10 Classic California Road Trip Stops on the Pacific Coast Highway

The Ultimate California Road Trip Video

San Diego CA by @benjaminroth18 by CaliforniaFeelings.com california cali LA CA SF SanDiego

Pacific Coast Highway Stops

From San Francisco to San Diego

The Pacific Coast Highway is well known as one of the most scenic drives in the world. Starting from California’s northern border with Oregon and stretching all the way down to San Diego the route takes round ten hours to complete at a leisurely pace with no stops.

San Francisco

The Golden Gate Park is a great place to start this epic trip. Take a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and you’ll feel like you’ve well and truly arrived in San Francisco. While you’re there spend some time in Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island and just relaxing with a coffee in Union Square.

San Jose

San Jose is part of the almighty Silicon Valley. Full of galleries, museums and San Jose is well worth a stop on your Pacific Coast Highway trip.  Facebook and Google HQs are here, and the famous Hewlett Packard Garage from where it all began.

Santa Cruz

Head to Pacific Avenue for all kinds of vintage goodies, Palomar for night time salsa dancing, Wilder Ranch State Park for hiking and the Rio Theatre for local music. The Wharf is a great place to start for restaurants and shops and if you have the time you can go on a whale watching boat or fishing expedition.


Enjoy the Monterey Bay Aquarium, check out the stunning Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, chill at the Old Fisherman’s Wharf or go shopping at Cannery Row. Or, drive along the scenic ’17 Mile Drive’ and have a mooch around Carmel-by-the-Sea a cute seaside village with shops, cafes and restaurants. Whale watching, sailing, kayaking, golfing and biking are also popular in Monterey.

Big Sur

Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer Beach, McWay Falls, Point Sur State Historic Park, Ragged Point.

San Luis Obispo

Hike up Black Hill, Islay Hill, Bishop Peak and round the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. The Fremont Theatre is also worth a visit, if only for the awesome facade in the evening. Soda Lake is an awesome sight too, especially for anyone with an eye for design.


Take a look around the historic Downtown Ventura and make the most of the vintage boutiques and second hand stores.


Follow the signs to Point Dume and you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, headlands, cliffs and rocky coves. Take a walk around Malibu and you’ll find piers, sickeningly beautiful weekend homes and super healthy restaurants.

Los Angeles

The awesome views of the Hollywood sign from Griffith Observatory. Visit Venice Canals Historic District, walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, check out the Santa Monica Pier, drive down Sunset Boulevard and stroll down Rodeo Drive.

San Diego

La Jolla, Balboa Park, Downtown and Old Town are great. Make your way up to the Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma and you’ll get an incredible view of San Diego and the Bay.

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