California Road Trip



A California road trip makes your vacation planning an absolute breeze because there is so much to do and see in such a short period of time.  California is home to several professional sports teams and some of the most spectacular National Parks in the country.  Famous landmarks such as the Hollywood sign or Mann's Chinese Theater are an absolute must-see if you from other parts of the country.  California wine country is an amazing vacation and the sites and tastes are absolutely spectacular.  Disneyland is a huge road trip destination for many families but there are several other fantastic theme parks to choose from as well.


Hollywood Sign:  The Hollywood sign needs no explanation because everybody has seen these giant white letters at some point in their life on a television series.  Although you can see the sign from all over Los Angeles it's tough to get a good shot and it's illegal to hike up to it.  Here are the best places to snap a picture:




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California Wine Country: Napa Valley is a very popular tourist destination and there is a great reason.  California produces nearly 90% of the total wine production in the United States!  There are over 1,200 wineries in the state and you will have an absolutely amazing time touring Napa Valley and sampling some of the best wines in the world.  There are several Wine Tasting tours that will shuttle you between the wineries and that is what I recommend so that you do not have to concern yourself with driving back at the end of the day.

Outdoor Festivals are always a hit when you are planning your road trip.  California will not let you down because it is full of amazing rock festivals, family oriented county fairs, bluegrass, chamber, jazz, and country. 

California National Parks are a great idea for you to plan your road trip around these spectacular sites.  The Redwood forest is something you will only see here but you will want to check out Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Kings Canyon.  No matter which park you decide to visit you will absolutely not be disappointed.

Mann's Chinese Theater is one of the most popular sites that you'll want to check out if you are in the Hollywood area.  The famous hand and footprints are in the sidewalks in front of this theater and tourists love to take pictures and look at the names.  You'll see lots of street performers in this area and it's always buzzing.

Theme Parks

Adventure City is located in Anaheim and is the ideal park for the kids to have a birthday celebration or to let them run around and enjoy the ten rides that the park has to offer.

Belmont Park is a beachfront amusement park that is located in San Diego.  The park has games, shops, oceanfront restaurants, and some amazing rides for the entire family.  You'll want to check out the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, the Beach Blaster, and the kids will love the Flowrider® where they can ride the endless wave on a wakeboard.    

Blackbeard's Family Fun Center is dubbed as "Fresno's hidden treasure" and it's for a good reason.  There are batting cages, go-cart tracks, waterslides, bumper boats, mini-golf, and an arcade for your kids to work the sugar out of their system.

Bonfante Gardens is an environmentally friendly theme park that showcases amazing plants and botanical gardens and provides an educational atmosphere in this amusement park.  There are over 40 rides and attractions at this park so it's more than enough to keep the little monsters occupied.  

Castle Park is a family oriented park in Riverside and has a very affordable gate price-so it should not be overlooked if you have young travelers on your road trip.           

Disneyland is one of the most popular parks in the world and is located in Anaheim.  A trip to Disneyland will make your road trip planning a breeze because they offer all of the amenities that you could ever imagine.  There are eight fantastic lands of nostalgia that you can explore at this park and there are some must-see attractions that you need to check out:

  • Indiana Jones™ Adventure-You'll team up with Indy at the Temple of the Forbidden Eye and it is an absolute blast.

  • It's a small World-Celebrates hope for peace on earth from a small child's point of view.

  • Tinker Bell & Her Fairy Friends-You'll get to meet her at Pixie Hollow!

  • Fireworks Spectacular-They are displayed above the Sleeping Beauty Castle

  • Street Part-The parade has all of the Disney Characters romping through the park



Funderwoods is in Lodi and has dozens of rides for the entire family including a junior roller coaster for the kids.     

Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park is our country's first amusement park.  You'll want to make sure that you sample some of Mrs. Knott's fried chicken because it is phenomenal and has been served since 1928.  The kids will want to check out Camp Snoopy, the ghost town, and the Indian Trails.  There's lots of rides and things to do here!    

Legoland is in Carlsbad and there are over 50 rides and attractions for you to choose from.  This park will transform everybody in your family into a hero for the day!           

Pacific Park is a family Amusement Park on the Santa Monica Pier and is the only west coast park that has the distinction of being built on a pier.  Millions of visitors each year can't be wrong about visiting this park.   

Paramount's Great America is in Santa Clara and is an absolute blast, there are more thrill rides at this park then anywhere else in Northern California.  You can check out KidZville®, Nickelodeon Central, or Boomerang Bay at this park.           

Pharaoh's Lost Kingdom is in Redlands and is great for the entire family.  There's lots of neat attractions such as mini-golf, go-carts, laser tag, an arcade, and waterslides!

