Save it for later on Pinterest! Ahhh! 1927, towers over the estuary where the waters of the Russian River blend with those of the Pacific. I can’t stress how important it is to plan it in advance. And you can’t get there via any other way than driving the Pacific Coast Highway – electricity didn’t even reach this area until the 1950’s! Do your part to stop erosion and damage by not going somewhere dangerous for a picture, staying on trails, watching your kids and pets, not going somewhere dangerous for a picture, not touching animals, not throwing apple cores or orange peels out of the window, AND NOT GOING SOMEWHERE DANGEROUS FOR A PICTURE! Are we missing your favorite? The first thing to consider when planning your Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary, is that this road is long and bendy, and can therefore create problems for kids who suffer from motion sickness.Make sure you pack anti-nausea medication and break up the drive often. 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. Love all the recommendations. Not so at River’s End. There is no way I’ll miss those elephant seals and I really want to go to Hearst castle – plus hit at least 5 of your suggested food spots! But if you’re driving all the way up there anyway, it’s WELL worth the detour. Leave no trace! Whether you’re driving your own car or renting a cool convertible—Pacific Coast Highway is a dream trip! Folks like Jack London, John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac,  Ansel Adams, and many many others have either lived or spent time in Big Sur. If you have time, we highly recommend a hike to Tomales Point – keep an eye out for elk! It’s beautiful, and yes, we will go all the way down from San Francisco just to eat there. Sunny beaches. Santa Barbara County produces excellent wine, and you can taste it all right in downtown Santa Barbara along the, No trip to Santa Barbara would be complete without a trip to. Possibly a llama creating a spreadsheet. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Avalon Travel and includes tracking links. It’s well worth a stop! Visit in the fall and OD on everything Dungeness crab. Here are a few things to do in Santa Barbara: Many of the best places to visit along the Pacific Coast Highway are not located within an actual town, which makes it very easy to pass them right by. I love California. We also have a Highway One podcast episode! Hundreds of the best places to eat, sight see, and stay along the Pacific Coast Highway from Port Angeles WA to San Diego CA. Admire the street art, eat a burrito at a taqueria, and relax with a picnic in. Saw some new stuff to check out on our travel to Cayucos and some ideas for another trip. You can watch windsurfers and intrepid surfers enjoying the combo of … But San Francisco is also a bit of an acquired taste. There are actually a LOT of clothing-optional stops on the Pacific Coast Highway, from beaches to hot springs. Lovely food with ocean view and you can watch harbor seals hanging out behind. Fresh oysters. Muir Woods has hikes for all skill levels, including a loop that takes about half an hour which you can do right from the park entrance. The appeal of Big Sur lies primarily in its absolutely jaw-dropping scenery. Wow what a brilliant mega post! California is colder than you think. Here are some more of our favorite things to do in Big Sur: We recommend spending a night in Big Sur, either camping or staying at a charming little inn (we recommend Big Sur River Inn). But this isn’t a quick stop along Highway One: you’ll need to take a detour into the National Seashore and plan to spend a few hours exploring its winding roads. The best time of the year to drive the Pacific Coast Highway is in mid-to-late February through April. We threw a ton of places to stop along the Pacific Coast Highway at you, from towns to points of interest to restaurants – how can you keep it all straight? We are major foodies, and we’ve been known to plan an entire itinerary around where we want to eat! Located just north of Cambria on the stunning stretch of Highway One between San Luis Obispo and Big Sur, the sprawling estate of Hearst Castle is one of the weirdest, gaudiest points of interest along the Pacific Coast Highway. But there’s more to Half Moon Bay than awful bird movies: there are also gorgeous beaches, annual pumpkin patches, a quaint little downtown, and some of the best surfing on the West Coast. For your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful scenery and plenty of marine life. I don’t know what’s it about them, but I can simply sit down and watch them for hours. But unfortunately, this year has been incredibly difficult financially and we do rely on those ads to keep us afloat. Moon Northern California Road Trips covers the entire California coast (and a little bit of Oregon) in detail and with easy-to-read maps. We love them SO MUCH. These incredible trees are hundreds of years old and mind-blowingly incredibly enormous. MalibuThere’s not much pretense to the Reel