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Sarah from Paris asked

California - 14 days itinerary on the coast?

Hello everybody, 

I am planning to do a trip in California for 14 days with my boyfriend in the end of the summer. We want to go from LA to SF by the seaside. Which places are the must-see ? What itinerary would you recommend?

Thank you, 


California (CA)   Los Angeles (California)   San Francisco (California)   Monterey (California)   Santa Barbara (California)

8 Answers
top answer by
Ben from Ithaca

Hey Sarah,

Last year I planned a Spring Break road trip from LA to SF along the Pacifc Coast Highway (PCH), and being from LA I did quite a bit of research. I've included a google maps  outlining our journey and some of our stops:

We decided to go camping along the way, so your plans/stops may ultimately differ from ours. I'd recommend spending a few days in Big Sur - It's sometimes hard to get a camping/lodging reservations so I'd recommend booking in advance. Besides Big Sur, I'd advice stopping in Pismo Beach (California), Santa Barbara, Half Moon Bay, and possibly San Luis Obispo. Additionally, the elephant seal beach in San Simeon (California)was one of my favorite small stops along the way - I full-heartedly recommend it. Feel free to message me if you have any further questions.



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answered by
Haleigh from Paris

Hi Sarah!

A perfect afternoon in LA would be stopping at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu in the morning and then heading to the Malibu Country Mart for a coffee or breakfast. Down the road in Santa Monica be sure to visit the pier where the Ferris Wheel is definitely worth riding once in your life to take in a spectacular view of the coast. I recommend lunch at The Lobster there at the pier, and then later on wine or dinner at Shutters On the Beach, one of the most beautiful hotels. Abbot Kinney is a great place to see as well if you want to get a taste of the Venice Beach lifestyle. There is great shopping and food there and it's just down the road from Santa Monica. 

Between LA and SF make sure to put plenty of time aside to explore Santa Barbara. The Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara and San Ysidro Ranch or the best places to stay, eat, and lounge. In the "Funk Zone" there is the most amazing restaurant for dinner called The Lark - Santa Barbara that is a must try. If you want to explore on foot take a walk around downtown. Not far away is the La Purisima Mission State Historic Park and Mission Rose Garden which are a beautiful place to picnic and see some of our local history. Of course when in Santa Barbara you must try the famous La Super-Rica Taqueria, which was Julia's Child's favorite restaurant in the whole world. It doesn't look like much, but the little shack on Milpas is THE PLACE to get the best mexican food of your whole life!

Further North one beautiful spot is Cambria, where you can stop into Hearst Castle which is really a trip and full of some very interesting California History. 

Hope that helps and drive safe! 

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answered by
Jeremy from Arcadia, California

I can answer specifically for LA, although I do know some parts of SF I'd recommend visiting: 

For LA, I'd recommend visiting the following places

1. Griffith Observatory (especially at night -- the view is amazing)

2. Hollywood Walk of fame (very tourist-y, but I'd still recommend it)

3. Disneyland (this is in Orange County, but still worth visiting)


5. Santa Monica Third Street Promenade (beautiful beach experience with shops etc.) 

6. Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills

7. Daikokuya (excellent Ramen [Japanese noodle] shop in Little Tokyo)

8. The Standard Downtown LA (a nice Rooftop bar with a nice view of Downtown LA)

For SF, I'd recommend Fisherman's Wharf although I don't know much other places. 

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Griffith Observatory (attraction)
  2. Hollywood Walk of fame (attraction)
  3. Disneyland (attraction)
  4. LACMA (attraction)
  5. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
  6. Rodeo Drive (neighborhood)
  7. Daikokuya (restaurant)
  8. The Standard Downtown LA (hotel)
  9. Fisherman's Wharf (attraction)
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answered by
Ralph from San Pedro, California

Manhattan Beach is a must in LA! Beaches and restaurants to die for.

