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(expanded list of cities and towns (hopefully we can make a real route out of this sometime))
(Got rid of cities/towns list to put in route description. No, it's not a very interesting read, but it's a start.)
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[[Image:Big_Sur_California_Aaron_Burda.jpg|thumb|250px|Big Sur]]
 
[[Image:Big_Sur_California_Aaron_Burda.jpg|thumb|250px|Big Sur]]
  
The Pacific Coast Highway (aka Highway 1 or 'PCH') is considered to be one of America's most famous highways (probably taking a not so close second to [[Route 66]]). Stretching from the southern tip of [[Baja California]] to the top of the Olympic peninsula, the highway is approximately 2500 miles in length.  A two week drive from [[San Diego]] to [[Redwood National Forest]] in Northern California makes for a great travel itinerary.
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The '''Pacific Coast Highway''' (aka Highway 1 or 'PCH') is considered to be one of America's most famous highways (probably taking a not so close second to [[Route 66]]). Stretching from the southern tip of [[Baja California]] to the top of the Olympic peninsula, the highway is approximately 2500 miles in length.  A two week drive from [[San Diego]] to the [[Redwood National Forest]] in Northern California makes for a great travel itinerary.
  
==Get around==
+
==Understand==
  
 +
==Prepare==
 
* Driving - That is the only way to travel this route.  It used to be (as in 40 years ago) common to hitchhike the route but not anymore.  Adventurous travelers could give it a shot and they would probably have more luck on the PCH than anywhere else in America.
 
* Driving - That is the only way to travel this route.  It used to be (as in 40 years ago) common to hitchhike the route but not anymore.  Adventurous travelers could give it a shot and they would probably have more luck on the PCH than anywhere else in America.
  
 
* Gas - Be aware that on the more rural segments of the road (particularly around [[Big Sur]] there can be long stretches where gas stations are not plentiful, and prices are considerably higher than in other parts of the country.
 
* Gas - Be aware that on the more rural segments of the road (particularly around [[Big Sur]] there can be long stretches where gas stations are not plentiful, and prices are considerably higher than in other parts of the country.
  
==Do==
+
==Get in==
  
* See Individual Cities for things to do
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==Go...==
* California State Parks along Highway 1:
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[[Image:CA-1.gif|thumb|200px|Big Sur]]
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===[[San Diego County]]===
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While California Highway 1 doesn't start until near [[Dana Point]] in [[Orange County]], it's worth your time to start at the southern end of the California coast in [[San Diego]]. San Diego offers many interesting attractions to the visitor in the neighborhoods away from the beach, such as [[San Diego/Balboa Park-Hillcrest|Balboa Park]], [[San Diego/Downtown|Downtown]], and [[San Diego/Old Town-Mission Valley|Old Town]], but if you're just interested in seeing coastline then a worthy place to start is '''Cabrillo National Monument''' at the tip of [[San Diego/Point Loma-Ocean Beach|Point Loma]]. There, you can get a gorgeous view of San Diego, the Bay, and the ocean, and learn about some of the history of the area. Also in the monument is a lovely tidepool area at the base of the ocean cliffs.
  
==Eat==
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Heading north, you can drive along the beaches in the communities of [[San Diego/Mission Beach|Mission Beach]], [[San Diego/Pacific Beach|Pacific Beach]], and [[San Diego/La Jolla|La Jolla]] (La Jolla also has a scenic sea coves), or just drive up I-5 and skip the beaches. You can continue to drive up I-5 through Northern San Diego County, but if you want to take a slower, yet far more scenic route along the coast, get down to the coast highway near '''Torrey Pines State Park''', between La Jolla and [[Del Mar]]. Torrey Pines makes a scenic stop, with hills and cliffs overlooking the coast and trails leading down to the beach. Continuing north along the coast will take you through the lovely towns of Del Mar, [[Solana Beach]], [[Encinitas]], [[Carlsbad (California)|Carlsbad]] and [[Oceanside]], where you'll drive right next to the coast and over a few nice lagoons connected to the ocean.
  
There are small towns along the way where you can fill up on groceries and eat at small diners
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In Oceanside, you'll have to get on to I-5 to continue driving north. Just proceed on the Coast Highway until you get to the I-5 exit.
  
