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North America Road Trippin

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

There’s a certain mystique about hitting the open road. The charming notion of packing your bags and departing into the great unknown is a well-loved form of travel for many reasons. The spontaneity, the romance of freedom, the wind whipping through your hair, the ultimate optimistic desire to just explore. A road trip is just as romantic as it is classic.

California’s iconic sunshine, endless outdoor experiences and ever-changing landscapes is a dream come true. For the road tripping Dame Traveler, we’re here to declare that we believe The Golden State is the ultimate road trip destination.

So, pack your bags and sunglasses, roll the top down and let’s explore one of our favorite California road trip routes! Additionally, we love this collection of itineraries and photo diaries. Or for the most book loving traveler, check out this 50 Amazing Road Trips guide. It’s the perfect coffee table book to sift through!

Highway 1 From San Francisco To San Diego

The most classic of road trip routes – Highway 1 – is beloved for good reason. The iconic stops along this approximate 5 day, 583 mile stretch is the perfect itinerary for the California new-by or aficionado, alike. Think beach-y coastlines, surf culture, rugged mountains, wine country and some of the hippest West Coast cities all rolled up into one trip! Although you could probably squeeze this route into four days if you wanted, we’d suggest spreading it out a little more so you have more time to enjoy and explore outside of your car.

Day 1 – San Francisco​​​​​​​

Start your California road trip of a lifetime in San Francisco. Famous for its many rolling hills, delicious eateries, progressive, trendy neighborhoods, the City by the Bay is an ultimate must-see while exploring Cali.

Some of our must see stops? The Golden Gate Bridge (of course), Alcatraz Island, Presidio neighborhood, Mission Dolores Park district, and the Ferry Building Marketplace. You can read more of our San Francisco favorites here!​​​​​​​

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

Day 2 – Big Sur & Moro Bay

California’s iconic coastline, Big Sur, awaits road trippers with open arms. After a long stretch of driving north, you’ll be ready to hit the trails for a little bit. Luckily, this 90 mile long waterfront area is stocked with magical red wood forests and fog-laden beaches. (Be sure to stop at Bixby Bridge for a serious photo op!)

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.
Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.
Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.
Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

After enjoying some of the state’s epic natural wonders, hop in the car just a big longer and explore Moro Bay. It’s the perfect place for whale watching, noshing on some fresh sea food and exploring the “Gibraltar of the Pacific.”

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

Day 3 – Santa Barbara

Have a day to yourself in “The American Riviera” – simply because Santa Barbara’s architecture, temperate climate and big city treats can’t be overlooked. Santa Barbara is the quintessential dream come true for sun-lovers. So, if you’re a road tripper who needs some TL-Vitamin C therapy, this city is definitely a must stop destination on your trip.

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

Day 4 – Los Angeles

Of course, no quintessential California road trip would miss out on a day trip to the glamorous and cinematic Los Angeles. Famous for its film industry, you might see a celebrity or two if you’re lucky. Visit the beloved Walk Of Fame, Rodeo Drive, and the Griffith Observatory. But LA’s differing neighborhoods are really where it’s at – hipster Silver Lake, beachy Santa Monica, quieter Manhattan Beach, green Los Feliz, and swanky Beverly Hills (to name a few). Pick a couple that suits your travel style and explore… just be sure to plan ahead for lots of traffic!

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

P.S. If you’d like to extend your road trip a little longer, add a day in California’s wine country! And fear not. You don’t necessarily have to be a wine aficionado (although if you are, we have a list of destinations to add to your bucket list) to appreciate its beauty.

Day 5 – San Diego

End your journey in one of California’s waterfront charmer – San Diego! Enjoy the cities seemingly endless sunshine while you explore its charming neighborhoods like Little Italy, the East Village, North Park and Balboa Park (for a trip to see the beloved San Diego Zoo).

If you’d rather finish your road trip with a low key vibe, roll out a towel on the beach’s shoreline. Rent a paddle board or kayak, surf, or kick it with a fresh picnic. Ocean Beach, Mission Beach or Pacific Beach are great choices! Feeling a little more adventurous? Go check out La Jolla nearby or explore San Diego’s incredible shopping and sip on some of its up and coming craft breweries.

Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.
Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.
Is California The Ultimate Place For A Road Trip? We Think Yes.

A Road Trip For All Types Of Travelers

Highway 1 really offers a varied glimpse at California’s wonders, doesn’t it? It’s a beloved stretch for wanderers for a reason. One of the things that really makes California unique is that its history and varied environments offers something special for everyone. Desert oddities? Check. Star-gazing and ghost towns? Check. National parks? Check. The eclectic adventurer will be delighted by its variety of road trip stops and itineraries.


California dreaming yet? Hope to see you out there on the open road, Dame Travelers!

Post sponsored by Visit California

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. All opinions are my own.

Insider Tips Road Trippin Tech

We Discovered The Airbnb Of Cars – TravelCar

Travel – it’s dreamy, it’s life changing, but as you well know, there are a lot of steps involved before collecting another passport stamp or posting your beachfront photo onto Instagram! With the headaches of the knitty-gritty details, it’s good to know that there are travel startups that are set on easing the exhausted traveler’s mind (and pocket). AirBnb reinvented travel accommodations… and now TravelCar is reinventing airport parking and vehicle rentals.

The young, conscious traveler like you and I have been quick to adopt sharing housing, bikes, and (it’s official) car sharing… especially when it negates all the expenses of maneuvering around airport shuttles, booking private transfers and busses. Spending less on transportation and more on the experiences on your bucket list? Yeah, count me in.

I love the local to local connection that many new travel companies are building their missions upon, like AirBnb. I love the community it provides, the local driven experiences it opens up to foreign travelers and the unique housing it provides. And I just really love the idea of having that same choice for cars! The typical AirBnb user is a unique type of adventurer… they want to see the world while also getting in touch with its locals as much as possible. I guess the same would be for TravelCar. Renters for this company are ones that believe in experiencing the most special and unique sites off the beaten path and recommended by locals, and they’re also willing to provide the same flexible transportation option to others.

When planning my upcoming adventures in the English countryside, I asked myself exactly how I wanted to travel between two very small towns. Knowing that there basically were limitless gorgeous vistas, quaint villages and castles scattered between the two destinations, I realized that my options for truly experiencing the rural countryside were few and far between. Although I worried about having to drive on the left hand side of the road (I seriously don’t know how you Brits do it!), I knew that my eyes and memories were going to thank me for choosing to rent a car, as opposed to booking a bus or train. Being able to make my own itinerary, pull off on the side of the road when I fancied to photograph something, and take little scenic routes is something I’m looking forward to most! Booking a car provides the flexibility I crave… what about you?

TravelCar’s mission is simple – park your car for free at the airport after you agree to rent out your car to another verified TravelCar client. You earn money for every mile driven and are given protection of $1 million liability insurance if your car is rented while you travel. Or if it’s not, you’ll still get free parking. (And before you get worried about your precious four wheeled baby, just know that the company has a TrustPilot score of 9.4!) Or, if you’d rather not share your car, you can still park with TravelCar and receive the lowest airport parking rates guaranteed.

Long story short, TravelCar’s free airport parking provides the opportunity to earn money while “parking” your car at the airport for free. Oh, and you can also rent other TravelCars at your destination for a super steal and even add GPS and car seats for your little ones!

Perhaps something that sweetens the deal even more is TravelCar’s re-use of a existing cars, which means they’re also helping the planet and allowing us the ability to travel more eco-consciously. Become more aware of ways to travel more green and eco friendly is oh so our thing! Sound something up your alley too? Use our link and be sure to use the code DAME5 for a 5% discount! Happy exploring!

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Food Hotels Insider Tips North America Road Trippin

Southern USA Road Trip

When I think about discovering new places and experiencing new cultures I tend to automatically picture traveling outside of the United States. I think of long haul flights to far off destinations. Yet recently, I came to the realization that those experiences and places exist in my own country. As a result, I made a goal of exploring more of my own country. When it came to deciding where to go, I couldn’t think of anything better than a Southern USA road trip.

