Traveling around California can be started from one of the most famous road routes that runs along the Pacific coast, from San Diego to San Francisco through Los Angeles and dozens of other interesting places.
Famous road number 1 or Highway one stretched along the entire Pacific coast of the United States, but the most beautiful part of it belongs California. I will talk about the ten most important destinations on this route, and you can go from both ends.
We will pass from the southern border of the State – the city San diego to one of the most beautiful cities of America – San Francisco. On this segment also – hectic cine Los Angeles, elegant Santa Barbara, specific section of the road Big sur and further through the wine region to the best beaches of northern California in Carmele, Monterrey and Santa Cruz.
To get the maximum portion of happiness on this route and not get tired of moving will need from 7 to 10 days, total length route – 1,100 km.
To travel by car in California you need to know the subtleties of renting a car in the United States and driving features and rules of the road in the States. All very friendly to the tourist, and travel by car in the States is even cheaper than in Europe.
San diego – a real Californian dream, an endless coastline and a lot of sun. The sunniest and warmest city of California.
How much time to spend in San diego decide yourself by pre-checking the amount of cash with the planned budget. Beautiful, if cheap, is definitely not in California.
What to see in San Diego? Giant pandas at the local zoo, because the San Diego Zoo is considered one of the best in the world. Pedestrian neighborhoods and the gastronomic center of the city are small Italy (Little Italy), North Park (North Park), South Park (South Park), East Village (East Village).
After lunch, go to San Diego Bay – if there is not enough walking, rent a standing boat – a board on which you stand and control one paddle trying to keep balance. Near the bay you can quietly spend the middle of the day.
San Diego, a monument to the sailor and nurse
The evening is the time of the quarter of kerosene lamps (Gaslamp Quarter), it is so named thanks to the hundreds of kerosene lamps on the tables of street establishments.
If the budget allows, you can stay in a steep place – hotel del coronado, which is located on the idyllic island of Coronado. The island is connected to the city by an arched bridge, and the atmosphere of the hotel makes you feel a thousand miles away from civilization.
Mandatory stop in the vicinity of San Diego – the town of La Jolla. After La Hoya, wind up briefly with Highway 1 across Orange County in Huntington Beach.
San Diego (San Diego) – Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach) – 150km or
Huntington Beach we call it a paradise for a surfer and a city of eternal summer. At least half a day will be needed to get used to the local beach culture, potestit surfing, or at least chat with one of the local surfers. In addition to surfing, it rides well on a bike along the paths along the ocean and plays beach volleyball. Even if you don’t risk catching a wave on a board, then walk through local surfer shops – one of the main cultural Attractions Huntington. The crown of the walk will be the local pier and if there is no desire / opportunity to stay here for the night, then go further – to Los Angeles.
Huntington Beach (Los Angeles) – Huntington Beach – 60 km. And 30 minutes away by car.
Los Angeles – a city in which something is constantly happening, which is why the key to a successful visit to the city is careful planning. Otherwise, you will become one of those tourists who did not like the city.
Of course, Santa Monica with its beaches, pier and famous boulevard, as well as bars and restaurants. Further to the northeast of Santa Monica is the legendary Beverly Hills – but there is nothing to watch except Rodeo Drive. We continue to move east and make a stop on Hollywood Boulevard. After walking along the walk of fame, we go to watch the TCL Chinese Theater.
If we move further east we will get to downtown Los angeles or simply DTLA, a district that once fell into decay is reborn. From the interesting in the downtown – Grand Park, an urban oasis – from the center of Walt Disney to the city hall, numerous vintage buildings, including United Artists on Broadway (1927). You can complete the trip again with Hollywood – a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood.
After Universal Studios return to the coast in Malibu and from there we move to the side Santa Barbara.
Beach in los angeles
Los Angeles – Santa Barbara, 153 km. or
The symbol of infinity in cinema, I hint at the endless show of the same name, Santa barbara Also called the American Riviera. The city is actually very elegant and beautiful. Spanish heritage and European architecture have been preserved in Santa Barbara. One of them is considered – Santa Barbara Mission – the Spanish Catholic mission in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara – that is the richest poster California. All that we saw in the movie about American beautiful life is in this small town. Go shopping on Stroll State Street, then along the promenade along the beach, pier with numerous cafes. By the way, the pier burned several times and then recovered again.
Santa Barbara, California
And we are going further on north california To appreciate the wonderful Californian red wine and legendary vintages – we are going to the Santa Ynez Valley.
Santa Barbara – Santa Ynez Valley, 50 km. and 40 minutes by car
Wine country Santa Ynez (Santa Ynez Country)
The Santa Ynez Valley wine valley is a place where you can relax while consuming local chardonnay or pinot noir. Santa Ynez – American Tuscany, hills, vineyards and ancient oaks along the horizon.
