Highway 1, also known as Pacific Coast Highway, is located along California’s boastful coastline. It’s the perfect place for an epic and adventurous road trip for first-timers or for those who simply can’t get enough traveling under their belt!
Our list is a route amounting to approximately 8 hours (without stopping), driving from the southernmost point- Newport Beach to the ever famous San Francisco, with views and memories promised to last a lifetime. We don’t care if you rent a car, take out a couple of title loans, or borrow your granny’s 1990 Cadillac, just get in a car and head to the west coast!
- Newport Beach has something for everyone! Fashion Island is a shopper’s paradise; Back Bay is a bird watcher’s escape; The Wedge- a surfer’s dream and finally Crystal Cove is a hiker’s answer to the call to nature.
- Long Beach is home to the historic ocean liner, Queen Mary. Its staterooms dating back to 1936 with art deco flair is sure to impress all visitors. Stop by the Aquarium of the Pacific then grab brunch in East Village. You won’t regret it!
- The Santa Monica Pier is a 100 year old landmark just waiting for you to take a stroll. Get your gorgeous view atop the Ferris wheel and surround yourself with the carnival scene. Get a little grub at one of the nearby restaurants and be on your way to the next stop!
- Malibu offers 21 miles of gorgeous, affluent coastline. The Santa Monica Mountains provide you with the breathtaking view at Saddle Peak and Lagoon State Beach is quite the gem too!
- Drop into Santa Barbara for some locally made wine. Hopefully you aren’t tired of the mountain views yet because the Santa Ynez Mountains provide a backdrop gorgeous enough to make your jaw drop.
- There is really no view quite like that of Big Sur. It’s a ‘see it to believe it’ destination. You will walk away with amazing pictures that, sadly, won’t do any justice to the real-life view. The sound of the crashing waves and the blowing wind will put all of your worries and stress to ease.
- Pacific Grove, known to locals as “PG”, is a definite place to sweep your significant other off their feet. Once the sand hits your toes, you will see that Lovers Point shares everything romantic- a spectacular view of the ocean to a quiet park to just gaze into each other’s eyes.
- Monterey has a world-renowned aquarium (that’s right- world-renowned!). Not fully satisfied yet? Hit the Old Fisherman’s Wharf for a chill out moment before arriving at Cannery Row to do some shopping and sinking your teeth into some local eats.
- San Francisco is in our opinion, the perfect place to end this tremendous road trip. Rich in history, culture and trends, San Fran doesn’t discriminate to anyone’s likes or dislikes. In fact, it opens everyone with wide open arms. Get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, grab some chocolate at the Fisherman’s Wharf, and hop on a tram just to say you did! A walk down Lombard Street or a stroll in Dolores Park will put a smile on your face stat!
Who doesn’t love the west coast? We promise that after following this route, you too will be asking the same question. The ocean side views, mountainous backdrops, local wineries, tasty restaurants and calming sounds of waves should place this road trip at the top of your bucket list. What are you waiting for!?