Pacific Coast Cruise; Hwy 1 + ADD NEW ROUTE
2 in California California127 Miles
By Tom Jacobs
on August 1, 2000
- Trip Toolbox
The directions to this route are pretty straight forward since it stays on one road, highway 1, the whole time. My description of the "Roadside Amenities" above, describe the route from north to south. Start the route in Monterrey California and simply follow highway 1 south through Big Sur and down to the route's conclusion in San Simeon California (where you'll find the Hearst Castle).
This world-class scenic route takes you along the famed California Route 1 starting (or ending) in Monterey California and ending (or starting) in Morro Bay. The route is 1 of original 9 routes to be selected by the US Department of Transportation as an "All American Road" which is a designation given to only the cream of the crop roads that are categorized as America's Byways (The list of All American Roads has grown over the years. As of July 2016 there are 31 All American Roads). The route is part of a stretch of Route 1 that has been honored time and time again as a classic American roadtrip road by countless books, magazines, websites, etc. Along this route you will see coastal scenery that will leave you breathless. Opposite the ocean, inland scenery is as inspiring with its display of rolling hills, rock outcroppings, picturesque waterfalls, redwood forests, flowered meadows, lush valleys, and majestic coastal mountains. Along the route you will see a number of lighthouses, 18th century Spanish missions, and a variety of animal life including sea lions, sea otters, sharks, bat rays, gray whales, brown pelicans, and peregrine falcons as well as monarch butterfly winter sanctuaries.
Overall the road quality is very good and the number of turns, climbs and descents alone should give it a five star rating. However, its overwhelming beauty and popular attractions also lead it to be a sometimes constricted route and at times leading to traffic bottlenecks in some of the towns along the way. However it still is one of the best roads in America and therefore deserves its four star rating.
Watch this video of Pacific Coast Cruise; Hwy 1.
You can plan a weeks vacation along this route in terms of the number and quality of amenities available. There are seven state parks along the way, a state reserve, a botanical area and many historical areas of interest. At anyone of these state parks you will find many opportunities for hiking and beach exploring. Monterey California offers a walking tour as well the Cannery Row district with its restaurants, museums, and aquarium. Pacific Grove is known as Butterfly USA due to its choice as a winter home to a vast number of monarch butterflies coming in from as far as Canada. Carmel-by-the-Sea offers shops, cottages, galleries, restaurants, and a preserved 18th century Spanish mission. You will also cross the much photographed Bixby Bridge (you've probably seen this bridge in a few movies, postcards or TV commercials). It arches 256 feet above the meeting of the Bixby Creek and Pacific ocean. Tours of the lighthouse in Point Sur State Historic Park are offered on most weekends. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park offers outstanding hiking trails leading to many waterfalls and trout filled streams. Don't miss one of California's most visited tourist site - Hearst's paradise. This mansion/castle was built for publisher William Randolph Hearst at the beginning of the 20th century; taking nearly 30 years to be completed.
- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Monterey Bay Area Guide - Monterey Bay Sea Life Tours - Monterey Bay Kayak Adventures - Monterey Bay Whale Watching Info - Nice Guide to Carmel CA - Carmel-by-the-Sea Celebrations - The Hearst Castle Information Site
Nickname (optional) : Tom Jacobs