Experience the Californian dream on the Pacific Coast Highway! With the roof open, you tear along the coast of California from one dream destination to the next. This spectacular coastal road takes you along winding roads along deep cliffs, green rolling hills and cozy coastal towns.
The Pacific Coast Highway is part of the California State Route 1, one of America’s best-known roads. This part of the Highway 1 will take you from Monterey to the more southerly Morro Bay in two to three days. Get in the car or camper to make this tour through America and feel as free as a bird when you drive on this beautiful coastal road.
Sightseeing along Pacific Coast Highway
The journey starts in Monterey, a cozy place on the peninsula that is also called Monterey. Most tourists visit the Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row, but our advice is to leave these places just to the left and visit the old center. Take a walk along the historic buildings where you can see the influences of the Spaniards and Mexicans.
After only five kilometers you reach the next stop on the Pacific Coast Highway: Carmel-by-the-Sea. This oasis of tranquility used to be popular with artists and art artists and that is reflected in the many art galleries that still exist today. The picturesque Carmel is a wonderful place to get out and browse around or to have something to drink or eat in one of the restaurants.
Through the iconic Bixby Bridge you reach the pearl of the Pacific Coast Highway: the nature reserve Big Sur. Mighty sequoia trees reach for the sky, the Santa Lucia Range plunges into the sea and the waves break on the rocks, Big Sur is a treat for the nature lover. Our tip: settle down on the terrace of Cafe Kevah, located on the cliffs of Big Sur, and enjoy a magnificent view of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean while enjoying a cup of coffee, a piece of cake and the sun on your face .
Next up during this trip through America is San Simeon. Nearby is Piedras Blanca and this beach is the place to spot the special elephant seal, a kind of large seals with a trunk. But the real attraction of San Simeon is Hearst Castle, the sumptuous country estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. During a tour through this villa you walk through four buildings with more than one hundred rooms, a cinema, a private airport and an indoor and outdoor pool.
The end is in sight, the picturesque Morro Bay is already the last stop of the fabulous Pacific Coast Highway. In the middle of the bay of this town the monolith Morro Rock emerges from the water, with a height of 176 meters this is the attraction of Morro Bay. Hungry from all that driving? Then try the popular delicacy Salt Water Taffys or order the catch of the day at dinner.
Best travel time for Pacific Coast Highway
Every moment of the year it is possible to cover the Pacific Coast Highway, in California the sun almost always shines. However, in the summer months of June, July and August you are more likely to have foggy weather and it will be a lot busier with other tourists. That is why we recommend to travel to the Pacific Coast Highway during spring or autumn, so you avoid not only the crowds, but also the prices of the high season.
The route is only 200 kilometers long and could therefore be covered in a day. But the Pacific Coast Highway takes you past so many beautiful and special places in America that you can also easily pull out two to three days. For example, spend an extra day in Big Sur to enjoy the impressive cliffs and beautiful beaches and relax an afternoon on the terrace to enjoy the sun and sea.
Most travelers who drive the Pacific Coast Highway start in Monterey and slowly descend through Highway 1 to Morro Bay. And with a very good reason, because if you drive this way, you are right next to the ocean and your view is not disturbed by passing cars. Do you find it a bit scary to drive so close to deep cliffs? Then start in Morro Bay, there is still a lot of road between you and the depth when you drive to Monterey through Highway 1.
Rent a car or camper to enter the Pacific Coast Highway. This way you are free to go and stand where you want and you are not dependent on anyone. But if you are more comfortable meeting other travelers than this tour is also fun to make in groups.
In recent years, dozens of hotel booking sites have come to let you book hotels online in regions like California. Do you want to compare all providers in one go and find the cheapest room? Then go to Booking.com California. Here you can find & book the cheapest rooms for your travel dates!
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