The place to Cease Alongside a California Coast Highway Journey

No journey to the west coast is full with out an epic street journey journey alongside California’s lovely coast.

Assuming you’re on this for the journey (you’re taking a California coast street journey in any case), you need to plan on spending a minimum of every week exploring to see what the completely different locations California’s Northern, Central and Southern areas have to supply and get the total expertise.

Prepare for an exhilarating, cliff hugging, home windows down, music loud California street journey!

See additionally: Fascinating Info About California

Mostly requested questions on California coast street journeys

Is it higher to drive up or down the California coast?

Personally, we predict it’s finest to begin North and head South. This weblog is organized so as of cities you’ll hit driving on Route 1.

What number of miles is California’s coast?

California’s coast spans over 800 miles!

How lengthy does it take to drive California’s coast?

With out stopping, it’ll take you between 10 – 12 hours to drive your entire California coast from begin to end. Nevertheless, this street journey is about making these wonderful stops! So, plan accordingly.

Northern California coast street journey itinerary

Your California journey begins on Pacific Coast Freeway, higher often known as “PCH”.

The ocean views from above are so attractive that you just’ll have to tug over to take all of it in. You don’t need to drive off the cliff. 😉

Alongside the street, driving on the California Hwy 1, you’ll additionally encounter the gorgeous Navarro River Redwoods State Park which has a singular, prehistoric really feel, virtually like a scene from Jurassic Park, with ferns peaking via the thick, stalky Redwoods.

See additionally: Greatest Seashores in Northern California

Humboldt County: “The Redwood Forest”

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

The Redwood Forest is each bit as epic because the photographs you see in magazines and Instagram, solely 10x higher. You need to see it in individual. You’ll see the Redwoods just about till you attain San Francisco. Have your digital camera prepared!

Avenue of the Giants

That is the place among the largest and tallest Redwood timber on the earth are.

From Avenue of the Giants, you’ll drive on California Hwy 1 which ultimately turns into PCH. These are among the most unbelievable views you’ll see in your California coast street journey.

You’ll additionally need to cease in these cities for the total expertise:

Meyers Flat

Cooler in principle than in actual life. Max dimension is 7’ x 7’. I watched as a Tesla barely made it via. Then again, my SUV didn’t stand an opportunity.

In case you actually need to drive via a tree, you possibly can strive the “Chandelier Tree” in Leggett whose opening has match SUVs.

That is an cute treasure. It felt so life like, at any given second, I used to be anticipating to see an elf come out of the door.


Enter to the left of Dyerville Overlook for secluded views of the water. It’s a pleasant place to park your automobile and accumulate your ideas or have a snack.


Try the Victorian model structure on this 19th c. seaport city.

  • Carson mansion
  • Discover Previous City Eureka & waterfront
  • Drive throughout bridge to Woody Island

The place to eat


On this unassuming little city recognized for its backdrop in some huge Hollywood motion pictures, you’ll get to take pleasure in some odd curiosities like a store housed inside a former financial institution and California’s oldest pharmacy.

  • Rings Pharmacy (Rexall Medicine)

California’s oldest, constantly working drug retailer

  • Humboldt’s Hometown Retailer

You possibly can even step contained in the financial institution’s vault which is fairly superior. Then, stroll via the room that’s devoted to Meals Community Star, Man Fieri, who was born proper on the town.

Superbly saved fairytale-like backyard with a life-sized doll home and a hidden backyard walkway product of crops.

Fort Bragg


You don’t need to miss this lovely seaside city overlooking Goat Island and Cypress. It offers the vibes of a Mediterranean coastal city.

  • Mendocino Headlands State Park

Standing on the bluffs looking to sea is essentially the most calming feeling because the waves are crashing and wind blows throughout you.

The place to eat

Insider Tip: On the drive down, you’ll inevitably be passing well-known websites like Massive Sur’s Bixby Bridge. It’s all a part of the California coastal street journey! Pull over to the aspect to snap some epic pictures. However, no matter you do, don't cease in the course of the street. Sure, I've seen this performed. It’s a security hazard to your self but additionally, everybody round you.

Wine Nation

In case you take pleasure in wine, take a tour via wine nation and take a look at completely different Californian wines. You’ll discover a variety of enjoyable, interactive experiences at completely different vineyards and wineries alongside the way in which.

We’re going just a little inland right here, going from Route 1 to the 128, however with many wine producers positioned only a quick drive off the coast, you possibly can hop from vineyard to vineyard and see what completely different wine rising areas have to supply.

Napa County


In case you haven’t seen the film “Bottle Shock”, you’ll need to earlier than heading to wine nation. That is the place California wine turned heads worldwide and began being taken critically.

Good Learn: Learn the e-book the movie was (loosely) primarily based on explaining the massive California win that modified wine ceaselessly: Judgment of Paris: California Vs. France and the Historic 1976 Paris Tasting That Revolutionized Wine.


Napa is essentially the most well-known of the wine areas. Put together for a Disneyland chaos type of vibe. At the very least that’s what it felt like at Domaine Carneros. There are additionally different spots value testing.

Listed below are a number of nice Napa experiences to check out:

Discover the gorgeous grounds which features a backyard whose recent produce is utilized in lots of the dishes served on property. It’s also possible to dine right here, take pleasure in a self-wine tasting expertise and discover their museums and study extra about wine and cooking inside.

Just a few extra locations to take a look at in Napa:

  • Napa Mill
  • Outlets, eating places. Cease into Classic Candy Shoppe for some wine and decadent truffles.
  • Napa Welcome Signal

The place to eat

CIA at Copia has some wonderful eating places.

Brunch: The Grove

Dinner: Le Petit Chef 3D Expertise

A whirlwind of an expertise! Undoubtedly to not be missed. This can be a actually magical night. It’ll actually transport you to a unique world.

