If you love a good drive and a road trip then hit the road and drive on the cliff hugging All-American route along the Pacific Coast highway that runs along California coast for the most part. It is an ideal long weekend road trip – the scenic landscape along the route and sunny and beautiful destinations that skirt the stunning coastline make for an exhilarating experience. Whether you fancy sunbathing, surfing or simply watching the sun go down from the deck, the golden state has a perfect getaway destination for one and all. So, here’s a list of must see places along the coastline on highway 1.
A quaint little town is home for the biggest and most exciting attractions ranging from castles, beach hotspots to elephant seal migrations. The key attraction – Hearst castle nestled within the Santa Lucia Range, unwind in this glorious architectural splendor amongst incredible and breathtaking sights. Beside this you can also visit the California state park or Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Coastal Discovery Center, or take trip to the pristine beaches.
As you head along highway 1 and go past Carmel Highlands you reach the start of Big Sur extending 90 miles south to San Simeon. A haven for nature-lovers, Big Sur attracts range of tourists right from city dwellers to mystics to artists seeking to unplug, connect with self and reflect. The Santa Lucia Range plunging into the sea and the fabled coastline is a surreal experience that takes you beyond the usual human affairs. The place offers both fancy as well as budget boarding options, so you can pick whatever suits you the best. But, one thing is guaranteed, no matter where you camp Big Sur offers a blissful experience.
You cannot miss Santa Barbara and its stops if you truly wish to experience the iconic coastal road trip. Visit the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in southern California – the 76-mile long Gaviota Coast. It is home for a range of habitats and a variety of rare or endangered species. Before heading to Santa Barbara make a pit stop at Goleta for a little sightseeing, you could visit Goleta Butterfly Reserve, that houses incredible monarch butterflies. Santa Barbara has a variety of attractions and things to do. Some of the key highlights include – the Spanish inspired County Courthouse, its muralled hallway and sunken gardens make for a splendid sightseeing.
You could indulge yourself in some wine tasting, as you walk along state street where you’ll find an abundant array of craft breweries and cafes. Head towards the blue Pacific where Stearns Wharf extends into the sea. Here, you can either take a thrilling sea-kayak excursion or simply walk around and shop for souvenirs. And before you end your day stroll along Cabrillo Boulevard to soak up the place.
Weekend trips have a healing effect that have gained immense popularity amongst travelers and data seem to bear this out. And if that trip is along the coastal highway you are in for an incredible experience – dense forest, stunning coastal views, seaside villages and beautiful golden wine districts, it is hard not to get lost and enjoy. So, what are you waiting for? Get into a packing frenzy and may be plan a spontaneous adventurous, thrilling or romantic weekend getaway.