Highway 1 along the central coast of California provides some of the most stunning coastal views on the planet! In fact, parts of it has been designated as an official National Scenic Byway. Hope for good weather during your visit, because the ominous coastal fog can truly make or break your trip!
Known by many names along various portions of the route, Highway 1 is also called the Pacific Coast Highway (or to the locals, ‘The PCH’), Cabrillo Highway, Shoreline Highway, or Coast Highway.
Since moving to California 8 years ago, we’ve done this drive 5 times and its beauty never ceases to amaze us! The 100-mile stretch from Cambria to Monterey is unrivaled, and in our opinion, probably one of the most beautiful drives in the entire world!
It’s pretty much impossible to drive this route and not stop at least every 10 miles to get out and take some photos. Fortunately, there are many turnouts, allowing drivers to safely stop to take in the views.
Some of the best views require a little bit of a walk from the road. In addition to the turnouts, you will occasionally see cars safely pulled off on the side of the road next to a small set of steps that takes you up and over a low fence and to a well-trodden path.
These paths lead to spectacular scenery of the rugged coastline. We urge you to use discretion and extreme caution when walking along the rocky cliffs.
Rocks jutting from the water dot the coastline and make for spectacular wave formations as the surf rolls in.
One of the most iconic views along the drive is Bixby Creek Bridge.
This favored pullout spot is popular among photographers, picnickers, and painters alike!
Quite possibly our favorite spot along this stretch of Highway 1 is McWay Falls, near the entrance of Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park. This 80-foot waterfall cascades directly onto the protected beach below.
This post was simply designed to inspire you! Has it worked? Are you ready to hop the next flight to California and drive the beautiful Highway 1? Stay tuned for more posts regarding things to do and see along the route, including stops all the way from San Diego to San Fransisco. There is so much to experience along the central coast of California, we hope you are able to visit at least once in your lifetime!