The Pacific Coast Highway is also known as Highway 1. It runs along the pacific coast of California. You can start up north in San Francisco and drive down to Los Angeles. There are faster alternatives like the Interstate 5 and Highway 101 which runs further inland. I have done the pacific coast highway four times in a year and I still want to do it again. You need to add this scenic drive to your to-do road trip list and I mean it. Flipping through any travel guide books or Google searches will reveal that it is often mentioned in them. It is usually in the top ten road trips in the world and it really does live it up.
Pacific Coast Highway, California
The treasure lies at what is in between San Francisco and Los Angeles along this scenic highway. There are many fantastic surf spots along the way. Check out the west cliff in Santa Cruz. An old surfing museum located here and it is a popular place for sunsets. This city is home to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk that was built in 1907 and has been in operation till now. Be there on Monday nights and enjoy each ride for a dollar because of the ‘1907 Nights’. The boardwalk is open everyday in summer but check out the operation hours after summer because they are only open on weekends due to significant decrease in holiday traffic.
View of the Santa Cruz main beach from one of the rides
Head south from Santa Cruz and you will reach Monterey Bay. It takes slightly less than an hour. Visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. There are areas in the aquarium where you can come into touch with some starfishes. Nearby, there is a beautiful town named Carmel. There are some pretty good restaurants here if you are looking for some food. Do some hikes at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. They offer pretty cool views of the coast and you will come across the McWay Falls.
Hiking trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Photo courtesy of my good friend, Ernesto who is also my travel buddy to Taiwan. Read my post about why should you go Taiwan here.
The beaches along the pacific coast are awesome. Check out the elephant seals beach just before Hearst Castle if you are traveling from the north. There are many fantastic surf spots along the way. Some parts of the pacific coast look like those in The Lost World. That was my first impression of this scenic drive.
Elephant seals beach near the Piedras Blancas lighthouse
Do this trip with your friends. Enjoy the sun, the atmosphere and you will appreciate every moment of your road trip. And remember to take photos along the way as they bring back precious memories of your travels.
Tell me about your favorite road trip?