Pixieland  is in Concord and is a great place to take the kids for a day.  There's lots of fun food, kiddie rides, and attractions.            

Rotary Storyland and Playland is in the Fresno area and is oriented towards young children and is devoted to fairy tales and fantasy.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is nicknamed the Coney Island of the West and was ranked the world's best Seaside Amusement Park.  There are lots of thrill rides, food, shows, and activities for the entire family.  You will absolutely want to make sure you check out the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster and the 1911 Looff Carousel.

Scandia Family Fun Center in Ontario is nine acres of entertainment for the entire family.  They offer two award winning miniature golf courses, a state-of-the-art Laser Tag arena, go-karts, waterbugs, an air bounce, batting cages, and an enormous arcade. 

SeaWorld San Diego is famous for their shows and the diverse aquatic wildlife-this park is great for the entire family!  Shamu the Killer Whale is waiting for you and your family so that he can do some really cool tricks!



Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia has over 100 rides and attractions.  If your looking for thrill rides and a family park then you have found the right because there are 15 amazing roller coasters i this park.  You will want to ride the Tatsu which is the world's tallest, fastest, and longest flying coaster. 

Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo  has over 30 animal attractions with 100 species of 500+ animals such as walruses, penguins, elephants, cougars, dolphins, alligators, and so much more.  There are also lots of rides and other family attractions for you to check out at this park.

Tahoe Amusement Park is an old-fashioned family amusement park and is perfect for all ages.  You take a spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl, check out the Carousel, or ride their roller coaster.  It's just a grand-slam of a great time.             

Universal Studios Hollywood is an easy way to spend an entire day that you will never forget at this amazing park.  THere's lots of amazing rides, shows, shops, and places to eat.  You will be a part of movie history as you experience some of the thrills and rides such as the "Revenge of the Mummy" coaster or the "Jurassic Park" Raft Plunge. 

Most importantly you will want to check out the Hollywood Studio Tour which will put you behind the scenes in the movie making industry.  You'll see wreckage from War of the Worlds, Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives, the Bates Motel, Skull Islands from the King Kong movie and so much more.




California City Adventure

Your downtown city adventure in California is going to present an amazing variety of options for your California road trip.  There are lots of professional sports teams that you can watch and the cities are a quick trip to several of the National Parks as well.  There's so much to do in California you will not be disappointed.

Anaheim is filled with lots of popular tourist activities-most notably is Disneyland!  There's other attractions as well that you can check out including casinos, wineries, water parks, and zoos.  There are over 42 miles of beautiful beaches in Orange County for your beach adventure.  Don't worry, Orange County has amazing nightlife and lots of shopping opportunities to provide the entire vacation package.

Bakersfield is full of great outdoor activities for your enjoyment.  Tourists can bike along the Kern River Parkway and this is the best way to see the entire city of Bakersfield.  At Murray Family Farms you can pick your own fruits and vegetables, and you can also whitewater raft on the Kern River or enjoy a hiking experience.  Make sure to check out some of the  Basque Restaurants which is the largest population of these specialty Mexican Food that uses locally grown produce. 

Big Sur was awarded one of the top 25 vacation destinations in the United States and had an overall ranking of the 28th Top Destination in the World from the Traveler's Choice awards.  There is so much to do and see here it is almost impossible to put into words.  There's beautiful beaches, mountains, streams, and forests.  Big Sur has well-equipped camp grounds and luxurious spas.  You'll be able to watch the California Gray whales migrate from Alaska to Mexico in the Spring, watch Condors fly overhead, and much much more.

Chula Vista is home of the U.S. Olympic training center and there is lots of other things to see and do here as well.  You may want to check out a concert at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre which will hold up to10,000 guests and an additional 10,000 in the lawn.  There are several beautiful golf courses in the area and of course the scenic harbor which offers amazing views of the San Diego Bay.  The harbor includes two marinas, an RV Park, and several restaurants.  It is also home to two waterfront parks and the Chula Vista Yacht Club.  This is a great spot to charter a sport fishing vessel.

Fresno will not disappoint you if you are looking for lots of options on your California road trip.  There are over 600 restaurants in Fresno and many of which are in historic buildings-the nightlife is out of this world.  If your wanting to get away and shop then you'll want to visit these areas:

  • Fashion Fair Mall – 4841 N. First Street, Fresno, CA 93710. 559-224-1591.  Fashion fair Mall is the area’s largest indoor mall, with more than 140 stores, including accessories, jewelry, electronics, music, health and beauty, gifts, cards and so much more, you’ll find fashion to fit any style or budget. Department stores include Gottschalks, JCPenney’s and Macy’s. Some of their newest specialty stores include Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch, Sephora, Lucky Brand Jeans and Build-a-Bear Workshop. Dining options include Flemings Prime Steak House, BJ’s Bar & Grill and The Cheesecake Factory.

