California Backroads

Some of the best California Backroads are included in Backroads of the California Coast, with 24 highly recommended driving tours off the Pacific Coast Highway.

Misty forest on one of the Backroads of the California CoastBackroads of the California Coast

This guide to California backroads drives, Backroads of the California Coast, is one of the most beautifully-written and best-photographed driving guides we’ve seen. It recommends 24 driving tours along the California coast, from the Redwood National Park on the border with Oregon down to a drive through the Torrey Pines State Reserve, north of La Jolla.

Backroads of the California Coast book cover

There are scenic coast drives included, alongside some which take you inland, and for anyone wanting to make the most of driving the Pacific Coast Highway, we really do recommend this 256-page book.

If you have time to explore, this will introduce some of the most scenic areas of the coast, and provide a good, practical guide as well as being a handsome souvenir to enjoy afterwards.

"...one of the most beautifully-written and best-photographed driving guides we’ve seen."

Beautifully-Written Backroads Guide

Each drive has anything from about 3-5 pages of text, and in addition there are boxes and spreads with short entertaining essays on different topics, such as the Avenue of the Giants, Carmel’s architecture, the Presidio of San Francisco, the sea lions of Point Lobos, and so on.

As an example of what we mean when we say the text is well-written, take this from the spread on the Redwood National Park: “Flourishing in drizzle and damp, these silent forests resemble a primordial world in which one expects to see pterodactyls flying by.”

Or this from the description of a drive that takes in the Samoa Dunes Recreation Area: “Fluttering like pieces of torn white paper, flocks of egrets can often be seen flying above a grove of cypress trees they call home.” This is no churned-out guidebook, but a book that someone has worked hard to make both evocative and practical.

California Backroads: The Author

Karen Misuraca, from Sonoma, is the award-winning travel writer who wrote the fine text for this book. She has written many other travel guides, including The California Coast and Backroads of California Wine Country. She is also the founder of the website 

www.bestgolfresortsoftheworld.com.

California Backroads: The Photographer

Almost all of the beautiful photographs - and they really are impressive - were taken by Gary Crabbe. Check out his website to see for yourself just how good a photographer he is. It didn’t surprise us to discover that he’s worked for the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History amongst others.

Minor Faults

No book is perfect, and this would have been better with a little more practical information included. If you’re describing any drive you should definitely tell the reader how long the drive is, and give a rough estimate of how much time it is likely to take to do it. You need to know whether to allow two hours or two days! The driving directions are minimal, although probably just enough so that you don’t get lost. You will still need a good road map, to use alongside them.

Buying this California Backroads Guide
Backroads of the California Coast is published by the Voyageur Press. It is available worldwide on Amazon, where we suggest you use the 'Look Inside' feature so you can see for yourself just how beautiful and useful it is. 

Some other books pages

  • Your Insider's Guide to San Francisco

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's book review of Insider's Guide to San Francisco guidebook by Jill Loeffler, publisher of the San Francisco Tourism Tips website.

  • West Coast RV Parks

    One of the best guides to West Coast RV Parks, covering campgrounds in California, Oregon, and Washington, is West Coast RV Camping from Moon Guides.

  • Washington State Travel Guide

    The Washington State travel guide from Frommer's covers hotels in Seattle, driving the Pacific Coast Highway, Olympic National Park, where to eat and more.

  • Vintage Hollywood

    Vintage Hollywood in Los Angeles is an extract from the Lonely Planets book Culture Trails.

  • Cycling the USA West Coast

    Lonely Planet's Guide to Cycling the USA West Coast is a bicycling guidebook for anyone touring California, Oregon and Washington by bike.

  • California Camping Book Review

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's California Camping book review rates the 20th anniversary edition of Moon's complete guide to over 1400 tent and RV campgrounds.

  • The Best Coast Book Review

    The Best Coast is a west coast travel guide, sub-titled A Road Trip Atlas it doesn't use photos but instead has hundreds of beautiful illustrations.

  • Soul of Los Angeles

    Soul of Los Angeles from French publishers Jonglez is a travel guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences in California's largest city.

  • Santa Barbara Guidebook

    The Santa Barbara Guidebook from Moon Handbooks also covers California’s Central Coast with Ventura, San Luis Obispo, wine country, and Hearst Castle.

  • Road Food Guide

    West Coast Road Eats is a road food guide covering the Pacific Coast from California through Oregon to Washington, giving the best road trip food stops.

  • Books About the Pacific Coast Highway

    Books About the Pacific Coast Highway in California, Oregon and Washington including travel guidebooks, route guides, restaurant guides, and many more.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Road Trips: Lonely Planet Guidebook Review

    Review of the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trips book from Lonely Planet, which includes a California Driving Guide, by the Pacific Coast Highway Travel website.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide book covering the drive from Vancouver to San Diego.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Moon Guide

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip guide from Moon covering California, Oregon and Washington

  • Pacific Coast Highway in California

    The Pacific Coast Highway in California book shows in historic photos the building of the Pacific Coast Highway from its earliest beginnings in 1911.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Guides. Book and ebook hotel guides to PCH

    Pacific Coast Highway guides include our own printed book and ebook guides to the best hotels along the PCH, available in paperback, PDF and Kindle formats.

  • Olympic Peninsula Travel Guide

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews an Olympic Peninsula Travel Guide published by the Beautiful Pacific Northwest website.

  • Northwest Wine Country

    Northwest Wine Country is a food and wine lover's guide to vineyards, fine dining, accommodation, restaurants in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia.

  • Napa and Sonoma Guidebook

    The Napa and Sonoma Guidebook to California Wine Country is from the Moon Handbooks’ travel guide series with reviews of wineries,vineyards, and wine tastings.

  • Michelin Guide to California

    The Michelin Guide to California is a gourmet's guide to the best restaurants along the Pacific Coast Highway and elsewhere in California.

  • Michelin Green Guide California

    The Michelin Green Guide to California covers the whole state and is good on maps, the sights, major cities and towns, less good on hotels and restaurants.

  • Los Angeles Travel Guide

    The Los Angeles travel guide book from Lonely Planet also covers San Diego and Southern California, including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, and Disneyland.

  • Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast

    Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast, published by Voyageur Press, is a guide in words and pictures to historic lighthouses along the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • John Steinbeck California Guide

    This John Steinbeck California Guide, A Journey into Steinbeck's California, shows readers how towns like Monterey, Carmel and Salinas influenced the author.

  • Guide to the Olympic Peninsula

    Moon's Spotlight Guide to the Olympic Peninsula covers hotels, restaurants, and sights, including Forks, the Olympic National Park and other places.



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