Agonist binding stimulates endocytosis of hormone receptors via vesicular uptake mechanisms. Interactions of the intracellular domains of receptors with specific targeting proteins are crucial for sorting of internalized receptor in endosomes. Some receptors are targeted for very rapid (e.g. beta2-adrenergic receptor) or slower (e.g. AT1 angiotensin receptor) recycling pathways, whereas others are targeted to lysosomes for degradation (e.g. EGF receptor or PAR1 protease-activated receptor). This review discusses the mechanisms involved in these processes, which regulate surface receptor expression and set the stage for intracellular signaling of G protein-coupled and growth factor receptors.