  • Chinatown - You can enjoy authentic ethnic food and go shopping in an area filled with culture. Chinatown is located west of downtown Fresno and borders Fresno Street.

  • Fig Garden Village – Located at Palm and Shaw Avenues, this unique outdoor shopping experience features the finest fashion, gift and specialty stores. Some of the Valley’s best restaurants, featuring indoor and outdoor dining, can also be found at the Village. For a wholesome experience, visit Fresno’s Whole Foods Market.

  • Fulton Mall – Located west of Van Ness Avenue in downtown Fresno adjacent to Fresno’s Grizzlies Stadium, this nationally recognized six-block historic Fulton Street pedestrian mall is known for its creativity and artwork. Visitors may enjoy the many fountains, sculptures, gardens and shaded seating areas. The mall is also know for the Art Hop, Sudz in the City, Fulton Plaza Thursdays and other special events.

  •  Kingsburg Swedish Village – Enjoy the brightly colored Swedish architecture, Dala horses, Swedish flags and bay trees in this historic Swedish Village. The village includes more than 30 restaurants and unique gift and collectible shops. Stop at the Kingsburg Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center and receive a hearty Valkommen to one of Fresno County’s anchor communities.

La Jolla means "The Jewel" and it is one of the best areas of San Diego-it is only 15 minutes from downtown!  There are wonderful beaches, restaurants, and cultural activities that you can check out here.  It is the home of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Stephen Birch Aquarium and Museum.

Long Beach is a great place to visit for your California road trip.  You can visit the Queen Mary or check out the Toyota Grand Prix or the Formula Drift car race.  The Congressional Cup sailboat race also occurs in this area and it is also dubbed the aquarium of the Pacific and you can look at over 1,500 different animals here!  Whether your into wale watching, dining out, or nightlife, you'll find it all in Long Beach!

Los Angeles is home to several professional sports teams.  If you stay in this city you will be overwhelmed with the amount of activities that you can plan for your road trip.  While in LA make sure to stop by and snap a picture of the Hollywood sign or star-gaze at Mann's Chinese Theater.

Monterey is a coastal community in northern California and has beautiful weather all year long.  Monterey is located 115 miles south of San Francisco and 350 miles north of Los Angeles.  The city is packed full of museums, gardens, and outdoor activities.  You may want to plan your vacation around the annual Jazz Festival and then check out the aquarium while you are in town.

Oakland is home to the NFL's Oakland Raiders and their fans are absolutely in love with this team.  It is a perfect chance for you to try out the Conspicuous Tourist Road Trip Game.  If you are able to get a discount hotel room in the city you will have lots of things to give it a whirl!

Sacramento is the home of the famous Gold Rush from the mid 1800s and people still discover gold in Sacramento to this day!  If you are looking for a spot to pan for gold on your California road trip then you are on the right track!

San Diego is California's second largest city and features over 70 miles of beaches for your enjoyment.  The San Diego zoo is world class and is fun for the entire family.  There's lots of professional sporting teams and amusement parks in the area for everyone in your group. San Diego is an ideal destination for a College Road trip or for spring break.

San Francisco provides an amazing photo opportunity with the Golden Gate Bridge.  There is so much to do in this city it will blow your mind.  The restaurants are world class and the scenery is breath taking.  You'll see sea lions on the beaches and will be within hours of some of the best National Parks in the country.

San Jose offers a wide variety of activities for your road trip, here are a few:

  • Bay Area Glider Rides (200 Skylane Dr., Hollister, CA-800-696-7627)

  • Lick Observatory (7281 Mt. Hamilton Rd. 408-274-5061)

  • Peralta Adobe Fall House Historical Site (175 W. St. John St. 408-993-8300)

  • History Park at Kelley Park (1650 Senter Rd., 408-287-2290)

  • Winchester Mystery House (525 S. Winchester Blvd., 408-247-2000)-This house is certified haunted!

  • Santana Row (368 Santana Row, 408-551-4611)

  • Raging Waters (2333 South White Road, 408-238-9900)

  • Japanese American Museum (535 N. 5th St., 408-294-3138)

  • Outback Adventures 91158 Saratoga Ave., 408-551-0588)

  • Kayak Connection (413 Lake Ave, 831-479-1121)

  • Chardonnay Sailing Charters (704-Soquel Ave., 831-423-1213)

  • Comedy Sportz (288 S. Second St., 408-985-5233)

Santa Ana is the most populated city in Orange County.  You may use this as a "home base" for your Disney vacation.

