8 West Coast Road Trips You Can’t Miss [Slideshow]

If you’re looking to take an epic road trip, pack your bags and head west. With majestic mountain ranges, rustic villages and ocean views, a trip out west will satisfy every traveler. Here’s a look at eight of the best road trips on the west coast.

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To get a more detailed itinerary for each trip, check out the details below. No matter what west coast vacation you choose, make sure you’re road tripping safely.

San Diego, Calif., to La Bufadora, Mexico

Duration: Weekend trip

Start your trip at the San Diego Zoo and head south along Baja’s sea-cliff coast, Route 1D. Visit a fishing village or two before arriving in Ensenada two hours later. Spend a lazy day at Estero Beach, eat some fish tacos and enjoy a little nightlife. Travel 30 minutes the next morning from Ensenada to La Bufadora, where cute shops line the street and a marine geyser shoots salt water into the sky.

Sonoma to Calistoga, Calif.

Duration: Day trip

Wine country in California is picturesque, historic and has the perfect weather to grow award-winning grapes that create amazing wines. Travel California State Route 29 and visit the 100-year-old Inglenook winery, the St. Clement Vineyards inside its Victorian house, the Italian-style Castello di Amorosa winery and the Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves. It’s a little over an hour without stops.

Tour wisely. Have a designated driver.

Pismo Beach to Los Angeles

Duration: Weekend trip

Visit Pismo Beach, a flashback to classic California with its ocean dunes and an entertaining boardwalk and pier. Head towards Malibu, take a tour of celebrity homes and set your GPS for Los Angeles. Once in LA, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Universal Studios or browse the expensive shops on Rodeo Drive.

San Francisco to Big Sur, Calif.

Duration: Weekend trip

Spend the day in San Francisco. Take a trolley ride, see Lombard Street with its eight hairpin turns and grab some seafood. Travel the breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway in the morning to Big Sur. Spend time on Pfeiffer Beach or hike the Partington Cove Trail. Spend the night under the stars at Kirk Creek, situated on a bluff overlooking the ocean.

Glacier National Park to Yellowstone

Duration: One week

It might not be along the coast but a road trip from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone is a must-drive western trip. Start in Glacier National Park, traveling the Going-to-The-Sun Road where bighorn sheep and mountain goats dot the mountains. Hike the 11-mile Highline Trail and make the 6.5-hour trek south to Yellowstone. Travel the Grand Loop, which takes you to all the hotspots, including Old Faithful, a geyser that shoots 200-degree water into the air. Plan to spend multiple days at each park.

The Pacific Coast Highway

Duration: 5-7 days

Pack your bags and bring your camera for a stunning 655-mile drive along the California coast that stretches from the California/Oregon border to San Diego. Visit Golden Gate Park to see the iconic red bridge, check out the old-school boardwalk in Santa Cruz, snap photos of stunning ocean views as you enter Big Sur, see million-dollar homes in Malibu, catch a Dodgers baseball game in Los Angeles and end the trip in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

Monterey to Santa Barbara, Calif.

Duration: Weekend trip

If you don’t want to travel the entire Pacific Coast Highway, travel the 250-mile stretch between Monterey and Santa Barbara. Spend a little time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and head over the Bixby Bridge, an old must-photograph bridge, into Big Sur. Visit Stearns Wharf for lunch in Santa Barbara, play a round of golf or visit the Museum of Art.

Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Duration: 3-4 days

Start your morning at Los Angeles’s famed Griffith Park Observatory for a panorama of the city and views of the Hollywood sign. Spend your afternoon at Disneyland in Anaheim about 35 miles away. Head an hour east to the Mojave National Preserve. Rent an SUV to drive unique trails inside the park. Tour an old mine, walk through a lava tube and camp in Caruthers Canyon, a shaded spot with primitive campgrounds. Pack up and head for Las Vegas. Catch a Cirque du Soleil show, gamble a bit and walk through “Old Vegas” on Fremont Street to complete your trip.

Road Trip Confidently

Whether you spend time on sandy beaches, in forests or at coastal cities, a west coast road trip won’t disappoint. Of course, it’s always a good idea to invest in travel insurance. See how Nationwide Travel Insurance can protect you on the road this summer, or anytime you travel.