Things to See Between Los Angeles and Austin by State: California

After living in Los Angeles for over a year, I decided to make a big life change: move back to Austin, Texas to focus on my creative side and my travels! We decided to expand the 2-3 day journey into a week in order to explore places we’d never seen before. We are travelers after all, right?

This guide series will enlighten you on stops to make while driving from Los Angeles to Austin starting with stops in California. Keep following the series for further information on stops in the other states.


Los Angeles

California, like most states, is so large that no two cities are alike. Los Angeles is by far one of the most unique cities in the world, and its infamous beach, Santa Monica, serves as the end to the historic route 66.

While in Santa Monica, make sure to settle in a cozy spot near the pier and behold a beautiful west coast sunset. There is seriously nothing like it.

Aside from the beach, Los Angeles is thriving in entertainment. If you’re looking for day fun, visit one of the theme parks, including Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and of course, Disneyland.

For sports fans, fitting in an LA Dodger’s game is a must. The Dodger’s ballpark is unique due to it’s retro and historical vibe.

The LA nightlife is most interesting in neighborhoods Hollywood and West Hollywood.

Just recently, a popup bar/restaurant the Beetlehouse LA opened for Tim Burton fans (there’s also one in NYC). Only supposed to have been open for 80 days, it has been extended due to its popularity. Make sure to book a reservation far in advance because they go quickly. However,  reservations often cancel in advance and you can sign up to receive alerts when they do!

Big Bear

This lake hidden in San Bernardino is truly a gem and is about an hour up into the mountains from I-10. The ambiance is ideal for both Winter and Summer visits, so you can never really go wrong, as long as you visit!

The village, only a few blocks from the lake, consists of restaurants, bars, shops, and sweets!

If you dine at Saucy Mama’s Pizzeria (which has amazing pizza), then you get 10% off your dessert next door at the North Pole Fudge and Ice Cream Co.

Palm Springs

As you whip onto I-10 from Big Bear,  you’ll come across a large display of giant windmills.

This is the first sign you have made it to Palm Springs!

Palm Springs is known mainly for being a desert escape from the big city where CA natives and tourists alike can relax by their boutique hotel pool with cocktails in hand, play a round of golf, and dine indoors at chic restaurants when the heat is too much.

There are also several museums and galleries worth checking out, such as Imago Galleries and the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Joshua Tree National Park

Not far from Palm Springs, this desert park is absolutely worth seeing if you have time on your trip!

The region, lavish with Joshua trees, is great for hiking and opportunities for stunning photography.


Stay tuned for coming posts on stops in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas!

Which stop in California seems most interesting to you? Tell me below 🙂

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