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answered by
Camis from La Unión, Chile

Hi Sarah! takee highway 1 and bring some camping gear! there are so many cool places to camp along that route such as big sur. there there is one place called Fernwood Resort that i can recommend. you should give 3 days to San Francisco, then go to Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and San Diego. I would skip Los angeles since there is nothing really there except disneyland or the beach. the city itself is all spreaded out and very hard to get around if you are not from the area. Good Luck!!

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fernwood Resort (hotel)
  2. San Francisco (city)
  3. Santa Cruz (city)
  4. Monterey (city)
  5. San Luis Obispo (city)
  6. Santa Barbara (city)
  7. San Diego (city)
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answered first by
Kristal from San Francisco
There are many answers on Trippy regarding best places to go in San Francisco and LA, but a few coastal places that are definitely worth checking out are:
Santa CruzCapitola
2 weeks is plenty of time. You can do 6 days in LA, 2 days driving up the coast and 6 days in San Francisco. There is a lot to do in each city. If you are excited about hitting all the touristy landmarks and theme parks you may find you'll need a few more days in LA and if you're really into nature and exploring I would recommend spending a little more time in SF. Some highlights in and around SF are Muir Woods National MonumentGolden Gate ParkBaker BeachLands EndFerry Building MarketplaceMount TamalpaisFort Point National Historic SitePalace of Fine ArtsSan Francisco ChinatownDolores ParkTwin PeaksAngel Island and Marin Headlands.
Some highlights in and around LA are The Grove and Farmers MarketLACMARunyon Canyon ParkGetty VillaMulholland DriveThird Street PromenadeSanta Monica PierVenice Beach BoardwalkMalibuZuma BeachMarina Del Rey, theme parks (DisneylandUniversal Studios HollywoodSix Flags Magic Mountain).
For food recommendations in both LA and SF, feel free to check out some of my answers here on Trippy or go to by blog, Eat & Escape
Have a great trip!
- Kristal

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Malibu (city)
  2. Carmel (city)
  3. Monterey (city)
  4. Santa Cruz (city)
  5. Capitola (city)
  6. Muir Woods National Monument (attraction)
  7. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  8. Baker Beach (attraction)
  9. Lands End (attraction)
  10. Ferry Building Marketplace (attraction)
  11. Mount Tamalpais (attraction)
  12. Fort Point National Historic Site (attraction)
  13. Palace of Fine Arts (attraction)
  14. San Francisco Chinatown (attraction)
  15. Dolores Park (attraction)
  16. Twin Peaks (attraction)
  17. Angel Island (attraction)
  18. Marin Headlands (attraction)
  19. The Grove (attraction)
  20. Farmers Market (attraction)
  21. LACMA (attraction)
  22. Runyon Canyon Park (attraction)
  23. Getty Villa (attraction)
  24. Mulholland Drive (attraction)
  25. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
  26. Santa Monica Pier (attraction)
  27. Venice Beach Boardwalk (attraction)
  28. Malibu (city)
  29. Zuma Beach (attraction)
  30. Marina Del Rey (city)
  31. Disneyland (attraction)
  32. Universal Studios Hollywood (attraction)
  33. Six Flags Magic Mountain (restaurant)
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answered by
Alexa from Marlboro, New Jersey

spend time in SF! there is so much to do and eat! definitely check out the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building Marketplace!!!

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answered by
Andrea from Santa Monica

These are all answers for the drive up to SF from LA. 

On the way out of LA on the PCH, if you like seafood, you can stop at Neptune's Net, a landmark beachside shack where a bunch of movies (Point Break, Fast & Furious) have filmed. It's a biker bar and can get really busy so try to hit it during the day on a weekday. 

You should aim to hit Solvang in the morning as they have great Danish bakeries in this cute town.

There's Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur; grab a seat next to the window if you can and stare at the ocean. 

Definitely check out Monterey Bay Aquarium. There's also a great brewery in Monterey Bay called Cannery Row Brewing Company

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Neptune's Net (restaurant)
  2. Solvang (city)
  3. Nepenthe (restaurant)
  4. Monterey Bay Aquarium (attraction)
  5. Cannery Row Brewing Company (attraction)

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