My Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist


My Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist

I love a good playlist. I always have. Over the years cassette tapes,  CDs, and the first-generation MP3 players have all been platforms for me to create the ultimate mix. I also love a good road-trip. Naturally the two to go hand-in-hand. There’s something about a songs connection to a moment while traveling that just sticks – good and bad. Example of the latter – I can never listen to Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train without seeing my life flash before my eyes. I was 12 years old driving south during Christmas break with my mother when we hit black ice, spun around twice, and landed safely in the snowbank – all while Dave Pirner’s melancholy voice sang about missing children. Thankfully the good outweighs the bad, although my mother and I still laugh about that trip to this day.

With my upcoming #GreatCoastRoadTrip I decided to compile a Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist with songs that have ties to the sunshine state as well as myself.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #1

Bad Fish – Sublime

Or really anything from this Long Beach California band. Can’t get much closer to California summertime than Sublime.

How it ties to me:

I love me some Sublime. In almost every band I played in, Sublime was on the set list.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #2

I Get Around by the Beach boys

The original California rockers once topped the charts with their California cruising and surfing tunes.

How it ties to me:

Growing up my father played a lot of Beech boys records. Naturally their lyrics are engraved in my brain. Also, we shared a hotel with the Beach boys in 2012 while in NOLA. John Stamos, who often fills in on drums, got caught checking out Erin while we waited for a cab. No big deal.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #3

California Love2Pac feat. Dr. Dre & Natt Dogg

As the title suggests this rap anthem is about the great Golden State. How can it not be on the on the list.

How it ties to me:

Because I’m gangster? At least I thought I was in high school with this song on repeat.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #4

Gin and Juice – The Gourds (Snoop Dogg cover)

A cover of one of my favorite songs by the California DogFather.

How it ties to me:

The very first CD I ever bought was Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle. Being a chubby white kid in the middle of nowhere northern Canada, this was an odd thing. My second CD? Go West by the Pet Shop Boys. 🙂  Clearly my musical tastes were all over the spectrum.

This bluegrass cover version became a nightly favorite performed by the Tats – my impromptu band while in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #5

Time to Pretend – MGMT

It’s just really a good summer time driving tune.

How it ties to me:

This song was on heavy rotation during my last trip down the Cali-Coast.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #6

Stick-shifts & Safety-belts – Cake

Technically this band hails from Sacramento but calls California home. Also this song is about getting close while driving with your sweetheart.

How it ties to me:

Cake is one of my favorite bands to listen to, see live, and play on guitar.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #7

Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Pretty self-explanatory on this one. Also, the RHCP’s have called California home for decades and often refer to the state in their music.

How it ties to me:

One of my favorite bands and pretty much why I started playing guitar.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #8

Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane

THE feel-good road-trip anthem.

How it ties to me:

Come on. For the Canadian in me. You had to know this was coming.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #9

The PassengerIggy Pop

I just really, really love this song.

Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist Song #10

Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf

This classic rock bands most popular song. Not suprising as it has one of the most recognizable and catchy hooks of all time.

How it ties to me:

This song just happens to be Erin’s favorite – also did you know, Steppenwolf formed as “The Sparrows” in Toronto before moving to LA and changing their name. #Fact.


What say you?
What’s your favorite Cali-Coast Road-trip playlist?

This Cali-Coast Road-Trip Playlist is inspired by the #GreatCoastRoadTrip and brought to you by Coast Hotels. Come along at or through the social media links below.


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  1. Avatarsays: Lisa Vale

    Great list! What about “on the road again” by Willie Nelson?! Can’t be a road trip without it!

  2. Avatarsays: Fanny Lopez

    You have a wide range on here which is great! I think anything by RHCP’s and Cake is both fitting for California and a roadtrip. Also 90’s rap will always be in for me!

  3. Avatarsays: Robin

    Fun playlist! I tend to listen to full albums while on long road trips – I’d have a hard time not listening to Beach Boys + Jan & Dean on the California coast.

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