There’s nothing more epic or more iconic than the great American road trip. Road trips are embedded into the very fabric of the American male soul. America created car culture, and there’s nothing better than a road trip with the boys. With a country as big as ours, you can’t do it all at once, so you better pick an awesome destination.
California. The Golden State. Just the name is enough to conjure up images of splendor, fun, sun, surf and snow. If you are trying to decide on where your next boys’ trip should be, California needs to be on the very top of that list. Even if you already live in California there are places yet to be discovered, and still more places that deserve another look.
The state has one of the longest coastlines in the country and unfettered access to beautiful beaches sitting on the edge of the great blue pacific ocean. California hosts world class mountain ranges, redwood forests, deserts, cosmopolitan cities, and enough attractions to satiate even the most adventurous of travelers.
Here’s an ultimate guide for planning a road trip to California with the boys.
Before You Go
Preparation is key to any successful mission. Make no mistake, a road trip with your friends is a mission. Pack light, but not barebones. When packing for your trip be sure to bring gear for every type of weather and climate. California is big and varied so in some areas things can change fast. The southern end, San Diego through Santa Barbara is pretty nice all year round, but once you get up through the central and northern coast, San Francisco to Humbolt, the climate can be much cooler and wetter.
Don’t over pack with stuff you can buy on the road. California is pretty developed so stores are plentiful. Pick the biggest car with the best gas milage, you have a lot of state to cover. Gas prices vary throughout the state but in general gas is expensive in California.
Make sure you have all your car’s paperwork and insurance papers. If you’re planning a road trip, be prepared to be pulled over at least once. California is a strict state with strict driving laws, and there are certainly enough Californian cops to enforce them. If you have ever had your driver license suspended, drivers are required to carry an insurance compliant with SR22 insurance California state mandates. If you are planning on making an excursion to Mexico you will also need Mexican insurance and a valid US passport.
Top 3 Destinations
Now you’re packed and prepared it’s time to hit the road. Here’re some of the top Californian road trip destinations.
1. San Diego
America’s Finest city lives up to its motto. The weather is perfect year round. The beaches are spectacular, and the city is beaming with night life. Oh ya and it boarders Mexico. With Zebra painted Donkeys, ice cold cervezas, fresh lobsters, carne asada street tacos, switchblades, ninja stars, houses of ill repute, and discoteca’s. every boys’ trip through California needs to have a good Mexico story!
Down town San Diego, and its Gas Lamp District has a really good night life and restaurant scene, but it’s a little more upscale and can be pricey. If you want to party hard and don’t want to pay big dollars, check out the coast line from Ocean Beach to Pacific beach. This stretch has become known for its wild college driven night life. You are sure to find some amazing deals on drinks and live music almost any night of the week. San Diego is also the micro brew capital of the U.S.. SD houses more micro breweries than anywhere else in the country, so drink up.
Looking to walk of that hangover with something a little more wholesome, San Diego is also home to Sea World, A world famous Zoo, the Wild Animal Park, Balboa Park, and Lego Land. Also San Diego is about three hours away from snowboarding at Big Bear Mountain, or three hours to some of the best desert rally spots like the Glamis Dunes.
2. Los Angeles
The city of Angeles is built around, Hollywood dreams, star walks of fame, Beverly Hills mansions, a really heavy music scene, and raw craziness. As Axl Rose put it “Welcome to the jungle.” Depending on your constitution and threshold you could spend one night or the rest of your life in L.A..
Los Angeles is a sprawling concrete jungle and driving around on its freeways can be a nightmare. But it does have a lot to offer. Most of the biggest movie and tv studios are there, so there’s a good chances of rubbing elbows with some of the Silver Screen’s most famous. It’s also home to the Playboy Mansion.
Everyone thinks of the Playboy mansion as an exclusive place for only the most famous or lucky, but that is not always the case. Check it out online, the mansion often hosts parties and sells tickets to the public. Any boys trip through L.A. should seriously consider a night at the Playboy Mansion.
3. San Francisco
It not hard to find great things to do in San Francisco. San Francisco is a really fun and diverse city. The music scene is world class, with cool dive bars and speak easy like venues. San Francisco has a ton to see with places like China Town, Fishermen’s Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square.
If your looking to get away from the tourist crowds, and grinding urban nightlife, go see the place the held Al Capone, Alcatraz Island. The coolest jail system in the country. So cool there have been numerous movies featuring the Island. It’s defiantly worth the boat ride.