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?
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. You can take a dip in some too!
Location: Alabama Hills, California
Why You Should Go: You can hike among crazy rock formations and see the Milky Way stargazing at night.
Wild Willy's Hot Springs
Location: Mammoth Lakes, California. You can see the directions listed.
Why You Should Go: You can soak in beautiful heart-shaped hot springs surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
Joshua Tree National Park
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.
Location: Artist’s Drive, Death Valley, California
Why You Should Go: You can drive through 9 miles of beautiful.
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.
Big Bear Lake
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!
Location: Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach, California. You can get full directions.
Why You Should Go: You can swim in a natural saltwaterand explore an old lighthouse on the beach.
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 canand see some turtles and Leopard sharks up close!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.