Friday, November 5, 2010

Pacific Coast Highway - A Breathtaking Rugged Expedition

Photo by Disco King @
Driving through California Route 1 is an expedition that should be in everyone's bucket list. It is one of the most unique highways in America and one of the longest. In order to thoroughly enjoy this drive, plan on spending a few days driving through so you can properly sample everything this highway has to offer. Be prepared to stop a number of times while on this road as everything beckons for your attention.

When we took this road trip in 2008, we flew into San Diego and drove up to Northern California stopping in the major cities along the way, but the most exciting aspect of the drive was between Los Angeles and San Francisco on Pacific Coast Highway. This section of the highway exhibits myriad examples of many natural qualities that make a highway a National Scenic Byways - qualities such as a stretch of untouched coastline, historical landmarks, winding roads, and cliffs to name a few. Should you decide to undertake this road trip, here are some interesting stops i recommend you make.

Elephant Seals Rookery: Piedras Blancas is home to a colony of Elephant Seals that were once near extinction. Regardless of what time of the year you pass through this area, you are bound to find some Elephant Seals comfortably sleeping along the shorelines. However, the most exciting time to enjoy the site of these seals is usually during winter season. This is when the males return to shore to defend their territory and get ready for mating season. A good show is the battle between male Seals naming claims to their women - it is testosterone driven. The female seals also return to have their babies and prepare for another pregnancy season. Don't wonder too much if you hear strange sounds when visiting the seals, the sound you hear is the grunts and squeals from the Seals. It's worth a stop to see.

Ragged Point: This is one of the pit stops on this drive. A lot of people stop here to relax, stretch their legs, have some lunch, and get the effect of the million dollar view that this place is known for. The Ragged point Vista is considered one of the finest ocean vistas in the world. It is one of the few places on this coast with a trail down the cliff. The site of the mountains merging with the ocean at it's shoreline is superb.

McWay Waterfall: This waterfall is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. To think that we passed by this state park and even took pictures of the park's sign and did not go in to see this beautiful waterfall is unforgivable. It even feels almost as if we never went to Big Sur. I decided to write about this beautiful waterfall not because i personally saw and enjoyed it, but so that you wouldn't make the same foolish mistake ignorantly and miss out on this beauty. McWay fall is an 80 foot waterfall nestled in a cove and cascades unto the sandy shores of the pacific ocean. The great thing about this fall is that it flows year round. The waterfall is fed from an undergorund springs on McWay Creek.

McWay Waterfall. Picture from

Big Sur Bixby Creek Bridge: The Bixby Bridge is important historically because it introduced automobile travel to Big Sur. However, the amazing priceless view of pure nature that surrounds the Bixby Bridge is what makes stopping at one of the vista points here very significant. The view is simply intriguing. Standing tall at the vista point, inhaling and exhaling the cool fresh air from the ocean, and catching the spectacular view of the bridge is heavenly. A picturesque scenery not to be missed!


  1. I'm inspired! Sounds like it'll be most fun in the spring/early summer when u can roll the windows down. Great post!

  2. We took the trip in the Spring and it was gorgeous! Will definitely do it again.

  3. Ooooh Omolayo, you have me saying ROAD TRIP!!!!! Love this post! Udo

  4. My husband will love this post especially, he talks about taking the family on a road trip "one day".

    To be candid am not a fan of the idea, but I can see the children enjoying it while daddy drive the car.

    Blimey I had a change of heart about road trip when you wrote" we flew into San Diego and drove up to Northern California". Hubby certainly need to read this, I will be open to the idea if we flew part way. Who wants to drive from Texas to San Diego? I just think it will be a lot of work for moi.

    Maybe, just maybe "one day"

  5. If you do not take any other road trip again, this is a must take road trip. You will love it! The kids will have fun as well. I promise you.

  6. vos photos sont tres belles, bravo !

  7. Thanks!!! We won't leave Houston without this it's our guide for spring break road trip !!......Ozzy

  8. Anytime Ozzy, Just be prepared to make a number of stops on that route. So much to see, so no rush and savor every moment.

  9. I grew up in Monterey and used to drive down there on a motorcycle to San Luis obispo many times its a trip worth taking in a life time maybe I'll move back you can never get enough of the area


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