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The 5 Most Scenic Drives in California

    3 minute read

    People who fly into California cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego and then fly out again are missing out on one of the Golden State’s major advantages: thousands of miles of scenic drives. No matter what your road-trip preferences are, California has a scenic drive that will satisfy your itchy travel feet.

    Here are the top five scenic drives in the state:

    Name: Big Sur Coastal Drive

    Length: 137 miles

    Directions: Highway 1 between Monterey and San Luis Obispo

    big sur californiaAbout the drive: Expect curvy roads, high cliff-top views, and dozens of great bridges. There are plenty of side trips and places to stop. Jack’s Peak Road takes you to hiking trails and forest lands. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve features tide pools and rock formations for walkers and an underwater ecological reserve for swimmers. There are plenty of beaches where you can relax or swim; and you can’t forget to visit the iconic Point Sur State Historic Park and Lighthouse.




    Name: Feather River Scenic Byway

    Length: 344 miles

    Directions: Gold Lake Highway, County Road 324, and Highways 20, 36, 49, 70, and 89.

    Feather River californiaAbout the drive: It’s not a straight shot, so be prepared for some backtracking. But it’ll be worth it when you see the granite gorge, tunnels, lakes, and quaint towns along the way. Lake Oroville State Recreation Area is a great place for Feather River water activities, and you can always opt for the picturesque charm of Lake Tahoe. Or explore gold mining towns near the Yuba River down south before heading north to Lassen Volcanic National park.








    Name: Death Valley Scenic Byway

    Length: 130 miles

    Directions: Highway 190

    Death Valley, CaliforniaAbout the drive: If you do it in summertime, expect it to be hot, perhaps even 120 degrees or more. Start at the western tip of the route at Olancha, and then climb up the Argus Range until you reach Aguereberry Point at over 6,400 feet elevation. Then descend down to a salty lake that’s 179 feet below sea level. Along the way, you’ll see grand desert vistas, mineral coloration, and natural springs — and when you’re done, you’re not that far from Las Vegas.








    Name: Joshua Tree Journey

    Length: 89 miles

    Directions: Highway 68 and assorted side roads

    joshua tree, californiaAbout the drive: If you’re heading on a cross-country road trip along I-10, this is a scenic loop that’s well worth your time. The Twenty-nine Palms Highway at Palm Springs takes you into Joshua Tree National Park. You may see wildlife at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve if you stop for some hikes along the way. You’ll definitely be treated to different types of cactus, impressive granite rock formations, and breathtaking views from the Little San Bernardino Mountains.





    Name: San Luis Obispo Wine Trail

    Length: 33 miles

    Directions: Orcutt Drive to Lopez Road east, then backtrack west along Lopez to Huasana Road and Corbett Canyon Road before reconnecting with Orcutt via Biddle Ranch Road.

    San Luis Obispo, californiaAbout the drive: Obviously, this route encourages stops along some of the region’s quaintest and most beautiful wineries. Start in San Luis Obispo and head south through rolling hills. Then relax at Lopez Lake County Park, the trail’s easternmost point, for fishing, hiking, or bird watching. Feel free to linger at wineries — just be sure to have a designated driver!

    Of course, to experience these fabulous scenic drives, you’ll need current auto insurance. So before you plan your trip, contact Auto Insurance Specialists to get an affordable policy that suits your needs.

    Image credits: (#1), (#2, #4, #5), Yahoo! (#3)

    The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. Auto Insurance Specialists, LLC makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.