St. Helena

Sonoma County

Napa is known for its wine but additionally a bit crowded and overdone when you ask me. Attempt among the lesser recognized areas right here in Sonoma, the actual deal.

Be a part of a guided vineyard tour with picnic lunch within the space!


  • Alexander Valley Winery

Santa Rosa

If using via a winery on a bar bike whereas sampling grapes off the vine and sipping on completely different varietals feels like a enjoyable California afternoon to you, you’ll love St. Francis whose historical past is simply as fascinating as its fortunate escape from the California fireplace that attempted to take them down.

San Francisco & Sausalito

Take Freeway 101 North throughout the Golden Gate Bridge until you’ve entered San Francisco, the land that wants no introduction.

We’re all conscious of the issues that made SF famously all the way down to earth and funky. However, if you’d like one thing just a little extra particular, be authentic and spend a while in Sausalito, SF’s cute little sister. She’s simply as nice and…you received’t need to battle vacationers for an excellent photograph.

For the adventurers, begin in SF & journey throughout the bridge all the way in which to Sausalito. Take the ferry or bike again. I’ll warn you, it’s a little bit of a distance. I used to be exhausted after going 1 method.

The place to eat

Central California

Now you’ll get again on Route 1 and proceed down the coast coming into the middle of California which is an ideal mix of the Northern and Southern areas its sandwiched between. You’ll get just a little little bit of every part… nature, journey, ocean, metropolis, culinary delights and extra.

Santa Cruz

  • Amusement Park
  • Pizza & drink sail to see the seals, Chardonnay Charters is a good firm
  • Stroll the pier and watch seals

Monterey & Pacific Grove

The place to eat

Not solely does this restaurant have unbelievable views, it has scrumptious seafood! Seize a desk exterior and take all of it in. You possibly can even watch kayakers, birds and seals from above.

Carmel by the Sea

This can be a little storybook coastal village if I ever noticed one! Right here, you’ll benefit from the one in all a sort really feel that’s uniquely Carmel. Discover quaint retailers and fairytale-like properties then, hit the seashore and go for some lunch at one of many city’s bistros with previous world attraction.

  • Carmel Seaside
  • Get your golf on at one in all Carmel’s many cutting-edge golf programs
  • Do the 17 mi. drive, cease at Pebble Seaside
  • See the storybook homes which have completely different names as an alternative of numbers


  • Stroll the boardwalk of Moonstone Seaside and dip your ft within the ocean
  • Predominant Road retailers, eating places & historical past
  • Hearst Citadel
For one more enjoyable cease additional inland, go to an enthralling village named Solvang, higher often known as the Danish capital of America and the city the place the wino film Sideways was filmed.

Southern California

Then, you’ll get onto Freeway 101! That is once you’ll actually begin to really feel these surfer, seashore vibes which might be quintessential to SoCal.

Right here, you’ll discover attractive artist colonies, surf spots and seashores made well-known on TV collection like The OC, Laguna Seaside, The Hills and each Seaside Boys track.

See additionally: Greatest Climbing Trails in Southern California

Santa Barbara

Right here, we enter the Northernmost level of SoCal.

  • Take a browsing lesson
  • Go to Previous Mission Santa Barbara in-built 1786
  • Stroll down one of many longest deep-water piers between LA & SF – Stearns Wharf

The place to eat

  • In-N-Out of Course! It’s a Californian staple.

Huntington Seaside

Welcome to “Surf Metropolis, USA”!

  • Lease a surrey bike at Zack’s Rental. It’s a variety of enjoyable to journey previous the seashore! Simply be careful for the pedestrians.
  • Go to the surf retailers for some nice beachwear
  • Stroll the Boardwalk

The place to eat

Laguna Seaside

Whereas Laguna Seaside is in fact recognized for its seashore, I encourage you to skip it (not the prettiest, I do know, I grew up right here) and as an alternative, try these different spots…

  • Stroll to Hesler Park gazebo, look out to the ocean, see an artist portray the scene

See Paegaent of the Masters which is a good present! Stroll round and see completely different artwork galleries. You possibly can even paint a vase and take it dwelling with you.

  • See St. Francis by the Sea- Guiness E-book of World Report’s smallest cathedral on the earth

The place to eat

Sit exterior for beautiful ocean views. The seafood was recent and attractive.

La Jolla

Discuss a enjoyable spot! This can be a traditional Cali beachtown with a mixture of upscale and lowkey retailers and eating places with the seashore as the middle focus. You’ll know you’re in the precise place once you hear the seals!

  • Stroll Avendida de la Playa
  • Seaside sundown
  • Go kayaking at La Jolly Cove
  • Birch Aquarium

The place to eat


If you need a style of glamour and lovely seashores, head to Malibu.

  • Stroll Malibu Pier, numerous retailers & eating places
  • Level Dume
  • Matador Seaside
  • Surf at Zuma Seaside

The place to eat

Don’t go away with out testing this wonderful restaurant! Reservations are extremely advisable. I watched the large waves do their very own little present and obtained sprayed with sea mist whereas sipping cocktails earlier than diving into a tremendous 8 course seafood & sushi meal.

San Diego

This can be a lovely location away from the remainder of the town.

  • Stroll round (or keep at) Historic Resort de Coronado
  • Have a drink and hearken to stay music on the seashore
  • Sea World
  • Balboa Park
  • Level Loma
  • Previous City San Diego

Some nice spots to hit are Previous City San Diego Historic Park and Whaley Home.

  • Woflie’s Carousel Bar
  • Breakfast & Bubbles
  • Rockin Baja Lobster

See additionally: Tips on how to Plan an Epic Baja California Trip

And there you have got it! The place to cease alongside a California coast street journey! Hopefully you get some concepts to your upcoming street journey!

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