Can I take a minute to tell you about one of the bests days of my life? It just so happened to be on the Pacific Coast Highway. Allow me to paint a picture. Huge jagged cliffs for as far as you can see on the horizon. They are covered in a mix of vegetation ranging from lush greens to rusty red. Golden bronze colored sand meets the base of the sharp rock of which the cold Pacific Ocean water crashes up against. The breeze blowing off of the ocean cooling the moist air on even the sunniest of days in California. This is the story no matter where you look. Three hundred and sixty degrees.
California State Route 1 runs from the northern California city of Leggett. It is over 650 miles of beauty snaking through incredible scenery all the way down to the southern end through Laguna beach terminating in Orange County. Large portions of this route are dubbed the Pacific Coast Highway, or the PCH.
I visited the PCH on a trip to California in the late summer. Growing up in Florida I was surrounded by beaches of all sorts on the rims that line the entire peninsula. Beaches were always within easy reach for me, but there is something about seeing the California coast that intrigued me. Not only do you get the perfection of the beach, but you also get the addition of cliffs surrounding them.
Here are just a few of the many famous attractions that you can stop along the entire route of the Pacific Coast Highway.
San Francisco is ripe with adventure opportunity but a stop at the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is a great place to start from the northern end of State Route 1. Take a drive over the massive suspension bridge and witness history in motion.
The 17 Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach and the views you get are truly unbeatable. Stop off and spend some time at some of the viewpoints from the beginning all the way to Carmel-By-The-Sea.
Bixby Bridge is considered to be an architectural masterpiece placed in the middle of an alluring setting. It is no surprised that it is one of the most photographed bridges in the world.
Shortly after crossing the Bixby Creek Bridge, you begin a winding stretch of highway that goes from Caramel to San Simeon. This stretch is narrow roads, beachside cliffs, and views at each and every turn.
Malibu is known for it’s beaches surrounded by cliffs, celebrity homes, and the great state parks in the area.
This one should go without saying. A trip through the PCH takes you through L.A. This wouldn’t exactly be a quick stop, but it is one that you have to make at some point nonetheless. We took an entire road trip through California which included a few days in Los Angeles.
One of California’s mot popular beaches, Long Beach is a perfect place to kick back and enjoy the sunset after an unforgettable trip down the PCH.
At many viewpoints along the Pacific Coast Highway, be on the lookout for marine mammals like seals and whales. The Pacific Ocean is filled with them so you never know what wildlife you can be treated with.
The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the scenic drives that you can do in the United States, and quite possibly all of the world. Tackling the highway is a perfect adventure opportunity that you will surely never forget.
Be sure to check current conditions before your journey as the road is susceptible to road closures and detours due to rock and mudslides.