Tres épicos viajes por carretera en California

Mark Ellwood

Title photography by Patrik Giardino/Getty Images

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Para sacar el máximo provecho de su aventura californiana alquile un coche, personalice su aventura y prepárese para emprender uno de estos increíbles viajes por carretera. El escritor local Mark Ellwood sugiere tres de sus rutas favoritas.

El triángulo del norte de California

Ideal para... los exploradores de amantes de la naturaleza


El viaje: San Francisco – Lake Tahoe – Yosemite (8 noches)

San Francisco

Begin in the city by the Bay – San Francisco for three nights. Remember to pack a pair of comfy shoes to tackle the notoriously undulating hills, or hop on one of the three remaining cable car lines to scale the steepest slopes. The least-crowded is the California Street car, which easily rides high to Nob Hill with spectacular views. Stroll down to Alamo Park to see the so-called Painted Ladies – they’re superb examples of San Francisco’s gingerbread house-like Victorian dwellings.

Indulge in some outdoorsy pursuits in Golden Gate Park, where the winding paths and landscape studded with copses make ideal terrain for jogging or biking. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, hit the foodie mecca of the Ferry Building Marketplace, an erstwhile commuter terminal repurposed as a gourmet mall – try one of the many creative flavours of ice cream served at Humphry Slocombe.

Where to stay: Take a break at the cool and quirky Hotel Argonaut, set along Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fran. Rest easy at this four-star waterfront retreat, before getting back on the road.

Visite la panorámica zona costera de 72 millas de Lake Tahoe: su belleza se puede admirar en cualquier momento del año.

Lake Tahoe

Hire a car and make tracks north west to Lake Tahoe for a two-night stay. The sat-nav might try to take you across the Oakland Bay Bridge, but be sure to drive across the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and hairpin back as soon as you reach the other side – the viewing area there is the best vantage point for snaps of both bridge and city. Arrive at the scenic 72-mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe, it’s beautiful whatever time of year you visit.

Come summertime, cruise along to find an epic picnic spot. Check out the glistening Emerald State Park and grab a paddleboard, or glide across the turquoise waters by kayak. Whether you want to go on a couple’s hike or make a splash in the lake with the family – adventure awaits everyone. Looking to rejuvenate? Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Taste of Tahoe events along the south.

In wintertime, discover powder-pillow skiing in the Squaw Valley and mesmerising resorts beyond. Discover this premier ski destination, with an abundance of snow-covered resorts surrounding the largest alpine lake in the US. Soak up the laid-back mountain lifestyle, hire a pair of skis or hop on a snowboard. In spring, join the WinterWonderGrass festival in North Tahoe, bursting with music and great beer.

Where to stay: Choose the beautiful lakefront Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, in the north of Lake Tahoe. Savour a lavish sanctuary for the perfect year-round stay. Or venture to the south of Lake Tahoe and stay at Harveys Lake Tahoe, surrounded by enchanting scenery – brilliant for both summer fun and winter ski, with the Heavenly Ski Resort on your doorstep.

  • Descubra su lado aventurero en Lake Tahoe. ©Jupiterimages
  • Atraviese uno de los puentes más famosos del mundo © Easyturn / Getty Images
  • Absorba las cautivadoras vistas, en lo alto de Yosemite. ©Donald Barnec / EyeEm

    Toque el sol

    Haga una caminata por el Parque Nacional de Yosemite durante la "hora dorada" para ver la naturaleza en su máximo apogeo.

    Reserve sus vuelos


Finish off your California road trip with a three-night visit to Yosemite, the Lincoln-endorsed green space that forms the anchor of America’s century-old national park network. Discover the gold rush of Tuolumne County, a year-round destination bursting with character and just a 1 hour and 45-minute drive to the iconic Valley Floor and El Capitan – explore the best of Yosemite from here.

The best spots for jaw-dropping snaps? Glacier Point, at the top of an almost 980m cliff and Tunnel View, offering a great vista across almost the entire park. There are 750 miles of trails to hike here – try the Mist Trail, a 7-mile horseshoe that takes in the Vernal Falls – particularly noteworthy each spring when the melting snow recharges them and creates spectacular downspouts.

