From Sin City to the Golden City! Leave behind the neon lights and desert heat of Las Vegas for the ocean breezes and bridge views of the Bay Area and make your way to San Francisco! Along the way, you'll pass by all kinds of roadside oddities, scenic parks, good eats, gorgeous wineries, and tons more to make the drive up to SF worth the road trip!
1610 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV, US
310 Spring St Goodsprings, Goodsprings, NV, US
Goodsprings, Nevada is a town that's basically the dead opposite of Las Vegas. There's nothing glitzy or glamorous here... just a few cinder block buildings housing gritty, no frills watering holes and a few other essential businesses. It would be an actual ghost town, if not for the General Store and the Pioneer Saloon, a drinking establishment that's been boozing up locals since the days when miners occupied the place. You can see bullet holes from a card game gone very wrong, and this is the bar where Clark Gable drowned his grief in liquor after finding out about the death of his wife. This place is loaded with history.
31900 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Primm, NV, US
72242 Baker Boulevard, Baker, CA, US
36600 Ghost Town Road, Yermo, CA, US
Part real-life ghost town, part kitschy tourist trap, all fun. Calico is an authentic Wild West mining settlement, but has been fixed up quite a bit, with new buildings added, to make it more of an attraction than a bona fide historic site... it's a cute little stop with loads to see and do. You can even camp out here!
310 South Green Street, Tehachapi, CA, US
1930 R Street, Bakersfield, CA, US
17191 Hwy 46, Lost Hills, CA, US
Pop culture junkies: this one's for you. Famed actor and total hunk James Dean stopped at this little gas station in the tiny town of Blackwell's Corner for quick refreshments before fatally crashing his beloved Porsche 550 Spyder on his way to a race. Eerie foreshadowing and the whole "live fast, die young" tragedy of Dean's life, as well as his mysteriously charismatic persona and popularity have kept the little gas station alive as a pilgrimage of sorts for Dean fans. There's a little tribute to him, and the little station has a retro vibe and memorabilia to browse.
62964 Little Panoche Rd., Firebaugh, CA, US
9001 Lander Ave, Hilmar, CA, US
Seriously, why would you not want to tour a cheese factory? Hilmar Cheese Company has a visitor center and offers factory tours where you can learn about dairy farms, cheesemaking, cows, and tons more. During summers they even do ice cream factory tours! Plus, there's a cafe (with a gloriously cheese-centric menu) and a gift shop where you can stock up on essential souvenirs and road trip snacks.
28000 South Austin Rd., Ripon, CA, US
5455 Greenville Rd, Livermore, CA, US
8252 Earhart Rd Bldg 621, Oakland, CA, US
707 W Hornet Ave, Pier 3, Alameda, CA, US
You'll know you're getting close to the Pacific (and your final destination, San Francisco) when you start to see ships and boats. The USS Hornet is an aircraft carrier that served in WWII and on the Apollo 11 mission (a manned space expedition!) It's moored on the San Francisco Bay near Alameda and serves as a massive, floating museum.
Of course, even though the road trip from Vegas to San Francisco was exciting, once you reach your destination, the adventure is only just beginning. Whether you want to explore Chinatown, Haight Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, or the entire Bay area, there's so much culture and history in SF that that's a guide unto itself!