Road Trip From Florida To California: 2023 Detailed Traveling Guide

Willa Carson

October 31, 2023

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Are you planning an adventurous road trip from Florida to California ? Then, you are at the right blog post. As I have experienced traveling from Florida to California, I would share my insights with you to make sure your trip is amazing.

Continue reading and know more about the traveling time, the best restaurants to eat, 9 popular attractions, and top-rated hotels to stay in along the way. So stay with me till the end to learn everything about a successful road trip!

Road Trip From Florida To California: Time and Distance

Choosing the right road for the long journey from Florida to California is a difficult decision to make. As per my experience, going from Miami to San Diego takes more time compared to starting in Jacksonville and heading to Los Angeles. If you are thinking about distance, the shortest and best route from Florida to California is using I-40 West.

Florida to California

But, there’s a second option too which is a longer route but offers a scenic journey. You can consider taking I-75 North and then connecting to I-40 West. Moreover, when you are getting ready for a road trip , it is important to think about how much time you will spend at each stop. On average, you can expect the entire trip to take about 40-45 hours.

Jacksonville to Los Angeles

Listed below is a simple breakdown of your journey:

  • When it comes to the total distance, if you’re going from Jacksonville to Los Angeles using the I-10 road, you’ll cover approximately 2,669 miles.
  • In regular traffic, the entire journey will take around 40-42 hours.
  • If you’re planning to go from Miami to San Diego, it’s a longer trip of 3,072 miles. The total drive time will be about 45-46 hours.

Miami to San Diego

Important Considerations When Preparing for Your Road Trip

Before hitting the road, there are several important steps you should take to ensure a smooth journey. Here’s how to get ready for your road trip :

1. Prepare Your Car

It is always a good idea to have your car checked before a long tour. Many auto shops offer a thorough 21-point inspection, which includes checking things like:

Prepare Your Car

  • Engine Oil;

This helps ensure your car is in good shape for the journey. It’s best to do this about a week before your trip in case any special repairs are needed, giving the mechanic enough time to get the necessary parts.

2. Download Offline Maps

In some parts of the country, you might find yourself in remote areas with no phone signal for navigation. To prepare for this, consider downloading offline maps on apps like Google Maps for those regions. As a backup, you can also print out your southern route.

Road Trip from Florida to California. Download Offline Maps

3. Pack Food

While on the road, fast food is often the quickest option, but having some homemade food can be a nice change and a good backup. For the first day, prepare some easy-to-carry snacks, such as some rice balls.

Also, bring along a bag filled with protein bars, breakfast bars, trail mix, and more. This can help you save money because snacks at gas stations tend to be pricier than those from a grocery store.

Pack Food

4. Become a AAA Member

If you’re not already a member of AAA , consider joining it. AAA can be a lifesaver in various situations, including flat tires and dead batteries. Having it can provide peace of mind for unexpected roadside issues during your trip.

Become a AAA Member

Having Your Own Car vs Renting: Deciding How to Travel

Choosing between your own car vs renting is a tough call. I will help you explore the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed choice.

Having Your Own Car vs Renting Deciding How to Travel

First, let’s learn the advantages of driving your own car:

  • Pocket Friendly: Driving your own vehicle can be a cost-effective choice, especially for longer journeys. You avoid rental fees and only incur fuel and maintenance costs.
  • Driving Freedom: Driving your own car provides the freedom to adjust your travel plans spontaneously, making unplanned stops and itinerary changes easy.

However, there is one biggest downsides to consider when opting for a road trip in your own vehicle:

  • Bearing Maintenance Charges: Long-distance driving can take a toll on your vehicle, leading to wear and tear. You may need to cover repair and maintenance expenses during your journey.

In contrast, renting a car offers its own set of perks and conveniences. Let’s learn about them:

  • Convenience: Renting a car spares your personal vehicle from the wear and tear of a long trip. You can return the rental car when you’re done with your journey.
  • Reliability: Reputable rental companies provide well-maintained, reliable vehicles with up-to-date safety features, reducing the risk of breakdowns.
  • Latest Vehicle: Renting a car often means traveling in a newer and more comfortable vehicle that is potentially equipped with advanced amenities and technologies.

With a handful of perks, there are also drawbacks associated with renting a vehicle that should be taken into account.

  • Cost: Renting a car can be pricier than using your own vehicle, particularly for extended trips, due to rental fees, insurance, and fuel costs.
  • Limited Personalization: Rental cars may not offer the same level of personalization as your own vehicle. You might need to adjust to a different driving experience.
  • Rules and Restrictions: Renting comes with rules and restrictions, including age requirements, mileage limits, and restricted areas. These limitations may affect your travel plans and flexibility.

Best Places To Eat During Your Trip

A long trip without a delicious meal is not completed. And, that’s why I have listed some reputable options where you can enjoy your favorite food. Let’s learn more about them:

9 Top Attractions Along the Route from Florida to California Road Trip

Now, it’s time for me to show you the bigger picture of an epic road trip from Florida to California. Below I have outlined some fantastic destinations that you will encounter along the way.

1. New Orleans

New Orleans, your first pitstop, is bursting with culture. Imagine the sweet tunes of jazz and blues, the taste of mouthwatering Creole cuisine, and the dazzling Mardi Gras festivities . Dive into the city’s history as you explore the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and the St. Louis Cathedral.

As the sun sets, New Orleans comes to life with its vibrant nightlife, offering bars, clubs, and live music venues. Need a breather? Relax in City Park or the New Orleans Botanical National Park .

New Orleans

Houston, the next destination, oozes cosmopolitan charm. Explore the arts, culture, and delectable food scene. You can visit the Space Center Houston , the Museum of Fine Arts Houston , and the Houston Zoo for a dose of culture and learning.

Houston

3. San Antonio

San Antonio is steeped in history and Spanish colonial heritage. Explore the legendary Alamo and stroll along the scenic River Walk, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.

And, here’s my favorite part, If you are traveling with family, don’t miss Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Sea World San Antonio , two exciting theme parks. This attraction somehow resembles to Grand Canyon National Park quite often.

San Antonio

The next one is El Paso. You can rest in there and savor its Tex-Mex cuisine. Enchiladas, tacos, and tamales await foodies. Plus, you are surrounded by stunning desert landscapes.

El Paso

5. Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park is a natural wonderland. Admire the desert landscapes, spot over 100 bird species, and hike the trails in the Tom Mays Unit for picturesque city and mountain views. All in all, I would suggest you don’t miss out on the national park . And, if you are lucky, you can spot the beautiful mule deer.

Franklin Mountains State Park

6. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

The next stop will be Organ Mountains. You can check out the Desert Peaks National Monument , where you can enjoy breathtaking desert vistas and spot pronghorn antelope, desert bighorn sheep, and various bird species. This attraction seems much like the Petrified Forest National Park .

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

7. Saguaro National Parks

Marvel at the striking desert scenery and towering saguaro cacti in Saguaro National Park. Take a scenic drive or hike the trails for a closer look. Don’t forget to visit the Cactus National Park garden inside Saguaro National Park .

Saguaro National Parks

Phoenix beckons with its sunshine, cultural attractions, and diverse food scene. The Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum offer cultural experiences, while the city’s food scene is a fusion of New Mexico and American flavors. Golf enthusiasts will find paradise here with over 200 golf courses.

Phoenix

9. Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park , your final destination, offers a landscape like no other. Towering Joshua trees and colossal rock formations await your exploration. At night, the national parks transform into a stargazer’s paradise. Thus, this enhances park features and rock climbers will find countless routes to conquer Joshua Tree National Park or Petrified Forest if willing.

Joshua Tree National Park

Top Hotels for Your Cross-Country Road Trip

If you are embarking on a road trip from Florida to California, planning your stops and accommodations is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Here, I will highlight some of the top hotels you can consider staying at along this amazing route.

1. Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown

Starting your journey from Florida, the Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown presents itself as a convenient first stop. This hotel is known for its cleanliness, welcoming atmosphere, and friendly staff. The rooms offer ample space and comfort, ensuring a relaxing night’s rest. Moreover, the Bistro serves excellent food, making your dining experience a delight.

Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown

Learn about the timespan and location:

  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Distance from Florida: Approximately 1 hour and 31 minutes’ drive.

2. Hampton Inn & Suites Mobile-Dtwn Hist Dist

If you seek a change of scenery, consider the Hampton Inn & Suites Mobile-Dtwn Hist Dist in Mobile, Alabama. It’s a bit of a drive from Florida, but this historic hotel is well worth the visit. It is meticulously maintained, and you’ll find that every room appears newly renovated, offering spotless accommodations. The hotel’s proximity to attractions like the Soul Kitchen makes it an excellent choice.

Hampton Inn & Suites Mobile-Dtwn Hist Dist

Here’s an overview of distance and location:

  • Location: Mobile, Alabama
  • Distance from Florida: Approximately 556 miles (8 hours and 10 minutes drive).

3. NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

As you continue your journey west, you will arrive at the NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel , part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Situated in Plano, Texas, it’s a bit further of a drive from Florida, but the experience is unique. This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Legacy’s business district and offers loft-style guest rooms with custom NYLO beds, Keurig coffee makers, and soothing rainfall showers.

NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

The following list describes the location and distance:

  • Location: Plano, Texas
  • Distance from Florida: Approximately 17 hours and 25 minutes’ drive.

4. Little America Hotel, Arizona

As you approach the end of your journey, the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff , Arizona, is a splendid option. It’s a great choice for travelers interested in visiting famous landmarks and exploring its historic downtown.

Little America Hotel, Arizona

Here’s the overview of the location and distance of the last pick on my list:

  • Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Distance from Florida: Approximately 2,113 miles (about 1 day and 7 hours of non-stop driving).

Necessary Driving Tips for Your Road Trip Adventure

As you prepare for your road trip adventure, consider these additional driving tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey:

Necessary Driving Tips for Your Road Trip Adventure

  • Plan Your Route and Stops: Plot your route in advance, including rest stops, food breaks, restroom breaks, and fueling stations. Use GPS or maps to navigate, and keep a paper map as a backup in case of signal loss.
  • Get Sufficient Rest: Ensure you are well-rested before starting your journey. Fatigue is a significant cause of accidents, so make sure you’re alert.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit: Pack an emergency kit with essentials like first-aid supplies, a flashlight, blankets, and non-perishable food and water. Also, don’t forget a basic toolkit and jumper cables.
  • Share Your Itinerary: Inform a friend or family member about your travel plans, including your route, destinations, and estimated arrival times. Stay connected with someone so they can check on your progress.
  • Be Patient and Courteous: Road trips can be lengthy, so stay patient with other drivers and allow plenty of time for traffic. Use turn signals, follow road etiquette, and yield when necessary.
  • Arrange Entertainment: Bring entertainment options like music, podcasts, or audiobooks to keep yourself and your passengers engaged during the drive.
  • Take Breaks: Schedule regular breaks to stretch your legs and prevent fatigue. You can also consider resting in hotels that I shared like Hampton and NYLO etc.
  • Stay Informed About Local Regulations: Different states and regions may have varying driving rules and regulations. Stay informed and adapt your driving accordingly. I would recommend you don’t forget your driver’s license and insurance to avoid inconvenience.

How many days does it take to drive from Florida to California?

The duration of a road trip from Florida to California varies depending on your chosen route and the number of stops you plan to make. On average, it takes about 3 to 5 days to complete the journey, allowing time for sightseeing and rest along the way.

What is the best road trip route from Florida to California?

The best road trip route from Florida to California often involves major highways such as I-10 or I-40. These routes offer a balance of scenic beauty and efficient travel, with opportunities to explore interesting attractions and cities during the journey such as New Mexico.

Can tourists drive in Florida?

Yes, tourists can drive in Florida. As long as you possess a valid driver’s license, you are permitted to explore the beautiful destinations within the state. Ensure that you comply with local traffic laws and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

What should I pack for a road trip from Florida to California?

You should pack essentials including clothing suitable for varying weather conditions, toiletries, a first-aid kit, snacks, and chargers for electronic devices. Don’t forget important documents like identification, your driver’s license, and proof of insurance for the vehicle.

The final say is that a road trip from Florida to California can be very adventurous if you plan it wisely. When looking for some popular attractions to visit along the way, I would suggest New Orleans, Franklin Mountains State Park, and Phoneix.

Also, when looking for the best hotel to stay in, try the NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel. It falls almost in between both locations, making it an ideal place to stay. Make sure to carry important documents like a driver’s license and registration if you are driving your own car. Pack necessary items like a first aid kit, snacks, and toiletries.

When are you going on your next road trip? Share your plans with me in the comment section.

Happywayfarer author Willa Carson

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Bae Area and Beyond

Florida To California Road Trip (Best Cities & NPs) 2023

road trip from florida to california

Looking for the best Florida-California road trip? We got you covered! We’ve done some long-distance US road trips and while it can be really tiring, you get to see so many interesting places that you would’ve missed otherwise. 

This 11-day itinerary takes you through some of the best stops that aren’t too far of a detour from the journey. You’ll get to see cities, national parks, and more.   

Table Of Contents

Time & Distance: Florida To California Road Trip

With the following stops, it’ll take 2,636 miles (39 hours) not including the overnight stays. If you were to drive non-stop, it’ll take around 2704 miles (1 day & 16 hours).  

photo with Florida beach and Hollywood in California

11-Day Itinerary: Florida To California Road Trip

Here’s a quick preview of the 11-day trip: 

🚗 Day 1: Drive from Orlando to New Orleans

🏙️ Day 2: New Orleans

🚗 Day 3: Drive from New Orleans to Houston & explore Houston 

🚗 Day 4: Drive from Houston to San Antonio & explore San Antonio 

🚗 Day 5: Drive from San Antonio to El Paso

🌵 Day 6: Explore Frankin Mountain State Park, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and drive to Saguaro National Park

🌵 Day 7: Explore Saguaro National Park 

🚗 Day 8: Drive from Saguaro National Park to Phoenix & explore Phoenix

🚗 Day 9: Drive from Phoenix to Joshua Tree National Park & explore Joshua Tree National Park

🌵 Day 10: Explore Joshua Tree National Park 

🚗 Day 11: Drive from Joshua Tree National Park to Los Angeles

Map: Orlando, Florida To Los Angeles, California

Best Scenic Route From Florida To California

Here’s what you need to know about the best stops to take on this road trip from Orlando to Los Angeles: 

📍 Stop 1: New Orleans

New Orleans is a popular stop for road trippers traveling from Florida to California for many reasons:

⭐ Culture : New Orleans is famous for its rich cultural heritage, including its music, food, and festivals. The city is known for its jazz and blues music, as well as its Creole cuisine and Mardi Gras celebrations.

⭐ History : New Orleans is steeped in history, and there are many interesting sites to visit, such as the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and the St. Louis Cathedral.

These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s past and a chance to learn about its unique history and culture.

a night view of the French Quarter in New Orleans

⭐ Nightlife : New Orleans is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet drink or a lively party, New Orleans has something to offer after the sun goes down.

⭐ Relaxation : New Orleans is a great place to relax and recharge during a road trip. The city is known for its laid-back vibe and its many parks and gardens, such as City Park and the New Orleans Botanical Garden.

By stopping in New Orleans, you can experience the city’s rich culture, history, and nightlife, as well as take a break from the road and enjoy some much-needed relaxation  after a 9.5-hour drive from Orlando. 

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a party-goer, New Orleans has something to offer everyone.

📍 Stop 2: Houston 

Houston is known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, with a thriving arts and culture scene, a thriving food and drink culture, and plenty of shopping and entertainment options. 

the Space Center sign in Houston

It is also home to several notable museums and attractions, including the Space Center Houston, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Houston Zoo. 

📍 Stop 3: San Antonio

San Antonio is rich in history and culture, with a focus on Spanish colonial heritage. The city is most famous for The Alamo, an important landmark in the city’s history, as well as the River Walk, a network of walkways along the San Antonio River. 

view of the San Antonio Riverwalk in San Antonio

The River Walk is lined with shops, restaurants, and bars, making it a popular destination for tourists. Additionally, San Antonio is home to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Sea World San Antonio, both popular theme parks.

You can also skip either Houston or San Antonio based on your interests.

⭐ If you’re interested in arts, culture, and dining, Houston may be the right choice for you. 

⭐ If you’re interested in history, nature, and theme parks, San Antonio may be a better fit. 

📍 Stop 4: El Paso

Stay the night in El Paso. El Paso is located in the Chihuahuan Desert and surrounded by stunning mountains, including the Franklin Mountains, which are the largest sustained mountain range in Texas.

a view of the city of El Paso with the mountains in the background

Pro-Tip: El Paso is also known for its delicious food, especially its Tex-Mex cuisine. If you’re a foodie, you won’t want to miss out on the chance to try some authentic Tex-Mex dishes, such as enchiladas, tacos, and tamales.

📍 Stop 5: Franklin Mountains State Park

One of the largest urban parks in the country, Franklin Mountains State Park offers a variety of things to do: 

⭐ Admire Desert Landscapes : The park offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape, including the Franklin Mountains and the city of El Paso.

desert landscape below the Franklin Mountains

⭐ Photograph 100+ Bird Species : Franklin Mountains State Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including coyotes, mule deer, mountain lions, and 100+ species of birds. 

⭐ Hike at Tom Mays Unit : This section of the park is located on the eastern side of the Franklin Mountains and offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views of the city and the mountains.

📍 Stop 6: Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico is a unique and beautiful area that offers a variety of sights to see:

⭐ Check Out Views Of Organ Mountains : The park offers breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape and the stunning Organ Mountains which are 9,000 feet high. 

a road view of the Organ Mountains

⭐ Look for Desert Peaks, Potrillo Mountains, and Doña Ana Mountains : You can enjoy these views from scenic overlooks or by hiking along one of the park’s many trails. 

