Your Ultimate Guide to a Scenic Southern California Road Trip

The California coast is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. From golden sand beaches to stunning rock formations, there are endless beautiful sights along our state’s 840-mile-long coast. Want to experience all that the West Coast has to offer? Instead of settling for one city on the map, plan a Southern California road trip! This way, you can visit all the most popular places along the way. Read on for more information on where to stop on your California road trip with Newport Beach as the final destination! 

When you’re ready to start planning your journey along the coast, get your copy of our free Newport Beach Vacation Guide. This planning tool is filled with local recommendations on what to do in SoCal, specifically in the Orange County area! 

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5 Places You Need to Stop on Your Southern California Road Trip

1. Big Sur 

Begin your Southern California road trip at Big Sur. This area between Carmel and San Simeon is a great starting point for your journey! Sandwiched between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, there are beautiful views at every turn of State Route 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, that runs through Big Sur. It takes about two hours to drive through the area, however, we recommend making a day trip out of the drive by stopping at the best attractions in Big Sur! 

2. Los Angeles  

After visiting Big Sur, make continue down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. This bustling city is home to rich arts and culture and is a great place to grab dinner and stay overnight on your way to Newport Beach. 

3. Irvine 

After spending the night in Los Angeles, hit the road to continue your journey along the Southern California coast. Make Irvine, CA, your next stop! It’s about an hour from LA and only 20 minutes from Newport Beach, so it’s a great place to stop one last time before arriving at your destination.  

4. San Diego 

So far, we’ve outlined a Southern California road trip for those traveling from North to South. For those traveling from South to North, San Diego is a great starting point for your road trip. I-5 is the primary highway that you will drive on from San Diego to Newport Beach. If you want to make the most of your drive, take a detour on the Pacific Coast Highway from Dana Point up through Laguna Beach. The views are fantastic, and it only adds about 20 to 30 minutes to your journey. 

5. Newport Beach 


Make Newport Beach the final stop on your Southern California road trip. Our city in Orange County boasts golden sand beaches, impressive waves, global cuisine, and more! Stay near all the best activities in a rental with Burr White Realty. We offer more than 100 Newport Beach vacation rentals for any style and budget. From rooftop patios to oceanfront views, our homes allow guests to enjoy the best aspects of the Southern California Coast!  

Browse a full inventory of our Newport Beach vacation rentals to start planning your California road trip!