19 Must-See Stops On Your Road Trip From Seattle Through California

Whether you reside in Seattle or are visiting it, these road trips from Seattle to California can give you memories that you will cherish for life. 

There’s something special about a road trip. Maybe it’s the freedom of the open road or the chance to explore new places. Whatever the reason, a road trip can be a great way to see more of the country.

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What should I see on a road trip from Seattle to California?

There are some amazing road trips, including Deat Valley National Park, San Francisco Cable Cars, Santa Monica Pier & Pacific Park, Big Sur, Big Bear Lake, and Mono Lake & Mono County, etc., from Seattle to California that you can enjoy alone or with your loved ones.

So, if you’re looking for an exciting road trip to take this summer, you should definitely consider driving from Seattle to California. There are plenty of things to see and do along the way, and the journey itself is sure to be an adventure.

I went through a huge number of comments and reviews on the internet about all the road trips that go from Seattle to California before finalizing the list below.

Road Trips From Seattle To California

Sequoia National Park

After leaving Seattle, your first stop on your road trip from Seattle to California will be Sequoia National Park. This park is home to some of the largest trees in the world, and it’s definitely worth a visit!

When you enter the park, you’ll be awestruck by the sight of the massive sequoia trees. These giants can reach heights of over 300 feet (91 meters), and they are simply breathtaking. You’ll want to spend some time walking around and admiring these natural wonders.

There are plenty of hiking trails in Sequoia National Park, so make sure to pack your hiking shoes. One popular trail is the Congress Trail, which takes you past some of the largest sequoia trees in the park.

If you’re looking for a challenge, you can try your hand at climbing one of the sequoias. It’s not as difficult as it looks, and it’s definitely an experience you won’t forget!

After spending some time in Sequoia National Park, your next stop on your road trip from Seattle to California will be Yosemite National Park. This park is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in all of California.

You’ll definitely want to spend some time hiking and exploring all that Yosemite has to offer. There are tons of trails to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.

And, of course, no visit to Yosemite would be complete without a stop at the iconic Half Dome. This massive granite rock is one of the most popular attractions in the park, and it’s definitely worth a hike to the top!

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Griffith Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. Situated on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, the Observatory offers stunning views of the cityscape below. Visitors can also explore the many exhibits inside, which detail the history and science of astronomy.

The Griffith Observatory is a must-see for anyone visiting Los Angeles. Its unique location and rich history make it an iconic destination that is sure to delight all who visit. Soak in the sensational views of the cityscape below, and don’t forget to explore the fascinating exhibits inside. You’ll be amazed at what you discover!

Pier 39

Pier 39 is one of the most popular tourist destinations in San Francisco. It is located on the waterfront in the Fisherman’s Wharf area and is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and attractions.

One of the most popular attractions at Pier 39 is the Sea Lion Center, where visitors can learn about these fascinating animals and even watch them up close.

Whether you’re looking to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, or just take in the sights, Pier 39 is a must-visit destination on any trip to San Francisco.

San Diego Old Town And Balboa Park

San Diego’s Old Town and Balboa Park are two of the most popular tourist destinations in California. Old Town is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and historical sites, while Balboa Park is a large urban park that features a zoo, museums, and gardens.

If you’re planning a road trip from Seattle to San Diego, be sure to include a stop at these two iconic attractions. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Old Town and Balboa Park.

Old Town

San Diego’s Old Town is a must-see for any visitor to the city. This vibrant district is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and historic sites. Plus, it’s just a short drive from downtown San Diego.

The best way to experience Old Town is by taking a walking tour. This way, you can explore the area at your own pace and learn about its history and culture from a local guide.

There are several companies that offer walking tours of Old Town, but we recommend Old Town Trolley Tours. Their tour includes stops at all of the major attractions in the area, including the Whaley House (said to be one of the most haunted houses in America), Heritage Park, and the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

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Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a large urban park in San Diego that features a zoo, museums, and gardens. It’s also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

The park is a great place to spend a day or two, especially if you have kids. There’s so much to see and do that you could easily spend a whole week here and still not see everything.

Some of the highlights of Balboa Park include the San Diego Zoo, the Museum of Man, the Timken Museum of Art, and the Botanical Building.

If you’re short on time, we recommend taking a tour of the park. This way, you can hit all of the major attractions in one go.

Old Town Trolley Tours offers a tour of Balboa Park that includes stops at all of the major attractions. The tour lasts about 2 hours and also includes a visit to the San Diego Zoo.

Mono Lake & Mono County

Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline lake in Mono County, California. It is one of the oldest lakes in North America and has an unusually high concentration of minerals. The lake is also home to a number of brine shrimp and alkali flies, which are the main food source for the millions of migrating birds that visit the lake each year.

Mono County is located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains and includes the towns of Mammoth Lakes, Lee Vining, and Bridgeport. The county is home to a number of interesting geological features, including hot springs, volcanoes, and glaciers. Mono County is also a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing.

