Who was San Francisco named after?

The California State Route 1, Highway 1 for short, is probably one of the most famous roads in the world - and rightly so! The panorama route leads the entire way, partly breakneck close to the Pacific, along the coast of California and past phenomenal highlights. Not only the impressive cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco make the California road trip spectacular, but above all the fascinating nature, the cute places and small towns as well as the wildlife will be remembered for sure. Highway 1 is an absolute must on your bucket list. Everything Tips for your route you get now.

Via Highway 1 along the California coast

Highway 1 | Start from L.A. | Big Sur | Coastal towns | Destination San Francisco

Highway 1

The Highway 1 in the USA connects the north with the southern part of the state of California and runs mostly directly along the coast. A section of the legendary highway in southern California is also known as the Pacific Coast Highway or PCH for short. It is often mistakenly used as a synonym for the entire Highway 1.

You will always remember the priceless view.

The official route of Highway 1 runs from Garberville, 200 miles north of San Francisco, all the way down the coast to the town of Dana Point in Orange County, 100 kilometers south of Los Angeles. Whether you like the way along the 1,055-kilometer California State Route Driving from Northern California from San Francisco to Los Angeles or vice versa doesn't matter. The priceless view will be the same on both routes and I am sure you will never forget it. As a rule, travelers start their road trip from Los Angeles or San Francisco and skip the remaining kilometers to Garberville or Dana Point. Therefore I will introduce you to this part of Highway 1 with all the highlights.

Arrival to the west coast

Getting to Highway 1 is relatively straightforward. Even if the distance to the Californian west coast of Germany is over 9,000 kilometers, you can already take a direct flight from Frankfurt, for example for under € 350 fly to and from Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Do not forget!

With your euphoria about exploring Highway 1, you should of course not forget to plan time for the two metropolises at the start and end. If your still inspiration too San Francisco and los Angeles need, then take a look at my articles in the travel magazine.

From there, it's best to grab a cheap rental car and the road trip can begin. My route also led from the metropolis of Los Angeles out to the very European San Francisco. Of course, I don't want to withhold from you which highlights I took with me on the route. Just read on and let yourself be enchanted.


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From L.A. to Morro Bay

My time in los Angeles passed so quickly that I wouldn't mind hanging on for a few more days. However, the fact that I was facing a spectacular trip to San Francisco, on which I was able to discover breathtaking highlights on the coast of California, admittedly contributed significantly to the fact that saying goodbye to the "City of Angels" was not so difficult for me . My first stop shouldn't be far from the city: Santa Barbara, a city that will enchant you too.

In love with Santa Barbara

After you have hopefully been able to explore Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Hollywood extensively and also enjoyed the coastal air of the celebrities in Malibu, you arrived in the capital of the so-called American Riviera after about 2.5 hours via the California State Route: Santa Barbara. The small town is simply enchanting and it is a real pleasure to stroll along the palm-fringed coast, to marvel at the white villas that are covered with colorful flowers and to take a look steep coastal slopes to dare to go down. Enjoy a walk through the modern shopping streets with the expensive designer shops and treat yourself to a delicious afternoon coffee in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. Don't miss the opportunity to relax on the beach, watch the sailboats and stand-up paddlers and enjoy a delicious meal local wine to please. Life can be so beautiful. And already you have energy again for new adventures on Highway 1.

Danish flair in Solvang

The next short stop is Solvang, a cute little town with just 5,000 inhabitants, which was founded in 1911 by some Danish emigrants. As soon as you turn onto the main road, you completely forget that you are in the States and in a matter of moments you feel transported to Denmark. Small pretty half-timbered houses, countless Danish shops, cafes and even one Windmill adorn the cityscape. Discover Danish architecture and try the gastronomy and wines of the surrounding wine region.

Guru tip:

Paula‘s Pancake House closes in the afternoon, so don't make the mistake of showing up there in the evening.

In the event that you happen to be Solvang in the morning or at lunchtime, I have a heartfelt recommendation for you: You absolutely have to pay a visit to the legendary Paula’s Pancake House. Pancake variations that you would otherwise only have imagined in your wildest dreams can be found there in really cozy atmosphere enjoy for breakfast or lunch.

Sunset in Morro Bay

After another 140 kilometers on Highway 1, with a short stop on Pismo Beach, you arrive in Morro Bay and have already made about half of the route. Morro Bay is a small but nice town on the coast, named after the huge majestic rock Morro Rock, which lies directly in its bay. For the perfect breakfast there, I recommend this to you Shine cafewhere you can find the best smoothies Morro Bay and have a wonderful breakfast from sweet to salty.

Marvel at the spectacular sunset at Morro Rock.

During the day you can experience a lot: Discover the green parks and gardens, relax on the beach or go kayaking, golfing or running on the trails. In the afternoon at the latest, you should make your way to Morro Rock for the spectacular sunset to be able to marvel at. Pure idyll, a bright yellow-red sky and the rushing water - just magical. In Morro Bay you can easily make an overnight stop in a hotel, because many beautiful natural highlights await you that need and deserve time!

