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Best Stops On Highway 1

The Pacific Coast Highway, a classic California road, stretches along the coast for 655 miles. If you’re driving from the north, here are the 5 best stops on highway 1 that are perfect for taking photos.

Muir Woods National Monument

Best Stops On Highway 1 Muir Woods

Located 12 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, accessible via the Highway 1/Stinson Beach exit, this national monument is not a national park, but it is home to one of California’s last ancient redwood forests. Visitors can follow the Redwood Creek River and explore four major sites within the monument: Bohemian Grove, Cathedral Grove, Pinchot Tree, and Kent Tree. This area offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and grandeur of thousand-year-old redwoods.

Bixby Creek Bridge

Best Stops On Highway 1 Bixby Creek Bridge

The Bixby Creek Bridge, near the north entrance to Big Sur, is a famous landmark on the wild coast between Carmel and San Luis Obispo. If you’re driving from the north, like from Monterey or San Francisco, remember that before you reach the Bixby Creek Bridge, you’ll see another bridge, the Rocky Creek Bridge, which looks similar and is about a kilometer before it.

Pfeiffer Beach

Best Stops On Highway 1 Pfeiffer Beach

This might be the most overlooked part of the West Coast’s coastline. The beach sand is purple along with a beautiful shore and a famous rock ! This is because of manganese garnet in the nearby hills. But getting there takes some effort.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Best Stops On Highway 1 Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Located 66 kilometers south of Monterey and 83 kilometers north of San Simeon, this spot offers one of the best views for the least effort. A 500-meter, mostly flat trail leads to a viewpoint over the ocean with stunning views of McWay Falls. This 80-foot waterfall, which you can see all year, falls onto the beach at McWay Cove and then into the Pacific Ocean.

Hearst Castle

Best Stops On Highway 1 Hearst Castle

San Simeon in San Luis Obispo County is known for its beautiful homes, but Hearst Castle stands out as the most extravagant. Designed by Julia Morgan, the first female architect in California, it was the private home of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. This lavish 165-room castle, finished in 1947, sits on 51 hectares of terraced gardens and offers stunning panoramic views. Known for its opulence and extravagance, Hearst Castle is open to visitors every day.