⭐ Observe Antelope & Desert Bighorn Sheep : The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including pronghorn antelope, desert bighorn sheep, and a variety of bird species. 

📍 Stop 7: Saguaro National Park

With its stunning desert landscape and towering saguaro cacti, Saguaro National Park is a must-visit destination for those traveling through southern Arizona. Here’s what the park offers: 

⭐ Drive around the Scenic Bajada Loop Drive : The drive offers breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape and the towering saguaro cacti for which the park is named.

a garden of cacti in Saguaro National Park

⭐ Hike a few trails : The park has miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy nature walks to more challenging mountain climbs. Stretch your legs with some easy hikes: 

  • Valley View Overlook Trail
  • Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • Mica View Loop Trail 
  • Garwood Trail

⭐ Pose with Cacti : The park features several cactus gardens, which have a diverse array of cacti found in the Sonoran Desert, including the towering saguaro cactus.

📍 Stop 8: Phoenix  

Phoenix is a popular destination for road trippers due to its abundant sunshine, stunning desert landscape, and wealth of attractions and activities. Here are some attractions to visit in Phoenix on your road trip:

⭐ Cultural attractions : Phoenix is home to a number of cultural attractions, including the Heard Museum, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the American Indians, and the Phoenix Art Museum, which houses an extensive collection of modern and contemporary art.

a wide view of the city of Phoenix with mountains in the background

⭐ Food : Phoenix has a vibrant and diverse food scene that reflects the city’s diverse population and its proximity to Mexico.

Southwestern cuisine, which blends Mexican and American flavors, is a popular cuisine in Phoenix. Some of the classic dishes include chimichangas, green chile pork, and Sonoran-style hot dogs.

⭐ Golf : Phoenix is a golfer’s heaven, with over 200 golf courses in the metropolitan area and some of the best courses in the country.

📍 Stop 9: Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is a unique and stunning park located in southeastern California, near the cities of Palm Springs and Twentynine Palms.

Plus there are stories about its spiritual energy within the park. Here’s why you need to stop at Joshua Tree National Park on your road trip:

⭐ Unique landscape : Joshua Tree National Park is famous for its striking and otherworldly landscape, which is characterized by towering Joshua trees and giant rock formations. You can hike, climb, or simply explore this beautiful and unique landscape.

a road view inside Joshua Tree National Park

⭐ Stargazing : This park is one of the best places in the country for stargazing, with clear and dark skies that offer an unobstructed view of the stars.

⭐ Rock climbing : Joshua Tree National Park is a renowned rock climbing destination, with hundreds of climbing routes and a variety of climbing opportunities for all levels of experience. 

Pro-Tip: The best times to visit Joshua Tree National Park are in April and November. 

Map Of Stops On Florida To California Road Trip

Why Start A Road Trip From Florida?

Florida is famous for its diverse attractions: manmade and natural. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, explore the great outdoors, or learn about Florida’s unique ecosystem, there is something for everyone in this sunny state.

While it’s known for Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios Florida, there are so many natural attractions, including:

⭐ Beaches : Florida is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, such as Clearwater Beach, Miami Beach, and Panama City Beach.

These beaches offer crystal-clear waters, soft sand, and a variety of recreational activities, such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and snorkeling.

⭐ Springs : Florida is home to more than 1,000 natural springs , including the famous Silver Springs and Ichetucknee Springs. These springs offer crystal-clear water and are popular for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and tubing.

⭐ National Parks : Florida is home to several National Parks, including the Everglades National Park and the Dry Tortugas National Park. These parks offer a diverse range of natural attractions, including wetlands, mangroves, beaches, and coral reefs.

water view in Dry Tortugas National Park

⭐ State Parks : Florida is home to several state parks, including the Bahia Honda State Park and the Anastasia State Park. These parks offer hiking, biking, and camping opportunities, as well as access to beaches, estuaries, and other natural attractions.

⭐ Wildlife : Florida is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, manatees, sea turtles, and a wide range of bird species. Many of these animals can be seen in their natural habitats in Florida’s parks and reserves.

These natural attractions, along with others, make Florida a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

What Do You Need On A Florida To California Road Trip

Here is a list of the essential items that you’ll need to bring on a road trip from Florida to California:

🧳 Navigation system : A GPS or a map can help you find your way and stay on track during your trip.

🧳 Emergency kit : A basic emergency kit should include items such as a first-aid kit, a flashlight, a spare tire, a jack, and jumper cables.

🧳 Snacks and drinks : Pack non-perishable food items, such as fruit, nuts, and granola bars, as well as bottled water and other drinks to keep you fueled on the road.

🧳 Entertainment : Consider bringing books, music, podcasts, or games to help pass the time during long drives.

a view near the car of the road with mountains in the background

🧳 Comfortable clothing : Dress in layers, as temperatures can vary greatly depending on the time of day and weather conditions.

🧳 Cash and credit cards : Make sure you have enough cash on hand to pay for meals, gas, and any unexpected expenses that may arise during your trip.

🧳 Travel documents : Be sure to bring your driver’s license, registration and insurance papers, and any other important documents with you.

🧳 Charging devices : Bring a charger for your phone, tablet, and other electronic devices, and make sure your devices are fully charged before you start your trip.

🧳 Sunscreen : Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, especially if you will be driving through sunny and warm areas.

These are just the essentials but there are more things to include. Check here for the entire packing list for California. By packing these essential items, you can ensure that your road trip from Florida to California is comfortable, safe, and enjoyable.

Flying From Florida To California 

A flight from Florida to California typically takes between 4 and 6 hours, depending on the departure city and airline. Flying is often the quickest way to travel between Florida and California, and it can be a convenient option for those who prefer not to drive.

Pro-Tip : Be sure to compare prices and flight times from multiple airlines before making a booking, and consider any additional costs, such as baggage fees or seat selection, when determining the overall cost of your flight.

When flying from Florida to California, there are several major airports to choose from. In Florida, the major airports are:

✈️ Miami International Airport (MIA)

✈️ Orlando International Airport (MCO)

✈️ Tampa International Airport (TPA) 

In California, the major airports are: 

✈️ San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

✈️ Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

✈️ Oakland International Airport (OAK)

✈️ San Jose International Airport (SJC)

✈️ San Diego International Airport (SAN)

Why Should You Drive Instead Of Flying From Florida To California

Driving from Florida to California instead of flying has several benefits, including:

😍 Scenic route : Driving allows you to enjoy the scenic beauty of the country and to stop and explore at your own pace. You can visit national parks, scenic drives, and historical landmarks along the way that you would not be able to see from the air.

a woman posing with her hands shaped to look like a heart with the mountains in the background

😍 More control : When you drive, you have more control over your schedule and can adjust your itinerary as you go. You can also make spontaneous stops at interesting places and take detours as you see fit.

😍 Cost-effective : Flying from Florida to California can be expensive, especially if you are traveling with a family or a group. Driving your own car can be a more cost-effective option, especially if you are traveling for an extended period of time.

😍 Flexibility : Driving allows you to bring along as much luggage as you need, and you can easily transport sports equipment, pets, and other items that may be difficult or expensive to transport by air.

😍 Personalization : When you drive, you have the opportunity to create your own itinerary, choose your own music, and make your road trip as personalized as you would like.

Of course, there are also some downsides to driving, such as the time and effort required to make the trip, the potential for fatigue and discomfort, and the wear and tear on your vehicle. 

However, the benefits of driving far outweigh the drawbacks, and a road trip from Florida to California is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget. 

Driving Vs Renting A Car: Pros & Cons

Driving vs. renting a car is a personal choice that depends on various factors, such as the purpose of the trip, budget, and comfort preferences. Here are some pros and cons of each option:

Driving A Car – Pros:

✔️ Cost-effective : Driving your own car can be more cost-effective than renting a car, especially for longer trips.

✔️ Comfort : Driving your own car allows you to bring along your own belongings and travel in familiar surroundings.

✔️ Flexibility : When you drive your own car, you have more flexibility to change your itinerary and make impromptu stops along the way.

Driving A Car – Cons:

❌ Wear and tear : Driving a long distance can be hard on your car, and you may have to pay for repairs and maintenance along the way.

a women with her suitcase waiting in front of a rental car

Renting A Car – Pros:

✔️ Convenient : Renting a car eliminates the need to worry about the wear and tear on your own car, and you can simply turn in the rental car at the end of the trip.

✔️ Reliable : Renting a car from a reputable company ensures that you will have a reliable vehicle that is well-maintained and equipped with the latest safety features.

✔️ Latest Vehicle : Renting a car allows you to travel in a newer, more comfortable vehicle that may be equipped with more amenities and technologies than your own car.

Renting A Car – Cons:

❌ Cost : Renting a car can be more expensive than driving your own car, especially if you are traveling for an extended period of time.

❌ Limited personalization : When you rent a car, you may not have the same level of personalization as you would in your own car, and you may have to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings.

❌ Rules and restrictions : Renting a car comes with rules and restrictions, such as age requirements, mileage limits, and restricted driving areas, that may limit your flexibility and freedom on the road.

Ultimately, the decision between driving vs. renting a car will depend on your individual needs and preferences.  

⭐ If you value convenience, comfort, and reliability, renting a car may be the better option. However, if you are looking for a more cost-effective and personalized road trip experience, driving your own car is best. ⭐

Top Driving Tips For Road Trips

a wide view of a road with mountains in the background

🚦 Follow all state laws and local traffic regulations. Make sure to follow all relevant laws and safety guidelines while driving in the city. 

🚦 Wear your seat belt at all times while driving.

🚦 Make sure to have a valid driver’s license with you when you drive, as well as auto insurance documents that show proof of coverage. 

🚦 Always use your headlights when visibility is low or during the nighttime hours.

🚦 Don’t text or talk on the phone while behind the wheel, either hand-held or hands-free devices aren’t allowed and can result in fines if you’re pulled over.

🚦 Look into road conditions ahead of time before setting out on any trips, especially during winter months when snowfall creates hazardous driving conditions for anyone unfamiliar with them. Check if it snows in your area . 

🚦 Be aware of other cars and pedestrians around you at all times; practice defensive driving techniques to help ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

🚦 Obey speed limits throughout the US; speed limits vary from place to place so pay attention to signs indicating changes.

🚦 Avoid tailgating other cars as this reduces reaction time if an emergency suddenly arises ahead. 

🚦 Make sure that your rental car is in good condition and all safety measures are properly observed before starting any journey. 

FAQs: Florida To California Road Trip

a man standing on his car with a view of the road and hills in the background

It’ll take around 2704 miles (1 day & 16 hours non-stop) but this depends on where you’re starting in Florida and ending in California. 

It takes 2,507 miles (1 day and 12 hours non-stop) to drive from Orlando to Los Angeles. With the following stops, it’ll take 2,636 miles (39 hours) not including the overnight stays. 

You drive through 8 states: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. 

The best Florida to California road trip is taking enough stops to see the best of the best in the US! Make sure to stop at the best cities and national parks on the way. 

Depending on the number of stops you take, it can take around 7-11 days from Florida to California.

The best stops on a Florida-California road trip are New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Saguaro National Park, Phoenix, and Joshua National Park. 

Final Thoughts

Here is the best 11-day itinerary from Florida to California road trip: 

While driving from Florida to California can be long, the journey is filled with adventure. Plan out your scenic stops, your rest stops, and make sure you’ve packed enough food, water, and snacks along the way. 

Want to do this trip from California to Florida instead? Here’s all you need to know about renting a car in California.

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Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shreeyeh Rajan is the founder of Bae Area and Beyond, a California blog with over 45,000 monthly readers and featured in more than 25 sites.

With a love for California that runs deep, Rasika and her husband explore the Golden State every chance they get, from the beaches in Santa Cruz to the hiking trails of Yosemite.

Through her blog, Rasika hopes to inspire readers to fall in love with California just like she did.

TripPursuit

Choosing the Best Route from Florida to California

When you are traveling from Florida to California it’s difficult to choose the best route. But it’s doable if you focus on every detail of the routes. For example, Miami to San Diago will take a longer time than Jacksonville to Los Angeles.

So, what can be the  best route from Florida to California?

Distance-wise I-40 W is the shortest and the best route from Florida to California. But, if you prefer a long and scenic ride take I-75 N and I-40 W. This combined route will take you through the Appalachian mountain and several national forests. Moreover, your starting and destination point also plays a vital role here. 

So let’s take a deep look at which route will be perfect according to your starting and destination points.

Jacksonville to Los Angele or Miami to San Diago: Why Compare?

Jacksonville to los angeles or miami to san diego: head to head, vehicle type (jeep or suv or sedan, electric or gas), total distance, weather(snow/ dry/rain), places to stay from jacksonville to los angeles, places to stay from miami to san diago, gas station frequency, travel expense, scenic and urban view through jacksonville to los angeles, scenic and urban view through miami to san diago, if something goes wrong.

  • Final Verdict - Which Route to Choose? 

What is the safest route to drive across America?

Is it cheaper to drive to florida or fly, is route 66 still drivable, closing words.

Jacksonville Florida to Los Angeles California is the most popular route while traveling from Florida to California. The total distance is 2669 miles on I-10 W. This route passes through 8 different states. 

Another way is taking I-10 W and I-20 W with a bit longer distance. The other way is from Miami, Florida to San Diago California through I-10 W. The total distance of this road will be 3072 miles.

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at how you can enjoy your I-10 road trip from Florida to California.

Let’s check out what are the key differences between these routes.

Before planning a cross-country trip don’t forget to compare the I-10 and I-40 routes . 

A Detailed Comparison of the Two Routes

Lot of things depends when choosing the best route for travel. Here are some factors that play a huge while deciding between the two routes: 

Both of these routes are great for driving in any weather condition. Roads are scenic and well-maintained. So, you can take your sedan, SUV, or jeep on the trip. Even when you are planning for a road trip from southern California to Florida.

Time to travel

When you are preparing for a road trip you should keep in mind the total time to travel. It will definitely depend on how many hours you are driving a day. And of course how much time you are spending at each stop. Generally, it will take 40-45 hours on average.

If you want to travel from Jacksonville to Los Angele taking the I-10 road will cover approx 2669 miles. The direct time for the whole journey will be around 40-42 hours in normal traffic.

road trip from florida to california

Source: pinterest.com

Then again if you are planning to take the Miami to San Diago route it will be 3072 miles. And the total drive time will be 45-46 hours.

I-10 is one of the most popular roads for people who love southern road trips. You won’t have to face too much traffic at a regular time.

The traffic on the Miami to San Diago route is also not that heavy too. But as you have to cover more cities through this route you might have to stop frequently.

I-10 W passes under the George Wallace Tunnel beneath the Mobile River. Which is one of Alabama’s few highway tunnels that pass under any mountain or river.

You have to pay tolls while going through both of these routes. 

Also, remember that the I-10 W route oftentimes gets blocked due to dirt and debris from the surrounding environment. 

SigAlert in Los Angeles. On I-5 north near I-10 W. Lane #1 is closed for an unknown duration due to rocks and dirt in roadway pic.twitter.com/5hTfFMHdwy — Southern California 511 (@Go511) May 2, 2022

Rain will be the only hurdle that you may have to face while traveling from Jacksonville to Los Angeles or Miami to San Diego. Due to the higher temperature and humidity, you don’t have to worry about snow on those routes.

So, the best time of year to drive from California to Florida is in the spring season the months of October, November, or December will also be good.

Now let’s dig into all the nitty-gritty amenities for more information!

There are plenty of places to stay along the I-10 road. As it is one of the most popular roads among travelers. 

Let’s get to know some beautiful places to stay on the I-10 route.

  • Memorial park – Jacksonville
  • Henderson beach state park – Destin
  • The other end – Destin
  • USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park – Mobile
  • The Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast – Mobile
  • Beachbum Berrys Latitude 29 – New Orleans
  • Ashton’s Bed and Breakfast – New Orleans
  • Saras Bed and Breakfast Inn – Houston
  • Casa De Suenos – Santa Teresa

You can find your comfortable one according to your budget.

You can also find plenty of places to stay during your Miami to San Diago tour. The best places are

  • Lake Buena Vista – Orlando
  • I-Drive – Orlando
  • Kissimmee – Orlando
  • Downtown Orlando – Orlando
  • Holiday Inn Express – Pensacola Beach
  • Portofino Island Resort – Pensacola Beach
  • Lajitas Golf Resort – Texas
  • Hampton Inn Alamogordo – New Mexico
  • White Sands Motel – New Mexico
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Marana – Arizona
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Tech Park – Arizona

You may choose the one that is most comfortable for you based on your budget.

While using the I-10 route from Jacksonville to Los Angele you will get frequent gas stations. But while traveling through San Antonio to El Paso is the most concerned area in this case. In this part of the route, you’ll get the least gas stations.

The route from Miami to San Diago also gives you the same gas station frequency. So, you don’t need to worry about that as well.

At current petrol rates, Florida to California road trip cost (one-way) is $537.25. You can count this amount for Jacksonville to Los Angele route. Miami to San Diago route will cost $ 50 more for the extra 300 miles. 

Jacksonville to Los Angele travel will take 3-4 days on average. If you count the minimum expense for food and shelter as $25. Then the whole expense will be around $100.

Miami to San Diago route should be covered in 4-5 days. So the whole expense will be around $125. 

Now there can be some other expenses as per your choice.    

Route Aesthetics

In both Jacksonville to Los Angele and Miami to San Diego, you will get to see some amazing views. Both of the roads will pass you through some beautiful cities and landmarks. 

road trip from florida to california

Source: kayak.com

Let’s see which road will give you the most spectacle pleasure.