Where to stay: A pretty place to rest your head, Rush Creek Lodge offers a surreal base in Tuolumne. The hotel’s beautiful wood cabin features will put you in the mood for Yosemite exploration. Return from your adventures for a splash in the pool, before tucking into an American-style dinner.

La mejor época del año para ir

Durante la primavera, nueva vida surge en Yosemite, a medida que la nieve comienza a derretirse alrededor de Tahoe. El otoño es la temporada perfecta para disfrutar del hermoso follaje de los árboles, los mercados de agricultores y la vendimia.

La clásica costa californiana

Ideal para... los amantes del relax en la playa

El viaje: San Francisco – Monterey – Santa Barbara – Los Angeles – Huntington Beach – San Diego (16 noches)

De San Francisco a Monterrey

Start in San Francisco for three nights (as above), then take your hire car south along Highway 1 – it’s best tackled in this direction, as you’ll enjoy more vertiginous views of the ocean from the roadway. Hit the former fishing town of Monterey for one night.

Where to stay: Stop for the night at the InterContinental The Clement Monterey to soak up magnificent coastal views right in the heart of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.

  • Contemple el mar, a lo largo de la costa, en sus relajantes vacaciones de playa. ©SumikoPhoto

    Paseos por las playas californianas

    Relájese en las doradas arenas de Huntington Beach: ya sea que quiera practicar surf o tomar sol, este punto de interés es una parada ideal en un viaje por la carretera.

    Reservar vuelos y hoteles

Santa Barbara

Mientras se dirige hacia la costa, deténgase para admirar el puente de Bixby Creek en Big Sur, un puente de hormigón armado de 110 m de longitud, una bellísima obra creada en el período de Work Projects Administration. Como alternativa visite el parque Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Después de una breve caminada de 10 minutos desde el aparcamiento podrá llegar un bello punto de observación en las McWay Falls.

The best man-made attraction here, of course, is the architectural sugar rush of Hearst Castle, the celeb-studded retreat of the late publishing magnate (and model for Citizen Kane) William Randolph Hearst. Like a millionaire magpie, he filled it with luxuries snapped up from across the world, although the elegant minimalism of the Neptune Pool seems almost more impressive. A few miles away, a small slice of sand offers a perch for a colony of seals in autumn and early winter. Park nearby and clamber down the trails for views of the blubbery animals frolicking in the chilly water.

También es una zona excelente para la cata de vinos; hágase con un mapa y recorra los viñedos de Paso Robles, un área más conocida por sus vinos tintos, o vaya hasta Santa Bárbara (una noche), donde podrá hacer una excursión de un día a la región vitivinícola.

Where to stay: Bed down for the night at the wharf-front Harbor View Inn, and be sure to take a morning stroll on the beach before you journey onwards.

Los Angeles - Huntington Beach

Continue your journey with a trip to exciting Los Angeles and stay six nights – for suggestions on what to do, see the West Coast Highlight route below.

Cruise your way over to surfer’s paradise Huntington Beach and stay for a night or two. Take a break in Surf City USA, hit the waves and soak up the laid-back beach lifestyle. Visit over summer and catch the US Open of Surfing. Keep your eyes peeled for beach concerts, festivals, parades and more, all in this lively beachside town.

Dónde alojarse: Haga una reserva en el hotel cinco estrellas Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach y descanse bajo las palmeras, junto a la piscina. Zambúllase en el océano y reserve un lugar al lado de la fogata para asar malvaviscos y ver la puesta de sol.

La mejor época del año para ir

Late summer when the fog and haze that can linger over the coast during the summer months is starting to ease but temperatures are still ideal for lazy beach days.

Comience a planificar su viaje

Lugares que no debe perderse en la costa oeste

Ideal para… amantes de la cultura inagotables

El viaje: Los Ángeles - Palm Springs - San Diego (10 noches)

  • Dé rienda suelta a su pasión por el surf en las playas de San Diego © Getty


    "Surfin’ USA", la famosa canción de los Beach Boys, menciona 15 puntos diferentes para hacer surf , incluido Del Mar, en el Condado de San Diego.

