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  • Amanda Perkins

The Pacific Coast Highway Has Its Perks | USA Travel

Updated: Oct 20

Driving up the Pacific Coast Highway is a definite bucket list item!


The Pacific Coast Highway, or California Route 1, is a highway that runs up and down most of the coast of California. Ben and I flew to San Diego, rented a convertible, and drove up the coast. Here are some top sights that we saw on our way up to San Francisco.



San Diego Bay/Mission Bay


We started our journey in San Diego and spent a couple of days here. San Diego Bay is a beautiful natural harbor protected by the fierce waves that the Pacific can deliver. We decided to explore Mission Bay and rented a pontoon boat. Mission Bay is actually man made and is part of the biggest aquatic park in the country. These bays are the perfect spot to kayak, paddle board, or sail! There are also lots of fun dinner and party boats that can take you around the bays.


Griffith Observatory


Okay, this is not directly off of the PCH but I could not bring myself to drive through Los Angeles without seeing this! Griffith Observatory is an observatory in L.A. on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood. From the observatory you can see the city of Los Angeles and the infamous Hollywood Sign. You can also go into the observatory and explore the museum and the planetarium and the best part is that it is free!

San Simeon


Have you ever wanted to be in close proximity to hundreds of elephant seals? Well, I'm sure you do now. Up to thousands of seals can be seen on the beaches at San Simeon, and boy is it a sight! Another really cool thing about San Simeon is Hearst Castle. This grand structure isn't a castle at all, but a massive mansion that was constructed by a wealthy publisher back in early 1900s. It is quite the architectural wonder!


Big Sur Area


This area was on of my favorites from the entire trip. There are lots of scenic view turn offs that you can park at and little trails to see the incredible cliffs and bright blue pacific waters. These views were breathtaking, photos just don't do it justice! Then there was the Bixby Bridge, that was a beautiful concrete arch bridge made in the 1930s. That view alone was incredible.


bixby bridge

I hope this post was helpful for you in planning your next trip!


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