Pa­cific Coast High­way

Frequent Flyer Destinations - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter mas­sive land­slides de­stroyed parts of the well-trav­eled road­way, the last sec­tion of the high­way re­opened on July 18, just in time to catch the peak sum­mer travel sea­son.

There are so many op­tions when it comes to trav­el­ing along the Pa­cific Coast High­way, it’s hard to cram ev­ery­thing into one itin­er­ary, but many have tried.

Trav­el­ers with plenty of time can eas­ily spend weeks ex­plor­ing ev­ery­thing there is to see along the way but those work­ing with one week to 10 days, the av­er­age amount of va­ca­tion time in the U.S., should check out some of the high­lights.


Trav­el­ing north up the coast, visi­tors will want to make the coastal city of Santa Bar­bara a pri­or­ity. Ex­plore the zoo, stroll State Street or plan to stay the night and en­joy the Santa Bar­bara Ur­ban Wine Trail.


Wine en­thu­si­asts can cre­ate a coastal jour­ney that re­volves around wine tast­ing. From Avila, rather than tak­ing the coast road from San Luis Obispo on High­way 1, fol­low U.S. Route 101 up to Paso Robles for a short de­tour to an­other of Cal­i­for­nia’s pop­u­lar wine re­gions.


Head back to the coast from Paso Robles and into Cambria. This charm­ing vil­lage has a num­ber of vin­tage stores, cof­fee shops and cute eater­ies, but what’s re­ally worth stop­ping for is a stroll along its famed Moon­stone Beach.

Stay in Cambria or nearby San Simeon just up the coast and take some time to ex­plore the area, its rugged coast­line, Hearst Cas­tle and Ele­phant Seal rook­ery at Piedras Blan­cas, one of the few places peo­ple can see these ma­jes­tic crea­tures on land.


Leav­ing San Simeon is where the coast­line truly be­comes a craggy coastal won­der­land. The road winds along cliff faces and around just about ev­ery cor­ner is stun­ning vista af­ter stun­ning vista. Be pre­pared to stop and go here for photographs.


The area of Big Sur en­com­passes the coast­line be­tween San Simeon and Carmel, but the town is tucked away in the for­est just a few min­utes drive from Ju­lia Pfeif­fer Burns State Park. If not stop­ping overnight here, plan to spend some time pok­ing around its eclec­tic shops or en­joy­ing a lo­cally sourced or­ganic meal.


When leav­ing Big Sur, make sure you have water and snacks, or maybe even a pic­nic lunch. Point Lobos will be your next big stop and its worth plan­ning for a few hours here. There is so much to see and do, in­clud­ing kayak­ing in China Cove, vis­it­ing the Whaler’s Cabin Mu­seum, a short hike to see sea lions and more.

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