Two-Week California Road Trip For Nature Lovers (With a Cost-free Planner!)



I went on my very first road trip at the tender age of five. The adventure took us all the way from the undulating greenery of Colorado to the neon lightbulbs of Las Vegas. 

My parents, aunt, uncle and their shaggy Cairn Terrier Benny all watched in amusement as I documented the journey on my red plastic camera with the diligence of a war correspondent. I’d like to say that a lot has changed now, two decades later. But – for improved or worse – that couldn’t be additional from the truth.

My household nevertheless do not let me anyplace close to the steering wheel. My camera is nevertheless the very first item on my packing list. And my attitude to arranging nevertheless resembles that of a 5-year-old youngster. I just want to hang out in nature, consume lots of meals and not overthink the course of action.

Fine, possibly I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. Creating the most of my travels is quite vital to me and I do not like going to a new location without having a game strategy. But the arranging course of action requires me eons. I get so overwhelmed by all the fantastic points I could do that inside an hour I’m knee deep in an existential crisis.

Which defines me improved – a strenuous hike to the leading of a towering waterfall or a scenic drive along the sun-drenched coast? What’s my correct travel style? Who am I? Why was I place on this Earth? I know, I know. Once more with the exaggeration. But I’m certain lots of of you can relate. In this day an age evaluation paralysis has becomea much more widespread ailment than the typical cold.

Life of the celebration in Las Vegas, 1998.

All this is my roundabout way of explaining how excited I was when very first introduced to the USA Trip Planner. It is a no cost (!) tool designed by Brand USA – a location advertising and marketing organisation whose aim is to share their country’s beauty with the rest of the globe.

Eager to test its capabilities, I decided to use the planner to place collectively a two week California road trip. It is a travel encounter I’ve been dreaming about for a lengthy time. Just me, a camper van and a loved one particular. This is what I discovered by way of my experiment…

How To Use The USA Trip Planner

1. Place in your information

All you need to have to do is form in your location, date variety and how lots of folks – if any – are coming with you. Following that, you have the choice of refining your search by selecting your preferred pace and telling the virtual robot a tiny much more about how you like to travel.

As you can see, I went with a fairly laidback vibe. I did tick “fast-paced” but that is much more to test what the tool is capable of than an correct reflection of how I like to travel in reality. It is all about becoming present rather than spending your time with your eyes glued to a watch.

two. Refine your final results

Alright, moment of truth! When my itinerary very first arrived it currently seemed fairly fascinating. Death Valley, Yosemite – the planner had surely understood how I like to travel. But as a very first-time visitor to California I’d almost certainly underestimated how badly I’d want to see some of the globe well-known, on-the-beaten path destinations.

A California road trip without having a evening in San Francisco? I do not feel so. I got rid of San Simeon, Jenner, Fort Bragg and Carmel and rather added San Francisco, Major Sur and 3 nights in Los Angeles. Am I becoming standard? Wait, do not inform me.

Two Week California Road Trip Itinerary

Regardless of me adding much more “mainstream” destinations to my agenda, the planner kept its recommendations mountain and beach focused just like I told it to. The web-site has improved listening capabilities than most folks I know, myself integrated. You can access the complete itinerary here but for now right here are the highlights.

Death Valley National Park (1 evening)

Death Valley, in spite of its morbid name, is a good spot to kick off our epic road trip! It is identified for becoming the house of Badwater Basin’s salt flats, North America’s lowest point. But it is also a dark sky reserve with fantastic stargazing situations for all my fellow romantics.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (two nights)

Towering trees, much more than two hundred bird species and marble caves… if you love becoming out in nature you will really like this spot. The national parks lie amidst the Sierra Nevada Mountain Variety. 1 of the peaks, Mt Whitney, stands an impressive 14,491 feet tall, which tends to make it one particular of the most significant mountains in the United States.

  • Roaring River Falls
  • Zumwalt Meadow Trail

Yosemite National Park (two nights)

About four million folks pay a visit to Yosemite National Park each and every year, so it is not precisely a hidden gem. But do not create it off just due to the fact you will not be admiring it in solitude. If the amazing landscape is not adequate to sway you possibly the park’s Hollywood credentials will – it was made use of as a filming place for Star Trek V, The Final of the Mohicans and Maverick.

  • Glacier Point
  • 4 Mile Trail

San Francisco (two nights)

There’s a lot much more to San Francisco than the iconic Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz. Irrespective of whether you want to get lost in an urban jungle or escape into nature, Planet of the Apes style, the city’s got your back. I’m specifically interested in the old college cable vehicles, Painted Ladies and hippie neighbourhood of Haight-Ashbury. Oh, and Silicon Valley!

  • Rockaway Beach
  • Fort Funston National Park

Major Sur (two nights)

1 of the most unforgettable drives – not just in the US but anyplace in the globe – Major Sur ought to not be left off any California road trip itinerary. There are lots of areas along the way I’d really like to pay a visit to, which includes San Luis Obispo and the Barbie-doll-property Madonna Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Hearst Castle.

  • Partington Cove
  • Point Sur State Historic Park

Los Angeles (three nights)

Irrespective of whether you want to spot the wealthy and well-known in Hollywood, play in the surf at Malibu or shop on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, there’s no spot like LA. What I really like about the City of Angels is its proximity to good hiking trails. The best way to finish our nature-filled road trip about the Golden State!

  • Santa Monica Mountains
  • Zuma Beach

Win £200 With A Comment!

I’ve shared my dream vacation – now I want to hear about yours! For a likelihood to win a £200 vacation voucher, all you have to do is comment under. Just use the trip planner to place collectively a journey to your 5 favourite US destinations and inform me a tiny about it.

You can also share this contest on social media making use of #WanderlustWish for some additional really like. I’m accepting entries till November five, 2018 at 23:59 UK time.

Disclaimer: This post was brought to you in conjunction with VisitTheUSA but all thoughts are my personal. All pictures of California are royalty-no cost and courtesy of



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