==Drink==
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===[[Orange County|Orange]] and [[Los Angeles County|Los Angeles]] Counties===
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In [[San Clemente]], you can get off I-5 at the El Camino Real exit and drive by the Capistrano Beach until you get to California Highway 1. Head north of Highway 1 through [[Dana Point]], [[Laguna Beach]], [[Newport Beach]] and [[Huntington Beach]] before crossing over into Los Angeles County. As you enter [[Long Beach]], Highway 1 heads inland to cut through the [[South Bay (Los Angeles County)|South Bay]] region of Los Angeles County. Hwy. 1 rejoins the coast near [[Redondo Beach]] and continues slightly inland through [[Hermosa Beach]], [[Manhattan Beach]], [[El Segundo]] and past the LAX airport. After passing the airport, Hwy. 1 heads back toward the coast through [[Marina del Rey]] and [[Santa Monica]]. Hwy. 1 hugs the coast on through [[Malibu]].
  
==Stay safe==
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===[[Central Coast (California)|Central Coast]]===
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From Malibu, Hwy. 1 continues along the coast through Point Mugu State Park to [[Oxnard]]. Before reaching Oxnard, the road passes by '''Mugu Rock''', formed by the cut the road made through the mountain. After Mugu Rock, the road travels inland through Oxnard north to US-101. Get onto US-101 and heads west through [[Ventura]], where it rejoins the coast. US-101 continues along the coast through [[Carpinteria]], [[Santa Barbara]] and [[Goleta]]. At the Gaviota State Park, US-101 breaks away from the coast and Hwy. 1 restarts, breaking away from US-101. Hwy. 1 heads north through [[Lompoc]] and Guadalupe before rejoining the coast at [[Grover Beach]]. At the northern end of Grover Beach, Hwy. 1 merges with US-101 again which proceeds through [[Pismo Beach]] before breaking away from the coast to head north to [[San Luis Obispo]]. There, Hwy. 1 splits off of US-101 again, traveling northwest to the coastal community of [[Morro Bay]]. Hwy. 1 continues along the coast through [[Cambria]], [[San Simeon]], home to the '''Hearst Castle''', along the very scenic cliffs of [[Big Sur]]. Several miles north of Big Sur, Hwy. 1 crosses over the beautiful '''Bixby Creek Bridge''' and the less famous but still beautiful '''Rocky Creek Bridge'''.
  
 +
From there, Hwy. 1 continues through [[Carmel (California)|Carmel]], then as a freeway past [[Monterey (California)|Monterey]] and [[Marina]] before becoming a two-lane road near Castroville, and then as a freeway again past [[Watsonville]] to [[Santa Cruz (California)|Santa Cruz]]. After Santa Cruz, the road becomes a rural road winding along the coast again to the San Francisco [[Peninsula (Bay Area)|Peninsula]].
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 +
===[[Bay Area (California)|San Francisco Bay Area]]===
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Hwy. 1 continues as a rural road through several communities including [[Half Moon Bay]]. As the highway approaches [[Pacifica]], Highway 1 becomes a freeway segment through [[Daly City]] before breaking off as a city street, Junipero Serra Blvd, in [[San Francisco]]. Shortly after exiting off the freeway, Hwy. 1 becomes 19th Avenue through the [[San Francisco/The Avenues|Sunset]] district into '''Golden Gate Park'''. In the park, Hwy. 1 becomes Park Persidio Blvd through the [[San Francisco/The Avenues|Richmond]] district and into the Presidio park, where it merges with US-101 again. Shortly after exiting onto US-101, you'll drive over the world-famous '''Golden Gate Bridge''' over the San Francisco Bay into [[Marin County]]. US-101 continues past [[Sausalito]] and Marin City, where Hwy. 1 splits off of US-101 again, which heads west to the coast at Muir Beach before running north along the coast past the [[Point Reyes National Seashore]].
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===[[North Coast (California)|North Coast]]===
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Hwy. 1 continues along the coast, breaking off briefly to go through the town of Valley Ford before rejoining the coast at Bodega Bay. It heads north through [[Fort Ross]], [[Point Arena]], [[Elk]], [[Mendocino]] and [[Fort Bragg]]. After passing through the small town of Rockport, Hwy. 1 breaks away from the coast, finally ending at US-101 in the town of Leggett.
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US-101 continues north through [[Garberville]], Humboldt Redwoods State Park and [[Fortuna (California)|Fortuna]] before rejoining the coast just before [[Eureka]]. US-101 continues along the coast through [[Arcata]], [[McKinleyville]] and several small towns before finally reaching [[Redwood National Park]], home to the world's tallest trees.
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==Stay safe==
 
* Rock slides - The [[Big Sur]] section of the PCH is renown for rock slides which can lead to delays when traveling
 
* Rock slides - The [[Big Sur]] section of the PCH is renown for rock slides which can lead to delays when traveling
  
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* Fog - The most likely hazardous condition, the PCH can get fogged in making driving conditions very hazardous.
 
