Our 10 Favourite Places To See Along The Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway in California is one of the most scenic drives in the world. On our recent 3-week road trip, we drove part of the Pacific Coast Highway from Monterey to Los Angeles. This stunning drive did not disappoint, with sheer cliffs, rugged coastline, untouched forests, elephant seals laying about in the sun, and even a waterfall on a beach!

Here is a list of our 10 favourite stops on the Pacific Coast Highway from our road trip:

Monterey

Home to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, we thought this coastal town was gorgeous! After visiting the aquarium, we enjoyed dinner with ocean views, and a stroll along Cannery Row at night.

 

Carmel-by-the-sea

With pine-lined beaches and European-inspired cottages, this pretty little seaside town is full of shops, restaurants and art galleries.

 

Bixby Bridge

Located along Big Sur, Bixby Bridge is one of the tallest, single span concrete bridges in the world.

 

McWay Falls

Another one of the beautiful sights along Big Sur is McWay Falls. This cliffside waterfall drops 80 feet onto the beach below.

 

Ragged Point

We chose to pull off at Ragged Point for lunch, and are so glad we did! We enjoyed our meal among the beautifully lanscaped grounds, perched high up on the cliffs above the crashing waves.

 

Limekiln State Park

Named after the historic limekilns located in the park, here you’ll find stunning coastline views, towering redwood trees, and more waterfalls!

 

Hearst Castle

This hilltop castle was designed by architect Julia Morgan, and boasts a stunning pool, impressive art collection, and sprawling grounds with ocean views.

 

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery covers around 6 miles of coastline, with plenty of viewing points to watch these giants sleeping and sunning themselves on the sand.

 

Pismo Beach

After a full day of driving and sightseeing, we decided to stay the night in Pismo Beach at the Shorecliff Hotel. Here we finally saw wild sea otters playing in the water, and witnessed the thousands of Monarch butterflies that migrate to Pismo Beach every year at the Monarch Butterfly Grove.

 

Santa Barbara

Before we arrived back at the bright lights and bustle of Los Angeles, we enjoyed our last stop in Santa Barbara. The beautiful Stearns Wharf was the perfect place to stretch our legs and enjoy the sea air!

Find out more about our time in California here.

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