In September 2009, the two of us made the spectacular drive down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Santa Monica in a Ford Mustang Convertible. Cliché much? Regardless, it was a travel experience that we truly enjoyed and one that we will remember forever.
Here are the some of the amazing places we stopped on the first day of our journey.
San Francisco is not the easiest place for your first international driving experience! After eventually conquering the hills (which was no easy feat!), we missed a turn and somehow drove across the Golden Gate Bridge! Even though it caused us a few moments of panic and cost us a few extra dollars to get back across to the city, the photo below was our reward.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur
After finally figuring out where the hell we were and making it onto Highway 1, we made our first stop at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, approximately 3 hours south of San Francisco. We didn’t have nearly enough time here and would have loved to have spent more time hiking and camping at this picturesque spot. Maybe next time? For those of you who are interested in checking out Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, the parking fee was $10 but was well worth it!
Pfeiffer Big State Beach
Further down Highway 1 was Pfeiffer Big State Beach which we discovered courtesy of TripAdvisor. It was a difficult place to find and required some skilful driving down a very narrow road but wow – this was definitely one of the prettiest beaches we’ve been to! And believe us when we say we’ve seen plenty of beautiful beaches! Be warned though – it does get very windy here and grains of sand can feel like tiny bullets!
Our overnight stop was on Moonstoone Beach Drive in Cambria. We arrived in Cambria mere minutes before this beautiful sunset and then turned around to see the moon above the trees!
Have you driven down Highway 1 before? What were your favorite places to stop along the way?