* Fog - The most likely hazardous condition, the PCH can get fogged in making driving conditions very hazardous.
  
==Regions==
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==Get out==
 
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* [[Baja California]] (Mexico)
 
* [[Baja California]] (Mexico)
 
* Oregon and Beyond
 
* Oregon and Beyond
 
==Cities and Towns==
 
[[Image:CA-1.gif|thumb|200px|Big Sur]]
 
 
(South to North)
 
* [[San Diego]]
 
* [[Del Mar]]
 
* [[Solana Beach]]
 
* [[Encinitas]]
 
* [[Carlsbad (California)|Carlsbad]]
 
* [[Oceanside]]
 
* [[San Clemente]]
 
* [[Dana Point]]
 
* [[Laguna Beach]]
 
* [[Newport Beach]] (LA)
 
* [[Huntington Beach]]
 
* [[Long Beach]] (LA)
 
* [[Redondo Beach]] (LA)
 
* [[Hermosa Beach]] (LA)
 
* [[Manhattan Beach]] (LA)
 
* [[El Segundo]] (LA)
 
* [[Marina del Rey]] (LA)
 
* [[Santa Monica]] (LA)
 
* [[Malibu]]
 
* [[Oxnard]]
 
* [[Ventura]]
 
* [[Carpinteria]]
 
* [[Santa Barbara]]
 
* [[Goleta]]
 
* [[Lompoc]]
 
* [[Grover Beach]]
 
* [[Pismo Beach]]
 
* [[San Luis Obispo]]
 
* [[Morro Bay]]
 
* [[Cambria]]
 
* [[San Simeon]] (Hearst Castle)
 
* [[Big Sur]] (Most Scenic Section)
 
* [[Carmel (California)|Carmel]]
 
* [[Monterey (California)|Monterey]]
 
* [[Marina]]
 
* [[Watsonville]]
 
* [[Santa Cruz (California)|Santa Cruz]]
 
* [[Half Moon Bay]]
 
* [[Pacifica]]
 
* [[Daly City]]
 
* [[San Francisco]] (crossing the Golden Gate Bridge)
 
* [[Sausalito]]
 
* [[Point Reyes]]
 
* [[Fort Ross]]
 
* [[Point Arena]]
 
* [[Elk]]
 
* [[Mendocino]]
 
* [[Fort Bragg]]
 
* [[Garberville]]
 
* [[Fortuna (California)|Fortuna]]
 
* [[Eureka]]
 
* [[Arcata]]
 
* [[McKinleyville]]
 
* [[Redwood National Park]] - Worlds Tallest Trees
 
 
  
 
{{related|United_States_of_America}}
 
{{related|United_States_of_America}}

Revision as of 08:10, 19 April 2008

This article is an itinerary.


Big Sur

The Pacific Coast Highway (aka Highway 1 or 'PCH') is considered to be one of America's most famous highways (probably taking a not so close second to Route 66). Stretching from the southern tip of Baja California to the top of the Olympic peninsula, the highway is approximately 2500 miles in length. A two week drive from San Diego to the Redwood National Forest in Northern California makes for a great travel itinerary.

Contents

Understand

Prepare

  • Driving - That is the only way to travel this route. It used to be (as in 40 years ago) common to hitchhike the route but not anymore. Adventurous travelers could give it a shot and they would probably have more luck on the PCH than anywhere else in America.
  • Gas - Be aware that on the more rural segments of the road (particularly around Big Sur there can be long stretches where gas stations are not plentiful, and prices are considerably higher than in other parts of the country.

Get in

Go...

Big Sur

San Diego County

While California Highway 1 doesn't start until near Dana Point in Orange County, it's worth your time to start at the southern end of the California coast in San Diego. San Diego offers many interesting attractions to the visitor in the neighborhoods away from the beach, such as Balboa Park, Downtown, and Old Town, but if you're just interested in seeing coastline then a worthy place to start is Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma. There, you can get a gorgeous view of San Diego, the Bay, and the ocean, and learn about some of the history of the area. Also in the monument is a lovely tidepool area at the base of the ocean cliffs.

