One of the most scenic and most enjoyable road trips you can embark on is up the Pacific Coast. Popular routes include Vancouver, British Columbia to San Francisco, California, or Seattle, Washington to Los Angeles, California. Southern California to Northern California, along the Pacific Coast Highway, is another great one. The nature you will see along the way is incredible on any of these routes. I’m talking beautiful lakes, gorgeous forests, stunning mountain peaks, charming seaside villages, serene beaches, hidden coves, amazing wineries and coastal ocean views.
You can’t go wrong with a Pacific Coast road trip (especially in the Spring or Summer) for several reasons. There are so many bucket-list cities to visit along the way, such as Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. British Columbia is home to some of the most beautiful natural OMGs in the world, including stunning glaciers, mountains and lakes. California is home to some of the best beaches in the world, as well as world-class entertainment. California’s beach culture is known for bringing entertainment to the beach, from the famous Venice Boardwalk to the iconic pier at Huntington Beach. Here are 4 tips that will enhance your Pacific Coast road trip.
1. Pack a Paddle Board
There are so many amazing, crystal clear lakes of emerald green and turquoise blue that you can stop at throughout a road trip up the Pacific Coast – and a paddle board is one of the best ways to enjoy them. The board can easily be strapped to the roof of your car – and don’t forget the paddle! One of the reasons why a paddle board is a smart thing to pack on a Pacific Coast road trip is because of the glacier lakes. They’re so beautiful, and you’ll want to explore them, but they’re often too cold to swim in. A paddle board lets you explore these lakes and immerse yourself in the glacier and mountain peaks that envelope them without freezing your butt off. It’s also nice to get some exercise after sitting in a car all day.
Don’t forget that the ocean is calm enough to paddle board in at certain beaches in California as well. It’s not difficult to find a website with a paddle board sale where you can buy a paddle board at a great price, especially around Black Friday. Consider this an investment, since you’ll want to start bringing it on every road trip or camping trip that you go on.
2. Plan Where You’ll Stop
Don’t just wing it, or you might miss out on the best stops. Do your research and plan where you’re going to stop. This way, you won’t miss out on that stunning turquoise glacier lake in British Columbia, or those hidden sea caves in Laguna, California. You should also research which national parks you want to stop at along the way – because there are some great ones. If you want to be a master planner, find out which amazing restaurants are on your way as well. Find out which culinary experience each town or city is known for, and plan accordingly.
3. Pack the Right Snacks
The more time you waste in drive-through line ups, the less time you get at each beautiful stop. Save your money for nice restaurants – don’t waste it on fast food. You can also save time and keep your energy up by packing the right snacks on your road trip. Ideally, you want finger foods that don’t make your fingers sticky, and that don’t require cutlery. You also want as many foods that don’t go bad as possible, since you can’t fit everything into a portable cooler. Pack trail mix with your favorite nuts and dried fruits. Pack a bag of grapes to pop in your mouth while you sing along to your favorite tunes. Make yourself a couple of sandwiches for the road, and don’t forget about water and juice to keep yourself hydrated. Just in case your fingers do get a little greasy, pack baby wipes which is a quick fix for yucky hands. (Baby wipes also are great for refreshing your face and wiping under your eyes to wake up your eyes.) Being prepared like this will save you time, so that you can spend your time enjoying each nature stop a little longer.
4. Pack for All Types of Weather
Even in the warm summer months, the Pacific Coast is unpredictable. Certain areas along the Pacific Coast are known for being colder or known for rain. Pack warm clothing, rain armor, and don’t let yourself be uncomfortable during a rest stop because you didn’t pack the right clothes. In addition to packing warm clothing, you should also pack extra towels and blankets, just in case.