Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway
5
About
Take a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the most scenic roads in the world. You'll be treated to stunning views of the rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and pristine beaches. You'll also pass by natural wonders like Big Sur and historic landmarks like the Bixby Bridge, so make sure you take your time to stop and admire the views. Hearst Castle and Monterey Bay Aquarium are fun stops too. To take the stress out of the trip, consider joining a driving tour from San Francisco. Spring is a great time to do the drive for pleasant weather, rolling green hills, and wildflowers. – Tripadvisor
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • DontStopExploring
    Winnipeg, Canada1,223 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Scenic Drive
    We drove this highway from Cambria to Carmel by the Sea. It's so beautiful and a bit scary with the hairpin turns. It was a bit busier than I expected. We stopped at many spots along the way. We'll be back.
    Visited July 2023
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Ellen C
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    We did from Bodega north in May. It was beautiful, lots of wildlife, even saw some wild turkey. A lot of roadwork going on, but no long delays. It was cold, so remember to dress warm. We stopped at Point Reyes lighthouse and it was too cold to go out to the cliffs and look at the views, which we had planned on. (we had coats and hats, but wind was strong). Lighthouse tour was interesting. Plan for lots of stops and take more time than we did. We did that section in a day.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written June 2, 2024
  • DesertRose
    476 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful drive but keep in mind the road closures on Big Sur
    This is some of if not the most lovely spots in California so if you're doing a road trip it is a must see. Some of the things to keep in mind are: Road closure on the Big Sur section until sometime Fall of 2024. You can do most of the road but it requires driving to Sand Dollar Beach, back tracking through Cambria to go around the mountains and then seeing the rest from the other direction which will add a LOT of driving time. There is a lot of hair pin turns so if you have two drivers who can switch off so both of you can enjoy the view that would be ideal.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 11, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,678 reviews
Excellent
1,430
Very good
193
Average
39
Poor
9
Terrible
7

DesertRose
476 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
This is some of if not the most lovely spots in California so if you're doing a road trip it is a must see.
Some of the things to keep in mind are:
Road closure on the Big Sur section until sometime Fall of 2024. You can do most of the road but it requires driving to Sand Dollar Beach, back tracking through Cambria to go around the mountains and then seeing the rest from the other direction which will add a LOT of driving time.
There is a lot of hair pin turns so if you have two drivers who can switch off so both of you can enjoy the view that would be ideal.
Written June 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen C
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
We did from Bodega north in May. It was beautiful, lots of wildlife, even saw some wild turkey. A lot of roadwork going on, but no long delays. It was cold, so remember to dress warm. We stopped at Point Reyes lighthouse and it was too cold to go out to the cliffs and look at the views, which we had planned on. (we had coats and hats, but wind was strong). Lighthouse tour was interesting. Plan for lots of stops and take more time than we did. We did that section in a day.
Written June 2, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

C Nelly
56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
A nice relaxing drive. Many shops and food places to check out and of course the ocean. A beautiful scenic route with a relaxing view. You can easily pull over and enjoy the shops or check out seasonal events along PCH.
Written April 18, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DontStopExploring
Winnipeg, Canada1,223 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
We drove this highway from Cambria to Carmel by the Sea. It's so beautiful and a bit scary with the hairpin turns. It was a bit busier than I expected. We stopped at many spots along the way. We'll be back.
Written August 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Petagal
Regina, Canada64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Family
Must do activity. Give yourself plenty of leisure time for stops and exploring. Views are amazing. From the unique Bixby bridge to the crashing waves of the ocean to the beautiful waterfalls and tidepools. Something for everyone.
Written June 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

F W
Saint Louis, MO12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
We covered the PCH between San Francisco & Big Sur and stopped at nearly every pullout. Unbelievable beauty lies around every turn with everything from jaw-dropping rock formations and cliffs to huge sand dunes. Lighthouses, seal lions, redwoods and agriculture are highlights as well. We were fortunate to arrive at the tail end of the "Superbloom" that happened this year and we were not disappointed. Get in your car with some snacks and leave your agenda behind and the road will show all it's secrets!
Written June 9, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bluegrassmom3
Owensboro, KY442 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
What a beautiful ride from Santa Barbara to LA. It was not as busy as I expected. We stopped at several spots along the way!
Written May 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Temac1970
Melbourne, Australia146 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
We drove LA to San Francisco over two days, stopping in San Simeon overnight. Found it an interesting and picturesque drive with lots of lovely, changing scenery. The driving does require concentration in some parts, as its pretty winding - but nothing too hairy. (even for an Aussie driver having to drive on the wrong side of the road!!!)
Two days was enough to comfortably drive and stop for lunches, coffees, etc.. but you’d probably need at least an extra day if you wanted to stop at various landmarks along the way for any length of time.
PS: If you love this drive, you really need to try the Great Ocean Road - Victoria, Australia.
Written December 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nickss1
Southend-on-Sea, UK5,484 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
This is a stunning drive. We completed the leg between Monterey to Pismo Beach, travelling south. The views are great, with many vista points. The Elephant Sealions viewing area was awesome. We also visited Hearst Castle while en route. We stopped off at Ragged Point in for a hit chocolate and muffin. The entire trip took a whole day, but definitely worth it.
Written October 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael Z
Helsingoer Municipality, Denmark14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We drove from LA to SF over two days. Highly recommend it. Once beyond Malibu, the southerly two-thirds is interesting and beautiful in its own way but not dramatic compared to the northerly half. As one approaches the midway point, however, the landscape is just stunning. We overnighted in Cambria, which is a great place to spend the night (or longer). The drive north from there was amazing. We stopped multiple times, including at Pfeiffer Beach, which is hard to find (poor signage) but worth exploring. It's also worth stopping at Bixby Bridge. From the parking lot on the north end, it's a good idea to continue driving along the dirt road beyond the parking area to a point higher up and looking straight on perpendicular o the bridge. One can turnaround from there to return to PCH. Take your time and stop often. Just don't drive it at night.
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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