Whether you’re a die hard Trekkie or just a casual viewer, it’s never been a better time to be a Star Trek fan.

Not only does this year mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking original sci-fi series’ premiere (come September 3rd), BUT a new TV show is in the works AND this Friday (July 22nd) the latest entry in the series of film reboots Star Trek Beyond hits theaters.   

And what better way to celebrate the iconic science fiction franchise than taking the ultimate Star Trek-themed road trip along the Californian coast? Sure, most of the filming (for the seven shows and thirteen movies) took place on sound stages and with the help of green screens, but some of the real world did manage to make it onto the screen.

Fly into San Francisco, rent a car and make your way southbound to Los Angeles before heading through beautiful state parks and ending at the five-day Star Trek convention in Las Vegas!  So round up your crew, christen your vehicle the U.S.S. Enterprise, and head west to experience this once-in-a-lifetime fan tour:

San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point

As the city that serves as home to both Starfleet Command and Starfleet Academy, San Francisco and the Star Trek franchise share a special bond. While the show imagined a futuristic utopia of sorts, the city has since striven to build the series’ fantasy into reality. It comes as no surprise, then, that to simply walk around the foggy town itself would provide a Trekkie with enough photo-ops to last a lifetime. Our absolute favorites, though, are highlighted in our map below. Check out the ever-enchanting Golden Gate Bridge, the corner of Kearney and Pacific (with the iconic Columbus Tower as its backdrop), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and historic Fort Baker (where Starfleet is headquartered). We recommend spending at least two days in this towering city before heading south to star-studded Los Angeles.

You can get to L.A. in six hours if you take the straight and narrow (and boring) route along the I-5. If you and your crew prefer a scenic drive, head along Highway 1 for sweeping coastal views (although it does take about ten hours).

Los Angeles, California

Vasquez_Rocks_County_Park

It’s best to plan for a three day away mission in Los Angeles…you’ll need it! With at least thirteen sites to check out, the avid Star Trek fan is going to need to plan their days carefully to get the entire list finished. You’ll HAVE to visit Paramount Pictures, the studio that started the whole franchise! And be sure to take a page out of series creator Gene Roddenberry’s book and dine across from the studio lot at Lucy’s, a Mexican cafe that the legendary screenwriter often frequented. The cafe has also been serving up amazing food for as long as Star Trek has been in existence! Beam across the city and visit important sites for the franchise like the J. Paul Getty Museum (which served as the Starfleet Headquarters in the new films) and the Creative Artists Agency buildings (often used as backdrops in the newer films). Then check out the Griffith Observatory (where you can learn more about the cosmos) AND the adjacent Leonard Nimoy Theatre (which is centered around the Star Trek legacy along with a welcome message from Leonard Nimoy himself!). See the entire map to see more spots that have been featured in the series and films.

Still can’t get enough? Head over to fan blog Fangirl Quest to see some cool shots around the city from the films!

Once you’re done soaking in the sites of La La Land, it’s time to head out for Vegas. It’s only a quick four-hour drive along I-15 N, although be sure to stop and see the incredible Vasquez Rocks County Park on your way out it was used as the set for Captain Kirk’s battle with the Gorn captain in the seminal original series episode “Arena”!

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sand_Dunes_in_Death_Valley_National_Park

When you get to Sin City, check into the Rio Suites. There you’ll find this year’s edition of the Official Star Trek Convention, running August 3rd to the 7th. Celebrate with fellow Trekkies and rub shoulders with over 100 Star Trek celebrities, participate in the convention’s Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and, of course, multiple photo opportunities with attendees!

If you get to Vegas early or just don’t want the geeking out to end with the convention, take an hour’s journey out of the city along the I-15 N and into the Valley of Fire State Park, where you can pay your respects at the desert locale used for the filming of Captain Kirk’s final resting place. The desert landscape also served as the backdrop for plenty of other Star Trek battles to boot (and offers beautiful vistas worth seeing anyway).

Did we miss any must-see Star Trek spots on the west coast? Let us know in the comments below! And to quote our favorite Vulcan: Live long and prosper.


Star Trek® is a trademark of CBS and Paramount Pictures. No association with CBS and Paramount Pictures is intended or should be inferred

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About The Author

Mary Zakheim
Content Writer

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch. Mary is a content writer at Fareportal and likes annoying her coworkers with weird GIFs throughout the day.