 8 different states from Jacksonville to Los Angele route will give you different iconic views. Which makes the route one of the best scenic routes from Florida to California .

  • Jacksonville zoo and cummer museum of art and gardens in Florida
  • Port St. Joe, Panama City Beach, Gulf Breeze, and Pensacola beaches in Florida. 
  • Many picturesque inlets and bays dot Alabama’s coastline and lighthouses in Alabama. 
  • Gulf Coasts,  magnificent beaches, and restaurants in Mississippi. 
  • Densely constructed cities to huge plantations and marshes in Louisiana.
  • Texas offers the Chihuahuan Desert as you reach the mountainous El Paso region. 
  • Carlsbad Caverns: New Mexico’s underground national park is a place worth visiting. The Grand Circle has an abundance of national parks. You will get to see 11 different national parks here all of them are amazing.
  • Beautiful Los Angeles is full of mesmerizing beaches.

So, if you are willing to see and visit these beautiful places just take the Jacksonville to Los Angele route.

Miami to San Diago route are also great if you are planning for a long road trip. By this route, you can cover so many amazing places. 

  • Miami has fantastic beaches and all the amenities great for a night out. Little Havana, is famed for its Cuban heritage.
  • Orlando has some amazing theme parks including Disneyland and Pensacola beaches.
  • New Orleans offers you some beautiful antique architecture. 
  • When visiting Houston, the Johnson Space Center is a must-see. 
  • San Antonio is an excellent destination to go sightseeing. The river walk of San Antonio is a must.
  • Southern Texas has some amazing deserts to visit and of course, Big Bend National Park. 
  • Carlsbad Caverns and Tularosa Basin are the best places in New Mexico.
  • Now lets the step to Arizona which offers Saguaro national park.
  • San Diego is full of amazing beaches. Coronado Beach and Balboa Park can’t be missed.   

This route is definitely not going to make your journey boring. 

On both routes, you will get plenty of places to take mesmerizing pictures. There are beaches and beautiful landscapes all along the way.

But if you are a fan of antique architecture then New Orleans is a must place to visit. For that reason, you can take the  Miami to San Diago route. 

Otherwise, as both the ways cover the southern route you will almost get the same social media vibes. 

Both of these southern roads have connected some major cities on the way. And also these are connected to small towns. 

So, if there are any issues or medical emergencies you will get full support. And as most of the time you need to travel through the I-10 you should be in a safe situation. 

You know some simple family road trip hacks can make your trip better. Here are some products which are necessary for your road trip.

All these products can be really helpful in emergency and normal situations. 

Final Verdict – Which Route to Choose? 

As we are talking about the best route from Florida to California the main focus should be on I-10. The routes we have talked about are Jacksonville to Los Angeles and Miami to San Diago. And both are connected by I-10.

Jacksonville to Los Angeles is the main I-10 road which will cover less distance than Miami to San Diago. So, if you have less time in hand but want to have a nice compact road trip this route is perfect. 

And if you have plenty of time in hand then you should definitely go for Miami to San Diago route. 

But need to remember Miami to San Diago route will be more expensive than Jacksonville to Los Angeles.

San Francisco to Teaneck, New Jersey via Interstate 80. For an east-to-west road trip, route 66 may be the most iconic route. However, the I-80, which passes through 11 states is the finest interstate travel route.

When It Comes to Driving, Saving Money. For you, driving may be the most cost-effective alternative. Even driving great distances takes longer than flying. But petrol and accommodation might be less expensive than aircraft travel. 

Over 85 percent of U.S. Route 66’s original alignments are still drivable today. Because many sections of the route are two-lane highways. You should drive carefully and pay attention to the traffic signs.

This is everything you need to know if you’re choosing the best route from Florida to California . All this information will be a great aid if you’re having confusion.

Make sure to always plan your road trips ahead. Some routes are often blocked due to various reasons. So research all the possible routes and then head out. 

Happy Tripping!

About The Author

road trip from florida to california

Joseph Hollingsworth

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Southern Afro

Itineraries, Travel Tips and Tools

Most Scenic route from Florida to California

12th July 2022

southernafro

The journey from Florida to California is the ideal US road trip if you enjoy warmth, sunshine, and beautiful southern highways. You may traverse some of the most distinctive regions in the nation by this route. If you take the Most Scenic route from Florida to California, You will get to see many states. A leisurely drive can span the journey across nine days.

A road trip from Florida to California is by no means a straightforward journey. To be simple, you must travel with pals who can drive or hire some drivers. You’ll need to drive for roughly 68 hours and 13 minutes, stopping at numerous locations, but obviously, it’s less when you aren’t stopping. You can see that it won’t be easy to complete this 3843-mile road trip in these hours. Make the journey luxurious by making several stops and exploring the most beautiful highways and locations. The trip is worthwhile and regret-free!

Day 1 Stop in Cocoa, Florida

Table Of Contents

443 miles — about 8 hours, 7 minutes

If you like warm weather, ocean breezes, and soft sand on your toes — Welcome to the Florida coast! A mix of glitz, endless beaches, and nature.

Florida Wellington to Fort Pierce to Miami

1 hour 19 minutes — 69 miles

Start your journey from Wellington, Florida, driving east on the blue cypress lane. This scenic drive along Highway A1A hugs the Atlantic Coast traveling from Fort Pierce to Miami. There is so much to do and see on this 1-hour drive. The drive begins in Fort Pierce. Spending the day at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park is easy. Especially in the fall and winter, the jetty makes a great vantage point for fishing or viewing the surfers who come here for the giant waves. The Navy Seals originated in Fort Pierce. The Loxahatchee River, Florida’s first federally designated Wild and Scenic River, runs through Jonathan Dickinson State Park. One of Florida’s best rivers for canoeing and kayaking is the winding one.

As you continue south, you reach Coral Cove Park. Near the water’s edge, rocky outcrops form intriguing tunnels, arches, and shapes. A few exciting stops are nearby, roughly fifteen minutes east of US-Highway 1. Since Ponce de Leon first discovered the Jupiter Inlet in 1513, it has had a lengthy history. Returning to A1A, which is palm tree-lined, the journey continues. The A1A travels on to Miami. There are many things to do in Miami, which sparkles day and night.

Indian River Lagoon

The long, expansive Indian River Lagoon leaves a sliver of land for hundreds of miles along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. We are inevitably close to the seaside and beautiful A1A.

However, exploring the Indian River Lagoon’s other side is worthwhile. Additionally, the western coast is distinct from the beach settlements because the lagoon is large enough to preclude the construction of several bridges. You can find an Old Florida scenic route on the 20 miles linking Stuart and Fort Pierce.

Stop in Cocoa

And this marks the end of your first day. Cocoa is one of the primary cities of Florida’s Space Coast, known as the home of the famed Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station; the charming city is home to a population of approximately 17,000 residents.

Day 2 stop in Madison Florida

423 miles — about 7 hours, 59 mins

A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway

46 minutes — 43 miles

The A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway consist of three separate state scenic highways — the Scenic and Historic A1A, A1A River and Sea Trail, and A1A Ocean Shore, which link a string of stunning barrier islands. This spectacular coastal drive begins near Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, approximately 10 miles from I-95, exit 289 (Palm Coast Parkway). With year-round sunshine and the magical draw of the beach. Drive towards Panhandle and stop in Madison Florida

Day 3 Stop in Gulf Shores, AL

426 miles — about 8 hours, 3 mins

2 hours 58 minutes — 167 miles

Drive through Panhandle to Alabama Gulf Coast Drive. The allure of glistening white Appalachian quartz sands and deep emerald green waters is mesmerizing. Hugging the coastline of Escambia Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in Walton County, this drive delivers stunning scenery and friendly beach communities, each with its unique vibe. Lesser crowds, pure white sands, and southern flavor abound on the Florida panhandle’s shores.

Alabama Gulf Coast Drive

53 minutes — 57 miles

The journey begins on AL-188 in Bayou La Batre, Alabama’s seafood capital. Bayou La Batre, home to the commercial fishing and shipbuilding industries, is not entirely developed for tourists. However, it does have a few restaurants with fresh seafood and excellent boat watching. Visit Gulf Shores to round up your day 3.

Day 4 Stop in Houston TX

495 mi — about 8 hours

At the 65-acre Bellingrath Gardens and Home, something is always in bloom. Stroll through the opulent camellia, azalea, and chrysanthemum gardens along the Great Lawn. You can reach Fort Morgan after a 40-minute trip on the Mobile Bay Ferry and witness pelicans and active commercial fishing and shrimping boats along the journey. Visit the Indian and Sea Museum at Orange Beach , housed in a one-room schoolhouse. Analyze historical fishing and farming items from Orange Beach and early Native American Indian artifacts. Free admission; fewer hours available. As you approach Devil’s Backbone, halt in Houston, Texas.

Day 5 Stop in Iraan TX

480 miles — about 7 hours, 59 minutes. 

Devil’s Backbone

3 hours 4 minutes — 183 miles

On day 5, we continue the trip by traveling through Devil’s Backbone toward Davis Mountains Loop. In addition to providing spectacular views of the 400-mile-long Balcones Fault, expansive rolling hills, and winding roads, this loop drives through the eroding Edwards Plateau in the Texas Hill Country. It is also rife with ghost stories and paranormal activity of Spanish monks, Native Americans, Confederate soldiers, and other characters. From Johnson City, take US-281 south toward the Texas Hill Country. Turn left onto Farm Road 32 after passing undulating hills and ranches about three miles south of Blanco. Take the day off and visit Iraan, Texas.

Day 6 Stop in Deming

487 miles — about 8 hours 

Davis Mountains Loop

2 hours 4 minutes — 134 miles

Through Davis Mountains Loop, the arduous trip continues in the direction of Trail of the Mountain Spirits. The “Texas Alps,” an ancient volcanic playground, is traversed via this scenic loop in the Davis Mountains. The circle includes Mount Livermore, Mount Livermore’s summit, Baldy Peak, the tallest peak in the Davis range at 8,378 feet, and Fort Davis, the highest settlement in Texas. Stunning beauty is present because of dramatic elevation fluctuations, a harsh topography, and exceptionally adapted animals and plants. Prepare to drive through the Trail of the Mountain Spirits by stopping at Deming.

Day 7 Stop in Tucson, AZ

425 miles— about 8 hours, 8 minutes

Trail of the Mountain Spirits

1 hour 13 minutes — 73 miles

The first US National Forest, a historic mining village, cliff dwellings, and meandering roads with endless mountain hills are all included in this picturesque journey. From US-180, which is conveniently off I-10, or NM-152, located off I-25, you can get to Silver City. The town’s historic downtown has restaurants, hotels, antique shops, art galleries, and studios. The Western New Mexico University Museum is located on the campus of Western New Mexico University and houses one of the world’s most significant collections of Mimbres pottery.

Sky Island Scenic Byway

3 hours 22 minutes — 201 minutes

The Sky Island Scenic Byway is unavoidable. The Sky Island Scenic Byway ascends more than 6,000 feet. It passes through saguaro cactus woods in the Sonoran Desert before ending in a calm coniferous forest on the Santa Catalina Mountains. Get ready for breath-taking scenery and a difference in a climate comparable to traveling from Southern Arizona to Northern Montana. Every thousand feet above sea level is equivalent to traveling 600 miles north, providing a rare chance to experience all four seasons in one journey.

Tucson Mountain Park and Saguaro National Park

1 hour 29 minutes — 51 miles

As you are ready to stop in Tucson, Arizona, drive through Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park. This scenic trip, only 30 minutes from downtown Tucson, travels through a Saguaro cactus forest and passes in front of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, one of the best zoos in the nation. Beginning on West Gates Pass Road is the picturesque drive. Take exit 257 and proceed west on West Speedway Boulevard, which will shortly turn into West Gates Pass Road, to get there.

With its vast saguaro forest, the 20,000-acre Tucson Mountain Park is a cacti lover’s dream come true. The saguaro cactus, a symbol of the Sonoran Desert, can reach heights of 60 feet and has an average lifespan of 150 years.

Day 8 Stop in Beaumont, CA.

475 mi — about 7 hours, 59 mins

Joshua Tree Journey

5 hours 17 minutes — 342 mi

Closeby is the Rim of the World Scenic Byway. Complete the Saguaro National Park and Tucson Mountain Park before beginning your Joshua Tree Journey. The Joshua tree, representing the Mojave Desert, stands tall in an area with 7.5 inches of rain annually while enduring the intense heat and wind. The oldest tree in Joshua Tree National Park, an individual of the Yucca family with spike-like leaves, is more than 800 years old. The Mojave Desert, with its twisted, jagged Joshua trees, is where this magnificent trip begins. It then travels through the Colorado Desert in creosote bushes and cacti. As you get ready to end your journey on Day 9, stop in Beaumont.

Day 9 Stop in Beverly Hills, CA

190 miles — about 4 hours, 6 minutes

The rim of the World Scenic Byway

20 minutes — 15 miles

There are several beautiful drives in California, including this Rim of the World Scenic Byway. You can use I-15 to get to Phelan. From Phelan to Mentone, proceed through the San Bernardino Mountains, past Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead. Take the exit for CA-138 if you are approaching from the south after 129. Before beginning the drive, take a quick diversion to the Mormon Rocks by traveling west on CA-138 (H1). A 0.5-mile desert track behind the Mormon Rocks Fire Station leads to a bed of uplifted sandstone.

Beverly Hills, CA

1 hour 41 minutes — 74 miles

Congratulations, the voyage has come to an end! Your trip to Beverly Hills is guaranteed to be unforgettable because there are many things to do there. Beverly Hills offers everything from quaint neighborhood boutique hotels to opulent five-star, five-diamond sanctuaries. Enjoy world-class spa treatments and shopping along legendary Rodeo Drive. When visiting Beverly Hills, you really must stop at the visitor center. You are more than welcome to use the fantastic complimentary concierge services to organize your trip, assist you in shopping for Beverly Hills-branded goods, and more.

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roadtripfrom.com

California To Florida Road Trip

Exploring America’s Vast Beauty: A Comprehensive Guide to a California-to-Florida Road Trip

Embark on the quintessential American journey, a road trip from California to Florida. Spanning 2,706 miles and taking roughly one day and 16 hours of driving without stops, this trip promises an adventure of a lifetime with diverse landscapes and cultures. This was more than just a vacation; it was a journey across the diverse landscapes of the United States, filled with discovery and adventure.

Panoramic view showcasing a road trip from California to Florida, featuring a blend of deserts, mountains, urban skylines, and beach landscapes.

Before we could start our engines and hit the road, we had to make arrangements for our two cherished cats back home. Ensuring they were well taken care of in our absence was a priority. After securing a friendly neighbor to look after them, we were ready to begin our coast-to-coast adventure.

Our trip was meticulously planned, yet open to the spontaneous joys of travel. From exploring bustling cities and quaint towns to experiencing unique dining and charming accommodations, we were set to traverse the vastness of the country, collecting memories along the way.

Whether you’re planning a similar journey or just love to read about travel, we hope our story inspires your own adventures. Let’s hit the road together!

Table of Contents

Pre-Trip Preparations for a Coast-to-Coast Road Trip

Embarking on a coast-to-coast road trip from California to Florida is like stepping into a storybook of diverse landscapes and experiences. Here’s how to add personal touches to your journey preparations, turning the mundane into memorable:

  • Personal Vehicle Tales: Before the trip, take your car to your trusted mechanic. Reminisce about past journeys as they check your car. Maybe your car has a name and a personality, a loyal companion on many adventures. Ensure it’s in top shape with a thorough service, checking everything from oil to brakes. Pack that emergency kit, complete with stories of past mishaps it saved you from.
  • Route Mapping with a Twist: As you plot your route, remember past road trips. Maybe you’re eager to revisit a roadside diner with the best pies or a scenic overlook where you watched a breathtaking sunset. Plan your journey not just by maps, but by memories and aspirations. Keep an eye out for new places to create future stories.
  • Accommodation Adventures: Booking accommodations can be more than a logistical task. Recall that quirky motel with the neon sign or the B&B where you met fellow travelers who became friends. Seek places with character, where each stay adds a chapter to your travel story.
  • Packing with Personality: Packing isn’t just about clothes and toiletries; it’s about preparing for experiences. Maybe you have a lucky travel hat or a playlist for every mood on the road. Pack items that bring comfort and joy, like a favorite book or a camera to capture new memories.
  • Budgeting Anecdotes: While planning your budget, reminisce about past spending surprises – like that unexpected festival you stumbled upon or the souvenir shop where you found the perfect gift. Allocate funds not just for necessities, but for spontaneous adventures and little luxuries that make the trip uniquely yours.
  • Communication Kit: Your phone isn’t just a device; it’s your digital diary. Load it with apps for discovering local secrets and capturing memories. Remember to check connectivity, recalling that time you had to ask for directions the old-fashioned way.