Route 66

Route 66 is one of the most iconic roads in America. The 2,448-mile long highway stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles and has been immortalized in pop culture. A road trip down Route 66 is a truly unique experience and one that every American should have at least once in their lifetime.

If you’re planning a road trip down Route 66, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First of all, the journey will take some time – plan on at least two weeks if you want to do it justice. Secondly, make sure your vehicle is in good shape – this is not a trip for a rental car! Thirdly, be prepared for some changes in scenery and weather – the route passes through eight different states, each with its own unique landscape.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the ride! Route 66 is full of history and fascinating roadside attractions. Take your time, stop often, and soak up all that this great road has to offer.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of the western United States. The lake straddles the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. With a surface area of about 193 square miles, it is the largest alpine lake in North America.

The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is renowned for its clear water and scenic beauty. It is a popular tourist destination for both skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer.

The Sierra Nevada mountain range stretches for over 400 miles from north to south and contains some of the tallest mountains in North America, including Mount Whitney (the tallest peak in the contiguous United States). The range also includes Lake Tahoe, which is the largest alpine lake in North America.

The Sierra Nevada is home to a diverse range of plant and animal life, including many endangered species. The region is also popular for its many recreational opportunities, such as hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing.

Asilomar State Beach

If you’re planning a road trip from Seattle to California, one of the places you’ll definitely want to include on your itinerary is Asilomar State Beach. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, this beach is known for its dramatic coastline and beautiful scenery. Here’s what you need to know about visiting Asilomar State Beach.

Getting There

Asilomar State Beach is located just off Highway 1, about two hours south of San Francisco. If you’re coming from Seattle, you’ll take I-5 south to I-205 east, then I-580 west to I-5 south again. From there, it’s a straight shot down I-5 until you reach Highway 1. Take a right on Highway 1 and follow it until you reach the beach.

When to Visit

The best time to visit Asilomar State Beach is between May and September when the weather is warm and dry. However, if you’re willing to brave the cold, the beach is also beautiful in the wintertime. Just be sure to dress warmly!

What to Do

There’s plenty to do at Asilomar State Beach, no matter what time of year you visit. In the summer, you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and picnicking. The beach is also a popular spot for fishing, both from the shore and from boats. And, of course, don’t forget to take a walk or a hike along the dramatic coastline.

In the winter, you can still enjoy all of the above activities, though you’ll need to bundle up! The beach is also a popular spot for birdwatching in the winter months, as many migratory birds stop here on their journey south.

No matter when you visit, Asilomar State Beach is sure to impress. So add it to your road trip itinerary and enjoy exploring this beautiful California beach!

Temecula, Riverside County

When planning a road trip from Seattle to California, be sure to add Temecula, Riverside County, to your list of stops. This beautiful region is known for its stunning scenery, great wines, and friendly people. Here’s what you need to know about making the most of your visit to Temecula.

Temecula is located in Southern California’s Riverside County, about an hour north of San Diego.

The region is renowned for its picturesque vineyards and wineries, which make up a large part of the local economy. In addition to wine tasting, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding through the scenic countryside. There are also several golf courses in the area if that’s your thing.

When it comes to accommodation, Temecula has plenty of options to suit all budgets. If you’re looking for something luxurious, the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is a great choice. For something more affordable, try the Best Western PLUS Temecula Wine Country Hotel & Suites.

No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to love in Temecula, Riverside County. So start planning your road trip today!

Big Bear Lake

If you’re planning a road trip from Seattle to California, one destination you might want to consider is Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino County. This beautiful lake is surrounded by mountains and forests, making it a perfect place to enjoy nature. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, including hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating. And in the evening, you can relax by the fire and enjoy the stars.

Yosemite National Park

Every year, millions of people visit Yosemite to see its majestic waterfalls, towering sequoias, and other natural wonders.

If you’re planning a road trip from Seattle to California, a stop at Yosemite is a must! Here are some things to know before you go:

Getting There

The easiest way to get to Yosemite from Seattle is to fly into Sacramento International Airport (SMF) and then drive about 3 hours east. You can also fly to Oakland International Airport (OAK) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO), but those airports are further away from the park.

If you’re driving from Seattle, the trip will take about 24 hours. Be sure to take breaks often and stay overnight in a hotel or motel along the way.

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When to Go

The best time to visit Yosemite is in the summer when the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also the busiest time of year at the park, so be prepared for crowds. If you can, try to visit during the shoulder season (May-June or September-October), when the weather is still pleasant, but there are fewer people.

What to Do

There’s no shortage of things to do at Yosemite! Some of the most popular activities include hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, and rock climbing. There are also plenty of ranger-led programs and educational workshops to participate in.

No matter what you do, be sure to take some time to admire Yosemite’s stunning scenery. Make sure to snap some photos of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Falls – you’ll want to remember your trip forever!

Big Sur

If you’re looking for an amazing road trip destination, then you can’t go wrong with Big Sur.