Santa Barbara offers a wide variety of buildings and places for people of all ages to tour.  You'll want to check out the Mission the Waterfront, The Courthouse, the zoo, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Reagan Ranch Center.  El Presidio State Historic Park is the most historically significan building in Santa Barbara and it is reconstructed perfectly.  It's also worth it to stop in and check out th eBotanic Gardens.

Stockton is in San Joaquin County which is the fifth largest agricultural county in the entire United States.


Professional Baseball (MLB)


Description of image Los Angeles Angels

Park: Angel Stadium

Address: 2000 Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, California

Phone: 714-940-2000


Description of image Los Angeles Dodgers

Park: Dodger Stadium

Address: 1000 Elysian Park Avenue, Los Angeles, California

Phone: 323-224-1500


Description of image Oakland Athletics

Park: Oakland-Alameda County Stadium

Address: 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, California

Phone: 510-638-4900


Description of image San Diego Padres

Park: PETCO Park

Address: 100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, California

Phone: 619-795-5000


Description of image San Francisco Giants

Park: AT&T Park

Address: 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, California

Phone: 415-972-2000

Professional Football (NFL)


Description of image San Francisco 49ers

Park: Candlestick Park

Address: 490 Jamestown Ave, San Francisco, California

Phone: 415-656-4900


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San Diego Chargers

Park: Qualcomm Stadium

Address: 9449 Friars Rd, San Diego, California

Phone: 619-220-TIXS


Description of image Oakland Raiders

Park: Oakland-Alameda County Stadium         

Address: 1220 Harbor Bay Pkwy, Oakland, California.

Phone: 800-RAIDERS

Professional Basketball (NBA)


Description of image Sacramento Kings

Stadium: ARCO Arena

Address: One Sports Parkway, Sacramento, California

Phone: 916-928-3650


Description of image Golden State Warriors

Stadium: Oakland Arena

Address: 1011 Broadway, Oakland, California

Phone: 510-986-2222


Description of image Los Angeles Clippers

Stadium: Staples Center

Address: 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California

Phone: 213-742-7555


Description of image Los Angeles Lakers

Stadium: Staples Center

Address: 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California

Phone: 213-742-7555


Professional Hockey (NHL)


Description of image

Anaheim Ducks

Hockey Rink: Honda Center

Address: 2695 Katella Ave., Anaheim, California



Description of image

Los Angeles Kings

Hockey Rink: STAPLES Center

Address: 1111 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California



Description of image

San Jose Sharks

Hockey Rink: HP Pavilion at San Jose

Address: 525 West Santa Clara Street, San Jose, California             



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Race Track: California Speedway

Address: 9300 Cherry Ave, Fontana, California        

Phone: 909-429-5500 


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Race Track: Infineon Raceway

Address: Highways 37 & 121, Sonoma, California        

Phone: 1-800-870-RACE 

Horse Tracks

Bay Meadows Racecourse in San Mateo is between San Francisco and San Jose and is state-of-the art.   It features 715,000 of rentable office space, neighborhood parks and plazas, and a neighborhood revitalization.  This is a traditional race track that is worth checking out.

Del Mar race track is "Cool As Ever" and you'll love the excitement at this track. 

Fresno Racetrack is ran by a non-profit organization and live horse racing will take place at the Fresno Fair during the first two weeks in October.

Golden Gate Fields in Albany offers one dollar day every Sunday.  There's great food at this track at the Horsemen's Circle, The Turf Club Restaurant, The Paddock Club, Tastes of Italy, Apron BBQ, and The Carvery.

Hollywood Park in Inglewood operates six casinos over three states, two card club casinos in California, and two race tracks including this one. 

Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress offers Quarter Horse racing and off track betting.

Stockton is the site of the San Joaquin County Fair.  There have been over $1 million dollars worth of repairs pumped into this facility over the past several years. 


California Beaches

Did you know that over 54% of the American population lives within 50 miles of the shoreline.  More than 85% of the travelers who visit California for their vacations and road trips choose to stop off at the beach.  It's an amazing experience and a great way to chill out and relax and take in some rays.  There's over 1,000 miles of shoreline in California and an enormous amount of beaches for you to select on your vacation.  Some of the beaches are sandy and others are rocky shores. 

You can't go wrong with Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, San Diego's beach, Pismo Beach, Carmel, Santa Cruz, or Ocean Beach in San Francisco.   Needless to say, here's a pretty full list of California Beaches:

Los Angeles San Diego San Francisco San Jose Stockton Fresno Bakersfield Sacramento




Get great ideas for your California Road Trip.