Major Stops Along the Way – Our Hotel Experiences

As we ventured on our road trip from California to Florida, each stop brought its unique charm and comfort through the hotels we stayed at. Here’s a glimpse into our experiences at these wonderful havens:

Bu tesisin galeri resmi

  • Best Western Plus Hill House, Bakersfield: Our first stop was at this pet-friendly hotel, perfectly situated near Bakersfield’s popular attractions like Rabobank Arena. The convenience of a free continental breakfast and on-site dining options was a delightful start to our journey. The thoughtful amenities provided a comfortable and restful experience. Check it on TripAdvisor and Booking.com .
  • Little America Hotel, Arizona: Nestled a short distance from Historic Downtown Flagstaff, this hotel was a gateway to the city’s landmarks. Its proximity to popular sites made our exploration of Flagstaff both convenient and enjoyable. The serene ambiance and exceptional service added to the charm of our stay. You can check it on TripAdvisor or Booking.com .
  • Hotel Parq Central, Albuquerque: This hotel blended contemporary comfort with historic elegance brilliantly. The stylishly appointed guestrooms, outdoor dining plaza, and rooftop lounge offering panoramic views were exceptional. It was an ideal spot for both relaxation and enjoying Albuquerque’s unique landscape. Check TripAdvisor and Booking.com for more information.
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton, Amarillo Downtown: Located next to Amarillo’s Civic Center, this all-suite hotel offered a homely feel. Its proximity to restaurants and performance arts centers added to our experience. The convenience of in-suite amenities like a fridge and microwave made our stay comfortable and easy. Check it on TripAdvisor and Booking.com

NYLO Dallas Plano Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton

  • The Remington Suite Hotel & Spa, Shreveport: Staying at this luxury hotel with its traditional and elegant decor was a highlight. The full-service spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool were perfect for unwinding after a day of travel. The Premier Suite with its cozy ambiance made our stay in Shreveport memorable. Before making the reservation, we suggest you read the latest reviews on TripAdvisor and Booking.com .
  • Old Capitol Inn, Jackson: As Mississippi’s only designer boutique hotel, the Old Capitol Inn offered an exclusive experience with its twenty-four uniquely designed suites. Its ideal downtown location made exploring Jackson a breeze. You can check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com .
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Mobile-Dtwn Hist Dist, Alabama: In the heart of Historical Downtown Mobile, this hotel was a blend of convenience and elegance. The newly renovated rooms and the proximity to local attractions like Soul Kitchen enhanced our experience. Check on TripAdvisor and Booking.com .
  • Best Western Plus Tallahassee North Hotel: Our stop in Tallahassee was marked with comfort and convenience at this hotel. The proximity to local seafood restaurants and the comfort of the beds provided a much-needed rest before the final leg of our trip. Check the TripAdvisor and Booking.com pages for more information.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown: Our journey culminated in Orlando, where this hotel provided a fresh and friendly environment. The spacious rooms and excellent Bistro food were the perfect end to our road trip. Check it on TripAdvisor and Booking.com.

Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown

Culinary Delights – Savoring the Flavors of Our Journey

Our road trip from California to Florida wasn’t just a journey across states; it was a culinary adventure, exploring the diverse flavors and local cuisines of each region. Here’s a taste of the gastronomic delights we experienced along the way:

24th Street Cafe

  • 24th Street Cafe, Bakersfield: Our culinary journey began in Bakersfield with a visit to the 24th Street Cafe. Known for its home-cooked feel, the cafe offered a variety of menu items that catered to every taste. Whether it was a hearty dinner or a light snack, the 24th Street Cafe set the bar high for our road trip dining experiences. Visit the TripAdvisor or Google Maps.
  • Delhi Palace Cuisine of India, Arizona: In Flagstaff, we indulged in the aromatic flavors of Indian cuisine at Delhi Palace. The restaurant’s friendly service and a wide array of vegetarian options made it a perfect spot for a comforting meal. The rich spices and diverse menu were a testament to the culinary diversity we were to experience on our trip. check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps .
  • Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Albuquerque: As we reached Albuquerque, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen treated us to hearty portions of New Orleans-style seafood. The convivial atmosphere and variety of dishes, including steaks and salads, made our dining experience both enjoyable and memorable. For more information, you can check on TripAdvisor or Google Maps .
  • Coyote Bluff Cafe, Amarillo: Amarillo’s Coyote Bluff Cafe was a rustic and eclectic spot, famous for its excellent burgers. The unique atmosphere and custom-cooked burgers provided a delightful break from our journey, adding a touch of local Texan flavor to our trip. You can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps .

Private Dining in Dallas: Why Chamberlain's Steakhouse is the Best — Chamberlains Steakhouse

  • Crawdaddy’s Kitchen, Shreveport: Our stop in Shreveport introduced us to Crawdaddy’s Kitchen, where we savored fried catfish and angus ribeyes. The restaurant’s popularity among locals and visitors alike was evident in the quality of the food and the welcoming atmosphere. You can check the TripAdvisor or Google Maps pages of the restaurant.
  • Walker’s Drive-In, Jackson: In Jackson, Walker’s Drive-In provided an upscale experience in a casual setting. Chef Derek Emerson’s culinary specialties, featuring local ingredients and sustainable seafood, offered a unique taste of Mississippi’s vibrant food scene. Check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps .
  • Noja Fine Dining, Mobile: Noja Fine Dining in Mobile was a highlight, with its panko-crusted redfish and shrimp and scallops appetizer. The friendly staff and cozy ambiance made our dining experience feel like a family gathering. Check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps .
  • The Bada Bean: As we approached our final destination, The Bada Bean in Tallahassee provided a fantastic lunch spot. With its unusual items and great vegetarian dishes, it was a refreshing change of pace, offering a healthy yet delicious meal option. You can visit TripAdvisor and Google Maps
  • The Melting Pot, Orlando: Our culinary journey culminated in Orlando at The Melting Pot. The unique fondue experience, from the cheese starter to the chocolate dessert, was an exquisite end to our coast-to-coast gastronomic adventure. You can check it on TripAdvisor or Google Maps .

Experience Gourmet Fondue at Its Finest | The Melting Pot

Each meal on our journey was not just about sating hunger; it was an exploration of regional flavors and local hospitality. As we traveled from state to state, we realized that every dish had a story to tell, adding another layer to our unforgettable road trip.

Unforgettable Encounters – Activities and Attractions Along Our Road Trip

Journeying from California to Florida, each stop along our road trip was not just a break in our travel but an opportunity to dive into a mosaic of activities and attractions, each with its own unique charm and story.

Buck Owens' Crystal Palace

  • Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, Bakersfield, California : Our first major attraction was this iconic music venue. I remember us joking about starting a country music career after being inspired by the talent on stage. The museum filled with memorabilia added a nostalgic touch, it was a step back in musical history. You can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website .
  • Historic Downtown and Railroad District, Flagstaff, Arizona : Walking around Flagstaff’s historic downtown felt like stepping onto a movie set. We admired the hand-painted murals and chuckled at our attempts to mimic the old-timey western walk. Exploring the local shops and restaurants, we felt a connection to the town’s vibrant community. Check it on TripAdvisor or their website .
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico : This was a profound experience. The center offered a beautiful display of Pueblo culture and heritage. We were lucky to witness traditional Native American dances, which were both captivating and educational. I remember joking about how my dance moves were nothing compared to their graceful performances. You can visit TripAdvisor and the official site .

Cadillac Ranch

  • Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Plano, Texas : A peaceful escape in the middle of the city, this nature trail was a serene experience. We enjoyed the quiet walk, occasionally spotting wildlife. At one point, we humorously mistook a rustling bush for something exotic, only to find a squirrel staring back at us. You can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website .
  • Sci-Port Discovery Center, Shreveport, Louisiana : This was a delightful stop, especially with the interactive exhibits. We engaged in a playful competition on who could learn faster from the displays, turning it into a pseudo-science quiz show between us. You can check their TripAdvisor page or official website for more information.
  • Mississippi State Capitol, Jackson, Mississippi : Visiting this majestic building, we were awestruck by its architecture. The free tour was insightful, adding a touch of education to our visit. You can visit Mississippi State Capitol’s TripAdvisor page or their website .
  • USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama : Exploring the battleship was like walking through a living history book. The park also features over 25 aircraft on display, making it a popular destination for aviation fans. Check it on TripAdvisor or the official website .
  • Tallahassee Antique Car Museum, Florida : For car enthusiasts like us, this was heaven. We marveled at the antique cars and joked about trading in our road trip car for a classic model. The extensive collection left us in awe and a bit nostalgic. You can check it on TripAdvisor or the official website .
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida : The grand finale of our trip was this magical theme park. We were like kids again, exploring the rides and attractions. My husband Tolga, a huge Harry Potter fan, jokingly tried to cast spells all day, which had us laughing endlessly. We suggest you check The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando’s TripAdvisor , and the official website for more information about the place.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando

Each stop on our road trip was an adventure filled with laughter, learning, and unforgettable experiences. These attractions weren’t just places to visit; they became integral parts of our journey’s narrative, enriching our adventure with every mile.

A Look Back at Our Cross-Country Road Trip

As our epic journey from California to Florida drew to a close, it was time to reflect on the myriad of experiences that had colored our adventure. This road trip was not just a journey through various landscapes, but a journey through cultures, cuisines, and communities, each with its unique charm and story.

Recommendations:

  • Planning is Key : As outlined in our previous chapters, thorough planning played a crucial role in the success of our trip. From ensuring vehicle readiness to booking accommodations in advance, careful planning helped us avoid many potential pitfalls.
  • Stay Flexible : While planning is essential, so is flexibility. Being open to changing plans or exploring an unplanned route led us to some of our best experiences.
  • Embrace Local Experiences : We recommend immersing yourself in the local culture of the places you visit. Trying local cuisines, participating in community events, and chatting with locals enriched our understanding and appreciation of each destination.
  • Pack a Sense of Humor : Not everything will go as planned, and that’s okay. A flat tire led us to meet a helpful local mechanic who shared fascinating stories about the town’s history.
  • Document Your Journey : Whether through photos, a journal, or a blog, documenting your journey allows you to relive and share your experiences.

Our road trip was more than a journey across states; it was a journey that brought us closer together and closer to the heart of America. We laughed, we marveled, and we learned. We encourage everyone to undertake their own adventure, whether it’s a short trip to a nearby town or a cross-country expedition. Every mile holds a story waiting to be discovered, and every journey, no matter how small, has the potential to open up new horizons.

As we conclude this chapter of our travel diary, we leave you with a final thought: the road is not just a means to an end, but a path to new beginnings. So, go ahead, plan that trip, hit the road, and embrace the adventure. Happy travels!

FAQ for a California to Florida Road Trip

Q: What is the best time of year to take this road trip?

A: The best time for this road trip is typically during the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November). During these periods, you’ll encounter milder weather, less traffic, and more comfortable driving conditions. Summer can be quite hot, especially in the southern states, while winter might pose challenges with unpredictable weather.

Q: How many days should I allocate for the entire journey?

A: Ideally, allocate at least two weeks for this trip. This allows for a comfortable pace with ample time to explore the attractions and not feel rushed. If you have more time, you can extend your stay in certain locations.

Q: How much should I budget for fuel on the California to Florida road trip?

A : The budget for fuel depends on several factors including your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, the route taken, and current fuel prices. On average, you can expect to cover about 2,500 to 3,000 miles on this trip. For a car with average fuel efficiency (about 25 miles per gallon), you might use approximately 100-120 gallons of fuel. Multiply this by the current average price of gas to estimate your total fuel cost.

Q: Can this road trip be done with children or pets?

A: Absolutely! This road trip can be a fantastic adventure for families with children and pets. Just ensure that your accommodations are pet-friendly and plan for child-friendly activities and rest stops.

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Planning a US Road Trip: The Southern Route from Cali to Florida

US Road Trip: The Southern Route

A Warm, Sunny Road Trip Along US I-10

If you love warmth and sunshine, this is the perfect US road trip for you where you’ll get to see 8 different states.

i-10 mobile

  • What Can You Expect to See on a Southern Road Trip?

Sites from California to Florida Along I-10

Along this route, you will pass through the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. In California, you’ll pass through the metropolis of Los Angeles, and enter the arid desert region of Coachella Valley. Next, you’ll enter the even drier and remote areas of Arizona and New Mexico and into western Texas.

road trip from florida to california

  • Going the Road Less Traveled

What lies ahead…  off the exit ramps?

Inserting side destinations off I-10 will make or break your trip. It’s essential that you plan some fun things to do off of this main route! Think of I-10 merely as a roadway that you get back on between the really cool stuff, like the national parks, weird towns like Roswell, or the beautiful panhandle coastal cities. Plan as many destinations off I-10 as time will allow, like the Grand Canyon, a trip to Austin, Texas , a paddleboat tour of the Mississippi, or a jaunt over to historic Savannah, Georgia .

  • Los Angeles

A cultural centerpiece of the West Coast

There aren’t many areas of the world where you’ll encounter such a diverse culture as Los Angeles (okay, maybe New York). The best of everything can be found right in the city limits of LA, from restaurants to zoos, skyscrapers to mountains, busy roadways to tranquil parks.

Los Angeles skyline and San Gabriel mountains

On the northern side of LA are several famous beach communities, like Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and Malibu, while on the southern side lies Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach .

What’s Cool: A unique culture all its own, LA is made of many smaller cities that each have their own personality. Beach towns like Huntington Beach and Long Beach differ greatly from the inland parts like Hollywood and Beverly Hills, or nearby Anaheim.

  • How About Yosemite?

What’re 4 1/2 hours? That’s how long it will take to drive to Yosemite National Park from Los Angels, CA. You won’t be disappointed.

Yosemite National Park

The Crown Jewel of the Sierra Nevada There is over 3.5 million visitors yearly that come to take in the awe-inspiring panorama of Yosemite National Park. The California National Park of the High Sierras is one of the best places to camp, kayak, sig…

Yosemite National Park

Where to Stay In and Near Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of America’s premier National Parks, known for its majestic granite cliffs like Half Dome , the rushing Merced River, and the stunning valley view. Yosemite is relatively far from any major city, the closest being Fresno….

  • Not too Far Away: San Diego

Beachside paradise in Southern California

121 miles separate the two large California cities of San Diego and Los Angeles, and an easy drive south along I-5. This drive will take approximately 2-3 hours, depending on traffic. The drive down has many places to stop and enjoy the scenery, from the amazing mansions and seaside bliss of Newport Beach, the town MTV made famous, Laguna Beach, and the endless beaches of Oceanside (the half-way point between LA and San Diego).

road trip from florida to california

San Diego has many attractions to keep you occupied. On the northern side is “Old Town” San Diego, with the early settlers’ influence still ingrained in the community. Also on the northern side is La Jolla, a beautiful shorefront community with small shops and restaurants. Further south, you’ll find Sea World and the best zoo in the United States, the San Diego Zoo. Most everything can be accessed by a short walk. To the west of San Diego lies Coronado Beach, connected via the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge. Directly to the south lies Tijuana, Mexico, only a 20-minute drive and a surely unforgettable experience.

What’s Cool: San Diego Zoo is not to be missed, it’s one of the best in the world. San Diego is renowned for its excellent beaches, so take advantage. San Diego has a much different feel than LA, a more laid back approach. You’ll never be more than 5 miles from the ocean no matter where in the city you are, so the ocean is a huge part of the culture and lifestyle.

  • Headed to California?

Read this California road trip post!

California Coast Road Trip : California has some of the most famous, scenic, and fun places to visit in the USA. The proximity of the destinations in California makes sense for a road trip getaway across the state…but don’t let the number of destinations fool you! It’s still the…

Desert serenity in the Grand Canyon state

Don’t let the dry climate and openness of Arizona fool you–there’s plenty here to see. Along I-10, you’ll pass through the largest city in Arizona, Phoenix. Temperatures here regularly pass 100 daily on summer days, so be prepared! Further to the east, you’ll pass Tucson and Saguaro National Park, which is divided into two separate sections.

Route 66 Arizona

What’s Cool: Amazing towns like Sedona, relatively new desert cities like Phoenix and Tucson, National Parks like Saguaro and Grand Canyon, ghost towns like Tombstone, border towns like Nogales and Yuma, and amazing mountain scenery everywhere in the state!

  • An Essential Side Trip: The Grand Canyon

Make this stop one of your southern road trip destinations!

What road trip through Arizona would be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon ? The Grand Canyon is one of the “7 natural wonders of the world,” and if you see it in person (not from a plane), you’ll understand why.

Sightseeing Grand Canyon

  • A Fun Side Trip: Sedona

Secluded beauty in the red rock canyons of Arizona

115 miles to the north of Phoenix and 120 miles to the south of the Grand Canyon lies a town in the middle of scenic Red Rock Country called Sedona . Red rock formations tower into the air, surrounding the open, upscale desert community. Road trip lovers take note: Oak Creek Canyon, a designated “scenic highway,” is one of the most breathtaking rides in the state, if not the country, and well worth the drive.

road trip from florida to california

Sedona is home to a large, impressive art community, as well as some of the state’s well-known spas and state parks.

What’s Cool: An art community all its own, beautiful rock buttes, parks, and the alleged “energy vortex” that lies within the boundaries of the red rock area.

Much to see off the small stretch of Interstate

Only a small portion of New Mexico is on Interstate 10, however, to the north are several natural wonders like White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns, and unique modern cities like Albuquerque. Heavy Hispanic and Native American influence are felt statewide, with a cool style all its own.

New Mexico Visitors Guide

What’s Cool: Santa Fe defines the southwest. When you think of the southwest, you think Santa Fe. The unique desert experience of the city is unparalleled, with a great art community, Spanish reminiscent architecture, top-notch dining, and excellent hiking.

  • Southwestern USA

A guide to help you see EVERYTHING in this massive region of the United States

America’s Southwest includes the states of Arizona, New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, southern Utah, and the city of Las Vegas, Nevada . This varied landscape has been shaped by erosion, water, volcanic eruption, and plate shift. Hidden canyons, grasslands teeming with unique wildlife, towering buttes, and rolling mountainscapes comprise this arid region. Cities, hiking, hotels, native food, driving, parks, architecture, casinos, and culture are all thoroughly analyzed in this essential, well-received guide.

  • The Grand Circle

America’s Southwestern States

These destinations of the famed southwestern states, the Grand Circle , lie far off the Interstate, and really deserve their own separate vacation to be fully appreciated. If you have the time to kill, you can plan an excellent trip to these destinations in around 7-10 days. A nice add on to your current road trip route.

grand circle road trip

Big cities, long highways, and a one of a kind section of U.S. culture

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the long stretch of roadway between El Paso and Houston–over 900 highway exits and nearly 900 miles…that’s comparable to driving the distance from Providence, Rhode Island to Charleston, South Carolina!

