and even outdoor adventures. Follow Highway 10 to the city of Indio. Go a little further and you can see the Salton Sea which is actually a lake. Head West towards the town of Temecula.
Sip on a glass of wine while the sunsets. This town is styled similarly to the old west and has great shopping for all. Continue the final leg of your trip up the 15 to Los Angeles. To skip on the traffic, drive after dinner when commuters are safe at home and not on the roads. This round trip could take three or four days if you really want to soak it up. Or just one day if you are looking for a speedy adventure.
One great round trip road escapade takes place in the Sierra Nevadas. Whether you are starting in the Bay Area or the state’s capitol, get on the 80 towards Reno. This will take you to North Lake Tahoe. Not only is Lake Tahoe one of the most tranquil and beautiful lakes in the country, it is surrounded by snow capped mountains for most of the year. If you are looking for a summer trip, you can hike or paddle board. If you plan to see some snow then don’t forget your snow cha
ins. You can stay in a cabin for a night or just make a day trip. Start out by taking the 89 into Tahoe City.
Stop in at a local restaurant and smell the fresh air. Continue on the 80 into Emerald Bay. This bay inlet has a high elevation which allow for breathtaking views of the lake itself. A few more miles and you will end up in South Lake Tahoe where you can gamble and have fun in the night life scene. There is so much to do in Tahoe, but most people just take in the beauty. Don’t forget your camera, you can get a bad picture in these mountains. A round trip of a few hundred miles and quote a few thousand feet of elevation climb.
What You Will Need To Really Succeed At A Road Trip
First of all, any California road trip can be labeled a success. But to make sure that you are safe and secure, you will want to check the glove box for a few items. One of those is your cheap car insurance policy. There is a minimum amount of car insurance required to travel in the golden state.
Everyone deserves to know their options. Insurance coverage is not only the law in the state of California, but it is a smart choice to make for you and your family. You may not realize it, but having the proper cheap car insurance coverage could means saving thousands of dollars from leaving your pocket. There is a minimum amount of insurance that you must have in California:
- Bodily Injury Liability Limits: $30,000 per occurrence/ $15,000 per person
- Property Damage Liability Limits: $5,000 per occurrence
These cheap car insurance options will only protect the other party involved in a crash.
You will want more than this when traveling with the ones you love. If you don’t have your car paid off yet or if you lease a vehicle, full coverage is mandatory by most banks or lending institutions.
Here are more coverage options:
- Collision coverage means that your own car will be covered for damages in an accident
- Comprehensive coverage will pay for theft or minor damages not incurred in an accident
- Medical coverage for you and your passengers- Medical coverage can make a huge difference for your security and safety.
- Towing and roadside assistance- You may not only need this for a crash, but if you break down. Roadside assistance can save you time and money.
- Rental reimbursement- You could be covered or reimbursed for a rental car when you are involved in a crash.
- Uninsured Motorist coverage- this will make sure that you are still covered even if someone without insurance hits you.
- Full glass coverage- this is additional coverage for your car to cover glass windows and doors.
- Loan/lease coverage- when you have a loan or a lease out on a vehicle, your coverage needs to be different. Most of the time a full policy is required.
This might sound silly when you are just taking a small road trip. But budgeting is very important. Especially because gas prices in California are so high. You will want to stop in for a bite to eat somewhere. Or two. And because California is so large, you can bet that the average road trip takes at least two to three days.
Your budget should look like this:
- Gas- 300 mile road trip at $3.20 a gallon. If your car gets 30 miles per gallon and you have a 12 gallon tank, you can make your entire road trip on just one tank of gas. That tank will cost you right under $40. Not too shabby. If you are making a longer trip in a less than perfectly fueled car, you will want to budget for at least $100 in gas.
- Lodging- depending on where you are staying, an average hotel or bed and breakfast is about $150 a night. SO budget for two nights at $300.
- Meals- You won’t want to skip out on eating. Plan on having snacks in your car, but really splurge on nice dinners. Maybe your hotel has free breakfast? Great! But you will want to spend at least $100 a day on meals. If you take a three day road trip that is $300.
- To Do- you will want to do at least one adventure along the way. Maybe this is paddle boarding, or gambling, or maybe a tour of a castle. Either way leave it in the budget. Give yourself about $100 in spending money.
The average 3 day road trip should cost you about $750 for two to three people. This is of course factoring in fun and leisure. But be realistic. California is not the cheapest state to travel in. But it sure is one of the most beautiful.