Highways and Freeways are the backbone of the United States’ infrastructure. Between the toll roads and the rest stops you find the American dream in the form of 3-lane paved concrete road. When you’re traveling in California, it’s nearly impossible to get around without cruising the countryside on one of these famous interstate CA highways.

So, what exactly should you expect during your cross-state road trip?

You may find your share of potholes, detours, crazed mountain folk, and road construction when you’re driving up the PCH or navigating through the desert. So, we’re giving you a road map to what to expect from California’s highways and freeways.


Interstate-5 is a heavily used north to south highway that stretches across the entire state of California. This freeway directly and indirectly connects every major metropolitan city in the Golden State. Despite being filled with traffic when passing around cities, I-5 is known for its scenic views of central California. Just be sure to watch out for crazed mountain folk! Just kidding – but we’re sure they’re out there.


Running along Mexico’s border, you’ll see your fair share of sand and dirt. But, that doesn’t stop this interstate from being a breathtaking experience! This freeway is often used for travelers coming or going from San Diego.

On this route, you can pass through the historic town of Yuma on your way to Arizona. Although, the only historical fact about Yuma I know is seeing the film 3:10 to Yuma. You will also pass by the Instagram worthy sand dunes and beautiful sunsets through this desert filled freeway.


If you’re beach bound coming from Arizona, I-10 is the route for you. You can stay on this highway all the way from Phoenix to Santa Monica. You’ll be so close to the coast, you could practically drive straight onto the beach. Most of this trip is through the desert between the two bordering states, so you can expect flat lands, dried up cacti, and bumpy roads.

If you’re making the drive at night, you can pull over on a side road and look up at the milky way. There’s hardly ever cloud coverage, so you can have a perfect view of the galaxy at night. You don’t need fancy scenery when you have the stars!


Also known as the Dwight D. Eisenhower highway, I-80’s stretch will get you from San Francisco across the country to New Jersey. You can gain access to this historic highway by entering through the bay area. This concrete path will take you through the countryside of Northern California and well-known landmarks, such as The Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada.

But, be on the lookout for speed limit signs! I-80 has a reduced speed of 65 MPH. Unlike the usual 70 MPH throughout rural California.

“The 101” or “101”

Arguably the most popular highway in all of California. The 101 is among the longest highways in the state. It’ll take you from Oregon to Los Angeles. Along this route, you can expect to find historic landmarks, California staples, the serene countryside beauty, tourist destinations, highway patrol, and even the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you had to sum up all of California into a stretch of road, it’ll be the 101. You can also see the Pacific Ocean along most of this drive, because it runs near the coast.

When you’re cruising through the countryside on a highway or freeway, remember not to speed. We know the temptation can be there. We’ve been down the PCH during sunset. If you ARE slapped with a speeding ticket, remember to enroll in an online traffic school California. Doing so can wipe away the speeding ticket’s points from your driving record, you won’t have to suffer from increased insurance rates, and you can prove to yourself that you are a safe driver. Safe enough for some insurance rate deductions!