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Pacific Coast Highway

Listed under Road Trips in Santa Cruz, United States.

  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
  • Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
Photo of Pacific Coast Highway
Photo by flickr user Dawn Endico
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Cruising north with the top-down on the PCH brings you an unrivalled experience of American beauty oceanside – dramatic cliff-faces, mountainous forests, beaches, secluded coves and protected wildlife. Watch the sun come up and go down at Nepenthe’s near Big Sur; enjoy the bird lovers’ haven in Morro State Park, wild sea otters 30 miles further north, and sea lions at Point Lobos. Hearst Castle holds majestic mountaintop views, steeped in history and culture and situated atop La Cuesta Encantada (‘The Enchanted Hill’). Wonderful uncapped natural landscapes of Big Sur, particularly the view of the 50ft Pacific-bound waterfall at McWay Falls. Then on to Halfmoon Bay and Santa Cruz for a truly exceptional experience.

Santa Cruz doesn’t have to be your stopping point. If you’re traveling north on the PCH, then the final stop will put you in Monterey. However, if you want the journey to continue then San Francisco is approximately 125 miles further north. Maybe you have an IfOnly San Francisco experience gift to cash in, or maybe you just want to check out one of America’s most infamous prisons.Don’t forget to make pit stops in San Jose and Palo Alto on the way though. References:

Written by  George Monkhouse.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Drove from Simi Valley to San Francisco over a couple of days and then stayed in San Fran for 3 days and drove back loved every moment. You definitely need to spend a lot longer on PCH 1 to get the best out of it. It was an incredible journey!!

Any place for off-roading?

If I rent a Jeep, is there anyplace along the way to do a bit of off-roading, just to add to the adventure?

yeah, and if you stay at Motel 6 along the way it makes it even cheaper. there are some great ones along the route which makes life easy if you dont want to worry about accomodation.

1 Reply

Yeah I agree, you can't beat motel 6 for value!

Route 1

Spectacular route - best driven north-south so you have the coast on your driving side. First stop Monterey, for the world famous aquarium, and in season (spring and late autumn), a trip out to see the whale migration. A visit to Carmel is also well worth it. Then on to Big Sur, with its redwoods and beaches, and on down to Hearst Castle. Final stop Santa Barbara. Expect fog and rolling mist on some stretches at all times of year.

San Francisco to Big Sur

The Pacific Coast Highway stretches from San Francisco to Big Sur while passing through Santa Cruz and Monteray. This California highway is one of the most exciting in the country and it's easy to see why. The Pacific Coast Highway will take you through winding mountain passes, redwood forests, quaint farmland, and spectacular ocean views. You could easily take a week to drive along this intense road while stopping at the many attractions along the way.

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