From here, there aren’t many Pacific Coast Highway stops, but there’s plenty of scenery to enjoy during the drive. Stroll along the pier and boardwalk. This is a wonderful place to watch the sunset! On the health front, visit the Sycamore spa for Pilates-inspired fitness classes, or join a group hike or bird-watching expedition in the nearby canyon. Technically, it starts in Washington State, but it’s best known for the stretch through California from the stunning redwood forests and wild, rugged coast down to the sun-drenched beaches of San Diego. I’ve done that exact route many times! Here are the best Highway One points of interest not located in one of the towns we recommended above. State Route 1 (SR 1) is a major north–south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California.At a total of just over 656 miles (1,056 km), it is the longest state route in California. These neon yellow slimy friends are the mascot of UC Santa Cruz and the patron saint of the area. The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH Route 1) road trip. Hopefully, you’ve planned to spend more than just a few minutes here. But Muir Woods has been an important Bay Area landmark since long before Muir’s movement – it was home to the Indigenous Miwok Tribe for generations. You’ll be ready to stop by the time you reach Bodega Bay, a picturesque fishing village that was the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film, “The Birds,” in which murderous birds attack local villagers. The town is located close to the Redwoods National Forrest towards the end of the avenue of the giants. Malibu Lagoon State Beach, formerly known as Surfrider Beach, is a good place to go for a swim in the summer and enjoy some great people watching. When I and my girlfriend did this road trip, I did cover like 20 of these stops. It features exhibits that include many different native species like jellyfish, stingrays and sea otters as well as touch tanks, so you can feel the rough surface of a starfish or the soft skin of a sea cucumber. Washington is not all rain and gloom! My first-ever experience riding along the Pacific Coast Highway—California’s longest state route, which hugs most of the coastline—is now just a hazy memory of motion sickness from the rear-facing third row of my parents’ Woody Wagon. Even today – 150 years later – it is the tallest on the U.S. west coast and the Coast Guard continues to use it as a navigational guide. In the summer months, Santa Cruz is where you’ll find the biggest crowds – and, all of the action with heart-pounding thrill rides like the Giant Dipper, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the nation, running since 1924. My only complaint is all the ads while scrolling your blog/post. Pacific Coast Highway 1 or PCH starts officially in northern California at the junction of U.S. route 101 at the town of Leggett, CA. Everything in the town of Stinson has a nostalgic surf-town vibe, and most of the tiny town is walkable – perfect for a day at the beach! Technically, the Lone Cypress is not along the Pacific Coast Highway (California Highway 1), but it is along the Pacific coast and has an epic view, so I’m including it on my list of the best stops to make. Relax at the beach. Life is short and every man should have a bucket list of adventures he’d like to experience. Love all the recommendations. Three days is a minimum, and if time allows you could easily spend more. Glass Beach is located in Fort Bragg, just north of Mendocino all the way up almost to the northern terminus of the Pacific Coast Highway. There’s also a gift shop onsite if you’re so inclined. On my Pacific Coast Highway road trip in 2014, my favorite stop was in Santa Barbara. Opened in 1949, the literary meaning of “Nepenthe” comes from Homer’s Odyssey and refers to a fictional happy drug. The 60s live on here, especially along the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with its old-school Americana vibe. But there are plenty of other reasons to stop in Pacifica (although yes, we absolutely recommend visiting the Taco Bell): Half Moon Bay is a small coastal town just 30 minutes south of San Francisco made semi-famous by the award-winning film Birdemic: Shock and Terror! Monterey is less than an hour south of Santa Cruz. And possibly most importantly, the croissants at Big Sur Bakery, which typically sell out before noon! Best known for its incredible aquarium and John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row, Monterey is all about celebrating sea life and the beautiful California coast. And when it comes to mind-blowing scenery, quirky stop-offs and that wind-in-your-hair serendipity of wondering what the next bend in the road will bring, few routes deliver like this one. Did you find this post informative? Let me know in the comments! Clothing is optional. Get out at the top for an awesome view over the San Fernando Valley at the top of Topanga Overlook. From north to south, the following Pacific Coast Highway stops make for the ultimate summer road trip. (Click here to read that guide.). Many a honeymoon has been spent, a book born and a virgin road trip consummated along the Pacific Coast Highway’s wonderfully winding route. If you fancy a little detour from the main route take a trip to Long Beach. Here you’ll get to drive over the 2-mile-long Coronado Bridge as it snakes its way across San Diego Bay. “and at once I knew, I am not magnificent” is the lyric that perfectly encapsulates the way that the redwoods make us feel. WOW. Located across the water from the charming town of Bodega Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore is a stunning coastal peninsula just north of San Francisco that has long attracted backpackers and hikers all over the world thanks to its wildlife and amazing views. If you’d like to catch a glimpse of a Hollywood star pretending they don’t want to be seen, head to Malibu Country Mart. They are the doofiest, oddest looking animals in the world – kind of like a cross between a manatee and an elephant, except not cute. Leave no trace! If you’re coming straight from San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway you’ll pass the stunning Half Moon Bay – make sure to get out and take a moody pic from the cliff edge before you press on.