Upon entering Texas and the El Paso area, the mountainous region will provide some stellar views of the Chihuahuan Desert . This course, the jagged countryside will soon become more populated upon venturing closer to the epicenter of Texas, San Antonio. This large city of 1.3 million acts as an unofficial divider between the eastern and western parts of the state.

Texas Hill Country

On the eastern side of the state, the air becomes gradually more humid as you approach the Gulf area of Houston , America’s 4th largest city.

What’s Cool: Large cities like Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso, San Antonio and Houston each have plenty of different things to do, and each has a mind of their own, While all of these cities have a Texas feel, they all have their own niche…like Austin’s music scene, or Dallas’ amusements like Sea World, or Houston’s Space Center .

The Oldest Southwest Mission is the spectacular San Xavier del Bac Mission in Arizona. Adobe brick towers into the open desert sky in this Spanish architectural gem. Amazing patios, domes, altars, chapels, towers, painted ceilings, stonework, and native cacti make this a fun trip just 10 miles south of Tucson on I-19.

  • San Antonio

Do you remember the Alamo?

At the midway point on I-10 between Florida and California (and the midway point of Texas) lies the 2nd largest city in the state, San Antonio . San Antonio’s historic Alamo was the

The oak-lined sub-city level River Walk is an important segment of San Antonio’s tourism and attractions. Here the San Antonio River winds underneath the city, with towering palm trees and oak trees lining the paved banks. Complete with pedestrian walking, fine restaurants, and fun, lively bars, the River Walk is one of the must-sees of San Antonio.

Free Things to do in San Antonio

If you’re looking for fun in the form of amusement parks, San Antonio also has its own Sea World, as well as Six Flags Fiesta Texas. San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves some of the 17th-century Spanish missions of the city, while the nearby San Antonio Botanical Garden displays beautiful plants and gardens.

Crossroads of culture in the deep South

Lousiana is a crossroads of cultures, and you can see it in its cities and towns. Varying from built-up cities to sprawling plantations and swamps, the state knows variety. It’s also one of the warmest states in the country. The humidity makes it feel even hotter…it’s about as “deep south” as you can get!

Louisiana Visitors Guide

What’ s Cool: The home of Cajun culture, this state has a blend of many influences around the globe. There’s Native American influence, old French ancestry, Creole and Southern charm, it’s unlike anywhere else in the country! Take a look at the architecture, and stop by a restaurant for some authentic Cajun cuisine for the complete experience.

  • Mississippi

Beautiful coastline in Mississippi

It’s hard to talk about the Mississippi Coast without talking about the devastation of Hurrican Katrina. The coast is beginning to rebuild, but if you’re on I-10, stop by! The areas of Gulport and Biloxi and other small towns need your business and support. New buildings and casinos have emerged from the rubble and provide excellent views of the Gulf Coast’s amazing beaches.

Mississippi Visitors Guide

What’s Cool: Beautiful coastline and the famed Mississippi River are what the state is known for. Try taking a river tour, or explore the roads along the Mississippi.

The short but sweet Alabama coast!

What’s Cool: Alabama’s coastline may look short, but it has many inlets and bays, enlarging the overall distance of shoreline. Lighthouses dot the bays leading to Mobile, making a great scenic opportunity.

road trip from florida to california

Sunshine, beaches, warmth and southern charm on the Panhandle

Florida has hundreds of destinations on the coast as well as inland Orlando, but some of the best beaches lie on the panhandle. Lesser crowds, pure white sands, and southern flavor are abounding on the shores of the Florida panhandle.

Venice Florida Golf courses

What’s Cool: Try visiting one of the many coastal panhandle towns, like Pensacola, Tallahassee, or Panama City for some of the best beaches for miles.

  • A Fun Side Trip: Georgia & South Carolina

Travel the beautiful beaches and historical towns

South Carolina and Georgia have some of the most spectacular coastlines in the country, with unspoiled beaches like Tybee Island and Hilton Head Island, and historic cities like Charleston or Savannah. Further north, the beachside town of Myrtle Beach is a favorite for those looking for a fun and relaxing atmosphere in the south.

Tybee Island travel guide

  • A Fun Side Trip: Key West

Florida’s near tropical island destination!

About a 9-hour drive south of Jacksonville is the string of islands known as the Florida Keys , and the final island of Key West . Just 90 miles from Cuba, this tropical destination is connected via bridges to the mainland of Florida. A trip over these bridges will last a lifetime…give it four hours from start to finish.

cheap honeymoon spots - key west

What’s Cool: A Caribbean-like atmosphere in the southernmost area of the United States, all without leaving the country! Guaranteed warm weather, year-round.

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Are you ready to embark on an epic adventure from the sunny shores of California to the tropical paradise of Florida? Whether you're hitting the open road solo or with a group of friends, a cross-country road trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be well-planned and celebrated. In this article, we will outline everything you need to know to plan and execute the ultimate road trip from California to Florida, from the best routes and attractions to budgeting and safety tips.

Planning your epic journey from California to Florida

The first step in planning your California to Florida road trip is figuring out your itinerary. Decide on your starting point from California and your ending point in Florida and determine how much time you have to spend on the road. If possible, break up the trip into manageable segments, allowing for rest stops and exploration along the way. Once you have a rough itinerary in place, it's time to start mapping out your route.

When mapping out your route, consider the different scenic routes and attractions you may want to visit along the way. Some popular stops include the Grand Canyon, New Orleans, and the beaches of Florida. Research the best times to visit these locations and plan your trip accordingly. Additionally, make sure to budget for gas, food, and lodging expenses. You may want to consider camping or staying in budget-friendly accommodations to save money. With careful planning and preparation, your California to Florida road trip can be an unforgettable adventure.

The best routes for a cross-country road trip

There are several routes to choose from for your California to Florida road trip, each offering its own unique landscapes and attractions. One popular option is to take the southern route, traveling through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas before heading east to Florida. This route offers plenty of opportunities to explore parks, museums, and historic landmarks. Alternatively, you could take the northern route, winding your way through Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma before reaching Florida. This route offers scenic mountain vistas, charming small towns, and natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the Great Plains.

Another option for a cross-country road trip is the coastal route, which takes you along the Pacific Coast Highway from California to Oregon, then through Washington and across the northern border into Canada. From there, you can travel east through the Canadian Rockies and into the Great Lakes region before heading south to Florida. This route offers stunning ocean views, quaint seaside towns, and the chance to explore some of the most beautiful national parks in North America, such as Banff and Jasper. Whichever route you choose, a cross-country road trip is an unforgettable adventure that allows you to experience the diverse beauty of the United States and Canada.

How to prepare your car for a long-distance road trip

Before embarking on any road trip, it's essential to ensure your car is in top working order to prevent breakdowns and other unexpected mishaps. Schedule an oil change and have the tires rotated and balanced. Check all fluid levels, including oil, coolant, and brake fluid, and replace any worn or damaged belts and hoses. It's also a good idea to pack an emergency kit containing a spare tire, jumper cables, a flashlight, and other essentials.

In addition to the above, it's important to check your car's battery and brakes. Have a mechanic inspect the brake pads and rotors to ensure they are in good condition and replace them if necessary. Test the battery to make sure it's holding a charge and replace it if it's more than three years old. It's also a good idea to have your car's air conditioning system checked and serviced before a long trip, especially if you'll be driving in hot weather. By taking these extra precautions, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip.

Packing essentials for a California to Florida road trip

When packing for a long-distance road trip, it's vital to pack smart and pack light. Focus on essentials like comfortable clothing, sturdy footwear, and electronics like a smartphone, tablet, and camera. Bring along a refillable water bottle and non-perishable snacks to keep you hydrated and energized throughout the trip.

Another important item to pack for a California to Florida road trip is sunscreen. The sun can be intense, especially in the southern states, so it's crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Additionally, it's a good idea to bring a hat and sunglasses to further shield your face and eyes from the sun.

For those planning to camp or stay in hotels along the way, it's important to pack bedding and toiletries. A sleeping bag, pillow, and travel-sized toiletries can make a big difference in your comfort level during the trip. Don't forget to bring a towel and any necessary medications as well.

Must-see attractions and landmarks along the way

No road trip is complete without taking time to explore some of the country's most iconic attractions and landmarks. In Arizona, check out the Grand Canyon and the Sedona Red Rocks. In Texas, the Alamo and San Antonio's River Walk are must-sees. In New Orleans, immerse yourself in the city's vibrant culture and music scene. And once you reach Florida, there's no shortage of beaches, theme parks, and natural wonders to explore, from the Everglades to Miami's South Beach.

Another must-see attraction along the way is the Hoover Dam, located on the border of Arizona and Nevada. This engineering marvel provides breathtaking views of the Colorado River and Lake Mead, and offers tours of the power plant and dam itself.

If you're a fan of the great outdoors, be sure to stop at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts stunning mountain views, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Roadside diners and hidden gems for foodies

One of the joys of a road trip is sampling the local cuisine along the way. Discover hidden gems like Goober's Diner in Phoenix, and the Pink Adobe in Santa Fe, serving up mouthwatering southwestern fare. Or stop at iconic spots like the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo and NOLA's famous beignets. And don't forget to enjoy classic American diners like the Georgia Diner and the Waffle House along the way.

But road trips are not just about the food. They are also an opportunity to explore the local culture and history. Take a detour to visit the Grand Canyon or the Alamo, or stop by the Route 66 Museum in Oklahoma. You can also learn about the local art scene by visiting galleries and museums, such as the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe or the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. So, make sure to plan some time for sightseeing and cultural experiences on your road trip.

Scenic stops and photo ops on your cross-country adventure

With so much natural beauty to take in along the way, you're likely to come across numerous scenic stops and photo-worthy vistas. Watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon, hike the hills of Sedona, and take sunset photos at Monument Valley. At Cadillac Ranch in Texas, visitors can add their graffiti to a row of vintage Cadillacs. In Florida, be sure to take a tour of the historic lighthouses and capture shots of the beautiful beaches.

Another must-see stop on your cross-country adventure is the Niagara Falls, located on the border of New York and Canada. Witness the power of the falls up close on a boat tour or take in the panoramic views from the observation deck. In the Midwest, visit the Badlands National Park in South Dakota for a unique landscape of layered rock formations and canyons. And don't forget to stop by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, for a stunning view of the city skyline.

Tips for staying safe and comfortable during your road trip

A road trip of this magnitude can be physically and mentally taxing, so it's important to take care of yourself and stay alert while on the road. Get plenty of sleep, take breaks often, and stay hydrated. Always use sunscreen and protect your eyes with sunglasses. And make sure to stay ahead of the weather and road conditions to prevent any discomfort or dangerous situations.

In addition to taking care of yourself, it's also important to take care of your vehicle. Before embarking on your road trip, make sure your car is in good condition and has been serviced recently. Check the oil, tire pressure, and brakes. And don't forget to pack an emergency kit with essentials like a spare tire, jumper cables, and a first aid kit. Being prepared can help prevent any unexpected breakdowns or accidents on the road.

Budgeting for a California to Florida road trip: expenses to consider

A road trip of this distance can be expensive, so it's important to create a realistic budget and plan accordingly. Consider factors such as gas, lodging, food, attraction fees, and unexpected expenses such as car repairs. Look for deals and discounts ahead of time, such as discounted hotel rates and attraction passes, and also keep a bit of extra money on hand for emergencies.

Another important expense to consider when budgeting for a California to Florida road trip is tolls. Many highways and bridges along the route require toll payments, which can add up quickly. Research the toll costs ahead of time and factor them into your budget. Additionally, if you plan on renting a car for the trip, be sure to factor in the cost of insurance and any additional fees that may apply.

Solo vs group road trips: which is right for you?

One of the most important decisions when planning a California to Florida road trip is whether to go solo or with a group. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. A solo road trip offers complete freedom and flexibility while allowing you to focus on self-reflection and personal growth. Traveling with friends or family can be a fun bonding experience and provide a ready support system in case of emergencies. Choose the option that fits your needs and personality best.

Another factor to consider when deciding between a solo or group road trip is your budget. Solo road trips can be more expensive as you are responsible for all the costs, such as gas, food, and lodging. On the other hand, traveling with a group can help split the expenses and make the trip more affordable. Additionally, group road trips can offer the opportunity to share resources and equipment, such as camping gear or cooking supplies, which can further reduce costs.

How to document your cross-country journey with stunning photos and videos

Preserve your memories of your California to Florida road trip by capturing stunning photos and videos along the way. Take advantage of the beautiful landscapes and iconic landmarks by using proper lighting and composition. Use lenses and filters to create unique effects and don't forget to capture candid moments and experiences as well. Consider creating a digital scrapbook or videologue to share with family and friends when you return home.

Another great way to document your cross-country journey is to keep a travel journal. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences as you travel from state to state. Include details about the people you meet, the food you try, and the places you visit. You can also use your journal to jot down ideas for future trips or to reflect on your personal growth during your journey. Your travel journal will be a cherished keepsake that you can look back on for years to come.

Best accommodations and camping grounds along the way

There's no shortage of accommodation options along the route from California to Florida. Whether you prefer luxury hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, or budget-friendly motels, you're sure to find options to fit your needs. If you're looking for a more rustic experience, consider camping in some of the beautiful national parks along the way, like Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Yellowstone. Just be sure to book ahead during peak travel season.

For those who want to experience something truly unique, consider staying in a yurt or teepee at one of the many glamping sites along the route. These luxurious camping options offer all the comforts of a hotel room, but with the added bonus of being surrounded by nature. Some popular glamping sites include Under Canvas in Moab, Utah and El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas.

If you're traveling with a furry friend, be sure to check out pet-friendly accommodations along the way. Many hotels and motels now offer pet-friendly rooms, and some even provide special amenities like dog beds and treats. You can also find pet-friendly camping options in many national parks, so your furry companion can enjoy the great outdoors with you.

How to deal with unexpected car trouble during the trip

Even with proper car maintenance and preparation, sometimes unexpected car troubles can happen during a long-distance road trip. Be prepared for any scenario by bringing along a toolkit and emergency supplies, such as jumper cables, a spare tire, and flares. If your car experiences mechanical issues, call for roadside assistance and be prepared to adjust your itinerary accordingly to allow for repairs.

Making memories: fun games and activities to keep you entertained

Finally, remember to enjoy the journey itself by keeping yourself and your travel companions entertained with fun games and activities. Play classic road trip games like the license plate game and I Spy, or create your own games and challenges to keep things fresh and exciting. Take advantage of the quiet stretches by listening to audiobooks, podcasts, or your favorite music. The possibilities for making memories are endless on a California to Florida road trip.

Now that you're armed with all the information you need to plan and enjoy your California to Florida road trip to the fullest, it's time to hit the road and start making memories. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or just some time away from the daily grind, a cross-country road trip is an experience you'll never forget.

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Road Trips from Florida to Other States

The Sunshine State of Florida is dotted with beautiful beaches, epic theme parks, and buzzing metropolises like Miami and Orlando. However, there are plenty of opportunities to make road trips from Florida to other states to get away from the hustle and bustle and to recharge.

We have curated 10 amazing road trips from Florida to other states, where you can enjoy stunningly scenic drives, explore iconic cities and their rich histories, spend some time in the great outdoors and tick off epic bucket-list-worthy attractions.

As you set out from Florida, prepare for some unforgettable journeys filled with awesome sights and unforgettable moments. Read on to discover some of the best road trips you can take from Florida to other states and what amazing adventures await you on each.

1. Florida to Georgia: Road trip from Orlando to Atlanta

440 miles from Orlando (6 hours 30 minutes)

Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Orlando to Atlanta takes you to the capital of Georgia, where you can experience the city's rich history and culture. If you're seeking a mix of fascinating historical sites and vibrant city life, this is the perfect road trip for you.

Travelers should visit Atlanta to explore the city's vital place in 20th-century history, including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the Atlanta History Center, and the Georgia Aquarium. Atlanta is also known for its delicious southern cuisine and vibrant nightlife.

Chattahoochee National Forest, USA with a view of the skyline and mountains on a sunny day.

How to get there from Orlando: Start by joining Florida's Turnpike which takes you from Orlando onto I-75 N. Then simply follow the interstate all the way to Atlanta, following signs for Marietta/Chattanooga. At exit 252 turn right onto Howell Mill Road NW to make your way into Atlanta.

Our highlights: The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is a must-visit attraction for those interested in civil rights history. This museum is dedicated to the life and legacy of the civil rights leader, featuring exhibits on his early life, his leadership during the civil rights movement, and his impact on American society.

Georgia Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world, is a major tourist draw. With thousands of marine species on display, including whale sharks and beluga whales, the aquarium offers a fascinating and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

The World of Coca-Cola is another popular attraction in Atlanta, where you can learn about the history of the iconic beverage, explore interactive exhibits, and taste Coca-Cola products from around the world.

For a less mainstream recommendation, visit Ponce City Market. With its shops, restaurants, and a rooftop park, it's the perfect place to browse, dine, and relax while enjoying the city's unique atmosphere.

For a scenic drive, take Georgia's Antebellum Trail. This picturesque route passes through historic towns and antebellum homes, offering a glimpse into the region's rich past.

What else is there to see while you're in Georgia: Stone Mountain Park, a 3,200-acre park located about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta, features a giant carved mountain, hiking trails, and a variety of attractions. Whether you want to hike to the summit, ride the scenic railway, or enjoy a laser show, this park has something for everyone.

