The sprawling Golden State is full of beautiful natural wonders. While there is so much to explore, we have to admit we're getting some serious wanderlust looking at our southern neighbor's sandy shores. If you're in the mood for some fun, we've got the ultimate destination trip. We've made an epic list of the best road trip from California to Mexico.

From jaw-dropping ocean views, and amazing hiking spots to beautiful turquoise pools you can swim in and scenic wine drinking spots, this trip has it all. This map will take you all the way from central California to Mexico. 

To make the most of your trip, we suggest renting a car, so you can leave it at a rental location and fly to further-out beautiful exotic beaches and cenotes at the end of your trip.

Are you ready for adventure?

Temple Crag

Price: Free for hikers

Location: Big Pine Lakes Trail, John Muir Wilderness, California

Why You Should Go: You can see seven stunning turquoise alpine lakes and waterfalls on this hike. You can take a dip in some too!

Website

Alabama Hills

Price: Free

Location: Alabama Hills, California

Why You Should Go: You can hike among crazy rock formations and see the Milky Way stargazing at night.

Website

Wild Willy's Hot Springs

Price: Free

Location: Mammoth Lakes, California. You can see the directions listed here.

Why You Should Go: You can soak in beautiful heart-shaped hot springs surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Website

Joshua Tree National Park

Price: Free

Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California

Why You Should Go: This vast desert has unusual landscapes and large rugged rocks. It's a great place to hike, explore, and take pics with your BFFs.

Website

Artist's Palette

Price: Free

Location: Artist’s Drive, Death Valley, California

Why You Should Go: You can drive through 9 miles of beautiful rainbow-colored mountains.

Website

Los Angeles

Price: Free

Location: Los Angeles, California

Why You Should Go: There are endless things to see and do! Take a hike by the Hollywood sign, see the Griffith Observatory at night, visit the scenic glass Wayfarer's Chapel, and take a pic by your fave celeb's star.

Website

Big Bear Lake

Price: Free

Location: Big Bear Lake, California

Why You Should Go: Big Bear is one of the most famous skiing and hiking places in California. Plus, there's a cool alpine slide you can race your besties on for $6. During the winter, it's a snowy wonderland!

Website

Victoria Beach

Price: Free

Location: Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach, California. You can get full directions here.

Why You Should Go: You can swim in a natural saltwater pool overlooking the ocean and explore an old lighthouse on the beach.

Website

Kayak Through Sea Caves in La Jolla

Price: It varies by the tour you choose.

Location: 2164 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, California

Why You Should Go: You can kayak through prehistoric sea caves and see some turtles and Leopard sharks up close!

Website

Go Wine Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe

Price: Varies by location

Location: Near Ensenada, Mexico

Why You Should Go: This lush valley is home to a growing collection of wineries and vineyards you can tour. Prices are affordable and you can easily book a tour from Ensenada.

Website

Fly from Tijuana to Manuel Márquez de León International Airport

Price: Varies by season

Location: México 1, 23206 La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico

Why You Should Go: Some of Mexico's most beautiful beaches and cenotes are much further south - and it's way too far to drive. Why not take a cheap flight and see it all?

Website

Explore Clear Water Beaches at Isla del Espiritu Santo 

Price: Day trip from La Paz costs $55 USD per person. Additional costs vary by tour.

Location: Isla Espiritu Santo, Mexico

Why You Should Go: This beautiful island is home to clear blue water and stunning biodiversity. You can also find important sites with archaeological remains of the Pericu indigenous group.

Website

Fly From Manuel Márquez de León International Airport to Cozumel International Airport

Price: Varies by season

Location: Boulevard Aeropuerto Cozumel s/n, 77600, Mexico

Why You Should Go: Cozumel is the closest airport to Tulum, where scenic beaches and turquoise water cenotes await you.

Website

Editor's Note: You can find important safety tips and information on car rentals, car insurance, and more for your road trip here.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.