road trip graphic final california

California, USA: Road Trip

California, USA: Road Trip

California Road Trip map

Below is a quick road trip we took while traveling from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles in one day. These are my recommendations for food, sites, hidden gems, and the best photo opportunities in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles.

Santa Barbara, CA

  • Food: The Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach (on Arroyo Burro Beach)
  • Sites:
    • Stearns Wharf
    • West Beach
    • Arroyo Burro Beach
    • Moreton Bay fig tree
    • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
    • Old Mission Santa Barbara
  • Hidden Gem: Moreton Bay fig tree
  • Can’t miss photo ops:
    • Misty morning shots of the seaside bluffs on Arroyo Burro Beach
    • Standing under the Moreton Bay fig tree
    • Sunsets and sunrises on West Beach
West Beach by Stearns Wharf

Santa Monica, CA

  • Food: Pizza and wine at North Italia
  • Sites: Santa Monica Pier
  • Can’t miss photo ops:
    • Standing under the Route 66 trail ends sign
    • Photo from the top of the Pacific wheel at Pacific Park
Route 66 trail ends sign! If you’ve read my other posts you know how I feel about Route 66.

Los Angeles, CA

  • Food: In-N-Out Burger
  • Sites:
    • TCL Chinese Theater
    • Hollywood Walk of Fame
    • The Huntington
    • Griffith Observatory
  • Hidden Gem: The Huntington – think botanical gardens, museums, and libraries on one campus
  • Can’t miss photo ops:
    • Posing by your favorite stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
    • The views from Griffith Observatory
TCL Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood walk of fame.

What site on this road trip would you be most excited to see? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Happy travels,


You might also like:

CALIFORNIA: Travel Journal

ROUTE 66, USA: Road Trip

SANTA BARBARA, CA: Arroyo Burro Beach Tips

SANTA BARBARA, CA: Moreton Bay Fig Tree

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