The 10 Best California Road Trips To Take In Your 20s

The 10 Best California Road Trips To Take In Your 20s

Your 20s go by fast, so make sure you enjoy them to the fullest. One way to do that is by going on as many adventures as possible. Since the mid-90s, Super Cheap Car Rental has specialized in underage car rental Los Angeles deals. This means that even if you're under 25, you can rent a car with us without being penalized for you age.

Whether you live in the Los Angeles area or you're flying in and want to explore the state, renting a car will ensure you'll have a reliable vehicle to get you where you need to go. But where should you go, exactly? Here's a list of 10 easy road trip you can take from Los Angeles. And while they'll be fun at any age, they'll be exceptional in your 20s. Just search our site for Los Angeles car rental packages and start making your plans.

  • San Diego. Grab your friends, put on a beachy playlist and cruise three hours down the coast to San Diego. Stop in Carlsbad for lunch at Dini's by the Sea, where you can enjoy a casual seafood meal with a beautiful view. Once your arrive in San Diego, you can shop at the trendy Fashion Valley, hang out at North Park and enjoy the slightly younger crowd that usually gathers at Pacific Beach. Pacific Beach is full of affordable boutiques and great brunch spots (think bottomless mimosas). Be sure to stop by the Cedros Design District in Solana Beach for cafes, trendy shopping and people watching.
  • Palm Springs. Located about 107 miles from sunny Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a playground for the rich—but that doesn't mean you can't do it on a budget. The Los Arboles Hotel has affordable rooms, and the suites are big enough to share with your entire party. Hit up the happy hours and find the free entertainment (like sitting by the hotel pool) and you'll live the good life on a 23 year old's budget.
  • Santa Cruz. This magical Northern California beach town is a five and a half hour drive from LA, and it's incredible. The drive itself can be a bit dull, so put together a perfect playlist and choose your road trip companions wisely. Once you're there, enjoy the beautiful boardwalk and live like a kid again. When night rolls around, park your rental car at your hotel and head to Hula's Island Grill and Tiki Room for tropical drinks or Boardwalk Bowl for karaoke (and bowling, if that's your thing).
  • San Francisco. There's a little bit of a No-Cal vs. So-Cal rivalry, but even most LA locals can agree that San Francisco is a fun city to visit. Weather wise, it's cooler than Southern California, so pack accordingly. It's also about a six hour drive from LA, and that's if you take I-5. Our advice: Take the Pacific Coast Highway. It's a longer trek, but it's so much more scenic and wonderful. Plus, you can stop in Pismo Beach or Monterey for a meal and a beach stroll. Once you arrive in the foggy city, check out Dolores Park, break out your smartphones and just try to figure out where you'll be eating and drinking during your stay. San Francisco is a foodie and cocktail lover's paradise, so be prepared to be overwhelmed in the best way.
  • Half Moon Bay. If you enjoy being physically active, you'll love Half Moon Bay—and if you don't, you might learn to love it when you visit. It's a good 380 miles away from LA, and it looks like a different world. Aside from the breathtakingly beautiful beaches, you should definitely stop by Harley Farms at some point. It's a 1910 dairy farm that has been restored, and it's home to over 200 alpine goats, which are amazing whether you're 5 or 25. Ketch Joanne's Restaurant and Harbor Bar is a great place to enjoy an evening.
  • Head about 150 miles north of LA (take Highway 101 for the most scenic route) and you'll find "California's Little Denmark." Aside from being absolutely adorable, this little city, which was founded by Danish settlers in the early 1900s, has some of the best bakeries and little shops in the state. It also has more than a dozen wine tasting rooms, so if you have a designated driver, you can party with class.
  • Big Sur. Are you and your friends more of the camping type than the hotel type? Big Sur is one of California's most beautiful areas. Make the 350 mile drive, pitch your tents and get the party started. You'll love bonding with your best friends over campfire cooking and good beer while looking up at the stars.
  • Long Beach. This is a super-quick drive from LA—it's only 25 miles south of the city, and even with traffic, you can get there in an hour or less. Long Beach has a much more relaxed vibe than LA, but there's still plenty to do. The famously haunted RMS Queen Mary is there, and the Catalina Express will take you out to the gorgeous Catalina Island and back.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea. This small beach town is about 330 miles north of LA, and at first glance, it might not seem like a great place to explore in your 20s. But if you enjoy art galleries, wine, beaches and being surrounded by gorgeous architecture, you'll be in the right place.
  • San Jose. San Jose can certainly hold its own when it comes to things to do. It's about a five hour drive from LA and while it's not a coastal town, it's close enough to give you a beach fix if you need one. Don't miss touring the Winchester Mystery House, a historic site with quite the back story. Then catch up on life over cocktails at Haberdasher, a speakeasy.

Enjoy this decade of adventure!

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Posted by Danny Barker
Danny Barker

In 1996, after teaching in Japan for several years, Danny Barker and his wife Manami came back to the California and bought 10 used Toyota Corollas with the intention of opening their own rental company. The premise of this company was to give a true all inclusive price to anyone 21 and over with no extra fees or surprises and no matter what country you were from.

And thus in 1997 Super Cheap Car Rental was born. Over time Danny and Manami built a reputation as an honest company that truly cared about and valued its customers. As a result Super Cheap Car Rental became the go to rental company for many foreign and American students, travelers and interns as well as for workers in the music and entertainment business in Los Angeles.

A lot has changed in the 20+ years Super Cheap has been in business but the one thing that has never changed is Super Cheap's small company attitude and their commitment to putting a smile on every one of their customers faces.