Chattahoochee National Forest, a 750,000-acre forest located about an hour and a half north of Atlanta, is known for its waterfalls, hiking trails, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Explore the forest's scenic beauty, go fishing or camping, or simply enjoy a peaceful day in nature.

Our travel tips: Plan your trip around the seasons, as Atlanta can experience hot and humid summers and chilly winters with occasional snowfall.

Book advance tickets to popular attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, which can sell out quickly, especially during peak travel seasons.

READ MORE - Road trip from Orlando to Atlanta

2. Florida to Tennessee: Road trip from Miami to Nashville

910 miles from Miami (13 hours 45 minutes)

Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Miami to Nashville takes you from the sunny beaches of Miami to the vibrant music scene of Nashville, known as the "Music City" of the US. If you're seeking a mix of coastal relaxation and an immersive music experience, this is the perfect road trip for you.

Travelers visit Nashville to experience the city's vibrant music scene, which includes country, rock, and blues music. Visitors can also explore Nashville's history and culture, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, and the Belle Meade Plantation.

Nashville, Tennessee, USA downtown skyline on the Cumberland River at early evening.

How to get there from Miami: Start by heading north on I-95 then at Fort Pierce exit onto Florida's Turnpike. After passing Orlando, merge onto I-75 N and follow it all the way through Georgia, passing Atlanta along the way. At Chattanooga change onto I-24 which takes you the rest of the way to Nashville.

Our highlights: The Grand Ole Opry is a must-visit attraction for country music enthusiasts. This world-famous stage and radio show have been showcasing the best in country music since 1925.

You can attend a live performance, go on a backstage tour, or simply immerse yourself in the rich history of this iconic venue.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is another must-see for music lovers. This museum houses a vast collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and exhibits celebrating the history and evolution of country music.

The Ryman Auditorium, known as the "Mother Church of Country Music," has a storied past and is another vital part of Nashville's music history. This historic venue was once the home of the Grand Ole Opry and has hosted legends such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Dolly Parton.

For a unique and tranquil experience, visit Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. This 1930s mansion is surrounded by 55 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and features rotating art exhibitions.

Wander through the themed gardens, explore the mansion, or attend one of the many events held throughout the year.

What else is there to see while you're in Tennessee: Radnor Lake State Park is a serene nature reserve located just a short drive from downtown Nashville.

With over 1,300 acres of protected land, the park offers hiking trails, bird watching, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Keep an eye out for deer, turkeys, and other wildlife as you enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this natural oasis.

Mammoth Cave National Park, located about two hours north of Nashville in central Kentucky, is home to the world's longest-known cave system. This sprawling underground labyrinth offers a variety of guided tours, catering to different interests and fitness levels.

Explore subterranean passages, marvel at the unique geological formations, and learn about the fascinating history and ecology of this natural wonder.

Our travel tips: Be aware of potential weather hazards, such as hurricanes during the summer months in Florida, and tornadoes in Tennessee during the spring and fall.

Book tours and attractions in advance, as Nashville can be a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months and around major events such as the CMA Music Festival.

READ MORE - Road trip from Miami to Nashville

3. Florida to DC: Road trip from Orlando to Washington, DC

850 miles from Orlando (12 hours 45 minutes)

Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Orlando to Washington, DC takes you to the nation's capital, where you can visit iconic landmarks such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian Museums.

If you're looking for a trip that combines history, culture, and diverse attractions, this is the perfect road trip for you.

Shenandoah National Park, VA, USA taken at Dark Hollow Falls, a waterfall cascading over large rocks.

How to get there from Orlando: Leave Orlando on I-4 then join I-95 N to begin the long drive north to Washington. Stay on the interstate for almost 800 miles until you approach the capital, then I-395 will take you towards the heart of the city. Take exit 170B for US-1 to complete your journey.

Our highlights: The National Mall is bucket-list attractions in Washington, DC. This collection of iconic monuments includes the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the World War II Memorial, among others.

The Smithsonian Museums are also major tourist draws, offering a wealth of knowledge and culture. With 19 museums and galleries to choose from, there's something for everyone, from art and history to science and technology.

The White House, the official residence of the President of the United States, is another must-see attraction. While tours are limited and require advance reservations, the iconic building is still an impressive sight from the outside.

For a less mainstream recommendation, visit Eastern Market, a historic indoor/outdoor market with food, crafts, and art. This lively venue offers a taste of local culture, with fresh produce, prepared foods, and unique handmade items.

About 2 hours west of the city, take a scenic drive along Skyline Drive, a picturesque road that winds through Shenandoah National Park. This 200,000-acre park is known for its scenic drives, hiking trails and wildlife. You can enjoy stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and keep an eye out for wildlife as you explore the park's lush forests.

What else is there to see while you're in DC: Great Falls Park, a scenic park located about 20 miles outside of Washington, DC, features a series of waterfalls and hiking trails along the Potomac River. This beautiful natural area offers a tranquil escape from the city.

Our travel tips: Consider visiting Washington, DC during the springtime when the famous cherry blossoms are in bloom, but be prepared for large crowds and long lines.

Make use of the city's public transportation system, including the Metrorail and Metrobus, to avoid traffic and parking hassles.

READ MORE - Road trip from Orlando to Washington DC

4. Florida to New York: Road trip from Orlando to New York

1,070 miles from Orlando (16 hours)

Why you should take this road trip: Embark on an unforgettable adventure from sunny Orlando to electrifying New York City , where you'll dive into the city's dynamic arts and culture scene, marvel at iconic landmarks, and savor diverse cuisine.

If you're craving a trip packed with art, history, and exhilarating experiences, this is the road trip of a lifetime!

Central Park, New York City, USA during autumn with a lake in the foreground and city skyline in the distance.

How to get there from Orlando: From I-4, merge onto I-95 N to begin heading north towards the Big Apple. The interstate will take you nearly all the way there - once you reach exit 16E in New Jersey, follow the signs for the Lincoln Tunnel.

Keep left at the fork, enter the tunnel, and get ready for the dazzling sights and sounds of New York City!

Our highlights: The awe-inspiring Statue of Liberty, a beacon of freedom and democracy, is an absolute must-see. Gifted by France, this iconic landmark is a testament to America's rich history and offers breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Step into the dazzling world of Times Square, known as "The Crossroads of the World." With its bright billboards, theaters, shops, and restaurants, you'll feel the electric energy of New York City pulsating around you.

Escape the urban hustle in Central Park, an enchanting oasis in the heart of the city. Spanning 843 acres, this verdant sanctuary boasts lush gardens, serene lakes, walking trails, and even a charming zoo.

For a unique experience, stroll along The High Line, an innovative public park built on a historic elevated railway. Admire the captivating city views, contemporary art installations, and beautifully landscaped gardens as you wander through this one-of-a-kind green space.

Venture on a picturesque drive along the Taconic State Parkway, a scenic road meandering through New York's breathtaking Hudson Valley. Take in the stunning vistas of rolling hills, lush forests, and quaint towns along your journey.

What else is there to see while you're in New York: Discover Bear Mountain State Park, a 5,205-acre natural haven located just an hour outside of New York City. With its hiking trails, tranquil lake, and awe-inspiring Hudson River views, this idyllic park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Immerse yourself in the creative world of Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre outdoor sculpture museum situated about an hour north of New York City. Wander through the picturesque landscape, admiring over 100 impressive large-scale sculptures and installations.

If you'd like to learn more about other amazing things you can see in New York City, as well as where to stay, please check our detailed guide below:

READ MORE - Our Area-by-Area Guide to NYC

Our travel tips: Embrace the city's seasonal charm, but be prepared for hot and humid summers, and cold winters with occasional snowfall.

Secure advance tickets to popular attractions like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, and consider visiting during the shoulder season (April to June or September to early November) to dodge the crowds and long lines.

READ MORE - Road trip from Orlando to New York

5. Florida to Maine: Road trip from Orlando to Portland, ME

1,370 miles from Orlando (21 hours 15 minutes)

Why you should take this road trip: Set off on a captivating journey from the sun-soaked city of Orlando to the enchanting northern town of Portland, Maine , known for its rich history, spectacular views, and mouth-watering seafood.

Experience the coastal charm of Portland, Maine, where you can explore its historic architecture, watch the sun rise over stunning Casco Bay, and savor scrumptious seafood dishes. Delve into the local art scene, visit fascinating museums, and discover the area's iconic lighthouses.

Acadia National Park, Maine, USA with a view of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse taken during a spectacular sunset.

How to get there from Orlando: Begin your exciting journey by heading north on I-4 the quickly switching onto I-95 N. Around an hour past Boston, take exit 44 for I-295 N/US-1 N and keep right at the fork to continue on I-295 N.

Finally, take exit 7 for Franklin St. and get ready to be charmed by the coastal beauty of Portland, Maine.

Our highlights: Marvel at the historic Portland Head Light, an iconic Maine landmark that's one of the most picturesque lighthouses in the nation. Discover its rich history and enjoy the stunning views of the rugged coastline.

Wander through the cobblestone streets of Old Port, a lively district brimming with quaint shops, art galleries, and delectable restaurants. Feel the town's historic charm as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere here.

Set off on an island-hopping adventure to explore the scenic Casco Bay Islands. You can discover the natural beauty and small-town charm of these coastal treasures, each with its unique character and attractions.

Sticking to dry land, take a leisurely stroll along the Eastern Promenade, a scenic park that also offers breathtaking views of Casco Bay. Relax on the grassy slopes or meander along the shoreline to appreciate the coastal serenity.

Drive along Maine's Coastal Route 1, a picturesque road that weaves through idyllic coastal towns and awe-inspiring landscapes. This scenic drive is the perfect way to experience the captivating beauty of Maine's coast.

What else is there to see while you're in Maine: Venture to Acadia National Park, a stunning oasis about two and a half hours northeast of Portland. With its rugged coastline, exhilarating hiking trails, and scenic drives, this national park is a true natural wonder.

Conquer Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States, located about three hours northwest of Portland. Take in the awe-inspiring views from the summit and explore the diverse hiking trails that traverse this majestic mountain.

Our travel tips: Plan your visit to Portland during the summer months when the weather is mild, and the city's outdoor attractions, such as beaches and hiking trails, are at their best.

Be sure to set aside time to explore nearby islands, like Peaks Island and Bailey Island, which offer spectacular scenery and enchanting small towns.

READ MORE - Road trip from Florida to Maine

6. Florida to California: Road trip from Miami to Los Angeles

2,730 miles from Miami (39 hours)

Why you should take this road trip: Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as you journey across the country from the vibrant city of Miami to the glamorous and thrilling metropolis of Los Angeles, home of Hollywood and the epicenter of the entertainment industry.

Dive into the glitz and excitement of this iconic city and experience its beautiful beaches, world-renowned museums, and legendary landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Griffith Observatory on this epic road trip .

Santa Monica, USA taken at sunset with the beach in the foreground and the amusement park in the distance.

How to get there from Miami: Kick off your unforgettable journey by heading north through Florida, taking I-95 N out of Miami then making your way to I-75 via Florida's Turnpike.

At Lake City switch onto I-10 W and follow it all the way to California. Approaching LA, follow signs for Santa Monica then take exit 1A for 4th St/5th St. Continue onto Santa Monica Blvd and you'll soon find yourself in the heart of Los Angeles.

Our highlights: Marvel at the iconic Hollywood Sign, an enduring symbol of the entertainment industry that has captivated generations of dreamers and movie lovers.

Delight in the magic of Universal Studios Hollywood, where you can explore behind-the-scenes of your favorite movies and enjoy thrilling theme park rides.

Admire the spectacular cityscape from the Griffith Observatory, a fascinating museum and planetarium boasting panoramic views of Los Angeles and the stars above.

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), a scenic road that winds along California's awe-inspiring coastline and passes through iconic destinations like Malibu and Santa Monica.

Bask in the sun and excitement at Santa Monica Pier, a bustling attraction featuring an amusement park, aquarium, and stunning ocean views.

What else is there to see while you're in California: Discover the mesmerizing beauty of Joshua Tree National Park, a captivating national park located about two hours east of Los Angeles, renowned for its unique rock formations, hiking trails, and unparalleled stargazing opportunities.

Uncover the natural wonders of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a scenic area about an hour west of Los Angeles, featuring serene hiking trails, pristine beaches, and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

Our travel tips: Plan your LA adventure around the seasons, as the city experiences hot and dry summers and cooler winters with occasional rainfall.

READ MORE - Road trip from Miami to Los Angeles

7. Florida to Colorado: Road trip from Miami to Denver

1,840 miles from Miami (27 hours 30 minutes)

Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Miami to Denver is perfect for those who want to experience the stunning natural scenery, outdoor recreation opportunities, and craft beer scene that Denver, Colorado, has to offer.

With a variety of other attractions including museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks like the Colorado State Capitol and the Red Rocks Amphitheater, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, USA with sand dunes in the foreground and mountains in the distance on a clear day.

How to get there: Start your journey by heading north from Miami on I-95 to join I-75 after Orlando. At Chattanooga, change onto I-24 to cross Tennessee and Kentucky then merge onto I-64 which takes you as far as St Louis.

From here head west on I-70 toward Denver. Approaching the city, take exit 259B onto I-25 S toward Colorado Springs, then follow US-6 and you'll soon find yourself in the heart of Denver.

Our highlights: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is a stunning natural amphitheater, and the park is one of the most iconic venues in the United States.

Surrounded by majestic red rock formations, the amphitheater has hosted countless concerts and events, offering incredible acoustics and a breathtaking setting. The park also features numerous hiking trails and a visitor center, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and music enthusiasts alike.

The Denver Art Museum is a must-visit for art lovers, housing an extensive collection of more than 70,000 works of art. The museum's diverse exhibits span a variety of styles and time periods, from pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary installations.

Home to the tallest sand dunes in North America, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve offers visitors the chance to explore a striking and unexpected landscape.

With activities like sandboarding, hiking, and stargazing, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is an unforgettable experience that's not to be missed.

What else is there to see while you're in Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park is located about an hour and a half northwest of Denver, and showcases the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

With over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildlife viewing opportunities, and scenic drives like the famous Trail Ridge Road, visitors can immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of Colorado's mountain landscape.

Garden of the Gods is located south of Denver and features towering red rock formations that seem to defy gravity. These striking natural structures, set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, provide a stunning visual contrast.

Our travel tips: Be prepared for changes in altitude, as Denver is located at a high elevation and can cause altitude sickness for some travelers

Consider visiting during the shoulder season (April to May or September to October) to avoid the crowds and higher prices of the summer months, while still enjoying mild weather and beautiful fall foliage.

READ MORE - Road trip from Miami to Denver

8. Florida to Texas: Road trip from Orlando to Dallas

1,065 miles from Orlando (16 hours)

Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Orlando to Dallas is perfect for those who want to explore the rich history, cultural attractions, and diverse food scene that Dallas, Texas, has to offer.

With its vibrant nightlife, museums, and art galleries, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas, USA with a view of the famous Lighthouse Rock and a stone pile in the foreground on a sunny day.

How to get there: After heading north on Florida's Turnpike and I-75, join I-10 W heading toward Houston. At Beaumont, exit onto TX-105 which leads you onto I-45 N. Continue on the interstate then take exit 285B and you'll find yourself at your final destination, Dallas.

Our highlights: Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum is dedicated to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Visitors can learn about the events surrounding the tragedy and gain a deeper understanding of its impact on American history.

AT&T Stadium is home to the Dallas Cowboys and a premier destination for sports fans. In addition to NFL games, the venue hosts concerts, special events, and guided tours that offer a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium's impressive facilities.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a must-visit for nature lovers. The beautiful and tranquil setting offers a perfect escape from the city's hustle and bustle, featuring seasonal displays, special events, and educational programs for all ages.

Bishop Arts District is a trendy neighborhood, offering a vibrant mix of shops, galleries, and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through its tree-lined streets, stopping to browse local boutiques and savor the diverse culinary delights that the area has to offer.

What else is there to see while you're in Texas: Palo Duro Canyon State Park features hiking trails, horseback riding, and stunning views of the canyon. With its rugged landscape and diverse flora and fauna, Palo Duro Canyon State Park provides an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Big Bend National Park is known for its rugged terrain, hiking trails, and opportunities for stargazing. The park's remote location and vast wilderness offer a truly unique experience for experienced hikers, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty and solitude of the Texas landscape.

Our travel tips: Be prepared for hot and humid weather during the summer months, and consider visiting during the shoulder season (March to May or September to November) to avoid the heat and crowds.

Consider taking a scenic drive through the Texas Hill Country, which offers beautiful views of the countryside and charming small towns such as Fredericksburg. This picturesque route showcases the region's rolling hills, wineries, and historic landmarks, making it a perfect addition to your road trip itinerary.

9. Florida to Arizona: Road trip from Orlando to Grand Canyon

2,180 miles from Orlando (32 hours 30 minutes)

Why you should take this road trip: Embark on this unforgettable road trip from Orlando to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, one of the most iconic natural wonders of the world.

With its majestic beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities, the Grand Canyon is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Grand Canyon, USA taken at West Rim with a view of the valley and canyons in the distance.

How to get there: Head north to Lake City via Florida's Turnpike and I-75 then join I-10 W. At Mobile take the highway through Hattiesburg to Jackson, where you will join I-20 to take you as far as Dallas. Next, take US-287 across Texas to Amarillo before merging onto I-40 W.

Take exit 165 at Williams then AZ-64 will lead you straight to the Grand Canyon.

Our highlights: The Grand Canyon is one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world. Visitors can explore the canyon's hiking trails and scenic overlooks, and engage in various outdoor activities such as rafting and mule rides.

