Coastal California Road Trip

This article may contain referral links. Read our DISCLOSURE

A coastal California road trip is one of the ultimate U.S. boomer travel destinations, especially if you’re zipping around in a sports car. Are you interested in driving north through Big Sur, Monterey, San Francisco and Mendocino before turning east to Sonoma wine country?

Perhaps a Southern California coastal road trip is calling your name. No worries, we have ideas for both!

Boomer Travel Tip

Be sure to come back often as we continue to add new road trip articles. Or subscribe to the Road Trip Newsletter to be the first to know!

Coastal California Road Trip itineraries

Discover bed and breakfasts, fine dining and wildlife watching on fun California coast road trip itineraries that will get your motor started. We’re sharing articles from our own experiences as well as those of guest writers who are experts in California travel.

Northern California coastal trip

We like to start our northern California itinerary in Paso Robles. After tasting the wine and exploring western heritage, we head over to the coast to visit seals, admire Big Sur views and enjoy lovely Monterey before zipping through San Francisco. After admiring more coastal views, we’ll stop in quaint Mendocino before turning east for more wine tasting in Sonoma.

Steinbeck Vineyards and Winery

Take a Crash Course in Grape Growing

On a baby boomer trip to California wine country, it’s easy to discover the nuances of wine making during a visit to a tasting room. Winemakers love to talk about their wines. But what about the grapes? How often do you walk through a vineyard to learn the intricacies and challenges of growing grapes? Why […]

Read More >
horses-barn-paso-robles-california

Learning to Drive a Stagecoach in Paso Robles

The vehicle creaked and swayed. I grabbed a leather handle to keep my balance as we veered around a sharp curve. Alan, riding shotgun, called down from above, “Are you okay?” What kind of baby boomer adventure is this? Why, we’re experiencing the old west on a stagecoach ride at Harris Stage Lines in Paso […]

Read More >
A row of sour beer at Libertine Brewing Co.

Where to Be Wined and Dined in San Luis Obispo County

We recently showed you how to travel through Champagne Country, but if you’re looking for a tasty refreshment state side, we’ve got you covered there as well. Guest contributor, Susan Guillory from The Unexplorer, recently took a trip through California and is here with some recommendations on experiencing the best wineries in San Luis Obispo […]

Read More >
Ragged Point Inn

Ragged Point Inn: Rooms With a View on the Big Sur Coast

Driving California’s Big Sur coast from Cambria to Carmel, baby boomer road trippers won’t find accommodations with a finer view than at Ragged Point Inn. Although the rooms are not the most luxurious in this isolated portion of central California, the cliff-side location more than makes up for the nondescript decor. And the restaurant serves […]

Read More >
elephant-seal-california-big-sur

Saturday’s scene: I’m So Sleepy

Baby boomer photographers will have their pick of elephant seal models on the beach at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal colony near San Simeon, California. I captured this sleepy fellow while on last spring’s California coastal sports car road trip. Are you planning to travel on Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast this summer? […]

Read More >
Mill Rose Inn, Half Moon Bay, California

Mill Rose Inn: A Boomer Gardener’s Dream Come True

Are you a baby boomer gardener whose thoughts of blooming flowers and bountiful landscape never end, even on vacation? Spend a couple of nights at Mill Rose Inn at Half Moon Bay, California, and all of your boomer gardening dreams will come true. Alan and I discovered Mill Rose Inn during a coastal California sports […]

Read More >
nancy-brown-horseback-riding-ca

California Horseback Riding Recommendations for Road Tripping Baby Boomers

Baby boomers, as you know, Alan and I will soon be traveling on a coastal California sports car road trip. Since we’re always on the lookout for active baby boomer travel adventures, we asked travel expert, Nancy D. Brown of Writing Horseback to suggest a couple of California horseback riding adventures for the trip. Thanks […]

Read More >
Golden Gate Bridge

Exploring San Francisco Like a Local

I always appreciate advice from a local when planning a boomer trip. In today’s guest post, San Francisco resident Steve Juba offers tips for visiting “The City by the Bay.” If you’re a boomer who has never been to San Francisco, now is the time to visit. My thriving hometown offers some of the best […]

