Riding motorcycles is something that I enjoy immensely. The wind blew through my hair, feeling the vibrations of the bike moving across the road, and adrenaline rushing throughout my body while riding at high speeds. it is something that just makes you feel alive.
Motorcycles aren’t just a mode of transportation in the USA; they’re also a part of our culture. From the rural areas of America to cities such as New York, we see hundreds of thousands of bikers every day. Riding a motorcycle is an integral part of life in the US.
The Best state which has the best motorcycle routes is California, with its amazing scenery and diverse geography. This video highlights some of the beautiful places within this state.
California is home to some truly incredible motorcycling terrain. With over 1 million square miles scattered all over the state, there are endless opportunities for fun and adventure when you set foot on two wheels. From rugged mountain ranges to flatlands locally known as “the p-poles,” California offers unique terrain. Whether you like to cruise along coastlines or explore remote forests, there’s no shortage of excitement here.
With so many incredible destinations and attractions, it can be difficult to decide where to go.
Here’s our pick for the top best motorcycle routes in California:
1 – San Diego to Ensenada via Los Angeles
Los Angeles may have the best nightlife, dining scene, music industry, movie industry, theater district, and beaches. It’s not surprising then that it’s the most popular tourist destination worldwide. If you like urban living, surfing, and sand between your toes, then Southern California is the place for you. Ride from downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean and stop by Orange County’s Old Towne Tustin (a great place to shop), Newport Beach’s Balboa Island (home to plenty of restaurants and close to one of the best surfing spots), and Disneyland.
2 – Santa Monica Mountains to Simi Valley
Are you looking for big mountains? Well, look no further because this route takes riders from the Santa Monica Mountain range into the sky and provides riders with a lot of spectacular views. Cruise through Griffith Park and Hollywood Hills before turning up into Ventura County. You’ll love cruising around Lake Casitas and driving down Highway 33 through Simi Valley. Ride past the numerous vineyards and wineries making your way towards the ocean.
3 – Las Vegas Motorway to Palm Springs
Las Vegas is the largest city in Nevada and is located next to Arizona and California. There are lots of stunning sights that you won’t want to miss out on including Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead. Don’t forget to ride through the Grand Canyon in Arizona too!
If you take Route 66 northbound from Los Angeles, you will head through Roswell, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Lubbock, Oklahoma City, St Louis, Jefferson City, Joplin, Tulsa, OKC, Kansas City, Topeka, Manhattan, Overland Park, Lenexa, and finally reach the desert city of Palm Springs. The trip will take approximately 49 hours. To complete the opposite trip – southbound – heading back east, take I-15 northbound until exit 217 near Bakersfield, CA. Follow Interstate 5 North until the 110 freeway in San Fernando. Head westbound at the 705/101 interchange and exit onto La Cienega Blvd. Continue on 101 N toward the 405 Freeway. Exit the 405 at Sepulveda Boulevard and continue northbound on Sepulveda Blvd. Continue on Sepulveda until you pass under the 405 again. Cross the 405 and descend into the Mojave Desert.
4 – Big Sur Coastline to Sonora Pass
Heading north, enjoy the amazing views and scenery as you travel across the Golden Gate Bridge. This bridge connects San Francisco Bay with San Pablo Bay. Once you cross the bay, head into Marin County where much of the area was featured in the film American Graffiti. This beautiful stretch will have you riding alongside the coastline while enjoying jaw-dropping views.
Continue north and exit onto Hwy 1. Make sure you stick to the right side of the road. You’ll soon arrive at the scenic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea which is filled with quaint shops and adorable boutiques. Head over to Main Street where you can experience the small-town charm in the middle of California. Stop and grab some lunch at Café Stella or eat somewhere else entirely. Afterward, climb atop the roof-top deck of the Monterey Bay Aquarium to get an underwater view of marine life.
Continue along the coast and prepare yourself for a winding, hilly ascent up to the Sonoran Desert. Once you make it to the top, enjoy the sweeping vistas from the Sonoran Desert Botanical Gardens. Afterward, if you’re feeling adventurous, drive all the way to Tucson via Saguaro National Park. Visit museums, go shopping, or do an activity such as horseback riding. If you prefer staying in one place rather than exploring multiple cities, spend the night in Tucson.
5 – Central Pacific Coastline
After leaving San Diego, head northwest bound for the beautiful seaside towns of Morro Beach, Los Barriles, El Granada. These scenic routes wind their way through stunning beaches, coves, parks, and resorts, offering travelers endless opportunities to relax and unwind. Take the time to stop in Cambria, Solvang, and Cayucos, each boasting its own unique mix of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and charming communities.
From Cambria, head northbound along Route 56 (aka Gaviota Drive) to Pismo Beach. Enjoy the beautiful views as you cruise down this route, taking in the sights of the rugged cliffs that line the northernmost portions of the ocean. As you approach the community of Del Mar, look out your window for glimpses of white sand beaches, azure blue waters, and swaying palm trees. When you come to the end of the street in Del Mar, turn left and follow the signs to Carlsbad State Beach. Check out the many activities available here including surfing, parasailing, fishing, golf, hiking, camping, birdwatching, whale watching, bicycling, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and more!
Continue traveling northbound and leave the beach behind when you pass the historic Hotel del Coronado. Turn inland and then back into the ocean toward San Diego. This stretch of coastal highways is known as “America’s Finest Motorcoach Highway.” Travelers say there are miles of open space, wild wildlife, and breathtaking vistas along this coast. It’s no wonder why it’s ranked among America’s Top 10 Road Trip Drives by U.S. News & World Report.
6 – Mojave Desert
The vast desert landscape of Southern California opens up before you as you begin driving on Interstate 15. The scenery changes dramatically as you depart I-15 and enter the Colorado River Scenic Byway, a 469-mile route featuring stunning mountain canyon views and abundant wildlife. From this point forward, you’ll be cruising through the Mojave Desert until reaching Barstow, after which you’ll have a choice between going east on Interstate 40 or west on Interstate 215. However, if you wish to travel farther west, make sure to take Exit 57 off the 215 freeway in Yucca Valley for Las Vegas Boulevard, otherwise, be prepared to drive almost 500 miles just to reach Sin City.
7 – Redwood Highway
This trip starts in Northern California and travels south to North County San Diego. Start in San Francisco and explore different neighborhoods like Haight Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, Marina, Ocean Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island, Lombard St., Union Square, Civic Center, China Town, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, Twin Peaks, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, North Beach, Greenwich Village, SoMa, Mission Bay, South Beach, Diamond Heights, East Beach, and La Jolla Cove.
8 – Hollywood Hills
This southern route takes you from Santa Barbara all the way to San Diego with spectacular views of Mount Hollywood. There are plenty of opportunities to experience outdoor adventures such as skiing at Mount Baldy, rock climbing at Sycamore Canyon, surfing at Zuma Beach, bicycle riding at Goleta, and horseback riding at Oxnard Plain Riding Stables. Make several stops to see the famous sights like Hearst Castle, Fred and Adele’s Museum Of Contemporary Art, Legoland Discovery Center, Bison Paddock Zoo, Montecito Estate Winery, and much more.
California is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the nation. These routes will help you discover its beauty so you can share these moments with friends and family. Whether you’re looking to spend a few days exploring, a weekend touring, or an entire week getting lost, we hope our guides inspire your next great adventure. Happy trails.