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 below.
- Top 10 Most Beautiful Drives in the United States
- Top 10 Stress-free Road Trip Ideas
- Top 10 Car Summer Maintenance Tips
- 10 Best Snacks for a Road Trip
- 10 Foods to Buy by the Side of the Road
- 5 Tips for Packing the Car for a Road Trip
- 5 Tips for Avoiding Car Problems on a Road Trip
- Top 5 Risks When Driving with a Pet
- What's so special about Route 66?
- What was the first road trip?
- What was the first cross-country U.S. road trip?
- How often should I stop to walk my pet on a long car trip?
- What is the actual cost of roadside assistance?
- Bergman, Becca. "America's Top 10 Road Trips." Yahoo Travel. (June 30, 2011) http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-34348817
- Heelan, Charis Atlas. "Highway 1: The Route to the Best of Maine." Frommer's. Sept. 26, 2008. (July 1, 2011) http://www.frommers.com/articles/5512.html
- Hodder, Ian. "10 great American road trips." MSNBC. July 10, 2006. (June 30, 2011) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6576151/ns/travel-road_trips/t/great-american-road-trips/
- The Huffington Post. "The 10 Best Road Trips in America." Sept. 9, 2010. (June 30, 2011) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/09/the-10-best-road-trips-in_n_709653.html#s136423&title=Big_Sur_California
- National Geographic. "Ultimate Road Trips." (June 30, 2011) http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/road-trips
- Talbot, Margaret. "Guide to California's Highway 1." Travel + Leisure. April 2003. (July 1, 2011) http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/the-best-road-trip-in-america
How does Swindon's Magic Roundabout traffic circle work? Learn more in this HowStuffWorks Now article.