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Top 5 places to go on a LA to San Francisco road trip

Have you ever dreamed of a family road trip from LA to San Francisco up or down Highway 1? Are you going soon and need top tips of where's best to go, look no further...

We went on a family trip in a RV (recreational vehicle) in 2013, my husband and two teenage stepsons and a little bean (we didn't know at the time), maybe I would of thought again about the rollercoasters, cocktails and oysters...

The trip was was super fun and a great adventure!

Here are my Top 5 places to go on a LA to San Francisco road trip


1. Universal Studios:

Universal Studios 2013

A happy day at Universal Studios, Billy just had news he passed all his GCSE’s, amazingly! The park is brilliant fun, the Simpson ride is great and Jurassic Park is genius, we went on 5 times and The Universal tour is very amusing. It's a must place to visit with or without kids! It's a total blast!! And now there's a Harry Potter ride, woo hoo!

2. Madonna Inn:

Mrs Madonna at Madonna Inn 2013

Madonna Inn is a must stay if you love all things kitsch, off Highway One, inland a bit. Mrs Madonna the designer, the late Mr Madonna the builder, have created this wonderful hotel. We stayed in the water wheel room with working wheel and green glitter wallpaper. All the rooms are individually designed. One can spend hours on the website looking at all the crazy designs. We had the good fortune to meet Mrs Madonna when we brought her book, she was a lovely lady. She recommended staying at Christmas because they really go to town with the decor. I can’t even image the dining room, on a down day was so over the top with huge pink flowers and pink leather booths, the mind boggles. The boys loved it so mach they wanted to stay for the rest of the trip! We had a magical time for 1 night.

3. California coastal towns

California Camping 2013

Santa Barbara. Love this town, lots of cool shops and bars, I can imagine living there. There’s a huge homeless community, I don’t blame people for moving there, is so warm and pleasant. We met a funny guy in the carpark with his van he’d covered in loads of figures he’d found, it was his home and very cosy. There's a great vehicle restaurant at the end of the pier Santa Barbara Shellfish Company Their chowder was the best!

Cambria. A sweet town with a lovely seafood restaurant, The Sea Chest A cosy restaurant serving delicious oysters and seafood. We liked it so much we brought the mug.

Santa Cruz. This cool little town has a lovely seafront with loads of rides and rollercoasters and bright colours. The town has a retro feel, great for photos, we had a lovely time.

4. Hearst Castle:

The Big Sur 2013

High above the Big Sur, Hearst Castle is quite bonkers and steeped in history. William Randolph Hearst was the Rupert Murdock of the day, early 20th century. He owned loads of newspapers and early studios, he inspired the main character in Citizen Kane and was very cross about it. He built a castle to entertain all the celebrities from Hollywood, importing historical European artefacts and art to adorn his home, it’s now ‘a museum like no other' The long dining room has only 26 seats, if you were in favour and new, you’d sit in the middle next to Rudolph. If you were on your way out you were at the end of the table near the huge, roaring fire. 'The Hot Seat', coined my a Marx Brother, because it meant you were about to get the chop, your time was up and had to leave for another star to arrive. There's bungalows on the property for guests and a huge Roman inspired outside swimming pool, you can just image Charlie Chaplin entertaining whilst you sip a cooling sea breeze. The opulent indoor pool is beautiful and can vision magical midnight swims. The tennis court looks like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. If you're passing stop by to marvel at the decadence.

5. San Francisco!

View from Alcatraz 2013

Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, lots of seafood restaurants and seals. We took a ferry over to Alcatraz, the old prison on an island off of San Francisco Bay, very interesting history and great photo opportunities. From Fishermans Wharf, trams ride up the hill, join the queue, well worth the wait, it was thrilling.

There are so many things to do, this list are my top favourites.

The Travelling Goffey’s of 2013 went from Las Vegas to San Fran via Joshua Tree over 3 weeks in a RV stopping from time to time staying in hotels. Future posts Top 5 Las Vegas - LA and Top 5 things to do in the Joshua Tree area, we loved it there.

Hope this post inspires you on your next adventure.

Thank you for reading and if you'd like more please join Club Cazza for updates and more.

Love love love,


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