If ever there was a country that was perfect for a road trip, then the USA would probably be that country.
Route 66, which originally ran from Santa Monica on the Californian coast all the way to Chicago nearly 2,500 miles away, is regarded as one of the most well known trips anywhere in the world, as is the run coast-to-coast made famous in the late 1970s and early 1980s by hit films such as The Gumball Rally and the Cannonball Run.
Not everyone will want to take on such a large trip however and to that end, there are various shorter journeys that can be made by car, from the spectacular run through the Florida Keys to Key West right up to the more challenging journey along the Dalton Highway in Northern Alaska.
The state of California is home to one of the best year-round options, with the Pacific Coast Highway providing a fantastic way in which to see some of the best views to be found anywhere in the State.
The Pacific Coast Highway is part of California State Route 1, which runs from Leggett in the north right down to Dana Point in the south but it is the stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles that is arguably the most popular, and one of the most iconic trips.
Although you can choose to do the trip in either direction, the logical route is to go from San Francisco and head south, primarily because of the fact that you drive on the right in the USA and that means you’ll be able to take in uninterrupted views out over the coastline without traffic heading the other way acting as an obstruction.
There isn’t really a bad time to make the journey although the height of summer will mean more traffic on the road, although that shouldn’t really be too much of an issue because the best thing to do is take your time and spread the trip out over a couple of days - even though it could easily be done in one go.
Ideally, you’d want to be looking to spend at least a few days in the two cities at either end and can easily then spread the trip across three to five days with a number of different stops en-route.
Once you start journeying south down the coast, one of the first places you’ll get to visit is Santa Cruz, where you can explore historical sites like the Beach Boardwalk - which is one of the oldest amusement parks in the state.
You’ll also find plenty of places along the beachfront to grab a bite to eat or something to drink before heading on towards the historic city of Monterey - where you can visit the Museum of Art, explore a range of preserved buildings from bygone times or book a trip out to sea to marvel at the abundant marine life in the waters off the coast.
Each year, a number of festivals take place in the city whilst sports fans might enjoy a trip to the famed Laguna Seca circuit; which is located around 20 minutes inland.
Monterey is a great place to stop off for the night before you continue onwards through Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and the fringes of the Garrapata State Park towards one of the most scenic parts of the route through to Big Sur.
Along the route, there are various viewing points where you can stop off to marvel at the landscapes as you then continue onwards towards the beach resort of Santa Barbara and onwards to Malibu - another stunningly beautiful stretch of coastline which is something of a haven for the rich and famous given how close it is to Hollywood.
After a visit to Santa Monica with its famous pier it’s onwards to Los Angeles where there are countless things that you can do with your time - including the chance to stroll along the Walk of Fame, pay a visit the iconic Dolby Theatre or take to the hills to visit the Hollywood sign or the Griffith Observatory.
It’s a fantastic place to bring a drive down the coast to a conclusion, with the ‘City of Angels’ being one of the top destinations anywhere in the USA.
Should you want to book a trip to travel along the Pacific Coast Highway, then get in touch and we’ll help you to put together the perfect itinerary.