San Francisco to Phoenix Road Trip Guide


San Francisco, in Northern California, is home to plenty of fascinating places where you can pursue diverse recreational interests. This metropolitan city, and the surrounding Bay Area hosts lots of festivals and events, recreational parks, and natural attractions that attract all kinds of tourists. You’ll be able to find your way around this beautiful city, thanks to plenty of cycling and walking paths designed for tourists who wish to explore the vibrant city parts.

Some of the places to visit here include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Coit Tower. Some of the popular events here include Noise Pop Festival and Crush San Francisco.

Whether all you wish to do is take in the sights and sounds here, spend the night in any of the modern campgrounds, or kickstart your road trip to Phoenix from here, rest assured you’re covered! RV camping enthusiasts can easily find their way around this city and locate the perfect site for their camping needs.

You’ll be dazzled by the museums and roadside attractions that you’ll find along the way when you’re driving to Phoenix. Good spots to enjoy the outdoors, share meals with family and friends, and spend the night are also available too.

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Max RV length
Max trailer Length
Road trip length: 3-5 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: all

Point of Interest

Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant

As you arrive in Coalinga, California, you should stop for a meal at Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant, a popular destination for tantalizing delicacies and internationally recognized homegrown beef, fruits, vegetables, and nut crops. This restaurant ranks among the first and largest dining destinations in the city and welcomes lots of tourists and locals alike.

Depending on what your preference is, you’ll find casual and fine dining spaces, as well as good banquet facilities where you can have get-togethers with your family and friends.

What’s most peculiar about Harris Ranch is its juicy beef, which you may choose to order online from your camping area nearby or have right there in the restaurant.

The restaurant’s online chef teaches how to make some beef recipes, so you can take that away as you move on from this restaurant and make your way to Phoenix. Don’t worry, you’ll find good parking spaces for your vehicle when you stop to refuel your stomach here.

California Area Living Museum (CALM)

After loading up at Harris Inn & Restaurant, you’re ready for an almost two-hour journey to California Area Living Museum that’s 113 miles away in Bakersfield, where you will feast your eyes on beautiful plants and animals. This museum, commonly known as CALM was established in 1983, and is peculiar for the native California flora and fauna that it features.

When you arrive here, you can choose to engage in any of the host of programs that are offered to tourists to educate them about the plants and animals that are on display. By the time you leave here, you’ll able to help wild animals that are either orphaned or injured. That’s how relevant the lessons offered here are to the ecosystem.

You should note that the flora here are also common in areas such as Kern County, the Mojave Desert, and other areas in California.

After spending the day at the museum, you can retire to a nearby campground or Lake Isabella/Kern River KOA for the night.

The Griffith Observatory

From CALM, your next stop should be the famous Griffith Observatory, located 123 miles away on the south face of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles. The drive is about two hours. Here, you can register your name amongst the more than 7 million people that have looked the iconic 12-inch Zeiss refractor in the Observatory. There’s a chance you may have even seen the refractor in a movie.

You won’t have to worry about an admission fee into the Observatory, as it’s free. If you, however, wish to enjoy Planetarium shows that are available every day of the week, you’ll be required to pay a nominal fee. Some other things you should look forward to seeing here include a solar telescope, and a caricature of the moon’s north pole.

A small parking lot is available near the Observatory, with more room for paid-parking nearby. If you visit in summer, feel free to camp at Camp Hollywoodland.

Palm Springs Air Museum

Another wonderful attraction you’ll see as you gradually come closer to Phoenix is Palm Springs Air Museum, located two hours away from Griffith Observatory in Palm Springs. This museum was established by Bob Pond and Pete Madison and is most notable for the WWII and Korea-era and Vietnam-era combat aircraft that are on display there.

Not only will you be able to see the vintage pieces here, you’ll also be able to enjoy flights aboard the C-47 Skytrain and P-51 Mustang with veterans that will offer fascinating accounts of these airplanes and the pilots that flew them. Note that these flights can be quite expensive, so have enough money for it.

The museum is open all year round and welcomes all kinds of tourists. For guests that wish to camp overnight, Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA is perfect!

Hidden Beaches Resort

Hidden Beaches Resort lies in the city of Blythe, 124 miles away from Palm Springs Air Museum, and is perfect for some relaxation, after enjoying plenty of sightseeing adventures and history lessons, and nature observation exercises. Rest assured, your drive to this park will be easy and smooth, owing to the fact that the roads that lead there are well-marked. Besides, the park is also accessible by boat, even though that’s probably going to be handy for another vacation.

What’s good about this park is that there are plenty of RV camping opportunities and amenities here, so you’ll be able to enjoy the use of electric hookups within the pull-thru sites available. As the resort sits on the edge of the Colorado River, you’ll be able to enjoy waterfront views too. What a nice place to relax and recharge before finally moving on to Phoenix!


The trip has finally wound down and you’re at the final destination – Phoenix. As the capital and most populous city in Arizona, the city features lots of attractions, events, and good places to enjoy performing arts. If your interest is outdoor recreation, you’ll feel right at home here, thanks to the plentiful golf courses, parks, and recreational facilities within reach of every tourist.

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