Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) Road Trip
Designated an All-American Road, State Route 1 runs almost the full length of Californian Pacific Coast and offers jaw-dropping scenery. Sun-kissed beaches, crashing surf in unexplored coves and nerve-shredding switchbacks shrouded in rolling mist make this one of the most memorable, beautiful and varied drives in North America. We provide a route that takes in the American Riviera of Santa Barbara, the stunning and unspoiled wilds of Big Sur and the culture mecca of Northern California, San Francisco.
A. Santa Barbara
Santa Monica is the birthplace of modern skateboarding and the first stop on this beautiful drive. The film "Lords of Dogtown" is based on the Z-Boys, a skateboarding team based in Venice Beach that revolutionized the sport in the '70s.
From Santa Monica, head to Malibu where the drive provides palm trees and sandy beaches on one side and green hills on the other.
B. San Simeon
If you’re hungry you’ll be pleased to note that San Maria is known for excellent barbecue; try the tri-tip steak with all the sides.
Stop at Vista Point around San Simeon to see an estimated 17,000 elephant seals. Take in the amazing sights, sounds and smells and keep an eye out for the squirrels, too!
C. Big Sur
Pass through Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and to see the impressive McWay Falls. The water drops directly into the ocean waves lapping on the shore.
This passage of the trip is all about the beauty and tranquillity of Big Sur, which has bridges over ravines, cliffs that fall into the sea and unparalleled panoramic views.
D. Santa Cruz
From Big Sur, head up the coast to Monterey. Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck grew up in nearby Salinas and set many of his novels in or around the city.
Made by Mexican Franciscan friars since the 19th century, Monterey Jack cheese unsurprisingly originates from the area. Whales, dolphins and porpoises can be seen throughout the year in Monterey Bay.
E. San Francisco
Continuing north, Santa Cruz is home to some of the best beaches and most renowned surfing spots in the world. Surfers can test themselves on 11 world-class surf breaks.
Santa Cruz also is home to the oldest boardwalk on the West Coast, which was developed in 1907. On the final leg of your trip to San Francisco, check out the picturesque Pigeon Point lighthouse. From there, it’s on to the bright lights of San Francisco.