Big Sur natural paradise

The way up Highway 1 continues and my very personal highlight is next on the route.

Guru tip:

If you are flexible in terms of time, it is advisable to have a to two days Spend and hike in Big Sur.

The further north you drive, the more impressive the landscape and the scenery becomes. The Big Sur natural region lies at your feet and waits to be explored by you. The cliffs become steeper and the road winds its way along the coast in ever more imposing and narrowing serpentines, so that you can hardly stop being amazed.

Elephant seals and enchanting bays

Just 40 minutes drive from Morro Bay is the Elephant Seal Vista Point. Countless fat elephant seals bask in the sun on the beach, occasionally shovel sand on their backs with their sausage fins or crawl up to the water. Linger a little on the bank and watch the lazy people sunbathe, the sight really makes you smile.

Shortly afterwards comes the sign that officially identifies Big Sur: Be sure to stop wherever you go Natural beauty forces to stop. There are so many points with priceless views over the coast, the cliffs, the blue shining sea and the green landscape. Just to fall in love with.

The McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Beach State Park also blew me away in particular: A small piece of completely untouched nature, a graceful waterfall that comes out of the rocks, and a bay that is surrounded by green trees and a majestic palm tree, which are reflected in every picture of this beautiful spot with cheating on it.

Breaking waves at Pfeiffer Beach

If your stomach growls slowly, I have a special restaurant recommendation for you: That Nephente Restaurant that is located directly on Highway 1 and is called the Cabrillo Highway on this stretch of coast. It can very well happen that all seats are occupied, so it is best to reserve in advance. Delicious fresh salads, sandwiches, homemade potato wedges with dip and legs of meat with chips strengthen you for your onward journey. But the real highlight is the view. The restaurant is located directly on the coast and brings you a fabulous meal on the terrace priceless views of the Pacific.

A deserted beach with crashing waves and rock walls: Pfeiffer Beach.

It gets a little tricky to find the next place, because only a small path on a poorly developed side street leads there - but it's worth it. The Pfeiffer Beach is a hidden cove that only attracts a few brave surfers who plunge into the raging waves. Otherwise, this beach, surrounded by cliffs and high rock walls, is almost deserted. Spend romantic hours here with a view of the turbulent sea and thebreaking waves - an unforgettable nature experience.

The classic: The Bixby Bridge

The Point Sur State Historic Park is not to be missed and is only a few kilometers further on the route of Highway 1. Here you can visit the lighthouse and marvel at the surf from 100 meters above the sea.

The next classic is not long in coming: The famous Bixby Bridge leads you further in the direction of the next city. Get out and take a picture is a must!

Californian lifestyle in the coastal towns

Slowly you drive past houses again, you leave Big Sur at this point and get back into the livelier sections of Highway 1.

Monterey and Carmel by the Sea

Both the fairytale Small town of Carmel by the Sea, with their cute little country houses, snow-white beaches and lots of cool events, as well Monterey on the enchanting Monterey Bay, are perfect for a stay in the hotel and a short break.

Guru tip:

Another heartfelt recommendation: Be sure to visit the small café for breakfast Loulou’s Griddle In The Middle on Monterey Pier. Huge delicious pancakes, hearty omelets or fresh wraps offer you the perfect basis in the best atmosphere.

Take a little time to explore the places in peace. They are close together and bring with them a certain calm and peaceful atmosphere that is easy forHoliday mood cares. I recommend you switch off for one night and start the new day without any plans. Let yourself be carried away by the The life of laid-back Californians and pampered by the good coastal air. The relaxed feeling is infectious and you get a bit of the culture. You get delicious treats for breakfast and fresh fish for dinner - it couldn't be better, right?

Sea lions in Santa Cruz

Last stop on Highway 1 before San Francisco: Santa Cruz. The coastal city deserves to spend a full day here. Stroll along the coast over the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and treat yourself to a few rides on cool roller coasters and the Free Fall. Discover the livelySea lionsbustling under the pier and enjoying the fresh air on the beach.

Soak up the atmosphere in you, the nature and the view of the sea.

Sometimes free concerts take place here, which you should definitely take with you. Even trips to the Whale watching you can do from here or day trips into the surrounding nature and the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Soak up the atmosphere in you again, the nature and the view of the wide sea. Because then it's finally off to the cool city that can really best be described as “hip”: San Francisco.

When we are going to San Francisco

On the last few kilometers of your route on Highway 1, you can slowly take the Skyline on the horizont behold. If Los Angeles was a little too crazy for you, you will love this city. It is very European, easy-going, simply relaxed and simply infects everyone with this special feeling. There are a few things to discover here, but you can learn more about that in mine San Francisco tips.

Discovered Highway 1 in California

For me, Highway 1 is definitely one of the most beautiful routes I've ever driven in a car. So I would recommend everyone to plan the route on a California trip instead of flying the route! If you have a little more time to spare, it is definitely a good idea to allow more time for the drive and to spend the night two or three times along the way, as there are many exciting activities and just a lot to see on this route. Do you have any tips for me yourself? I'm looking forward for comments.


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