4 of the Best Drives to Take in a Convertible in Southern California Aug04


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4 of the Best Drives to Take in a Convertible in Southern California

Image via Flickr by gemmerich

Image via Flickr by gemmerich

The wind in your hair, the sun on your face, the joy that comes with driving a convertible on some of the most beautiful drives in the world — Southern California is waiting. Here are a few of the best drives in the area:

Angeles Crest Scenic Byway: La Canada to Mountain Top – 66 miles

This beautiful stretch of two-lane road ascends to the crest of the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles. On this drive, you’ll feel miles removed from the smog of L.A., with winds sweeping in off of the ocean and the scent of heady pine in the air. Long views include snow-capped mountains and distant cityscapes.

While on this drive, check out the Angeles National Forest, Mount Wilson Observatory, and Devil’s Canyon Overlook. If you want to get out and stretch your legs, you can enjoy skiing, camping, and hiking off of this scenic trail.

Point Loma to Pacific Beach – 21 miles

If laid-back beach towns are your preference, this stretch of road is perfect. You’ll begin at rocky Point Loma, which offers some spectacular views of the San Diego skyline. As you drive, you’ll notice the jagged, vertigo-inducing cliffs erode into soft, velvety sand shores.

Don’t miss the Old Point Loma Lighthouse or the surfing at Ocean Beach (or OB to the locals). But this drive is not all laid-back beach towns. You’ll can stop in at Sea World at Mission Bay or ride the old-fashioned wooden rollercoaster on Mission Beach’s boardwalk.

Joshua Tree National Park

This national park has a number of main roads traversing it with frequent pull-offs and wayside exhibits where you can enjoy the expansive desert views. There are nine campgrounds in the park, a guided walking tour (October through May), a ranger program, as well as hiking and mountain biking trails.

A beautiful time to visit is in the spring (February to late March) when the Joshua trees burst into creamy white blossoms. Summer is probably not the best time to visit by convertible as mid-day temps are often above 100 degrees.

Even if you’re just planning to drive through the park, make sure you have plenty of water. The desert can be an inhospitable place without it.

Antelope Valley (Route 14): Antelope Loop Trail – 7 miles

If you want to experience some magnificent eye candy, drive this route in late March when the California state flower — the poppy — is in full bloom. The 1,760-acre Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve looks like it’s straight out of a movie set, with bold color as far as the eye can see.

Take the loop trail to Antelope Butte Vista Point, which at 300 feet provides sweeping vistas of the Mojave Desert Region below.

Whether you’re in the mood for craggy mountains or stunning ocean views, California is an amazing choice for a road trip. Drop the top and take in some of the world’s most enchanting scenic byways.