Californians love our cars and as much as we detest traffic, we love the open road. Whether you simply want to jump in the car and go or you want to plan out something more involved, we have compiled 10 of the best road trips around. Mission Viejo is a great starting point whether you’re just heading down to San Juan Capistrano to see the swallows returning or all the way up the 101 to go wine tasting and other cool places along the way and then some.
1. San Diego 75 miles approx. 1 hour 15 minutes: What’s not to love about San Diego? Beaches and waterfronts, the Gaslamp Quarter, farmers markets galore. There is so much to see and do in San Diego alone, a month might not be enough time, but since it’s so close to Mission Viejo, this is one road trip we suggest you often take.
2. San Juan Capistrano 8.5 miles approx. 12 minutes: San Juan Capistrano might be close to Mission Viejo, but it boasts one of the most beautiful of the 21 Spanish Missions that dot the California coast. San Juan Capistrano is also host the to returning swallows every March and is worth a lovely afternoon visit.
3. Las Vegas 275 miles approx. 4 hours: Southern California to Vegas is one of the most epic road trips there ever was and truly commands your attention. Once you’re out of the city limits, the road opens up and invites you to put the pedal to the medal and soar across the desert plains to the oasis of all things glittery and gold.
4. Palm Springs 100 miles approx. 1 hour 45 minutes: Another desert location that is full of life and away from the big city, this location delivers raw beauty, calming springs, fabulous food, and fun shopping. Join the likes of Frank Sinatra for a fabulous weekend away.
5. Big Bear 105 miles approx. 2 hours 5 minutes: When you’ve finished your early morning surfing, it’s time to head to Southern California’s alpine retreat, Big Bear. So close, yet so far out into nature. From off-road trails to kayaking on Big Bear Lake in the summer to skiing in the winter, there’s something here for every outdoor enthusiast.
6. San Francisco 430 miles approx. 7 hours: San Francisco may be one of the smallest big cities in the world (50 square miles), but it has so much to offer. The city by the bay offers exquisite cuisine, world-class shopping, and endless opportunities to bask in culture. Plus it’s just plain fun!
7. Julian 100 miles approx. 2 hours: Head to San Diego and then hang a left and keep on driving! About an hour outside of San Diego City limits you will find this jewel of a mountain town made famous for its mouth-watering apple pie. Quaint, charming, and shops full of works by local artisans and crafters. And what a beautiful drive!
8. Monterey 370 miles approx. 6 hours: So you want to see whales do ya? Well, Monterey offers lots of opportunities to see marine life, from local charters that will take you out to see the whales or one of the world’s best aquariums where you can see some of the most beautiful jellyfish around without fear of the sting. Aquariums, golf, cuisine delights, endless shopping… Monterey is a wonderful weekend road trip from Mission Viejo!
9. Napa Valley 470 miles approx. 7.5 hours: Are you a fan of the open road, beautiful vistas, and fabulous wine? Well, then you’ve picked the best road trip ever! Head up the 101 and be careful not to get a ticket because it’s hard not to want to fly. Gorgeous scenery and endless vineyards will make this a destination you’ll want to return to again and again.
10. Redwood National and State Parks 740 miles approx. 12.5 hours: The longest of our recommended road trips, the beauty of the redwoods is unparalleled and well worth the long drive. There are easy, soft hikes and much more intense ones as well. There are trails for hiker, bikers, and equestrians. So much to see and do here, you simply won’t want to leave.
There is nothing better than a road trip to get away from it all and nothing worse than having your car break down to instantly flip the mood. Don’t let that happen to you! Before heading out, let Larry’s Independent Service give your vehicle a thorough once over to help ensure a smooth and seamless grand adventure. Schedule your appointment today and get on your way! Visit us at 25721 Taladro Circle Unit A, Mission Viejo, CA 92691.