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Pacific Coast Highway, California: Address, Phone Number, Pacific Coast Highway Reviews: 5/5

Pacific Coast Highway
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Running along the northern California coast, this highway has some of the best views of any in the United States.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
1,668 reviews
Excellent
1,420
Very good
192
Average
39
Poor
9
Terrible
8

Sabrina N
Los Angeles, CA437 contributions
It was a fine morning in early November 2020. It was the perfect weekend to travel by car. The temps were on the cool side with a whipping wind and views of the Pacific Ocean were spectacular. The traffic was almost nothing--save for the (local?) drivers who insist on tailgating because they think you are going too slow. That said, it is really a good idea to stop at vista point and take photos. Let the clowns go fast; the curves are enough to navigate if you're not accustomed to such terrain. Note, that if you aren't paying attention, you might find a tire catching the edge of the road and the result may not be pretty. The Big Sur coastline really is one of the wonders of California and should be done at least once in a lifetime. I would add a photo but the phone is locked up. When I can retrieve them, I will add...
Written December 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nancy G
Miami, FL68 contributions
Scenic Roadway, amazing views. I was delighted with each and every step and lil turn of the way. Fort Barry, Point Bonita, Pescadero state beach, prisoner rock with the lighthouse. Davenport, Pebble beach, amazing! Carmel by the sea was super and we got beautiful sunny days. Amazing views from Bixby bridge. Big sur, Ragged point where fog covered the place in less than 20 minutes, but cleared later. Elephant seals is a must see! Cayucos was a spectacular sunset spot and we arrived at Morro Bay at nite. Next day we got to enjoy the beauties of this little city where we even found a Cuban restaurant to make it even better. Overall one in a lifetime experience!!
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

November_Sunrise
Fresno, CA82 contributions
Update: I did this drive last summer and hated it. I rated it a 1. I did it again a few days ago and loved it! I took my 16 year old son and we spent the day driving and exploring. Strongly recommend downloading "GyPSy Guide" for Big Sur. It made all the difference. The app works throughout the drive (even though some phones will have no service). It tells you were to stop, what to expect to see, where the trails are (not to be missed), where to park and where the best photo ops are.

Plan to spend the majority of the day exploring the beaches, easy trails, tide pools, waterfalls and even recommended lunch stops. It was awesome!

Tips for success:
Have a full tank of gas
Wear comfy tennis shoes (trails are easy but shoes will get dirty)
Bring a sweater
A phone with a full charge
Snacks and water bottles (a must)
A swimsuit if your the type that likes to get in the water

The app made all the difference. Have a relaxed mindset ready for exploring and you will love it!
Written July 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kayohh7
Monterey, CA134 contributions
Family
We have driven this twice. Once from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara. Once from Monterey to Big Sur and back. It is so beautiful and you see the most outrageous landscape and seascapes. Do NOT drive this at night. You can’t see anything and you will not be able to get off, basically stuck for 3 hours. We learned from that mistake the first time. Do check for closures before you go. Definitely worth it if you’re planning a trip.
Written January 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DMSMD64
Chester Springs, PA468 contributions
I‘ve seen the PCH on TV and movies so I thought it would be a good motorcycle ride. I googled PCH and Wikipedia, that world renowned resource, stated that California 1 is the PCH and runs from Dana Point in Orange County in the south to Leggett in Mendocino County. I started in Dana Point and rode to San Francisco. In Dana Point it starts by the beach and quickly moves into town. Then multiple other towns. There are sightings of the water, but in Southern California it’s basically just a rode. As a matter of fact, it runs right through LAX airport. Not what I was expecting. Further north, above Los Angeles, there are spots where you may have been able to see the water before the homes were built obstructing the view. It gets even better when you reach the end to end trailers permanently parked on the service rode so all you can see are plastic outhouses, trailers and pickup trucks. The road is not incredibly well marked. It merges on and off with the 101. In Oxnard I actually took a 15-mile detour because I didn’t know I had to get on the highway. North of San Luis Obispo the views were a little better, but the road becomes a little sportier. The road becomes very steep with winding turns and (foggy, at least it was the morning I was riding it). There were not a lot of gas stations or places to eat in this section. To be clear the views you will see are not all beaches and coastal cliffs. I saw town after town, some nice some not so nice, houses, trailers, hills, crop fields, cities and an occasional glimpse of the ocean. Not to mention the 30 miles of road construction around Big Sur all the way to Carmel. Milled roads are not fun on a Motorcycle. Overall, I’ve had better coastal ride in Hawaii and Florida. Maybe north of California is worth a second trip but CA 1 is not.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KLM1
Kitchener, Canada755 contributions
Family
The drive along the PCH is magnificent. We started from Carmel, and headed south to San Simeon. I would recommend heading south, so that the view point parking lots are on your right, and easily accessible.

