Colorado vs California: Which is Better for a Road Trip?

Choosing a better road trip destination between Colorado and California is always a challenge. These two states are both great destinations in their own right. In both, you are assured of breathtaking scenery, iconic landmarks, great national parks, culinary treats your taste buds will love, and friendly locals to mention but a few.

A choice on either will mainly depend on your personal preferences and how you want to experience the road trip. To help you decide, let’s explore the two on different fronts to help you choose the one you will prefer for a road trip.


Colorado covers an area of around 100,000 square miles and boasts almost 6 million people. It makes up for being landlocked with breathtaking scenery among them the several mountain ranges dotting its landscape. It’s quite small compared to the other states neighboring it. Its cities are quite densely populated with Denver having almost 700,000 people living there. It is towns and rural areas that are less populated and will give you that laid-back feeling we all sometimes want.

California occupies an area of almost 163,000 square miles. This vast expanse provides lots of space to explore from its sandy beaches to the vast arid plains and its mountain ranges. It also has a great city life with great cities like Los Angeles. It is more populous having 40 million inhabitants.


In Colorado, you will experience lower costs as far as services and social amenities are concerned. California has high tax rates as high as 13.3% contributing to a higher cost of living.

Accommodation and transportation costs are also higher in California. To save on your transportation costs when looking for a car rental, whether it’s a 5 seater or even a 12 seater car for rent visit to compare prices between the different car rentals in the USA and save money by using the cheapest.

Destinations and activities

Colorado has a stunning natural beauty that most outdoor enthusiasts will find hard to resist. It has world-class mountain trails so enticing for hikes even for those not into hiking. Its mountain ranges have attracted top ski resorts that see visitors come from all over the world to enjoy these ski havens. 

The culinary scene is so inviting and rich in diversity. It has a representation of all Colorado’s cultures including the Native American and Mexican delicacies. The specially prepared Rocky Mountain Oysters and the Bison Burritos, especially should be top on your bucket list. If you love your bottle, make sure you sample some of the greatest craft beer in the USA here. There are more than 300 breweries to choose from.

Must-visit places while on a Colorado road trip include:

  • Garden of Gods
  • Pikes Peak
  • Great Sand Dunes
  • Red Rocks
  • Coors Brewery

California on its part is also rich in attractions and activities to do. You will be spoilt for choice. Its inviting weather, cultural diversity, long stretches of sandy beaches, blue pristine ocean, and a vast number of activities you can engage in outdoors makes it attracts lots of visitors. 

California also boasts a vibrant art scene if you have an eye for art. Lots of music festivals also take part in this great state, and you can align your travel plans to coincide with one if you love a good party. The finger-licking culinary scene is world-class, thanks to the many cultures represented in California. Their farm-to-fork movement ensures as a foodie you get to enjoy fresh food with locally sourced ingredients. Seafood lovers will fall in love with California thanks to its proximity to the sea. The Taco Nazo there is also to die for.

Some of the must-visit places while on a road trip in California include:

  • Disneyland Park
  • Big Sur Coastline
  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Venice Beach


A road trip across these two great states promises a good time. The choice of the one most suitable will ultimately depend on your preferences. This article has shared a few factors for your consideration as you try to make the decision. Choose one and enjoy your road trip because you deserve it.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button