No matter where you look, Southern California is easily one of the prettiest destinations in the entire country — and while we love the views you’ll find along the Pacific Coast Highway, sometimes traveling inland is even better. So, today, we’re taking you on a magical journey on one of the best scenic drives in Southern California, and maybe even America as a whole. Who would’ve guessed one of the best SoCal scenic routes, the Palomar Mountain Loop, also happens to be one of the most under-appreciated?!

Do you think you’ll take this route the next time you’re looking for “scenic drives near me?” Could the Palomar Mountain Loop be one of the best scenic drives in Southern California? Learn more on the Palomar Mountain State Park web page as well as on the Cleveland National Forest web page. Have you ever driven along the Palomar Mountain Loop? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

Also, make sure to check out some more incredible scenic backroads in Southern California and check out our ultimate road trip packing list before setting out on your next road trip adventure!

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Best Scenic Drives And Scenery In Southern California

What is the best scenic drive in Southern California?

The next scenic drive in Southern California has to be The Rim of the World Scenic Byway. Clocking in at 107 miles, it is SoCal’s longest scenic route, but also one of the most stunning. Get ready to roll your windows down, blast some tunes, and see the best of what Southern California has to offer.

What are the most unique drives in Southern California?

The following are some of the most unique drives in Southern California:

  • Angeles Crest Highway
  • PCH (Pacific Coast Highway)
  • Mulholland Drive


There’s nothing like hopping in the car to seek out some of the best views in Southern California. We have a list of the 10 best backgrounds in Southern California perfect for a scenic drive that will really give you a feel for the area. Start with a trip up through Angeles Crest Highway which stretches up a scenic rural mountain 44 miles. Or naturally the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the most famous scenic drives in the entire state of California.

What's the most beautiful hike in Southern California?

Some of the most beautiful hikes in Southern California include:

  • Lake Calavera in Carlsbad
  • Paradise Falls at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks.


Check out this list of 10 scenic hikes under 5 miles that everyone in Southern California should take.