Cruising California: Discovering the Golden State by Car

Explore breathtaking beaches, cinematic cities, and world-famous Wine Country in one (or several) road trips.

There are very few places in the world where you can ski in the morning, surf in the afternoon, and shop and dine in the evening. But for millions of citizens and visitors, California is that place. And perhaps the best way to discover it all is from behind the wheel of your favorite vehicle.

California Bridge

Hit the road for an array of iconic Californian experiences including winding coastal drives in Big Sur, countryside escapes in Wine Country, celebrity sightings in Hollywood and Los Angeles, and history and culture in The San Francisco Bay Area.

With 164,000 square miles, California not only offers the cultural and cosmopolitan activities found in its major cities, but across its varying geographic landscape that dominates two-thirds of the country’s Pacific Coast, it boasts snowcapped mountains, sun-drenched beaches, cactus-studded deserts, and over 800 miles of world-famous coast, providing the perfect outdoor activity opportunities for everyone.

Explore California

Home to more national parks than any other state with nine in total including some of the country’s most famous including Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Joshua Tree, Redwoods, and Death Valley, outdoor and nature lovers will lose themselves in the scenic landscape iconic to the American West.

Montage Healdsburg

Not into the outdoors? Hop in the car and head out to visit California’s world-renowned Wine Country. Budding sommeliers will love trips to Sonoma County and Napa Valley where Carneros Resort & Spa offers a quintessential California country escape, while Montage Healdsburg offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in five-star amenities and mouthwatering haute cuisine while being surrounded by the state’s agricultural and viticultural heartland.

Golf lovers can cruise themselves to an array of exceptional resorts featuring championship courses, including The Lodge at Pebble Beach™, while Families can journey further south and opt for a star-studded stay in Beverly Hills, or seek adventure and entertainment at one of the many area theme parks. Couples will love sunny romantic retreats from Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego to Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach.

Shutters on the Beach

For a purely coastal adventure, embark on a weeklong road trip along California’s famed Highway 1. Start in Los Angeles with a night in Bevery Hills before moving on to Santa Monica for a night at the oceanfront Shutters on the Beach or Hotel Casa del Mar. After that, head north to Santa Barbara for a visit to the architecturally awesome Hotel Californian, before hitting the coastal highway heading toward Big Sur and the spectacular Post Ranch Inn.

After a long day of hairpin turns along coastal clifftops, finish your trip across the bay from San Francisco at either the all-inclusive The Clement Palo Alto or at historic Cavallo Point with its Golden Gate Bridge views before leaving California's golden glow for a return home with a suitcase full of fine wines, movie star autographs, seashells, National Park maps, and plenty of memories. Find your next California destination and embark on your California Dream with these other great hotels and resorts throughout the Golden State.