Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip – LA to San Francisco

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide | California Road Trip Tips | Sharing the travel route and great places to visit on an LA to San Francisco road trip.

After touching down briefly in Los Angeles to recharge our batteries, we woke up early to embark on our very first USA road trip along the west coast to San Francisco. This was also my first time driving on the other side of the road. Whilst driving on the highways felt surprising natural after a very short time it was turning at intersections that really messed with my head. Perhaps it’s because I’m a biased leftie but doing a wide left turn into a right lane just doesn’t feel logical to me.

That aside this road trip was one the most amazing experiences of my life and I am already dreaming of the next road trip adventure…

The Route:

We left Los Angeles bright and early (even at 7am it was pretty intense on some of the freeways out of the city) and headed for the Pacific Coast Highway – Highway 1. On the way out of the city you will pass through some truly gorgeous coastline including Santa Monica (highly recommend spending an afternoon there) and Malibu. You pretty much stay on Highway 1 the whole way as you head up the coast towards San Francisco so it is a pretty chilled out drive. All up with a few leisurely breaks for meals, exploring and happy snaps the trip took us about 14 hours.

Where to stop:

There a bunch of lovely places to stop at along the way but my favourites would have to be Ragged Point and The Big Sur. There are tons of great places to pull over and take in the dreamy Pacific Ocean blues and perhaps spot a few cheeky elephant seals basking in the sunlight. I highly recommend arriving at The Big Sur just before sunset.

When to travel:

We drove early April (spring) and the weather was pretty sublime (blue skies except for brief rain buckets in Santa Barbara). Personally I would steer clear from this drive in the middle of summer traffic wise, particularly along The Big Sur section.

Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide | California Road Trip Tips | Sharing the travel route and great places to visit on an LA to San Francisco road trip.Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide | California Road Trip Tips | Sharing the travel route and great places to visit on an LA to San Francisco road trip.

Photography by Christie Moore and Max Rowan (image i), editing by Christie Moore

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4 Comments

Savannah

My parents have been dying to do this trip - it looks incredible!!

19:37 May 25, 2015
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    Dark Blue Stripes

    It was such an amazing experience @disqus_AFDz993zgP:disqus! The ocean blues were so vivid and it was such a relaxing drive. Highly recommend!

    21:56 May 25, 2015
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Valerie

Oh wow this looks incredible! I did ride on a little bit of the PCH when I was in LA a few years ago but I'd love to follow it all the way up north <3 xx

03:45 May 27, 2015
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    Dark Blue Stripes

    I highly recommend it - particularly The Big Sur! The views are just incredible.

    18:07 May 27, 2015
    Reply
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