Also known as PCH, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most scenic drives in the world that you can take along the ocean. It stretches from the southern tip of Baja California to the Olympic Peninsula and covers a distance of about 500 miles. Along the way, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the sea, scenic coastal villages and unspoilt woodlands. You can also go through vineyards.
One of the most fascinating routes on PCH is San Francisco San Diego, because every place has interesting tourist stops that can be part of your journey.
From the Golden Gate Bridge you will continue on PCH, but not before you visit Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island and drive down Lombard Street and Union Square.
The city on PCH is worth a visit with its many interesting galleries and museums and the mysterious Winchester Mystery House. Do not forget to visit the headquarters, which is responsible for changing the computer world; Google, Facebook and Hewlett Packard Garage are all in San Jose. A visit to the zoo and the largest outdoor market in the United States is also a must in San Jose.
Santa Cruz is for beach lovers. The charming beach, the Santa Cruz beach, the Big Dipper and the lighthouse make the stopover worthwhile. Pacific Avenue makes good purchases to bring home jewelry. For a bit of hiking, you can try the Wilder Ranch State Park or enjoy music at the Rio Theater.
One hour from Santa Cruz, where the rolling coastline is Monterey Bay. Monterey has its own share of attractions that you must visit. The Lobos State Nature Reserve is one, and the former Fisherman’s Wharf is another. Spend an interesting time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and go shopping at Cannery Row. If you continue on the 17 mile road, you can be overturned by the scenic beauty along the road and the friendliness of the coastal village. Treat yourself to some activities such as sailing, whale watching, kayaking and golf, all part of Monterey.
A slow ascent to Monterey will take you to Big Sur after crossing one of the largest bridge bridges in the world, Brixby Bridge. Lose yourself in the beauty of Big Sur with so many points of view that driving slows considerably, but with many good reasons. Pfeiffer Beach, Point Sur State Historic Park, McWay Falls and Ragged Point can make you pause for a few days. The natural thermal baths of the Esalen Institute could be another reason to stop, as their healing properties are known.
San Simeon is famous for its magnificent Hearst Castle on Enchanted Hill. The castle sits on an incredible 250,000 acres and is impressive with its rooms, cottages, suites, kitchens and land. The moonstone beach and the elephant colony PiedrasBiancas are other interesting places.
San Luis Obispo:
This coastal city of California has everything you need for a fun stopover. The walks you can take on the many hills like Islay Hill, Black Hill, Bishop Peak and San Luis Obispo Botanical Park are invigorating. The views of the Fremont Theater and Soda Lake are impressive, and Pismo Beach is great for parachuting, surfing and relaxing in the many restaurants. The Bubblegum Alley is a 15-foot-high and 70-foot-long lane, and if it does not keep you from seeing the chewing gum pastes glued here, you can visit them to leave one of them and make a mark.
Santa Barbara offers a good break before you meet LA. Enjoy wildlife and flora at the Santa Barbara Zoo, Botanical Gardens and Lotus Land. Visit the Lobero Theater or Arlington for a chat or the historic Santa Barbara Museum for a brushstroke with the story.
Of course, stopping in this sprawling city of California with its iconic Hollywood sign is a must when you’re at the PHC. The Hollywood Hall of Fame, the Kodak Theater, Universal Studios and the Santa Monica Pier are just some of the many attractions of this glittering city.
The San Diego road trip is just the place to relax by the bay. Take your time and visit the Balboa National Park and the Cabrillo National Monument at the top of Loma Point.