Camper Van Travel Guide: San Francisco To Los Angeles

Stuart Williams
By Stuart Williams 8 Min Read
camper van travel guide for san francisco to los angeles

California is regarded as one of the best road-trip destinations in the States. Full of opportunities to experience activities ranging from water sports to mountain biking, there is no surprise that it has been the go-to destination for Roadtrippers who are looking for a camper van rental in california. From the tip of the north to the very bottom of the south, there is something for every type of traveler.

With beautiful sceneries and wildlife, paired with bustling city life in the inner cities, there are a myriad of routes to take and locations to visit. Every road trip through California can be a unique one if you want it to be.

Pick A Route

When it comes to California, picking your route is one of the most crucial parts of your road trip. With the various activities and atmospheres you can experience from north to south, there is an unlimited combination of places to visit and routes to take. Be it from north to south or south to north, each route will give you a different road trip from another.

We personally chose to fly into San Francisco and travel towards Los Angeles before departing from there. A two-week getaway and a seven-day long road trip between the two cities were just what I needed to relieve any stresses I had.

This is a route we highly recommend for anyone traveling between the two cities. After a couple of days in San Francisco, we departed toward LA. Yosemite, Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, and Paso Robles were the highlights of our road trip. Taking this specific route gives you the best views along the southbound Highway 1 lane closest to the ocean. As you travel further toward LA, you will work your way towards sandy white beaches and warmer temperatures.

Destination Highlights

San Francisco

San Francisco is a vibrant and bustling city and is home to some of the most infamous locations and tourist sites. The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz are a must-see and snap a few pictures as well. Making your way through the city, be sure to visit the Museum Of Modern Art and take a bike ride up the steep hills of Lombard Street and the city’s famous boardwalks. Feeling a little hungry? Make a stop at SOMA StrEat food park and enjoy some of the popular eats amongst locals and tourists alike.

Yosemite National Park

This place is a must-visit when you plan to go on a road trip through California. Yosemite is one of the most popular national parks in the states, with millions of people visiting it every year. Popular activities include rock climbing, hiking, and camping as well. Do take a hike up Glacier Point as well to take in the breathtaking view that this place has to offer!


The coastal town of Monterey has much to offer with its food scene and atmosphere that this place has. Dotted with shops and patios, this coastal town is surely something you’d appreciate.

Big Sur

Simply a stunning meeting of land and sea, this coastline is known as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It is also known as the longest stretch of undeveloped coastlines in the United States, giving you a fresh experience. Talk to any road trip traveler and they will tell you that the stretch of Highway one passing through Big Sur is one of the best driving stretches ever. The unblemished natural scenery will keep you in awe as you drive through this area. This region is also home to a few hiking trails that offer compelling views as well as the famous Point Sur Lighthouse.

Paso Robles

This region is home to some of the most well-known vintners and their wines, oak hills, and numerous wine tasting rooms. Paso Robles possesses a small-town charm and has a laid-back atmosphere that all travelers appreciate. You can even spend the night here and try out their hot springs and wine. The art scene in Paso Robles is vibrant, with various artists drawing inspiration from the landscape and vineyards. Be sure to check them out at the various museums and open art exhibitions around Paso Robles.


No place along the coast is as lively and as scenic as Malibu and its famous beaches. Here you get to bask under the warmth of the sun and enjoy the water. Many take this opportunity to ride the waves as well, whilst others spend their time walking along the coast and taking pictures of the cliffs and scenic views.

Los Angeles

The last stop of the trip is no less of an experience than the others. Art exhibitions, music festivals, beaches, and food trucks are some of the things you should definitely check out in LA whilst there.

Thoroughly Plan — Then Prepare To Forget The Plan

Road trips take a great deal of planning beforehand. Knowing your routes, backup routes, and backup routes are important in case things go south. Getting to know more about the locations you will be passing by will definitely help you make decisions on the fly, and you wouldn’t be so preoccupied with finding your way around.

Things won’t always go your way, hence it is ideal that you prepare as best as possible for these types of situations.

Camper van accommodations are also a must to be looked into beforehand to avoid any unnecessary problems. It is even best to book these sites before your trip, especially during peak seasons when campsites are easily filled up day by day.

Choosing The Right Camper Van

Your camper van of choice will make or break your road trip. Since you’ll be on the road quite frequently, it is important to choose a suitable camper van for long-distance traveling. This includes having good mileage and gear necessary for the trip such as GPS systems.


Road trips aren’t just about the destinations, but also the journey itself. Enjoying the sights as you drive along the coast or highway will certainly add to your experience. What’s more, take the time to spontaneously take photos of the scenery and even try out any food places you find along the way.

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Hey, I'm Stuart, a tech enthusiast and writing expert. With a passion for technology, I specialize in crafting in-depth articles, reviews, and affiliate content. In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, I've witnessed how the age of the internet has transformed technology journalism. Even in the era of social media and video marketing, reading articles remains crucial for gaining valuable insights and staying informed. Join me as we explore the exciting realm of tech together!
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