quintessential to each of these iconic destinations.
The Pacific Coast Highway. Photo: AFP/Andy Z./shutterstock.com
Driving along California's Pacific coast is one of the most iconic roadtrips in the traveling world. If you start your drive by crossing the two-mile-long Coronado Bridge just outside San Diego, catching a glimpse of the peninsular beach, and head north, the ensuing road will take you through some of the wildest stretches of coast, passing by the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, frequented by migrating seabirds, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. Keep going until you arrive in the Big Sur coastal community, where the art scene and hippie culture have become legendary.
The highway will take you downhill toward Monterey Bay; stop in Santa Cruz before heading to San Francisco. Take in the famous Golden Gate Park and cross over the Golden Gate Bridge before arriving in Redwood National and State Parks.
From the laid-back vibes of California in the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Scar Tissue" to the early 1990s grunge sound optimized by Seattle's Nirvana, the US Pacific coast has a musical history as rich and varied as its coastline. A trip along the West Coast also requires songs to rock out to as you put the pedal to the metal and air drum in time to tracks such as "Molly Chambers" or the Killers' imagined tale of 1950s love gone wrong "Dustland Fairytale."
01. Tupac - "California Love (original version)" (1995)
Legendary West Coast rapper Tupac extols the virtues of California in this classic track.
02. Dr. Dre - "Nuthin But A G Thang" (1992)
California's famous son takes on life and sex in Compton with Snoop Dog.
03. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Scar Tissue" (1999)
Kick back, take the roof off the convertible and enjoy the bass on this Californian tale of sex, lust, loneliness.
04. The Doors - "L.A. Woman" (1971)
Classic tale of traveling and experiencing Hollywood from early 1970s Doors.
05. The Beach Boys - "Surfin' USA" (1963)
Think golden sand and midnight parties on the beach with this tribute to Californian summers from the Beach Boys.
06. The Grateful Dead - "Truckin'" (1970)
San Francisco's Grateful Dead sing about life on the open road on this classic traveling track.
07. Kings of Leon - "Molly's Chambers" (2003)
This Southern rock and blues-influenced track from Kings of Leon makes for a perfect driving accompaniment.
08. Nirvana - "Lithium" (1992)
Seattle's famous sons rock out in this classic track, perfect to drum along to on the steering wheel as you cruise towards the birthplace of grunge.
09. Plain White T's - "Meet Me In California" (2008)
"In California there's something better for us all," sing Chicago's Plain White T's in this love song from a boy who plans on moving to the West Coast state as an answer to his romantic problems.
10. The Killers - "Dustland Fairytale" (2009)
1950s Americana gets re-imagined in this tale of teenage love, mistakes, and growing older from the Killers.