7 Must Visit places on Pacific Coast Highway
Some of the most beautiful places to visit on PCH
What is Mendocino about?
Just 10 miles down the coast, Mendocino is an especially charming coastal town and the only one on the California coast designated as a historical landmark. Established in the 1850s, you’ll find grand Victorian buildings along with saltbox cottages. It’s also famous for its art galleries, stunning scenery and as the fictional home of the popular television series, “Murder, She Wrote,” starring Angela Lansbury, which featured exteriors of the town and also used a Victorian B&B as Jessica Fletcher’s home. Mendocino is also a great place to stop for a bite to eat, with everything from quaint cafes to upscale, fine dining with ocean views.
Whats the best way to visit San Francisco?
Continuing south on Highway 101, you’ll find yourself traveling over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge into the city of San Francisco. Before crossing, exit the highway onto Alexander for the best views. Hopefully, you’ve planned to spend more than just a few minutes here. A few of the highlights include riding a cable car, touring Alcatraz Island and visiting Golden Gate Park, which houses the California Academy of Sciences, the De Young Museum, botanical gardens and more.
Greyhound Rock Beach
Is it worth stopping in Greyhound Rock Beach?
If you’re looking for the perfect beach to take a break on, it doesn’t get much better than Greyhound Rock. Located about 38 miles south of Moss Beach, you’ll notice a sign indicating beach access to the right and a large parking lot that appears not to have much of anything else to offer, at first. Accessing the beach requires a steep, but short, walk down the cliff, which seems to keep most people away, although it’s fairly easy to navigate. Once there, even during the peak summer months, you might have this beautiful stretch of sand all to yourself. Occasionally an elephant seal will make an appearance – and, dolphins can frequently be spotted leaping from the surf.
Should I add Santa Cruz on my places to visit?
In the summer months, Santa Cruz is where you’ll find the biggest crowds – and, all of the action with heart-pounding thrill rides like the Giant Dipper, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the nation, running since 1924. This is also a great spot to hear live music while soaking in the sun and the sand, heading out on the water with a stand-up paddleboard among the otters and sea lions, or enjoying a romantic sunset sailboat ride. If you’re in the mood to shop, you’ll find lots of bargains in the Pacific Garden Mall, an outdoor mall with some outstanding thrift stores and consignment shops – along with some of the best people watching in the state.
What is to do in Monterey?
Monterey is less than an hour south of Santa Cruz. It’s worth stopping to visit the renowned Monterey Aquarium. Unlike stand-alone aquariums you’ll find in most other cities, it sits in the bay, pumping 2,000 gallons of sea water each minute into the aquarium, making it possible to sustain sea life you wouldn’t be able to see elsewhere, at least without scuba gear. It features exhibits that include many different native species like jellyfish, sting rays, and sea otters as well as touch tanks so that you can feel the rough surface of a starfish or the soft skin of a sea cucumber. The Monterey area is also famous for its numerous golf courses, with more than 20, including Pebble Beach and Cypress Point.
Big Sur and Pfeiffer State Beach
What is Big Sur known for?
Just when you thought the views couldn’t get any better, as you venture further south, winding around each bend, you’ll be amazed at the increasingly beautiful scenery that includes deep gorges cutting through rugged mountains, pine forests that extend to the edge of sandy beaches and even cascading falls plunging to the sea below. California’s Central Coast has inspired many artists, poets, and writers, and it’s easy to see why. Big Sur, 25 miles south of Monterey, is the home of one of the world’s unique beaches, Pfeiffer State Beach. You won’t want to miss this rare purple sand beach, with its purple hue derived from the manganese garnet deposits that are found in the surrounding rocks. With the azure-colored waves crashing against it, the contrast is simply stunning.
Should I start or end my trip in Malibu?
The famous beach town of Malibu is the home of some celebrities, beautiful stretches of sand, outstanding eateries and fun shopping opportunities. If you’d like to catch a glimpse of a Hollywood star pretending they don’t want to be seen, head to Malibu Country Mart. Malibu Lagoon State Beach, formerly known as Surfrider Beach, is a good place to go for a swim in the summer and enjoy some great people watching.