If You Take Any Road Trip Before Summer Ends, Make This It

Road trips are summer's favorite method of travel for one reason: their flexibility. You can pack up in whatever transportation suits your group without having to check flights or even do much planning. Even accommodations are easier—if you're the planning type, you can have hotels already settled or book as you travel. Road trips can be tailored to exactly what you want to do, and it's the reason a quick road trip one of the best ways to end the summer.

If you're settling on a route, California's golden coast is one of the easiest, and most scenic road trips in the U.S. Along the central coast alone, from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, you're looking at about 330 miles of land, which can be completed in about five and a half hours. The real payoff to the central coast is being able to see multiple destinations that are clustered fairly close, meaning you won't be seeing more of the freeway than actual points of interest.

On my own journey through the central coast, I decided on a Chevy Bolt EV because I wanted an electric car that would be great on gas and made the last-minute journey that much easier (and cost-efficient). If you prefer to go by train, the Amtrak's Coast Starlight route makes a beautiful excursion up the coast from Los Angeles to Seattle.

If you do decide to go by car, you can journey along the CA-1 freeway, which not only makes directions a lot simpler, but it trails along the coast so you always feel like you're seeing something, even when you're on the road. The CA-1 will take you to nearly every town here, especially starting from San Luis Obispo up into San Francisco. Mapping a route from north to south, here are six destinations you're going to want to hit on your next central California road trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more travel guides and inspiration.

This trip was paid for by Chevrolet. The editor's opinions are her own.