Highway 1 Revisited

This spring, reap the rewards from the Pacific Coast Highway from Morro Bay to Mendocino.


Published:

Photo by Frederick Thelen

Iconic California Highway 1 is one of the world’s most beautiful ribbons of highway, an invitation for taking a road trip if there ever was one. Because it is so close and familiar to us lucky East Bay residents, it may be easy to forget just how breathtaking the views from the snaking, cliff-clinging road can be — and how rewarding seaside destinations can be. Crashing waves below, banks of fog rolling in across distant hills, and precipitous drop offs define the twisting, turning magnificent roadway that natives and transplants can take for granted. This collection of articles on five well-loved Pacific Coast Highway destinations along Highway 1 is meant to rekindle a desire to trace the paved, awe-inspiring edge of the Pacific Ocean.

The highway, technically State Route 1, runs north and south for 650-plus miles. Some parts are heavily trafficked with sightseers, and some areas suffer frequent landslides. But some stretches remain that feel as removed and as untouched as the expanse of ocean that stretches out beyond and across the horizon. The cerulean blue sky and the neon-bright colors of hills ablaze with wildflowers in spring offer a perfect reason to explore the coast — again.

Use this guide to find enjoyable scenery and entertaining amusements in Mendocino, the Presidio, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and Morro Bay. Travelers will discover a mix of monster waves and cliffside views plus leafy woodlands and massive rocky outcrops. They can also thrill to chowder houses, distilleries, cemeteries, museums, and boardwalks and find family-friendly activities along the way. It’s California all the way.

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