The entire 656 miles (1,055.7 kilometers) of Route 1, from Orange County just south of Los Angeles to the towering redwoods of Leggett, is worthwhile, with the trip generally broken into the four sections of Malibu/Santa Barbara, Central Coast, San Francisco and the Redwood Empire. Pick your favorite or do the whole thing -- the California coast is a classic road trip.
But if you're going to pick just one section, make it the 380 miles (611.6 kilometers) between Los Angeles and San Francisco, where windswept beaches alternate with precipitous cliffs, and the road feels like a chapter in a Kerouac novel as it unfurls breathlessly and unpredictably around every turn.
If you don't mind leaving the coast for a few miles, consider jaunting inland for the wine, where you can follow the climate from the pinots of Santa Barbara wine country through the cabernets of Napa and Sonoma and into the rieslings of northern California. This is why you road trip with two drivers.
For more road trip articles, check out the links on the next page.