Read More >
Alcatraz Island

Exploring the Mysteries of Alcatraz Prison

Although we normally prefer to venture out to off-the-beaten-path destinations whenever possible, we’re not above seeing the main sites of a city. It’s true that San Francisco abounds with incredible experiences, including an Alcatraz Prison tour. A trip to this beautiful California city isn’t complete without exploring the mysterious Alcatraz prison. Noel Morata, from Travel […]

Read More >
Sea Rock Inn in Mendocino, California

Hospitality With a View At Sea Rock Inn

On visits to the northern California coast, you’ve probably noticed the cottage-type accommodations in seaside villages like Elk, Little River and Mendocino. They remind me of the motor courts my family used to visit in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee or in the golden days of Daytona Beach, Florida (perhaps olden days is a […]

Read More >
bedroom-farmhouse-inn

Luxury on the Farm in Sonoma’s Wine Country

Are you looking for luxury in Sonoma’s wine country? What about a romantic getaway? There’s no shortage of upscale boutique hotels and resorts in one of California’s prime wine destinations. When your car motors by The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Forestville, you might dismiss the understated farm-to-table property as not luxurious enough. Stop! Don’t drive another mile […]

Read More >
Fort Ross State Park

Off the Wine Trail in Sonoma County

Traveling on a Coastal California road trip is one of our favorite memories—the scenery—the food—the wine—it’s all good. But what if you’re not a wine lover? Will you find enough to do when your road trip reaches Sonoma County?  Today’s guest writer and photographer, Noel Morata from behind Travel, says “absolutely” if you follow his advice for going off […]

Read More >

Boomer Travel Tip

Looking for a place to stay? Start your search for hotels in California with us.

Southern California roadtripping

Although more congested, Highway 1 on the Souther California coast is still worth exploring. Check out our roadtripping ideas from San Diego to Santa Barbara and beyond.

Golf-course-at-Grand-Del-Mar

Romantic San Diego

In most parts of the U.S., baby boomers are waiting for winter’s freezing temperatures to end. I’m dreaming of a romantic weekend at the beach. How about you? In today’s guest post, Billie Frank of Santa Fe Travelers suggests a romantic weekend in Grand Del Mar Resort, San Diego . Sometimes when you live in […]

Read More >
Rancho Bernardo Luxury Resort

Enjoy a Fall Getaway at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Fall is the perfect time of year to take a romantic weekend getaway, but if you’re looking for sun-filled break before winter hits, it can be challenging to find just the right destination. However, California is always a good idea and our guest contributor, Jacqueline Louie, is taking us to beautiful San Diego for a […]

Read More >
spring-road-trip-point-mugu

Enjoy a Southern California Spring Road Trip With Our Tips

Are you tired of being cooped up in the house? In many parts of the U.S., it’s been a rough winter. Right now, all I’m thinking about is a spring road trip. If you need a winter weather break sooner rather than later, here’s a Southern California spring road trip to satisfy your need for […]

Read More >
sea kayaking near Santa Barbara, CA

Sea Kayaking at Refugio State Park

Would you  like to include sea kayaking on your boomer travel adventures? My one and only experience was in a tandem sea kayak with Alan on the calm waters of Wyndham Bay in Southeastern Alaska. That is, until Toyota U.S.A. invited me to go sea kayaking at Refugio State Park while on a glamping tour to […]

Read More >
Wine Valley Inn

Road-tripping to Solvang

A scenic drive, a little wine, a quaint inn, interesting dining options — now you know my ingredients for a successful baby boomer road trip. For a quick California get-away, start in Los Angeles, drive along the coast through Malibu to Santa Barbara, then turn right towards the Santa Ynez Valley and the Danish-inspired town […]

Read More >
Wine Valley Inn in Solvang, CA

Wine Valley Inn & Cottages: a Charming Stay in Solvang

On a coastal California road trip that doubled as a multi-generational birthday celebration for my mother-in-law, Alan headed the car inland to the wine country of the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara and the Danish-inspired town of Solvang. Our accommodations at the Wine Valley Inn & Cottages proved to be the perfect setting for this road trip to Solvang. Situated on Copenhagen Drive, […]

Read More >

Don’t forget to sign up for our Road Trip Newsletter for the best road trip itineraries, interesting destinations, valuable tips and road trip gear. Subscribe by clicking here.