Highway 101
Highway 101
4.5

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4.5 of 5 bubbles73 reviews
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SoCalOregonian
Murrieta, CA10,370 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
We drove the California 101 from the Oregon border to the 580 in San Rafael.
This time down the redwood highway was marred by construction between Cresent City and Klamath. We were held up for 20 minutes though the announced wait times could be up to 2 hours.
But what a place to be stuck. Nothing but giant redwoods surrounding you in which to marvel at. There was one other minor delay north of Leggett but was only about 10 minutes in length.
This drive is different than the 101 in Oregon. More trees, less ocean views than in Oregon. Doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, just different.
Written May 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ShazChris
Mount Cotton, Australia42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
We hired a Dodge Challenger from national car rentals to drive from San Fransisco to LA.
The best road trip ever. We stopped overnight at Carmel and Pismo Beach. It was fantastic. Would recommend any car and travel enthusiast to take this route
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mini
Fremont, CA210,837 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
We were returning from a cruise to Mexico and drove highway 101 on our drive home to the San Francisco Bay Area. We had a good time. The first part has ocean views.
Once we driive past Pismo Beach, its mostly an inland route.

We had lunch in downtown Paso Robles. The Paso Robles area is a good place to also go wine tasting.

The drive is pleasant and can easily be done in one day
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MyNightAtMauds
Boston, MA17 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
I live on the East Coast. I last visited Del Mar in 2009. Returned in March 2024. Drove up to Oceanside; 101 was unrecognizable. None of the charm from 2009 was there. Shops, commerce, chrome, cars, almost every mile of the way. Loud, overdeveloped, overly commercial. Too much money, too little authenticity. Only Leucadia and (maybe, to a lesser extent Cardiff) had anything remotely resembling the offbeat charm I remembered. What happened? Was there some sort of wild construction boom in the last 15 years that has transformed 101 so profoundly?
Written March 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PeGeOslo
Oslo, Norway23 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles

We wanted to do 3 cities in 11 days at easter this year. The trip was planed thouroghly and we choose to book directly and did not use a travel agent or bookingsites. The four of us flew Norwegian directly from Oslo to LA. We hired a Chevrolet Equinox automatic at Dollar rental car. From the airport to every rental car there is regulary shuttlebuses. We picked up the car and stayed one night at the airport hotel. The next day we turned the GPS on. From LA to Las Vegas took about 5 hours with one stop along the road. The traffic was kind of busy out of LA, but compared to many europeans, most american drivers is good companiens on the highway. At the gas station you have to go inside and prepay before they let you fill any fuel. Parts of the road in both Nevada and California is of less quality that most highways we drove. But in Las Vegas the roads are very good.
Our plan was to go from Las Vegas to San Francisco passing the Yosemite National Park. But at easter the passes was still closed and we had to take the road west of the passes. It is a less interesting drive, but once you passed Barstow and Bakersfield you meet farming land you will experience a green and beatiful scenery. When you arrive in SF you will notice that there has been a long day. Since we were more than one driver the long trip was manageable.
The distance from SF to La is a famous for world travellers, and turned out to be one of the most beatyful experiences we ever had. Dont even think of driving the opposit way. We choosed Carmel for a lunchbreak and had a pleasant lunch at Il Farino a hotel with nice outdoor terrace. Carmel is also a must for streetwalk or a stop for pastry or other preferable goods. Make sure to spend time enough to drive the 17 mile scenic route from Carmel to Monterey. It did cost 8 dollar in entrance fee but was worth every cent. There is many possibilities to stop along the way to enjoy the nature and the breathtaking scenary. For example a visit to author Steinbecks house. OR enjoy every breathtaking spot along Big Sur.
In stead of a visit to the Hearst castle, we enjoyed watching the sealions just 7 miles up the highway 1.
Not fare from Santa Barbra you can choose the most camp stay over ever. Madonna Inn is suppose to be hilarious but we choosed something more ordinary called Holiday Express Inn.
Arriving in Santa Monica the morning after was a good move. The traffic was smooth and we arrived in good time to enjoy the nice hotel and the wonderful beaches.
Doing it the highway is really good way of holidaymaking.

