Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1), USA
Pacific Coast road trips
A 500-mile route running down the beautiful California coast through San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles. It’s considered to be one of the world’s best drives, as it takes in some of the most spectacular views in the United States – and so it should be taken in at a leisurely pace.
Apart from taking you along the western shoreline of the US, the Pacific Coast Highway also runs close to many national parks, lakes, cities and other points of interest. The route also goes past a series of beautiful beaches – although the landscape changes dramatically in the Big Sur region, where the beaches give way to steep cliffs and more rugged coastline.
Why the Pacific Coast Highway is special
For a start, the Pacific Coast Highway begins and ends at two of America’s most-loved cities: San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s also a pretty straightforward drive, although there are some difficult cliff-hugging stretches. Plus, if you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, you can get the best impression of the road by traveling along the route in both directions. Also, don’t forget to strap on your surfboard so that you can stop off and enjoy some Pacific Ocean thrills.
If you’re short on time, you may want to limit yourself to the stretch between San Luis Obispo and Monterey – where the great scenery of the large pine forests contrasts to the opposing cliff edges overlooking the Pacific Ocean.