2
Cheers
Paul

Travelled to 11 countries / regions

Written 6 briefs
Visited California State Route 1 (Highway 1) in January 2018 for 2 days

236 views

0 comments


San Francisco to Los Angeles on Route 1

Went on a road trip with family earlier this year to San Fran, LA and Vegas. The stretch between SF and LA along the coast is the famously scenic route 1


Trip Overview

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)


Main logistics

  • The best way to see this route is to do a road trip. Every one I know who's done this did it by car
  • We got a Chevy Impala for a week from Hertz at SFO and returned it at LAS
  • We did San Francisco to Monterey the first day (traffic out of SF was crazy). And Monterey to LA the second day
  • When my friends went they stayed the night in Salinas instead of Monterey, but they're not that far apart
  • We drove along route 1 until Cambria, after which we turned east to get on I-5 down to LA, which was a much bigger and faster highway (but not scenic)


How long to do this trip

  • Technically it's possible to do this trip in 1 day but it would be very packed and we wouldn't have had the time to stop at any points of interest along the way
  • We did 2 days but even that felt rushed. I think 3-4 days would've been perfect


Main points of interest along the way

  • Various view points: there were a lot of spots along the way to pull over, take in the view, and take pics. The stretch between Monterey and Cambria was the most scenic part of this entire route
  • Monterey: it's a great little Californian town by the sea. If we had more time I would've loved to get a cottage here and relax for a full day. There are a lot of restaurants in town, a big aquarium, a bunch of golf courses (including Pebble Beach Golf Links which is consistently rated one of the best in the world) and a pier which was pretty packed at night even in January
  • Big Sur: amazing coast and forest scenery. In my opinion the most scenic part of this entire route. We briefly stopped to check out the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and did a short trail in the giant redwood forest, but if we had more time I would've loved to camp there
  • Elephant seal beach: there's a beach slightly north of San Simeon that was packed with giant elephant seals. The beach had free public viewing platforms that allowed us to get really up and close to them
  • Hearst Castle: the estate of the founder of the Hearst from over 100 years ago, which was and still is a big media conglomerate (they own 20% of ESPN, and magazines like Cosmo). It's a pretty lavish castle sitting on top of a giant hill in the middle of nowhere. Now it's open to the public as a museum with the original furnishing kept in the castle. How to tour it: park your car at the visitors' center (you can't drive up to the castle yourself), and buy a ticket on one of the guided tours which all start from the visitors' center. They have lots of different tours and vary in duration and prices. Official site info. Hours are 8am to 6pm 24/7 and open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's


Photos from the trip

Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, SF

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)


SF to Monterey

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)


Monterey to San Simeon (i.e. Hearst Castle)

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)


Hearst Castle

User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)User submitted photo of California State Route 1 (Highway 1)