Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Coast Highway
5
About
Take a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the most scenic roads in the world. You'll be treated to stunning views of the rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and pristine beaches. You'll also pass by natural wonders like Big Sur and historic landmarks like the Bixby Bridge, so make sure you take your time to stop and admire the views. Hearst Castle and Monterey Bay Aquarium are fun stops too. To take the stress out of the trip, consider joining a driving tour from San Francisco. Spring is a great time to do the drive for pleasant weather, rolling green hills, and wildflowers. – Tripadvisor
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • F W
    Saint Louis, Missouri7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unbelievable beauty around every turn
    We covered the PCH between San Francisco & Big Sur and stopped at nearly every pullout. Unbelievable beauty lies around every turn with everything from jaw-dropping rock formations and cliffs to huge sand dunes. Lighthouses, seal lions, redwoods and agriculture are highlights as well. We were fortunate to arrive at the tail end of the "Superbloom" that happened this year and we were not disappointed. Get in your car with some snacks and leave your agenda behind and the road will show all it's secrets!
    Visited May 2023
    Written 9 June 2023
  • Petagal
    Regina, Canada64 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must do! Build in some extra time for unexpected stops and exploring the beauty.
    Must do activity. Give yourself plenty of leisure time for stops and exploring. Views are amazing. From the unique Bixby bridge to the crashing waves of the ocean to the beautiful waterfalls and tidepools. Something for everyone.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 June 2023
  • DontStopExploring
    Winnipeg, Canada1,155 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Scenic Drive
    We drove this highway from Cambria to Carmel by the Sea. It's so beautiful and a bit scary with the hairpin turns. It was a bit busier than I expected. We stopped at many spots along the way. We'll be back.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 10 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,676 reviews
Excellent
1,428
Very good
193
Average
39
Poor
9
Terrible
7

C Nelly
54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
A nice relaxing drive. Many shops and food places to check out and of course the ocean. A beautiful scenic route with a relaxing view. You can easily pull over and enjoy the shops or check out seasonal events along PCH.
Written 18 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DontStopExploring
Winnipeg, Canada1,155 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
We drove this highway from Cambria to Carmel by the Sea. It's so beautiful and a bit scary with the hairpin turns. It was a bit busier than I expected. We stopped at many spots along the way. We'll be back.
Written 10 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Petagal
Regina, Canada64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Family
Must do activity. Give yourself plenty of leisure time for stops and exploring. Views are amazing. From the unique Bixby bridge to the crashing waves of the ocean to the beautiful waterfalls and tidepools. Something for everyone.
Written 12 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

F W
Saint Louis, MO7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
We covered the PCH between San Francisco & Big Sur and stopped at nearly every pullout. Unbelievable beauty lies around every turn with everything from jaw-dropping rock formations and cliffs to huge sand dunes. Lighthouses, seal lions, redwoods and agriculture are highlights as well. We were fortunate to arrive at the tail end of the "Superbloom" that happened this year and we were not disappointed. Get in your car with some snacks and leave your agenda behind and the road will show all it's secrets!
Written 9 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bluegrassmom3
Owensboro, KY442 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
What a beautiful ride from Santa Barbara to LA. It was not as busy as I expected. We stopped at several spots along the way!
Written 1 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Temac1970
Melbourne, Australia146 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
We drove LA to San Francisco over two days, stopping in San Simeon overnight. Found it an interesting and picturesque drive with lots of lovely, changing scenery. The driving does require concentration in some parts, as its pretty winding - but nothing too hairy. (even for an Aussie driver having to drive on the wrong side of the road!!!)
Two days was enough to comfortably drive and stop for lunches, coffees, etc.. but you’d probably need at least an extra day if you wanted to stop at various landmarks along the way for any length of time.
PS: If you love this drive, you really need to try the Great Ocean Road - Victoria, Australia.
Written 9 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nickss1
Southend-on-Sea, UK5,496 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
This is a stunning drive. We completed the leg between Monterey to Pismo Beach, travelling south. The views are great, with many vista points. The Elephant Sealions viewing area was awesome. We also visited Hearst Castle while en route. We stopped off at Ragged Point in for a hit chocolate and muffin. The entire trip took a whole day, but definitely worth it.
Written 14 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael Z
Helsingoer Municipality, Denmark14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
We drove from LA to SF over two days. Highly recommend it. Once beyond Malibu, the southerly two-thirds is interesting and beautiful in its own way but not dramatic compared to the northerly half. As one approaches the midway point, however, the landscape is just stunning. We overnighted in Cambria, which is a great place to spend the night (or longer). The drive north from there was amazing. We stopped multiple times, including at Pfeiffer Beach, which is hard to find (poor signage) but worth exploring. It's also worth stopping at Bixby Bridge. From the parking lot on the north end, it's a good idea to continue driving along the dirt road beyond the parking area to a point higher up and looking straight on perpendicular o the bridge. One can turnaround from there to return to PCH. Take your time and stop often. Just don't drive it at night.
Written 29 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

George34227
Fort Lauderdale, FL3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
We recently completed the PCH from LA to San Francisco. The scenery is mind blowing….the drive is intense for the driver with constant climbs and drops and windy turns along the way - you can not take your eyes off the road for a second to enjoy the sights, so you must stop along the way. If you have a fear of heights - then this drive is not for you. I give it 5 out of 5 for the scenery but 1 out of 5 for the driving experience
Written 19 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KLM1
Kitchener, Canada736 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
The drive along the PCH is magnificent. We started from Carmel, and headed south to San Simeon. I would recommend heading south, so that the view point parking lots are on your right, and easily accessible.

There are an endless number of places to stop, so I’ll just mention a couple of my favourites.

Before you cross the Bixby Bridge heading south, you can get a beautiful view from the mountain side of the highway. There is a small dirt road on your left, which has an incredible view of the bridge, with the ocean in the background. You can also go to Castle Rock Viewpoint, after crossing the bridge, and look back up the coast at the bridge.

Before you reach San Simeon, stop at the Elephant Seal Vista Point. The size and number of elephants seals is amazing. I could stand and watch them for hours. But don’t go down onto the beach to get close to them.

Take your time, and allow lots of time for stops along the way. Pack a picnic lunch so you can stop and eat anywhere you like.
Written 16 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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