There are an endless number of places to stop, so I’ll just mention a couple of my favourites.

Before you cross the Bixby Bridge heading south, you can get a beautiful view from the mountain side of the highway. There is a small dirt road on your left, which has an incredible view of the bridge, with the ocean in the background. You can also go to Castle Rock Viewpoint, after crossing the bridge, and look back up the coast at the bridge.

Before you reach San Simeon, stop at the Elephant Seal Vista Point. The size and number of elephants seals is amazing. I could stand and watch them for hours. But don’t go down onto the beach to get close to them.

Take your time, and allow lots of time for stops along the way. Pack a picnic lunch so you can stop and eat anywhere you like.
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HeardItBothWays
Easton, PA2,349 contributions
My husband and I drove the Pacific Coast Highway while making our way down the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego. This was the most beautiful drive we have ever taken.

The views of the coast and the Pacific are absolutely stunning. There are tons of vistas and beaches to stop at, and sometimes even the road itself is a sight to see. There was also so much to see along the way! We stopped at:

* Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
* Shelter Cove
* Glass Beach
* Bowling Ball Beach
* San Francisco
* Point Arena Lighthouse
* Davenport Pier
* Monterey
* 17- Mile Drive
* Bixby Bridge
* Big Sur
* Santa Barbara

I'd recommend trying to take in all of them because we enjoyed every single place we visited. Also, make sure to check for closures. We were fortunate in that the entire stretch was open when we visited. There were some minor areas of construction where we had to wait a bit before passing, but it wasn't a long wait.

I think everyone should experience this beautiful highway and every breathtaking mile it has to offer!
Written September 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicolás B
Bogota, Colombia20 contributions
Couples
Great place to visit and many sites to go. Started from LA and went all the way up to SF. Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco were definitely the best places to hang out. Don’t miss Santa Barbara either!
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

purpleij
Sarasota, FL221 contributions
Couples
We drove from Napa Valley to San Diego mostly on Hwy 1 and it was worth it! The scenery breathtaking with lots of viewpoints and opportunities for places to eat and bathroom breaks. Along the way we stopped at Half Moon, stayed in Monterey (preferred Carmel), Pebble Beach, Cambria, stopped at Solvang, stayed in Santa Barbara and San Diego. We took our time and allowed extra time for each location (about an additional hour from what google map tells you). We felt the coastal roads were safe and easy to navigate.
Written May 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael Z
Helsingoer Municipality, Denmark11 contributions
We drove from LA to SF over two days. Highly recommend it. Once beyond Malibu, the southerly two-thirds is interesting and beautiful in its own way but not dramatic compared to the northerly half. As one approaches the midway point, however, the landscape is just stunning. We overnighted in Cambria, which is a great place to spend the night (or longer). The drive north from there was amazing. We stopped multiple times, including at Pfeiffer Beach, which is hard to find (poor signage) but worth exploring. It's also worth stopping at Bixby Bridge. From the parking lot on the north end, it's a good idea to continue driving along the dirt road beyond the parking area to a point higher up and looking straight on perpendicular o the bridge. One can turnaround from there to return to PCH. Take your time and stop often. Just don't drive it at night.
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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