An Adventure Along Highway One and the Pacific Coast Highway
If you have been reading my blog for awhile then you may know that I have taken a couple of trips up (and down) Highway 1 along California’s coast. It is one of my favorite road trips just because the coast never ceases to amaze me… and apparently it excites people from all over. The people over at Exsus Luxury Travel have put together for you a list of some of the must see spots along the coast and have created a virtual coastal road trip (link at the bottom) that you can take from the comfort of your laptop (it’s really freak’n cool)! Enjoy!
Highway One, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, is home to everything coastal California has to offer. Along the way, you will find wave washed beaches, indigenous wildlife, glittering cities, classic diners and motels, and an array of only-in-America wacky attractions.
The Great Outdoors
Top treks include the McWay Waterfall Trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, which ends in views of an 80-foot waterfall dropping directly onto a sandy beach with turquoise-blue water. Salmon Creek Trail is a popular track venturing deep into the Silver Peak Wilderness in the Monterey District of Los Padres National Forest, but you only need to hike 0.3 miles from Highway One to see a beautiful 120-foot waterfall.
In Eureka, explore the rugged Lost Coast Trail for an easy, enjoyable hike which leads to some picturesque look-outs. Torrey Pines State Park, lying between La Jolla and Del Mar, also makes for a scenic stop, where hills and cliffs overlook the coast and there are walking trails leading down to the beach.
If you like wildlife, you’ll love Point Lobos State Reserve – one of the world’s largest Elephant Seal breeding colonies, which is open to the public. The activity starts to kick off in December and is an amazing spectacle. Guided walks are popular during the breeding season because you aren’t otherwise allowed to get up close to the animals.
Food and Wine Galore
If you’ve got time, head slightly inland away from Highway One to explore the Napa Valley – THE place to go for wine lovers. There are also lots of fine restaurants to choose from here, many of which are world-acclaimed. Eating clam chowder of fresh lobster at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is another must-do.
In Big Sur, Nepenthe restaurant clings to the cliffs above the ocean. You might recognize it from the 1965 film The Sandpiper, which made it famous. The eatery remains popular, not just because of the quality of the classic American fare served, but also for the dining balconies overlooking the sea below.
The biggest urban centers along the route are San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, each bursting with many days’ worth of attractions.
Take a tram tour of San Fran, maybe a trip over to Alcatraz, and spend an afternoon walking the Marin Headlands. Further south, in Santa Barbara, pay a visit to the old mission, go shopping along State Street, and catch a movie at the historic Arlington Theatre.
Splash out in Los Angeles. After seeing the famous Hollywood sign for yourself, admire art masterpieces in the Getty Centre and take a tour of Universal Studios. Dine out in one of the city’s finest restaurants and try to catch a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Get down with the hippy vibe of San Diego with a picnic in the grounds of Balboa Park before paying a visit to the famous zoo. History buffs can explore Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, which recreates life from the early days of colonization.