California – Highway 1

Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway (or Highway 1) in California is a mandatory bucketlist item. I rented a car with a friend and drove along the coast line between San Francisco and Los Angeles. We were able to take our time and make stops in San Fran, Monterey, San Simeon to see Hearst Castle, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and ending in Los Angeles for a New Years Eve Egyptian party at Grauman’s Egyptian Theater.

San Francisco



  1. Fisherman’s Wharf – Enjoy seafood restaurants at this popular tourist attraction.
  2. Chinatown – Centered on Grant and Stockton Street, Chinatown in San Francisco is the largest Chinese community outside of Asia.
  3. Lombard Street – You can drive down this steep block with 8 hair pin turns.
  4. Alcatraz Island – The island off of San Francisco is home to an abandoned prison.
  5. Golden Gate Bridge – Known as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
  6. Muir Woods – This national forest is a coastal redwood forest, with trees as old as 1,200 years old.
  7. Painted Ladies – Famous Victorian and Edwardian houses designed with intricate architectural detail.
  8. Pier 39 – Off of Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 is known for it’s sea lion colony.

Monterey Bay

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  1. Monterey Bay – Enjoy watching the marine life
  2. Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row – Enjoy the shops and the views. There are lots of restaurants and bars to pop into.
  3. Garrapata Beach – Hiking trails surround the beach. This isn’t a swimming beach, but a great place to listen to the waves crash into the shore.
  4. Monterey Bay Aquarium – Gorgeous aquarium where you can view everything from jellyfish to penguins.

Views from the Pacific Coast Highway

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San Simeon – Hearst Castle

hearst castle (1)

William Randolph Hearst’s famous estate, Hearst Castle, off the coast of central California.

El Matador Beach

el matador beach

Los Angeles

los angeles

  1. Beautiful views in LA
  2. Grauman’s Egyptian Theater
  3. The Hollywood sign
  4. Urban Light sculpture at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

There was so much more that we saw on our trip, but I couldn’t make it on here. Pacific Coast Highway has absolutely breathtaking and beautiful views. Make sure to have time to make plenty of stops and enjoy the scenery.

For more tips on driving through California, check out this article from Mr. & Mrs. Romance on tips for driving in California.


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