I found out about the Pacific Coast Highway (also known as Highway 1 or CA-1) before I arrived in San Francisco. It’s supposed to be a very scenic route and since I’m planning on visiting Los Angeles and San Diego I decided to take this route.
It is definitely one of the best drives I’ve ever done! I loved seeing the mountains and the ocean as I was driving. The weather again was beautiful, a little chilly early in the morning and at night but it gets warmer later in the day and mostly sunny. I followed this route for most of my drive south up to Santa Barbara.
The views reminded me quite a bit of the Road to Hana in Maui and New Zealand‘s South Island. I had a hard time keeping my focus on the road.
There are plenty of stops you can make along the way. There are many sections where you can pull over to enjoy the views or have a Kodak moment. Also, since I was driving in December there weren’t many cars on the road, so this gives you more flexibility on how fast or slow you want to go. You also won’t need to wait for a spot at a viewpoint to open up.
I say the best views are around the Big Sur area. I regret not spending at least a night in this area and do some hiking.
I also met a guy from Israel at the hostel I was staying at in Los Angeles and he took a similar route…on a bicycle! That’s probably an even better way to do it. He showed me some really nice pictures of areas and wildlife that I’ve completely missed while driving.