Road Trip: Enjoying The Pacific Coast Highway

Jan 22, 2016 by Darren (Driver Weekly)

Take a road trip along the wonderfully winding route of the Pacific Coast Highway to get a full appreciation of some of the most stunning coastal vistas in America. The Pacific Coast Highway (also called California State Route 1) gives access to one of America’s most-loved driving destinations with its quirky stop-offs and mind-blowing scenery. Its many winding curves make you wonder what might be around the next bend.

The original construction of the Pacific Coast Highway started back in 1934 and was not finished until 15 years later in 1949. It stretches for most of the Californian coastline and is approximately 550 miles in length.The quality and dramatic nature of the scenery is certain to vary along the different stretches of the highway. For some of the most attractive scenery, it can benefit to plan a Central Coast road trip which gives access to nearly 240 miles of coastline stretching from Monterey south to Santa Barbara.The preferred driving route is generally going north to south for the added benefit of being able to drive on the ocean side of the road, which gives the completely unobstructed viewpoint of the coastline and scenery.

Take your time

The Pacific Coast Highway is a great destination for a road trip, but it is hilly, twisty, and can be full of traffic. Plus, there are many different kinds of drivers on this route – oldies, teenagers, speed demons, and inexperienced. Just try to respect other driving styles and speed up, slow down, and let others in and out as needed. Three days is generally the minimum time to get a sight of the best views, but for those with more time, it is easily possible to spend a lot more time there. A drive along this highway gives access to numerous incredible destinations, including Monterey, Big Sur, San Simeon, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara.

Get a convertible


Chris Richards

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway in a Chevrolet Camaro convertible or similar vehicle is certain to help create the moments that are likely to be remembered forever. Alternatively, other luxurious cars like a BMW X5, H2 Hummer, or Cadillac Escalade can help to build the right atmosphere while touring this beautiful highway. While a vintage convertible Cadillac makes it possible to feel the wind in the hair, it might not be the most practical choice for everyone. A slightly larger vehicle with more internal space has the added advantage of being more comfortable and comes equipped with plenty of cargo space for those that like to travel with a lot of luggage. One of the most common car models witnessed on this highway is a silver or red Mustang convertible. While it might be attractive to hire out the luxurious or convertible model for a planned trip on the Pacific Coast Highway it can be just as much fun driving in your average, everyday vehicle. But the upgraded car is sure to provide the better engine and performance for improved handling on the winding curves of these roads.

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