    Reserve unas vacaciones vuelo+coche a San Diego
  • Drink in spectacular mountain scenery on the wide open road © tobiasjo
  • Asista a un espectáculo en el Walt Disney Concert Hall de Los Ángeles © Harley Rouda / Alamy Stock Photo

    La nota perfecta

    Free, self-guided audio tours of the concert hall are available most days between 10am and 2pm and take approximately an hour.

    Reserve unas vacaciones vuelo + coche a Los Ángeles

Los Angeles

When it comes to places to stay, Los Angeles will spoil you for choice. Start by exploring some of the emerging corners of the city (four nights), especially Downtown, which is becoming the de facto arts district. Billionaire collector Eli Broad custom-commissioned a namesake temple, The Broad, to house his astonishing contemporary art collection. It's located next to Frank Gehry’s signature crumpled stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the LA Philharmonic.

The nearby Dorothy Chandler Pavilion might technically be home to the LA Opera, but it’s best known as the longtime, former home of the Oscars. For views across the city, scale the free 27th-floor observation deck at City Hall, or jump on the hop-on hop-off open top bus tour to catch a glimpse of the major sights from a privileged view.

Dónde alojarse:Haga una reserva en uno de los diversos hoteles famosos, como The Beverly Hilton o Hollywood Roosevelt. Otra opción es relajarse en el lujoso hotel frente al mar Viceroy Santa Monica antes de comenzar a explorar.

Palm Springs

Head inland to Palm Springs for two nights and soak up the quirks of the Sinatra-era resort town that still oozes retro-glamour. Palm Canyon Drive is the main drag, and the best shopping strip, especially on Thursday nights when late-opening VillageFest takes place – pick up some mid-century-inspired swimwear from Trina Turk. Don’t miss the local delicacy, a date shake – which nods to the vast date plantations nearby – from Palm Springs Fudge & Chocolates.

Si le gusta hacer actividades al aire libre, opte por un viaje al Parque Nacional Árboles de Josué, en el desierto de Mojave, que toma su nombre de la robusta yuca, muy común en esta zona (y adorada por U2). Para disfrutar de las mejores vistas, vaya al amanecer o al atardecer, cuando el parque se inunda de una irreal luz de color rojo y las temperaturas no castigan tanto. Si tiene tiempo, descubra más visitando Greater Palm Springs: explore las comunidades artísticas y espirituales de Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio y Coachella.

Dónde alojarse: Suelte su equipaje en el Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa antes de dirigirse a explorar los lugares de interés. O vaya un poco más lejos, al deslumbrante oasis del Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa.

San Diego

End the trip by soaking up the surf and sun in San Diego for four nights. Take a stroll through the Gaslamp Quarter, bursting with theatres, galleries and museums, as well as a thriving nightlife – you have to make a pitstop here. Foodies can eat their way through town – chow down on as many tacos as you can, from some of the country’s best taco joints. Lucha Libre is renowned for its gloriously garish decor and tantalising fish tacos.

La mejor playa es, por supuesto, la amplia franja de brillante arena blanca conocida como Coronado Island, un enclave turístico que se remonta a la década de 1880. Conozca las sensacionales playas, explore los inmaculados caminos para ciclistas y elija alguna de las diversas actividades acuáticas: quizás pueda hacer un paseo en catamarán por el océano azul antes de volver al centro para cenar viendo el atardecer.

Where to stay: When in San Diego, the Paradise Point Resort & Spa is a tranquil retreat after days of adventure. Kicking it on Coronado Island? The five-star Hotel del Coronado is a perfect beachfront choice. Opt for brunch at the Crown Room on a Sunday if you want to elbow-rub with the local elite.


La mejor época del año para ir

Las temperaturas de finales de la primavera son moderadas y permiten hacer senderismo por el desierto, jugar al golf y hacer turismo.

Ahorre dinero al reservar vuelo y coche de alquiler conjuntamente en California.