Best Road Trips to Take From Los Angeles

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If you’re anything like me you love to take a road trip. There is something so special about driving to a fun destination with your family and friends. Living in Los Angeles is awesome because there are a lot of great road trip destinations within a reasonable driving distance. I’ve put together a list of the best road trips from Los Angeles.

I took a road trip a few years ago to visit some college friends in Monterey. While I was on my drive I had a tire blow out. And then when I was on the side of the road my engine started steaming. I was in the middle of no where in 106° heat. It was almost three hours before help arrived. This was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way. Always check out your car before you start a long drive.

Now before I go on a road trip I like to make sure that my car is in the best condition. The first thing that I do is check my oil. I like to get it changed before I take a long drive to help make sure that my car is ready for adventure.  We all know that it is important to be aware of what we put into our bodies. It is also important to be aware of what we put in our cars. I am making an effort to be sure that I am doing what I can to help my car run well.

Yesterday, I took my car into the Auto Care Center at my local Walmart. For my oil change I requested the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil which is great for cars like mine with more than 75,000 miles. The goal of this oil is to keep engines running clean and strong. Plus, Pennzoil can help clean out the sludge that other oils leave behind. Sounds like a win, win to me!

Walmart is my favorite place to go for an oil change. They have great prices which help me save money. Did you know that the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil is currently on rollback? The price is down from $39.88 to $35.88 now through September 28th. In addition to affordable prices this is an efficient experience. I have time to shop for any last minute road trip items I need while my car is begin worked on.

Find a Walmart Auto Care Center near you.

Getting your car road trip ready is very important. I also believe that picking a fabulous destination is important too. Is your family looking for a fun destination? Do you and your friends want to take a trip together? The six road trip destinations below are all road trip worthy and will not take too much time to drive there from Los Angeles.

Paris Hotel Las Vegas

 Las Vegas is one of the most popular road trip destinations to take from Los Angeles. The drive is under four hours if you don’t make any stops. My family and I have taken multiple road trips here from Los Angeles. We like to stop in Barstow for food and to fill up on gas. This city is full of things to do for all ages.

Eagle Point Grand Canyon West

Taken from the Sky Walk

The Grand Canyon is roughly a seven hour drive from Los Angeles. How far you’ll drive will depend on what part of the Grand Canyon you want to see. My Mom and I took a road trip to the West Rim because we wanted to check out the Sky Walk. The Sky Walk is a glass walkway that extends over the canyon. If you want to get more out of your road trip you can drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Then from Las Vegas drive to the Hoover Dam on your way to the Grand Canyon.

17 mile drive

Earlier this year my Mom and I took another one of our road trips from Los Angeles to Monterey. The drive to Monterey is about six hours. I attended college at California State University Monterey Bay. It is always fun to go back and visit my friends. Plus, Monterey is such a beautiful area with so much to see. For a more scenic drive I recommend taking the 101 over the 5.

golden gate bridge

San Francisco is another one of the beautiful road trips from Los Angeles that I recommend taking. My parents and I took a road trip up to San Francisco when I was starting college at CSUMB. It is a nine hour drive from Los Angeles. The view of the Golden Gate bridge is so incredible that it is worth every minute you spend driving here.

best road trips from los angeles

Lake Tahoe is such a stunning road trip destination. My friends and I planned a road trip here in college. Our trip was canceled due to icy roads. However, this is a great road trip destination when the roads are safe. This place is gorgeous year round. LA to Lake Tahoe is around an eight hour drive.



Yosemite is one of my dream road trips destinations. If you want to spend some time in the great outdoors Yosemite is the place to go. This spectacular national park is a six hour drive from Los Angeles. Who wants to take a road trip here with me?

