Highway One Guide
Drive. Dine. Walk. Gawk. Find joy. Explore 735 gorgeous miles of the iconic road with these essential stops along the way
Monterey Bay: Make yourself at home on one of the area's incomparable stretches of sand.
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Pebble Beach Golf Links may have an exclusive rep, but anyone can enjoy The Bench, a relaxed restaurant overlooking the 18th Green and Carmel Bay.
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Pebble Beach to Half Moon Bay: After the untamed drama of Big Sur, Highway 1 makes a calmer approach to the sweep of Monterey Bay.
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Point Lobos has some of the grandest views anywhere in California.
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Some will question artist Francis McComas’s proclamation that Point Lobos is “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world.” But not after doing a grand-tour hike along Point Lobos State Natural Reserve’s shoreline trails.
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Big Sur Lodge offers reasonably priced lodging on an often-expensive coast.
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Nepenthe is known for its striking architecture, good food, and even better views. On a sunny day, the outdoor decks offer Highway 1 bliss.
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Carb lovers flock to Big Sur Bakery.
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In Big Sur, Highway 1 leads to long, uncrowded beaches made for meditative walks.
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On a coast that prizes eccentricity, Deetjens Big Sur Inn lifts it to art form: 20 rooms and cabins crafted by Norwegian immigrant Helmuth Deetjen between the 1930s and ’60s.
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Of course you want to see Hearst Castle—no trip up Highway 1 would be complete without a tour of William Randolph’s fabled hilltop estate.
You may have enjoyed many fish tacos in your life, but nothing quite like what you’ll find at Ruddell’s Smokehouse.
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Cayucos to Point Lobos: Here Highway 1 earns its status as one of the world’s great drives. Mountains plunge straight into the Pacific. Veils of fog drift into redwood canyons, blurring the boundaries between continent, ocean, and sky.
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Landmark Stearns Wharf has panoramic ocean views. But when you reach the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., skip them and eat at this no-nonsense seafood shack’s bar so you can watch cooks make such favorites as lobster tacos, a delicacy you shouldn’t miss.
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Surf and mountains near Highway 1 in Santa Barbara County.
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The rolling hills around Lompoc are producing some of California’s best wines—heady stuff for a town formerly known as flower-seed capital of the world.
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Secluded sands in Santa Barbara County.
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Yes, Jalama Beach is a 14-mile detour off the highway, a twisting journey through rolling ranchlands. But there’s a reward at the end of the road. T
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Highway 1 rolls through the golden hills of Santa Barbara County.
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Golden road, Santa Barbara County: The scenic road to Jalama Beach.
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Island idyll in Ventura: Along the Southern California coast, you get tantalizing glimpses of islands floating on the horizon.
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Perfect pause, Malibu
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Like Zuma Beach, its famous neighbor just to the north, Westward Beach has ample parking and powerful waves. But bordered by sandstone bluffs instead of PCH’s pavement, it feels more unspoiled.
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In Malibu, Highway 1 opens up and achieves escape velocity from greater Los Angeles. It is the Southern California of beachfront celebrity homes, towel-wrapped surfers shimmying out of wetsuits by the roadside, and lyrically named beaches: Zuma and Surfrider and El Matador.
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A stay at the shore: The oceanfront Shore Hotel in Santa Monica