Pacific Coast Highway: The Ultimate California Road Trip
(Photo: John ‘K’/Flickr)
The Pacific Coast Highway, formally known as California State Route 1, is the ultimate road-trip route, tracing the California coast for more than 650 miles from Mendocino County in the north to Orange County in the south. It’s designated an All-American Road for its scenic views, and it packs one heck of a path past some pretty rad attractions.
Here’s a guide to 7 must-see spots while road tripping the Pacific Coast Highway.
1. Glass Beach
The first item on the Pacific Coast Highway road trip itinerary is a cruise down to Fort Bragg Beach. Until a few years ago, it wasn’t even open to the public because it had been used as a dump. After a few decades of neglect, it was decided the beach should be cleaned up and reopened. The only remainder of its trashy past is the sand — it’s made of sea glass, former bottles pounded to bits and smoothed by the waves. As tempting as it may be, don’t take any souvenirs. As locals and travelers became aware of this shiny beach, they started to collect their own bits of the glass, slowly depleting the beach’s manmade beauty.
(Photo: Steven Bratman/Flickr)
2. Point Reyes National Seashore
Just before you reach San Francisco, stretch your legs at this protected beach point. Explore over 7,000 acres of rocks, grassy hills, and ocean, visit the lighthouse, or head right to the beach to wade in the waves. Just watch out for elephant seals.
(Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr)