Pacific Coast Cruise; Hwy 1

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 20 visitors


State: California
Date Submitted: August 1, 2000
Submitted by: Tom Jacobs
Motorcycle Road Length: 127 Miles

Written Directions

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).

Scenery  

This world-class scenic route takes you along the famed California Route One starting (or ending) in Monterey California and ending (or starting) in Morro Bay. The route is only one of nine routes to be selected by the US Department of Transportation as an "All American Road."The route is part of a stretch of Route One that was voted to be one of the "10 Best Drives" by the members of USAA insurance in 99 and made the list of 120 road trips highlighted in the Reader's Digest book "The Most Scenic Drives In America".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 light houses, 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.

Road Quality  

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.

Roadside Amenities  

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 (1-800-444-4445) was built for publisher William Randolph Hearst at the beginning of the 20th century; taking nearly 30 years to be completed.

Additional Info

- 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

 

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Ratings/Reviews

 

Reviewed by Guest on May 12, 2010
(5 out of 6 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Mark
motorcycle_year: 1985
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: Hands down the most beautiful road in the country. I grew up in Cambria and have ridden this road more times than I can remember, it NEVER gets old. The views are incredible, traffic can be heavy and roads are subject to closure. But it is well worth the effort to get there and ride it. Winds can be gusty, summer can be foggy, but again it is worth the effort. Don't just limit your self to the Hwy, Morro Bay has some great places to ride and just check out the town, there is a short road from MB to Los Osos Valley road that goes by the golf course, that is a mini 17 mile drive, very scenic. Get lost in Cambria as well, it is also worth seeing, a beautiful town. If you have the time ride Santa Rosa Creek road in Cambria. It will take you to Hwy 46, or you can cross 46 and take Old Creek Road to Cayucos, both are must ride roads. For a special treat look to the east while on Hwy 1 just before the town of San Simeon, and there is a possibility you will see Zebras grazing alongside cattle. They are leftovers from WR Hearst's private zoo. I am certain this is the only only place in America you can see Zebras grazing open range. Across from the Castle there is the cove, San Simeon state beach and one of the best beaches to swim in or just sit back and take it in. More to do and see than can be done in just a day, but go ride this road, it is one you will never forget.
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Reviewed by Guest on January 7, 2013
(4 out of 5 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Rayvanegas@gmail.com
motorcycle_year: 2006
motorcycle_make: Suzuki Boulevard
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Wife and I planned a 10 day riding vacation over the winter holidays 2012. We chose the ride Highway 1 from Santa Monica to San Francisco and back to LA. I've been wanting to ride this road for many years. Weather was dry, sunny and cool with temps in the mid 50's everyday. We took 4 days to ride north with stops in Buellton, San Simeon, Monterey and SF. Breathtaking images, views, scenery. Take your time to see the sights, sounds and things to do. We toured Hearst Castle, lunch in Lucia, Elephant Seal Beach, McWay waterfall trail at Pfieffer State Park, Nepenthe Cafe, whale watching charter in Monterey, Carmel by the Sea, Half Moon Bay, etc. We traveled less than 150 miles per day. Absolutely stunning ride and one we will remember for the remainder of our lives. The ride south back to LA was equally as impressive with the ocean on our right and the turnouts are easier to navigate than riding north. Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, Canbria, Morro Bay,SLO are just a few of the highlights.
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Reviewed by Guest on August 15, 2010
(4 out of 4 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Steve
motorcycle_year: 2003
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I've done this road in both directions lately. It was foggy and cold on the northbound ride. What was really cool was that the fog, as it traveled up the hillside jumped over the road so it felt like riding in a tunnel. I traveled south last weekend and it was very clear. There are three construction projects going on now. These cause some delays, due to single lane traffic. The wait is seldom more than 5 minutes. This is a great ride either way, but I prefer the northbound route.
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Reviewed by Guest on July 29, 2009
(4 out of 4 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Patti
motorcycle_year: 1990
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Great road!!! (Although my absolute favorite is still the Trail Ridge Road through the Rockie Mountain Nat'l Park). We have ridden the entire road from Santa Barbara to the Oregon border (and beyond) --beautiful scenery and an all around great riding road for riding. Parts of it are easy enough for even a fairly inexperienced rider but there are sections that require more skill (north of Bodega Bay). Take it at your own pace and you should be fine. (Watch out for motor homes and big trucks in your lane though!) The area around Tomales Bay is very charming. Make sure to stop at the north end of the Golden Gate to check out the display there.
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Reviewed by Guest on March 8, 2009
(4 out of 5 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Derek
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Did this ride and then some. Started out from Oceanside in SD County and went all the way to San Fran and back down in a week. Best motorcycle trip yet. Pulled in at Solvang to see the California Vintage Motorcycle Museum. Just North of San Simeon is a beach full of elephant seals. Stayed at a B&B in Monterey, then road into San Fran. Came down through Hollister and took the CA-25. Great middle of nowhere road. Stop thinking about it and do this ride.
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Reviewed by Guest on June 24, 2008
(4 out of 4 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Mike
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Went this route taking my wife for her first time. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a fantastic time . We stopped at Lucia for lunch and felt like we were in another world with the views. I would take this route again as soon as possible
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Reviewed by Guest on November 2, 2009
(3 out of 3 members found this review useful.)
Creator: LivinSurfSide