Written May 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oracle6115
Minneapolis, MN110 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
It is REALLY hard to find the "right" words to describe this drive:( I asked my husband for one word that comes to mind for Highway 101 and "memorable" was it. So, here's our story. We traveled down Highway 101 with another couple during the month of October 2014 from Astoria to Brookings and over the California border. We ordered the travel literature ahead of time and stopped at tons of places (I've reviewed all of them so check them out). We loved so many stops: Astoria Maritime Museum, Lewis and Clark center, Spinreel Dune Buggies and more...really, check out my reviews of these! But, when I asked my husband why he chose "memorable" it was because the southern part of this drive is awesome beginning at Devil's Churn, Cape Perpetua, and what he vividly remembers is Cape Foulweather. We live in the Midwest. Recently, it was just -13 degrees and we get lots of snow. We're used to bad weather. The weather the day we visited was truly "foul." It was grey, overcast, blustery, windy, stormy and you had to work to stand up straight and look over the coast. Perfect for viewing a location called Cape Foulweather. It was as if it was ordered just for our us:) Many wonderful stops, and it gets better the farther south you drive on Highway 101. Best tip we can give is take time, don't hurry, enjoy, relax, b r e a t h e i n.
Written January 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan T
Shelbyville, TN104 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • Couples
Driving the California coast on Highway 101 is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime! It is the most beautiful drive! Every turn makes you point and gasp at another beautiful view. The road is not for the faint of heart. You do drive right along the cliffs with sharp curves and big drop offs. Take your time and enjoy every mile! Pull off as often as possible and enjoy!
Written January 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

7oaksmum
Sevenoaks, UK5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
Have just returned from a road trip through California with my 14 yr old daughter. We drove from San Francisco to San Diego a distance of 500 miles, stopping for overnights on the way in Monterey, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica. First observation: the driving on the West Coast is bad. Have driven on the East Coast- Boston/ New York and Cape Cod...it was a breeze.
But California is much faster, On Highway 101 cars averging 80 mph.The drivers don't indicate and will not let you out, so you can sometimes run out of road. Even on this road, the climbs are big and the descents are steep, and of course for us Brits everything is on the "wrong side". Not only does traffic join from the right,you are often on the "outside" of a curve as you climb or descend a mountain. And as another contributer has said, some of these climbs are big.The other thing to note is that the highways are vast, south of Santa Monica,8 lane highways, so you really have to concentrate as often the inside lane is for exit only. As in the UK, lots of freight Mon-Fri, less at the weekend.
If you are the sole driver it is hard work but it does mean that having done it and survived...you feel you can tackle anything! For those deliberating between Big Sur and 101, I would say I decided as I was sole driver that the Big Sur would be too tricky for me: its along drive and I was concerned about driving too slowly. We met a family from Donegal, and the father told us it had taken him 8 hours to do the drive.....that sounds on the long side, but an 8 hour drive with other drivers snapping at your heels doesn't sound much of a holiday to me.
Written September 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Al0ni
Tel Aviv, Israel12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016
We started just north of the Golden Gate bridge in SF and made it all the way to LA. Just from this starting point, one can tell that this is an unusual scenery, that only gets better as you travel south.
Driving for 3 days (don't rush it), stop at scenec points a long the way - such as Monterey Carmel, Hearst Castle and more, enjoy the great beed (from the Hearst Cattle) and great local wine!
This drive certainly competes with scenec routes like Amalfi coast in Italy or even the Great Ocean Road in Australia.
Written September 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raa123
Dallas, TX10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Couples
Wonderful drive. Lifetime experience. We took 5 days. Stopped in Monterey, San Simion, Santa Barabara, LA. and San Diego. I wish we have more days and could use two days in each place. Also northern California is much Scenic than south, so given a choice I would start in San Diego and finish in San Fransisco.
Written November 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Highway 101 - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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