The Big Sur region of the Central Coast of California is known for its stunning views and inspirational natural beauty, making for a must-see road trip stop. (Courtesy of Pixabay)

It’s hard to accept the idea that UC Riverside is amongst one of the last schools in the nation to begin summer vacation, however, there’s no need to sulk because it is now officially summer for us too. Even though we all have different plans for the summer — whether it’s getting an internship, doing research or attending summer school —  it never hurts to leave room in your busy summer schedule for a short road trip out of town.

The idea itself sounds expensive but when you road trip with friends who are willing to chip in, the unforgettable memories gathered along the way will allow this to become one of the best decisions of your life.

Ditch those popular road trips to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to instead discover more remote destinations with your friends.

So pack up your bags along with your sunglasses, that swimsuit that’s been sitting in the corner of your closet and your camera, and be prepared to make priceless memories.

  1. Big Sur
Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur Courtesy of Flickr
Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur (Courtesy of Flickr)

Famous for it’s peaceful activities, a trip to Big Sur can serve as the perfect weekend getaway. Throughout the weekend, you can discover a new side of nature by stepping into the popular state parks, beaches and waterfalls, such as Limekiln, Julia Pfeiffer Burns, Pfeiffer Big Sur and Andrew Molera State Parks. Don’t forget to drive along the Bixby Canyon Bridge, which is known for its aesthetic design and being one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world. The purple sand of Pfieffer Beach and McWay Waterfall & Beach are also must-sees.

  1. Santa Catalina Island
Avalon Beach in Santa Catalina Island Courtesy of Flickr
Avalon Beach in Santa Catalina Island (Courtesy of Flickr)

Although it takes a helicopter or boat to land upon Santa Catalina Island, this destination is filled with spontaneous and exciting activities. To stay low on spending, camping is the perfect alternative that can make the trip more memorable than if you were to stay at a standard hotel. Don’t miss the opportunity to go ziplining across the island while enjoying the unique view or go parasailing, jet-skiing, kayaking, scuba diving and fishing to get the most fulfillment from your visit.

  1. Yosemite National Park
A view of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park Courtesy of Public Domain Images
A view of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (Courtesy of Public Domain Images)

Many consider Yosemite National Park to be one of the most fascinating sites in California and recommend that its beauty be experienced at least once in each person’s lifetime. There are a countless number of nature related activities that Yosemite is famous for such as ziplining, rafting, fishing, biking, hiking and rock climbing. If you do visit, don’t forget to stop at El Capitan Canyon, Tunnel View, Half Dome and famous falls such as Yosemite, Vernal, Ribbon, Horsetail and Bridalveil.

  1. Channel Islands
A beach in San Miguel Island, Channel Islands Courtesy of Wikipedia
A beach in San Miguel Island, Channel Islands (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Whether you choose to go with family or friends, Channel Islands is a prime location for new discovery and adventure. Grab the bonfire essentials and stop by one of the many sites of Channel Islands. There are a total of eight islands — Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Clemente, San Nicolas, Santa Barbara and Santa Clemente — all of which include vast offerings, such as camping, boating, kayaking, diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, tidepooling, whale watching, seal and sea lion watching. The islands serve a perfect destination for a mini vacation away from school and work.

The bountiful amount of free time the summer provides makes it appropriate for students to begin checking off their bucket lists. This summer try to focus on yourself and what makes you happy, which could be done by seeking new places and amazing yourself by trying new activities. Check out Globo Surf which is a a popular source for snow, land and water sports reviews.