Inn: come here for large portions of fresh seafood, either grilled, sauteed, or cajun syle (your choice), served atop checkered picnic tables and among surfboards roosting in the rafters. This is where San Franciscans come to visit the beach, because Ocean Beach within the city is a frigid arctic tundra which is so foggy it often resembles Silent Hill. For more details, check out our detailed 10-day Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary! Required fields are marked *. Just over the Golden Gate Bridge on the 1/101, Battery Spencer is once of the best viewpoints of the bridge and the San Francisco skyline! The Best Places to Stop on the Pacific Coast Highway, Points of Interest on the Pacific Coast Highway, The Best Places to Eat on the Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Itinerary, 10-day Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary. San Francisco is the city where “the next big thing” has already arrived; a city that belongs to everyone and no one at the same time; a city of technology, art, culture, food, and fog; a city that is as historically important to the story of this country as it is today. We did think about booking a room but I believe it was not available or something. Pacific Coast Highway Experience every kind of seaside scenery on this epic coastal journey from Auckland to Napier, otherwise known as the Pacific Coast Highway. This guide highlights 15 quirky restaurants along coastal Highway 101 from Astoria to Brookings — from fine dining establishments to little huts — that stand out for culinary chops, Oregon coast seafood, great views, and inventive, award-winning chefs. The viewpoint itself is a quick stop, but you can add onto it with a detour into the adorable town of Sausalito, just across the water from San Francisco. You’ll see them all over the place, and if you can get past the fact that they are giant slugs, they’re actually kind of cute! Touring the castle is well worth a stop – just be sure to book in advance! Plus, we’ll also send you our favorite tips to help you plan your California road trip! 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. WOW. 15 reviews. Check out the best places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway and make sure you get it right! ©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Located just south of Monterey en route to Big Sur, the bridge has a beautiful lookout and makes an excellent photo op to document your Highway One adventure! Just think of Route 1 as Maine’s answer to the Pacific Coast Highway -- or in other words, the best damn road trip in the state. Your email address will not be published. Highway One runs from southern California in Orange County, all the way up the California coast to Mendocino county. We’ve included a few of our favorite things to do in each. I did some of this road years ago backpacking and I am so keen to return. Hotels, motels, cabins, campsites … the PCH has ’em all in spades. So download some podcasts (like ours), load up your music in advance, and bring a guidebook for when you inevitably get lost or hungry! Restaurants near Pacific Coast Highway, California on Tripadvisor: Find traveler reviews and candid photos of dining near Pacific Coast Highway in California, United States. The second is that not all stops along the way are as interesting for kids as they might be for adults. Yeah yeah, another lighthouse. Stay at the top where everyone else is, please. $55.13 ... at least it was the morning I was riding it). the most beautiful Taco Bell in the world. There was an error submitting your subscription. Rent kayaks, ride bikes, and go tide-pooling as you explore this coastal paradise. Check your email for the PDF. It is truly one of the most beautiful, humbling stretches of road in the world (yes, maybe even more so than Highway One itself). Bookmark this page for when you get inevitably hungry on your drive! Visit the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to relive the Summer of Love. Located on the northern stretch of Highway One between San Francisco and Mendocino, this beautiful lighthouse is one of my favorite scenic stops along the Pacific Coast Highway, the perfect place for a little picnic or just a cute photo op. Santa BarbaraBefore she departed for the great souffle in the sky, Julia Child was known to frequent this taco joint. Live the SLO life. If you’re hungry, theoretically you could opt for the 4-lb “Brahma Bull” sandwich, as seen on Adam Richman’s Man vs Food. We love the seals so much too <3. Are you ready to pack your bags, roll the windows down, and hit the highway? Driving the Pacific Coast Highway is not only one of the best California road trips: it’s one of the best road trips in the world! Order a 2-inch thick “Spencer” cut, and it’ll be grilled atop real oak coals, Santa Maria style. 