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Suzuki
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: Just rode this stretch from Cambria to Carmel and back on Friday 10/23/2009, beautiful day no fog, fairly light traffic. There is a couple of spots that are being repaved so it's a little rough as well as a stoplight controlled section being repaired (down to one lane). Overall still a awesome ride. I'm biased as I live in Cambria and ride Hwy 1 quite often.
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Reviewed by PoopyMoose on September 18, 2012
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: PoopyMoose
motorcycle_year: 1996
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Took this route as the "destination ride" of a 4 day weekend from Las Vegas and were not disapointed! We started in San Luis Obispo (SLO, a fitting moniker for a delightful "small" CA town) and rode nawth to Monterey, enjoying many stops along the way. Fuel up in SLO/Monterey as the fuel costs "soar" right along with the views on the PCH. Losts of traffic on the route but no one make us feel rushed ... I think we ALL were enjoying the road! Final thought, don't roll into Monterey at 5pm on a Friday ... the final miles were "a parking lot" (and Goldwings don't take to splitting very well when loaded!) ...gawd, how I hate rush hour traffic!
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Reviewed by Guest on August 20, 2012
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: treyfulton918
motorcycle_year: 2004
motorcycle_make: Suzuki V-Strom DL1000
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: Left out of Yuba City, Ca. Rode over to Fort Bragg on Hwy 20.....Last 45 mins on 20 before FB was ALL GRINS. Once I got to FB I rode Hwy 1 about 100 miles south to Hwy 16...Best riding day of my life!!!
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Reviewed by Guest on February 22, 2011
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ed Lauwerens
motorcycle_year: 2010
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I did this route in January 2011 and it was indeed great. Some road construction along the route, but not a problem. Nice winding road with great views, passing nice villages. I can especially recommend restaurant Nepenthe for lunch, about 30 miles under Carmel on the route.
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Reviewed by Guest on September 6, 2009
(2 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Rob Zemeida
motorcycle_year: 1996
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: A MUST-RIDE!! I did the PCH in August 2003 on my 1994 Yamaha Virago. Left San Diego on a Tuesday; destination Monterey. The most awesome views and weather I have ever ridden in in 20 years of riding!! Without a doubt, something you have to do before you die!!
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Reviewed by Guest on October 16, 2009
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Jim
motorcycle_year: 1984
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: The route 1 and 101 is a great ride. picked it up in Aberdeen Wash and went to Sdiego. Mostly 101 but some side trips onto route 1. It topped off a great ride from Texas to Carlsbad Caverns to Grand Canyon to Zion National park (another great ride area), then wiggled our way to Seattle. After 101, we spent a few days in Sdiego with my son and Grand kids then back across to San Antonio. The 101 was the best.
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Reviewed by Guest on July 10, 2009
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Rodion
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: Awsome ride, ran Santa Barbara to Big Sur and back in a week end. The views are incredible, the petro is expensive :), some loose debri if your on the inside side (dirt) of the road, but overall its excellent!!!!!
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Reviewed by Guest on May 16, 2009
(1 out of 2 members found this review useful.)
Creator: DRAGONJD
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Coming home from Iraq soon and will be taking this from San Diego......all the way up to Victoria, Canada and back down to the 5 hitting EVERYTHING, along the way. 2-3 week round trip and I can't wait! I have never been up this route in the 16 years I have lived here.
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Reviewed by Guest on September 10, 2008
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Raul
motorcycle_year: 2006
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Loved it. The only sad part was having to turn around just south of Big Sur due to the wildfires burning at the time. Still enjoyed ride very much and can't wait to complete the ride.
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Reviewed by jtshnazy on October 15, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Jtshnazy
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Suzuki gsxr 1000
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: Hands down the best ride I've ever been on, I started in monterey and ended up in pismo ca. I've done this ride 3 times since 2007 I'm from fresno ca and it's a must do ride every couple years. This year I plan on a week of camping from frisco to Santa Barbara along highway 1 partying and relaxing along the way. The views are breathe taking the people I've met are cool and I love my state I'm so glad to have this place in my backyard
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Reviewed by atlfireblade on September 27, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_type: Sport
Comment: All I can say is, WOW!!! One of the most beautiful rides I have been on. I would recommend taking your time to take in all the sights and sounds. I probably spent more time off my bike than on. There is a stretch pass the midpoint where we did not see a gas pump for a while.
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Reviewed by jonnypar on May 28, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: jonnypar
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: This is a great ride for just about any time of the year. Beautiful views the entire ride if you can look around when your steering a motorcycle. The weather is almost always rider friendly. My wife loves the coast so this is a ride we have done a few times.
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Reviewed by Ironman433 on March 11, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: H.D. FLHX
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: First time i rode from L.A. - Eureka was 1975 June. Day after graduation. 10 glorias days. Been back half a dozen times.
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Reviewed by Guest on January 6, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Chris
motorcycle_year: 2000
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I am looking to take a trip down the pacific coast in late March. looking for guide book to help plan the trip. If anyone has suggestion it would be great. Thanks
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