Overall Route Rating
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4.81 out of 5 Rider Rating 4.81
27 Reviews

Pacific Coast Cruise; Hwy 1

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Tom Jacobs (2 McR Points) on Aug 01, 2000

Rider Reviews

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Guest
March 9, 2009
Did this ride and then some. Started out from…
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Guest
January 8, 2013
Wife and I planned a 10 day riding vacation over…
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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 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.

Drive Enjoyment

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.

Tourism Opportunities

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.

Motorcycle Road Additional info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Monterey Bay Area Guide -

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Guest
March 9, 2009
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
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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16 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
January 8, 2013
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
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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10 riders found this road review useful
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Guest
May 12, 2010
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport - Touring
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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9 riders found this road review useful