Talk about new experiences and cultures! The South is known for its mouthwatering cuisine, its exciting live music, and its charming people. My trip through the South quickly taught me that you don’t always have to take a long flight to discover new places and to experience new things.

The Route:

Start: Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville to Memphis: 3hr. 14min

Memphis to Natchez, Mississippi: 4hr. 37min

Natchez to New Orleans, Louisiana: 3hr. 5min

Nashville, Tennessee
To start our Southern road trip we flew into Nashville, Tennessee (aka Music City) for three nights. Where attending shows at The Grand Ole Opry House, Honky Tonkin’ to country music on Broadway Street, and mouth watering fried chicken is a way of life!

Top things to Do & See in Nashville

  • Explore the award winning Johnny Cash Museum.
  • Take a stroll along the Cumberland River.
  • Visit the Goo Goo Shop – home to the first combination candy bar ever!
  • Take a backstage tour of the famous Grand Ole Opry.
  • Honky Tonk your heart out on Broadway Street in Downtown Nashville at famous bars like Honky Tonk Central or Tootsie’s

Where to eat: 

  •  Try Hattie B’s famous Hot Chicken. The restaurant allows you to pick a level of heat that best fits your taste buds.
  • Indulge in a Southern breakfast on your way from Nashville to Memphis at The Loveless Café.  Where they live by the motto: “Home is where the biscuits are.”

Memphis, Tennessee
For our next stop on our road trip, we headed to the largest city on the Mississippi River, Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Top things to Do & See in Memphis

  • Visit the Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
  • Take a self-guided journey through Elvis Presley’s famous residence, Graceland.
  • Take a tour of Sun Studio Records, considered by many to be the most famous recording studio in the world.
  • Stroll along Beale Street in downtown Memphis.

Where to Stay:
Stay in the heart of downtown Memphis at The Peabody Memphis. Make sure to catch the famous Peabody ducks marching from the roof of the hotel to the lobby fountain for their daily visit.

Natchez, Mississippi
While on our way to New Orleans, we made a quick stop for the day in Natchez, Mississippi, the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River. Its history and charm make it a great place to stop, stretch your legs, explore and get a bite to eat.

Top things to Do & See in Natchez

  • Walk or bike the Natchez Trails to explore the city. Check out the visitor’s center for more information.
  • Stanton Hall and explore an antebellum home.

Where to eat:
For one of the best views of the mighty Mississippi river try a Po’ Boy Sandwich or Burger at Magnolia Grill.

New Orleans, Louisiana
Our Southern road trip concluded in New Orleans, Louisiana. Everyday in New Orleans is an excuse to celebrate life making the city a top destination in the USA to visit. With its live music from just about every genre, its charming architecture, and some of the most outrageous food, let’s just say our road trip ended with a huge bang!

Top things to Do & See in New Orleans

  •  Wander the streets of the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in the city.
  • On the weekends, check out art from local artisans at Frenchman Art Market.
  • Party like a local on Frenchman Street and enjoy many styles of bars and various genres of music.
  • Try a famous Hurricane drink on Bourbon Street.
  • Explore the beauty of the Garden District with its antebellum mansions, lush gardens, and Southern charm.
  • Spot alligators on a Swamp Tour.
  • Enjoy traditional Jazz music at Preservation Hall

Top 4 places to eat and drink in New Orleans

  • Best Coffee: Morning Call. Try a famous café au lait, you will not be disappointed!
  • Best Beignet: Café Du Monde.
    Tip: If you don’t want to wait in an enormous line go later on in the day. Café du Monde is open 24 hours a day in the French Market.
  • Best Brunch: Commanders Palace. Brunching’ in New Orleans is a three course meal, so make sure to go hungry! Tip: Make sure to make reservations in advance.
  • Favorite Gumbo Spot: Court of two sisters in the French Quarter. Go for a seat on their outside patio to enjoy the charming atmosphere and mouth watering gumbo!

Have you ever been on a Southern USA road trip? If so, let me know in the comments below some of your favorite stops!

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