From local wineries recommend Sunstone winery, You can also spend the night there. To save on tastings worth buying a subscription from the Association of Viticulture Santa Ynez Valley.
Vineyards of the Inez Valley
Our next stop is the luxurious Hearst Castle.
Santa Ynez – Hearst Castle – 175 km. or an hour and a half on the way.
The place is tourist and popular, but must stop. Firstly, it is an incredibly beautiful complex built by the patron and philanthropist Hurst. Secondly, the castle offers fantastic views of the surroundings. Thirdly, the territory of the castle is a wonderful landscape park in which it is pleasant to take a walk and make a couple of hundred photos for your instagram.
At the castle – the official status of the state park and now it is the most placed park in California. The concentration of wealth and luxury per square meter is amazing – terraces, pools, columns and Roman baths, gardens and fountains on 51 hectares of area. Such an ancient Greece in the American version.
Hearst Castle is in close proximity to Highway 1 (Highway 1).
From Hearst Castle, we can return south on the highway number 1 and after 64 km. Make the next stop at Paso Robles, or head north along the winding Highway One roads that lead us to Ragged Point, a hotel and a spectacular observation deck overlooking the raging ocean. This section of the road and the area around it is called Big Sur. From here it is convenient to watch whales, sea lions and dolphins.
Big Sur – Panorama of the Pacific Ocean
In 2017, the road section Big sur temporarily closed for passage due to renovation, but iconic panoramas of the California coastline can be seen.
Hearst Castle (Hearst Castle) – Paso Robles – 64 km., 50 minutes walk
After turning on Raged point turn south on Route 1 to a place called Piedras Blancas-Rookery – this beach is just 8 km away. from the castle of Hirst on which elephant seals live and breed.
After the beach, elephants turn left on Highway 101 and continue along it again to the wine-growing and brewing region of Paso-Robles – the city of San Luis Obispo County. What is there? Tasting wine, beer and mineral springs, active recreation and agritourism.
Seals on the Pacific Coast
Local hotels except beer and wine will offer an excellent spa program. I recommend if time and budget allows.
Paso Robles – Monterey / Carmel – 190 km. Or 2 hours by car
Monterey / Carmel
The most romantic place on the Pacific coast is several luxurious beaches, quiet coves, golf clubs and a chic oceanarium in Monterrey Bay. A ticket to the aquarium is better to buy online – then you can avoid the huge queues. If you are traveling with children – a must-see place. On the banks of Monterrey, there are many restaurants at the pier in the ocean – an ideal place for evening gatherings and dinner.
Monterrey – our first stop in these places. It’s best to explore the nearby bays by bike – Pacific Grove, Asilomar State Beach, as well as the famous Pebble Beach golf courses along the 17-mile road.
Golf course near the city of Carmel
Heading south to the town of Carmel – the perfect place for spending the night and rest. Fairy-tale houses of local residents, a picturesque bay and a white sand beach. Carmel is a balance of historical past and modern wealth that complement each other perfectly. From Carmel, you can also ride a bike or walk to those parts of Big Sur that are now closed for driving. To spend a couple of hours walking along the coastal paths to the Point Lobos Nature Park is an obligatory program.
Next to Carmel is a shady nature trail nature reserve.
From Monterrey we move to the beach town of Santa Cruz – a city of surfing and beach holidays.
Carmel (Carmel) – Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz) – 70 km., Less than an hour on the way
Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz)
They say it was in the town of Santa Cruz that California’s surfer movement originated. Very cool city and is it not a reason to make a small stopover here. Moreover, in addition to the surf in Santa Cruz, there are many other attractions, as well as shopping and delicious organic food in local restaurants.
After Santa Cruz, we have only one stop on the route – San Francisco or the city near the bay.
Santa Cruz – San Francisco (San Francisco) – 120 km. or 1 hour and 20 minutes drive.
Panorama of San Francisco
San Francisco (San Francisco)
San Francisco is rightly considered the most beautiful city of the United States and it is a city that is convenient for walking without a car. Therefore, we park, book a night and continue to choose – on foot, bicycle or public transport – the legendary tram.
The most iconic places are the park near the Golden Gate Bridge, the bridge and the walk to Alcatraz prison on a pleasure boat. In the evening, you can drive along the most winding and steep Lombard Street, and then take a car to the summit of the Twin Peaks hills and watch the city from a height. Although San Francisco is such a voluminous topic for more than one article (stay tuned for blog updates).
San Francisco Nightlife – what not to miss. We go to the area of the street of Valencia – there is the whole get-together and bars.