Located on California’s Central Coast, Big Sur is one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in the state. The region is known for its amazing coastline, crashing waves, and towering cliffs. Inland, you’ll find towering redwoods, hidden waterfalls, and quaint small towns. There’s truly something for everyone in Big Sur.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous hike or a relaxing beach day, you’ll find it all in Big Sur. So pack your bags and hit the road – you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Santa Monica Pier & Pacific Park

If you’re looking for a fun-filled road trip from Seattle to California, then look no further than the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, this iconic destination is known for its beautiful beaches, great food, and endless entertainment.

The Santa Monica Pier is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. Built in 1909, the pier is home to a number of shops, restaurants, and attractions, including the world-famous Pacific Park amusement park. Visitors can also enjoy stunning views of the Santa Monica coastline from the pier.

Pacific Park is located on the Santa Monica Pier and is one of the most popular amusement parks in Los Angeles. The park features a variety of rides and attractions, including a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a carousel. Visitors can also enjoy views of the Santa Monica coastline from the top of the Ferris wheel.

Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on the beach or enjoy some thrills at an amusement park, the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park are sure to provide you with an unforgettable road trip experience.

Redwoods State Park, Humboldt County

Redwoods State Park, located in Humboldt County, California, is one of the most popular destinations for road trips from Seattle. The park is home to the world’s tallest tree species, the Coastal Redwoods, and also features a number of hiking trails and scenic drives. Visitors can experience the majesty of the redwoods up close by taking a walk through one of the many old-growth forests in the park or by riding the historic logging train. There are also a number of campgrounds and lodges located within the park, making it an ideal destination for a weekend getaway.

Alcatraz, San Francisco

Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, about 1.5 miles offshore from the city of San Francisco. The island is best known as the site of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, which was operational until 1963. Now, the island is a popular tourist destination, with over a million visitors each year.

Alcatraz was first discovered by Spanish explorers in 1775, who named it “Isla de los Alcatraces” (Island of the Pelicans). The island was later occupied by the United States military during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. In 1859, Alcatraz became part of the newly created state of California.

The first prison on Alcatraz opened in 1934. The prison was designed to house the most dangerous criminals in the country. Alcatraz became known as “The Rock” due to its isolation from the mainland.

The prison closed in 1963 due to high costs and deteriorating conditions. The island was then occupied by Native American protesters for 19 months before being designated as a national recreation area in 1972.

Today, visitors can take tours of the island and the former prison facilities. The island is also home to a variety of birds and other wildlife.

San Francisco Cable Cars

San Francisco Cable Cars are a unique and essential part of the city. These cars have been in operation since 1873 and are still carrying passengers around the hilly streets of San Francisco today.

Cable cars are powered by a system of underground cables, which pull the cars up and down the hills. The cars are operated by gripmen, who control the speed and braking of the car using a large lever.

There are three main lines that operate in San Francisco: The Powell-Hyde line, the Powell-Mason line, and the California Street line. The Powell-Hyde line is the most popular with tourists, as it takes passengers to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.

If you’re planning a road trip from Seattle to California, be sure to add a ride on a San Francisco Cable Car to your list of things to do!

Marin County, Muir Woods

Marin County is a county located in the U.S. state of California. The Muir Woods Park lies within Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais State Park. The park contains about 240 acres (97 ha) of old-growth forest and is one of the few remaining examples of an old-growth redwood forest in the San Francisco Bay Area. The main part of Muir Woods Park is accessible by foot from a parking lot on Muir Woods Road; a shuttle bus also runs from the nearby town of Mill Valley during peak visiting hours. The park includes a number of hiking trails, including the Dipsea Trail to Stinson Beach. It is also home to several endangered species, including the marbled murrelet and the coho salmon.

Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium, located in Los Angeles, is one of the most popular destinations for baseball fans living in Seattle. The stadium is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball. Fans from all over the world come to see the Dodgers play at their home field.

The stadium was originally built in 1962 and has undergone several renovations since then. It is currently the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, behind only Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Dodger Stadium has a capacity of 56,000 people and is known for its beautiful views of downtown Los Angeles.

The Dodgers are a storied franchise with a rich history. They have won six World Series titles and 22 National League pennants. They have also produced some of the greatest players in baseball history, such as Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, and Vin Scully.

If you’re a Seattleite who loves baseball, a road trip to Dodger Stadium is a must. It’s a unique experience that you’ll never forget.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. Every year, millions of people visit Death Valley to experience its unique landscape and incredible scenery.

Death Valley is located in the Mojave Desert of California and is famous for being one of the hottest places on Earth. The average temperature in Death Valley is a scorching 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius)! However, despite its hot temperatures, Death Valley is actually a great place to visit all year round.

There are many things to see and do in Death Valley National Park. Visitors can explore the park’s vast desert landscapes, hike through canyons and mountains, drive through scenic roads, or take part in ranger-led programs.

No matter what you do, a visit to Death Valley National Park is sure to be an unforgettable experience. So, if you’re ever in the area, be sure to add Death Valley to your list of places to see!