Need an escape from the everyday stop and go? Put your mind at ease and go sightseeing along the beautiful coast of California. When most people think of California, the best known images of San Francisco and Los Angeles quickly come to mind: a certain large red bridge, broad, sandy beaches, cable cars, etc. While the two cities do seem to anchor the state from top to bottom, the vast coastline in between is a big question mark, and those who have never experienced it would be hard-pressed to describe what’s there.
This 300-mile stretch of coastline from SFO to LAX offers some truly unforgettable sights and scenery. In fact, some of the most interesting and beautiful parts of the state are to be found here. While visiting the Bay Area, be sure to see the Golden Gate – an opportune time to take pictures! Traveling with family? While you’re in the neighborhood, stop and say hi to the elephant seals that colonize this part of the coast. The best place to visit is Piedras Blancas, located just north of San Simeon and visible from Highway 1. There’s a viewing area and boardwalk.
Start the trip off at Highway 1 and tour the Hearst Castle, the result of a 28-year architectural collaboration between William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan. The Hearst Castle is an unfinished symphony, spread over 127 acres overlooking the sea. It holds a priceless collection of art and artifacts. The drive itself includes Santa Barbara (could easily spend a few days here with the family, visiting the great beaches, walking around downtown). Next stop is San Luis Obispo, which offers a lively downtown, and a big street fair on Thursday nights, Spring through Fall. Continue driving along the coast and you’ll run into Monterey, followed by Carmel, both towns offering beautiful scenery.
So now you have a little insight on what to expect when coastal driving in California. The trip is ideal for everyone: history buffs, sightseers, family travel, or those who just want to get away. Do something good for yourself; take the trip to venture the unknown! And if you’re staying a few extra days, why not check out San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Orange County andOakland, all offering plenty of sights to see!