California Roadtrip Honeymoon Idea

Our two week roadtrip honeymoon was one of the most fabulous adventures imaginable (and the most pragmatic, since we had to get my car from North Carolina to British Columbia anyway!) so when we decided to take another roadtrip (in fewer days and with more kilometers!), it seemed risky to try to recreate the fun . . . but it worked!

While a roadtrip honeymoon may not be the stereotypical choice, for us it was the perfect adventure and this Christmas roadtrip re-creation of our east-to-west roadtrip all those years ago was a lovely mix of rest and road.  It started because a) tickets at Christmas are expensive, b) for the first time in several years I didn’t have to work so it was prime opportunity to go away, and c) we wanted to get to sunshine.

In ten days, we covered 5588 km in six states (plus one province :-P), saw license plates from 42 states (including Hawaii, Alaska, Washington DC, and Rhode Island!) and seven provinces (that includes Northwest Territories, on the day we returned to BC . . . that counts, right?), visited five different Chick-fil-As, had Mexican food twice, and read books on three different beaches.

If you are thinking about a California Roadtrip Honeymoon, I highly recommend it . . . with the caveat that our loop would have been better in reverse. By the time we reached the end of our trip we just wanted to drive straight on until home; I had planned it that most of the driving would be at the front end, but I think we would have been better served to do the driving at the end and the touring at the beginning. (We didn’t do ANYTHING in Portland, even though we’d never visited that city . . . because we were road weary and just wanted to get home. :-P)

Without further explanation: our route!

Day 1: 966km
Destination: Boise, Idaho

Other than a stop at Chick-fil-A for breakfast, we didn’t do anything particularly spectacular on this day of nonstop driving.

Day 2: 1011km
Destination: Las Vegas, Nevada

I was both amazed at the variety of landscape in Nevada while being bored at the long, straight, lonely road that was our route through Nevada. The snow as we crossed the state line from Idaho was particularly amusing. =D



While I expected to hit sunshine sometime before Vegas, I didn’t expect that it would literally burst through the clouds less than an hour from the end of our day. I started to get nervous, admittedly, and was so relieved that we did find sunshine on day #2!  (No photos of walking the strip in Vegas, because we really just went for the Bellagio Light Show and decided not to photograph it at all, just to enjoy it!)

Day 3: 667 km
Destination: Tucson, Arizona

Poor John. I woke up at 5:30am, and so did he (he claims he would’ve been able to get back to sleep :-P) . . .so I convinced him to hit the road fast so we could make it to Tucson faster.  Our Airbnb was waiting, and so was the family we’d spend Christmas with, so the enthusiasm was (mostly) understandable.

We stayed at hotels for the whole trip except while we were in Tucson (I wanted a kitchen to be able to host Christmas dinner!) and this little oasis in the city was the best decision. I’m a huge fan of Airbnb and will always default to staying in someone’s home when I can.


Sunshine, hikes, and family made for the perfect Tucson destination on our loop to California roadtrip.

Day 4: Christmas in Arizona


Day 5: 664km
Destination: San Diego, California

Sunshine days are the best days. . . especially with a kind and willing husband taking photos! If you want to achieve advanced self portraits, it all starts with a tripod. But I already wrote all about how to do excellent travel portraits so I will not rehash that here!


Day 6: 111km
Destination: Orange County

We slowed down substantially in Southern California for sunshine and beach time and if I were doing this again I would take even more time here. So much Vitamin D, especially in the middle of our BC winter.

La Jolla, Balboa Park, and then Laguna Beach made up our day and it was perfection.

Day 7:  656km
Destination: San Francisco, California

We woke before dawn to make it to El Matador State Beach and that was the best decision. Such a unique beach AND we were there early enough that we had the beach to ourselves! If you’re ever n Malibu this is where you should spend your time. Hands down absolutely.

Day 8: 368km
Destination: Redding, California

We stayed south of San Francisco within walking distance of the train, so we spent the $10.50 (roundtrip, per person) to train into the city, avoided parking costs, and got to see a little bit of the city. This definitely needed more time, but gave us a teeny taste. (And I toured San Francisco earlier this year so didn’t feel compelled to stay too long).

Day 9: 679km
Destination: Portland, Oregon

The number of photos diminishes as we made our way north and toward home; both because it was chillier and less of the respite from winter . . . and also because we were tired and just wanted home. But the covered bridges in central Oregon was a lovely detour. (This is actually three different bridges in one about one mile of road. Totally worth the stop.)

Day 10: 368km
Destination: Home

We listened to podcasts, enjoyed many episodes of Adventures in Odyssey, discovered new music, and re-listened to a sermon series on marriage that we received as a wedding gift but somehow we made it home. So many miles, so many hotels, and so many adventures. Such a good adventure, but being home is the best.

If you are considering a roadtrip honeymoon, it may be a risky decision (that’s a lot of hours in the car!) but definitely a viable and valuable option. Do it!


Have you ever considered a roadtrip honeymoon? Where would you go and what would you do?

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