In the summer of 2011 after camp, my boyfriend, a friend and myself rented a car in LA and drove just under 3000 miles in 2 weeks. It was one of the best road trips ever.
Our road trip around the west coast of America
We rented our car from Advantage after a lot of research we found this to be the cheapest place, being English and under 25 was not going to make this cheap anyway. So after paying $960 we left with a BRAND NEW Chevy Cruz.
We had spent 2 weeks planning this trip and our final plan meant we would leave LA and drive north up the coast of California. But we left a day earlier than planned and the first night we were left driving around trying to find a store to buy a tent from and searching for somewhere that had spaces. After asking several people including some guys getting high on the side of the road, we thought we were doomed. But then with a bit of luck we knocked on the door of a caravan in this one park, and he kindly said we could pitch our tent on his spot if we left early! So our first night we spent in Ventura by the beach.
We headed north from here and after the problems of the first night we took to ringing ahead or getting to places early enough to find a space to camp! Heading through Santa Barbara, Shell Beach and in to Big Sur. Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway was beautiful, but scary. You are on the edge of the cliff, rock fall warning signs everywhere. This is one place you do the 30mph speed limit. After a drive through beautiful Big Sur, looking at the waterfall and a night in a lovely riverside campground we headed on. Bixby Bridge, Capitola and Santa Cruz where we stayed at New Brighton State Beach Park. We explore Santa Cruz and planed to surf…but there was no swell, so we just enjoy the sun and had a bbq dinner.
The next day we carried on North, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica – where there is finally surf, then SAN FRANCISCO. We had reservations at Adelaide Hostel – a great place to stay. Parking the car in a car garage for a few days we explored this city on foot and I really fell in Love with it. The only negative of this stay was our visit to the Golden Gate Bridge as it was cloudy and we didn’t see a thing.
From here we head inland on HWY 120, to Yosemite National Park, BEAUTIFUL. We drove through the park and down in to the valley, set up tent in the Upper Pines campsite and explored the park. There’s waterfalls, rocks, forest fires, mirror lakes and a park full of bears. It’s peaceful and oh I wish we had spent more than one night there. With bear tight boxes and everything locked away we survived the night, and next morning I took to the wheel as we headed out of the park and on to Death Valley [Read More Here]. The views are stunning and the temperature is insane, we reached 123 degrees freight at one point. This day we drive for over 8 hours and by the evening we have reached Nevada and stay in a roadside motel in Indian Springs.
The next few days passed in a blur we crossed Nevada and headed into Arizona, we stayed at the south rim campsite of the Grand Canyon and watched sunset & sunrise [Read More Here]. We drove through monument valley and that oh so iconic vista, we trekked all the way out to Four Corners – what a waste of time and gas but we did get to see the very dried up Colorado River. It felt like we have been in the middle of nowhere forever and that night we stayed in another motel in Tuba City. Where there’s some time zone confusion. The next day we headed to Page and Lake Powell this is the first time I felt we were back to civilization. Lake Powell is breath taking, we camped on the beach there and relaxed for the day.
Our next stop was Las Vegas, there we spent two nights in the Monte Carlos hotel and just enjoyed the madness of the city. It’s so different to any where I have ever been, I’m not the biggest fan. But we have some fun and by the time we left I was glad we came here, just so I could say I’ve been to Vegas.
Lastly we headed back to LA and drove along the historic route 66. Through the Mojave Dessert and to the same hotel as we started in. This enabled us to be able to walk back after we dropped the car off – which all went smoothly, thank goodness.
In two weeks we visited more States than some Americans visit their entire lives. It was an incredible road trip and one I would love to do again.