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5 Last Minute Summer Road Trip Ideas

Summer break is steadily approaching, and it’s caught me off guard almost as much as midterms have. This break came so quick that I didn’t even stop to think of what and where to go on my months away from the stresses of school. Especially if you’re from Sacramento like me, you can begin to feel trapped with nothing to do despite the abundance of things to do. The thing is; the environment isn’t there. It’s the same thing every day. Summer means the beach, the sun, and the fresh air. Summer is about exploring a new place and just relaxing for a while. Thankfully, there are plenty of places you can go from a place so close to plenty of popular California cities.

Here are a few last minute trip ideas to save you from boredom this Summer!

San Francisco

You’ll be happy to know that Sacramento isn’t too far from one of the most well known and heavily populated cities in the U.S.. It only takes approximately 1-2 hours to get there, varying with traffic. The short commute makes for a great day trip if you wish to travel elsewhere over summer break, or even if you wish to stay for longer! With a big and heavily populated city like SF, there are always things to do and explore. Most people who visit SF for a trip take a look at Fisherman’s Wharf as there are always things going on! San Francisco is your best bet for an easy, yet extremely fun trip!

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a little longer of a commute from Sacramento, ranging from 3-5 hours.  The atmosphere is completely worth it! Not only does Santa Cruz have the sun and the beach, but the boardwalk is right beside it! It’s a great trip if you want to have fun on the beach and also enjoy the rides at the Boardwalk. There are also other cool things to do like visit the famous Mystery Spot, visit the cool museums, have fun on the wharf and even travel a little further down the coast to check out Monterey. You will be far from bored spending Summer break in Santa Cruz.

Yosemite National Park

If you would much rather spend your break getting lost in the forest and mountains, Yosemite National Park is your best choice. Yosemite is a little farther from Sacramento than San Francisco is and it feels like a completely different world. The national park spans several miles and includes famous landmarks like the Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Meadows, Mirror Lake and much more. There are plenty of options on staying there for a trip which includes a couple of hotels, 13 different campgrounds and several cabins. With the entrance fee being $20 per car, you can’t beat this affordable yet incredible road trip idea.

Point Reyes

Point Reyes is a National Seashore located in Marin County, California. Just further north of San Francisco, Point Reyes is a beautiful, naturally-preserved shore open for public recreation. There are many wild coastal beaches, waterfalls, hiking trails and a lighthouse available for exploration! If you wish to go explore a beautiful coast untouched by constructive development, Point Reyes is a wonderful choice! Especially if you’re wanting to get away from the heavily populated cities and wish to go somewhere peaceful and beautiful.

Big Sur

Slightly further south from Monterey, Big Sur is well known for its amazing forests and coastal stretch. Big Sur is home to multiple state parks for hiking, camping and much more. Big Sur also has many spectacular sites you can’t miss, like the Santa Lucia mountain range and the Bixby Creek Bridge, which is perfect for that Summer vacation Instagram post. Big Sur’s coastal stretch is the biggest coast left undeveloped, so you’ll truly get the natural feel. There are several hotel options and restaurants to choose from nearby. How can you go wrong with a trip to Big Sur?

As you can see, Sacramento isn’t such a bad place to be as it's an amazing starting point for a road trip within California. Sacramento is a fair distance from these locations, so you can’t go wrong with going to any of these places for summer break and they’re all completely possible without driving for an entire day. Which means more time for fun!

What better way to take your mind off of school than to indulge in a new environment and let your mind wander? The only thing you have to worry about is which place to visit first.

Have a fun summer break and remember to stay safe!

Leticia is a Campus Correspondent and graduating senior at Sacramento State University. She majors in Sociology and minors in Journalism, hoping to one day serve justice whether that be through writing articles, engaging in social studies, or both. When she isn't racking her brain for pitches on her next story, she's probably taking pictures with her Nikon D3300 while listening to the latest Real Friends album.
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