California is home to some of America’s most beautiful scenery, from snow-capped mountains to sandy beaches. But what about the roads? With so many great places to visit, it can be hard to decide where to go. That’s why we created this list of our six best motorcycle rides in California. Whether you want to explore Northern or Southern California, these routes will take you through some of the state’s most scenic areas. From the redwoods of Humboldt County to the surf breaks of San Diego, there’s something here for everyone.
So grab your helmet, pack up your bags, and get ready to hit the open road!
1. Highway 1 – The Pacific Coast Highway
The PCH stretches from Mexico to Canada, running along the coast of California down to Los Angeles. It passes through some of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth, including Big Sur, Cambria, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, etc. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and smell the roses and see some amazing sights like the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. And if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t miss out on the chance to try a little surfing. If you’re planning to drive the entire route, make sure to start so early enough that you have time to do everything you want to do. You won’t regret it!
2. Highway 101 – The Central Valley Route
Highway 101 is a popular route that takes you right through the heart of California: the Central Valley. Home to over 40 million people, the valley is also one of the richest agricultural regions in the country. While riding through the Central Valley is not nearly as stunning as traveling along the coastline, it does offer a unique perspective into the culture and history of the United States.
3. Highway 99 – The North Coast Route
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the beauty of Northern California, the North Coast Route is the perfect place for you. The route starts at the Oregon border and runs down to Eureka, passing by major cities like Arcata, Crescent City, Fort Bragg, and McKinleyville. Along the way, you’ll see dense forests, picturesque coastal towns, rolling hills, and endless fields full of dairy cows. This area was once inhabited by the Wiyot Tribe, but today, they call this region “home” just like any other native Californian.
4. Highway 299 – The Gold Country Route
If you love seeing old buildings, quaint towns, and rural landscapes, then the Gold Country Route is your ride. This route travels from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe, taking you through small towns like Placerville, El Dorado Hills, American River, and Grass Valley. Many consider this part of the journey to be among the prettiest because of how gorgeous the landscape is. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
5. Angeles Crest Highway
Angeles Crest Highway is one of the best motorcycle roads in California. The route runs through Ventura, Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo, Mono, and Mono counties. This long stretch of highway offers stunning views of the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Arrowhead, and Death Valley National Park. Angeles Crest Highway also connects with other popular routes such as Route 66, Route 60, Route 138, and Route 173.
6. California Route 74
Winding up our list is one of the best motorcycle rides in Southern California, connecting Orange County to Riverside County. Covering about 111 miles, this scenic route will take you past beautiful beaches, mountains, and desert landscapes. Depending on where you choose to travel along this route, you can expect to pass through cities like Anaheim, Newport Beach, Corona, Norco, Temecula, Fallbrook, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Murrieta, Menifee, Hemet, and Lake Elsinore.
So there you have it, bikers! These are six of the best motorcycle roads across California. Do you agree? Which road did we leave off the list? Let us know in the comments below.
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