My Californian Roadtrip – LA to San Diego

 In Active Travel, California, Get Inspired, Once In A Lifetime, Roadtrips, USA
My Californian roadtrip from LA down to San Diego in the back of my friends truck is hands down one of my favourite travel memories so far.
A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog
Most of my adventures are working adventures with itineraries, early starts, energy consuming days, late nights editing and to be honest… very little time for relaxing.
But this Californian Roadtrip seemed to come at a perfect time and was EXACTLY what i needed to switch off, kick back, relax and indulge in every single thing i love most about exploring the world.

No Alarms

Spontaneous Detours

Beautiful Sunsets

Campstove Dinners

Fresh Air

Surfing

Bare Feet

Palm Trees

Sunshine

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Usually when i’m exploring somewhere new, I jam pack the itinerary to make sure i cover the maximum ground to see as much as possible, to create as much content as possible.
But as I become a more seasoned traveller i’ve realised its SO much better and more rewarding to spend more time in less places.
To not rush and to really immerse myself in places.
Combine that with the fact I didnt want my new travel partner (who i met randomly whilst adventuring in Paris last year) to feel like he was on a working mission with me.
So our Californian Roadtrip was over a total distance of 120 miles which, in a straight run, would have taken about 2.5 hours, but we meandered down the route over a week.

Happy Days.

Incase you’re looking for California Roadtrip inspiration…
Here are the main spots we covered, stopped and ate at, plus the bits that made my week so wonderful..

DAY 1 – Venice Beach and Santa Monica

Things we did:

– Walk down Santa Monica Beach and Venice Beach front + grab lunch in one of the restaurants

The stretch of path that runs along the beach front is 3miles long. It takes about an hour to walk it, which we did, but cycling is a popular alternative. There are many bike rental shops along the front and plenty of spaces to lock up your bike when you want to dip into a restaurant for dinner.
The beach fronts definitely weren’t what I had pictured them to be, I quite literally saw EVERYTHING on this day, including the guy I managed to snap below. On TV, in films, in media, LA falls nothing short of glitz, glamour and fame and thats the image I had, over the years, built in my head. But that image is very different to the reality. Yes all of that stuff is there, but LA is MASSIVE, seriously. And like any other city, there are the homeless, there are the rich and there is everything in-between.
A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog
After being quite taken aback by some of the sights and situations I witnessed on the beach front, I can’t say I felt much at home on first impressions. But a chance to catch up with my friend just a 10 minute walk off of the beach in Santa Monica town, had my opinions turned around pretty quickly…

– Wander through the gorgeous palm lined streets of Santa Monica, dip into the shops and listen to the live buskers on the streets

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Embrace American culture in Mexican sports bar Cabo Cantina with 2-for-1 cocktails + Enchiladas

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Grab a peanut bowl from Shophouse Kitchen

We shared the enchiladas from the Mexican… but yes we are also piglets!

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog
{First night we stayed in hotel near airport which we booked through price line.com. Airbnb is also a great option if youre on a budget}

DAY 2 – Be A Hollywood Tourist

Things we did:

– Hiked to the back of the Hollywood sign via Cahuenga Peak and the Wisdom Tree

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog
There are 3 levels of difficulty depending on your ability, our walk was deemed the hardest and took about 2 hours to complete.
You could also just opt to drive to the front of the sign for a photo which requires about 30 seconds of walking.
A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Drive through Hollywood Blvd, UCLA + Beverly Hills down to Westwood

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Grab an unbelievable $2 IceCream sandwich from Diddy Reeces

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle BlogA 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

{I had one peanut butter cookie and one smart filled chocolate cookie with rocky road icecream inbetween. UNREAL and only $2}
Find Diddy Riese’s here – 926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024, United States

WATCH THE CALIFORNIAN ROADTRIP COME TO LIFE IN PART 1 OF MY VLOG…

DAY 3 – Long Beach + Huntington Beach

Things we did:

– Browse the shops in The Pike Shopping Village

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Dine refreshingly on the gorgeous summer salads and cocktails at The Yard House waterfront eatery

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog– Grab a Doughnut for the road {it was National Doughnut Day and I was in America… Obvious move}

– Drive down to Huntington Beach + park up for the night

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Walk the famous Huntington Beach Pier

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Dinner at Aloha Grill

DAY 4 – Wake in Huntington Beach + drive on to Laguna Beach

Things we did:

– Take an early morning surf / swim in the ocean

– Grab a Banzai bowl for breakfast {they have peanut butter ones!} and watch the surfers do their thing from the pier or the beach

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle BlogA 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Browse the endless surf shops and beach vibed homeware stores

– Drive down to Laguna for the night and watch the sun set over the stunning array of palm trees that line the coast

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle BlogA 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Eat at Tortilla Republic

Rumour has it that ‘Nick’s’ is a great restaurant choice here in Laguna too but we didn’t book ahead and it was full on the day we were visiting and requesting to dine upon.

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

WATCH THE CALIFORNIAN ROADTRIP COME TO LIFE IN PART 2 OF MY VLOG…

DAY 5 – 1,000 steps beach + Encinitas

– Grab breakfast and walk through the gorgeous Heisler Park Coastal Trail in Laguna Beach

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Drive 10 minutes south to soak up the sun on this beautiful beach, lined with the most dreamy of Californian property.

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Drive on through the sunset to Encinitas and dine Mexican style-y in Las Olas

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

We stayed over night on San Elijo State Beach campsite – book here.

DAY 6 – La Jolla Cove + Exploring San Diego

– Grab a Sambazon Acai bowl {2 minute drive from campsite}

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Drive to La Jolla Cove and hang out with the Sea Lions

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle BlogA 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Head down to Coronado Island for lunch and then walk down to the beach with a fresh scoop of gelato!

A 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary in California, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog-34A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Grab some campfire goodies from Wholefoods and set up the campstove and bonfire on  Fiesta Island.

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

{you can’t stay overnight here}

DAY 7 – POTATO CHIP HIKE + exploring more of San Diego

– Grab a banana and hike up early to Potato Chip Rock

It’s quite a challenging 8 mile hike and is BEST avoided between the midday heat hours. We begun at 8am and didn’t return to our car until 1.45pm, that included waiting in line to take the ultimate photo {see below} and resting to catch our breath for half an hour at the top.

It’s not a hike to be underestimated with a pretty consistent incline on the way up and there’s no water along the way so make sure you take a load with you plus some snacks!

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Head down into San Diego’s University District for a well deserved and unrivalled feast at Snooze.

Recommend: Sweet potato pancakes, OMG! French Toast, Eggs Benedict

THIS PLACE IS GOD, ESPECIALLY AFTER SUCH A HIKE!

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Browse one of the shopping districts {stock up on Victoria Secrets} and have a drink in one of the Breweries / Restaurants in Little Italy

– Watch a Padres Baseball match at the Pecto Stadium

A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog A 7 Day Californian Roadtrip, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

– Go for a drink at Altitude Bar

WATCH THE CALIFORNIAN ROADTRIP COME TO LIFE IN PART 3 OF MY VLOG…

BOOM!

Honestly, my California Roadtrip was a week filled with moments, memories and sunsets that i’ll still be reminiscing over and telling my grand children when im 70 years old.
Shout out to T for driving and for being the best adventure buddy.

 Here’s to the next roadtrip!

Where are your favourite walks in London?

Any recommendations?

Thank you for reading <3

If you liked this post… please SHARE it, I can’t do it without you guys <3

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie x

A 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary in California, LA to San Diego | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel and Lifestyle Blog

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