Heading north, you can drive along the beaches in the communities of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla (La Jolla also has a scenic sea coves), or just drive up I-5 and skip the beaches. You can continue to drive up I-5 through Northern San Diego County, but if you want to take a slower, yet far more scenic route along the coast, get down to the coast highway near Torrey Pines State Park, between La Jolla and Del Mar. Torrey Pines makes a scenic stop, with hills and cliffs overlooking the coast and trails leading down to the beach. Continuing north along the coast will take you through the lovely towns of Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside, where you'll drive right next to the coast and over a few nice lagoons connected to the ocean.

In Oceanside, you'll have to get on to I-5 to continue driving north. Just proceed on the Coast Highway until you get to the I-5 exit.

Orange and Los Angeles Counties

In San Clemente, you can get off I-5 at the El Camino Real exit and drive by the Capistrano Beach until you get to California Highway 1. Head north of Highway 1 through Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach before crossing over into Los Angeles County. As you enter Long Beach, Highway 1 heads inland to cut through the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. Hwy. 1 rejoins the coast near Redondo Beach and continues slightly inland through Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and past the LAX airport. After passing the airport, Hwy. 1 heads back toward the coast through Marina del Rey and Santa Monica. Hwy. 1 hugs the coast on through Malibu.

Central Coast

From Malibu, Hwy. 1 continues along the coast through Point Mugu State Park to Oxnard. Before reaching Oxnard, the road passes by Mugu Rock, formed by the cut the road made through the mountain. After Mugu Rock, the road travels inland through Oxnard north to US-101. Get onto US-101 and heads west through Ventura, where it rejoins the coast. US-101 continues along the coast through Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta. At the Gaviota State Park, US-101 breaks away from the coast and Hwy. 1 restarts, breaking away from US-101. Hwy. 1 heads north through Lompoc and Guadalupe before rejoining the coast at Grover Beach. At the northern end of Grover Beach, Hwy. 1 merges with US-101 again which proceeds through Pismo Beach before breaking away from the coast to head north to San Luis Obispo. There, Hwy. 1 splits off of US-101 again, traveling northwest to the coastal community of Morro Bay. Hwy. 1 continues along the coast through Cambria, San Simeon, home to the Hearst Castle, along the very scenic cliffs of Big Sur. Several miles north of Big Sur, Hwy. 1 crosses over the beautiful Bixby Creek Bridge and the less famous but still beautiful Rocky Creek Bridge.

From there, Hwy. 1 continues through Carmel, then as a freeway past Monterey and Marina before becoming a two-lane road near Castroville, and then as a freeway again past Watsonville to Santa Cruz. After Santa Cruz, the road becomes a rural road winding along the coast again to the San Francisco Peninsula.

San Francisco Bay Area

Hwy. 1 continues as a rural road through several communities including Half Moon Bay. As the highway approaches Pacifica, Highway 1 becomes a freeway segment through Daly City before breaking off as a city street, Junipero Serra Blvd, in San Francisco. Shortly after exiting off the freeway, Hwy. 1 becomes 19th Avenue through the Sunset district into Golden Gate Park. In the park, Hwy. 1 becomes Park Persidio Blvd through the Richmond district and into the Presidio park, where it merges with US-101 again. Shortly after exiting onto US-101, you'll drive over the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge over the San Francisco Bay into Marin County. US-101 continues past Sausalito and Marin City, where Hwy. 1 splits off of US-101 again, which heads west to the coast at Muir Beach before running north along the coast past the Point Reyes National Seashore.

North Coast

Hwy. 1 continues along the coast, breaking off briefly to go through the town of Valley Ford before rejoining the coast at Bodega Bay. It heads north through Fort Ross, Point Arena, Elk, Mendocino and Fort Bragg. After passing through the small town of Rockport, Hwy. 1 breaks away from the coast, finally ending at US-101 in the town of Leggett.

US-101 continues north through Garberville, Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Fortuna before rejoining the coast just before Eureka. US-101 continues along the coast through Arcata, McKinleyville and several small towns before finally reaching Redwood National Park, home to the world's tallest trees.

Stay safe

  • Rock slides - The Big Sur section of the PCH is renown for rock slides which can lead to delays when traveling
  • Storms - California weather is famously pleasant but when it rains it pours. Large storms that come in off the pacific are few and far between but when they come in it can make driving conditions precarious. Keep abreast of the weather.
  • Fog - The most likely hazardous condition, the PCH can get fogged in making driving conditions very hazardous.

Get out



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