California’s Coastal Gems


Along the coast of California lays paved the Pacific Coast Highway, or as Angelenos call it — PCH. While experiencing PCH beauties from the Greater Los Angeles Area, one may locate various landmarks of the Golden State. Just to name a few: Santa Monica, Pismo Beach, Golden Gate Bridge, Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Everybody owes a visit to coastal exhibits, sitting beside the vivacious Pacific Ocean and its glistening pink sunset skies. Some of these locations are a full-tank away, whilst others deserve more preparation. We have compiled a few of our favorite weekend-locations to visit on your free time from Los Angeles!

El Matador State Beach

Caves. Caves. Caves. Notably known as Malibu’s best kept secret, El Matador State Beach emphasizes California aesthetics with an oceanfront version of cave-hunting. Its geographic proximity to Los Angeles urban density is almost shocking. Located within Malibu’s jurisdiction, the PCH incorporates El Matador State Beach as one of the best locations to visit at any time of the year.

If you are looking for a little nature getaway for the day, wildlife, sea life, and painting-like landscapes provide an essential setting for an exciting time. Not to mention, a killer view accompanied by unorthodox geological formations and complimenting beach scene. Nevertheless, the state beach offers scenery that is considered one of the absolute must-see locations the U.S. can offer.

Big Sur

Big Sur Bixby Creek Bridge is atop California’s most beautiful structures, connecting two cliffs with extravagant engineering. Whether you visit on a sunny or cloudy day, the Bridge sets a vibe that can only be felt in person.

Miles away from Monterey, Big Sure is a perfect day-destination for Angelenos to glimpse a preview of Northern California enchantment. Don’t forget to check out a few hiking trails nearby and tucked-in eateries on the way!

Santa Barbara

You have probably heard of Santa Barbara on multiple accounts — whether it is for the college night life or the local surf scene. Either way, Santa Barbara beauty and environment proposes a weekend destination filled with festivities. Simply put — there is always something to do.

The city’s integral downtown promises unique gourmet food with fixed drinks on the rocks to cool off in the sun. Not to mention, neighboring Ojai hosts numerous wineries and food scenes worthy of a visit along the way.

Pismo Beach

In 1955, I love Lucy mentioned the beauty of Pismo Beach, claiming that one of Lucy’s top destinations to visit was the Californian coastal city itself. Tucked away beneath Santa Cruz and above Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach is only a smooth 3 hours away from Los Angeles urban perplexity.

Pismo Beach, located within reach of collegetown San Luis Obispo, it offers a calm, soothing view of natural landscape accompanied by ocean spray — creating an undeniable nexus. Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to this hidden gem deems worthy for coastal flicks, picnics, and natural exploration.

Santa Monica Pier

If you’re looking for just 20–45 min drive within Los Angeles County borders, then the good ol’ famous Santa Monica Pier is worth the choice. Santa Monica’s booming tech industry, alongside hip coffee shops and its prominent promenade offers locals and visitors a place to explore, relax and breathe.

It is no accident for locals to embrace the Pier as a part of LA culture and identity, therefore it had to make it on our top spots to visit when driving up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Did we miss a spot? We’re only human — let us know if you think you have a secret spot for us to share! Royal American Tours’ minibus rentals are perfect for day-cations rolling on the Pacific Coast.