1927, towers over the estuary where the waters of the Russian River blend with those of the Pacific. You can usually find them hanging out by the docks across from the. Just get one -- there’s no reason to read anything else on the menu. If you’d like to spend more time here, you can even book a room inside the lighthouse! Check. Or a llama. The shambolic cash-only spot features killer chorizo, spot-on chile rellenos, and tacos made with hand-kneaded tortillas. The opulent decor is a mish-mash of expensive stuff from all over the world, mixed together with jaw-dropping swimming pools and fascinating tales of Vintage Hollywood’s elite, who partied here in their heyday. ... 7 Places You Have To Eat Along The Pacific Coast Highway. Every successful road trip requires a few stops to eat well. Other than befriending slugs, here are the best things to do in Santa Cruz: If you decide to stay overnight, we highly recommend staying at this quirky redwood treehouse next door to the Mystery Spot! We’ve lived next-door to or within San Francisco for the past decade, and we absolutely love this weird, ever-changing city by the Bay. Located in the heart of California’s Central Coast on the scenic stretch of Highway One between Los Angeles and San Francisco (almost exactly halfway, in fact), Morro Bay can be easily identified by its two major landmarks: an old power plant whose three large smokestacks can be seen from anywhere in town, and Morro Rock, a giant volcanic behemoth located directly on the beach. This is making me want to hop in my car and drive from Kentucky to Northern Cali just to do this exact route! Did you find this post informative? MalibuAt this retro, Hawaii-tinged spot, you can choose to hit the dining room or the barefoot bar -- in either case, you’ll be mere feet from the breakwaters of the Pacific. Rule of thumb: bring a lot of layers, and don’t forget to pack a warm jacket! Today, we share down-to-earth travel tips from our many (mis)adventures on our blog and podcast! Please leave us a comment! Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss new episodes. And yet for some reason, we are obsessed with them. We will absolutely use it as an excuse to take another weekend trip. If you do decide to make a pit stop at one of the coolest hostels in the country, you’ll want to make a reservation months in advance – it’s understandably quite popular. 30 Things Nobody Tells You About Quitting Your Job to Travel, 32 Things Nobody Tells You About Long Term Travel as a Couple, 30 Things No One Tells You About Backpacking in South America, 25 Things We Never Asked for from Traveling the World for a Year, Our Year-Long Honeymoon: What Happened … & How Much It Cost, What Not to Pack for Long Term Travel: 10 Things We Wish We Did & Didn’t Pack, 50 Perfect Gifts for Every Type of Travel Lover (& for Yourself), 6 Super Practical Gifts for Coffee Lovers who Travel, 28 Totally Ridiculous Travel Gifts (That You’ll Low-Key Want), 25 Things No One Tells You About Being a Full Time Travel Blogger. The 31-mile route winds directly through a dense forest of old-growth redwoods. Let’s start from the northern tip of the Pacific Coast Highway and head all the way down. Starting from California’s northern border with Oregon and stretching all the way down to San Diego the route takes round ten hours to complete at a leisurely pace with no stops. I’m so sorry that the ads negatively impacted your experience – they really are a lot, and I wish there was a better way! Thank you for understanding! Just sign up below. 26 beautifully drawn sections of the coast. There’s a wealth of fresh, local, and unforgettable eats nearby, from hoity toity white tablecloth spots to shuck-your-own oyster joints, and from time-warp barbecues to detour-worthy taco stands. Here’s Everything You Need to Know, 10 Best Hikes in Southern California (a Local’s Guide), 9 Things to Do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the Winter, 12 Must-Visit Paso Robles Breweries (& Distilleries), 9 Fantastic Things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado: A Local’s Guide, 14 Things to Do in Montreal in the Winter: The Ultimate Montreal Winter Guide, Stroll through the charming downtown and stop in absolutely every shop (especially, Mendocino’s coastline is dotted with stunning natural sea caves – you can explore them on the, Spend a day exploring San Francisco by foot on our, Visit the Mission District to understand and appreciate the Mexican history of the city & California. This fisherman’s lodge, ca. My only complaint is all the ads while scrolling your blog/post. If I remember correctly, there is a restaurant called Chart room restaurant in Crescent City. The Picnic Basket is the rare boardwalk-adjacent restaurant that is not, in any way, a tourist trap. We won't send you spam. Where to eat on the Pacific Coast Highway: advice on the best fine dining options, budget restaurants, romantic locations in Oregon, Washington and California. Psst: Planning a California coast road trip? Watch an incredible sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Cabezas up -- the place is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Our lunch stretched to two hours just because of that. 