Havasu Falls are located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation and are known for their vibrant turquoise waters. The falls are a popular destination for hikers and photographers seeking to capture the breathtaking beauty of this unique oasis in the desert.

Desert View Watchtower offers stunning views of the Grand Canyon and its surroundings. Designed by architect Mary Colter, the tower is a prime example of Puebloan architecture and provides visitors with a glimpse into the region's Native American history.

Grand Canyon Skywalk is a glass bridge that extends 70 feet over the edge of the canyon, offering visitors a thrilling perspective and a unique view of the canyon's depth and vastness.

What else is there to see while you're in Arizona: Located about two hours east of the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon is a stunning slot canyon that's known for its otherworldly colors and rock formations.

Visitors can take guided tours through the canyon, where they'll be captivated by the play of light and shadows on the undulating sandstone walls.

Situated about an hour and a half north of the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend offers incredible views and hiking trails. The dramatic landscape, with its vivid contrast between the river's deep emerald waters and the surrounding red rock cliffs, is a must-see for any nature enthusiast.

Our travel tips: Be aware of the extreme temperatures that can occur in the Grand Canyon, with hot summers and cold winters, and plan accordingly. Bring appropriate clothing and stay hydrated, especially during the summer months.

Consider visiting during the shoulder season (March to May or September to November) to avoid the crowds and enjoy milder weather and beautiful fall foliage. During these times, you can experience the Grand Canyon's natural beauty in a more serene and peaceful setting.

1,380 miles from Miami (20 hours 45 minutes)

Why you should take this road trip: Experience the bustling metropolis of Chicago, a city known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, stunning architecture, and world-class museums.

This trip will take you through diverse neighborhoods, parks, and iconic attractions like the Willis Tower and the Art Institute of Chicago, giving you a taste of everything the Windy City has to offer.

Chicago, Illinois, USA downtown skyline from Lincoln Park at twilight.

How to get there: Begin your journey by heading northwest on I-65 N towards Chicago. Make your way north through Florida to join I-75. At Chattanooga, change onto I-24 as far as Nashville then pick up I-65 N heading toward Chicago.

Take exit 262A to follow I-90 W/I-94 W into Chicago then follow signs for the Kennedy Expressway/O'Hare/Chicago Loop, and take exit 50B for Ohio St. toward 600 N.

Our highlights: The iconic Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) offers panoramic views of the city from its observation deck, and this architectural marvel is a must-visit destination for any traveler.

The Art Institute of Chicago is a top draw for visitors, showcasing an extensive collection of masterpieces from across the globe. The museum features works by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Grant Wood, among many others.

Navy Pier, situated along the shoreline of Lake Michigan, boasts an array of restaurants, shops, and attractions. From amusement rides to theater performances, there's something for everyone at Navy Pier.

Stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk, a pedestrian walkway that offers beautiful views of the city, as well as restaurants, bars, and public art installations.

What else is there to see while you're in Illinois: Indiana Dunes National Park features sandy beaches, hiking trails, and stunning views of Lake Michigan. It's a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Starved Rock State Park offers hiking trails, waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Illinois River. With its unique sandstone canyons and lush forests, Starved Rock State Park provides a serene escape from the bustling city.

Our travel tips: Don't forget to take a scenic drive along the Great River Road, a picturesque route that follows the Mississippi River through Illinois. This drive offers beautiful views of the river and the surrounding landscape, as well as charming small towns to explore along the way.

Be prepared for unpredictable weather in Chicago, as the city is known for its sudden changes in temperature and occasional windy conditions. Pack layers and check the weather forecast before your trip to ensure you're prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store.

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12 Scenic California Road Trips To Take With Unforgettable Stops Along the Way

I f you have some time to spend in California, it’s hard to find a better road trip destination. With everything from ocean to mountains to desert, there’s something for every explorer on our list to do in California. Sunny blue skies and ocean breezes complete the ultimate road trip experience. All you need to do is find the perfect playlist, pair of sunnies, and hit the open road.

#1 Pacific Coast Highway

The PCH. The 1. No matter what you call this North-South highway in California, it is a must-drive spot for anyone visiting California. The entire 655-mile route runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles but any section is breathtaking. Most of the highway runs right along the coast, with some of the most amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Other parts pass through towering forests of giant trees.

To get the best experience, plan on stopping for a day (or more) at various spots along the way. Yes, you can drive the entire route in one trip but you’ll miss out on some of the best places to visit in California. Monterey Bay and Morro Bay are two great spots to see wildlife, such as whales and otters, as they frolic in the open water just on the side of the highway. There are plenty of scenic places to pull off and look out over the bluffs to the water below. Just make sure to pay close attention as you drive, since these sections are also known for their twists and turns. The Avenue of the Giants at the northern end of the highway features towering California redwoods. Enjoy driving in their shade and stop to wrap your arms around (or as much around as you can) these giant trees.

But if you are there strictly for the road trip experience, it’s hard to beat the ocean views and breezes along the PCH. If you’re cruising along in an open-top convertible, even better. Starting at the southern end and traveling north is a great way to keep the ocean just outside your window.

#2 San Diego to Joshua Tree

With iconic must-see California stops on either end of the route, there are two ways you can road trip from San Diego to Joshua Tree National Park . Going from San Diego to Temecula to Joshua Tree will put you on the western edge of the park. It goes around LA before moving into the desert and ending up at the park. The other route has smaller roads and ends at the southern entrance. Both are good options that feature natural rock formations and desert landscapes along the drive. Just pick the one that puts you in the park where you want to explore. Plan to spend around four hours getting to Joshua Tree from San Diego, plus any time that you want to stop and take photos or grab a bite to eat.

There is plenty of hiking and places for daytime adventures in the park. But spending the night at one of the park’s campgrounds or backcountry camping can provide some amazing opportunities for stargazing.

With camping and forest spots, this section of the PCH gets its own special mention on our list. Start in Monterey with a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium before heading to the quaint town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. There are plenty of places to pick up a bite to eat or sit down for a more leisurely lunch. If you want to stretch your legs a bit, walk or bike along the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail. You’ll likely see sea lions, otters, and even whales in the bay. Once you are all fueled up, get back on the 1 and head south. You’ll drive seaside with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the rocky beaches that are tucked in between cliffs. Depending on when you visit, you’ll be able to see the bloom of the fuschia ice plant, also called the magic carpet, that covers the bluffs in central California.

The forested part of Big Sur begins just south of the iconic Bixby Bridge. Stop to grab a photo before you get into the shade of the giant forests. You can camp in this area or hike at one of the state parks along the highway. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and Point Lobos State Natural Reserve are two of the best. The views and the stops are the main reasons to try this road trip, so give yourself plenty of time to explore.

#4 Yosemite

There are plenty of things to see and do in Yosemite , including the park’s legendary waterfalls , but if you want to make it part of a larger road trip experience, we recommend making the rounds of the amazing national parks in the area. Yosemite, Kings Canyon National Park, and Sequoia National Park are all must-see spots for the nature enthusiast. Kings Canyon and Sequoia are home to the ancient sequoia trees. There are camping sites, lodges, and hikes for all levels. One of the best ways to experience these parks is to simply sit in the shade of some of the largest trees in the world.

The General Sherman tree (Sequoia) and the General Grant tree (Kings Canyon) are majestic giants that are worth checking out. There are accessible trails nearby as well as opportunities to explore more rugged areas in the parks. You can even drive through a fallen sequoia known as the tunnel log. The route is mostly on Highway 99 and Highway 198 and takes around 4 hours. But it’s best to build in extra time to stop at the many scenic views along the way. The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway section of Highway 180 is another notable drive that is worth a detour.

#5 San Luis Obispo

One of the last things you expect to see when driving in California is a herd of wild zebras. But you’ll catch a glimpse of them along the side of the PCH if you’re lucky as you head north from San Luis Obispo and San Simeon. They are the descendants of zebras brought to California by William Randolph Hearst and now roam wild on the large Hearst property. You can stop by to tour the palatial estate, also known as Hearst Castle, and pick up some wine from the vineyard. If you want more of a wine destination on your trip, take Highway 46 to Paso Robles. You’ll pass through some of the greenest and most lush parts of California before arriving in one of the world’s newest wine regions.

Pismo Beach near San Luis Obispo is a picturesque place to enjoy some ocean kayaking, surfing, or just relaxing on the soft sand. You can also drive an off-highway vehicle (OHV) at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area . Driving up and down sand dunes with salt air from the Pacific Ocean blowing sounds like a good stop on a road trip!

#6 Mammoth Lakes

Driving along Highway 395, you’ll leave Southern California and head to the Sierra Nevada mountains . Notable places to stop along the way include Mobius Arch in Lone Pine, California. There is an easy hiking path that takes you to some great desert photo ops at the Mobius Arch rock formation. The Sierra Nevadas offer spectacular mountain views as you continue driving.

The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is also on this route. You can stop at the visitor’s center or explore the trees on your own. Some of them are more than 4,000 years old! The largest of these trees, the Patriarch Tree, is located in Patriarch Grove. There are plenty of natural splendors on this route, but it also includes some wacky and quirky stops as well. The Indian Well’s Brewing Company in Inyokern has over 100 flavors of housemade soda, while the Lone Pine Film Museum is a must-see for anyone who loves a good cowboy movie. There are also numerous statues along the sides of the highway that you can spot as you drive. The route ends at Mammoth Lakes, another great spot to explore.

#7 Malibu to Solvang

Another route on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, this road trip is all about beach vibes and ocean views. Driving straight through takes just over 2 hours but there are plenty of places to stop along the way. Many of them are state parks or recreation areas, perfect for a picnic or hike. When you get to Santa Barbara, a detour on Highway 154 to Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park is definitely worth the extra time it will add to your trip. You can see in person some of the best examples of cave paintings, which date to the 1600s or earlier. Compare that to modern graffiti-style art at the Water Tower on Forest Route 5N12, where you can sit and take in the views of the Pacific Ocean.

Once you get to Solvang, the trip becomes all about the destination. The city embraces its Danish heritage in everything from architecture to food. It also happens to be a great spot to enjoy some local California wine.

#8 Lake Tahoe

No matter where you’re coming from, a trip to Lake Tahoe is perfect for enjoying nature in California. The lake is divided into North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe, but both are excellent destinations. If you are staying at Lake Tahoe , take a day out of your vacation to enjoy a leisurely road trip around the lake. The entire drive is just over 70 miles.

Many of the beaches require a paid pass. If you’re doing the entire drive, we recommend looking into an annual pass to save money if you plan to visit a lot. Inspiration Point is a must-stop spot to enjoy panoramic vistas. Other notable views include Emerald Bay Main View Point and Lake Tahoe Scenic Overlook (in Nevada). You can visit one of the many beaches and enjoy water sports.

#9 Death Valley

On the other end of the spectrum is Death Valley , one of the hottest places in the world . But there are also mountain peaks and oases in the middle of this national park that make it a fascinating place to visit. The entire park is 5,270 square miles so you can plan a road trip just getting through the park.

Make sure that you check road conditions and closures before setting off on your road trip. Because the conditions in this park can be so harsh, there are frequent closures that impact parts of the park or even shut it down completely. It’s also important to know and follow safety tips, including having plenty of water and filling up on gas before you get into the park. While there are places to camp, hike, and explore, the last thing that you want is to get stranded in one of the hottest places on earth.

#10 Rim of the World Scenic Byway

This scenic roadway runs on State Routes 138, 18, and 38 for 110 miles in Southern California. As the name suggests, it goes over peaks in the San Bernadino Mountains. There are so many places to pull off and snap a photo that it would be impossible to name them all or even pick out the best ones. Just be ready for plenty of stops to get the perfect pic of the sweeping mountains below. You won’t be the only one losing their breath over the views, however. Watch for cars entering and exiting the road from the scenic turn-offs.

There are a lot of places to drive OHVs on the western side of the route, near Cajon. Big Bear Lake is a good spot for a longer rest. You can hike, snowboard, ski, or even ride horses at sites all around the lake. Keep in mind that this road trip traverses some high peaks and make sure to take caution when it comes to the weather. In the winter, it can get snowy in places.

#11 Southern California Beaches

If you want the ultimate California beach experience, you need to head to Socal. Beginning in San Diego, drive on Highway 5 until you pick up the 1 heading north, stopping at any beach that strikes your fancy. You’ll have plenty to choose from, including La Jolla, Solana Beach, San Onofre, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, and Venice Beach. Parking can get tricky at some of the most popular options. But with so many to choose from, it’s easy to find just the right spot to set up for a beachside adventure. If you prefer something sand-free, you can always take a stroll along one of the boardwalks.

This road trip route can take you all the way up to Northern California but the Santa Monica Pier is a good place to stop for a must-see California beach. It has a lot to do, such as an amusement park, plenty of restaurants, an aquarium , and people-watching on the pier. It also happens to be the end of another popular east-west road trip, the Historic Route 66 . You can take a photo under the iconic Santa Monica Pier sign or next to the Route 66 sign.

#12 Napa and Sonoma Valley

You may want to hire someone else to drive you on this road trip since it’s best done with plenty of stops at award-winning wineries. Fortunately, many tours of Napa and Sonoma Valley include comfortable transportation. If you prefer not to indulge, the restaurant scene in Napa Valley is also exceptional. Farm-to-table restaurants take advantage of the valley’s agriculture and the talent of award-winning chefs to create delicious meals. There are 15 Michelin-starred restaurants in Napa Valley alone.

There are multiple routes you can take through Napa that go through vineyards and natural areas as you travel between wineries and restaurants. One of the best is the drive from Calistoga to Spring Mountain. Not only does it have plenty of delicious spots along the way, but the road also goes through the Petrified Forest of prehistoric redwoods that you can climb on and explore. Highway 128 on the eastern side of the valley boasts plenty of twists and turns, as well as some of the most amazing views in the area.

The post 12 Scenic California Road Trips To Take With Unforgettable Stops Along the Way appeared first on AZ Animals .

12 Scenic California Road Trips To Take With Unforgettable Stops Along the Way

Realistically, This Is How Long It Would Take You To Drive Through The Lower 48

Driving through the continental US could be the road trip of a lifetime... but how long will it actually take?

  • The Lower 48 refers to the contiguous states in the USA that can be driven continuously, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Driving through the Lower 48 covers over 6,800 miles and takes over 100 hours.
  • Late summer and fall, specifically September to October, are the best times to drive the Lower 48 due to colorful landscapes and fewer crowds.

If you've ever dreamed of visiting every US state , the Lower 48 may be a title you're familiar with. What this symbolizes are the connected states in the United States of America, essentially bypassing Alaska and Hawaii. During a road trip, you'd need to have a car that turned into a boat to reach Hawaii, while Alaska is also a US-adjacent territory closer to Canada.

A road trip covering the Lower 48 is on many people's bucket lists. But the United States is massive, taking up roughly 3.79 million square miles, and ranks in the top five largest countries by landmass in the world.

10 Scenic Road Trips Across America For Nature Lovers

Embarking on an all-American road trip (literally) takes some planning. From East Coast towns to West Coast cities and everything North and South, the United States offers people some of the most diverse landscapes in the world, all within one country's borders. Keep reading to figure out how to drive the Lower 48!

What Does It Mean To Drive The Lower 48?

See ya later, alaska and hawaii: drive the contiguous us states.

When you hear the phrase 'Lower 48,' it refers to the states in the USA that are contiguous. Road trippers will often use this title for their planned itinerary, essentially traveling to 48 states (out of 50) in the United States of America.

This is a massive drive, as the country measures 2,742 miles from East to West, with each state hosting its own set of sights, people, and sometimes challenges. The Lower 48 is a pretty significant drive, taking some people many months to complete.

Whether you start in California near the Mexican border, making your way through the South and Southwest United States , begin the journey at the tip of Florida and head to New York, throughout Maine , and turn left, or choose to start the drive mid-country, this will be a long drive.

  • What is the Lower 48: All US states that are connected by road/are able to be driven continuously.
  • Which states are not included: Alaska and Hawaii

A two-week West Coast road trip itinerary could be a fun starter drive before embarking on a longer road trip.

How Many Miles Is The Lower 48? How Long Does It Take To Drive?

Over 6,800 miles and 100-200 hours of driving: the lower 48 is a mission.

Driving through the entire United States takes about 6,872 miles (per Google Maps), which totals roughly 113 hours on the road. That said, many people often go off the highways and into smaller towns, communities, and monuments, making this trip easily capable of taking 10,000 miles and 200+ hours on the road.

  • Sticking to the true meaning of a Lower 48 road trip adventure, you could technically do this drive in under 14 days if you're on the road for around 8 hours per day.

That said, there are many deviations from the Lower 48 route, with some people spending a couple of days per state and others gunning it through every one of them. For example, a planned four-day itinerary spanning 6,850 miles hits every state but also winds around in almost a loop, making the return trip shorter.

This isn't something you have to do a certain way, as long as you make it through all 48.

A fun idea would be to buy a keychain from every state you pass through. Yes, it will be around $150, but you could go viral on TikTok. Do it for the people!

  • Lower 48 duration in miles: 6,872
  • Time needed for this drive: 9-14 days
  • Total hours on the road: ~113 or more

America's longest highway is Route 20 , which spans 3,365 miles.

10 Cheap Road Trip Ideas For College Students On A Budget

What is the best time to drive the lower 48, late summer and fall will be the most colorful in the united states.

Although there will be MANY landscapes and climates to witness on the Lower 48 road trip, you can expect the best coloring through fall. Starting this road trip in September/October will be your best bet to avoid snow in the Northern sections of the US, as well as see fall leaves across the many peaks and valleys of this beautiful country .

  • Best time to drive the Lower 48: Late summer or fall (September through October)

There may also be fewer people on the roads around national parks and attractions because summer is when full crowding typically happens. Regardless, we wish you fun, memories, and plenty of souvenirs on this adventurous road trip!

