The Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego in the south to near Seattle in north California, west coast USA.
PCH beside Laguna Beach
PCH/Highway 1 is, after the de-tuned Route 66, America's most popular road, in total a 2,500 mile run from Baja California (Mexico) to the Olympic peninsula near Seattle, though most travellers shrink the length to a drive from San Diego or Los Angeles to the Redwood trees in north California, taking about 2 weeks - with stops for attractions of course.
A compressed trip of PCH highlights could be from sunny Santa Barbara to foggy San Francisco.
PCH along Big Sur
by Poco a Poco
The prettiest section of the Pacific Coast Highway is unquestionably the Big Sur writhing its way beside the ocean, around cliffs and over dramatic bridges from Hearst Castle (just north of Santa Barbara) to little Carmel. Visitors may enjoy a beach break just 4 miles north of Hearst Castle, following a miniscule sign to Piedras Blancas Beach and its massive elephant seal colony.
California's most northerly attraction are the awesome Giant Redwoods including the famous drive-thru Chandelier Tree near Leggett, off US 101, PCH. Redwood State Parks.
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, near Reedsport.
Photo by R.Kennison
Oregon's main offering to PCH motorists is more driving, but this time it's dune buggies in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, a 50 mile long by 3 mile wide sea of sand hills that big boys simply love to play in (controlled areas, naturally) and sees a fair amount of animal activity too. The dunes extend from Coos Bay to Florence and hiking/camping are also popular in this dramatic region.
Olympic National Park, Washington.
The only rainforest in the United States of America is the last and most northerly stop on Pacific Coast Highway, the Olympic National Park. Damp, yes, but groaning with grand nature and grunting wildlife (bears, elk, coyote etc.), much of it visible from the dirt road that runs around Lake Quinault, though you'd perhaps like a walk after driving 1600 miles or so! Near Seattle, Washington state.
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