The Perfect Fall Road Trip in California!

New England may be famous for fall foliage, but California holds its own when it comes to beautiful drives. Long stretches of highway can take locals and visitors alike through some of the most gorgeous beachside towns on earth. Get ready to travel up the coast, where there will be plenty of easy stops, scenic vistas, and memories to be made. 

Bella Vista, Santa Barbara, CA

Have dined at its finest at Bella Vista. Enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the ocean and islands off Montecito's Butterfly Beach while delighting in their organic, Italian-inspired, California-coastal cuisine. Get ready to have your taste buds taken on an unforgettable journey.

Butterfly Beach, Montecito, CA

After brunch, head across the street to Butterfly Beach. You can stroll along the sand or along the sidewalk, depending on how you feel about the soft stuff. According to your ambition, your stroll can take you to nearby beaches or you can enjoy the luxe neighborhood.

When drone shots give you butterflies 🦋

A post shared by ATLAS IMAGERY (@atlasimagery) on

Goshi, San Luiso Obispo, CA

As you drive north through Central California’s wine country, you’ll notice fall colors at vineyards. Stop for lunch at Goshi Japanese Restaurant in San Luis Obispo, an authentic spot serving some of the best sushi you’ll find outside of Los Angeles. Be prepared to wait and take the time to explore the small shopping center, formerly a historic creamery.

Cave Landing Trail at Avila Beach

For a quick hike, head over to Cave Landing in Avila Beach. Only half a mile or so, the easy trek offers beautiful views of California’s Central Coast. 

Avila Valley Barn, San Luis Obispo, CA

To enjoy the bounty of California’s harvest, head over to Avila Valley Barn. The farm offers seasonal u-pick produce, including apples if you happen to be there during the fall, along with other seasonal fun and entertainment.

I have loved taking photos for as long as I can remember, but I was always so intimidated to switch the dial to manual. With the gentle push of a friend, I finally got the courage to take an online photo class @nicolesclasses. I was so thankful I did! My motivation was my favorite little subject pictured above. My desire to learn photography was to capture these moments of time, to really tell the story of her growing up. This photo is still one of my all time favorites I've captured of her. This moment is frozen in time forever. As I continue to learn my craft and grow as a photographer, she will most undoubtedly be my favorite person to photograph. So push yourself out of your comfort zone and take that leap of faith. You'll never regret trying something new or pursuing your passion. . . . #photography #momentbymoment #applepicking #makingmemories #nicolesclasses #avilabarn #avilavalleybarn @avilavalleybarn

A post shared by Felisha Connolly (@felishaconnolly) on

Mission San Miguel, San Miguel, CA

Head inland onto the 101 to check out Mission San Miguel. Still an active place of worship, Mission San Miguel was temporarily an inn during its long history and the site of a major massacre. Since then, there have been numerous stories of hauntings.

The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar, Paso Robles, CA

After a long day, unwind for a drink and delicious meal at the Hatch. This Paso Robles spot boasts a very cool ambiance, with a brick interior and interesting light fixtures. For a hearty dinner, try the Hatch Burger—made with bacon, white cheddar, Hatch sauce, and sea salt and vinegar chips. Try their excellent cocktails, too, like the “Hatch a Plan” made with vodka, pistachio syrup, and lime ginger beer. 

Paso Robles Inn, Paso Robles, CA

Now it’s time to rest. Stay the night at the beautiful Paso Robles Inn, which features deluxe mineral spa rooms. After you’ve been traveling, it’s the perfect way to relax. These rooms feature your own private hot springs mineral tub. Make sure to wrap yourself up in one of their plush bathrobes when you’re done! 

Huckleberry’s, Pismo Beach, CA

For breakfast, we’re heading to Pismo Beach! Huckleberry’s is a classic spot for “Southern cookin’ with a California twist.” Their breakfast specialties include “Tom’s Scramble”—a homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with either sausage or chicken fried steak, and scrambled eggs and Huck’s country gravy. 

Breakfast with my dad! Love having these breakfasts with him once a week. #dad #dads #food #foodie #breakfast

A post shared by Shannon Marie Gurnee (@redheadmomblog) on

Pismo Beach

Now, with a belly full of breakfast and your road trip wrapping up, check out the stunning shores of Pismo Beach. The waterfront sights in Pismo Beach are immaculate. Check out Silver Shoals Park, Margo Dodd Park Beach, Memory Park, and Pismo Pier from some of the most beautiful views of your trip! 

The view never gets old..💙 #PismoBeach

A post shared by Pismo Beach CA (@pismobeachca) on

This text was created by the author with the assistance of GPT-3, a large-scale language generation model developed by OpenAI. The author reviewed, edited, and revised the draft language to their satisfaction and is fully responsible for the content of this publication.

Share your favorites!
California Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You

Rodney Carrington

7:00 PM
William Saroyan Theatre Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center, Fresno, CA
Learn More

Fresno Comedy Jam

7:30 PM
Save Mart Center, Fresno, CA
Learn More

Classic Cinema @ CACHE

6:00 PM
CACHE- Center for Art, Culture, and History Exeter, Exeter, CA
Learn More


8:00 PM
Rainbow Ballroom, Fresno, CA
Learn More
Show More
Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
326 North Irwin Street, Hanford, CA
History:A small history of early theatre palaces in the United States which includes the Historic Hanford Fox Theatre, one of the few remaining sti... Read More
890 West Belmont Avenue, Fresno, CA
Rotary Storyland & Playland exist to create memories through exceptional service, affordable entertainment and education for the children and f... Read More
894 West Belmont Avenue, Fresno, CA
Our Mission:  It is to provide a fun, unique and up-close experience that strengthens the bond between people and wildlife. About The Fresno... Read More
815 East Olive Avenue, Fresno, CA
The crown jewel of Fresno's hottest nightlife neighborhood, the Tower Theatre lends its name to an area which has been a community focus of arts an... Read More
5021 West Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA
History:- The Underground Gardens are the life-long devotion and hobby of Baldassare Forestiere (1879-1946), a Siciliani mmigrant who came to Amer... Read More
11413 East Shaw Avenue, Clovis, CA
Wild Water Adventure Park is the largest and wildest water park in Central California. Our Amusement Park / Theme Park offers family fun including ... Read More
6099 West Barstow Avenue, Fresno, CA
The Island Water Park is the Central Valley's  ultimate family water adventure located in Fresno. Island Water Park is the place for thrills a... Read More
114 West Audubon Drive, Fresno, CA
Purpose: The purpose of this Corporation shall be to aid and assist in the development, maintenance, operation, expansion, protection and preserva... Read More
Select a California town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Los Angeles County
San Francisco County