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NASCAR returns to the Coliseum with the future of Clash event uncertain in Southern California

Jenna Fryer

Associated Press

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - Cars race during the qualifying portion of the Busch Light Clash NASCAR exhibition auto race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles. NASCAR returns to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a third consecutive year for the exhibition Clash and the immediate future of racing in Southern California is at stake. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

NASCAR's debut on a temporary track inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum two years ago was a bold experiment that featured a pre-race show by Pitbull, a halftime performance by Ice Cube, a rowdy USC student section and some pretty decent racing.

The made-for-TV event was a clear success in 2022, the first time a season-opening exhibition had not been held at Daytona International Speedway since its 1979 inception. NASCAR tried for another hit last year with a second Clash at the Coliseum and it wasn't the same.

The racing was unwatchable , enthusiasm for the event had slipped after only one year and the Clash came off as simply an excuse for NASCAR to maintain a presence in Southern California.

The third Clash is set for this weekend with NASCAR's immediate future in the coveted Los Angeles market in jeopardy. If the novelty has truly worn off, the Clash could very well be on the move in 2025.

The race isn't until Sunday and the road has already been bumpy. NASCAR said it wouldn't open the grandstands to spectators for Saturday's heat races but reversed its decision after fan outrage. Drivers for weeks have been promoting discount codes for tickets on their social media accounts, and a marketing team has been handing out leaflets about the Clash across LA.

Ben Kennedy, the great-grandson of NASCAR's founder and architect of the Clash at the Coliseum, said the driver discount codes and street-level marketing are not reason for alarm but simply new sales tactics in an aggressive market. NASCAR's senior vice president of racing development and strategy said he believes the appetite for racing at the Coliseum is there.

“The interest is still strong. The first year, it was new and novel and we'd never done anything like that before, and frankly I don't think anyone has ever built a temporary racetrack inside a stadium that is a century old,” Kennedy said. “The second year, obviously a lot of return customers and some new customers as well. In this third year, we are seeing similar trends to what we saw last year.”

He said the new marketing and promotion efforts is "an opportunity to test out new methods and exercises that we might want to apply to some other tracks.”

The stakes are high for NASCAR in the Southern California market because the Coliseum race is the only stop in Los Angeles this year. California Speedway, which hosted the top Cup Series from 1997 until last year, is dormant. Plans had been to convert the speedway into a short track, but Kennedy acknowledged there is no current construction.

NASCAR has looked at “a dozen different concepts” in the market but hasn't found anything enticing. Kennedy said the future of the Clash at the Coliseum is not tied to the progress of California Speedway and that the market can sustain two races each year.

He did not rule out the possibility NASCAR could find itself locked out of Los Angeles.

“If we had our druthers, we would have a race in Southern California every year,” Kennedy said. “But a lot of that will depend on what the future of both of those tracks and both of those concepts look like.”

As Kennedy explores taking NASCAR international, the Clash could be a candidate for racing in another country. This year's event has added NASCAR's Mexico Series as a companion race and Cup star Daniel Suarez is in the field, along with reigning series champion Salvador de Alba, who this season will juggle a schedule that includes stock cars and IndyCar's ladder system.

The Mexico Series will be on the track before the Cup cars both Saturday and Sunday.

“It is a huge opportunity to get into the Southern California market and be paired with the Cup Series, not just the same weekend, but literally minutes before (a Cup heat race),” Kennedy said. “It's a huge opportunity for them to get their name in front of a lot of new fans, a lot of core fans, and these are drivers who are eventually going to be competing in the Clash at some point.”

The entertainment lineup for the event Sunday has DJ Dillon Francis performing before the race, boxer Canelo Alvarez scheduled to give the command to start engines and Machine Gun Kelly is the mid-race break performance.

AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Florida to California City drive

Florida to california city road trip planner.

Here's a sample itinerary for a drive from Florida to California City. If you're planning a road trip to California City, you can research locations to stop along the way. Make sure you check road conditions to double check the weather. Traveling with a dog or cat? Find pet-friendly stops . Camping along the way? Search for RV campgrounds . Find the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions based on the most talked about places recommended by Trippy members.

10:00 am  start at Florida drive for about 7 hours

day 1 driving ≈ 7 hours find more stops

9:00 am  leave from Panama City Beach drive for about 3 hours

12:02 pm   Mobile stay for about 1 hour and leave at 1:02 pm drive for about 6.5 hours

day 2 driving ≈ 9.5 hours find more stops

11:00 am  leave from Shreveport drive for about 2.5 hours

day 3 driving ≈ 2.5 hours find more stops

9:00 am  leave from Hotel Zaza Dallas drive for about 6 hours

2:59 pm   Amarillo stay for about 1 hour and leave at 3:59 pm drive for about 4 hours

day 4 driving ≈ 10 hours find more stops

10:00 am  leave from Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center drive for about 3.5 hours

1:33 pm   Petrified Forest National Park stay for about 1 hour and leave at 2:33 pm drive for about 3 hours

day 5 driving ≈ 6.5 hours find more stops

10:00 am  leave from Enchantment Resort drive for about 7 hours

4:54 pm  arrive in California City

day 6 driving ≈ 7 hours find more stops

Where should I stop along the way?

Panama City Beach   (24 answers)     Pier Park   (5 mentions)     Ripley's Believe It Or Not   (2 mentions)     questions about Panama City Beach:         What to do and where to eat for families         What to do with teen boys? Mobile   (26 answers)     questions about Mobile:         Bus pickup/drop off location?         Restaurants Shreveport   (20 answers)     R.W. Norton Art Gallery   (2 mentions)     questions about Shreveport:         Best free things to do in Shreveport? Dallas   (163 answers)     Perot Museum of Nature and Science   (14 mentions)     Dallas Museum of Art   (12 mentions)     The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza   (10 mentions)     Nasher Sculpture Center   (9 mentions)     Klyde Warren Park   (8 mentions)     restaurants around Dallas:         Pecan Lodge         Lockhart Smokehouse         Peggy Sue BBQ         Smoke         Oddfellows     hotels around Dallas:         Hotel Zaza Dallas         Belmont Hotel Dallas         Rosewood Crescent Hotel     questions about Dallas:         What's the best neighborhood in Dallas for a first time visitor?         Where is the best barbeque in Dallas?         Where to go for lunch in Dallas?         Going to Dallas for 2 weeks - what to see?         Best free things to do in Dallas? Amarillo   (43 answers)     questions about Amarillo:         THING TO SEE         Hotels Albuquerque   (117 answers)     Old Town Albuquerque   (3 mentions)     New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science   (2 mentions)     Explora!   (2 mentions)     Nob Hill   (2 mentions)     Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta   (2 mentions)     restaurants around Albuquerque:         Frontier Restaurant         Standard Diner         Frontier Restaurant     hotels around Albuquerque:         Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center     questions about Albuquerque:         What is your favorite restaurant in Albuquerque?         Affordable hotel in Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta?         Temporary home!         Where to stay Petrified Forest National Park   (10 answers)     Petrified Forest National Park   (2 mentions)     questions about Petrified Forest National Park:         Accessibility Sedona   (95 answers)     Chapel of the Holy Cross   (4 mentions)     Slide Rock State Park   (4 mentions)     Oak Creek Canyon   (3 mentions)     Bell Rock Trail   (3 mentions)     Devils Bridge   (3 mentions)     restaurants around Sedona:         Elote Cafe     hotels around Sedona:         Enchantment Resort     questions about Sedona:         Best things to do in Sedona besides hiking?         Nature Lover in Sedona         Vortex Hike/ Sound healing         Best hikes and natural swimming holes         Going on a roadtrip to Sedona, AZ. Is taking I-10 better route?

What are some things to do in California City?

This section could be endless, so rather than trying to suggest every local activity or attraction, we'll leave it open-ended.

Of course, Trippy is the perfect place to ask questions because there's an entire community of travelers talking to each other and sharing tips and advice. Trippy is where you can get answers personalized for your tastes, budgets, trip dates & more!

Click the button below to explore more questions and answers related to California City.

Do I really have to go back home?

Yes, even this step is optional, because if you're on vacation who wants the trip to end? It's okay, you can start planning your next trip!

Want to plan the trip back? Get the reverse directions for a California City to Florida drive , or go to the main page to plan a new road trip .

You can also compare the travel time if you're flying or driving by calculating the distance from Florida to California City . Or get a full Florida to California City flight plan .

Don't forget about exploring your own hometown with a staycation. You can also find some cool day trips or get away for a weekend. Maybe try typing in a faraway location like London, Hong Kong, or Sydney, and get inspired for your dream trip around the world.

And if you know Florida well, please help your fellow travelers and answer their questions about Florida!

More info on this route:

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COMMENTS

  1. Road Trip From Florida To California: 9 Best Stops Listed!

    If you are thinking about distance, the shortest and best route from Florida to California is using I-40 West. But, there's a second option too which is a longer route but offers a scenic journey. You can consider taking I-75 North and then connecting to I-40 West.

  2. Florida To California Road Trip & Drive (2024 Edition)

    Florida to California road trip is one of the best journeys you can experience in the USA. The 2,704 miles of Florida to California drive takes around one day and 16 hours without stops. This article includes 30 top tips that turn your Florida to California drive into an unforgettable journey.

  3. Florida To California Road Trip (Best Cities & NPs) 2023

    With the following stops, it'll take 2,636 miles (39 hours) not including the overnight stays. If you were to drive non-stop, it'll take around 2704 miles (1 day & 16 hours). 11-Day Itinerary: Florida To California Road Trip Here's a quick preview of the 11-day trip: Day 1: Drive from Orlando to New Orleans Day 2: New Orleans

  4. 9-Day Cross-Country Road Trip from Florida to California in November

    DAY 1: Los Angeles > Phoenix, 373 miles, 5.5 hours DAY 2: Phoenix > Las Cruces, 388 miles, 6 hours DAY 3: Las Cruces > Roswell, 194 miles, 3.5 hours DAY 4: Roswell > Waco, 499 miles, 8 hours DAY 5: Explore White Sands National Park DAY 6: Alamogordo > Flagstaff, 475 miles, 7.5 hours DAY 7: Explore Petrified Forest National Park

  5. Florida to California drive

    Day 1 10:00 am start at Florida drive for about 7 hours 4:56 pm Panama City Beach stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am day 1 driving ≈ 7 hours find more stops Day 2 10:00 am leave from Panama City Beach drive for about 9 hours 6:52 pm Shreveport stay overnight and leave the next day around 11:00 am day 2 driving ≈ 9 hours

  6. Choosing the Best Route from Florida to California

    Distance-wise I-40 W is the shortest and the best route from Florida to California. But, if you prefer a long and scenic ride take I-75 N and I-40 W. This combined route will take you through the Appalachian mountain and several national forests. Moreover, your starting and destination point also plays a vital role here.

  7. Drive This Scenic Route from California to Florida ...

    Cross-Country Road Trip from California to Florida DAY 1 - Sedona, Arizona Watch on ROAD TRIP ITINERARY DAY 1: Los Angeles > Sedona, 479 miles, 7 hours DAY 2: Sedona > Torrey, 421 miles, 8 hours DAY 3: Explore Capitol Reef National Park DAY 4: Torrey > Moab, 155 miles, 2.5 hours DAY 5: Explore Arches National Park

  8. 4-Day Solo Cross-Country Road Trip Planner from Florida to California

    4-Day Solo Cross-Country Road Trip from Florida to California - DEC 2022 Watch on ROAD TRIP ITINERARY DAY 1: Tampa > Lafayette, 768 miles, 10.5 hours DAY 2: Lafayette > Fort Stockton, 721 miles, 10.5 hours DAY 3: Fort Stockton > Phoenix, 670 miles, 9.5 hours DAY 4: Phoenix > Los Angeles, 372 miles, 6 hours ROAD TRIP PREP

  9. Most Scenic route from Florida to California

    1 hour 19 minutes — 69 miles. Start your journey from Wellington, Florida, driving east on the blue cypress lane. This scenic drive along Highway A1A hugs the Atlantic Coast traveling from Fort Pierce to Miami. There is so much to do and see on this 1-hour drive. The drive begins in Fort Pierce.

  10. California To Florida Road Trip & Drive (2024 Edition)

    Embark on the quintessential American journey, a road trip from California to Florida. Spanning 2,706 miles and taking roughly one day and 16 hours of driving without stops, this trip promises an adventure of a lifetime with diverse landscapes and cultures.

  11. Planning a US Road Trip: The Southern Route from Cali to Florida

    Along this route, you will pass through the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. In California, you'll pass through the metropolis of Los Angeles, and enter the arid desert region of Coachella Valley. Next, you'll enter the even drier and remote areas of Arizona and New Mexico and into western Texas.

  12. The top things to do on an I-10 road trip

    The deserts of Southern California, Texas' Hill Country, and the Florida Panhandle are all highlighted along Interstate 10, which runs across the southern part o ... this map; Remove Ads. The top things to do on an I-10 road trip. From West Coast deserts to East Coast swamps, this epic road trip takes you along the southern edge of the U.S ...

  13. Road Trip Route Planner, Map and Trip Guides

    The ultimate road trip planner to help you discover extraordinary places, book hotels, and share itineraries all from the map. ... Improve this map; Remove Ads. Start New Trip. Share Map. Start New Trip. Trip Guides. About; Membership; Magazine; Contact; Help; Did you know: If you use the Roadtrippers mobile app, your trips will instantly auto ...

  14. California to Florida drive

    Day 1 8:00 am start at California drive for about 40 hours 12:06 am (past midnight) Bakersfield stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am day 1 driving ≈ 40 hours Day 2 10:00 am leave from Bakersfield drive for about 8 hours 5:51 pm Sedona eat at Elote Cafe stay overnight at Enchantment Resort leave the next day around 11:00 am

  15. Planning a US Road Trip: The Southern Route

    The Ultimate Road Trip: 4 Friends, 14 Days, 10 National Parks, 5860 Miles! For seasoned road warriors, there aren't many adventurous southern routes better than the legendary California to Florida road trip. This path takes you from coast to coast via the I-10, passing through New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, the ...

  16. Find a scenic drive or plan a road trip with myscenicdrives.com

    Share time outdoors with family and friends. Make memories exploring the diverse, natural beauty of our public lands. Use our Scenic Drive Finder and Road Trip Planner to easily create custom road trips. Unlimited stops, edit, share, find recommended places of interest and campgrounds, manage budgets, print or export directions and more.

  17. road trip from california to florida

    There are several routes to choose from for your California to Florida road trip, each offering its own unique landscapes and attractions. One popular option is to take the southern route, traveling through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas before heading east to Florida. This route offers plenty of opportunities to explore parks, museums, and ...

  18. Road Trips from Florida to Other States

    1. Florida to Georgia: Road trip from Orlando to Atlanta 440 miles from Orlando (6 hours 30 minutes) Why you should take this road trip: This road trip from Orlando to Atlanta takes you to the capital of Georgia, where you can experience the city's rich history and culture.

  19. 4-Day Solo Cross-Country Road Trip from Florida to California

    Took another solo cross-country road trip with my dog from Florida to California and did it in 4 days this time (instead of my usual 5-day route).CHAPTERS:00...

  20. Our Cross-country Road Trip from California to Florida

    DAY 1: Los Angeles > Tombstone, 559 miles, 8.5 hours DAY 2: Explore Tombstone DAY 3: Tombstone > Marfa, 487 miles, 7.5 hours DAY 4: Marfa > Waco, 467 miles, 7 hours DAY 5: Explore Waco / Magnolia Market DAY 6: Waco > Mobile, 648 miles, 9.5 hours DAY 7: Mobile > Tampa, 510 miles, 7.5 hours ROAD TRIP PREP

  21. 12 Scenic California Road Trips To Take With Unforgettable Stops ...

    The post 12 Scenic California Road Trips To Take With Unforgettable Stops Along the Way appeared first on AZ Animals. More for You Jack Smith's Trump Case Removed From Court Docket Raises Eyebrows

  22. Realistically, This Is How Long It Would Take You To Drive ...

    That said, many people often go off the highways and into smaller towns, communities, and monuments, making this trip easily capable of taking 10,000 miles and 200+ hours on the road. Sticking to the true meaning of a Lower 48 road trip adventure, you could technically do this drive in under 14 days if you're on the road for around 8 hours per day.

  23. 5 romantic road trips for couples this Valentine's Day

    A road trip from NYC to Shelter Island typically takes around 2 hours. It also spans over 100 miles in total, making it one of the best options for a Valentine's Day day trip.

  24. NASCAR returns to the Coliseum with the future of Clash ...

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  25. Jacksonville to California drive

    11:00 am start in Jacksonville. drive for about 5.5 hours. 4:23 pm Pensacola. stay overnight and leave the next day around 9:00 am. day 1 driving ≈ 5.5 hours. find more stops. Day 2. 9:00 am leave from Pensacola. drive for about 4 hours.

  26. Orlando to California drive

    Day 1 10:00 am start in Orlando drive for about 6.5 hours 4:45 pm Pensacola stay overnight and leave the next day around 10:00 am day 1 driving ≈ 6.5 hours find more stops Day 2 10:00 am leave from Pensacola drive for about 8 hours 5:46 pm Shreveport stay overnight and leave the next day around 11:00 am day 2 driving ≈ 8 hours find more stops Day 3

  27. Florida to California City drive

    10:00 am start at Florida. drive for about 7 hours. 4:56 pm Panama City Beach. stay overnight and leave the next day around 9:00 am. day 1 driving ≈ 7 hours. find more stops. Day 2. 9:00 am leave from Panama City Beach. drive for about 3 hours.