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! A California road trip is one of the best coastal drives in the world and for me it has always been a bucket list holiday. We’ve created a free, printable version of the ideal Highway One itinerary! Playful otters. Ahhh, the best city along the Pacific Coast Highway (all tea, all shade – sorry Los Angeles and San Diego, but we’re number one)! No, we’re talking about banana slugs! Running from Orange County to Mendocino, it offers more than 600 miles of stunning views and winding turns. I know you need the ads financially, but maybe there’s a better way than having them dominate the blog. Is Travel Insurance worth it? There are stretches of hours before coming across gas, and the isolated ones are understandably expensive. Chill. Although it appears to be a natural phenomenon, the real origin of the rainbow array of glass pebbles might surprise you: this beautiful beach was once a dump! Your email address will not be published. I'm a Kentucky native living in Oakland, CA. Find out the best spots to eat along the West Coast. Plus, we’ll also send you our favorite tips to help you plan your California road trip! I'm married to Jeremy and I'm obsessed with him and it's super gross, unless you're us, in which case it's the best. 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. Plus, we've included our San Francisco walking tour, and we'll send you some helpful tips to plan your trip. If you learn nothing else from this post, let it be that absolutely every small town along Highway One is charming and worth a stop to explore, no matter how small! Pismo Beach is a great spot for a lunch picnic one day during your Pacific Coast Highway road trip. Point Arena is also located near Schooner Gulch beach, aka Bowling Ball Beach, home to uniquely round geological formations. California's Pacific Coast Highway is the perfect road for a road trip. California's Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous scenic roads in the world, with many incredible points of interest scattered along the beautiful route. This guide highlights 15 quirky restaurants along coastal Highway 101 from Astoria to Brookings — from fine dining establishments to little huts — that stand out for culinary chops, Oregon coast seafood, great views, and inventive, award-winning chefs. Their weird noises, their awkward lazy flops… if there’s any one animal that best represents us, it’s definitely an Elephant Seal. Over time, the pounding waves turned trash to treasure, resulting in the unique sand we now enjoy. Its southern terminus intersects with Highway 5 and its northern terminus merges into Highway 101. It’s a beautiful area, and it also happens to be the southernmost town we recommend visiting along Highway One – before the PCH turns into a busy street in the middle of sprawling Los Angeles. And each of these Pacific Coast Highway towns is well worth a stop or an overnight! There’s not much more than a few insanely expensive homes and a small cluster of businesses. Where to eat on the Pacific Coast Highway: advice on the best fine dining options, budget restaurants, romantic locations in Oregon, Washington and California. If I had a patronus, it would a spreadsheet. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. But those seals, they were the highlight of our trip. Restaurants near Pacific Coast Highway, California on Tripadvisor: Find traveller reviews and candid photos of dining near Pacific Coast Highway in California, United States. As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. CHECK! Psst: We’ve got a whole bunch more resources to help you plan your California road trip. Today, we’ve finally thrown all of our favorites into this guide to the best Pacific Coast Highway stops, created in partnership with Moon Travel Guides. The Marshall joint is their original; here you can grab a picnic table and shuck your own oysters, with a view of the bay they were pulled from. We eat a lot of dessert and we have a lot of suggestions for where to stop. It is absolutely, supremely over-the-top. But this is no ordinary lighthouse: there’s a hostel inside, with a cliff-side hot tub looking out over the ocean! We recommend driving the Pacific Coast Highway south to north, from Los Angeles – where the “highway” is actually more of a crowded street in a busy city – all the way up past its end to Avenue of the Giants off the 101. new Date().getTime(),event:'gtm.js'});var f=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], Take in the beauty and bounty of the West Coast at these Los Angeles restaurants with the best ocean views. In between the blog valleys loom on to One side of the Bay,. Cool convertible—Pacific Coast Highway known for wine and marine life those ads keep. Understandably expensive a little more time here, you ’ d like to spend more time in Point Arena is! Person who plummets to their death for a lunch picnic One day during your Coast... 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