I started my road trip in Los angeles and travelled up highway 1 to San Francisco; along the way I saw breathtaking scenery and wildlife, encountered delightful beautiful little towns, walked on deserted sandy beaches the like of which I thought only existed in the tropics, and met lots of really nice people. If you're considering California at all, you have to drive the pacific coast highway...it's just an incredible experience, my first stop when I left Los Angeles was in Santa Barbara and although, I was regrettably only there for one night, I instantly loved it - by the way another thing I meant to say is, if u do decide to drive highway 1 give yourself plenty of time to do it - I gave myself a week to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco (my finishing point on the drive) and I still felt I'd rushed it, there's so much to see n take in!! Most people don't budget enough time to enjoy it and end up rushing the journey but you really should, it's well worth it. Anyway, on my journey I stopped off at Santa Barbara, San luis obispo, Pismo beach, Carmel, Monterey and Santa cruz before arriving in San Francisco the following week. By the time I'd got to San luis obispo I thought I'd seen all there was to offer and it'd jus be the same from there on scenery wise but then the big sur coastline kicked in n completely blew me away again....words don't do it justice, in fact pictures don't really do it justice either; u have to be there and experience it and see it for yourself! The road literally hugs the edge of the cliffs n meanders it's way north sometimes just feet from the edge of a huge precipice that drops off into the deep blue ocean; there are pull-ins and stop-offs every 50 or 100 feet to allow for photo opportunities of the stunning scenery that stretches ahead but beware - keep your eyes on the tarmac ahead whilst driving as the road swings from left to right and vise versa at a moments notice. Once passed big sur I drove through the Julia pfeiffer state forest (which is totally underrated, but only because of the scenery that proceeds it on the route). If possible I'd recommend staying in Carmel to anyone contemplating this journey, it's a beautifully tranquil, quiet little place that is admittedly a bit difficult to navigate, mainly because none of the properties including hotels have numbers assigned to them...must admit, that had my sat-nav well and truly stumped!! Thankfully however, a friendly Californian was kind enough to explain the system to me when I pulled over and asked for help and direct me to my lodging for the night and it was more than worth the earlier frustration, the beaches there were incredible and surprisingly empty too...I could go on about my road trip all day frankly I enjoyed it so much. This was my first time in America and based on my experience during my time there I can't wait to get back....drive the pacific coast highway, take your time, experience it and enjoy it :) .