Can you think of any other road trips from Los Angeles worth recommending? Please share your destinations in the comment section below.

my belle elle

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43 thoughts on “Best Road Trips to Take From Los Angeles

  • Ashley

    My husband and I want to road trip down to California and explore the state! Hopefully we get to do this in the next few years!

    xo Ashley

  • David @ Spiced

    I live out on the East coast, so all of these places are on my list of awesome roadtrips…particularly Yosemite and San Francisco. Thanks so much for sharing! #client

  • adriana

    I LOVE this! Cali is one of my favorite places to go and I plan on moving to SoCal in the (hopefully) near future! I need to try these! Gorgeous pics! :)

  • Carol Cassara

    I live in the Bay area and lived on the Monterey peninsula for some years. I can vouch for those trips as being way gorgeous and fun!

  • Liz Mays

    Firstly, your photos are so gorgeous! I like your tip to stop in Barstow on the way to Vegas. I need to get back out the Grand Canyon too!

  • Kathy Kenny Ngo

    We love roadtrips, specially those unplanned. It’s great to travel the world with unplanned things.

  • Elizabeth O.

    Road trips are awesome! It’s one of the best ways to bond with family or friends. I love going on road trips with my daughters, it helps us create timeless memories as well as strengthen our relationship as a family! Plus, you get to go to all these cool places too.

  • Ali

    I’ve never visited Lake Tahoe, but it looks spectacular! There are so many awesome road trips around the LA area, it’s good to know you are ready to go with Pennzoil. #client

  • Ana De- Jesus

    I have never been on a road trip before but if I ever have one LA will be top of the list, I hear it is magical .

  • Life as a Convert

    This almost makes me sad that I lived an hour north of LA and never went to any of these places. I bet they are all fun. The Grand Canyon is on our bucket list for sure.

  • Lalia Frolick

    I live in SF, but a lot of these road trips are still relevant to me. I have yet to make it to Yosemite or Lake Tahoe! But they’re both places that are on my list to hopefully visit in the next year.

  • Oksana

    The husband and I did a 10-day road trip up the coast of California for our 3-year anniversary, and my absolute favorite destination BY FAR was Big Sur! I see you’ve included Monterey, but I’m surprised Big Sur didn’t make the list!

  • Dawn McAlexander

    I am a little jealous right now. I would love to see many of the places that you have pictures of in this post. Living on the east coast, I don’t get many opportunities to head out west and see all these magnificent things.

  • Marielle Altenor

    I’ve never been to Los Angeles. I had the chance to go last year for a reunion, but I was pregnant. If I get the chance to go again I’d love to visit some of these spots and go on a road trip.

  • Eileen Kelly

    I also love Walmart for their great car upkeep. I have been fortunate to have visited all of the great places on your list…wonderful choices to visit

  • Martina Williams

    These are great suggestions! I would love to visit San Francisco but I wouldn’t say no to a trip to the Grand Canyon either.

  • Lisa Rios

    Road trips are always so much fun & we love taking our kids to make it more exciting. Oil change is a good idea for long trips & the Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle® motor oil sounds like a good stuff with great deals at Walmart!

  • Jenn

    When you go to Monterey you can drive to Santa Cruz and Capitola as well.
    From LA you can go to Santa Barbara then go up to Solvang and Pismo. They’re all beautiful places to drive to.

  • Elle Post author

    I love going to Santa Cruz when I’m in Monterey. I’ve never been to Capitola or Solvang before. Love having new places to add my to my travel lists.

  • Elle Post author

    Yes San Diego is great year round. I consider it more of a day trip since it is so close by which is why I didn’t list it as a road trip destination.

  • Jeet

    Mammoth Lakes is around 2 hours drive from Yosemite. It is extremely scenic with its beautiful lakes. Also, one can go to Lake Tahoe from Mammoth Lakes through US 395 in just 2.5 hours. This route is one of the best for driving.

  • Elle Post author

    That is great to know! I have always wanted to visit Mammoth and I think stopping there on the way to or from Yosemite or Lake Tahoe would be awesome. Thanks for sharing.