Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea
Continue south taking the scenic route through Santa Cruz on CA-17 then down the coast on CA-1 for an hour and a half until your reach the seaside community of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. There are world-class golf courses in the area and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is a great way to learn more about the marine life of the area and see some of the most stunning sea creatures up close and personal. If you like, this is also a great time to detour an hour more south to Big Sur, which has some unique sights of its own. Here, you can find purple sands on Pfeiffer Beach—something that you can't find anywhere else in the world—and you will love to explore the coast with your travel mates. Head back to Monterey when you're done and either spend the night here or travel slightly north to Salinas to hit the US-101. From here you can travel south to Paso Robles—an hour and a half away for your overnight stay. This is a great chance for people to sample the local wines over dinner. In the morning, a quick hour on the CA-46 East will find you at Lost Hills, the place where you will finally get onto the I-5 and make your way towards glitzy LA.
Discover Los Padres National Forest
As you make your way down the I-5, you'll find yourself mesmerized by the forests and scenery around you as you pass through Los Padres National Forest. There are plenty of lookouts and rest stops along the route that have spectacular views of the park and the wildlife. It will take you approximately two and a half hours to make your way through from Lost Hills to the City of Angels where the fun really begins.
Hollywood, Here We Come!
Nearing the end of your trip, you'll find yourself in Los Angeles where you can explore every little bit of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Rodeo Drive is one must-stop for shopping junkies while another area with even more star power these days happens to be The Grove. Walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see your favorite stars' names etched in eternity on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, and hit up a few posh clubs or music venues at night to catch up-and-coming acts or old faves.